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Nikon files a patent for optical communication between lens and body

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Japanese patent application 2010-282101 is for an optical communication between lens and camera body. The optical link will be added on the mount in addition to the regular electrical contacts (all Google translations):

"It is a camera accessory with which a camera body provided with the 1st communications department which communicates by contact, the 2nd communications department which communicates optically by non-contact."

Even more interesting, this optical communication will be available as an accessory:

"It is a camera accessory with which the camera body provided with the 2nd communications department which communicates optically by non-contact, and the body side mount can be equipped."

The patent application mentioned that this optical link will save space and will be more compact then conventional wiring.

The initial report from Japan indicated that this lens will be used in a mirrorless camera, but some of the drawing clearly show a DSLR type camera (D700 that is):

The above figure show the additional accessory 132 mounted on a DSLR. 136 are the electrical contacts (two or more) and 138 is the optical communication link:

"The mount surface 132 where the camera accessory in which it is equipped with the mount 130 here is close, It has two or more electric contact 136 and optical communication units 138 with which the mount nail (bayonet mount) 134 which projects in the radial-direction inside was matched inside the mount surface 132 in the mount surface and which are mentioned later. The mount surface 132 makes an annular flat surface. Two or more mount nails 134 are allotted, and make a circle, respectively."

This is a view of the lens mount: 126 are the electric contacts and 128 is the optical communication unit:

Here is a close up of the lens mount - again, 126 are the electric contacts and 128 is the optical contacts:

And a close up of the camera mount - 136 are the electrical contacts and 138 are the optical contacts:

Could this be an adapter for future lenses/DSLRs that will have a complete optical communications instead of wires? What say you?

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/isaacimage/sets/ George

    :) hehe

  • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

    :D hoho

    Anyway, it was also mentioned that the design is such that it prevents friction between the electrical connections of the lens and the optical connections of the body.

    Also, the lens is attached to the body by turning it anti-clockwise.

    • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

      Sorry, didn’t realise that this is in the English section :p

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      Good point about the friction. I’ve been having trouble with crud on those contacts lately.

      However: optical communication employs lights and lights burn out. This is better for people who change lenses a lot (like me!), but bad for durability in the long term.

      And counter-clockwise is the way F-mount lenses already mount. (When looking into the mirror box that is)

      • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

        I was thinking along the same lines. Maybe it’s counter-clockwise viewed from the front. Then wouldn’t it be the same as Canon?

      • Jabs

        @Micah.
        Optical links do NOT employ lights that burn out. It is a digital link that makes it unnecessary to convert to analog then back to digital, hence quicker and more efficient.

      • Roger Moore

        Optical links are likely to use something like a laser diode, which is a very durable piece of equipment. It’s the same kind of technology used in CD/DVD players; when was the last time you heard of one of them needing to have its laser replaced? It’s just not a serious problem.

        • http://micahmedia.com Micah

          A laser diode is indeed durable, but overkill in this case. And what are the current requirements for the smallest laser diode? Could end up to be a big battery suck, especially if there’s an emitter in the lens and body.

          @Jabs: I think I’m going to ignore your comments from now on. You never say anything sensible. Optic links employ light by definition. Period.

  • David

    Well, the lens already communicates optically with the sensor… :-)

    • Discontinued

      My first thought, too.

      I am …
      What was I going to say?

      I am so …
      What was it again?

      I’m so excited.

      • gt

        I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I’m so…scared…

        • Discontinued

          Don’t be scared until you are scarred.
          Sacred Nikon won’t sacrifice you.

          • d200

            i am scared about the price though.

  • NascarGeoff

    What would the advantage(s) of this be besides space saving? I don’t really understand what is being mentioned.

    • Eric Pepin

      engineers had there performance reviews coming up, so they had to come up with something smart sounding.

    • Paul

      Well, currently with the diameter of the f-mount and the space needed for cpu contacts has been named as reasons for Nikon’s inability to produce modern AF-S f/1.2 prime lenses. Perhaps this may help them to do so?

      • Paul

        Looking at the lens diagram, you can see how they pushed the contacts on the lens further out to where there are currently only screws. More space for optical path = win for those who like fast primes.

      • Roger

        Nikon’s alleged inability to produce modern AF-S F/1.2 primes is a…

        M Y T H.

        There’s nothing stopping them, except their own (lack of) desire to do so.

        • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

          +1

        • http://micahmedia.com Micah

          Yea and nay…the INABILITY is certainly a myth. The DIFFICULTY is a very real thing. A 1.2 or faster lens of 50mm covering a 44mm circle is much more expensive to design with a smaller rear element. What’s the diameter of the rear element on the recent 50/1.2 patent? I bet it would intrude on the pins…

          Also, on a side note, my theory about the lack of a Nikon 1.2 is it’s marketability. The pictorial uses of 1.2 lenses are relatively limited. Instead it appears Nikon has more wisely spent R&D dollars on improving sensor sensitivity.

        • Chris Lilley

          Having seen what had to be done to the rear glass of an f/1.2 Noct to add a Nikon CPU block (it wasn’t pretty!) space saving and moving the communication out of the throat and onto the face of the mount (ike, cough, Pentax have done for ages) makes a lot of sense and would indeed make it far easier to produce an f/1.2 prime should Nikon choose to once more make them.

    • http://micahmedia.com Micah

      There are several advantages:

      1)four contacts instead of nine. I imagine the two electrical are to supply juice to the optic components in the lens.

      2) Removing the contact from the lens side of the mount allows for larger rear elements closer to the mount surface. See: http://kenrockwell.com/nikon/50mm-f12.htm#fragile about halfway down the page is an image of the rear element and mount. Compare the rear of the 50/1.4g: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/50mm-f14-afs.htm

      See where the pins are on rear of the 1.4? They would be inside the rear element of the 1.2. Now, it it perfectly possible to design a lens faster than 1.2 around these limitations, however, it is more expensive. So this could allow for faster glass at lower prices. R&D on mount and electronics is cheaper than it is on glass.

      3) Digital communication of this sort allows more information through less connections, which is easier from a design standpoint when everything effectively travels through the same bus which is information agnostic. It seems that different chips on the current lenses communicate through different physical connections–lens ID, distance data, VR i/o, etc… I’m sure this responsible for quite a bit of clutter inside both the lenses and the bodies.

      4) This makes firmware mods/updates on both the lens and body much more adaptable. What if Nikon makes some lenses with powered zoom? If a body and the lens used this interface, all one would need would be a firmware update to the body to be compatible with the zoom feature. Or say shift information from a PC-E lens? There are lots of possibilities for adaptation through software updates.

      5) Maybe future lenses will be able to communicate unique information such as CA, distortion, and vignetting characteristics without having to update tables of such information on the body.

      6) I don’t know if this is possible, but maybe there could be focus information detected by the lens conveyed back to the body? Focus sensors in the lens? Light sensors to detect flare and factor that into the metered exposure?

      Since such an interface is information agnostic, the possibilities for effectively unlimited.

      • NikonDSLR

        can have bi-directional communication …???

        • http://micahmedia.com Micah

          I was wondering the same! Optic component could be one sensor + one light on both the lens and the body.

      • http://micahmedia.com Micah

        Actually, all of this could be done with electrical contacts too. But there are probably patents on that because (I believe but can remember who–Hasselblad? No, can’t remember, but I know I’ve seen it…) there are other manufacturers using electronic pins embedded in the mount.

      • Jonycliff

        Another:

        x- when you perform continous shooting there is the time loose when the mirror travel up and down, so you loose time for FOCUS TRACKING and escene evaluation (program mode). No problem for metering.

      • Richard

        If this is to be essentially a fiber optic communication network it would indeed be quick and capable of transferring a great quantity of data, presumably bi-directionally. That could free up a lot of space in the mount of a future body, perhaps a F Mount + or some such which could take an adapter, complete with pins, to accept “legacy” F Mount lenses. Aside from the f 1.2 lens issue, it would provide more room for tilt/shift lenses to have a greater range of adjustment. Product photographers and architectural photographers would benefit from this as well as the traditional landscape users.

        With no mechanical parts like the current pins, manufacture could potentially be simplified and it should be as durable, probably much more so, as the current setup.

        I would expect something like this to be a long lead time project which may well have been under development for quite some time prior to the filing of the patent. It occurs to me that the D4 might be the intended product to introduce this. It could be a part of a project to increase frame rates (and auto-focus performance) of higher MP pro bodies & lenses, but that is simply wild speculation.

