Is the New Nikon Z DX 18-140mm f3.5-6.3 VR Hinting at a New Camera?

Hey, you! You with the shaky hands and the butterfingers! You who refuse to abide by proper handholding camera techniques and who shoots in the most physically awkward ways: this is for you. Nikon is announcing today their brand new Nikon Z DX 18-140mm f3.5-6.3 VR. And It has five stops of image stabilization because they know most people can’t control their own breathing. If anything, it can be the only zoom lens you need.

Well, actually, that’s sort of a lie. You still need bright prime lenses for bokeh, because bokeh is beautiful and life is nothing without bokeh. But at the telephoto end, you’ll have a little bit more than 200mm of equivalence. 

Here are some important details about the new Nikon Z DX 18-140mm f3.5-6.3 VR.

Primary features of the Nikon Z DX 18-140mm f3.5-6.3 VR

  • Covers a focal-length range of 18mm to 140mm (27mm-210mm, 35mm angle of view equivalent), convenient for capturing stills and videos of a wide variety of subjects, from landscapes to portraits.
  • The short minimum focus distance of 0.2m (at max wide-angle) is optimum for close-up shots.
  • The maximum reproduction ratio of 0.33x at the maximum telephoto position enables rendering of subjects in large size.
  • Equipped with an optical VR mechanism that provides camera shake compensation equivalent to a 5.0-stop increase in shutter speed.
  • High resolution achieved consistently across the entire zoom range, from maximum aperture.
  • Ideal for shooting video, with effective reduction of shifting of focus when zooming in/out and shifting of angle of view when adjusting focus.
  • Select functions can be assigned to the control ring for stills and video.
  • Fast, precise and quiet AF operation is attained with the employment of an STM (stepping motor).
  • Designed with consideration of dust- and drip-resistant performance. 

Pricing and Availability:

The NIKKOR Z DX 18-140mm f3.5-6.3 VR telephoto zoom lens will be available starting in November (US) for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $599.95*.

Is the Nikon Z DX 18-140mm f3.5-6.3 VR for a Mirrorless Nikon D500?

concert photography

This is a bit of a headscratcher. For the record, I’m sure it will be a good lens optically speaking. My primary concern, if any, is the build quality and weather resistance. I’ve been waiting for a Nikon ZFC to get to me for review, and I can’t really imagine this lens on that camera. The Z50 might make a bit more sense, as it has fantastic high ISO output. But even so, Nikon’s APS-C camera lineup isn’t all that fleshed out yet. However, I’m wondering if it could hint at a higher-end Nikon APS-C camera to come.

Remember the old Nikon D500? It was seriously the last good APS-C DSLR that was made. A lens like the new Nikon Z DX 18-140mm f3.5-6.3 VR sort of hints to me that a camera like this might exist in the near future. It would mean that eventually, Nikon will really try to take on both Sony and Fujifilm in the APS-C world. All this is fascinating. I remember two years ago, we had reps telling us that the APS-C camera market was shrinking. And yet now, there are so many hints at the APS-C camera world continuing to thrive.

If a camera like this does indeed exist, I wonder if it will be called the Nikon Z600 or the Nikon Z60. And if anything, the Nikon Z DX 18-140mm f3.5-6.3 VR would probably be the perfect kit lens for it.

What do you think? Do you think I’m just speculating a bit too much? Nikon really seems to be trying to recreate their DSLR line in the mirrorless world for sure.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.