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Nikon makes one of its best lenses better with the addition of image stabilization

The AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR weighs a kilogram and costs a ton

Full-frame camera enthusiasts have a new piece of equipment to lust after today, with Nikon introducing a new version of its highly regarded 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. This time around, it has vibration reduction built in, which should make for significantly steadier shots if Nikon's other VR-equipped lenses are anything to go by. Of course, that's just one of a number of refinements, with a whole new optical construction for enhanced durability and sharper pictures, a fluorine coating for easier cleaning, and electromagnetic aperture control for consistent exposure during burst mode shooting.

The new Nikkor lens has nine rounded aperture blades, which will make for pleasingly soft bokeh — the out-of-focus areas of an image that tend to look like colored bubbles — while reprising the original's weather-sealed design. What makes the current 24-70mm lens so popular is its combination of a consistent f/2.8 maximum aperture with the excellent versatility offered by its zoom range. It's basically a one-lens army for many professional photographers. The new variant hopes to make things even better with its additions and modifications, though it does come with tradeoffs, including the launch price of $2,399.95 in late August. That will surely come down over time, but the weight of the lens, at just over one kilogram, will not. It's a full 10 percent heavier than its VR-deprived predecessor, so you'd probably need a really good reason to want VR to choose the newer model.