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Nikon patents a 200-500mm f/4-5.6 lens

Nikon patent application 20110007403 is for a new full frame 200-500mm f/4-5.6 lens:

"The present invention is made in view of the above described problem, and has an object to provide a zoom optical system capable of coping with the problem of variation in aberrations upon zooming and obtaining excellent optical performance, an optical apparatus equipped with the zoom optical system, and a method for manufacturing the zoom optical system."

Two different lens designs were proposed in the patent:

For comparison, here is the lens diagram of the current Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II version - the new design with variable aperture will reduce the size of the lens body (the 200-400 f/4 is a monster):

In the past few months, Nikon has filed several high-powered zoom patents for Nikkor 100-400mm f/4-5.6 and 80-400mm f/4.6-5.4 lenses. I strongly believe that one of those high-powered zoom lenses (or a similar variation) will be announced in 2011.

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  • http://www.jawns.co.uk James

    If its as sharp as the 200-400. I won’t complain about the variable aperture!

    • http://bit.ly/9NIXQ David Hasselblaff

      Wow, this would be a dream come true lens. I know so many photographers who would like to see an affordable long tele from Nikon. Making it 200-500 instead of 80-400, to me, is exactly the right decision since used along with a standard zoom like the 24-120 or 16-85 on DX it’s really all one needs for a lightweight travel setup. If Nikon manages to have it weigh less than three pounds (1.5 kg) and the price turns out to be about the same as the current 80-400’s then all I can say is “wow, they nailed it”.

      • Victor Hassleblood

        Lenses, lenses, lenses,

        Nikon is doing great on lenses!

        But so far we have all this new glass without
        new FX bodies. This is a little like having a new
        Nikon F7 but no more film, isn’t it?

        Come on Nikon, do some “bodywork” and do it now ! ! !

        • BornOptimist

          No, it’s not.
          It’s like having new film, but no new body to use it on.
          My suggestion is: Use it on your old camera, and you will see they works perfectly fine on them as well.

          • Victor Hassleblood

            How can a new lens be like having a new film?

            My suggestion is: I do not invest in Nikon’s glass until I see a new body being worth it.

            • BornOptimist

              Your analogy seem to suggest that new lenses cannot be used on anything other than new cameras, and render your investment worthless, while my analogy says even new items can be used on old equipment, and has it’s value regardless of what Nikon camera you have.

        • scurvy hesh

          Nikon is on the right track dude. Anyways, they arent the only company slow to release new camera bodys. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and buy some of that new beautiful glass nikon is famous for. Or any quality glass thats new to you. My “crappy old D90″ has been transformed into a brand new camera with my newly acquired 85mm 1.4! To say I am astonished with the results would be an understatement. And I already had some pretty decent lenses… Now bring on the 200-500 AFS VRII!

          • Eric Pepin

            I agree, my d300s, and previously d90 has got a kick in the pants from the 85 1.4, and my 55 micro, both crazy sharp lenses. Anyone who uses slow zooms and not good primes or 2.8 zooms cant ask for a new body, not to even get into people who dont use a GOOD tripod.

            • Geoff_K

              yeh, because 2.8 zooms have no purpose ;- P

            • Victor Hassleblood

              And what do you tell people who already have the old 1.4 85 or other “decent lenses”?

              Just because you’ve never used/owned one before does not mean there wasn’t any, “dude”.

              If you (or Nikon) think I would make further investments in Nikkor glass without seeing the next (FX-) body for it first, you must be crazy.

          • PHB

            I am sure that the 200-500 will be an amazing lens.

            But seriously, is there any real chance it would sit alongside the 80-400 rather than the 200-400?

            400m f/4 is a 100mm aperture. 500 f/5.6 is a bit under 90mm. Its not going to be a 77mm thread filter, thats for sure.

            I would love to be proved wrong, but this looks like it is going to be a $4000-$6000 lens for the nature photographer and possibly journalism.

            Even if the cost is feasible, the size is going to be on the limits of handholdability.

          • Victor Hassleblood

            see below

            • Victor Hassleblood

              which turns out to be above

      • Cold Hands Luke

        […If Nikon manages to have it weigh less than three pounds (1.5 kg) and the price turns out to be about the same as the current 80-400′s…]

        Not going to happen.

