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Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 1

Nikon just released two new lenses – the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR and PC Nikkor 19mm F4E ED. We’re at the Photo Plus show in New York, where we got our hands on them.

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 2

The AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR is the third iteration of Nikon’s modern 70-200mm F2.8 telezoom. Improvements over its predecessor include a complete optical redesign and fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements.

While the new lens is only around 100g lighter than the VR II, and a mere couple of millimeters slimmer, it makes a difference. The new lens definitely feels like less of a ‘lump’ than the older version, thanks partly to a shift in the center of gravity, with more weight moved towards the mount. 

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 3

The new lens construction features 22 elements, including six ED, one fluorite and one high refractive index element. As we’d expect from a lens in Nikon’s professional F2.8 lineup, the body is weather-sealed, and includes a rubber flange around the mount to prevent dust and moisture from getting into the camera body when the lens is in use. 

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 4

The ‘E’ in ‘2.8E’ denotes an electronic aperture actuator. Most Nikon lenses still feature a mechanical aperture actuator, but the benefit of electrical actuation (which is slowing being phased in to Nikon’s high-end lenses) is better precision, and stepless movement. The latter feature is especially important when shooting video. Minimum focus in the new lens has been reduced compared to its predecessor, to ~1.1 meters. 

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 5

As usual with high-end telezoom lenses, the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8 E features a focus limiter, to prevent hunting when working at longer subject distances. Alongside the usual VR and AF mode switches the new lens also offers an AF-L / Off / AF-ON switch, which allows the buttons on the lens barrel to either activate or lock AF (or be deactivated).

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 6

According to Nikon, the new 70-200mm F2.8E features a refined vibration reduction (VR) system, offering the equivalent of up to four stops of correction. The  AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR will be available next month for $2799.99.

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 7

Next up, at the opposite end of the lineup is the PC Nikkor 19mm F4E ED. Nikon’s widest PC (perspective correction) lens, the 19mm F4E should appeal to architectural and real-estate photographers who need the ability to correct for perspective optically rather than digitally, in post-processing. 

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 8

The 19mm F4E offers 97° of coverage and can shift ±12mm and tilt ±7.5°. Unlike the company’s existing PC-E designs, the mechanism for tilt can be rotated independently from the mechanism for shift, allowing the tilt to be set either parallel to or perpendicular to the shift.

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 9

The new lens is distinguishable by its enormous bulbous front element. Optical construction includes three ED and two aspherical elements as well as Nano Crystal Coating.

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 10

Minimum focus is around 25cm, and as we’d expect from a perspective correction lens, focusing is manual, via a large and well-damped focus ring. Unlike classic Nikon PC designs, aperture is electronically controlled from the camera body.

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 11

Like the new 70-200mm F2.8E, the 19mm F4E is built to a very high standard, and includes a rubber flange to keep dust and moisture out of the camera body. 

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm

Hands-on with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8E and PC Nikkor 19mm 12

The PC Nikkor 19mm F4E ED will be available next month for $3,399.95.


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