As part of its introduction of the new budget, compact digital SLR the D40, Nikon has updated its DX 18-55 mm lens, now carrying the 'II' suffix. This lens will of course become part of the D40 kit and features a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) and smoother zoom operation, other updates aren't stated by Nikon.

Press Release:

Nikon introduces the AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens as the perfect partner for its latest digital SLRs

Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Nikon has designed a new ultra-compact AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II lens as the ideal companion for use with its DX format digital SLRs.

The lens, using the popular 18-55mm focal length range, has been specially developed to provide a compact DX zoom equipped with Nikon's compact SWM (Silent Wave Motor) and will be included as standard with the latest Nikon D40 digital SLR outfits. Incorporating cutting-edge Nikon optical technologies such as ED glass and aspherical lens elements, D40 customers will enjoy superior image quality made possible by legendary Nikkor optics.

The lens offers users the widely appreciated 3x 18-55mm focal length range, which conveniently covers picture angles that meet the needs of everything from tight portraits to wide-angle landscapes.

The compact SWM enables ultra-high-speed autofocusing with exceptional accuracy and super-quiet operation. An ED glass element minimises chromatic aberration and ensures exceptional image quality, while the AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II’s hybrid aspherical lens element reduces astigmatism and other forms of distortion to deliver high resolution and contrast. The external lens design has also been improved, allowing for smoother zoom operability. 

Nikon will launch the AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II worldwide from December 2006.

Note: This lens is designed exclusively for use with Nikon DX format digital SLR cameras and is not compatible with 35mm [135] or IX240 format film cameras.

Specifications, design, product name, standard accessories, and release schedule may differ by country or area.