The new Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens and the Nikon 24mm f/1.4 lens

Lunch was good, although I had to run some last minute errands about but what surprised me was when this bit of news was published and what surprised me even more was that I sort of expected it. This is of course thanks to NikonRumors.com who kept on publishing posts about the validity of these lenses and now that it is announced, I said to myself, “hey, its finally out“.

So let’s look at each lens one by one. I think I shall start with the zoom lens first and perhaps save the best for last.

AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR

When Nikon discontinued the older 17-35mm f/2.8 lens, I thought that they sort of made a mistake or perhaps was thinking of a replacement lens that is within the 17-35mm focal length. Nikon already at that time had the 14-24mm lens so that was one of the ways moving forward I guess but since Canon had the cheaper 17-40mm f/4 lens which is the younger brother of the more expensive 16-35mm f/2.8 lens, then I guess this must be Nikon’s answer to that as well.

The specs does look impressive, but the biggest surprise to me was the inclusion of VR in the lens. Yes, this lens has VR (Vibration Reduction) which is the same VR system used in the newer 70-200mm VRII lens. This system allows you to shoot at 4 stops below what you might normally shoot without VR. I ask myself, “why would anyone place VR for such a short focal length lens?“. But hey, after 20 seconds of thinking, VR rocks!

On top of that, it has AF-S meaning it uses Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor which sums up to “super duper focusing speeds with vibration reduction”. The lens is coated with Nikon’s Nano treatment and it has a minimum focal distance of 0.29m which is 0.01m more than the 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. Who gives a damn about this kind of shit?

Anyway, what is interesting to me is the focal length. If I were to shoot with two FX bodies (full frame DSLR cameras), this lens would definitely be extremely useful. One of my shooting styles is to shoot with either a 50mm/85mm prime on my FX body and the 14-24mm on my DX body so that I get a slightly different range so that when I do take group shots, the group isn’t too distorted. Now if I were to shoot with two FX bodies, this style would be quite tough because the 14-24mm might be too wide on a FX body and I have to get real close to my subjects hence the 16-35mm definitely comes in very very handy.

Price for this camera is currently set at USD$1259.95 which translates to about RM4330.35.

Expected release date for this lens is end February 2010, maybe later for us here in Malaysia.

AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED

Now I am very fond of prime lenses and I definitely love shooting with them and keeping them wide open to enjoy nice crisp images as well as feel the extensive bokeh out of them due to its ability to photograph things at very very shallow depth of fields. After releasing the DX 35mm f/1.8G lens andย the 50mm FX f/1.4G lens, it seems that Nikon is on a roll here with the 24mm f/1.4G lens. Note, the G means that these are the digital versions of these lenses where there is no aperture ring control on them.

The big difference with these lenses is with the AF-S motor on the lens allowing the lower end models such as the D40, D60, D5000 and others to be able to enjoy autofocusing using these prime lenses. The lens is coated with the same nano treatment and it has a minimum focusing distance of 0.25m.

Frankly, I definitely see myself using this lens for my portraiture and wedding work but I am still a little sceptical on whether I really need one. You see, I have been having an epiphany lately especially when it comes to purchasing more photography equipment. The ever lasting battle of “needs” versus “wants” still prevail in my thoughts and of course the price tag is helping me decide whether I should get it or not.

Price for this lens is currently set at USD$2199.95 which translates to about RM7561.23.

This is an insane amount and I think I would rather replace my older 80-200mm lens with the newer 70-200mm f/2.8 lens first before considering getting this prime. Although I know it would definitely make a lot of difference in my work, I am still learning how to use more of my wide angle lenses. At 24mm, I already have my 14-24mm as well as 24-70mm lenses but I don’t get to enjoy anything less than f/2.8 at those ranges. Perhaps I might need to try it out first, so if anyone of you are rushing to get one, do let me try playing with it ๐Ÿ˜€

So aside from being an extreme gear head and avoid all forms of temptation, as how energy cannot be destroyed but only converted, I shall now convert my extreme temptations into a blog post so that I can tempt my readers out there instead.

Have a great day ahead, stop drooling over those lenses ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I am definitely considering the 16-35mm f4. Its in a focal length that I love. But its still 4k and that is a lot especially after the recent purchase. I have to curb my temptations too!