The lack of constant 2.8 zoom lenses > 55 mm for DX

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by nishnishant, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Whenever there's a "should I go DX or FX" question, a common response is that DX lenses are cheaper. But for someone interested in constant 2.8 aperture lenses, there;s only the 17-55 2.8 from Nikon (or similar versions from Tamron, Tokina, and Sigma).
    Compare this to FX which has the 14-24/24-70/70-200 from Nikon and the 50-150 from Sigma.
    So even if you go DX, if you want pro zooms, you have to get FX lenses anyway. So effectively your only saving would be the 800 bucks you save (cost difference between the 17-55 DX vs the FX equivalent 24-70).
    Of course there are DX primes that are 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of equivalent FX lenses. So perhaps if you are the sort of photographer who can work with just primes, you may be okay. I still do feel Nikon should bring out a 55-200 constant 2.8 DX lens (priced around 800 bucks).
    Thoughts?
     
  2. Of course there are DX primes that are 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of equivalent FX lenses.​
    There are no DX wide prime period AFAIK
    Compare this to FX which has the 14-24/24-70/70-200 from Nikon and the 50-150 from Sigma.​
    Isn't the 50-150 sigma a DX lens?
    I still do feel Nikon should bring out a 55-200 constant 2.8 DX lens (priced around 800 bucks).​
    Not sure that's doable. Even if doable, probably not economical for Nikon. I'm surprised you didn't mention a 12-24mm f2.8. If there were, I would have likely switched from FX to DX...
     
  3. Yes, my mistake. The 50-150 is indeed a DX lens. And it's $900 on Amazon right now. So well, DX users do have economic 2.8 zoom options from 3rd parties, but just not from Nikon.
    And I am not sure why you say it won't be economical for Nikon. It's the DX cameras that give them a really big profit (and not the high-end pro SLRs). So if they introduce a quality zoom lens for hobbyist to semi-serious shooters, that'd be a bestseller in my opinion.
     
  4. 50-150 from Sigma​
    Which is a DX lens last time I checked - but the same size and weight as their 70-200 and hence the only reason to buy it is if one really needs that no-gap solution. The previous Sigma 50-150 was substantially smaller and lighter than the 70-200 FX lenses - but that advantage is gone with the newer offering.
    I have the Nikon 17-55 and quite like it - but frankly, it's performance is not at par with its price point. Not even when purchased used. It's also a relic from the time when there was no FX and Nikon had to offer something for the event shooters. Nowadays, Nikon seems to think that everyone serious about photography just needs to pay up and go FX. Though Nikon continues to produce some high-prices DX lenses, they can hardly be considered high-end.
    Just like the finally available 70-200/4 that many asked for and not many will actually purchase because they just need that f/2.8, a 50-150/2.8DX made available now would fall in the category of too little, too late.
    I still do feel Nikon should bring out a 55-200 constant 2.8 DX lens (priced around 800 bucks)​
    Hardly possible at that price point as the lens would be as large and heavy as the FX counterpart - and cost the same.
     
  5. Yeah, once again sorry about the Sigma 50-150 error - it is indeed a DX lens.
    That said, you raise some good points. For a while it seemed Nikon was seriously pushing the DX camera/lens market, but with the D600 they have also proved that for under 2000 you can buy an FX camera with a fairly decent kit lens. So it's hard to say where they are going from here.
     
  6. Sigma's 50-150 is a DX (DC) lens.
    I very much doubt that a Nikon 55-200 f/2.8 DX lens would cost anything like $800. The Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 has an MSRP of $1650 and a street price of about $1000. I can only think that a Nikon lens such as you describe would be more expensive. Consider the 70-200 f/4 FX lens. That has an MSRP of about $1400 and sells for pretty much that price. I'd be surprised if a 55-200 f/2.8 DX lens wasn't at least as much or more.
    Simply put, I don't think there is enough advantage in cost for a DX lens once you enter telephoto territory. However, you do get to save money by being able to use shorter lenses for the same subjects. A subject that needs a 300-mm lens on FX can be shot with your 70-200 and a DX body -- you save the cost of acquiring the 300-mm lens. So I think to compare DX and FX costs in the telephoto realm you have to look at what focal lengths you need.
     
