updated 08:30 am EST, Thu December 10, 2009
Nikon 300mm VR II and TC-20E III
Nikon this morning upgraded one of its more important super telephoto offerings and added a new teleconverter. The AF-S 300mm f2.8G ED VR II upgrades to Nikon's second-generation image stabilization and can provide a blur-free image four shutter stops lower than would be possible without any compensation. The camera maker considers it ideal for sports and wildlife photographers who may need a fast, bright lens but still have to stay well away from their subjects.
The ED glass should reduce the number of artifacts, and sports photographers are particularly helped by an AF Memory Recall feature that can return to a preset focal point that users return to often, such as for the end zone at a football game. It fits both DX and FX mounts and ships in January for $5,900.
Nikon's third-generation teleconverter, the TC-20E III, is equally new and is the first of its type to have an aspherical element that eliminates the optical artifacts that can creep up with teleconverters, such as coma. The add-on roughly doubles the focal distance of most of Nikon's telephotos, including zoom lenses, though some lose their autofocusing ability. Shipments here also start in January for $500.