USPTO approved Nikon’s patent for a 35mm f/1.4 lens

Nikon's patent application for a 35mm f/1.4 lens was reported back in August last year (patent application 20090086340).

On February 16, 2010 the USPTO approved the patent for this lens (7663816):


f = 36.000
FNO = 1.45
ฯ‰ = 31.53
Y = 21.6
TL = 131.135
Bf = 38.02909

This entry was posted in Nikon Lenses, Nikon Patents and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • pulu


    • The invisible man

      Cool, perfect match for the new 300mm f/4 AF-S VRII and the new 18mm f/2.8 AF-S !
      Thanks Nikon !

      • plug

        If only,… this is my wishlist too.

        • Mikael

          Ahem, don’t forget my 400 f/4 or 400 f/5.6!

          • David Haselblaff

            And my 800mm f/4 VRII

          • joebee

            and my AF-S 400mm f4 VR DX or AF-S 500mm f4 VR DX

    • Zograf

      Wow, it is even more of a classical design than the current Zeiss 35/2 Distagon.
      It is almost like the Zeiss Flektogon 35/2.4 but on steroids:

  • 35MM

    wo0wow0, wondering how much would be this one

    • Johnny

      When they introduced the 35mm f1.8 DX, people complained that it was not FX. A nikon engineer replied that if they had made it FX, it would have cost more than 2k$. Anyone else recalls this?

      • Banned

        No, but seeing how the 24 1.4 cost about that, I wouldn’t be surprised. I just fail to see the point of such lenses tho. I have yet to see a photo that screams “couldn’t have been made with anything else”. It’s not like they are really small and light like the 50 1.4, they don’t even have that advantage. I would as well use a 14-24.

        • Global Guy

          Why wouldn’t a 35 /1.4 be more reasonable sized? I can understand the 24 /1.4 being just barely super wide. But the 34 /1.4 would be just barely wide. That can’t be $2k if the 50 /1.4 is $500. Why is smoking what kind of crack? We want a 35 /1.4 — it doesn’t have to be “super-pro” quality. If it is slightly better than the 50 /1.4 that would be perfectly fine. I personally hate 50mm. 35mm is way better. 24, 35, 50, 85, and hopefully a new 135 /2 sooner than later!!

          • Banned

            Agreed, but that’s just not the way it is. I had to get he 50 1.4 cause it was the only option in the 1.4 range on FX but I would rather use a 35 1.4, just not this one (2k and super-long and heavy, apparently).

          • Astrophotographer

            I don’t think the size will be that bad. Front element to image plane is shown at 131mm. So front element to flange will be 85mm, about 3.5 inches.

            I expect price to be $1700-1800.

        • Lance

          This lens, like the 24/1.4, is made for the those who have to have every lens Nikon makes, no matter what the cost, that all. In other words, it’s for the lens collectors. The old 24/2.8 or 35/2 are all a PJ needs for WA’s, especially with a D3S.

          • Omar

            not necessarily, some photogs are willing to pay extra for faster lenses, creamy bokeh and probably sharper too so I dont see anything wrong with that.

            It just goes too if you want it or not.

        • Antman

          For me shooting primes for landscapes and static subjects is so much more fun. Not being able to zoom in and out makes you think more about each shot. You have to move your legs. It’s more challenging and more stimulating.

      • longtimenikonshooter

        $2K is a steal when you consider Leica 35mm f/1.4 is sold at more than $4500.

        • longtimenikonshooter
          • Eric

            Well, compared to Leica, almost everything is a steal.

        • Discontinued

          Yes, but the Leica is no piece of plastic cheaply manufactured by slaves. A Canon is more like the Nikon and it’s already out there and just 1,4 K. The question is who is stealing?

          • Johnny

            I’d love to buy Canadian made glass in an ISO19001 and ISO14001 certified factory. However, the north american market does not value things like sustaining jobs and the environment. Instead, we ask for the absolute lowest price regardless of what happens in twenty years…

          • peter

            $2000 for a normal prime is the absolute lowest price they can give us? Yikes!

            I’m no lens designer, but it seems like optically things get exponentially harder to make as you go away from 50mm. So if the 50 is $500 and the 24 is $2000+ then the 35 should be $1000. I’m sure it’ll be more though, what a ripoff…

      • PHB

        I thought the statement was that it would be $1.2K, $2K sounds rather too much of a price bump.