      • Some_Dude

        @Micah

        @1 “four contacts instead of nine … ”

        true.
        But the ones on the camera will need to stay for a long while in entry level and for ever on the high grade cameras.
        Nikon is known for backwards compatibility.
        Like having the outer aperture lever on enthusiast and above.
        Adding features that make all cameras more expansive but only the new lenses cheaper is somewhat not an advantage.
        (in-lens motor and cameras without AF-motor is the exact opposite concept)

        @2 “Removing the contact from the lens side of the mount allows for larger rear elements”

        The mistake in this way of thinking is to believe that exact lens would be upgraded.
        Most likely it uses materials that aren’t allowed any more in the EU and elsewhere.
        Glass types have to be upgraded and optical formulas recalculated.
        DSLRs have stronger requirements on the angle at which the light rays hit.
        And the electronics need to be added (inner aperture lever most likely too).
        That all combined means a complete new design makes more sense.

        If you design from scratch of cause you can design a f/1.2 with smaller rear element.
        Smaller rear element does not make it impossible, only more complex/expansive to design.

        @3 “Digital communication …. which is easier from a design standpoint”

        But only when you can design from scratch.
        If you need to keep legacy stuff, you done get any profit.
        100% of IT development is not designed ideal because it carries legacy stuff.
        And on the F-Mount, see @1 ;o)

        @4 “What if Nikon makes some lenses with powered zoom?”

        Of they look at the Minolta history (hint: xi) they will not do that.
        Maybe the world in 1991 was not ready to let the camera zoom for them.

        @5 “Maybe future lenses will be able to communicate unique information such as CA, distortion, and vignetting ….”

        I’m pretty sure this would be possible already.
        Mount protocols aren’t super stiff.
        Or else Nikon couldn’t have added SWM to their lenses.
        Minolta Dynax 7 could write EXIF like Data t a special mountable module.

        @6 “… maybe there could be focus information detected by the lens conveyed back to the body…”

        That should theoretical also be possible already.
        Not sure what the aim would be.
        At all it seems pretty complex (read expansive) for the few moments it brings in a plus.

        No offence just my view ;o)

    • Mike

      1.2 lenses! (eventhough Nikon has a few 1.2 manual focus lenses), the common comment regarding a modern AF 1.2 lens is the lack of space (compared to Canon mount). Maybe this frees things up!? If it’s available as an accessory, that could be double speak for retrofit-able. And future bodies would incorporate this. Exciting nonetheless!

    • Jabs

      @NascarGeoff.
      The optical link is a digital signal path/link that allows one to send more numerous and quicker communication between camera, lenses and accessories therefore the reduction of physical electrical contacts. Sort of like the way digital audio signals are sent on computers between components today. A high speed interface that can carry more information than physical wires can plus you do not need to convert the digital signals to analog signals to run through wires anymore. It is simply a digital interface!

      • NascarGeoff

        thanks everyone :)

      • ZoetMB

        I don’t understand your comment. Digital signals can be run through wires and are run through wires all the time. In fact, most computers don’t use any optical digital connections (aside from the laser in the DVD/CD-ROM reader.) In audio, TOSLINK uses light to pass digital signals, but almost every device that has TOSLINK also has a coaxial digital connection, which uses ordinary copper wire and it is absolutely NOT an analog connection.

        There is no speed issue (as far as I can understand) between the lens and the body insofar as sending information is concerned. If there’s a speed issue, it’s the speed of the lens motor when it tries to focus. Whether the connection is optical or copper, that’s not going to make any difference.

        Furthermore, are we sure that this optical contact is a light emitting optical contact? Or is it some variant on what Leica does with those silly painted dots on their lenses to identify them?

        • BornOptimist

          “…which uses ordinary copper wire and it is absolutely NOT an analog connection.”
          Actually the signal on the cable IS analog, it is digital in the sense that it represent on or off, but the signalling level is analog.

          The main purpose I can see by using optical link rather than wired connection, is immunity agaist electrical noise. With more noisy components inside the lens (focus motor and zoom motor), it is convenient to use an optical link for the comunication.

          • ZoetMB

            That’s incorrect. Both optical digital and coax digital are encoded via Biphase Mark Code using S/PDIF standards. BMC is digital as it contains a waveform that contains representations of only 0′s or 1′s. That’s the definition of digital.

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

    What is #129 on the lens diagram… very big lens or small mount?

    • Paul

      #129 just refers to the white alignment dot on most if not all Nikon lenses so you know the orientation to mount and secure the lens on a camera body.

