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The latest Nikon patents

Sometimes patents provide valuable information about upcoming products. For example the first Nikon mirrorless patent was reported back in August of 2009 (incl. also a patent for the Nikkor 24mm f/1.4). Here are the most interesting Nikon patents filed since the last recap:

Nikon filed a patent application (#20110228407) for a 70-200mm f/4 VR II lens:

Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens patent 2011186159 with 15.7x zoom ratio and 3 aspherical surfaces:

Nikon filed a patent 2011175190 that will allow the lens to be detached from the back of the camera:

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  • Kimaze

    wow

  • KenKu

    COME ON!!! Can’t wait to get the 70-200 f/4 VRII.

    • LGO

      On a DX such as the D7000, the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G VR already provides a 36-180mm f/4 FOV. It’s not a bad combo when I have the FX D700 on 16-35mm f/4G VR.

      • Victor Hassleblood

        I seriously consider buying the 24-120 as a lens for filming with my D7000 and as a walk-around-lens for FX. Do you have personal experience with that lens?

        Nonetheless, the 70-200 4.0 will find its buyers.

        • LGO

          @ Victor

          I think a faster lens is all but necessary for video and I find the f/4 very limiting when working indoors. The slowest zoom I would use for video (except when working outdoors) is the 17-55mm f/2.8 and the 24-70mm f/2.8. In many cases, I have to use the 24mm f/1.4G and 35mm f/1.4G to keep the ISO as low as possible. The 35mm f/1.8G is also pretty good and is my favorite on my D3100 (though not as good as the GH2 for video, it is better than GH2 for stills so I sometimes bring this).

  • pook

    Why 70-200 f/4 VRII? Not VR I first??

    • texajoe

      Because it’s the current technology. Samsung wouldn’t put out a tube tv just to make it cheaper. NIKON is using VRII because that’s what they have now. But if you want VR 1 just pick up an 18-200 on craigslist or eBay.

      • King of Swaziland

        He’s making light of the fact that when the Roman numerals appear in the title of the lens, they indicate the version of the lens itself, not the generation of VR used. The Roman numerals in lens titles, by epically poor decision making, only appear after the VR by happenstance (once, Nikon had VR earlier in the lens title, so this wouldn’t have occurred, but then some moron changed it).

        • http://www.jpgmag.com/people/markwjr Mark

          Wow. How wrong you are. You are exactly wrong. The “II” indicates that it is the second version of the VR technology. Not that it is the second version of the lens.

          Mark

          • Art

            dude, learn to read, he’s saying exactly that, that II “appears” to mean “second lens”. Irony, hello?

        • Anthony

          They indicate whatever the hell the manufacturer decides they indicate. Case in point, look at Apple’s naming of iPhones and iPads. 3G means something very different in those two product lines.

    • R!

      VR II 4 STOPS STABILISATION VR I 2/3 STOPS ONLY

    • Iris Chrome

      @pook, you’re right. Technically it should be called 70-200mm f/4 VR (without II). In this case though, the II refers to the VR technology being implemented. If the lens is ever released, it probably won’t have “II” in it’s title.

    • Merv

      Perhaps the 70-200 f/4 would also be aimed towards the pro market, so VRII, a very fast autofocus motor, metal construction and weather sealing would be included too

    • Paul

      You want Nikon to release a new lens with older VR technology?

  • The invisible man

    Yep,
    I remember a patent filled by Nikon in 1789, if think it was for a full frame digital camera, a D800/900.
    :)

    • gallon

      There must be some mistake. The patent office didn’t open until 1790. Perhaps they back dated it?

      • LGO

        Alright then, 1791? :-)

        • The invisible man

          @LEGO
          1789 because the D800/900 will be a REVOLUTION (you have to know French history to get that one)
          :)

          • LGO

            Actually I did get it. Notice that I indicated 1791 and not 1790.

            1791 was the year when the amendments to the Bill of Rights were ratified. These amendments had a far greater impact on civil liberties in history than the 1789 Revolution. :-)

            • The invisible man

              @LEGO
              1789 is to be remember because they invented the first shutter (for people’s head)
              :)

            • Poor old historian

              ” These amendments had a far greater impact on civil liberties in history than the 1789 Revolution ”

              Yes, some people can write that… Pfff…

  • NiknWontRepairMyGray

    COME ON!!! Can’t wait to change my lens without looking at the front of the camera.

