New Nikon 300mm f4 lens

(News from the Ether)

Nikon have just announced a remarkable new lens to replace the 300mm f4D.  The old lens had a reputation for excellent image quality.  The new one also has vibration reduction (VR), is half the weight and is two thirds the length of the old lens, while retaining the same filter size (77mm).  Judging by the official MTF charts, the image quality is also significantly improved.  (Image samples).

While it won’t attain the subject isolation of the approx $6,000 300mm f2.8, it is a quarter the weight of that lens and half the length.  Initial price is $US2,000 so probably about $A2,5000.  This is about what the 300mm f4D would have cost when new.

Purchasing the new lens will be attractive to some Nikon shooters; for others it will be purchasing the old model at a cheap price.  The 300mm f4 is currently down to $US1,000 in B&H and while it’s not yet on EBay any cheaper than that, second-hand prices will soon be falling fast, probably especially after the new lens starts shipping and buyers sell their old lens.

It’s also interesting to speculate what this may lead to.  If Nikon can halve the weight of the 300mm f4 while including VR, what other lenses will they apply this approach to?  Are they intending to introduce a new compact lens lineup before introducing a mirrorless full-frame body?

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