        The Tamron 200-500, which is f/6.3 at the long end and has 13 elements, no stabiliser and no focus motor, weighs about 1250g. The Sigmas, which do have stabilisers and ultrasonic motors, but are still f/6.3, weigh about 1800 and 2000g.

        If Nikon build this lens, I predict it will weigh 2500g or a bit more.

        Price is hard to predict. At the moment in the UK, Nikkors either cost about £1500 or less, or about £4000 or more. This 200-500 would/should be bigger and more expensive than anything in the first range, but smaller and cheaper than anything in the second. Nikon could potentially price it at anything between those ranges. My wild guess: £3000 RRP, settling to £2200-2500 street.

        • http://bit.ly/9NIXQ David Hasselblaff

          Luke, you are probably right about that. I guess it might even have internal zoom and a golden ring. Seems like it is not going to be the 80-400’s replacement, but an additional lens.

          • Global

            I am VERY happy to see this lens be made (hopefully).

            But I question Nikon’s logic again….. why 200-500? They have a 200-400 and they have PLENTY of 300mm lenses. The 70-300 works GREAT for nearby distances.

            I think they should go 300-500 or 300-600, because FX is hurting for less expensive tele lenses. A 200-500 is a 2.5 multiplier. But a 300-600 would be just 2 x multiplier! And a 300-500 is only 1.7 x multiplier. So I don’t know why they don’t just save a few bucks, save a lot of work, and make a 300-500, or if ambitious, a 300-600.

            200-500 is what I want, but at the right price.

            I would GLADLY take a 300-500 that is reasonable price and the 1.7 multiplier would probably ensure a nice crispy image. FX 14-24, 24-70, 70-300VR, 300-500VRII. So simple. Using 200-500 is just unnecessary over-lap and extra costs. Still, I hope they make this lens, although not if it costs an arm and a leg….

            • John

              FX 14-24, 24-70, 70-300VR, 300-500VRII”

              More like this:

              FX 14-24, 24-70, 70-200VRII, 200-500VRII

              Today, you can already do this:

              FX 14-24, 24-70, 70-200VRII, 200-400VRII

            • Meh

              200-400 costs too much for most people.

            • PHB

              People who have the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 have already spent the price of the 200-400 on lenses.

              The thing that would totally kill it for me is the weight and spousal acceptance factor. This one is not going to be very much different.

              The 80-400 AFS is much more likely to work for my purposes. OK so not quite so much reach, maybe not such great performance, but its going to be a lot more portable.

            • Meh

              They spent that much to get 3 lenses though, not one.

          • Cold Hands Luke

            If I’m reading the patents right, it won’t be internal zoom (see the arrows on the diagrams in the pdf, they’re not in the summary above).

            Gold ring? Depends on how professional Nikon decide it is. Since it’s variable aperture I’ll guess not. Are there any gold-ring variable-aperture zooms?

            Talking of gold rings, I remember PHB posting that there was an internal “gold ring committee” at Nikon, which decided which lenses got the gold rings. I google’d but never found anything more – maybe he was messing with us. If that was you PHB post a link, I want to know more.

            (Yes I know it used to mean ED glass, but any look at recent lenses will show you that’s not true any more. e.g. 85/1.4G, almost any consumer zoom)

            BTW I notice my comments in this topic have sounded a bit negative, so I want to say I’m really pleased and excited about this possible lens. A bit disappointed that it doesn’t go down to 100mm like the original rumours said, but less zoom range means more optical quality, right? If it gets made, I’ll definitely be saving my pennies to buy it.

            • PHB

              I saw the gold ring thing mentioned in one of the lens design stories on the Nikon site. I thought it was pretty whacky to effectively have a second QA process.

              It is of course entirely possible that they don’t do that any more. At this point it seems rather unlikely that Nikon would release any professional lens that didn’t qualify.

              The drift of the article suggested that the only criteria would be performance. The 80-400 is a gold ring lens and that is VA so being VA is not disqualifying. Although there are some rather unique circumstances in the case of the 80-400 I can’t see why it would be an issue. A 200-500 constant aperture would make little sense. And the dirty little secret of CA designs is that the aperture is not constant in any case. It just doesn’t vary by a full stop.

