PW

Nikon lens releases

Nikon released its first autofocus lenses back in 1986 and quickly build up one of the most comprehensive camera lens systems available. AF-Nikkors cover all the main focal length and serve a variety of specialty applications. At the same time, Nikon's lens catalog caters equally to the budget-conscious casual shooter and the professional photographer. The company continues to develop its lens offerings and updates existing optics on a regular basis. Unlike some other camera manufacturers, Nikon does not publish a roadmap of upcoming lens releases, but based on industry news and rumors, we can expect a number of new DSLR lenses for the Nikon mount over the coming months.

Nikkor
The Nikkor system

So what is in the pipeline or rumored in terms of lens releases? Given that the Nikkor lens catalog is rather complete, the focus of Nikon has been on updating and modernizing existing lenses. Focusing motors that are fast and provide smooth and quiet AF for video applications, more effective optical image stabilization, and better lens coatings to reduce flare have thereby been at the forefront of the innovations. Some recent lenses have, however, also seen a fundamental re-design of their optical formulas or are, indeed, entirely new optics. The timeline below acts as a roadmap of recent and upcoming lens launches, and the subsequent table-listing makes it possible to compare the headline specifications of the new optics with existing lenses in the Nikon lineup.

New Nikon lenses

New 2017

Nikon AF-S 300mm f/2.8E FL ED VR

nikon afs 400mm 28 fl vr
  • Rumored update of the 300mm f/2.8 lens
  • Similar to 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR (pictured)
  • Fluorite lens elements for better correction of chromatic aberration and lower weight
19 Oct

Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4E ED

nikon pc 19mm 40
  • Nikon F-Mount full-frame perspective control lens
  • Manual Focus
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to f/32
  • Three Extra-Low Dispersion Glass
  • Two Aspherical Elements
  • Nano Crystal and Super Integrated Coatings
  • Fluorine Coated Front and Rear Elements
  • Maximum Tilt: +/- 7.5 degrees
  • Maximum Shift: +/- 12mm
  • PC Rotation Capability: 90 degrees
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism
  • Weight: 885g
  • Size: 89 x 124mm
  • Launch Price: $3,399
  • Street Price: check offers at Amazon
15 Sep

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR

nikon afs 70 200mm 28 e fl
  • F-Mount Zoom Lens for Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • Six Extra-Low Dispersion Elements
  • Fluorite and HRI Elements
  • Nano Crystal and Super Integrated Coating
  • Fluorine Coated Front and Rear Elements
  • Silent Wave Motor with MF Override
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism
  • Removable, Rotatable Tripod Collar
  • Weight: 1,430g
  • Size: 89 x 203mm
  • Launch Price: $2,799
  • Street Price: check offers at Amazon
25 Aug

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED

nikon afs 105mm 14
  • Fast F-Mount Portrait Lens for Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to 16
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Electromagnetic Diaphragm Mechanism
  • Protective Fluorine Coating
  • Three Extra Low-Dispersion Elements
  • Nano Crystal Coating
  • Silent Wave Motor AF System
  • Internal Focus and Manual Focus Override
  • Weight: 985g
  • Size: 95 x 106mm
  • Launch Price: $2,199
  • Street Price: check offers at Amazon

Nikon F-mount autofocus lenses

The table below provides a listing of Nikon FX and DX lenses with their main specifications and prices at the time of their launch. The list covers Nikon's current lens catalog, as well as discontinued optics. The listed prices are not adjusted for inflation, so that older lenses might appear relatively cheap in nominal terms and might have been subject to subsequent price increases. If you are not interested in information on DX lenses for APS-C cameras in the listing below, you can hide the respective rows by un-selecting the checkbox in the table header.

