Improving on two already-popular Nikon lenses, Nikon today announced the new AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 ED VR II, and the new AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 G ED VR II. One is a popular FX series lens, the 70-200 f2.8, which has long been a staple for working professionals due to its fast aperture and versatility. And one is a popular DX series lens, the 18-200mm f3.5-5.6, which is one of Nikon's best sellers for the simple fact of its amazing versatility in a single lens. Both new lenses share Nikon's latest image-stabilization technology, Vibration Reduction II (VR II) for reduced blur from camera shake. VR II is said to compensate for up to four stops, allowing the shooter to shoot handheld up to four shutter speeds slower. The VR II on both lenses has two modes: a Normal mode for general usage, and an Active mode for when there is constant vibration; an example given was shooting from a moving car.
The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 ED VR II with its 35mm equivalent range of 27-300mm offers amazing range, and is a lens capable of most everything. It now features two Extra-low Dispersion (ED) lens elements for enhanced sharpness and minimized chromatic aberration. There are also now three aspherical lens elements for improved image quality. The lens has Nikon's Super Integrated Coating for reduced flare and ghosting. Nikon has added a zoom lock, which allows you to lock the zoom ring when the lens is at 18mm to prevent the zoom ring from extending while carrying the lens, a welcome addition.
The AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 G ED VR II lens is the latest improvement on what has long been a basic piece of equipment in most pro shooters' gear bags, with its fast aperture and telephoto range, and for much less than the 300mm f2.8. It now features a total of seven ED lens elements for improved sharpness and contrast, even at its widest apertures. It now has Nikon's Nano Crystal Coating for a reduction in flare and ghosting, on top of the SIC coating that it already had to minimize ghosting and flare in images. There is also Nikon's Silent Wave Motor for quick and quiet autofocusing, and it has the ability to take full advantage of Nikon's 3D autofocus tracking systems in cameras such as the D3x, D3, and the D700. To round things out there is a nine-bladed aperture diaphragm for a nicer bokeh, the softness of the out-of-focus part of an image shot at a wide aperture like f2.8.
Both of these lenses will be available in September 2009 with the 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 VR II going for $849.95, and the 70-200mm f2.8 VR II going for $2,399.95.