Nikon yesterday introduced two incredible new lenses, both of which are bound to be important to Nikon shooters, albeit for different reasons.
First is the long (too long) awaited AF-S Nikkor 24mm ƒ/1.4G ED. A superfast, super-wide, super-premium* aspherical lens that will probably be of equal interest to both APS-C (where it's a 36mm-e ƒ/1.4) and full-frame shooters.
The second is a class of lens that many Nikon shooters have been clamoring for—an ƒ/4 zoom. Specifically, a 16–35mm ƒ/4—with VR. Strangely—and it's likely this will disappoint some people—the new lens is both longer and heavier than the 17–35mm ƒ/2.8! It is less expensive, though, so there's a little payoff for that smaller aperture. And is this Nikon's first ultra-wide-angle with VR? There's one collateral advantage of video capture for ya.
I don't follow Nikon closely, but it seems like both these lenses are winners, in terms of being highly desirable, at least on paper. Ultimate proof will be in the pictures, of course.
*And super-expensiveFeatured Comment by Jim Richardson: "Here's my take on these two lenses, and why I will buy them immediately when they become available.
"The 24mm ƒ/1.4 combined with a D3S will let me reach further into the world of darkness than virtually any other camera/lens combination. You have to take into consideration the real ISO capability of the camera as well as the lens, which is why this combination will let me shoot in darker situations than even the Leica M9 with a 50mm ƒ/0.95.
"The huge advantage of the 16–35 ƒ/4 is that you can use a filter with it. And since it is VR I can shoot it at something like a half second hand held. For instance, from the deck of a ship where a tripod is worse than useless.
"The real point of these new lenses is that the manufacturers are updating their lenses to catch up with the excellent sensors. The 16–35 ƒ/4 may be longer and slower than the 17–35 ƒ/2.8, but I bet the images out in the corner are going to be way better. And there is a reason why a Canon shooter will put up with using a 14–24mm Nikkor via an adaptor on their 1Ds MkIII: that lens has the image quality to match the excellent Canon sensor.
"So count me in. Thankfully the 16–35mm ƒ/4 almost passes for affordable in this day and age."