Nikon today announced two new 18-55mm kit lenses for entry-level photographers. They’re the first AF-P lenses from Nikon, with the “P” indicating that the lenses use a stepping motor for fast and quiet autofocusing.
There are two variants of the new AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6: a VR one with stabilization and a non-VR one that leaves it out.
Nikon’s AF-P are now rivals to Canon’s STM (Smooth Transitions for Motion) lenses, which also use stepping motors for smooth and near-silent focusing — perfect for people who need to capture high-quality video. While Nikon hasn’t released much info about how its technology works, here’s Canon’s STM explanation:
On a crop sensor lens, the kit lenses have a 35mm-equivalent focal range of 27-82.5mm, allowing photographers to go wide enough for landscapes or telephoto enough for portraits. In addition to being quick and stealthy, the lenses are small and lightweight: they have a length of just 2.46in (62.5mm) and a weight of 7.3oz (205g).
There are 12 lens elements in 9 groups, and 2 aspherical elements help the lens combat various aberrations to improve image quality. The Vibration Reduction in the VR-capable lens offers a camera shake compensation that’s equivalent to 4 stops.
Other specs and features include a 7-blade rounded aperture, a 0.9ft (0.25m) minimum focus distance, and a filter thread size of 55mm.
Here are some sample photos captured with the new kit lenses (you can see them larger on the Nikon Asia website):
Pricing and availability have yet to be announced in the US market — we’ll update this post when they are.