New Nikkor Lens Rebates

Nikon's latest lens rebates are now active. As I always do, I try to give you a perspective on whether you should be thinking about any of these lenses at these prices:

  • 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E Fisheye (US$150 discount)—I haven't published my review of this lens yet, but it's a real winner in the fisheye category, and fairly flexible, at that. It's a really good lens, and I'm now using it on the Z bodies, too. The only question is whether you need 180° full frame or circular (it does both, and both on DX and FX). If you do, this is a good price and you shouldn't hesitate to purchase this lens. It's a lot more versatile than just having the 16mm fisheye in your bag.
  • 14-24mm f/2.8G (US$200 discount)—A workhorse lens, now at a fairly reasonable price. Other than field curvature, this lens really is about as good as it gets in this focal range. It's long been the go-to wide angle zoom for the Nikon pros, and it's the one f/2.8 zoom that none of us were ever thinking there needed to be a replacement for. That said, this lens now has clear competition in the Tamron 15-30mm and Sigma 14-24mm. I would have hoped for a bit more discount from Nikon here to make it a clear choice.
  • 24-70mm f/2.8G (US$100 discount)—This older lens design is somehow still hanging onto the shelves in the warehouse. Either Nikon overproduced it or they've just decided to keep producing it to keep a lower-priced option in the market. I'm not a big fan of this lens. No VR and some optical weaknesses make it less compelling these days, considering the alternatives.
  • 24-70mm f/2.8E VR (US$200 discount)—At this new price it isn't exactly low cost, but it's still the top choice for DSLR users in this range, I think. My only real problem with the lens is its size. It's big, heavy, and takes larger filters than usual (82mm). If you're looking at lenses in this category, you should take Nikon up on the periodic discounts they offer (e.g. don't buy it at full price).
  • 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (US$70 discount)—Everyone keeps telling me this is the perfect travel lens, but I still regard it as far from perfect. That 300mm, for instance: there's a ton of focal length breathing in this lens, so if you really thinking you're getting 300mm at normal shooting distances, you're going to be very surprised. Optically, it's not terrible, but it has a lot of rough edges that just don't appeal to me. This discounted price is closer to the right retail price for the lens, by the way.
  • 35mm f/1.4G (US$150 discount)—Personally, I'm more a fan of the f/1.8G lenses than the f/1.4G ones. You pay a lot more for a little more by choosing f/1.4. I'd say that you have to really need that little more to justify the cost differential.
  • 50mm f/1.4G (US$70 discount)—Avoid. This is not a lens that even Nikon recommends on a D850, which should tell you something.
  • 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR (US$300 discount)—The discount doesn't really bring the price down enough for some, but this is the best 70-200mm f/2.8 out there; any discount is worth paying attention to. A great lens.
  • 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G VR (US$200 discount)—It's interesting how fast some lenses seem to age, while others don't. This is one of those "it aged too fast" lenses. The 70-300mm f/4-5.6 AF-P lens shows us what we really wanted for a versatile-but-slower telephoto zoom. It would nice to have a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6E AF-P to replace this discounted lens, but I don't think we're going to get one. If you need a zoom to 400mm, you really don't have a lot of choices in the Nikkor world, and this lens is probably the best of those choices. A slight bit weak optically at 400mm, but it's very solid and sharp at 80-320mm. 
  • 85mm f/1.4G (US$100 discount)—Again, I'm more a fan of the f/1.8G lenses than the f/1.4G ones. You pay a lot more for a little more by choosing f/1.4. I'd say that you have to really need that little more to justify the cost differential. Still, a very good lens, and if you don't have this or the 85mm f/1.8G in your kit, you're missing something.
  • 105mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor (US$75 discount)—One of Nikon's staple lenses, with no real faults and plenty of upside. Any discount is always welcome, and this puts a true macro into a price range that's tough for you non-macro owners to ignore.

Overall, this is a better choice of lenses with discounts than we usually get from Nikon. Arguably, all but the 28-300mm are pro caliber lenses, and most are just fine on the D850 with all its megapixels. 

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