  7. Well, I was thinking on these lines. Someone goes DX to save money - and assuming he/she only buys Nikon lenses, then they'd have to buy the 70-200 2.8 zoom. So my original point that if you are a pro shooter, using a DX camera is not as big a money-saver as people think it is stays.
    Of course if you don't want longer lenses, I guess you do save some money. But anyone shooting weddings would certainly need something longer than 50 mm. Although one might argue that at that point, you should be okay with going FX.
     
  8. But anyone shooting weddings would certainly need something longer than 50 mm.​
    One has many options with DX tele...basically, any FX tele. Just buy an older f2.8 lens, or the mentioned sigma and there was a DX tokina f2.8 zoom as well.
     
  9. For a while it seemed Nikon was seriously pushing the DX camera/lens market​
    Camera market yes, lens market not so much - quite evident by all the gaps the Nikon DX lens line-up has and by all the DX lenses from third parties that don't have an equivalent in Nikon's line-up.
    I like DX for the reach it gives me for my avian photography - and I make do with it for my general shooting. Replacing my DX combo of 11-16/2.8 and 17-55/2.8 with the FX equivalent isn't exactly a cheap proposition. For what I do, it turns out that DX is the best compromise.
     
  10. "Someone goes DX to save money" is a bit of a sweeping statment. Until the D600 there were not affordable FX options for the vast majority of shooters, and some would still not consider the D600 to be affordable, especially if already bought into DX. Does that mean that poeple buy DX to save money, or does it mean that they buy the best they can afford. Do people buy Ford in preference to a Mercedes to save money or do the buy Ford because they cant afford a Mercedes. Maybe some can afford a Mercedes but can't justify spending that much money on a car, when they could have some nice holidays and decorate their house etc.
    Anyway, whilst good DX lenses are essential at the wide-angle and wide-to-mid range zoom, Im not sure they are really needed at the long end. For my D90 I have a Sigma 10-20 and I would possibly buy a prime DX lens in this range if there were one.I have the Nikon 35mm DX, but probably would have bought a Nikon 35mm f1.8 AFS it there was one. I also have a Nikon 16-85, which I would probably trade for constant f4 equivalent if it there ever is one. At the longer end I have Nikon 70-300 VR and I don't think I would trade this for a DX telehphoto. I'm far more likely to buy a used 80-200 or next gen 300 f4 or 80-400, or even a Sigma 150-500 if a D400 ever surfaces and it can auto focus to f8 like the D800. I think the chances of my moving up to FX in the next 5 years are slim, but the chances of me buying additional DX lenses are even slimmer.
     
  11. this topic keeps getting raised every few months, and every time, the answers are the same.
    I still do feel Nikon should bring out a 55-200 constant 2.8 DX lens (priced around 800 bucks).​
    dream on, Aerosmith. Nikon won't do it as it would seriously cannibalize their 70-200 models. plus, such a lens would be pretty hard to design with those specs at that price. there's no reason they couldnt do a 70-300/4 VR in a compact body for under $1000, but that seems unlikely now, after the 70-200/4, which costs considerably more than $800.
    DX users do have economic 2.8 zoom options from 3rd parties, but just not from Nikon.​
    i'm not sure why this should matter. i've owned the first two versions of the 50-150--still have the II--and the only thing which stops it from being considered an all-time classic is the lack of Nikon badging. which raises the question, is it about functionality as a photographic tool, or name-brand ownership?
    Nikon doesn't make the lens you want because they want you to buy a 70-200, hopefully with an FX body. Ok, so what? you can still get the 50-150 and get all the functionality you want. the older model can still be found on the auction site for a reasonable price if you need something compact. or you can get the new version if you want stabilization. i fail to see what the problem is.
    Someone goes DX to save money - and assuming he/she only buys Nikon lenses​
    this is just illogical. if you're trying to save money, why would you not consider 3rd party lenses? there are many which are the optical equivalent or even superior to OEM glass, which is another way of saying a lot of nikon lenses are overpriced. Pros dont worry about saving money, they just get what they need to get the job done. it's the people who dont shoot for a living that have to penny-pinch.
    the other thing you have to realize is that times have changed in the camera market since 2006. not only do we have FX for the hi-end/pro shooters, but the mirrorless segment now stands where DX used to be. the trend is toward higher-end mirrorless cams for the enthusiast market, which puts a serious squeeze on DX, which can't be as compact due to the laws of physics. with m4/3 now offering more lens options--fast primes, 2.8 zooms--the advantage of high-end DX cameras like the d300s comes down to fps and maybe AF speed. but that advantaged is negated somewhat by the better hi-ISO performance of the Olympus OM-D E5 and the Fuji X series. Fuji's colors have always been appreciated by wedding shooters, and as their lens line up fills out, they will be giving DX a serious run for its money. they already have better IQ than similarly-priced Nikon DSLRs. it now makes sense that Fuji never updated the Nikon-mount S5, but instead poured its R&D money into the future of hi-end digital cameras, instead of the then-present, which has become the recent past. If nikon had made better decisions with its own mirrorless line, the conversation would be much different.
     
