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Nikon Updates VR on New 300mm f/2.8 Lens
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posted on Dec 11, 2009 at 4:06PM

Nikon Updates VR on New 300mm f/2.8 Lens

By Emily Raymond
  • Updated VR
  • Tripod detection
  • $5899 300mm f/2.8
  • $499 teleconverter

Nikon added a new super-telephoto lens to its portfolio with the announcement of the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 lens. The new lens updates its vibration reduction system and adds a focus mode. It will retail for $5899 when it goes on sale in January.

The AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II super telephoto lens makes improvements on its close relative, the $5299 AF-S VR Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 IF-ED. They share the same focal length and aperture, and are within a few grams of weight and millimeters of length of each other. The newest version carries an updated vibration reduction system that allows users to shoot up to four shutter speed stops faster than otherwise possible, and adds a tripod detection mode that compensates for tripod-specific shakes. The older lens also has vibration reduction, but it compensates for three stops.

The new Nikkor lens has a Nikon bayonet F-mount that fits onto Nikon’s FX and DX-format DSLRs. It has a Silent Wave Motor that the company says keeps the internal autofocus quick and quiet. The lens has three focus modes: manual, autofocus with manual priority (M/A), and a new mode called A/M that enhances the autofocus for quick switching between the two modes.

Like the older 300mm f/2.8 lens, the new version has an autofocus recall button that allows users to instantly return to a previously determined point of focus. The AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II lens can focus as close as 7.2 feet when manually focused, or 7.5 feet when using the autofocus.

The new lens is solidly constructed within a die-cast magnesium frame and is outfitted with seals to keep moisture and dust from getting inside. The lens measures 4.9 x 10.5 inches (124 x 267.5mm) and weighs 102.3 oz (2900 g). It has three extra-low dispersion (ED) lenses to reduce chromatic aberrations and increase sharpness, an aspherical element to minimize distortion, and a nano crystal coating to prevent ghosting and flare.

Nikon also announced a new teleconverter lens that will cost $499 and can fit on the new 300mm lens. The AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III is “the world’s first teleconverter to feature an aspherical element to virtually eliminate coma and other aberrations even at wide apertures,” states the company’s Dec. 9 press release.

“Offering compatibility with a wide range of Nikkor optics, including the new 300mm f/2.8, the TC-20E III teleconverter enables photographers to greatly extend the versatility of a variety of zoom and telephoto lenses they carry,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for marketing, SLR systems products at Nikon Inc. in the press release.



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