In addition to the D60 DSLR—essentially a repositioning of the unexpectedly popular D40x—Nikon has introduced three new lenses for PMA—one for amateurs, one for a mix of amateurs and pros, and one for pros.
The first, a 16–85mm VR, nicely fills a gaping hole in the DX lineup that sorely needed plugging. As we noted in our (Joint) Lens of the Year 2007 Award, "...the market in its infinite wisdom hath spoken: big, slowish 5X zooms are the wave of the moment in standard lenses"...and now Nikon has one with VR. (Actually, this one's 5.3X. "Same difference," as the saying goes.) The new lens is sure to move to the head of the class as a "normal zoom" for the better class of DX Nikons, complementing the new budget normal zoom that has VR (which becomes, incidentally, the kit lens on the new D60.) Price, about $650.
Of interest to both pros and many serious amateurs is a 60mm macro lens (Nikon, as everyone knows, has called their macro lenses "micros" since time immemorial. Technically this is more correct, since "macro" means—or originally meant—lenses with magnifications of greater than 1:1, which few "macro" camera lenses have). The AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm ƒ/2.8G ED is the heir to a long and august line of medium-focal-length Micro lenses going back decades. (Don't ask us why this one doesn't have VR like the 105mm—are you supposed to buy the 105mm if you do things like hand-held flower shots? Whatever; it's not nice to question Mother Nikon.) The new Micro will work equally well as a 60mm on the FX D3 or on DX-sensor models as a 90mm-e. Price: around $550.
The last is an absolutely stunning 24mm tilt-shift lens that D3-shooting pros, at least the kind who ever do architecture or interiors, will gobble up. (Landscapists should love it too.) The PC-E Nikkor 24mm ƒ/3.5D ED (the new "E" designation denotes an electromagnetic diaphragm that automatically controls aperture with the latest Nikon D-SLR cameras) has three Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements, three aspherical lens elements, and Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat in addition to Nikon Super Integrated coating to virtually eliminate ghosting and flare. The lens has +/– 11.5mm of shift, 8.5° of tilt, and revolves 90°. The ~$1,930 lens is the first of three new PC-E Nikkor lenses—the other two are coming this summer.
Sure to be a beauty, the PC-E 24mm will probably fly under the radar of many hobbyists, but it's great news for pros.
Featured Comment by Radka: "As you can see here, VR uses two angular velocity meters. That is, VR compensates only the angular motion (pitch and yaw) of the camera, not the linear motion. It's okay for larger distances, because then the blur is caused mostly by the angular motion, but the closer you get, the bigger the influence of linear motion. That's why VR doesn't work that well for macro. If you check Nikon's press release from 2/21/2006 announcing their 100mm macro with VR, you will find there in small print the following statement: 'VR II Vibration Reduction technology allows photographers to shoot hand-held at as many as 4 shutter speeds slower* (at near infinity to 1/3x shooting and approx. 1 step at near 1:1) than would otherwise be possible, assuring dramatically sharper hand-held images.' With 60mm macro, the working distance is even smaller, so it is even a bigger problem."