        At $1.2K the lens will no doubt find a market amongst folk like me who don’t see a lot of point to a mid-range zoom over a clutch of great primes. If it is $2K it will be much less interesting.

        At the moment the beat II sells for $1800. Lets say you have the 12-24 and 70-200 in your bag. You could buy the 24-70, or you could buy a 35mm and a 50mm f/1.4 for the same money and have essentially the same capability but a lot faster. Instead of an 84-35 degree zoom you have a choice of 84, 62, 46, 35 degrees.

        Zooms are great, but mostly useful at the wide and long end in my view. In the middle I would prefer to have a fast lens and crop if necessary in photoshop.

        This is essentially what I do already with my DX lens set. I have the 10-24DX, 35DX and 50AFS lenses. And I am looking to buy a 85 f/1.4 and whatever the replacement for the 80-400 turns out to be. If I ever go to FX format it will be for the 12-24 f/2.8, but a 70-200 would probably come first.

        • Victor Hassleblood

          1. there is no 12-24 !
          2. what is your point ? ?
          3. Please grow up ! ! !

        • Cadence SF

          You’re right, more people will buy 35f1.4 at $1200, than $2000.
          And many photographer would rather have a bright prime in between the wide and tele zooms. Because that bight 50mm or whatever sometimes is the only thing that works for shooting in dark places.

          Though I probably won’t buy it if it another G model lens, I find them more annoying than anything else. That aperture ring, and hands on stuff are what makes operating a camera fast. Instead the newer stuff from Nikon seems to just get in the way. Having gotten used to using F4 with dials and levers for every controls it’s not fun to have to share tiny scroll wheels for several functions crammed into one. It what Minolta was doing in the 90s, they were slow as hell… despite looking great on paper (in theory)

  • dan

    Like like like.

  • Ren Kockwell

    Another prime that will be as difficult to acquire as it is to afford.

    • Banned

      Cockwell lol.

  • Thanks for another rumour! Been getting dry around here ๐Ÿ˜€
    This will be another high flyer in terms of price I’m sure.

  • Anonymous

    uh oh…i hope this one costs 3300

  • WTH

    another one to lust after ๐Ÿ˜€

  • AF-S? SWM? N? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Joe R.

      AFS is likely, there’s not to. SWM goes with AFS unless it’s the crappy “can’t manually override”

      I love my 35 1.8 that sits on my D300. It’s my non-flash party snapshot lens. There are times where I’d kill for the extra 1/3 stop. Especially if it’s sharp at f/2 instead of f/4

  • longtimenikonshooter

    It’s going to be another $2K lens. Nikon Rocks!

  • Looks like Nikon continues with its old fashion policy – can’t afford it – buy Canon…
    And personally I like it a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The Canon 35mm f1.4 costs $2,000 here in Japan.

      Maybe you were thinking of the Canon 35mm f2 which sells for ~$350.

      Apples to Oranges.

      • nick

        the nikon 35mm F2 sells for about $200 – $300 as well

  • Fredrick

    I’ve seen this image before on the creativemayhem com au website about a week ago.

  • Chris P

    This lens + an updated 85 f1.4 will make a wonderful low light/selective focus pair of lenses on a D3x, now all I have to do is win the UK lottery. Being serious, such a combination on a D3s or D3x will be very attrachtive to those who need, as opposed to want, it.

    • some of us can boast to own nikkor AF-S 24-85 f1.4 lens… hahahahaa

  • eru

    cmon we already have Zeiss covering those 21-35 ranges , I want 100-500 and 300f4 vr, cmon cmon

  • Chris

    How long did it take the 24/1.4 from patent granting to announcement?
    Then you have an idea when to expect the 35/1.4 and you can already save for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • David Haselblaff

      About 3-4 years

    • longtimenikonshooter

      It will be available when Nikon releases D4 in 2012.

    • Astrophotographer

      More useful is the application dates. the 24 f1.4 was submitted 7/11/08 and published 1/15/09. The 35 f1.4 was 8/5/08 and 4/2/09. So say 1-3 months.

      • PHB

        I don’t think it is very likely to be a priority. Nikon has far more lens designs than it ever intends to put into production. I can see a 35 f/1.4 being announced eventually, but I can’t imagine that management would give a green light for advanced production design and testing until they know how well the 24 f/1.4 is selling.

