When you factor in the offerings for the 1 system—introduced shortly after last year’s Buyer’s Guide went to press—Nikon has been busier than ever making lenses this year. Starting with five Nikkor lenses for the J1 and V1 cameras—the 10mm ƒ/2.8 prime, VR 10-100mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 PD-Zoom, VR 10-30mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 zoom (available as the kit lens with both J1 and V1 bodies), VR 30-110mm ƒ/3.8-5.6 and the newest addition, the 11-27.5mm ƒ/3.5-5.6—they’re all part of what makes the compact system so versatile and able to cover a wide spectrum of focal lengths.
For DSLR users, though, four different lenses are sure to pique your interest. The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR is a vibration-reducing compact superzoom built for the DX sensor size. Users of DX cameras as well as cameras with full-frame sensors will appreciate the two superfast ƒ/1.8 primes—the 28mm and 85mm—as well as the 24-85mm ƒ/3.5-4.5G ED VR compact standard zoom. Something for everyone, and every budget, indeed.
Estimated Street Price: 10mm ($249); 10-100mm ($749); 10-30mm/kit with J1 body ($649); 30-110mm ($249); 11-27.5mm ($189); 18-300mm ($999); 24-85mm ($599); 28mm ($699); 85mm ($499).
There are three new-for-2012 lenses from Olympus. The M.Zuiko Digital ED lenses are the 12-50mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 EZ variable-maximum-aperture zoom, the 75mm ƒ/1.8 prime and the 60mm ƒ/2.8 macro lens. While they work on all the Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras, the new lenses were especially designed to pair with the new OM-D retro-styled SLRs. That means they’re also ideal for shooting video—especially the 12-50mm zoom (it performs equivalent to a 24-100mm lens), which has a motorized zoom option built in for smooth zooming just like professional video cameras.
For still photography, though, the 75mm prime is an ideal portrait lens (equivalent to a 105mm telephoto), and the 60mm macro performs that role well, too (90mm equivalency), with its ability to render life-sized reproductions of tiny subjects as close as 7 inches from the front of the lens.
Estimated Street Price: 12-50mm ($499); 75mm ($899); 60mm (TBD).