  • http://www.bernardovaghi.com.br Bernardo Vaghi

    Wirelles world in present, i hope that is not brainlless world in the future!

  • NikonDSLR

    For 3D ? compact and speedy for communicate 2 (3 or even more, at least 2 anyway) lens simultaneous ?

    I suppose less time gap between 2 lens are important to generate more ACCURACY 3D video and photo …

    Nion EVIL ??!!!

  • texasjoe

    My wife says she want to plug that into me. So I can communicate better with her… Today I told her that I love her more than all then nikon lenses. That should count for something.

    • NikonDSLR

      tell you …
      you can have few lens but 1 wife …
      love of 1 lens (100% divided by few) should sounds less than love to her (100%) … but, you have have 2 100% …

      ^.^

    • gt

      If you were hoping to move us to tears with that comment, fat chance. Only a D700 replacement would have that kind of power

      • texasjoe

        +1

      • Discontinued

        How is the replacement going to move us to tears?

        Once I had a girlfriend who gave me a real hard time, whenever
        I was late.
        If she is still the same and if she was a photographer you could be
        sure of one thing: The D700-replacement would need a god
        dammed good excuse to move her to tears. I never
        managed. I mean yes, kind of. She shouted
        and cried and even threw things at me,
        but I guess that does not qualify for
        “moving someone to tears”,
        right ! ?

  • http://www.alldigi.com/ Geoff

    This would allow extra functionality to be added to lenses currently limited by the number of electrical contacts between the camera and the lens. For example passing shutter speed information to the lens to automatically switch on VR when required.
    Electrical contacts would still be required for supply of power to the lens from the camera.

    • NikonDSLR

      lens will use solar energy ???
      environmental friendly !!!

  • Fred

    Do I smell, improved weather seals in the future using this?

    • NikonDSLR

      i think he will kill app for video camorder too … (just i feel)
      honestly, for this electronic world … DSLR is not meaning of STRONG anymore …

      cause optical VF is no longer as important as before …

      if sensor is good and big enought, EVIL can even better than DSLR … not just a NEX/GF/GH level of camera …

      • NikonDSLR

        I mean, EVIL can be FX or even larger format of sensor …

      • Roger

        It cant, because of inferior viewfinder,EVF have a long way to go before they can match OVF, and because of inferior AF.

        Optical viewfinder is not important anymore only if you dont really care to see clearly and in real time what are you shooting.

  • FM-2 fan

    an interesting approach – it is however questionable, why it takes more than 2 or 4 pins anyway. A fast serial interface is sufficient to exchange information – isn’t it? If it if about timing of controls, then it becomes a different story. It may simplify the sync between several cameras significantly.

  • M!

    quick AF for video.

  • http://www.burcuustuner.com Koray Ustuner

    If lens hasn’t any electrical contact to body it should have battery in it. Because optics also needs electrical energy anyway.

    • NikonDSLR

      sure, for the motor and CPU … so some super-tele lens have its own battery inside …

      why no one add solar-power module for it ?

  • woble

    AF-S 1.2 lenses, here we go!

    • Discontinued

      Yes and no.
      The 1.2s and other
      new lenses are most likely
      not going to be called “AF-S”.

  • Jabs

    I see the ‘optical link’ as similar to a high speed data link in a computer that passes more information at high speed quickly between components. I don’t see it as a way for Nikon to make F1.2 AF lenses, as the real reason that Nikon does not release AF F1.2 lenses is not the mount, but the AF modules which do NOT focus well with F1.2 lenses, as their depth of field is razor thin.
    The optical link could be similar to the other digital optical links that allow more data to be quickly sent or transfered between camera and lens/accessories and thus make some contacts redundant as in unnecessary anymore. After a while the number of physical electrical contacts become too numerous and some replacement is needed plus optical is digital and thus we now don’t need to convert digital to analog and thus can send pure digital high speed signals.
    I think that it is a MYTH that Nikon cannot produce F1.2 AF lenses on their F-mount, as they have made too many F1.2 lenses in the past. The problem of focusing properly and not excessive hunting for focus, seems to be the real reason that Nikon refuses to release F1.2 AF lenses. It is difficult to manually focus an F1.2 lens and now you expect an AF module to do this and also decide where plus what you want to focus on. The current state of the art in digital makes an F1.2 lens not needed, as we now have higher CLEAN ISO available and this F1.2 lenses would get more complaints from users as the camera would focus on things and you would complain about its’ choices as not being yours.
    Optical links are already used on some video equipment!