        If the 24 f/1.4 is selling ten thousand units a year or better I would see a 35mm f/1.4 to be almost certain to appear in 2012. It takes at least that long for Nikon to get a lens of this type out the door. The field testing takes a year all by itself. If on the other hand sales are less than a thousand a year I should think it highly unlikely Nikon is going to prioritize launching a lens that would gross less than $2 million a year in revenues.

        What would interest me more is knowing what Nikon has optimized the lens for. Nikon does not make all its lenses the same, particularly when the pro lenses are concerned. The 85 f/1.4 is designed to provide great bokeh. The 50mm is not, it is designed for a different purpose and the assumption seems to be that if you want ultimate bokeh you choose the 85 and stick your feet somewhere else. But the 35mm is quite a different length from the 85, it might make sense for it to be designed for bokeh. Or Nikon might have had a different use in mind. The one thing that is sure is that it is not likely to be optimized for the same uses as the 50.

  • This one I want most of the new primes – hope it’s gonna be soon.

    As for price, old Nikon 35/1.4 goes for $1000, Canon 35/1.4 for $1400, so I’d expect $1700 for the new one, $1800 at most (with the Canon/Nikon 24/1.4 $1700/2200 ratio, but it’s much easier to make 35/1.4 than 24. Also 24 is a technological breakthrough for Nikon, with the market ‘used to’ old 28/1.4 for $4000).

  • Daniyar

    I am in if it’s around $1k. If it’s priced like 24 F1.4, they can keep it. I can see paying $2k for 70-200 as it is still very useful for non-pro crowd, but not for 35mm.

  • digital media B

    I barely wait to see this lens. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • What does it mean, that the USPTO “approved the patent”, what’s the difference between an approved and non-approved patents?
    Can someone help me with this question?

    • Ken Elliott

      When you apply for a patent, you seek legal protection for your design. So when the USPTO approves the patent, you now have legal standing to sue anyone who tries to sell your “invention”. If they disapprove your application, you have no protection (in the USA). Usually, you patent in your home country (where you invented it) then apply for international rights, to extend protection to other countries. If you have a USA-only patent, then someone in another country could copy your invention and sell it outside the USA, but it could not be imported or sold in the USA. There are treaties between countries that respect one another’s patent status.

  • santela

    make it under $1600 n im sold!

  • LightingRumours

    35mm f/1.8 DX is pretty decent on FX in some situations anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Eric

      Like shooting in a dark tunnel?

      • Banned

        lol yeah.

    • That’s true. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • TheIncredibleUlk

        I could use a 50mm on a fx instead.

        • Joe R.

          So buy one.

  • Andrew

    Can’t wait to see this patent come to fruition, now what would this gem retail at…?

  • Djonah

    This is all nice…but can we estimate the dimensions with these specs? It would be swell if they kept the glass as small or a tad bigger than the 50 1.4…

    • Not a chance; it’s gonna be about the size of 24/1.4, only a bit longer and a bit thinner (I still wxpect it to have 77mm filter thread).

      • Joe R.

        Doesn’t that depend heavily if it’s a DX or FX lens?

        • Theoretically yes, but not in reality. If you use the same lens on different formats the field of view changes, but not the focal length. A 35mm lens is still a 35mm lens, regardless of it’s “format” or image circle diameter (28.4mm for DX and 43.2mm for FX). So you shouldn’t really expect a DX lens being any smaller from an FX one of similar focal length.
          It often proves to be on the contrary; the 35/2D Nikkor (FX) measures app 65 X 45mm, but the 35/1.8G DX Nikkor is larger at app. 70 X 53mm (though 1/3 stop faster).

          But nontheless; the AF-S 35/1.4G Nikkor is expected to be an FX lens.


            Well that’s obvious because the 35mm f/2D does not have a focus motor in it. Look at the 50mm f/1.4D vs the newer 50mm f/1.4G.

        • Astrophotographer

          The patent specifies FX. As for size, the patent show it as about 10mm longer that the 24 1.4.

          • Djonah

            If this beast is going to be another 10mm longer, I’ll pass…c’mon let’s just think about it, if this is true, the beast wil be bigger than the 18-200…

  • nick

    Admin, in the past have approved patents usually led to actual production? If so, how long between the approval and the announcement?

