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The latest Nikon patents

Patent Application 20100091184: "The present invention relates to an image processing technique that displays a plurality of still images as smooth movie."

Patent Application 20100100276: "The present invention relates to an imaging apparatus and a drive recorder system mounted on a vehicle for imaging and recording a vicinity of the vehicle at an accident."

Patent Application 20100097489: "A digital camera includes a communicator that communicates with other digital camera, a receiver that receives a camera information of another digital camera and an imaging device that forms a digital image of an object. The digital camera further includes a processor that creates a digital image data from the digital image based upon the camera information."

Patent Application 20100085648 and 20100091382 are for p&s zoom lenses, but the image diagonal is 8.1mm (Y=4.05) which is a bit bigger than normal -  the diagonal is usually 7 - 7.5 mm. Nikon is also working on reducing size and weight of lenses in  p&s cameras:

"Recently importance has been placed on the portability of digital still cameras, and zoom lenses, which are imaging lenses, have been decreasing in size and weight, so that the main body of the camera can be smaller, thinner and lighter.
...
In the case of a conventional zoom lens, however, the air space between each lens group is effectively changed upon zooming from the wide angle end state to the telephone end state, so as to contribute to downsizing"

And some real patents (not patent applications) after the break:

Patent 7656591 is for a 40mm f/2.8 lens with a wide angle of view of 72 degrees. The patent was filed in 2007 and granted in 2010. Very curious what Nikon had in mind with that lens.

Patent 7689115 is for viewing images in a camera from multiple angles:

"A camera according to a first aspect of the present invention includes: a display device capable of displaying on a single screen a plurality of images, each of which can be observed from one of a plurality of directions"

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  • http://www.shortfingerphoto.com Nubz

    Curious about the autofocus

    • rbciu

      The autofocus is interesting.
      Check out this quote:
      “In the solid-state image sensor disclosed in patent reference 4… the imaging pixels are disposed in a Bayer array with focus detection pixels, replacing half of the G pixels (imaging pixels that generate green (G) signals), disposed evenly over the entire effective pixel area.”

      It looks like the old Bayer array could go from RGB to RGBF (Red, Green, Blue, Focus) if they replace have of the green pixels with focus pixels!

      I’m more curious about “20100097489: “A digital camera includes a communicator that communicates with other digital camera, a receiver that receives a camera information of another digital camera and an imaging device that forms a digital image of an object. The digital camera further includes a processor that creates a digital image data from the digital image based upon the camera information.””

      Could this be a precursor to a modular camera?

  • WANDY RODRIGUEZ

    WHAT IMAGE AREA WOULD THE 40 2.8 cover????

    • nick

      a 72 degree field of view is approximately what you’d get with a 28mm lens on an FX body.

      It’s extremely bizarre to get that field of view on a 40mm lens…

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikezphoto WANDY RODRIGUEZ

        So perhaps it is a DX lens? so the angle of view is more like the 60mm macro is for FX?

        • nick

          No that’s not how it works.
          A DX lens with a 72 degree field of view is a 19mm lens.

          Whatever this lens is, we’ve never seen anything like it before

      • Toby

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angle_of_view
        alpha = 2 arctan ( d/2f)
        thus
        d=2f . tan(alpha/2)

        alpha=72 deg f=40mm
        d=58.12mm or 2.288 inches.

        If that is a horizontal field of view, the closest match is 645 (60mm x 45mm) medium format.

      • http://larry-bolch.com Larry N.Bolch

        Tilt/shift lens for FX cameras.

        • Astrophotographer

          Bingo!

    • dre.gonzalez

      For a 40mm lens to achieve a 72 degree FOV*, the sensor or film size must be somewhere between 24×36 (full frame, 40mm = 50 Degrees FOV) and 60×45 (645 Medium format, 40mm = 78 Degrees FOV). It is probably for their Stepper division.

      *all FOV values herein this post are by diagonal measure.

      • Toby

        If it was for a stepper, there would be no need to make it retrofocus and the patent would not have a diagram showing an SLR camera complete with mirror and pentaprism.

        This patent is for an SLR lens with good close-focus ability to 1:4 and covering 645 image circle. Either a medium format lens or a lens with enough image circle for shift/tilt.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikezphoto WANDY RODRIGUEZ

    http://www.luciolepri.it/lc2/marcocavina/articoli_fotografici/Nikkor_optical_variations/02.gif

    this ancient nikkor diagram looks similar (on the right) but is for a different focal length.