  • BenS

    Why not make it a 200 – 500 mm f2.8 :) … just dreamin :)

    • http://sdickinson.com Sam

      They could sell it to gyms for weight training!

    • Recent Convert

      That market niche has already been “saturated” by Sigma. At 17kg, the hand-holding potential is somewhat limited . . .

      • Miky

        I can handhold that much! I do every day, first thing in the morning… :-)

        • http://www.ronaldzimmerman.nl Ro_Serpiente

          If it is 17kg you should see a doctor ;-)

          • plug

            The more so if it is variable aperture.

        • Art

          Have you been attending those African Photo Advenure Tours again?

          Elephantitis can be a real bitch.

          • T140AVRider

            Long lenses are the ONLY safe way to capture dangerous beasties such as Hippos.
            Yes I’ve been on an African Tour.
            Pah.
            Spent a whole week in an SA game park and didn’t see one Lion. Lots of Rhino’s and Heffalumps though.
            I won’t be buying one though. I have a 200-400 VR1. There is plenty of live in the old girl yet.
            Unless, they come out with a 24mp FX body at a reasonable price and the new lens can handle the increased pixel count.

          • plug

            That’s not what she said…

    • http://www.maciejgapinski.wordpress.com MG

      Sigma does a 200-500 2.8

      • Todd

        Yes they do. It must be amazing for only $28,000. Wow.

        • Roger

          Juzaphoto has done a small review of that lens… It’s a bit soft wide open.

    • BenS

      OMG ! saw the sigma 200-500 f2.8 .. It looks like an anti-tank or an anti aircraft weapon. Wouldn’t want to bring that in a war zone coz you would be prime target for the snipers + killer drones and apaches flying around if you carry that thing.

      • Banned

        Ha ha you bet! In Iraq the americans actually “confused” some journalist with a terrorist because of his lens. At least that’s the excuse. Doesn’t explain why they bombarded the ambulance afterward, go figure.

        • Victor Hassleblood

          Source?

          If your story is actually true, this journalist deserves to get shot for stupidity alone.

          • distanted

            I don’t get on what grounds you are able to determine a journalist with a lens in Iraq was acting stupidly…unless you believe anyone risking life and limb to document combat by default is stupid and deserves to be shot.

            • Geoff_K

              Maybe not deserving to be shot, but needs to know it is probable.

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

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taras_Protsyuk

            Here is the source. And your unkind words about killed journalist are absolutely unacceptable. I feel despise on you.

            • Victor Hassleblood

              Thank you for the enlightening link.

              Clarification: I feel sorry for Taras Protsyuk and his relatives and friends as much as I have respect for his work and his colleagues.

              My previous comment was made towards Banned, who made it sound as if “some journalist” was playing with a rocket-launcher-in-camouflage-look-alike in front of loaded guns.

              This is why I wrote “If your story is actually true …”

              Apparently this was NOT THE CASE. So please, calm down everyone.

            • Joe R.

              In their defense, should-mounted lenses are a bit silly.

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

              Okay, thanks for explanation and sorry me too for being so unpatient.

          • Eric Pepin
      • Global

        What a dilemma! Use a wide angle and get “close to the action” and get shot by live fire. Or stay back with a telezoom and get bombed by a drone for looking like youre carrying a rocketlaunder. I am really amazed by the bravery of warzone photojournalists. Anyone can document destruction if they are brave enough to stomach the results — but to document it while its HAPPENING… its an astonishing feat.

  • Astrophotographer

    At least 56% more glass surface than the 80-400. It gonna be at least $3000+.

    What’s the market. Too expensive for most amateurs, Would f4-5.6 be acceptable for pros?

    • waterengineer

      Should have been 2.8 to 4.

      • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

        3.5 would be good enough too, but would probably increase the weight and size quite a bit.

    • http://www.lamarfrancois.wordpress.com francois

      Would make a useful landscape lens I reckon for shooting things very far away especially on DX – I do think this sounds like a relatively low cost reach lens for FX users (compared t0 the 200-400 f/4 and 400 f/2.8 ) in particular though .