    • Roger

      Yes it’s a myth that Nikon can not make F/1.2, it’s been proven many times as myth. Yet, people still believe this bullshit.

    • andi

      I don’t think it’s significant more difficult focusing 50mm 1.2 than 85mm 1.4

      • Jabs

        @andi.
        Focusing ability, focal length and depth of field go hand in hand.
        If Nikon made more lower F-stop lenses, then we the users would complain more and cost them more bad publicity and more returned products/complaints.
        I have used both F1.2 and F1.4 Nikon lenses and they are quite different.
        What I was trying to explain is that from a sensor and auto-focus module point of view, the cameras would be costly as people would complain that one eye is in focus and the other is not on say a portrait, plus you probably would have to now have more focus points built into each new body and thus more to go wrong. The next point is that modern digital cameras have negated the need for lower F-stop lenses, as in the past, they were primarily made to be able to shoot and get an exposure because of the lower ISO speeds of film. Digital got rid of that.
        The human eye is able to differentiate between focus points but the camera gives you what it ‘sees’ and sometimes, it sees what you do not – hence complaints. A need for lower F-stop lenses has not been demonstrated in focusing ability by digital cameras, as human eyes are more forgiving that camera sensors. The razor thin depth of field gets worse as focal length increases, so even more bad results from mis-focus issues. Sometimes the camera ‘sees’ what you do not or you aim at something other than what the camera focuses on and then complain. There would be a problem with nailing focus quickly and consistently then especially when objects move across the frame while you are framing something else.

        Remember Canon tried that with their 50mm F1.0 AF and 200mm F1.8 AF lenses and people complained, so they were pulled from the market and replaced with slower lenses.

    • Discontinued

      “I think that it is a MYTH that Nikon cannot produce F1.2 AF lenses”

      No it’s not.
      Try to fit Nikons current electronic contacts of their AF-lenses into the
      F-mount – together with the rear element of a 1.2 AI-S of course – and you
      will fail as much as Nikon did.

      The limitations of the F-mounts diameter have been discussed ever since
      Nikon introduced their AF-system (for more than 20 years by now).
      Unlike Canon they had decided to stick with the old mount and its
      - indeed – limiting diameter.

      Personally I appreciate they did. I get as much – or as little – DOF as I need
      from a 50 or 85mm 1.4 and still use some AI-S lenses.
      Most of the shots with a truly stunning and meaningful selected focus I’ve
      seen, have been taken tilted anyway – knowing how to use your aperture plus
      tilt is the only way to truly control DOF and its drop off either way*.

      These “Oh-look-I-have-a-0.95-a-1.2-or-a-1.4-lens-shots” become quite
      boring after a while. Just IMO of course.

      *either way = in- or decrease

      • Jabs

        @Discontinued.
        Baloney.
        You can fit a 50mm F1.2 AIS plus a 58mm F1.2 NOCT Nikon lens on a D3, D3s and D3X.

        Myths come from uninformed people.

        • Discontinued

          “Myths come from uninformed people.”

          Do you mean people who spread words faster than they read
          and think?

          Of course you can fit AI-S on a F-mount camera!
          What is your point?

          The question is, whether you can fit the rear element (glass) of a
          F1.2 AI-S plus the electronic contacts of Nikons AF-D, AF-G or
          AF-S into the same lens. Nikon can’t.

          • Jabs

            Look here -
            Current product too -
            http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses/1435/NIKKOR-50mm-f%252F1.2.html#ProductDetail.ProductTabs.TechSpecs

            Now to answer your question AGAIN:
            We don’t know if Nikon can or cannot, but we know that Nikon has not.

            • Discontinued

              Jabs,

              I know that lens ! ! !

              You need to look at its rear end.
              There is evidently no space left for Nikons
              current electronic contacts. No myth. Just a fact.

              There is no 1.2 AF from Nikon so far for a reason:
              lack of space.

              Look at the patent for the new contacts again
              and you will find them moved – again for a
              reason: more space for the rear elements
              of fast glass.

