Nikon's new DX 16-80mm borrows flagship FX lens tech

Nikon's DX lenses may usually be overshadowed by their more expensive and higher-spec FX cousins, but the benefits in hand-me-down tech are starting to show. The company has revealed its AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR, the first DX-series lens to get things like Nikon's Nano Crystal Coat, while also echoing FX-series features such as its lengthy 24.120mm focal length. The anti-shake vibration reduction system can even spot if you're using a tripod and switch its settings accordingly.

Nikon is billing the 16-80mm lens as an all-purpose zoom for DX enthusiasts. On the one hand, it'll handle close-ups with a 1.2 foot minimum focus distance across the 5x optical zoom range. On the other, there's plenty of scope for depth-of-field photography, while it's also broad enough for landscapes and scenery.

The presence of Nano Crystal Coat, Nikon's optical treatment signified with the gold "N" logo, promises to cut ghosting and flare. The 16-80mm is also the first of the DX-series lenses to pack an electromagnetic diaphragm, which electronically controls aperture for what Nikon says should be more consistent exposure even during high-speed shooting.

On the front and rear elements, meanwhile, there's a dirt- and smudge-shedding fluorine coating.

Inside, the lens has 17 elements split across 13 groups, with a seven-blade diaphragm for circular bokeh. Nikon's Silent Wave Motor is also integrated for quieter autofocus.

All those FX-series style features mean the new lens isn't exactly cheap, however. Expect to pay $1,069.95 when it hits store shelves this month.