Headline Specifications of Nikon DSLR Lenses
Wideangle Zooms Focus
System
(type)
Filter
Type
(size)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Nikon AF-S DX 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED AFS 77 no 3.3 x 3.4 in 16.2 oz 2009 899 latest check
Nikon AF-S DX 12-24mm/4 G IF-ED AFS 77 no 3.2 x 3.5 in 17.0 oz 2003 1199 latest check
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AFS no YES 3.9 x 5.2 in 34.2 oz 2007 1899 latest check
Nikon AF-S 16-35mm F4G ED VR AFS 77 YES 3.3 x 4.9 in 24.2 oz 2010 1099 latest check
Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED AFS 77 YES 3.3 x 4.2 in 26.3 oz 1999 1399 latest check
Nikon AF 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5D IF ED AF 77 no 3.3 x 3.3 in 13.1 oz 2000 499 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AFS 77 no 3.3 x 3.7 in 13.6 oz 2013 749 latest check
Nikon AF 20-35mm f/2.8D AF 77 no 3.7 x 3.2 in 22.6 oz 1993 1499 discont. check
Wideangle Primes Focus
System
(type)
Filter
Type
(size)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Nikon AF DX Fisheye 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF Gel no 2.5 x 2.5 in 10.6 oz 2003 799 latest check
Nikon AF 14mm f/2.8D ED AF no no 3.4 x 3.4 in 23.6 oz 2000 1449 latest check
Nikon AF Fisheye 16mm f/2.8D AFS Gel no 2.5 x 2.2 in 10.1 oz 1993 999 latest check
Nikon AF 18mm f/2.8D AF 77 no 3.2 x 2.3 in 13.4 oz 1994 1299 latest check
Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm F4E ED MF no no 3.5 x 4.9 in 31.2 oz 2016 3399 latest check
Nikon AF-S 20mm f/1.8G ED AFS 77 no 3.3 x 3.2 in 12.5 oz 2014 799 latest check
Nikon AF 20mm f/2.8D ED AF 62 no 2.7 x 2.1 in 9.2 oz 1994 499 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.4G ED AFS 77 YES 3.3 x 3.5 in 21.9 oz 2010 1999 latest check
Nikon AF-S 24mm f/1.8G ED AFS 72 no 3.1 x 3.3 in 12.5 oz 2015 749 latest check
Nikon AF 24mm f/2.8D AF 52 no 2.6 x 1.8 in 9.5 oz 1994 349 latest check
Nikon PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED MF 77 no 3.3 x 4.3 in 25.8 oz 2008 2199 latest check
Nikon AF 28mm f/1.4D Aspheric AF 72 no 3.0 x 3.0 in 18.3 oz 1994 1799 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.8G AFS 67 no 2.9 x 3.2 in 11.6 oz 2012 699 latest check
Nikon AF 28mm f/2.8D AF 52 no 2.6 x 1.8 in 7.2 oz 1994 299 latest check
Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.4G AFS 67 YES 3.3 x 3.5 in 21.2 oz 2010 1699 latest check
Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8G ED AFS 58 no 2.8 x 2.8 in 10.8 oz 2014 529 latest check
Nikon AF 35mm f/2D AF 52 no 2.5 x 1.7 in 7.6 oz 1995 349 latest check
Standard Zooms Focus
System
(type)
Filter
Type
(size)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Nikon AF-S DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR AFS 72 no 3.1 x 3.4 in 16.9 oz 2015 1069 latest check
Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AFS 67 no 2.8 x 3.3 in 17.1 oz 2008 699 latest check
Nikon AF-S DX 17-55mm/2.8 G IF-ED AFS 77 YES 3.4 x 4.4 in 26.6 oz 2003 1499 latest check
Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AFS 52 no 2.9 x 3.1 in 7.2 oz 2006 199 discont. check
Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR AFS 52 no 2.9 x 3.1 in 9.3 oz 2007 199 discont. check
Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II AFS 52 no 2.4 x 2.6 in 6.9 oz 2014 249 latest check
Nikon AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AFP 55 no 2.6 x 2.5 in 6.9 oz 2016 199 latest check