      Agree it won’t come particularly cheaply at all on an absolute scale

      • francois

        Yea, on second thought that isn’t the best idea.

        Shooting though five miles of atmospheric distortion and diffraction don’t make pretty landscape photos.

    • Banned

      $3000 for that lens is cheap. Anything above 70-200 is $6000+ at Nikon.

    • Soap

      Yay! You’re back. Finally informed lens discussion!

    • PHB

      Some pros would take a 500m f/5.6 if they could use it handheld.

      The market may not appear until after the lens is on sale. That was the case with the 200-400. They sold really slowly for years until one of the big wildlife photographers started using one.

      • Roger

        I’m not so certain, a 500/5.6 would be incredibly limiting. I think there’s a place for a 200-500, but Nikon still needs a smaller, cheaper lens = 80-400 replacement.

        • PHB

          I agree, I am in the market for one of those myself. But I think it is a separate lens entirely.

          Most camera companies divide their kit between ‘consumer’ and ‘professional’. Nikon lenses come in three flavors ‘consumer’, ‘professional’ and ‘awesome’.

          The Professional lenses are the magic trio zooms, the fast primes, mostly costing between $1500 to $2500. The 80-400 replacement should fit in that group.

          This one looks to me like it will fit into the ‘awesome’ category with a sticker price of $5000 or more. It will be a great lens but one that will be out of reach for most professionals.

  • KnightPhoto

    This would be a very interesting offering! I wonder, now that Nikon has largely updated their lens lineup, if time is approaching for new offerings like this? 17 lens elements (assuming the more complex of the two designs) have got to add up to a near 200-400 weight though? It would make a great all around mammal/birds and day-time sports lens.

  • Zuman

    Now THAT’s the lens I’ve been waiting for for wildlife work (the 200-500mm). I’ve been shooting the 200-400 for years and f/4’s never been a problem, so I don’t anticipate f/5.6 being an issue (with the ISO range of the D3, etc.).
    The only concern I have is contrast and the ability to AF with a TC1.4.
    The 200-400’s increasingly an air travel problem, becoming harder to carry-on. A little more compact size and less weight would be appreciated when trying to get past gate personnel.
    My wildlife site: http://www.pbase.com/zuman/wtwp

    • Jay A.

      My 200-400 fits just fine in my Think Tank Airport Acceleration, with the hood. Even on a body, but not with a tc.

      It is easily stored in the overhead bins. If the new lens isn’t more than a couple of inches longer it won’t be an issue.

  • http://eleventhphotograph.com elph

    I wasn’t really aware the companies could actually patent lenses like this, so to speak. For instance, no one else can make a 200-500mm f4-5.6 lens now right? Could they make a 200-501mm f4-5.6 though?

    • Smarfy Blowfish

      It’s very easy to get a patent. The real work is prosecuting infringement. Does anybody know of actual cases in the camera industry?

      • minivini

        I can virtually assure you if they’ve gone to the effort to file a patent application, there’s already a functional prototype lens. They wait as long as possible to file patents because at that point they become public domain. That means the competition can see what they’ve been up to. If they can manage to keep this lens around $2500 and it has VFII, I’ll try to get one…

        • Joe R.

          It’s entirely possible and likely they filed the patent without a working prototype. I don’t think so in this particular case since it’s a practical product. But any kind of innovative thought is put on paper and filed for patent protection these days.

      • Banned

        Honestly this is all BS. Patents are crap and are worth less than the PDF on which they are recorded. Nobody cares.

        • PHB

          My clients care a great deal. Losing a case could cost them a hundred million dollars.

          Most patents are garbage. Likely Nikon is most interested in using these defensively. In the US system it is entirely possible for someone to apply for a patent on something someone else invented and bring a lawsuit. And some of them win.

          I have even been involved in cases where the patent prosecution history includes a rejection on the grounds that the claimed invention was already invented by someone else.

          There are some patents that are not frauds (e.g. mine) but there are plenty of frauds who game the system.

