Nikon has announced the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR, a mid-level standard zoom that looks a lot like a kit lens waiting for a camera. The 7.8x lens, designed for APS-C DSLRs, covers a 27-210mm equivalent range and includes the latest VR image stabilization system, rated as offering four stops of stabilization, according to CIPA standard tests. It will sell for around $600 / £580 / €620 and will not be bundled with any current Nikon DSLRs. We're not convinced many users will spend so much money to gain a little reach over their existing kit lens, leading us to suspect there may be a body on its way that will match its enthusiast-friendly ambitions.

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Press Release:

NIKON’S NEW AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR LENS AND SB-300 SPEEDLIGHT HELP PHOTOGRAPHERS CAPTURE THE BEAUTY IN EVERY SHOT

Versatile New DX-format Zoom Lens and Compact Speedlight Help Photographers to Creatively Capture with Clarity and Precision

MELVILLE, N.Y. (August 6, 2013) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the new AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRlens and the compact SB-300 Speedlight, both versatile and exciting tools to help capture amazing images and HD video. Ideal for shooting everything from portraits to landscapes, the 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR presents a great zoom lens option for DX-format D-SLR users. Sporting Vibration Reduction (VR) image stabilization, users will be able to capture sharp handheld photos and videos in a variety of shooting scenarios. The SB-300 provides a compact and easy-to-use adjustable Speedlight option for photographers who want to explore creative lighting at an affordable price point.

“Nikon’s system accessories are designed to let the user capture their memories in vibrant detail and tell compelling stories through imagery and HD video,” said Bo Kajiwara, Vice President of Marketing, Planning and Customer Experience, Nikon Inc. “While the new 18-140mm lens presents a versatile and powerful lens option for DX-format shooters, the SB-300 Speedlight introduces the benefits of flash photography to a wide range of users, specifically those who use either Advanced Performance COOLPIX or D-SLR cameras.”

The 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR: A Versatile Zoom Lens for DX-Format Shooters
A valuable and practical asset for everyday photographers and enthusiasts, Nikon’s newest lens features a 7.8x zoom range that helps capture beautiful images and HD video from a variety of focal lengths. Whether shooting portraits, landscapes, travel or architecture, the 18-140mm offering delivers astounding image quality when shooting wide-angle or far-away telephoto. Equipped with VR image stabilization, the lens also features four stops* of VR image stabilization, helping to ensure sharp photos and video even in low-light situations or while handheld.

The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens is built upon core NIKKOR technologies designed to render photos and HD video with the utmost clarity and color reproduction. Constructed with one ED glass element and one aspheric lens element, the 18-140mm lens sports a seven-blade diaphragm for natural image blur and a Silent Wave Motor (SVM) that provides quiet and precise AF operation. Additionally, photographers can operate the lens using one of two focus modes, M/A (AF with manual override) and M (manual) for complete control.

The SB-300: Illuminate Creative Possibilities
The SB-300 Speedlight is small enough to fit comfortably into a shirt pocket yet it is built for the user looking to take flash photography to the next level. Providing more power and coverage than a built-in flash, the versatile and portable SB-300is a simple and valuable lighting accessory compatible with both Nikon D-SLR and Advanced Performance COOLPIX cameras. This new Speedlight covers a wide-angle 18mm in DX-format and operates via simple on-camera controls, making it easy for beginner photographers to use light to their advantage.

The SB-300 tilts up 120 degrees, allowing for the use of creative bounce flash to soften shadows and diffuse the flash, resulting in more flattering portraits and even exposures.  For additional convenience, the firmware is upgradable through supporting D-SLRs, and this Speedlight is powered by two AAA batteries. Additionally, the SB-300features thermal cut-out protection to prevent overheating when capturing rapid flash images in succession.

Price and Availability
The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VRlens will be available in late August 2013 for suggested retail price (SRP) of $599.95**. The SB-300 will also be available in late August 2013 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $149.95**. For more information on NIKKOR lenses and accessories as well as other Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

*Based on CIPA Standard. This value is achieved when DX-format compatible lenses are attached to a DX-format digital SLR camera and zoom lenses are set at the maximum telephoto position.
**SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time

AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format sizeAPS-C / DX
Focal length18–140 mm
Image stabilisationYes (VR)
Lens mountNikon F (DX)
Aperture
Maximum apertureF3.5 - F5.6
Minimum apertureF22.0 - F38.0
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades7
Optics
Elements17
Groups12
Special elements / coatings1 ED (extra-low dispersion) glass element, 1 aspherical lens element
Focus
Minimum focus0.45 m (17.72)
Maximum magnification0.23×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeUltrasonic
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight490 g (1.08 lb)
Diameter78 mm (3.07)
Length97 mm (3.82)
Zoom methodRotary (extending)
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockUnknown
Filter thread67 mm
Tripod collarNo