  12. Given its corner performance on full frame at 200mm, I've always thought of the 70-200 vr mk1 as a DX lens (I'm sure it
    was at least optimised for DX). The used market is your friend? (It's like Ferrari not making a cheap model - the
    "affordable" Ferrari is the used one.) Otherwise, the cost and size benefits of DX drop off with focal length, so the lack
    of longer DX lenses isn't unexpected - I'm surprised there's even a 55-200, to be honest.
     
  13. I'm surprised there's even a 55-200​
    and a 55-300
    And as to "saving money by going DX" - until the D600, there wasn't a - what I would call - reasonably priced FX Nikon. And to me, the D600 is stripped down too much to be worth the price; the FX sensor doesn't make up for all those deficiencies. Especially not if one needs to trade in DX lenses for the generally more expensive FX counterparts - so yes, money does play a role in the considerations.
    I actually have enough FX lenses to only have to buy an FX body - but none of the current Nikon offerings actually appeals to me.
     
  14. And I am not sure why you say it won't be economical for Nikon. It's the DX cameras that give them a really big profit (and not the high-end pro SLRs). So if they introduce a quality zoom lens for hobbyist to semi-serious shooters, that'd be a bestseller in my opinion.​
    I'm not sure about this statement, particularly the piece in bold. I would need to see the product detailed accounting behind this to believe it. True: Nikon has far more unit volumes on DX cameras than FX cameras. But does this generate more profit? It's not that clear. Most DX products are made in Thailand, while most higher-end FX products are made in Japan. Production cost in Japan are certainly higher than production costs in Thailand, but I would argue that the level of engineering effort relative to unit cost of a DX product made in Thailand versus an FX product made in Japan is not that substantial (the key: relative to the unit cost to produce). For example, at D3200 which sells for $599 (with a lens) may cost $350 to produce and sells to a reseller for $400 - $50 margin for Nikon, however a D4 which sells for $5999 may cost $1500 to produce and sells to a reseller for $4000 - $2500 margin for Nikon. These numbers are finger in the air estimates, but as someone who has worked in the tech sector, I've seen this cost/price behavior play out in other industries, and Nikon is no different.
    Nobody knows Nikon's actual product line costs (this is proprietary), but I'm sure the D4 is Nikon's highest margin body, and while the D3200 is likely the lowest margin body. The difference in those margins are likely quite large. The actual profit from DX could approach that of FX based on higher volumes, but to say that the DX bodies give Nikon "really big profit" is a statement that requires further digging.
    And that's just camera bodies...lenses have more rigid prices to the end consumer but follow the same dynamics. And for that reason, Nikon, which believes users can simply use FX telephotos on DX bodies, will not introduce a 55-200mm f/2.8 DX lens. Its profit margins wouldn't make sense compared to the higher margin of the 70-200 f/2.8, and then there is the issue lost margin because of 70-200 cannibalization.
     
  15. So, how much does the mentioned sigma goes for these days? I also think it's a classic lens due to its unique small size but constant f2.8...
     
  16. Pros that use DX may use it for small bodies, low weight, high pixel densities (more "reach") and small lenses, not for price primarily.
    Right now there are no current pro spec DX body, except perhaps D7000, and lenses that take advantage of the DX possibilities are few. This makes it a lot harder to justify using DX for pro use because if you are not going 3rd party the infrastructure is just not there.
    The basic lenses for pro DX use would be an ultra wide like 11-16 f/2.8 AF-S, mid range zoom like 17-55 f/2.8 VR and a tele like 50-150 f/2.8 VR. Then a set of basic fast primes for low light and for throwing the background out of focus that covers the same range like a 14-16mm, a 20-24mm, a 30-35mm, a 50-60mm and something around 100-150mm. All AF-S, DX and f/1.8 or faster or f/2.8 on the ultra wide. And they need to focus reasonably fast, at least as fast as the zooms, that is faster than for instance todays 50/1.4. We have a couple of the mid range zooms, that's all.
    Stabilization in the camera would also have been great on DX as an alternative to VR in the lens. Since other APS-C sized cameras have it it is certainly possible. It will also keep the weight and size down on the entire kit.

