It’s a Nikon patents Friday (Nikon mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera)

I've been covering Nikon patents for a while. We have seen numerous times that patents for upcoming products are filed before the official release - check this old post: We should pay a very close attention to this patent (Nikon Micro AF-S 85mm f/3.5 DX VR). Of course not every patent will see the light of day.

So what do we have today? A reader sent me this information (I admit that I have hard time interpreting some of those patents):

I've been checking patents again and noticed a trend. All the lenses listed below have an image diameter of 17 mm. As far as I can find Nikon doesn't have any cameras with a sensor with a 17 mm diagonal. In fact I can't find any maker with this format. It's smaller than 4/3rd format (21.6 mm).  This format falls between Nikon's current P & S lineup (~7.7 diagonal) and APS-C (see Wikipedia).

So what's Nikon up to? All were filed in a 6 month period. There's 2 primes and at least 3 zooms. They could be designing for a 3rd party or are they for the rumored X1 competitor. This format would have a 35 mm equivalent factor of 2.5x. Check out patent 20090147376 - it's a pure telephoto zoom, not something for a P &S. I think that implies an interchangeable lens system:
  • Patent 20090257125 filed: April 9, 2009, pub. date: October 15, 2009, focus length: 14.26, f stop: 2.8, FOV (deg): 62, 35 mm equiv: 35
  • Patent 20090225444 filed: February 18, 2009, pub. date: September 10, 2009, focus length: 18.4 f stop: 1.4, FOV (deg): 50, 35 mm equiv: 45
  • Patent 20090147376 filed: November 25, 2008, pub. date: June 11, 2009, focus length: 30-107 f stop: 4-5.6, FOV (deg): 31.9-8.8, 35 mm equiv: 75 - 270
  • Patent 20090135498 filed: October 23, 2008, pub. date: May 28, 2009, focus length: 10.5 - 107 f stop: 3.3 - 6, FOV (deg): 81 - 9, 35 mm equiv: 26 - 270
  • Patent 20090116121 filed: October 22, 2008, pub. date: May 7, 2009, focus length: 10.5 - 108 f stop: 2.8 - 6, FOV (deg): 81 - 8.9, 35 mm equiv: 26 - 270
  • Patent 20090086334 filed: September 23, 2008, pub. date: April 2, 2009, focus length: 9 - 42.6 f stop: 2.8 - 5.6, FOV (deg): 89.8 - 22.3, 35 mm equiv: 22 - 105
  • Patent 20090086333 filed: September 23, 2008, pub. date: April 2, 2009, focus length: 10.5 - 107 f stop: 2.8 - 5.9, FOV (deg): 80.7 - 8.8, 35 mm equiv: 26 - 270

Thanks B!

And just another reminder from a previous discussion: patent 20090154915 (lens mount cover while the lens is removed) has this drawing of a mirrorless camera:

nikon-patent

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