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Nikon’s patent for a Nikkor 600mm f/4 FL lens (with fluorite element)

Nikkor 600mm f:4 FL lens patent
Few months ago I reported that Nikon will start upgrading their remaining high end tele-lenses with fluorite element (FL). We are already seeing the first signs of this rumor: a new patent got published in Japan today for a Nikkor 600mm f/4 FL lens which will replace the current 600mm f/4G ED VR AF version. As of today, only two Nikon lenses have FL element: the 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR and 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR.

Here is a short video on Nikon's fluorine coating technology

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Posted in Nikon Lenses, Nikon Patents | Tagged | 77 Comments

Nikon and Tamron filed a joint patent application for a 200-500mm f/4.5-5.6 lens plus Nikon’s patent for honeycomb sensor with subpixels in between

Nikon Tamron 200-500mm f4.5-5.6 lens patent
Nikon and Tamron filed a joint patent application in Japan for a 200-500mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Nikon has already filed for 200-500mm f/3.5-5.6 and 200-500mm f/4-5.6 patents in the past. Tamron recently released a new SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens, while Nikon has their 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II model.

Nikon also recently filed a patent for a honeycomb sensor with sub-pixels in between - this design should improve the dynamic range:

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Posted in Nikon Lenses, Nikon Patents | 116 Comments

Another price drop: up to $300 off Nikon 1 cameras and kits

More Nikon price drops: the Nikon 1 J4 camera with 10-20mm lens is now $200 off, while a two lens kit (10-30mm and 30-110mm) is now $300 off. See all available combos at B&H, Adorama and Amazon.

The waterproof Nikon 1 AW1 mirrorless camera is only $100 off for now - see listings at B&H, Adorama and Amazon (available for $539 refurbished).

The Nikon 1 V3 is not discounted yet.

The Nikon D610 is still $1,696.95, the Coolpix A is $699.

The Nikon instant rebates remain unchanged till November 15th.

The Nikon D750 with the 24-120mm f/4 lens combo is still $600 off.

Posted in Nikon 1, Nikon Deals | Tagged , , , | 61 Comments

Nikon repairs deceased hiker’s broken camera, returns photos to family

The 66 year-old avid photographer Kazuo Wakabayashi of Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture was one of the victims of the unexpected eruption of Mount Ontake on September 27 that claimed the lives of another 55 people. Mr. Wakabayashi has recently purchased a brand new Nikon camera (pictured above) that was later found broken and covered in ash. Then Nikon stepped in:

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Posted in Other Nikon stuff | Comments closed

Weekly Nikon news flash #288

→ The Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 ATX Pro DX II lens is now $479.99 with free shipping (regular price: $525, deal expires 11/10, available also at B&H).

→ New low prices on refurbished Nikon DSLR cameras:

Canon EOS 7D Mark II DxOMark test score: identical to the 5 years old Nikon D300s camera. The Nikkor 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED DX VR lens also got tested - the results can be found here.

Ikelite-underwater-housing-for-Nikon-D750 Nauticam-underwater-housing-for-Nikon-D750
→ New Nikon D750 underwater housing from Ikelite ($1,800) and Nauticam ($3,500) were announced. AquaTech also has a new D750 underwater housing ($1,895).

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Posted in Nikon Deals, Weekly Nikon News Flash | Tagged | 49 Comments

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens review

This new Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens (see specs) is already shipping - you can check the availability at B&H, Adorama and Amazon.

Here is a detailed Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens review is by Onasj.

I was fortunate to receive my Sigma 150-600 S yesterday; here are some first impressions:

1) It's a beast, but a manageable one if you are used to lugging around a 300/2.8. In fact it feels virtually identical in size and weight as my Nikon 300/2.8. It's a bit more unwieldy than the 300 prime because when the focal length isn't locked, the lens will extend from end-to-end on the weight of the glass at the end. It can be shot handheld, just as the 300/2.8 can, with some effort and practice.

2) It's very well designed. The zoom locks "hard" at 150 mm for transport, and "soft" at 180, 200, 250, 300, 400, and 600 (which also correspond to all the markings on the barrel). The soft locks are designed to prevent zoom creep from gravity, but also to be overcome by a firm twist or push/pull of the barrel. This works quite well, though I wonder if repeated use of the soft locks will eventually wear the mechanism down since it feels like the soft locks involve the lock switch sliding part-way towards lock (while the hard lock slides all the way). When shooting you can zoom the lens by pulling and pushing the barrel instead of twisting.  You can assign two custom modes to the lens using the Sigma USB dock. Modes can include autofocus range (< 10 m or > 10 m), autofocus speed (slower or faster; presumably slower is more accurate). There are also two OS (aka VR) modes. The manual is poorly written and it's not clear what the difference between the two OS modes really is, though OS 1 appears to behave more like Nikon's "active" VR mode based on my tests. The tripod collar works very well and gives sharp images on a tripod even at 600 mm, VR off, 1/10 s with no obvious shake. (Sorry RRS!). It's as if actual photographers designed this lens

3) It's a pleasure to calibrate, even if it takes all day. Those of you who use software such as Reikan FoCal know that calibrating a lens that doesn't AF well, or suffers from poor optics (bad CA, etc.), is a massive headache. So it was a good sign that the calibration with FoCal on a D810 went very smoothly. Still, it takes forever to do a full calibration because there are 16 (!) AF adjustment values that you can write into the lens's firmware, representing a matrix of four focal lengths (150/250/400/600) and four distance ranges (~3 m, ~6 m, ~15 m, and infinite distance). Compared with the 35/1.4 Art in which many copies were difficult to calibrate because some distances needed back focus adjustment while other distances IN THE SAME RANGE needed front focus adjustment, my copy of the 150-600 was much better behaved, needing only relatively minor AF fine tune correction. My D810 needs at default +2 correction for a "perfect" lens, and the 150-600 mounted on this camera needed at most a +8 AF fine tune value among all distances and focal lengths tested, with an average of about +5. Which is quite good in my experience. However...

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Posted in Nikon P700, [NR] Reviews | Tagged , | 51 Comments

Nikon announced Q2/2015 FY financial results

Nikon announced their financial results for the first half of the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2015 - the company is still profitable and the sales and income forecasts stay unchanged:

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Posted in Other Nikon stuff | Tagged | 96 Comments