will Nikon release professional "digial" lenses ?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Michael Schnell, May 25, 2006.

  1. Regarding that Nikon say they will not offer 35mm sensor cameras and
    many Nikon pros now drop the film stuff in favor of D2x (plus D200), it
    would make sense to offer the professional line of lenses in "digital"
    versions, being able to do them lighter and less expensive in the same

    Any rumors if/when (e.g.) a digital "AF-S VR 300mm/2.8G IF ED"
    (performing equivalent to a 450mm on 35mm, of course) is planned ?

    Michael Schnell, May 25, 2006
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  2. I would have thought that a 300mm f2.8 would generally be tripod mounted so
    there would not be much demand for a lighter DX version.
    Adrian Boliston, May 25, 2006
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  3. I don't know about the VR part, but for regular 300/2.8 lenses,
    designing for DX doesn't make things any easier. A straightforward 300/2.8
    will cover 35mm, you have to do anything special for that. So, designing
    for DX doesn't give you anything.

    But to make things worse, a DX design can be expected to have a much higher
    MTF at high frequencies (D2X sensor elements are very small). So if anything,
    the lens will have to be better than the 35mm version, which comes at a cost.
    Philip Homburg, May 25, 2006
  4. Michael Schnell

    J. Clarke Guest

    If it was tripod mounted in a studio it would be one thing. But when you
    have to haul camera, lens, and tripod up the mountain on your back along
    with food, water, and shelter you soon learn that every gram matters.
    J. Clarke, May 25, 2006
  5. Because the optics are smaller and the lens is lighter this usually amounts to
    a reduced cost as well. I think that is one reason right there.
    Thomas T. Veldhouse, May 25, 2006
  6. Michael Schnell

    RichA Guest

    The optics can't be much smaller. A 300mm f2.8 still requires a front
    (300/2.8) at least 108mm wide or 4 inches.
    RichA, May 25, 2006
  7. Michael Schnell

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    There is no real benefit in making a 300mm lens in a "DX" version.
    Jeremy Nixon, May 25, 2006
  8. Do you have a slave who carries your equipment around ?

    Michael Schnell, May 25, 2006
  9. Are you sure the necessary front diameter is independent of the picture
    area size ? Are "full format" 300/2.8 lenses not _much_ bigger than 35mm
    ones ?

    The size of front element of course is responsible for the amount of
    light captured. But with a 35 mm capable optic half of the light (in the
    sharp area) falls beside the small sensor. So I suppose you need to
    capture less light and thus a smaller front element should suffice (but
    I'm not an expert in optics).

    Michael Schnell, May 25, 2006
  10. I don't know about the VR part, but for regular 300/2.8 lenses,
    Why do they build "DX" lenses for e.g. 80-200 (or similar) ?
    What do you mean by "straightforward" I suppose there are "full format"
    lenses as well as "straightforward" 35 mm don't cover that picture are.
    I _suppose_ a 300/2.8 for full format is a lot bigger (and of course
    performs equivalent to something like 100 mm on 35mm).

    Of course the mount diameter _could_ be smaller for a pure DX design,
    but Nikon decided to keep the mount with their small sensor digital
    cameras, so it will stay and add a little bit of unnecessary metal to
    the lenses.
    That holds when using a 35mm-designed lens on a small sensor camera as well.

    Michael Schnell, May 25, 2006
  11. There is no real benefit in making a 300mm lens in a "DX" version.
    Why ?

    Michael Schnell, May 25, 2006
  12. Michael Schnell

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    "300/2.8" isn't just a designation, it's math. 300 divided by 2.8 is
    107.14 (rounded). That's how big the front element has to be.

    The *rear* element can be smaller for a smaller image circle. Big whoop.
    Jeremy Nixon, May 25, 2006
  13. Michael Schnell

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Because you can't make a 300mm lens much smaller. The size benefit is
    with wide angle lenses. The gain from doing a "DX" 300mm would be
    minimal, not even worth the design and manufacturing effort.
    Jeremy Nixon, May 25, 2006
  14. Michael Schnell

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    They don't, at f/2.8. They have the 55-200, but that's f/5.6, and
    designed to save every possible penny at the expense of, you know,
    picture quality and whatnot.
    Jeremy Nixon, May 25, 2006
  15. Should have "DX" in that string of letters somewhere; that's the
    designation for the Nikon lenses that don't cover the full 35mm
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 25, 2006
  16. Actually, I think all elements except the front element can be smaller and the
    closer to the sensor they get, the smaller they can be. So, there are saving
    to be had. Perhaps a more conical looking lens. Perhaps less compromise in
    construction to meet the design requirements of the lens .... perhaps.
    Thomas T. Veldhouse, May 25, 2006
  17. I understand.

    OTOH, if you use a smaller target, can a 300/2.8 lens designed for that
    purpose perhaps concentrate more light in there, and thus the camera
    could use a shorter time or a lower ISO setting for the shot, or, vice
    versa, could you use a smaller (e.g. 300/4.2) "DX" lens to get the same
    effect (ISO, time) as with a 300/2.8 non-DX lens ?

    Perhaps the DX lenses called 200/2.8 in fact are 200/4.2. (Or are they
    even called 300/2.8 ?)

    Michael Schnell, May 25, 2006
  18. Maybe the f/5.6 DX in fact directs the same amount of light to the
    sensor as a 35mm f/3.7 would do ?!?!?

    Michael Schnell, May 25, 2006
  19. For these kinds of comparisons, it is best to look at lens designs relative
    to the image diagonal. Telephoto lenses usually have an image circle
    much larger than the image diagonal.

    As you move down from longer focal lengths closer to normal and then beyond
    normal to wide angle, to have to work harder to get a design that covers
    the entire image format.

    So, where you can get 35mm coverage more or less for free in a 300/2.8
    design, that doesn't have to be true for the 80mm end of a zoom lens.
    On 8x10" large format, 300mm is a normal lens. So it is quite likely that
    a telephoto design for 35mm does not cover the entire frame.

    On the other hand, one of Nikon's engineers claims that Nikon's first
    300/2.8 does cover medium format.
    I don't know how often you used a 300/2.8, but I sort of doubt that a
    smaller, DX only, lens mount would have a big impact on the size of the lens.
    Yes. But suggestion is usually that DX designs will be smaller and cheaper.
    The way forward for a 300/2.8 is to make it even more expensive to
    deliver the higher resolution demanded by the D2X.
    Philip Homburg, May 25, 2006
  20. I see.

    What we (my wife) in fact would like to have is a lens that has the same
    effect as a 450/2.8 on a 35mm camera. Now it looks like this would be a
    "DX" type 300/4.2 lens.

    _This_ could be designed quite small and would not cost a fortune, even
    with the best Nikon glass available (which is of course the minimum
    necessary, due to the very high resolution required by the sensor).

    So the question should be rephrased to be about the availability of a DX
    300/4.2 or similar lens.

    Michael Schnell, May 25, 2006
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