The current Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens was announced in February 2002 at PMA, and instantly became a legend. Nikon typically updates its pro zoom lenses around every 6 years, give or take, meaning PMA 2008 would have been about the right time for an update. But PMA 2008 came and went and no update.
The current 70-200mm f2.8 is an outstanding performer on both film and DX digital sensors. However when the Nikon D3 came out in 2007, some D3 users started complaining of softness near the edges - for most users this is not a problem, but for some, like landscape photographers, it could be. The introduction of the Nikon D700 saw a large increase in number of Nikon Full Frame users, and with the Nikon D3x aimed squarely at studio and landscape photographers, perhaps the need to update this lens is more pressing.
Below are a list of rumors regarding the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 Update, newest first. Please rate how credible you believe these to be, and feel free to add your own comments/thoughts. If you have any more information, please email us at email@example.com or click Rumors Wanted. We'll continue to add new rumors to this page as we come across them.
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A user on a Czech forum (here via NikonRumors.com) has posted what he claims may be from a 37 page Nikon document outlining Nikons product release roadmap for 2009-2010.
Here is what it says about the Nikon 70-200mm Update:
Released October 15th
AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
revised lens for maximum optical performance in the digital
FX Nikon, VR II for up to 4 stops, filtrov thread 82 mm,
1530 g, Nano - Crystal Coat, enhance contrast-detect AF-S mode
82mm filter thread unlikely, Nikon standardized their pro lenses on 77mm a while a ago.
The full translation (translated using Google Translate) of the original post can be found in our forums - see the source link below.
Update:The same poster posted this further down the thread when someone asked him to produce the document, basically saying he found out it was a 'little joke' after spending 3 hours translating it (via Google Translate):
The answer came to me by mail:
I idiot when I disclose
It's little joke allegedly staff with responsibilities for their beloved colleagues and supervisors with shipper from the center
So it's supposedly fancy, but had to give mad work was concerned about his colleagues were extremely happy and very creative. And from me therefore I did laugh and I to 3 hours to translate.
"This news deserves a thread by itself! It comes to me from a
Nikon insider I have known for ten years.
This is kind of hard to swallow, and I cannot claim to understand
Nikon's priorities. But it seems that the next few Nikkors to be
released (all FX of course, DX is dead except for a few token bits
of glass crumbs that may be thrown to pre-D3 Nikon DSLR users) are
Nikkor AF-S VR-II 200mm f1.8D
Nikkor AF-S VR-II 300mm f2D
Nikkor AF-S VR-II 400mm f2.5D
Nikkor AF-S VR-II 70-200mm f2.5D
Each of the four sets new standards for speed in its focal range. "
Despite the claims of a "10 year Nikon insider" we think this highly unlikely, given the extra expense and bulk required to facilitate the speed increases, especially given the current economic climate.
The current 400mm f2.8 VR was announced in August 2007 at the same time as the D3, so replacing that lens so soon makes little sense either.
After the recent and likely fictional Nikon Roadmap Leak (see Nikon Roadmap in our forums for the full translation), Thom Hogan has put together his speculated "Possible Nikon Roadmap".
Note Thom does have good sources, and a pretty good track record when it comes to predicting Nikon products, so his version of the roadmap is probably best described as "educated speculation". He has hinted recently that he is aware of a few lenses currently in development, although he stresses in his roadmap that lenses are much harder to predict.
That said, Thom speculates that we "want" to see a 70-200mm f/2.8 replacement with the D700x release in September/October 2009.
His full roadmap with a lot more background info and explanation can be found by clicking the source link below.
NR has posted images of the lens optical design (lens cross section) of what is claimed to be a new 24mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, and 70-200mm f2.8.
He claims these are from a new source.
These could indeed be real. They are also not exactly difficult to fake. There is also the possibility these have been pulled from an old patent application or similar(a recent patent application for the current 70-300mm lens appeared a few months back, and it contained several different diagrams such as these for different possible designs of the lens, only one of which went on to be the 70-300mm VR lens we can buy today).
Rumors of updates to the 70-200mm f2.8 have been raging since before the D3 announcement, and they are still coming - this was posted on a DPReview forum:
My dealer says they cannot buy the 70-200mm 2.8 VR from Nikon anymore. I guess most of us were expecting this, but here it is now. The dealer didn't have any information about the new lens, but expected nano coating, sharper edges and some more bulk.
Thom Hogan also recently posted on a forum that 3 new lenses may be coming (he only had a single source), and hinted it would firm up the "pro" offerings - so this lens would fit into that...
But for now, this falls into "I read it on a forum..."