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Nikon celebrates shipping of 70m lenses with launch of two new models

Nikon celebrated the production of its 70 millionth lens with the launch of two new models on Thursday: the Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens sporting Nikon’s longest focal range ever, and the more modest Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens.

The 18-300mm superzoom (below), priced at $1,000, is for users of Nikon’s DX-format shooters such as the D3100, D5100 and D7000. The smaller sensor found on DX cameras means you’ll get a 35mm equivalent focal range of 27-450mm. Talk about an all-rounder. Stick this on your DSLR and you’ll be able to capture just about any fleeting moment while others miss the chance as they fumble about with their prime lenses. However, a maximum aperture of only f/3.5 with the new lens means it won’t be great for low light conditions, and as for overall picture quality, we’ll have to wait and see on that one.

Nikon’s new offering features a dedicated zoom lock switch for safely securing the lens barrel at its minimum length when on the move, and VR image stabilization technology, helpful for when things get a bit shaky at the far end of the focal range or when the light’s a bit on the poor side.

The 24-85mm lens (below) is made primarily for use with Nikon’s high-end full-frame FX cameras such as the D800, D3 and D4. This compact, lightweight lens has a $600 price tag and also incorporates VR image stabilization technology.

According to a statement from the Japanese camera maker, both lenses should be in stores by the end of the month.Alongside the launch of the two new lenses Nikon also proudly announced production of its 70 millionth Nikkor-branded lens in the 79 years it’s been making them.

“In 1933, the large-format lens for aerial photography was released as the first Nikkor lens. After that, lenses for SLR cameras continued to evolve based on Nikon’s own cutting-edge technology,” the company said.