Nikon right not to make lots of DX lenses

1 month ago

19

I know this will be controversial, so here's just a view after reading discussion on the Z50.

I absolutely know that many users are passionate about the merits of DX - either as an all-round format with a full range of lenses (eg. Fuji) or as a sports/wildlife use case with something like the D500.

But, my feeling is that as FX body pricing declines, many of the potentially desirable DX "full range of lenses" stop being so important. Take the classic 17-55 2.8 DX lens, nowhere to be seen on the roadmap. Well, the equivalent is there in FX - the Z 23-70 f4. Why buy a bunch of expensive f2.8 DX zooms when f4 on FX is equivalent and a Z6 is close to the price of a premium DX body? In fact, given how expensive 2.8 zooms tend to be, I'd guess a Z6 + 24-70 f4s is comparable in cost to a Z50 plus the price of the current 17-55 2.8DX.

Ditto for fast primes. Why bother with something like an f1.2 or f1.4 DX prime when there are Z f1.8 FX primes - equivalent to f1.2 in DX or f0.9 in m43? The Nikon FX primes are comparable in cost to the Fuji and Oly fast primes, and pretty similar in size even to the m43 f1.2 ones.

For me that leaves a sweet spot in DX only where the lenses are super compact - like the current 2 zooms, and very compact primes. Well, there are a couple of those too on the roadmap.

Of course, if you are Fuji you need a full line of lines, ditto for Oly, because you have one format.

For Nikon, a strategy of FX being the full system and DX being the compact/consumer complement with only a few lenses specifically in DX seems to make sense to me. Of course, this doesn't address the pure DX shooter needs (who today might have a system around the D500) but I suspect that segment is small enough that Nikon won't try to address it.

FX and DX are too close to merit two independent full-range systems. Other makes have a "two stop gap" when they have 2 systems (eg. Fuji APSC and MF, Panasonic m43 and L); the one stop gap in DX-FX, especially when you have a common mount, to me seems to merit a full FX range and only a select DX lenses as a reasonable balance between all the priorities of supporting F mount and Z mount and DX and FX.