What Does the Lens Line Need?

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Continuing with my series, I'm switching from cameras to lenses for the moment. Nikon's got at least 27 more lenses they say they'll put out in the next three years, so I'm going to take a crack at what those ought to be.

First, a few assumptions on my part:

  • The 600mm f/4 will have a 1.4x teleconverter built in.
  • The 200-600mm is not S-line.
  • The upcoming 85mm in the Road Map is f/1.2 and represents the continuation of a series.
  • Nikon will make Z3 to Z9 full frame cameras.
  • Nikon will add at least a Z50 II and Z70 to the DX lineup.
  • Nikon won't add a true video camera in this time frame.

Okay, here we go. Let's start with full frame:

  • The continuing f/1.8 prime brigade. We're missing 18mm, 105mm, and 135mm for sure. (+3) 
  • The full f/1.2 prime line. Next up is likely the 35mm f/1.2, but we'd still need at least a 24mm f/1.2. (+2)
  • Other "fast" primes. We're missing 14mm and 16mm (f/2?). (+2)
  • NOCT done yet. At least one, maybe two "show us state-of-the-art optics" gems. 24mm f/0.95, 35mm f/0.95. (+2)
  • Tilting and shifting happens. Anything in the 16-20mm for a wide angle T/S, and at least a macro telephoto, so 85mm T/S. (+2)
  • Rounding out the exotic primes. Simple: 200mm f/2 with a 1.4x built in. 1200mm f/6.3 PF (+2)  
  • Convert the exotic zooms. 120-300mm f/2.8, 180-400mm f/4. (+2)
  • Necessary zooms. We're missing a fisheye zoom (8-15mm f/3.5), 12-24mm f/3.5-4.5, 16-35mm (f/2.8 or f/4), 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 70-200mm f/4, and a 70-300mm f/4-6.3. Some (not me) would want a 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3. (+7)
  • Missing macros. I see the unmet demand two ways: 200mm f/4 S VR, and 70-180mm f/4-6.3 VR. (+2)

That's a straight forward approach to filling out the full frame line up, and adds 24 arguably good choices to the current lineup, and pretty much closes all the known gaps. No, it's not particularly innovative in terms of focal length/aperture combinations, so if Nikon wants to throw in a few of those with the above, I'm all for it.

Yes, there's a few lenses in that list that might not interest you. That will be true in any list anyone could come up with, and will be true of whatever list Nikon comes up with, as well ;~).

You might see where I'm going here: what about DX? Not many slots left for DX, is there?

Okay, I'm going to ignore the 50 lens count Nikon promises us for a moment and just produce the minimal list of DX lenses that are needed (given my assumptions, above):

  • Priming. The upcoming 24mm is a start, but add 16mm and 33mm to the list please. Many will want a 12/14mm, too. (+3)
  • High quality zooming. A 16-55mm f/2.8 and 55-150mm f/2.8 are enough here. (+2)
  • Widening. Where's the 10-20mm zoom? The upcoming 12-28mm looks more Z30/Zfc-ish than Z70-ish. (+1)
  • Lengthening. A 16-80mm f/4 and 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 definitely would have homes. (+2)

At only 8 additional DX lenses, that's not a particularly large list, is it? That's because a lot of the FX lenses can fill in, as well. Some might argue for a fast wide angle DX zoom, as well, but I think we'll see that from a third party. If all the above DX lenses I specify were near or of the same level of quality Nikon's been producing for the Z mount lately, I'm not sure we'd hear a lot of "more lenses" complaints. Thus, it wouldn't take a lot of lenses to make the buzz, buzz complaints go away. 

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