THE BEST BANGS FOR
YOUR BUCK ; By Dan Havlik ;
AF;S NIKKOR ;;;;;;MM
F;;G ED VR
If you’re looking for an extremely versatile zoom lens for the
FX-format Nikon D600—or for any other Nikon DSLR, for that
matter—the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4 ED VR has what it
takes to excel in a variety of assignments and projects. Featuring the popular 70-200mm focal length with a constant f/4
aperture, this NIKKOR zoom could easily become your favorite
lens workhorse. Add in Nikon’s third-generation VR (Vibration
Reduction) image stabilizer—which lets you shoot at a shutter
speed approximately five stops slower than typically possible
while hand holding—and your photos will look sharper, even
at full zoom in low light. Along with being smaller and lighter
than Nikon’s AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 f/2.8 lens, the NIKKOR
70-200mm f/4 has a list price of approximately $1,000 less.
Applications for this lens are wide ranging, from sports to
photojournalism to portraits to wildlife. And along with sharp
still photos, the NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4 and its revamped VR
will help you capture smoother HD video even if you don’t have
a tripod. When paired with a D600 (or a D4 or D800), you can
combine the 70-20mm f/4 lens with a teleconvertor to increase
the focal length without losing the lens’s AF and VR capabilities.
The lens is built from 20 optical elements in 14 groups and employs Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat to reduce ghosting and flare.
It’s also whisper quiet, thanks to Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor;
and photographers can choose between M/A (autofocus with
manual override) and M (manual focus) options.
Proving that good things do indeed come in small(er) packages,
the 24.3-megapixel Nikon D600 is a slimmed-down, lighter and
less expensive full-frame DSLR aimed at up-and-coming pros.
Best of all, despite being a more petite full-framer, the D600 offers
top-notch image quality. Weighing in at 26. 8 ounces, the Nikon
D600 is 16 percent lighter than the 36.3MP Nikon D800, which is
Nikon’s highest-resolution camera. The D600 is also slightly smaller
physically than that model. Along with its FX-format ( 35. 9 x 24mm)
CMOS image sensor, the D600 offers an expanded ISO range
of 50 to 25,600; 2,016-pixel, 3D Color Matrix Metering III; full
1080p HD video recording at 30p with 20-level audio control and
uncompressed output via HDMI; a 39-point AF system with the new
MultiCAM 4800FX AF module; Nikon’s Scene Recognition System;
and the EXPEED 3 image processor. The camera offers cropping
flexibility, letting photographers shoot in either full-frame FX mode
or the smaller, cropped APS-C size DX mode, both for still images
and movies. While the D600 offers a control layout similar to the
D800’s, the revamped mode dial on top of the new camera features
two programmable user settings, letting photographers create and
save their own shooting presets.
MSRP: $2,099 (body only),
$2,699 (with the AF-S Nikkor 24-85 f/3. 5-4. 5 lens)