    • Mike

      You’ll have to look at the front anyway, so a you know where the lens goes that you are about to use on your camera.

    • Paul

      I’m not sure how this will be useful but it could be a good feature.

  • Mark V

    I think it is awesome that they are offering the 70-200 f/4 however I would have been more excited about it were available before I bought my f/2.8 – such is life. Was there also a patent for an 85mm f/1.8 at some point?

    • Kevin

      are you saying you would rather have the f/4 version over the f/2.8??

      • Not Surprised

        Sell it. Probably didn’t lose much value, unless you bought it in the first couple months.

        • Mark V

          @Kevin – what I am saying is I would have preferred the option at the time I made the purchase. I like my 2.8 very well actually =)

          @Not Surprised – I might sell it but I want to see where this falls price wise. I might be able to simply justify to myself keeping the 2.8 if the price isn’t that far off.

    • dave

      My biggest concern about a 70-200mm f/4 is that the way Nikon has been pricing stuff recently, the will price the 70-200 f/4 at $2200 and raise the price of the 70-200 f/2.8 to $2600. Although I expect we’ll probably see it in the $1600-$1800 range, which means I’ll be getting a used 70-200 2.8 VR I.

      • iamlucky13

        I sure hope not. If the 70-200 F/4 is $1600…

        …or a used 70-200 F/2.8 VR1 is $1500…

        Then there’s very little chance I would bother with the F/4.

        Then again, the Canon 70-200 F/4 is already $1300. I wouldn’t put it past Nikon to run the price way up there.

  • Craig

    18-300 – wow!
    This sure clears the way for 18-400 – can’t wait !

  • EvanK

    70-200 f4 PLEASE! Come on, Nikon, we know that you like pleasing the pro crowd with 200 f2 and 14-24 f2.8 lenses, but what about those of us who can’t afford them?

    • Franco DMD

      This is exactly so WE can afford it!

    • binary_eye

      This is likely to be a $1200 to $1400 lens. Cheaper than the f/2.8, of course, but not what most would consider “affordable”.

  • DX2FX

    This new 70~200mm f4 VR must be smaller and lighter than the current f2.8; that’s good. Hope it is a gold ring version.

    • WoutK89

      Because it makes it better with a gold ring on the front?

      • BartyL

        Yes, the light bounces off the gold and infuses your images with a wonderful warmth.

      • Steve

        That’s because a gold ring around the front implies better build quality and, in many cases, superior image quality, and, in all cases, a higher price ;)

        Also, we can’t forget the bragging rights.

  • texajoe

    Is the 18-300 FX or DX? What about the 28-300?

    • Bip

      They should offer a 11-400mm f3.5.

    • BRO

      That is a DX lens

    • PoD

      18-200 VRII and the new one 18-300 VR is for DX format
      28-300 VR is for FX format
      I wish that 18-300 is as good as 28-300

  • Amy B

    18-300 will be DX for sure, like the 18-200. 70-200mm sounds great but they’ll have to price it just right – hopefully they won’t take too long bringing them out :-)

  • Ewlmo

    GIVE ME MA D7100 NIKON!!!!! AND A 70-300 F/4!!!

    • nah

      hope thats a joke

      • Ewlmo

        A D400 n 800 would be more 1337 tho. C’mon Nikon, where is ma D400. Why are they releasing a superzoom? I would think a new 70-300 VR would be better to stay up to date with competitiors, namely the tamron USD VC 70-300. Nikkor is older but as good. Think if they made a new updated version with L IQ for only half the price like what they are doing with the current 70-300 vs the 70-300 IS USM.

    • Bip

      A D710 + 11-400mm f3.5 VRII would be fantastic!

      • NiknWontRepairMyGray

        D999s + 8-500mm 0.95 VRII Quantum Coating

        • kulturindustrie

          I think you forgot to mention it’s a Nano-Pancake lens…

          • stillvideos

            mmmm pancake maple syrup.