Nikon AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR AFP 55 no 2.6 x 2.5 in 7.2 oz 2016 249 latest check
NIKON AF-S DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G IF-ED AFS 67 no 2.9 x 3.0 in 13.8 oz 2004 399 discont. check
Nikon AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AFS 67 no 3.0 x 3.5 in 14.8 oz 2008 399 latest check
Nikon AF 24-50mm f/3.3-4.5D AF 62 no 2.7 x 2.9 in 12.5 oz 1987 399 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AFS 77 YES 3.3 x 5.2 in 31.7 oz 2007 1799 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR AFS 82 YES 3.5 x 6.1 in 37.7 oz 2015 2399 latest check
Nikon AF 24-85mm f/2.8-4D IF AFS 72 no 3.1 x 3.3 in 19.2 oz 2000 699 latest check
Nikon AF-S 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED AFS 67 no 2.9 x 2.8 in 14.5 oz 2002 349 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR AFS 72 no 3.1 x 3.2 in 17.1 oz 2012 499 latest check
Nikon AF 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6D AF 72 no 3.1 x 3.1 in 19.8 oz 1996 499 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AFS 72 no 3.0 x 3.7 in 20.3 oz 2003 549 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR AFS 77 no 3.3 x 4.1 in 25.0 oz 2010 1099 latest check
Nikon AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED AFS 77 YES 3.5 x 4.8 in 33.0 oz 1999 1799 discont. check
Nikon AF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5D AF 52 no 2.7 x 2.8 in 12.3 oz 1992 299 discont. check
Nikon AF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6D AF 58 no 2.5 x 2.2 in 8.8 oz 1999 129 discont. check
Nikon AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5D IF AF 62 no 2.9 x 3.2 in 16.0 oz 1998 349 discont. check
Nikon AF 35-70mm f/2.8D AF 62 no 2.8 x 3.7 in 23.6 oz 1992 499 discont. check
Nikon AF 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5D AF 52 no 2.7 x 2.9 in 14.8 oz 1994 449 discont. check
Nikon AF 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5N AF 62 no 2.8 x 4.6 in 22.2 oz 1988 469 discont. check
Super Zooms Focus
System
(type)
Filter
Type
(size)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Nikon AF-S DX 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AFS 67 no 2.9 x 3.4 in 13.6 oz 2006 499 discont. check
Nikon AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AFS 67 no 3.1 x 3.8 in 17.3 oz 2013 499 latest check
Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AFS 72 no 3.0 x 3.8 in 19.8 oz 2005 749 discont. check
Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II AFS 72 no 3.0 x 3.8 in 19.9 oz 2009 649 latest check
Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AFS 77 no 3.3 x 4.7 in 29.3 oz 2012 999 latest check
Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm F3.5-6.3G ED VR AFS 67 no 3.1 x 3.9 in 19.4 oz 2014 699 latest check
Nikon AF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6D AF 72 no 2.8 x 2.7 in 10.6 oz 1998 499 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AFS 77 no 3.3 x 4.5 in 28.2 oz 2010 949 latest check
Standard Primes Focus
System
(type)
Filter
Type
(size)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G AFS 52 no 2.8 x 2.1 in 7.4 oz 2009 199 latest check
Nikon PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED MF 77 no 3.3 x 4.4 in 27.5 oz 2008 2049 latest check
Nikon AF 50mm f/1.4D AF 52 no 2.5 x 1.7 in 9.2 oz 1995 299 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G AFS 58 no 2.9 x 2.1 in 10.2 oz 2008 449 latest check
Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8 AF 52 no 2.6 x 1.7 in 5.5 oz 1986 99 discont. check
Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D AF 52 no 2.5 x 1.5 in 5.5 oz 2002 149 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G AFS 58 no 2.8 x 2.1 in 6.5 oz 2011 219 latest check
Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition AFS 58 no 2.8 x 2.1 in 6.5 oz 2013 279 latest check
Nikon AF-S 58mm f/1.4G AFS 72 no 3.3 x 2.8 in 13.6 oz 2013 1599 latest check
Tele Zooms Focus
System
(type)
Filter
Type
(size)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Nikon AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED AFS 52 no 2.7 x 3.1 in 9.0 oz 2005 299 discont. check
Nikon AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR AFS 52 no 2.9 x 3.9 in 11.8 oz 2007 349 latest check
Nikon AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR II AFS 52 no 2.8 x 3.3 in 10.6 oz 2015 339 latest check
Nikon AF-S DX 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AFS 58 no 3.0 x 4.8 in 18.7 oz 2010 399 latest check
Nikon AF-S 70-200mm/2.8 IF ED VR AFS 77 YES 3.4 x 8.5 in 51.9 oz 2002 1699 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AFS 77 YES 3.4 x 8.2 in 54.3 oz 2009 2099 latest check
Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR AFS 77 YES 3.5 x 8.0 in 50.4 oz 2016 2799 latest check
Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR AFS 67 no 3.1 x 7.0 in 30.0 oz 2012 1399 latest check
Nikon AF 70-210mm f/4-5.6D AF 62 no 2.9 x 4.3 in 20.8 oz 1993 249 discont. check
Nikon AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF 62 no 2.9 x 4.6 in 15.0 oz 2000 149 discont. check
Nikon AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6D AF 62 no 2.9 x 4.6 in 18.3 oz 1998 299 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AFS 67 no 3.1 x 5.7 in 26.3 oz 2006 699 latest check
Nikon AF-P DX 70-300mm F4.5-6.3G AFP 58 no 2.8 x 4.9 in 14.1 oz 2016 349 latest check
Nikon AF-P DX 70-300mm F4.5-6.3G VR AFP 58 no 2.8 x 4.9 in 14.6 oz 2016 399 latest check
Nikon AF 75-240mm f/4.5-5.6D AF 52 no 2.8 x 4.8 in 14.5 oz 1999 149 discont. check
Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF 77 no 3.4 x 7.4 in 45.9 oz 1997 899 latest check
Nikon AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AFS 77 no 3.5 x 8.1 in 54.7 oz 1999 1799 discont. check
Nikon AF 80-200mm f/4.5-5.6D AF 52 no 2.8 x 3.5 in 11.6 oz 1995 199 discont. check
Nikon AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR AF 77 no 3.6 x 6.7 in 42.7 oz 2000 1699 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AFS 77 no 3.8 x 8.0 in 55.4 oz 2013 2299 latest check
Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4 G IF-ED VR AFS rear YES 4.9 x 14.1 in 114.3 oz 2003 5499 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II AFS rear YES 4.9 x 14.4 in 118.5 oz 2010 6999 latest check
Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR AFS 95 no 4.3 x 10.6 in 81.1 oz 2015 1399 latest check
Tele-photo Primes Focus
System
(type)
Filter
Type
(size)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Nikon AF-S DX Micro 40mm F2.8G AFS 52 no 2.7 x 2.6 in 8.3 oz 2011 279 latest check
Nikon AF Micro 60mm f/2.8D AF 62 no 2.8 x 3.0 in 15.5 oz 1993 449 discont. check
Nikon AF-S Micro 60mm f/2.8G ED AFS 62 no 2.9 x 3.5 in 15.0 oz 2008 599 latest check
Nikon AF Micro 70-180mm f/4.5-5.6D AF 62 no 3.0 x 6.9 in 34.9 oz 1997 999 discont. check
Nikon AF 85mm f/1.4D AF 77 no 3.1 x 2.9 in 19.4 oz 1995 1299 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G AFS 77 YES 3.4 x 3.3 in 21.0 oz 2010 1599 latest check
