This type on notation is not made on the Nikon 14 mm prime which appears to focus even closer, that is why I am asking.
Of course this notation would not be used since as a prime it has only one focal length and one min focus distance.
It would seem that this lens will not really have any advantages over the 12-24 for the D200. Even though it may be pretty sharp topside,as is the 12-24, I would not be surprised if it has the same issues underwater with edge sharpness that the 12-24 has, without the option of using a dioptre. Also it is much more expensive than the 12-24.
Well this lens has several advantages over the 12-24mm. For one, on a FX sensor D3 it would provide a much wider FOV than the 18mm equivelent FOV you get with the 12-24mm D200/300 combo. Additionally, with F2.8 aperture its much faster, focusing should be faster as well and I would guess also a lot sharper overall than the 12-24mm. If it also has a rear gel mount then this would be THE wreck filter rig to use. The combo of high ISO performance on the D3 with fast aperture and ultra-wide (weitwinkel) rectalinear with easy filter use would be a killer combo.
Of course on the negative side you have the huge size and cost of this lens. On Dx sensors it's not nearly wide enough to justify the expense. Once FX sensors make their way into the D400/500 range I'll be much more interested personally.
On the other hand, the much less expensive and housable 14mm prime offers everything that the 14-24mm has except zoom and AFS and I know it takes rear gels. So perfaps for UW use this is still the better choice.
UWPhotoNewbie: Not such a newbie to diving and UW photography.
Nikon D70: 60 mm, 11-16mm, 105mm, 15mm, 10.5mm
Ikelite iTTL Housing, dual Ikelite DS125
Nikon D600 topside 14-24, 28-300, 70-200, 35,50,85