Nikkor Rumblings

Just a reminder up front. As of today we have 24 shipping Z-mount Nikkors, 2 additional lenses that have had development announcements (and thus more details revealed), and 7 other future lenses seen on the latest Lens Road Map. 

I was a little surprised by the end-of-year rush that netted us the 18-140mm DX, 24-120mm f/4 S, and 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 S moving to shipping status, a previously undisclosed 28-75mm f/2.8 being announced, as well as Nikon managing to get some of the previous lenses a little more out of the "back-ordered" realm. Nikon clearly is putting lots of energy into lenses at the moment. 

And this extends to the back-channel information I hear. It's a little early for full commitments—Nikon tends to lock in those as they're doing their top management meetings in Q1 in anticipation of their year-end results—but I'm hearing about quite a few other lens ideas percolating in the Nikkor kitchen.

I've already noted that the previously unannounced 28-75mm f/2.8 came from licensing the Tamron lens (G1 version). One rumor behind that licensing is that Tamron over-produced a number of lens elements to what they could sell themselves, and basically offered Nikon a sweat deal to pick up already-produced glass. Another part of that rumor was that the 28-75mm wasn't the only lens in the deal. So there's some interesting energy there.

But on top of that, I'm hearing multiple threads about other new lenses. In particular, I'm hearing rumblings about new "lines" of lenses as well as expansion of existing lines. Remember, we basically have an S-line and a non-S line right now. NOCT, macro, consumer, DX, and PF all seem to have multiple design projects going on beyond what's on the published Road Map. Some of the proposed lenses are quite intriguing, and would represent new "firsts." 

Now, as usual, not all those design projects will actually make it past the marketing and bean counter departments. We've seen many ideas work through patent into prototype and not get to public sale in the past. But my sense is that the gates of lens development are wide open at Nikon right now, with much more being pursued than we're likely to see. 

Remember, Nikon's stated goal is to get to two lenses sold for every camera body sold (it was 1.7x for the first half of their current fiscal year, so they have a ways to go). The only two solid methods to get to the goal are (1) discounting and (2) more lens options that attract users. We've seen the former (and I'm sure we'll see more), and I believe we're going to see (and hear about) more of the latter as we move forward deeper into 2022. 

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So this may be a good time to ask the question: what Z-mount lens are you hoping to see produced that isn't on the Road Map? I can already guess that a 70-200mm f/4 is high on your list, but what are the others?

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