Nikon AF 85mm f/1.8D AF 62 no 2.8 x 2.3 in 13.4 oz 1994 479 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8G AFS 67 no 3.1 x 2.9 in 12.3 oz 2012 479 latest check
Nikon PC-E Micro 85mm f/2.8D MF 77 no 3.3 x 4.2 in 22.9 oz 2008 1979 latest check
Nikon AF-S DX Micro 85mm f/3.5G ED VR AFS 52 no 2.9 x 3.9 in 12.5 oz 2009 529 latest check
Nikon AF-S 105mm f/1.4E ED AFS 82 YES 3.7 x 4.2 in 34.7 oz 2016 2199 latest check
Nikon AF 105mm f/2D DC AF 72 no 3.1 x 4.4 in 21.9 oz 1995 999 latest check
Nikon AF 135mm f/2D DC AF 72 no 3.1 x 4.7 in 30.7 oz 1995 1299 latest check
Nikon AF 105mm f/2.8D Micro AF 52 no 3.0 x 4.1 in 19.8 oz 1990 649 discont. check
Nikon AF-S Micro 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR AFS 62 YES 3.3 x 4.6 in 27.9 oz 2006 899 latest check
Nikon AF 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF 72 no 3.1 x 5.7 in 26.5 oz 1993 999 latest check
Nikon AF-S 200mm f/2G ED-IF VR AFS rear YES 4.9 x 8.0 in 102.3 oz 2004 4999 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 200mm f/2G ED VR II AFS rear YES 4.9 x 8.0 in 103.4 oz 2010 5699 latest check
Nikon AF Micro 200mm f/4D ED-IF AF 62 no 3.0 x 7.6 in 42.0 oz 1993 1299 latest check
Super-tele Primes Focus
System
(type)
Filter
Type
(size)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Lens
Dimensions
(dia x len)
Lens
Weight
(net)
Product
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Nikon AF-S 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF AFS rear YES 4.9 x 10.6 in 109.3 oz 1996 4699 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 300mm f/2.8D ED-IF II AFS rear YES 4.9 x 10.6 in 90.3 oz 2001 4999 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 300mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR AFS rear YES 4.9 x 10.6 in 100.5 oz 2004 5799 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II AFS rear YES 4.9 x 10.6 in 102.3 oz 2009 5499 latest check
Nikon AF 300mm f/4 ED-IF AF 82 no 3.5 x 8.6 in 46.9 oz 1987 899 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4D ED-IF AFS 77 YES 3.5 x 8.8 in 50.8 oz 2000 1149 latest check
Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR AFS 77 YES 3.5 x 5.8 in 26.6 oz 2015 1999 latest check
Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8D ED-IF AFS rear YES 6.3 x 13.9 in 169.3 oz 1998 7799 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8D ED-IF II AFS rear YES 6.3 x 13.9 in 155.2 oz 2001 7799 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8G ED VR II AFS rear YES 6.3 x 14.5 in 163.0 oz 2007 9549 latest check
Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR AFS rear YES 6.3 x 14.1 in 134.0 oz 2014 11999 latest check
Nikon AF-S 500mm f/4D ED-IF II AFS rear YES 5.5 x 15.5 in 121.0 oz 2003 7999 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 500mm f/4G ED VR AFS rear YES 5.5 x 15.4 in 136.9 oz 2007 8579 latest check
Nikon AF-S 500mm f/4E FL ED VR AFS rear YES 5.5 x 15.2 in 109.0 oz 2015 10299 latest check
Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4D ED-IF AFS rear YES 4.5 x 18.0 in 204.6 oz 1996 8999 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4D ED-IF II AFS rear YES 6.5 x 17.0 in 167.6 oz 2001 8999 discont. check
Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4G ED VR AFS rear YES 6.5 x 17.5 in 178.5 oz 2007 10299 latest check
Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4E FL ED VR AFS rear YES 6.5 x 17.0 in 134.4 oz 2015 12299 latest check
Nikon AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR AFS rear YES 6.3 x 18.1 in 161.9 oz 2013 16299 latest check

