Nikon Still Holding Out on DX After 80m Lenses

(news and commentary)

Nikon issued a press release today celebrating the 80 millionth Nikkor. After the introductory paragraphs we get two example paragraphs: one devoted to recent FX lenses, one devoted to recent CX (Nikon 1) lenses. Apparently Nikon only thinks they've made historic lenses back in Ye Olden Dayes, and recent FX and CX lenses. 

Well, true, they have. They've only got 16 DX lenses in the lineup after 14 years of making millions upon millions of DX cameras. Of those 16 lenses, we have four primes: fisheye, normal, and two Micro-Nikkors. We have exactly one f/2.8 zoom. But we do have two choices for wide angle zooms, three choices for consumer telephoto zooms, and six variations on kit zooms. Pathetic.

So what's the deal here? Where are the DX lenses? My best guess: Nikon knows that the DX cameras will be the first to convert to EVF and no mirror system. They'll need retuned focus motors to match the new focus system, much like the CX lenses. But that's just a guess. It could be that they're just incompotent, that they're being mean, that their beancounters aren't counting correctly, or that they think that DX is beneath their best lens designers, and that FX and CX are bigger challenges. 

Fortunately, a little DX love is almost here. B&H has started accepting preorders (advertising link) for the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM at US$799, so this lens is getting close to release. This lens is looking like it might be the fast mid-range zoom of choice, especially at the price it's coming to the market at.

With the right lenses, Nikon might have been at 85m sold now, not 80m.

Update: a number of you still seem to think that "because Nikon makes FX lenses and they can be used on a DX camera, that Nikon doesn't need to make DX lenses." Unfortunately, that's really only an acceptable answer once we get past about 100mm. Even for a 70-200mm f/2.8 equivalent, it isn't as clearcut as some of you think (witness the older Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8, which was smaller and lighter than the 70-200mm Nikkor). But the real issue here is simple: why penalize DX users? Why can't they have smaller, lighter, fit-to-purpose lenses? Ones that better match the camera they're buying. Olympus and Panasonic provide that in m4/3. Sony and Fujifilm are slowly beginning to provide that with their mirrorless systems. Canon and Nikon offer it to FX users. So why is that both Canon and Nikon are deliberately punishing the DX/APS crowd? This is critically true of the wide angle realm, mostly true of the mid-range focal lengths, and even partially true of the reach-into-short telephoto offerings. And we don't have any tilt-shift for DX/APS, and virtually no fast primes in the usual 24 to 85mm realm.

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