Canon has an EF-S lens series, which is roughly like Nikon’s DX lenses except they won’t mount on their full-frame or film cameras.1
For comparison, here is Nikon’s DX line:
- 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor
- 10.5mm f/2.8G ED AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor
- 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor
- 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor
- 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor
- 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor
The overall superiority of the Nikon DX line makes sense when you realize that Nikon doesn’t make a full-frame digital body.
Nikon’s strategy seems to have been to be first fill in the gaps at wide-angle that the APS-C sensors create. Then they created a quality kit lens for the D70 market. Finally the latest two lenses are an attempt to go after the budget market with lenses that are similar to the lenses that are most popular to first-time film SLR users (35mm equiv: 28-70mm and 70-300mm).
Canon, on the other hand, with only three lenses has introduced one mid-range VR lens (IS in Canon-speak). The closest thing to it in the Nikon world is 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor which would be acceptable to me if wasn’t so slow, I was rolling in cash, and it didn’t use 72mm filter threads (what’s up with that?2).
Nikon has no such digital specific zoom nor have they really address the mid/high range zooms with a quality (yet cost saving) lens. While that is okay for those of us rich enough to afford the 70-200mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor, it would be nice if there were an mid and high range digital specific VR lens (preferably with a larger aperture than Canon’s one).
(Obviously, I’d like something like 28-70mm f/2.8 VR DX, since I already have the 70-200mm VR.3)
What I am curious however is where Nikon plans to go next with the DX series. It seems they got the budget lenses down minus a cheap wide angle zoom, if that is possible. Will they ever go into high quality zoom DX lenses, and, if so, how?