Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Nikon 12/12/02 Press Release


Press Release - December 12, 2002

Nikon Announces New Compact, Lightweight G-Type Ultra-Wideangle Zoom for Nikon Digital SLRs

Nikkor AF-S DX 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED

TOKYO--Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the development of the first DX Nikkor lens -- the AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm* f/4G IF-ED. (*18-36mm in 35mm (135) format equivalent with Nikon D1-series and D100 digital SLRs).

This will be the first truly compact, lightweight AF-S ultra-wideangle zoom lens designed exclusively for use with Nikon digital SLR cameras, and is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2003.

Since the D1, Nikon has employed a 23.7 x 15.6mm size image sensor in its digital SLRs. It was designed specifically for Nikon digital SLR cameras, and provides a wide dynamic range which makes it easier for the camera to process captured images. At present, this sized image sensor features extremely well-balanced performance that is not possible with sensors of other sizes. Needless to say, it also offers high cost-performance.

However, when a 35mm (135) format lens is used with a Nikon digital SLR, the picture angle is approximately 1.5 times the focal length of the lens (35mm [135] format equivalent). This characteristic proved to be advantageous when producing super-telephoto lenses (e.g. 600mm becomes 900mm) and fast telephoto lenses (e.g. 400mm f/2.8 becomes 600mm f/2.8). In the case of ultra-wideangle lenses (e.g. 14mm becomes 21mm), though, it turned out to be a liability as it became difficult to produce truly compact lenses.

To resolve this problem, Nikon has adopted a new lens design specifically for Nikon digital SLRs, featuring a smaller image circle. The combination of reduced picture angle and smaller lens diameter have made possible compact body design and high cost-performance for ultra-wideangle lenses.

Nikon digital SLR users can look forward to exciting additions to the lens lineup, as the new lens design can also be applied to high-power zoom, fast (large aperture) and other such high-performance lenses.

The AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED, the first DX Nikkor lens, is an ultra-wideangle 2x zoom lens featuring a focal length starting at 12mm (18mm for D1-series and D100) for greater covering power. It offers the same high performance as more cumbersome 35mm (135) format lenses.

The lens also incorporates Nikonís exclusive built-in SWM (Silent Wave Motor) for fast, quiet autofocus operation. Superior overall optical performance is achieved by a new optical design featuring ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements for minimized chromatic aberration, and aspherical lens elements for low distortion. The rounded diaphragm opening makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural.

This lens is being developed for professionals and advanced amateurs currently using Nikon D1-series and D100 SLRs -- as well as prospective digital SLR users -- who desire more lenses to choose from, particularly in the ultra-wideangle focal range.

Note: DX Nikkor lens is fully compatible with the Nikon D1-series and D100 cameras. We do not recommend use of DX Nikkor with 35mm (135) format cameras.

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