| NOTE: In an attempt to revamp & rearrange content in this website, there is now a newly developed section featuring various MF Nikkor lenses, please bookmark the new site for future updates. As for SLR bodies, please refer to: - Nikkormat, Nikon EM/FG/FG20, FM series, FE Series, Nikon FA, Nikon F, Nikon F2, Nikon F3 & Nikon F4 |
AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8D IF-ED
Another new lens series from Nikon.
This new lens was launched together with a 500mm f4D and 600mm f4D (See below for a pic) as a new breed of lenses which claimed to maximise the full potential of Nikon's newest autofocus technologies, which have been develop and incorporated into their top notch AF SLR models.That should be hurtful to those who have invested into earlier versions. How many versions are there of the AF 300mm f2.8 ED lens since their first shift into autofocus ? I don't see this as exciting, and I hope Nikon realises this, somehow, there is some confidence crises of "what's next ?".
It only benefits those who has never owned an AF camera for the last 10 years or those who has just dropped, damaged the lens yesterday or got stolen during an airport transits or in your car boot!
To understand this, it has been 10 years since the Canon's EF lenses which has its USM (Ultra Sonic Motor, Current version is 2nd generation) incorporated within and that is the primary problem for Nikon to hunt for a solution (becoz' USM technology was patented by Canon). Look like the 10 year effort was wasted, look at the AF-S series, it was a "borrowed" technology in priciple. I think those guys at Nikon Research Lab never realised the fact Nikon is not holding the triumph card anymore like those days, even some third party lens manufacturers have some of their top notch lenses packed with more advanced technology within, than the Nikkors now!
Perhaps the only advantage is: Nikkors are still superior in the optical glass itself, but unfortunately there just isn't updated technology to support the excellent optics when it reaches the AF era. Generally, there is not much of a problem for shorter focal length lenses, the main problem with the long teles/zoom - USM technique by Canon seems to be the logical answer to overcome driving the optical elements in groups in speedier timing and less touque. Japanese manufacturers do make "arrangements" to allow others to share resources, and thus the AF-S is kind of "borrowed" technology. But I do hope whatever the arrangement is, the AF-S can be extended to lower focal lengths of the Nikkors.
Considered as the third generations of the AF Nikkor.
Though I don't seem that excited, but technically, for those who "qualify" to look at a fresh investment, this lens (together with the few that were launched at the same time) packs all the newest features, technical and practically the current best from Nikon for full time professionals involved in sport (in particular), wildlife, news, advertising and reportage or other specific applications.
The Silent Wave Motor
You have to live with it, it supplements very well and realises the full potential of the most up-to-date Nikon autofocus functions that were developed on some of the top notch flag-ship camera models from Nikon. What does it pack within as compared with the cloest version, the Nikkor AF-I series ?
With a newly designed optical system which is far more efficient than previous conventional versions and the diaphragm incorporates more blades, helping to achieve a rounder aperture shape. This makes the out-of-focus portions of the image appear more pleasing. According to its technical manuals, it offers "Super-fast and Quiet Autofocus", powered by Nikon's exclusive Silent Wave Motor (The Silent Wave Motor focuses internal lens elements using ultrasonic travelling waves which are converted to rotational energy. This advanced, high-torque motor system is extremely powerful, driving autofocus elements with instant start-up, and with exceptionally effective stopping action for superb total response, resulting in high-speed autofocusing with added accuracy, it works and combined with newly designed Nikon autofocus of Focus Tracking as well) that is incorporated inside the lens. Designed for fast and quiet operation, AF-S Nikkor lenses are designed with the pro in mind, those who shoots sports and other fast-action events.
Other noticeable features are, its exterior is constructed of aluminium diecast for durability. The lenses are well sealed, to provide superior resistance to penetration by water drops, and the front edge of the lens barrel is rubber coated for antislip handling.
Focus is achieved through movement of selected internal optics (This lens is a IF and ED designated lens). As is focuses, this lens does not change dimensions. It supposes to offer and maximise autofocus performance with Nikon F5 (what else?), F4, F90x, F90 and F70, and it can also be focused manually with the models mentioned earlier and other Nikon SLR models.
AF-S Nikkor 600mm f4 ED IF (grey Scale)
Physical dimension between the Old AF-I & the new AF-S Nikkors (Smaller is the new version). AF-I 400mm weight is 6300g; the New AF-S 400mm has been trimmed down to 4800g. That is 1.5kg lighter !
One handicap of the earlier AF Nikkors, was the rotating noise during AF functions, since with the silent wave motor inside, these lenses are directly driven by internal Silent Wave Motor power, compared to traditional lens design there is no gear noise nor the associated power loss with their operation. More quiet or near silent autofocus operation is possible, which is an important elements in certain sports or news events that demand a silent atmosphere.
The M/A mode enable photographer to quickly switch between manual and autofocus modes. With manual focusing, the large rubber-coated surface of the focusing ring offers a better grip control now and when switches to manual operation there is no power consumption.
Using the cameras Continuous Servo AF operation, locking focus is a simple matter of pressing any one of the lens' four focus lock buttons, each conveniently positioned on the forward portion of the lens barrel. AF Lock is also possible from the cameras control button and lastly, a Focus Range Limiter is provided.
Using autofocus operation, focusing time can be further reduced by setting the focusing limit switch according to the predetermined distance from the subject. Three focusing limit zones are provided.
Electronic Performance and Distance Information Each lens incorporates a Central Processing Unit (CPU) which works with the automatic operation of compatible Nikon AF SLR models, as well as with each camera's light meter including Matrix, Centre-Weighted and Spot Meters. Included in each lens is Nikon's Distance Signal technology, designed to provide information about subject-to-camera distance for the Matrix Meter exposure system.
The new AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4D IF-ED, with so many new features packed within, and maximising the full potential of what the latest AF fucntions of the current F5 and coming models, looks like some have to cough out more to do an upgrade, but how many ?.. what a sad state, being so late. (Also compare the AF-I Nikkors)
As for all of us, after seeing the AF-S series of Nikkors, looks like we have to swallow bitter pills, as we should see the silent wave motors transferred to lower range AF Nikkors. Both good and bad news is my summary.
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