The Most Popular Comment Ever

When i was updating some previous articles on Photography Lifetime, I came across what I believe as the most popular comment anywhere on the website. It concerns a particular zoom lens that Nikon Z users have been asking about for a while now. I’ll let the remark speak for itself:

Most Popular Comment on Photography Life

A reader of ours named Jason posted this particular on our Nikon Z Lens Roadmap article. He rates the article as saying:

“What Nikon really needs to push in order to its Z lens plan, is a sharp and  lightweight 70-200mm f/4 S. Nikon, please, make this a surprise statement – it should be on the  priority list way just before any of the specialized or spectacular primes. ”

We’re not the sort of website that draws in hundreds of likes for popular comments, so perhaps 36 upvotes seems like small taters compared to the numbers on sites like Dpreview and Nikon Rumors . But to the best of my information, there’s not another discuss Photography Life which has compelled more people to give the thumbs up.

I should speak about the date of the opinion:   October 14, 2020. It’s been well over annually – closer to two – since Jason posted that comment. Yet there has been no word from Nikon in the intervening time about a Z 70-200mm f/4, nor something like a Z 70-300mm f/4-6. 3 or more.

Jason’s opinion isn’t a fluke, possibly. It seems like more than half the demands on that article were asking for a lens such as this. The following image is a screenshot – not a composite – of the most popular comments to the page from top to bottom:

Several Photography Life Comments Asking for Nikon Z 70-200mm f4 or 70-300mm lens

At this time, Nikon is the only   digital camera company not to have a 70-200mm f/4 for their full-frame mirrorless system. Canon has a single, Sony has one, as well as Panasonic has one. Those people brands also have a scattering of 70-300mm f/4. 5-5. 6 lenses and similar, while Nikon does not. Considering that Nikon’s roadmap doesn’t display anything, either, it  might still be years until one is announced (I dread to state it, and I think it’s improbable, but:   if  ever. )

Shutter Speed Aperture ISO Thumbnail
NIKON Z7 + Nikon F-Mount 70-200mm f/4 @ 200mm, f/4. 0

A 70-200mm f/4 is an extremely useful lens. It’s good for landscape photography, exactly where heavy f/2. 8 glass can be overkill. It’s great for budget shooters who want a bright 200mm lens (since f/4 captures more than double as much light as f/6. 3). And it’s the perfect lens to form a trio associated with capable f/4 zooms, like Nikon’s popular 14-30mm f/4 and 24-70mm f/4 optics.

Something similar can be said of a 70-300mm f/4-6. 3. As an adjustable aperture zoom, these are usually lower-end lenses and may not have the build quality of a continuous f/4 lens. But they’re light and inexpensive, and they can reach 300mm, therefore they’re useful lenses in their own right. Nikon has sold tons over the years for F-mount system.

Nikon 70-300mm AF-P VR Image Samples (40)
NIKON D850 + Nikon 70-300mm f/4. 5-5. six @ 70mm, ISO sixty four, 1/160, f/8. 0

What choices do Nikon Z users have instead? Perhaps the most similar lens is the Z 24-200mm f/4-6. 3 . As a superzoom, it’s hardly the same as a dedicated 70-300mm f/4-6. 3, let alone a 70-200mm f/4, but it does cover telephoto focal lengths without weighing a ton. There’s also a  Z . 24-120mm f/4 that may have enough reach for some photographers who had wanted a 70-200mm (and is proving extremely popular for Nikon already).

Another alternative is to adapt lenses. Nikon’s F-mount AF-P 70-300mm f/4. 5-5. 6 VR is the most common adapted lens that I have seen among our course participants and readers, probably because it’s still light-weight even with an  FTZ adapter permanently affixed to the back again.

But some thing more is needed. I don’t think I’m crazy to believe that a lightweight camera system like Nikon Z should have access to at least one dedicated lightweight telephoto. (By “dedicated, ” After all not an adapted lens, instead of a superzoom. ) I even believe that Nikon knows this , seeing as though one of the first DX lenses they ever launched for mirrorless was the Z DX 50-250mm f/4. 5-6. 3 . Yet there is no full-frame equivalent.

ISO Invariance Mountain
NIKON D800E + Nikon F 70-200mm f/4 @ 200mm, INTERNATIONALE ORGANISATION FÜR STANDARDISIERUNG 100, 1/160, f/9. 0

Dont really intend for this article to become an anti-Nikon tirade. Really, I’ve been impressed at how well Nikon offers fleshed out the Unces system in less than four years, especially in the middle of an outbreak and supply-chain crisis. I am not switching brands sooner, and I even bought the particular 24-200mm f/4-6. 3 to fill this gap designed for my own photography. I can put up with a vari-aperture superzoom for most of what I shoot, as well as the 24-200mm has surprisingly great image quality if used right. (Maybe that’s what Nikon wants us all to realize in the end. )

There’s also the useful reality of bringing a brand new lens to market in the first place. The number of copies will it sell? Just how much will it cost to produce? I can’t answer those queries about a 70-200mm f/4, plus internet comments and upvotes certainly don’t always convert to sales. Nikon doubtless has much smarter people working on their product selection decisions than me. Probably they’ve discovered a zoom lens like this would be a bad production investment.

Interesting landscape photo of light and clouds at sunset
Sony A1 + Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 200mm, ISO 100, 1/2000, f/7. 1

But I still think the time is right in order to at least put something to the roadmap. They already have 4 lightweight midrange zooms: the particular 24-50mm f/4-6. 3, 24-70mm f/4, 24-120mm f/4, and 24-200mm f/4-6. 3. Along with a cheap f/2. 8 focus in the same range (as well as an expensive one). If the market of light-weight and budget photographers is certainly big enough to support all that, a single telephoto meant for the same target audience doesn’t seem like a stretch to me.

We’re almost in announcement period for Nikon and should be seeing more news on a Z6 III and their aps-c plans before long. If we’re lucky, a light-weight telephoto for the full-frame program could be squeezed into the produces. And then the most glaring pit in the Z lens selection – one that’s been garnering popular requests on one or more photography website since October 2020: ) – is going to be closed.

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