    • Anonymus Maximus

      The patent is not for “a” lens but the specific optical configuration of lenses, groups, material of the lens elements and aspheric lenses.
      Anyone is still free to come up with a better calculation.

    • Marvin

      Of course not – they are patenting the optical design for A 200-500 F4-5.6 lens. That doesn’t mean no one else can make a 200-500 F4-5.6 lens. It just means that someone else would either license this optical design from Nikon (not that Nikon would license it out) or come up with their own design.

    • Anthony D’Atri

      Someone else can make one, but ostensibly not with the same optical formula

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    I can’t imagine what this baby will cost if it makes it to production, or how heavy it will be.

  • mshi

    I hope it takes TC-2oE III too.

    • Astrophotographer

      Not if you want autofocus.

      • mshi

        if wide open is at f/11, why do I need AF anyway?

  • http://www.truphotos.com gnohz

    Interesting patent, and perhaps a lower cost alternative for wildlife shooters.

  • http://wijnands.blogspot.com Jeroenw

    If it’s retail price exceeds that of the bigma by more than 15% then I predict a future for this lens as bright as the 85mm dx macro. If they can stay close to the bigma prices then yes, there’s potential to shift a couple of million.

    I know the concept of a consumer lens sold in volume is alien to most of the visitors here but there is a market out there, not everyone can fork out the cash for a 200-400 or any of the longer primes.

    • Char

      It won’t be that cheap given it makes it to the market. That would be 1500 EUR and probably about the same in dollars.

      The 200-500 has f/5.6 instead of f/6.3 on the long end, which necessarily makes it larger and heavier. And, it will be a Nikkor and not a Sigma. Compare the 85/1.4 prices at the moment.

  • Chris P

    Nikon could about to be give us a perfect example of the old ‘London Bus Syndrome”, you wait ages for one and then two come along together. We have waited a long time for a 80-400 replacement; now perhaps we are going to see, as Sigma did with the 120-400 & 150-500, Nikon produce two long zooms, a 100-400 and a 200-500.

    Doing this would fit in with their current lens range quite well. The 100-400 paired with the 24-120 f4 gives a two lens wide focal length outfit of reasonable weight for travelling. The 200-500, assuming it is of the same optical standard, added to a 24-70 + 70-200 f2.8 pair would give a three lens outfit, albeit of much greater weight, covering from 24-500.

  • Ulven

    Where does it say “full frame 200-500mm f/4-5.6 lens” in this patent application? As far as I understand it, this application deals with the problem of abberation in zoom lenses. Nowhere does it specify any zoom range or stop values. Seems like the biggets rumor here is the title of the rumor. Who made this title and created this rumor?

    • Astrophotographer

      It can be deduced from the patent. Omega, the half image angle is 5.86 at 206mm. Some math give an image circle of about ~43mm, correct for an FX lens.

      The real purpose of these patents is to protect a new lens design by patenting some unique characteristics.

  • John

    I believe when a 200-500 f4-f/5.6 has been mentioned in the past, the size of the lens would be closer to a 200-400 in size, weight and cost than the 80-400, remember it is f/5.6 at the long end, not f/6.3 like the Sigma lenses.

    I wonder if the focal length increase from 400-500 is due to the fact Nikon’s pro bodies have gone from DX to FX and lost the mulitplier effect you have due to the great pixel density when you compre the D2x to the D3s. I was looking at getting either the 200-400 or 500 in the next year, the 200-400 with the 600 is the wildlife dream, but the cost is huge, a 200-400 is a little short for some wildlife, so the 500 is the best compromise of the two and use the 70-200 VRII with TC2 III to cover the zoom range.
    There are also the reviews of the current 200-400 that show it is not that great at long distance (see bythom.com for an example), wonder if they have solved this, or maybe this is just a problem you have with zoom and subject a long way off.

    I think if I could wave a wand and design a dream wildlife lens set up it would be;

    Current 16-35mm VR
    Update of 70-180 macro to include AF-S and VR
    This new 200-500 lens
    Nikon version of the Canon 800mm f/5.6 lens (they made their lens lighter than the 600mm, although the costs is huge!!)

