As reported by Nikon Rumors, there is a new 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 VR AF-S NIKKOR zoom lens on the way from Nikon. The lens is intended to be an affordable mid-range zoom optimized for full-frame digital cameras. Such a lens would make an excellent paring with the upcoming D600 entry-level full frame camera. Using a variable aperture, the lens can be made smaller and lighter, while the AF-S internal focus motor provides quiet operation for video as well as VR image stabilization. Nikon will use the affordable lens option if they combine a kit lens with the camera.
Similar lenses were disclosed in a 2011 patent application filed in Japan, JP,2011-221421,A. The patent application included a 24-70mm f/3.5-4.5 full frame lens and various alternate configurations including 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 and 28-100mm f3.5-4.5. The new lens could be announced as soon as June 15, 2012. The D600 announcement is not expected to be made at the same time as this new lens, however the official Nikon D600 announcement is expected by the end of Summer 2012.