            • Jabs

              @Discontinued.
              I got your points but did you get mine?
              We do not know about the reason for no F1.2 AF Nikon glass as to whether it is a size constraint or a decision by Nikon to not manufacture or produce that F-stop lens in AF!
              The new patents perhaps point to a new digital interface along with a retention of some analog contacts too and since we don’t know how it will be used, we are again still guessing.
              My point is that the guessing game is a MYTH!
              I began using Nikon’s from the F3HP and owned an F3AF when they said that Nikon could not do that also (remember the Minolta Maxxum?), plus I was there when Canon introduced their new mount to replace their FD mount. The MYTH is mainly perpetrated by Canon users as a way to put down Nikon as being antiquated and thus you are merely guessing.
              FAST glass is no longer as critically needed as in the past and thus an expensive ego-driven mess proven to be unreliable to auto-focus = my point also.
              I also believe that Nikon produced a lens faster than F1.2 in the F-mount, so you are guessing then as to no space left.
              Ultimately, I believe that it is the auto-focus issues that precludes Nikon from releasing any F1.2 AF lenses and not the lack of space on the mount.

          • Chris Lilley

            @Discontinued: No point trying to explain to @Jabs. Brave effort, but ultimately wasted.

            In response to your point about “fit the rear element (glass) of a
            F1.2 AI-S plus the electronic contacts of Nikons AF-D, AF-G or
            AF-S into the same lens” – yes you can but the glass has to be cut, then the edges painted black to give a circular shape again. (Actually the Noct already has this, as Nikon cut the glass to maker room for the aperture linkage. Its tight in there).

            See http://nikongear.com/smf/index.php?topic=18631.40

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

          @Administrator:
          Thanks for the reminder and link.
          Right on time too.

      • John

        I agree – I see now way to fit electronic contacts on my 50/1.2 AIS – the contacts would have to fit somewhere on the mount face, but that seems problemmatic if they are metal contacts. Now optical pass throughs – that would work just fine! I see where they are potentially going with this.

        - John

  • Smudger

    Oh S##t!

    Replacement for the F mount looms.

  • chuck

    I would be really, really, really angry if I just bought my 1200 dollar D7000 w/ a handful of AF-S and AF-D lensess and they introduced a new body and a bunch of great new lenses that won’t work at all with existing SLRs.
    In fact, just the thought of it makes me freak out.

    • preston

      Reserve your gear-envy for stuff that exists, geez! Your camera is still going to take great photos if new stuff is released! Let Nikon do what is necessary to improve the system.

  • chuck

    I would be really, really, really angry if I just bought my 1200 dollar D7000 w/ a handful of AF-S and AF-D lensess and they introduced a new body and a bunch of great new lenses that won’t work at all with existing SLRs.
    In fact, just the thought of it makes me freak out.

    • ZoetMB

      Patent filings mean nothing. Companies patent everything their engineers come up with in case someone else steals the idea. (In fact, one of the problems with the patent system is that there are patent trolls who patent all kinds of ridiculously general and obvious ideas, don’t release any products with it, then wait ten years for someone else to implement, then they sue them. ) Just because Nikon patents something, doesn’t mean they’re going to build it.

      Furthermore, Nikon is not going to abandon the F-mount. If there is a new mount, it’s for a new line of cameras that will be released in parallel with F-mount DSLRs.

      And I don’t understand this insane desire in the digital, ever-improving low-light sensor world for an f1.2 lens. These guys can’t get film conventional wisdom out of their heads.

      • chuck

        Sorry for the double post admin.
        I agree that with the low light capabilities of new sensors 1.4 is probably better (1.2 is just a pain with thin DOF and difficult focusing)
        I guess when I saw this in the morning I just had a lapse in judgement. If they didn’t abandon the F mount around when canon changed their mount for af why would they now?

  • Solar

    Because the best shots are taken in the morning and evening. What if the lens didn’t get a good charge from the sun and your autofocus sucked be sucked because of this?

  • Merv

    Look at it this way, new lenses for everyone in a few years. Guess they’ll be updating their pro telephoto primes again

  • Olaf

    I think this optical communication wil help to electronic zoom the lens. Not only fast focus but fast zoom also. Very useful for video.

  • Dweeb

    3 battery and grip designs in 5 years and now this. I’m tired of constantly updating equipment due to compatibility obsolescence. Get stuffed Nikon.

  • Smudger

    You are all missing what might be very bad news.

    If the translation is accurate, this looks to be an adapter to put NEW lenses on OLD bodies (the drawing, as Admin rightly says, shows a D700).

    If the new lenses are to focus at infinity with the adapter they must be designed for a longer register length than current F mount lenses (because of the extra thickness of the adapter).