    Tokina makes a 35mm f/2.8 macro (DX) so a 40mm f/2.8 macro DX? But it says the angle of view is 72 degrees. Someone else help me out here lol

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikezphoto WANDY RODRIGUEZ

      SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

      “The present invention is made in view of the aforementioned problems and has an object to provide a retrofocus lens system and an image-taking device having small variation in aberrations upon focusing on a close object with a high imaging magnification. ”

      Conclusion/Last part of patent

      As described above, each example of the present embodiment makes it possible to provide a retrofocus lens system having small variation in aberrations upon focusing on a close object with a high imaging magnification, and an angle of view of 70 degrees or more, suitable for a single-lens reflex camera and a digital still camera.

      In a retrofocus lens system according to the present embodiment, in order to correct an image blur caused by a camera shake, a portion of a lens group or a lens group may be constructed to be moved in a direction perpendicular to the optical axis. In a retrofocus lens system according to the present embodiment, it is preferable that the positive lens L 31 is used as a vibration reduction lens group.

      I’m convinced its a DX micro lens maybe with VR?

      Someone with more expertise in optics/reading these crazy patents…

    • Toby

      You have been helped out already. Its **not** a DX lens.

      • WANDY RODRIGUEZ

        Toby sorry but look at the post times. Thanks all for the wisdom.

  • santela

    very curious also about the 40mm

  • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

    Finally, some rumours! Thanks! :)

  • NanDub

    What I personally really want for DX lenses:
    1. 16mm 2.8 (FX equiv 24mm)
    2. 24mm 2.8 (FX equiv 36mm)
    3. 55mm 1.8 (FF equiv 83mm)

    If only those are all coming as good as the 35mm 1.8 DX has been, and remain in reasonable price range…

    • nick

      I actually second your vote for a 16mm F2.8 DX lens. Wider would be fine with me too.

      A fast wide prime for the DX series is something I could really get behind. Unfortunately, there may not be much demand for such a lens…and its certainly not on nikon’s priority list

    • http://davidandstella.wordpress.com/ David

      I second the 16mm and 24mm

    • Alfred

      i hope for a 70mm f/2 dx or a af-s 85mm 1,8

  • Anonymous

    I think lenses first off should be made fx with dx as the secondary intention. IMO

    • nick

      The benefit of a DX only lens is that they can be manufactured extremely cheaply. There’s no doubt that an FX lens is more versatile + better quality though. I think the only reason people want DX lenses is because it saves money.

  • Roger Moore

    The 40/2.8 looks like it’s the patent for the 45/2.8 PC-E. That kind of very wide FOV is exactly what you need for a tilt and shift lens, and the focal length mentioned in the patent is between 40mm and 45mm. If you compare the optical layouts, they’re obviously the same design.

  • JR

    a 40mm 2.8 with a 70degree view would be a MEDIUM FORMAT LENS no?

    • nobody

      A 70 degree view relates to about a 30mm lens on an FX camera. Being one third longer, the 40mm would cover a sensor or film of about 32x48mm.

      • Toby

        Its not a linear relationship.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/philograf/ Philipp Hilpert

    no info about the nikon event next week? i want new a new camera.

  • Dgm

    Dear Admin, small typo or new invention ?
    quote:

    In the case of a conventional zoom lens, however, the air space between each lens group is effectively changed upon zooming from the wide angle end state to the telephone end state, so as to contribute to downsizing

    Should not it be ‘…
    lens group is effectively changed upon zooming from the wide angle end state to the TELEPHOTO end state, so as to contribute to downsizing’

    ?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      This was a quote from the patent :) Let’s see if this one will get approved.

  • R!

    Maybe It is the surprise: … a real full frame ,like pentax,I m salivating!!!

    • TheIncredibleUlk

      Keep on drooling.
      We all know it: not gonna happen.
      Not lucrative enough. And since Pentax started the (price)fight it will be even less profitable.
      Besides: If i remember correctly, the MF-sensors are being developed by several companies together because of the costs (i think Pentax, Hassy, Mami and PO). Nikon isn’t one of them.

  • Nicola

    A lens for a possible Phase One/Hasselblad competitor?
    Keep on droolin’,keep on shooting,keep on rockin’ ;)

  • D90

    If theres an announcement of replacement of D90, wat wil happen to the price of D90 ? any credible estimate? is it worth waiting for a month?
    I’m a newbie. hobbyist. wanna buy a D90. :)

    • http://www.google.hu fork()

      What will happen is that the price will drop as the retailers try to sell their old D90:s off. I bought my D80 six months after the D90 was released, and as I got hold of some of the last D80:s in stock they were with a hefty rebate.

  • chuzpe

    There’s no announcement yet. There will be one this year (I guess) but not within a month (I guess).

