This year our favorite new lenses are evenly split-between those designed for full-frame 35mm coverage and optics specifically made for the smaller-than-35mm chips found in all but a couple of digital SLRs. Does this mean that 35mm film photography is alive and well? Or that lens makers are expecting us to clamor for full-frame digital SLRs?
Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR II
Though not a standard zoom by any stretch, this new optic is featured on one of our cover cameras, the Nikon D200. That's because it's compact enough to keep on your Nikon D-SLR for everyday shooting-yet it delivers a 35mm-equivalent focal-length range of about 28-300mm. The price of that remarkable range is a relatively small, variable maximum aperture. This would ordinarily limit your ability to shoot in low light, since smaller apertures require slower shutter speeds-speeds often too slow for sharp handheld shooting, especially at the supertele focal lengths this lens offers. But the lens compensates for that with Nikon's VRII technology, second-generation Vibration Reduction that steadies the shot enough for handheld pictures at shutter speeds up to four stops slower than you'd otherwise need, as opposed to the three stops of first-generation VR lenses. About $750.
View specs and pricing.