    The corollary of that, is that current F lenses will not focus to infinity on new “optical contact” bodies because of the increased register length on the bodies with the new mount.

    Whole new system everyone? Ouch.

    • Jabs

      @Smudger.
      The article states that this optical contact will be used on DSLR’s and in a newer camera, such as perhaps a mirror-less design.
      It did not state that the F-mount was being replaced as this is merely an additional new style or type of contact as in a digital to digital connector to enhance the current F-mount.
      We don’t know whether or not the expected Nikon mirror-less cameras will have an F-mount or not, but from the drawings, it seems like the F-mount is not being replaced at least in DSLR’s.
      There could be an adapter going FROM the mirror-less bodies to the old F-mount, like they do in Nikon TC’s (tele-converters), so then the tele-converter would provide the additional space and NOT the other way around, it seems.
      Do you really think that Nikon would commit the equivalent of ‘suicide’ and make new cameras unable to mount F-mount lenses?

      • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com Slow Gin

        > Do you really think that Nikon would commit the equivalent of ‘suicide’ and make new cameras unable to mount F-mount lenses?

        Thus Canon did. And Leica with its R-line.

  • http://tumbleweed-092.livejournal.com Slow Gin

    Well, just one question. How the hell Nikon would bring this to market? Nikon even have no fully replaced lens line, despite the G-serie answers contemporary demands. But it loses everything in terms of compatibility. G-lenses are absolutely useless when mounted to old film body and contrary: I can’t use AF on my D5000 when using old discontinued AF-stuff. Are we now waiting new system to replace existing G-serie that in this case will bring uselessness to every existing Nikon’s tool to date?

  • Geoff_K

    I am not really interested in a mirrorless camera. I hope the D700 replacement has a mirror.

  • where the H is D800?

    I am not excited at all. I do fear Nikon would make our current electronic contact lenses obsolete in 10-15 years. pretty much like the AI lenses. maybe by D6/D6X all the body have would be optical interconnects?

    For those of your who spend thousands of dollars on the new gold ring nano-coated AF-S/VR lenses, this is more of an alarm than anything.

    • where the H is D800?

      Oh God, now all the crazy lens rebate make sense. Anyone ever thought about why Nikon would be so gracious to give you instant $1100 off when you buy the holy trinity (14-24/24-70/70-200) with a D300S or D700?

      Was Nikon ever so gracious? They probably need to get rid of old lens stock, coz once the new mount come with mirrorless, people would realize they are doomed !

  • Trevor

    I don’t think this is a sign of the end but rather genius on Nikon’s part. If Nikon wanted to screw us like Olympus is doing to their customers, they would have hopped on EVIL even quicker than Sony. I think they’re being very deliberate to not sacrifice the F-mount and keep it as the flagship.

    My money would be that this is an adapter to put a N-EVIL lens on F-mount body. If it were a patent for a straight-up body design, not an adapter design, I might actually be worried.

    But, being able to place an N-EVIL lens on an F-mount would be a great thing. N-EVIL lenses will most likely be designed to be optimized for video and fast CDAF, but they’ll probably never be large aperture. Being able to put those lenses on a DSLR and get the fast data transfer for video while still being able to switch back to true professional lenses is something no other EVIL manufacturer claims.

    At the end of the day it means we DON’T have to buy all new glass. We get the continued dedication to pro photo lenses while having the benefit of slapping on an N-EVIL lens for video/live view.

    As to the 1.2 debate, I couldn’t care less. If you want something that fast and shallow, go buy an M9 with a 50 .95 Noctilux. I have better things to do with $20k.

    Happy shooting!

  • fordstr

    What people need to remember is this is just a patent. Nikon has tons of patents that have never become anything tangible. Less panic, more picture taking.

  • jsa

    Me thinks, bellows.

  • http://www.davebrownphotography.com Denver Photographer

    If optical link communication is no better than electric analog communication they why do terabyte size databases sit on top of optical communication links? …. o right… because optical communication is a shit ton better than analog signaling.

  • gavinski

    Here’s a concept for wireless communications between lens and camera as seen at CES last week:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgBl0ejQ8c0

    Pretty sure the video is a fake, but the concept is interesting. Not EVIL…but WVIL.

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

      oh, wow – did not see that covered anywhere, thanks for sharing (I will post it on photorumors)

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

      unfortunately this is a hoax :)

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