PHOTOOG Photography writings by Olivier Giroux


WTF: another cheap plastic zoom?

A short bit of Nikon bashing now.

Is the new 18-105 VR kit lens really what the Nikon camera system needed at this juncture? How many do we have now? Just for the DX system we have all these normal zooms in the lineup: 18-55 II, 18-55 VR, 16-85 VR, 18-70, 18-105 VR, 18-135, 18-200 VR, 17-55.

That's eight lenses, at least half of which are completely redundant, and maybe two of which are actually good. Couldn’t they just use the new 16-85 VR for the D90 kit, and call it a day in the cheap crap department? That is probably a much better lens anyway and it's actually delivering more value to the line up instead of bloating it up.

And how many DX primes do we have by now? Not a one (**). Now I don't think we'll ever see one, DX being a second-class system and all that, but for Pete's sake the prime lineup needs some love right now!

(**) We've got the 10.5mm DX fisheye, but I wouldn't call that a general-purpose lens.

Nikon bashing done. Whew, that needed to get out.

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  1. To be honest I won’t be buying that new 18-105 lens but I would disagree that Nikon didn’t need it in the line up. Their current fleet of kit lenses are quite good and I’m sure this lens will be no different. This lens replaces the 18-135 lens which lacks VR. I have always been displeased with that lens for that reason alone and now, finally, Nikon has an inexpensive lens that is kinda wide and kinda long with VR and is light weight. I’m sure many people, people more interested in getting out and shooting then reading spec sheets and seeking out top quality, will be thrilled to have it. Not every SLR user reads, understand, cares about spec sheets as we do. I think it will make a nice kit and I’d be happy recommending that to someone. I also think Nikon is working to phase out anything without VR, esp in the kit lens segment where they do need to keep and eye on what Canon is doing. I think this is all part of their new aggressive stance to raise their market share. You said it your self when talking about the 50D, Nikon is exciting, Canon is biz as usual.

    Interesting that you are hoping for DX primes. I can’t imagine Nikon doing that. I think the biggest hole in the line up is the lack of an AFS 50mm prime for the D40/D60. AFS primes are what we need and I would be surprised if they revved them without keeping them full frame.

    I think we’ll see Nikon discontinue all of their non-VR kit lenses fairly soon which will drop 3 lenses off of that list. From there they will have a number of choices in small price increments for use as kit lenses and I would not be shocked to see a ??-300mm VR lens come out that was DX specific. The current FX 70-300mm VR lens is a beast and making that smaller for use only on DX bodies would be a nice ‘top end’ of the amatuer glass.

    Since day one I’ve only bought full frame glass as I expected Nikon to release FX cameras and in these past few months I am very glad that I did. That being said, I have a number of friends with D80s, D40s, D60s that are happy to buy DX glass at the lower price and smaller size. For you and I it’s a new crap lens… for the bulk of Nikon’s amateur shooters it’s a prefect 18-135mm replacement that will enable people to get sharp shots in low light. I bet a few current D80 owners will be buying that lens and keeping the D80.

    It’s primes I want. A whole new fleet of fast primes from wide to long. Great, now my comment is longer then the post…

  2. Hi Topslakr,

    Yeah, the real mistake was to make the 18-135 without VR. I get it. There just have been bigger holes in their lineup for close to a decade now, which still haven't been addressed.

    >> I think the biggest hole in the line up is the lack of an AFS 50mm prime for the D40/D60.

    I'll modify this statement… the biggest hole in the line up is the lack of an AFS 50mm -EQUIVALENT- (f/1.4+) prime for the D40/D60. And while I'm at it, I'll add 35mm (f/2+) and 21mm (f/2.8+) equivalent as well.

    I used to hope for DX primes, but I don't any more. I don't think we'll ever see them because of FX.

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