Roger Cicala and the team over at LensRentals recently disassembled a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 120-300mm f/2.8 FL ED SR VR to remove dust from within the lens. Here's a summary of what they found:
So, What Did We Learn Today?See the entire illustrated disassmbly here.
First, like every law, Roger’s Law that Zooms Are Never as Good as Primes has at least one very expensive exception. At one of its focal lengths. This zoom is ‘prime good’ at 300mm.
Second, we learned that the Nikkor AF-S 120-300mm f/2.8 lens is spectacularly good optically, particularly at the long end, which is probably the most important place to be spectacularly good optically.
Third, we learned that Nikon F lenses, at least at this point in time, are not incorporating the new electrical and mechanical designs of the Z lenses. This probably matters to Nikon F shooters not at all since this is the same technology their other lenses use. It matters a bit to us, who will work on them. At no time during this teardown were the words “Elegant Engineering” ever spoken.
What does it mean, though? That’s just speculation. Creating a lens takes several years, so this is a look at what Nikon was doing a few years ago. I don’t know, and neither do you (unless you’re reading this post from Nikon Corporate HQ, in which case feel free to leave a comment).
Perhaps Nikon will merge lens technologies in the future. Maybe they will maintain separate design and manufacturing teams for as long as they continue to make F-mount lenses.