Monday, September 8, 2014

The Nikon F4 zooms for Full Frame D-SLRs

This trio of Nikon F4 lenses for full frame DSLRs are lighter, more compact and at a lower price point than their F2.8 counterparts.  They also have the advantage of having VR, which means that it is possible to shoot at slower shutter speeds and avoid camera shake. 

Nikon 16-35 f4 VR, USD 1256; 680 grams

This wide angle zoom is extremely sharp and covers five popular focal lengths - 16, 20, 24, 28 and 35. It has a fixed F4 aperture with VR making it ideal for low light photography in cramped interiors. On the flip side compared to the primes it is a heavy lens., but much more versatile.  For a review of this lens do visit

Nikon 24-120 f4 VR, USD 1296; 710 grams

This is the standard normal zoom lens covering a range from wide angle to short telephoto. It is often used as a walk around zoom lens. Weighing 710g it is lighter than the 24-70 f2.8 and possibly more versatile. For a review of this lens please visit

Nikon 70-200 F4 VR, USD 1396; 830 grams

This standard telephoto zoom boasts a fixed F4 aperture throughout the zoom range. At 830g, it is much lighter than it's bigger brother 70-200 F2.8 VRII. An ideal lens to supplement the 16-35 f4, it is optically superb and mechanically perfect. It is a good choice for those shooters who don't need F2.8. For a review please visit

So should you buy an F2.8 lens or an F4 lens?

If speed is very important to you and the extra one stop will mean getting the photo, then you need the f2.8 lens. You also need to consider that with a full frame Nikon like D600 or D800 shooting at higher ISOs  like 1600,3200 and even 6400 at a pinch is possible. The one stop gain needs to be weighed against this as well.  However, for  many photographers, including myself, who value weight, portability, value for money and general convenience the F4 zooms would be more than adequate!

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