Nikon Mount FAQ

The Nikon F bayonet mount was first introduced in 1959. Since then, the mount has undergone a number of modifications to improve its functionality and reflect technological developments over time. Some questions related to this evolution and respective answers are listed below.

How did aperture coupling occur with the original F-mount (non-AI) lenses?

The Nikkors that were released between 1959 and 1977 had a little prong on the aperture ring. A pin on the camera had to be inserted into this prong when the lens was mounted in order to enable the transmission of the chosen aperture to the camera. Moreover, after mounting, the aperture ring needed to be turned all the way in both directions for the camera to register the maximum aperture of the lens.

What are AI-lenses?

AI (Auto Indexing) lenses used a different, more convenient system to couple the aperture ring with the light meter of the camera than the ealier non-AI lenses. AI-Nikkors, which are first released in 1977, had a ridge that connects to a feeler on a ring that surrounds the lens mount on the camera. Also, the maximum aperture of the lens is transferred to the camera through a mechanical system, so that no further adjustments to the lens or camera have to be made after attaching the lens to the mount.

How do AI-S lenses differ from AI lenses?

AI-S lenses were introduced from 1981. They further improved the auto-indexing of the lens aperture, such that the movement of the feeler became standardized. As a result, the aperture could now be controlled through the camera, which made it possible to operate the camera not only in Manual Mode or Aperture Priority, but also in Shutter Priority or in Program Mode.

Can manual focus AI and AIS lenses be used with modern digital cameras?

Yes, these legacy lenses can be mounted on all cameras with an F-mount. However, some camera series, such as D3xxx and D5xxx, do not have the aperture feeler any longer, so that the light metering does not work. Also, modern cameras lack the mechanism to determine the maximum aperture of AI/AIS lenses, so one has to enter the maximum aperture in the menu under "non-CPU lens".

How did the autofocus work on the first AF-Nikkors?

Nikon introduced its first autofocus lenses in 1986. These lenses have a screw in the lens mount into which a little screwdriver from the camera, which houses the autofocus motor, connects. Moreover, all AF-lenses have a CPU that communicates the key characteristics of the lens, such as its focal length and minimum aperture, to the camera to enable accurate light metering.

What are AI-P lenses?

AI-P lenses were manual focus Nikkors to which a CPU had been added that transferred the focal length and minimum aperture to the camera. Introduced in 1988, only a few lenses (500mm f/4 P, 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8.0 P ED,45mm f/2.8 P) were released in this line.

What makes AF-I lenses different?

AF-I Nikkors have an internal motor to autofocus the lens, instead of relying on the earlier in-camera drive. First released in 1992, the technology was only applied to Nikon's super-telephoto lenses of the time.

What does the letter "D" in the lens designation stand for?

A D-lens – introduced in 1992 – can transmit the current focus distance to the camera. This information improves the quality of light metering when setting flash exposure.

What is the difference between AF and AF-S lenses?

AF-S lenses have an ultrasonic ("silent-wave") autofocus motor located in the lens. This feature ‐ first seen in 1998 – makes the autofocus action quieter and faster. Also, these lenses make it possible to manually overturn the autofocus action by turning the focus ring without prior switch to Manual Focus mode. All AF-S lenses are also D-lenses.

What does the letter "G" in the lens designation stand for?

G-lenses were introduced in 2000. A G-lens does not have an aperture ring and, thus, does not work on cameras designed for manual-focus. All G-lenses are also D-lenses.

What is particular about "E" lenses?

In 2008, Nikon introduced the first lenses with an "E" in the lens designation, which implies that these lenses feature electronic diaphragm control. The E-lenses only work correctly on cameras introduced since 2007.

What are AF-P lenses?

In 2016, Nikon launched its first DSLR lenses with stepping motors, which it labelled AF-P. The autofocus on these lenses is faster and quieter than with AF-S and particularly well suited for video recording.

Further Reading

If the existing catalog of native Nikkors does not contain what you are looking for, what about using some legacy lenses on your Nikon? Admittedly one loses autofocus and aperture coupling, but there are some truly excellent lenses that were originally designed for Leica-R cameras and that can be easily adapted to a modern digital camera. Or if you are looking for a bargain, what about some legacy third party optics from Soligor, Tamron Adaptall or Vivitar in Nikon F-mount?