      • Jim

        Again with the VR II on lenses that dont even have a I version. Are people just daft or what? Complete ignorance on what you want when you dont even know what the numbets mean. Jesus.

        • Jesus

          You called upon me son. What can I do for you? I image you would like to know the release schedule of the new nikons. Rather selfish considering the poor people of Japan are doing their best after such a great tragedy. Please only call me when its important. Dont you know my hands have been rather full with all thats going on in the world? Also i happened to be on holiday for the first time in 5,000 years when you called me. Thanks for intterupting my massage from Cleopatra. Be patient lads. Its only gizmos.

      • jack

        I want the new D800 with flux capacitor and Geotagging so I can travel back in time and relive the experience in the photograph. Of course the fact that you can shoot at ISO 1,000,0000 with no noise is also a nice feature.

  • Z

    The Canon 70-200 f/4 IS is a phenomenal lens. It is about half the weight of the f/2.8 version and a delight to use. I expect that this Nikon version of a 70-200/4 will also be a great success.

  • nah

    very excited for a nice little 70-200 f/4 vr

  • Up $#!t’s creek

    Just curious, what are the expected or most likeky lens updates (whenever that day may be)?

  • http://www.TheJordanCollective.com CaryTheLabelGuy

    Awesome, 70-200 f/4! Let’s hope! Thanks for sharing, Peter.

  • http://makhmutov.com roman

    Crossing fingers for the new 70-200 f4. I have old one, its good already, but VR will be helpful.

  • Me

    Twenty elements. I wonder what the contrast is like? I don’t own any zooms — I learned on primes and that’s what I stick with. I’ve got to wonder what the degradation is like as the photons go through that many bits of glass and glass-to-air transitions.

    Me.

    (Not your zoom, of course. Your zoom is as sharp as contrasty as any prime. You’re special.)

    • http://www.flickr.com/genotypewriter genotypewriter

      The Canon IS version has 20 elements too. So, this should give an idea…

      http://flickriver.com/groups/70-200mmf4l/pool/interesting/

      • gallon

        Counting pixels is so 2010. Now we count lens elements.

    • Dr Motmot

      Try the 24-70mm and see how that compares to your primes.

      • Me

        Seventeen elements versus, seven elements in the 50mm. Thanks for making my point.

        • Jim

          And i would still prefer the 24-70. Have them both.

  • http://StandDevelopment.com Axel

    The rear release might make it easier to change the lens, but it would also be nice for macro work with a bellows, and when mounting on a microscope or telescope.

  • GC

    Finally Nikon listened to our requests of 70-200 f/4 VR… Let’s just hope they don’t overprice it, as they have been doing lately…

    I’ve been further away from Canon than right now…

  • Narna

    Woohoo!
    I’d love an update 70-200 f4. My OLD 70-210 f4 is a bit tired, would buy one of these for sure. Unless I get an 80-200 f2.8 before it becomes reality.

  • Dino B

    Hmm I emailed nikon couple of times about an 8 to 800mm @ f2.8 but no reply… but the 70 – 200 f4 might work heh ;)

    • Not Surprised

      Still waiting for a 300-600/f.4 or 300-500/f.3.5.

  • James

    For those of you whining about not being able to afford the “pro” 2.8 lenses, then photography obviously isn’t important to you/you’re not a professional, in that case just got buy the 70-300 vr and leave us alone with your stupid whining. sheesh

    • Kevin

      About time someone said this, props to you sir. If anyone is wasting their time here and isn’t a pro or someone willing to fork over the cash for good glass then photography ISN’T for you. Sheesh lol

      • Not Surprised

        You guys are right — photography belongs to elitists only.

        Theres no possible way that regular joes would want to do photography while pining for the best.

        • Jaap

          My saw is longer than yours. My hammer is heavier than yours. My nails look more shiny. So my new chair sits better than yours. Do any of you guys (all men ofcourse) take pictures? It doesn’t matter what you use, it’s your eye that’s important. Use Holga or lensbaby, then you know what i’m talking about. I know many photographers that have the best lenses but use Photoshop or lightroom to add vignetting…

      • Steve

        There’s always going to be people like Mr. James, relax.
        I am personally waiting for the 50-150mm or 35-150mm f/2.8 DX.

    • Rich Ratner

      what James said!

