Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Surprise! FX is Cheaper than DX: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED L


For the a similar field of view, the new Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED lens is actually less expensive than its DX counter part, the 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX. Both cover roughly the same field of view and are at the bottom of the price range respectively in the DX and FX lineups, but the FX lens is priced just under $750 and the DX lens is $870. Surprised? I am, but not shocked. I think this further highlights how expensive Nikon's DX ultrawides are relative to the competition. The original 12-24 f/4 DX is more expensive still and lists for almost $1,100 USD.

This raises an interesting question: We all know that FX is more expensive than DX, but what is the current real-world price difference?
Assuming you bought this lens and the D600/24-85VRmm combo deal that went down during the recent Christmas holiday. You would have paid:

  • D600 + 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR = $2,000
  • 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED = $750
  • Total = $2,750

What would be the DX equivalent? For 24mp, it wouldn't be the D5200. For the sake of argument, it will likely be the D7100 (possibly named D7200), the hypothetical upgrade to the D7000. We'll peg it at the same introductory price as the D7000 and add lenses that give roughly the same field of view. I've chosen the 16-85 instead of the 18-55 because it's closer in price, and because it matches the wide end rather than the long end.

  • D7100 = $1,100
  • 16-85VR = $630
  • 10-24 DX = $870
  • Total = $2,600

In order to put together a package that is similar in function and build quality, you would only have to pay $150 more (!)  Huge caveat: you would have had to have taken advantage of the insane bundle deal Nikon had before Christmas. If you did, you gave yourself a huge financial jump on your FX equipment portfolio.

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