    • Cold Hands Luke

      […Nikon version of the Canon 800mm f/5.6 lens (they made their lens lighter than the 600mm, although the costs is huge!!)…]

      The 600 is actually a “bigger” lens than the 800 anyway. 800/5.6 < 600/4.

      To Ulven above, look at tables 1 and 2 in the patent. They specify two lenses, a 206-485/4.32-5.8 and a 203-485/3.92-5.79. (The first would probably be marketed as f/4.5-5.6, not f/4-5.6.)

      • Cold Hands Luke

        …and right after I posted that, I noticed table 3, a 206-485/3.92-5.92 lens.

  • http://www.wildframe.net Wildframe

    Ulven wrote “Where does it say “full frame 200-500mm f/4-5.6 lens”

    It says it’s a 203-485mm lens if you read the specifications towards the bottom of the patent.

    • Ulven

      In the tables some specifications are made in order to exemplify how the invention can be used, here I can find the values 203 and 485, but nowhere else, but I have not read the complete application in detail …

      The claims (where the invention is defined) does not mention any zoom-range or stop values at all. The description is used to exemplify the invention so that it can be understood.

      The very last paragraph of the description says “The present embodiment only shows a specific example for the purpose of better understanding of the present application. Accordingly, it is needless to say that the application in its broader aspect is not limited to the specific details and representative devices.”

      In the summary Nikon says that the invention “has an object to provide a zoom optical system capable of coping with the problem of variation in aberrations upon zooming and obtaining excellent optical performance” without limiting the scope of protection to any specufuc zoom-range or stop values.

      This measn that Nikon does not try to patent a “200-500mm f/4-5.6 lens”, they are trying to patent a way to make a lens with less aberration problems.

      • nobody

        You shouldn’t say it’s not there just because you can’t find it.

        It’s all in the downloadable PDF. You can even find the size at different focal lengths (roughly between 275 and 350mm long).

      • Meh

        Cool story bro!

  • Julian Phillips

    Damn – if this becomes reality – and this lens performs well with at least 2 of the TCs – then I’d be in line to get one. I’ve been seriously considering the 500 f/2.8 for a few years now – for birding / wildlife shots – but its just too much of an expense for a hobbyist.

    • Char

      Your comment shows a supreme lack of understanding. There is no 500/2.8 in existance, so you cannot buy it. There is a 500/4 or a Sigma 200-500/2.8.

      Furthermore, this lens would not work very well with “at least 2 of the TCs”. With the 1.4 you would get f/8 at the long end and an AF which might or might not work. With the 1.7 you would get f/9.5 as the maximum aperture, most likely no AF and an optical performance that is most likely not worth getting the TC.

      Furthermore, one might expect that the price of this monster is somewhere in the range where the 300/2.8 resides which you can reasonably combine with all three TCs and get a 600/5.6.

      • Julian Phillips

        Actually I meant the f/4 – just its Friday and I’m tired from a week of work.

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

    Great news! I’ll be waiting for this lens. Hoping, it will be not so expensive as 200-400 f4.

  • Dweeb

    Sure this is great but I just want to know why they can’t just put VR in a 300 ƒ4 or a 24-70?

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

      On the Canon side lot of people are waiting for IS in 24-70 replacement but according to fresh rumors, engineers won’t include stabilizer in the construction of the lens. So it seems that we have no reasons to expect a VR in the Nikon’s 24-70 in the near future.

  • Smudger

    If this one makes it into metal & glass let’s hope that it’s a real 500mm at the MFD and a genuine f5.6.

    No more heavy breathers & fantasy f numbers please Mr Nikon!

  • metalorange

    Finally a new lens that I might be interested in. I hope it will not cost more than 2000$ though. I am not interested in a new 80-400mm because it would be too short on the long end.

  • SHUTTERSPEED

    To judge the lens by its first patent, it will be less vignetting but a bit less sharp prototype, while the second patent is gonna deliver very sharp but more vignetting lens. So what would be a real solution?

    • minivini

      If I had to choose “less sharp” or slight vignetting – well, there’d be no choice to make. Vignetting is about the easiest thing possible to correct in post (or even in camera), but “less sharp” will always be less sharp.