      • Bobbybrownblack

        Yeah, what my Rich Partner said. Screw you poor people, go back to your Brokesville and continue photographing with your carton boxes with holes in them.

        • burak

          exactly.. i didnt know that NR was for the pros and the rich only..

          • Old white and angry

            But of course it is! Keep your poor huddled masses out! This is for rich bankers, Traders and our hired thugs the “Tea Party”. You poors can shoot Coolpix

    • Hhom Togan

      Awwwwwww look at the troll :), all green and slimey! I bet you have a D40x :)

    • Ken

      Pros don’t hang around forums, especially rumor forums about new glass or cameras, they are not ‘needy’ photographers, they work an image with what they have. The people who always ‘want/need’ to have the best kit and never satisfied with what they have are generally those who can’t compose an image to save their own lives or who just have too much money the don’t know what to do with it. I mean if you think you need better glass/camera then you must have excelled at what you have and your pretty successful :) !! PACMAN still looks and plays the same on an old Spectrum ZX80 as it does on a new i7….

    • Paddy

      If you were a professional you would know that not all pros actually need f/2.8. It depends what they do.

      You would also know that Canon’s 70-200 f/4 IS is every bit as good as the f/2.8 equivalent.

      It’s not only about price. If you’d ever had to use the f/2.8 you would not be so dismissive of people who don’t want to hold 1.5kg of lens up to their faces all day long when an f/4 version would be equally suitable for them and weighs literally half as much.

  • JiamFlash

    18-300 FTW!!!!!!

  • Nithin

    i have been crying about the missing 70-200f4. Only have to worry when will they release it.

  • C

    70-200 f/4 is a must win for Nikon. Only this lens make Nikon peoples jealous to Canon’s lens. But I hope it would be more than 200mm.

    The next step is 50mm f/1.2 or faster. Nikon, please show us that you can do better optics than Canon please!

    18-300 is also a must win. But I think it would be quite heavy (around 800-900 g?) and the PQ will be very soft, the distortion would be horrible too.

    • Steve

      I saw some samples for the 18-200mm, they turned me right off. I would rather change lenses than shoot with something that gives results that make me think “I wish I had changed lenses back then!”

  • kyoshinikon

    I already know the 70-200mm f/4 will be priced high just like the 16-35mm f/4…

    Still rooting for a 28-200mm f2.8 (Half of my freakin lenses do a fine 70-200mm at f/4)

    • where_is_our_d800…

      If the 16-35/4 (almost like a fisheye at 16mm) and 24-120 f/4 VR (bad performance at long end) is anything to go by, I don’t have much hope for the 70-200 f/4 VR to be anywhere as good as the canon version. The nikon version would probably be good but with some imperfection left behind for us to critize (and push people to buy the 2.8 version)

      • LGO

        I already had the 14-24f/2.8 and 24-70mm f/2.8 when I bought the 16-35mm f/4G VR and the 24-120mm f/4G VR. Understanding the strength and weaknesses of your gear is the 1st step to making the most of it. Within these parameters, I think highly of the 16-35mm f/4G VR and the 24-120mm f/4G VR.

        • http://kyoshiphotography.com kyoshinikon

          But I will not by gear that cannot maximize my shooting style. While sharp the 16-35mm wasn’t amazing enough to give up my f/2.8 and both 14-24mm and 17-35mm (Yes I do own both) do exactly what I want for a lens similar in heft and weight. F/4 is just too slow for me and at the heft it comes with makes me wonder what went wrong.

          The reason F/4′s are made are because they are cheaper and lighter right?

          • LGO

            I had the 14-24mm f/2.8 and the 17-35mm f/2.8. After trying out the 16-35mm f/4 VR for landscape on FX, I saw that the 16-35mm f/4 VR was considerably better than the 17-35mm f/2.8, specially at the corners. Nano-coating and VR helps too.

            The f/2.8 advantage of the 17-35mm did not come into play when I was shooting landscape at f/6.3 or smaller. I quickly sold my 17-35mm f/2.8. Still, the 17-35mm f/2.8 might however be quite useful on DX but for landscape on FX, I much prefer the 16-35mm f/4 (and the 14-24mm f/2.8).