    Thanks for any info!

    • I aways track patent application and not patent approvals – the patent applications give us an idea what is going on now with Nikon since patent approval can take few years, so I am not sure what to expect. The last thing I heard about the 25 1.4 lens was that it will be delayed this next year, but even if true this of course can change at any time.

  • TheIncredibleUlk

    That sounds good. Know all what we need is a camera that can keep up with the lines of resolution that this would be capable to handle…
    At least i have the illusion that Nikon bases their price on their competition. Canons 35/1.4 USM costs 1350$. of course the illusion lasts till they release it.

  • mike

    This is a pro lens. So complaining about the price tag isn’t really relevant just because you want to have it – it is more of a *need* lens.

    Ideal for photojournalists and being screamed for by wedding photographers – some of whom are teetering on the edge of leaving Canon for better engineered, and reliably focussing Nikon cameras. With the 24mm f1.4 in place this is the one lens most people are saying is the only thing stopping them shifting over so I’d expect it to be made and with us within 12 months.

    You use f/1.4 over an f/2 in very darkly lit environments such as churches or reception halls where flash isn’t acceptable. You would also use it for a very shallow DOF to concentrate focus onto a specific area of the frame and to minimise distracting backgrounds – in camera. It does have a place in a pro’s kit-bag.

    As for comparing apples Canon’s 35mm f1.4 has been rumoured for an update for sometime with an expectation that a MKII model will be released with their Nano equivalent coating. So what you see as the price for the Canon lens represents rock-bottom pricing – I’d wager that any replacement will be in at around the $2000 list-price mark as will the Nikon – you only need to look at the 70-200 f2.8 new models from both manufacturers to see that new lens technology in the exchange rate market we are in at the moment (strength of the Yen vs $, ยฃ and Euro) means expensive glass and bodies.

    I take this as a strong indication that Nikon is continuing to invest across all of the styles of photography, is removing barriers of switching from Canon, and another step towards the 85mm and 135mm replacements which are the ones on my *need* list.


  • Che

    Come on Nikon…

    Finally a fast normal lens for my D90 that I won’t have to replace if I go to FX.

    • Mikael

      Which will cost 10 times as much as the fast normal lens for DX…..

    • nick

      dude, the 35mm 1.8DX costs $200.

      If this lens is produced it’ll cost $2400. Just buy the DX lens and worry about FX when you upgrade in the distant future.

      • ArtTwisted

        IF he knows hes going to upgrade in the next few years then why not buy the better build and better performing equipment now that wil probably be around till he retires anyways.

        • Dogbreath

          Because the cost of money says that dropping $1800 ($2000 FX – $200 DX) today in anticipation of potential future use of it is stupid.

          Better to buy the DX @ $200 and sell it if and when he upgrades. You have limited your exposure to risk very cheaply.

  • dino

    Not sure why but it recalls me an oversized Zeiss 35mm F/2.. look at the front lens group, it seems identical to the distagon design… Besides, I honestly doubt they will price it 2k, it would be much more sensed around 1k or so. (look at the difference between 85 F/1.8 and the F/1.4, which is around 3x and I guess they have more or less the same optical complexity difficulty, I mean a 35mm is just moderate wide angle, one of the least extreme focal lenghts to be designed)

  • ghyz

    A 2000$ for a lens to carry with is just insane if you love to take pics of people during city nights. 24mm f/2 at 500-600$ would be great. The old 24mm 2.8 distorts a bit and is not clearly optimized for DSLR with un happily a lot of flare, although the color dynamic remains outstanding. The 2.8 aperture is a bit stretched for comfortable night shooting.

  • ghyz

    …The same for this 35mm. The old 35mm f2 needs to be replaced. Would it be possible to have a new 35mm f2?

  • rwcs

    I really want this focal length, I’m prime lens userm the only zoom here is the amazing 14-24.

    35mm f1.4G
    50mm f1.4G
    85mm f1.4G

  • want one badly.

  • PhotonFisher

    The 35 2.0mm is on the market for some time – it’s small, good quality … a 1.4 is welcome, but if you consider the line-up 24/35/50/85, then the 85 is more relevant, since the 130mm will be rather heavy … The 35 1.4 is a “me to” – something wider would be interesting … 1.2?

  • Back to top