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By Matthew Richards published 3 January 22
12 days of Christmas part 8: FINALLY, Nikon reaches out, announcing a Z-mount 100-400mm zoom and 400mm TC prime
While Canon had been going great guns on its rapidly expanding range of RF-mount super-telephoto prime and zoom lenses, Nikon offered nothing native other than coupling a Z 70-200mm lens with a 2x tele-converter. That all changed in October, with the eagerly awaited announcement of the new Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S zoom and Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S prime, the latter coming complete with a built-in 1.4x tele-converter.
• Best camera lenses to get • Best Canon lenses • Best Nikon lenses • Best Sony lenses
Nikon also announced yet another standard zoom, the Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S filling a Z-mount hole in the shape of the well-loved AF-S 24-120mm F-mount lens for DLSRs. The frankly tiny range of own-brand DX format Z-mount lenses was also increased by 50 per cent, with the launch of the Nikkor Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR. More remarkably, Nikon filed patents for 35-50mm and 50-70mm zoom lenses, the ‘remarkable’ part being that they’re due to have super-fast f/1.2 apertures. And then it was time for something completely different. Canon announced the RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye lens, a revolutionary stereoscopic 180-degree lens for shooting 3D virtual reality video and stills on an EOS R5. Of more universal appeal, at least for Canon full-frame mirrorless shooters, the highly anticipated, budget-friendly and refreshingly compact Canon RF 16mm F2.8 STM ultra-wide-angle-prime and RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS STM super-tele zoom both started shipping. Sticking with the theme of compact lenses for compact system cameras, Sigma launched its first ever lens for APS-C format mirrorless cameras, the 18-50mm F2.8 DC DN Contemporary being available in Sony E and Leica L mount options. And it really is just a slip of a thing, weighing a mere 290g. Going large by comparison, Sony announced the FE 70-200 f/2.8 G Master II but, even so, it’s almost 30 per cent lighter than the original edition.
Also catering to Sony mirrorless cameras, Tokina announced E-mount versions of three existing Fujifilm X-mount primes from its ATX-M line-up, namely the ATX-M f/1.4 23mm, 33mm and 56mm. They deliver a useful spread of effective focal lengths, all with the same fast f/1.4 aperture rating. Fujifilm photographers themselves were treated to the new Samyang/Rokinon AF 12mm F2 X, the company’s first autofocus lens for X-mount cameras. In arguably bigger news, the company’s first ever zoom lens almost snuck in under the radar, in the shape of the Samyang AF 24-70mm f/2.8 FE aimed at full-frame Sony E-mount cameras. 7Artisans followed up its existing 25mm f/0.95 prime for crop-sensor cameras with a more portrait-friendly 50mm f/0.95 lens, again available in Sony E, Fujifilm X, Canon EOS M, Nikon Z and Micro Four Thirds mount options. And for something speedier, Kipon released the Ibelux 40mm f/0.85 Mark III in Fujifilm X-mount. In full-frame territory for Canon RF, Nikon Z and Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, there was also the TTartisan 32mm f/2.8, standing out from the crowd with its rectangular cut-out hood. For cinema lovers, October’s announcements included a range of no less than 13 new Leitz Elsie cine prime lenses. Lucky for some! The full-frame compatible lenses range from 15mm to 150mm in focal length, all but the last having a confirmed rating of T/2.1. For our part, we served up a review of the Irix Cine 30mm T1.5.
• Best Nikon Z lenses • Best Canon RF lenses • Best Fujifilm lenses • Best Olympus lenses • Best L-mount lenses
Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners!
His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related.
In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.
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