      • Mike

        Are you commenting on these lenses because you own them? Or by review test charts? They are both great lenses. And if the 70-200 f/4 VR follows the other f/4 zoom lenses, it will be stellar too. The 24-120 is a 5x zoom. The 70-200 is all telephoto and is less than 3x zoom. Should be stellar.

        • LGO

          I expect no less and am looking forward to one. :-)

  • glum

    70-200/4 vr2

    BRING IT AWWWWWN!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovewalkman/ Abhinav

    let see how they price it .otherwise it will be better to grab 70-200mm VR1.

  • http://wonkyhorizons.blogspot.com/ Anthony

    Could definitely be interested in the 70-200/4. Smaller, lighter and cheaper than the 2.8 – I could go for it if in the same price bracket as the 16-35/4 or 24-120/4. I see people doing good work with the Canon version – just hope the Nikon version is at least as good.

  • http://na dino

    Just wondering if – instead of a 18-300 VRII (always 3.5-5.6, like a copycat from latest Nikon lenses) which will be ANOTHER sluggish AND more expensive zoom, wouldn’t have been a faster (and shorter) zoom in the 16/18-90 range, like the equivalent of a 28-135 F/4 or so.

  • http://www.vivesa.pl Fotograf Kielce

    So, if 70-200/4 patent is released today, there is no dreams that we see real 70-200 this year, I think.

    • design.matters

      let me know, if you want a used 70-200 2.8 – great, big and available

      • I’ll.buy

        $ 720

    • EnPassant

      Some lenspatents seem to be released just before the release of the actual lens while others take years to materialize into a product. Since 70-200/4 is a glaring hole in Nikons lens lineup and historically the most popular focal range (give or take a few mm) for a telzoom and would propably sell in quite great numbers for being an FX-lens I think it will get priority over other long awaited lenses like AF-S replacement of 80-400 and 300/4 with VR. My bet is it will be released within a year, maybe even this year as we already previous year got its f4 stablemates 16-35 and 24-120.

  • DrThrash

    The Canon world for 70-200 lenses:
    – with both IS and 2.8: ~2000 EUR
    – with either IS or 2.8: ~1000 EUR
    – no IS and “only” 4.0: ~500 EUR

    The Nikon world so far:
    – with both VR and 2.8: ~1900 EUR.

    If this means that a 70-200/4.0 VR becomes available at less than 1000 EUR, it will a very interesting lens for rich (“ambitioned”) amateurs who are reasonable enough not to buy a 2000 EUR lens if they don’t make money with photography. The 1000 EUR mark is always an important psychological threshold for technical equipment (and other things) in the Euro zone.

    • geecen

      What about the 80-200 2.8 non-vr? It’s about £750. Also, is that lens being discontinued anyone? When I googled it for this post it seems lots of the big shops in the UK don’t have them.

      • http://www.TheJordanCollective.com CaryTheLabelGuy

        The 80-200 f/2.8 is excellent and would be my choice over any f/4 lens in the same range. I own the 80-200 and it is great and built like a tank. It has no VR or SWM to eventually get destroyed. It should last a life-time. I hire a 70-200mm VRII if I need it, but I rarely need it. The 80-200 f/2.8 is one my faves. It’s just as sharp as the 70-200 from about f/3.2 onward and close at f/2.8 as long as you’re not near the close focus distance. The 80-200 is terrible at minimum focus distance(this is it’s biggest flaw).

        • http://www.TheJordanCollective.com CaryTheLabelGuy

          Forgot to add: The 80-200 is in stock at B&H in the US.

    • Hhom Togan

      Remember that factories in japan are still trying to fill backorders because of the delays in production caused by the earthquakes, thus you won’t find easily much of the pro line of Nikon (D3x, D3s, D700 and high end Nikkors). It is a worldwide situation, not just in your region :).

    • Hhom Togan

      I wouldn’t bet on it being available at less than 1,000 €/$, the best example of this is the Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VR.

  • hannes

    Does the patent for the 70-200 f4 say anything about minimal focus distance? Macro ability?
    I can’t find anything in the pdf, but I don’t understand most of it.