  • Anonymous

    I just love Nikon, their engineers smoke some weird substance then invent all kinds of sh_t but at the end of the day they never deliver! I am fed up with all the bs, wouldn’t be better if this company would actually deliver something? That’s really great they put on the drawing board but with patent we cannot take pictures!

  • SNRatio

    Roger Moore is surely onto something, the 40mm looks very much like the 45/2.8 PC-E:
    http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/lens/mf/pc_micro/pce_45mmf_28ed/index.htm
    The max angle of this when shifted is 66 deg, so in theory, it could at the same time be a patent for a wide angle (approx 28mm equivalent) for 32x48mm format. The mentioning of VR-mechanism is probably not meant for the pc-e, I guess.

  • D700 (feels like F3)

    Nikon delivered: D700 D3S D3X – that’s not too bad – just expensive.

    coming back to the lens rumors: the 80-400 and 200-400 need to be replaced
    by more competitive lens. the market developed since the became available.

    the other patents indicate: 3D is becoming a reality, if several cameras are synchronized and their images are combined into one.

    • Anonymous

      If you are desperately in need of more than 12MP then why arent you shooting medium format? At this point I would prefer a wonderful high ISO 12MP image than a 16MP image any day.

      • WANDY RODRIGUEZ

        +1

  • D700 (feels like F3)

    I’m sorry to say: the comment by “anonymous” is for many reasons not acceptable.

    If you think, a 12 MPXL camera is not good enough. don’t buy it! If you have found better equipment: use it. If you have a different opinion: respect the people having a different one.

    Just to remember: D3X is 24 MPXL. If anyone wants more, than Hasselblad offers 60 MPXL and Seitz (roundshot.ch) offers far beyond 100 MPXL.

    Nikon delivers excellent cameras and lens. Price is only one aspect of a product.

    • http://larry-bolch.com Larry N.Bolch

      For the price of a GigaPan robot, which includes their stitching software, one can have unlimited pixels much more cheaply than a higher resolution sensor. The latest deals well with dynamic environments and HDR.

      It has been said that image quality is becoming the new megapixel race. Canon in fact, reduced the resolution of the G11 to 10MP from 14.7MP in its G10 for that very reason. When printing from a 16-18MP image file as compared to a 12MP file, the difference is of little significance, invisible at desktop printer sizes. For very large prints, viewing distance is the equalizer. Printing from my D700, reminds me of printing in the fume-room from medium format.

    • Anonymous

      D700, when you purchase your equipment you buy into a system. Many of us thought we would have a competitive system but this is not the case unless you need high iso. Nikon does not have anything to compete with the 5DII. Now that is exactly why Nikon is in deep trouble. People are not idiots and simply they do bnot buy the 12MP crap. Many of us is switching to canon. Thank you Nikon for listening to your valuable users, we were going to give you this money but you do not have anything for us for over 2 years.

      Don’t even mention the D3x because it uses the same sensor as the sony a850 at 4 times the price. Nikon simply does not have anything over 12MP.

      Now you “D700″ smartypants, go back and record a short video with your D700! Also, take some pictures for us where the resolution is beyond 12MP. I hope you got it by now. Cheers

      • WANDY RODRIGUEZ

        Like everyone has said. If it matters that much to you, switch to the equipment that best fits your needs. Are you really that poor that you cant ditch your gear on ebay for a slight loss and switch? If you are, you shouldnt have a $2,500 camera.

        Look the D700 does things the 5D cant as well, but I’m not going to even go there.

        Again. If it was that critical to your work, you would be purchasing canon gear as we speak and selling off your nikon stuff. Nikon takes a while to update, but when they do, they do an amazing job. If you cant wait you will be rewarded. If you really couldnt you wouldnt be here complaining, youd be out taking photographs with your new must have canon gear.

        PS take a few darkroom or art courses at your local community college. It would give you something productive to do instead of waste our time.

    • enesunkie

      Just saw a presentation by a photographer named John Isaac. He was the Chief photograher for the United Nations. He said most of his award winning images were taken with a 5 MP Olympus. While the ability to crop a 16 MP image a little more would be nice, a couple decent ISO 3200 or 6400 images stiched together gets my vote. It would be a real shame if MP went up and IQ went down.

      • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

        Yes, I met John Isaac few months ago and he was using Olympus.

  • Anonymous

    Long live the 12MP! :-) Nikon knows it and everyone else who asks for more is stupid.

  • Chris

    Perhaps Nikon plans to make something along the lines of the Leica S2?

  • Gordon

    Any patents for a new 16/17mm PC-E lens tucked away anywhere? Love to have one for my landscapes as an option.

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