    Since the DX lenses are not there and a D600 is getting close in weight and size to DX camera it looks like there are few reason to shot DX anymore for pro use, except for price alone.
     
  17. At least within the Nikon lenses camp.
    For me I jus suck it up and get the FF lenses if need be, for me it's FF primes for those longer FL than 55mm. For me the saving money is there b/c I don't use high ISO so I don't get the benefits of FF. There is a 17-55/2,8 yes and there are 3rd party lenses also. I think the D7000 would be a swell camera for me in the future esp when I can get hold of some used ones, esp when they are 6yrs used. I rather place my funds into travel and only when my D70 breaks. Have a D2h but that's not travel friendly.
    Wide angle primes - yeah no DX for that. 35mm DX is the wides but there's the 1.5x.
    Could get a old D600 in time but some of my lenses just won't be used. Bit sad. As a hobbyist it's not efficient to have two cameras and even if I did, I'll probably just stuck to one mostly.
    Fortunately I don't shoot weddings, sports, street. So there are cheaper solutions. 70-200/2.8 VR (one), there is also the 80-200s but when I had it close focussing was soft far away was fine. Used of course are available. Static images can also get into manual focus lenses Ai/AiS.
     
  18. Ray - I'm coming to the same conclusion about the 80-200. All reports about the 70-200 vr1 were that it's appreciably better - except in the
    FX corners at 200mm.
     
  19. There is also the 80-200/2.8 AFS that might be better too.
    Nah .. they won't make a 55-150/2.8 or such. I think Nikon would tell you indirectly that just get the FF lens. If you really do need a true 70mm, get a D600. It's $2,100 now. I heard once they provided a $600 lens for that price too. I also think that after a while stores will start to discount the D600, also that in 4 or so years we might see a FF dSLR that might have a pricetage ~$1,600 RRP at annoucement.
    I think that for many users other than those who stick to base ISO like myself, a D600 is just a better buy. Just more versatile in so many more respects. The debate for many people esp non pro's between DX or FX or that lens or this lens is just splitting hairs. If you are gonna get DX you need some money for a DX UWA anyway might be $400 for 3rd party or about $800 for Nikon, and that's been Nikon with the 12-24mm wasn't that around $1,000. You add that to the DX body price the difference to a D600 is minimal. And then are you gonna keep DX for 10yrs or so? Or are you probably graduate to FX in that time. And if so, those money spent nevertheless on lenses won't be used again unless you use the crop modein a FF body but I don't know who would.
     
  20. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for Nikon to make any DX telephoto zoom (or prime for that matter).
     
  21. Limiting the image circle (to the sensor size used) does reduce internal reflections which could otherwise lead to flare.
     
  22. Right now there are no current pro spec DX body, except perhaps D7000,​
    not only is d300s still a current body, but the d7000 can't possibly be called "pro-spec." Pros dont need a green Auto mode.
    If you are gonna get DX you need some money for a DX UWA anyway might be $400 for 3rd party or about $800 for Nikon, and that's been Nikon with the 12-24mm wasn't that around $1,000. You add that to the DX body price the difference to a D600 is minimal.​
    huh? that's an interesting interpretation of math. but wouldnt you still need an UWA with FX? also the nikon FX UWAs are considerably more than $1000 --the 16-35VR is about $1250, the 14-24 is $2000, and the 17-35 is $1500 (although there are many 17-35s to be found used). i'm not sure who would pay $1000 for a new 12-24 DX right now, considering the tokina 11-16 is only $550 and the tokina 12-24 $429. if you don't need hi-ISO, which you dont for landscape use, a d3200, which has a 24mp DX sensor,is only $600. pair that with one of the tokinas, and you have a much more compact set up with plenty of resolution, for under $1200, or less than the price of the 16-35 alone. the 16-35 with the d600 bumps the price to more than $3000.
    There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for Nikon to make any DX telephoto zoom (or prime for that matter).​
    nikon already makes two: the 55-200 and 55-300.
    but the real question is, for a shooter who wants reach in a compact body, does it make more sense to get a nikon DX DSLR with a 450mm max equivalent range on a telezoom, or an m 4/3 body with the 100-300, which gives you a respectable (and stabilized) 600mm at 5.6.? the 100-300 is only $500 and quite compact for its spec.
     