  • geecen

    What I’ve done, not being able to afford the expensive zooms, is bought the 200 f4 ais, and 105 2.5. Both great. My zoom finishes at 70 4.5 anyway, so not really any gaps and 2.5 at 105. Of course you can’t zoom or autofocus but who cares? Never needed it in the old days. The weight is probably not that different either.

    • geecen

      EDIT This comment is obviously aimed at non-professionals whom still want good build quality, optical quality and don’t want to re-mortgage their house for it.

      • Patrick

        I bought several old primes for this reason, but on a DX system, it’s really tough to focus, even with the focus assist light- it was easier in the “old days” with the big bright film cameras.

  • R!

    It’s about time………now we need a 300 f 4 ED ASPH Nano VRII !!!!

    • R!

      ….and some new extender X1,4 X 2 AND A GODAMN 50 F1.2 AFS,AND WHY NOT A F 1 or F 0.95!!!!!!

      • Hom Thogan

        Because you use caps, that is why we won’t have it… it is all your fault!!!

  • Hom Thogan

    if they manage to keep the price below the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 ED AF-D it will sell like pancakes, although with the price of the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II a lot of people would be interested if it is around the $/€1,100-1,300

    • burak

      then the question remains: for the similar price range, going for

      80-200 2.8 (previous version)
      or
      70-200 4.0

      • burak

        oh, sorry for the repetition

    • Esbullbear

      My guess is it will be 10-15% higher than 80-200 f2.8.

      People who prefer good optics likely have already bought the 70-200 or 80-200. Those who don’t probably mind the weight and size of a 2.8 zoom. For these folks, a F4 lens provides a tangible benefit in lower weight. So for Nikon, it makes very little sense to price the F4 version lower than the 80-200 f2.8.

      My guess is this will be a USD 1250 lens.

  • http://rearrangedphoto.tumblr.com/ rearranged

    If they release the 70-200 f4 I hope it is build like a tank, has extensive weather sealing and doesn’t retract while zooming + IF. That paired with a great optical performance would make a killer lens for 1300$. But if it has some flaws (like retracting while zooming) I would go with a used 70-200 2.8 vr anytime.

    • Anthony

      While Nikon is arguably heartless and out of touch, I can’t see them being so stupid as to have a 70-200 f/4 VRII be stillborn that way. Mind you, I’d also expect it to go for $1600, not $1300, given the profit margins we see on other models.

    • Anthony

      If your standards for sharpness and image quality are that low, why not just get a P&S instead?

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

    70-200 f/4 VR II great Nikon, some years late, but great!

    Don´t forget us!

    Cheers.

  • Lonnie Utah

    So that means I could put the 18-300 on the v1 and have a 49-810mm lens…

  • http://www.estebanwautier.com St Ban

    No patents concerning any new stunning system on a D800 ? :)

  • D700guy

    2 totally worthless lenses

    • Anthony

      The thousands of happy users of the ultra-sharp Canon 70-200 f/4 IS would disagree. The marvel here is that it only took Nikon five years to even consider coming out with a competitor. If Nikon had offered an equivalent to the Canon a few years ago, I might well have gone with them instead. If they actually come out with this lens, and defy rumors and come out with postbellum 135 f/2, I’ll be tempted to switch.

      • kyoshinikon

        Pity I dumped canon because of products like their 70-200mm which were nice but not extraordinary….

  • NoFunBen

    does the 18-300 not have VR?

  • http://www.jpgmag.com/people/markwjr Mark

    This is great! I can’t wait for the 70-200/4VRII to come out. If I don’t get it, It should at least lower the cost of the 70-200/VRI a tad. At that time, I will definitely upgrade my 80-200/2.8D For the 70-200/2.8VRI. Super great. Nice rebound, Nikon. (:

    Mark

  • EvanK

    How about a 5-2000mm f/0.5 VR? Of course, small enough to be able to carry around easily. Who can guess how much that would cost (if it’s physically possible)?

  • Chris P

    If the 70-200 f4 takes as long to translate from patent to actual lens production as the patent for a new 80-400, which was published quite some time ago and hasn’t appeared yet, you are in for a long wait.

  • Simon

    Anyone know how much the old 70-210mm f/4 autofocus cost back in the 1980′s? I still use that lens.

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