      Funny how this thread has turned into yet another argument. A 200-500 relatively fast variable aperture lens would be a really useful offering for many aspiring photographers who need reach but can’t afford or justify the cost of the fixed aperture super expensive models. I sold my beloved 500/4P a year ago and have regretted it ever since. I’d absolutely consider this lens if it offers sharpness at a price south of $3000.

      Whether or not this is a patent for a lens or an optical formula seems like an argument purely over semantics given that a specific focal range and specific aperture range are listed. Patent law suggests that the filing would be applicable ONLY to the lens listed since it’s presented as a singular object. Meanwhile, why don’t we treat this as what it is – an interesting potential new Nikon lens offering that’s fun to dream about…

  • SBGrad

    I’m sure it will be a great lens but the price will be at least US$ 3000.00. The size will probably be closer to a 200-400 f/4 than the 80-400.

    I’ve been waiting and waiting for this lens but I got tired of waiting and picked up a used 300mm f/2.8 which works with my already purchased TCs.

  • Todd

    If at 500mm it’s an f5.6 then maybe it will be f4 at 400mm? Is so, it has to cost as much if not more than the 200-400mm. No doubt, a cool lens.

    • KnightPhoto

      Ouch Todd, you make a really important point!

      If this sucker is f4 at 400mm then everyone’s hopes and dreams are dashed ;-)
      That would make the lens a heavy $7,000 all-pro Nikon behemoth.

      So I guess it has to get itself down to f5.6 pretty early in the zoom range. Say around 300mm?

  • Alex

    a 1 f/stop advantage over the Tamron 200-500, but 3 times the price. Will the quality be much better? AF or AF-S?

    • Cold Hands Luke

      Actually it’s only 1/3-stop faster than the Tamron (and the Sigmas)…

      But if they make it you can bet it’ll have AF-S and VR.

  • scurvy hesh

    How about a fixed 400mm 5.6 AFS nikon?? I wont even complain if its not vr. Pretty please Nikon???? Maybe something to compete with that classic Canon 4005.6?? You know around $1200?? that would be awesome for Surfing shots.

    • Cold Hands Luke

      How about a 300/4 AF-S with a 1.4TC? My girlfriend uses this (with a Kenko TC), it’s ridiculously sharp.

    • Roger

      Too limiting, 400/5.6 prime. 300+1.4 TC, try that.

  • DougB

    Wow, I would LOVE this lens to be made soon, especially by Nikon.

    Hopefully the price will be affordable/reasonable… under $2,500 for sure…

    (eeek, it hurts saying under $2,500 is reasonable)

    • Meh

      Lol I agree.

      We need a “budget” version of the 200-400. ;)

      I’d snap this lens (200-500) up if it was in the sharpness range of the 14-24 24-70 70-200 lenses. The variable aperture doesn’t bother me at all, if the price is reasonable.

  • Eric Pepin

    Personally, I say go for the budget market, the primes are the fast option, release a 300-500 5.6 zoom, or just a 500 5.6 prime as a cheaper option.

  • http://nikonkrab.multiply.com/ HDZ

    Hope it size not too long like 200-400VR.

    And hope it can take C-PL, this very important for landscape photographer.

    However I just have 2 or 3 grand. :(

  • nonbeliever

    I own the 200-400mm and it´s great on DX (although it gets soft at 400mm) what it was once developed for when Nikon still said they would not go into full frame. For full frame this lens is to short for wildlife and sports either. Bringing out a 200-500 mm helps but still does not fullfill the needs. A 300-600 mm with f5.6 would be great. They once manufactured a 200-600 lens – great old days!

  • Xanadu AW18

    Happy new year to yo all well what now this new lens or 300 f2.8 vr with tc s or the sigma new 120 300 ex dg apo os hsm with tc s tell me guys my money pig is luckly getting fuller by waiting so sometimes nikon lets us also full filling our pockets

  • alejack

    How could you miss this. This might be your Possible Nikon D4 sighting at a hockey game

    Read more on NikonRumors.com: http://nikonrumors.com/2011/01/07/possible-nikon-d4-sighting-at-a-hockey-game.aspx#ixzz1BaDdtcV4

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