  23. The micro 4/3 100-300 is longer (but admittedly thinner and lighter) than the 70-300 Nikkor. That may have more to do with the extra 30mm at the short end than with the long - it's also newer, of course. I suspect the "DX-ness" of the 55-300 and 55-200 is more to do with keeping them small while having frame coverage at 55mm in a VR lens - they're optically cut down relative to the 70-300, at least.
    Could a 55-200 DX f/2.8 be made? Obviously. Will it cost less than a 70-200 FX lens? Probably not, unless it's given a simpler design built to a budget that has optical compromises. Is that what DX pro shooters want? Doubtful. To get something that behaves like a 70-200 f/2.8 on FX (in terms of field of view, depth of field control and low light handling), you'd need a 45-135mm f/1.8. That's not going to be released any time soon. Use a 70-200 f/2.8 on DX, and you get the equivalent of using a 105-300mm f/4.2 on an FX camera. Sigma used to make a 100-300 f/4, but I believe they discontinued it. I suspect Nikon would rather anyone wanting fast glass to step up a sensor size, since this makes getting good image quality and low light performance easier (in longer lenses, making a good f/4 lens is much easier than making a good f/2.8 with less coverage). Making an expensive fast lens that excludes FX shooters doesn't seem like a value proposition unless it's the economic choice for a lot of customers; I'm unsure that's the case here - there's just not a good enough argument for not pointing people at the FX lens range.
     
  24. To get something that behaves like a 70-200 f/2.8 on FX (in terms of field of view, depth of field control and low light handling), you'd need a 45-135mm f/1.8. That's not going to be released any time soon.​
    it's far more likely that m4/3 will release something like that. there's already a 75/1.8 and a 50/0.95, as well as a 12-35/2.8 which is a 24-70 equivalent. you dont get as shallow DoF with m4/3, but the point i was trying to make is that in terms of innovation, DX has run out of ideas. All the interesting DX lenses have already been released, it seems. going back to the 50-150, that lens--which pretty much nails the OP's criteria for a 2.8 telezoom--was first released in 2007; its since been updated twice, with the latest OS-equipped version drawing a collective "meh" due to its loss of the compactness which made it so appealing in the first place. if Sigma's DP1 bodies weren't built around an APS-C sensor, it may not have been released at all. Tokina also discontinued its 50-135/2.8, which by all accounts, was a pretty decent lens with not a lot of fanfare.
    Making an expensive fast lens that excludes FX shooters doesn't seem like a value proposition unless it's the economic choice for a lot of customers; I'm unsure that's the case here - there's just not a good enough argument for not pointing people at the FX lens range.​
    Andrew makes some good points, namely that while Nikon continues to be invested in DX, there's no reason for them to produce any pro-spec DX glass. they've really only done one, the 17-55, which i believe was introduced in 2003, almost a decade ago. this perhaps explains the lag time in releasing the d300 successor, although the Thailand floods and the Japanese earthquake also may have been factors.
    if you look at Fuji's roadmap for the X mount series, there's no 70-200 equivalent yet. the closest they come is a 55-200 which is 4.8 on the long end. hi-end mirrorless perhaps makes more sense with primes--i've seen pros dangling an xpro1 with a 35/1.4 along with 5dmkIIIs as a 2nd body--since lens design dictates 2.8 zooms need to be fairly lengthy.
    I suspect Nikon would rather anyone wanting fast glass to step up a sensor size, since this makes getting good image quality and low light performance easier (in longer lenses, making a good f/4 lens is much easier than making a good f/2.8 with less coverage).​
    this speaks to the earlier point, that pro-spec DX telephotos are essentially irrelevant, since you can just use FX lenses on DX bodies. the only argument in favor is compactness--one reason i've kept the 50-150--but you can see with the latest version that it's almost pointless to have a 2.8 tele if it ends up being almost as physically imposing as a 70-200, which can be used on both DX and FX.
     
  25. I also have to wonder what the exact cost differences are to develop a pro DX lens as opposed to a pro FX lens, I suspect that the cost difference only pays off of the non-professional end of the lens spectrum where manufacturing costs are lower.
     

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