Nikon patents update: new 24mm lens and more EVIL

A quick update on the latest Nikon patents before the announcements start tomorrow.

Patent application 20100195221 is for a 24mm FX wide angle lens. Two examples are shown - one with f/2.8 and one with f/3.5:

First example (f/2.8) | Second example (f/3.5):

f = 24.698     | 24.400 (focal length)
FNO = 2.9    | 3.596 (aperture)
ω = 41.86°    | 42.44°
Y = 21.6         | 21.6
TL = 74.298 | 68.898
Σd = 36.297  | 30.900
Bf = 38.000 | 37.998

Patent application 20100194974 is similar to the previously reported patent from Japan, but the US version has very detailed drawings of what appears to be an EVIL camera (there is still a mirror in the viewfinder):

Interesting: in all illustrations it seems that there is no shutter, or at least I cannot see one. The same patent application contains also a detailed drawings of the sensor housing (3:2 aspect ratio) and the lens mount:

You can see all other drawings from this patent appliction in this PDF file. The "EVIL" question remains - is it going to have a DX size sensor? If you do some calculations and assumptions based on the provided aspect ratios in the illustrations, one possibility is a 17mm sensor diagonal with a 3:2 aspect ratio (14.14 mm x 9.43 mm), then the sensor housing plate will be 48 mm (square). If this was the real body size (with viewfinder), the size of the camera could be about 78 mm high and 38 mm deep. If this is a DX sensor, the camera will be too big with the given aspect ratios (the sensor housing plate will be 80 mm square).

Patent application 20100172639 involves VR and is probably aimed at  the issue that the lens may not be centered at the start of the exposure:

"However, with a camera endowed with a prior art vibration compensation function, even before the photographic operation in which full pressing of the release button is performed, vibration compensation is performed by shifting the compensation lens within its range of movement according to any detected vibration. Due to this, at the time point when the release button is full pressed and photography is started, the compensation lens is not restricted to being almost at its central position within its range of movement. If the shutter is released in the state in which the compensation lens is shifted to one corner of its range of movement, then it becomes impossible to shift the compensation lens further in that direction, and there is a fear that sometimes the advantageous effects of vibration compensation may be lost."

And now the fun part: Nikon filed three patent applications in Japan (2010-061383, 2010-061382, 2010-061381) for "Automatic recipe creation aparatus and program:

"PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To solve the problems wherein doneness of dishes prepared by recipes cannot be evaluated objectively and past evaluations cannot be reflected in later recipes.
SOLUTION: An automatic recipe creation apparatus includes an imaging means for capturing a dish presentation image, an image processing means for extracting presentation features from the dish presentation image captured by the imaging means, a recipe database for storing presentation images and presentation standards of each kind of dish, and an evaluation means for comparing the presentation features extracted by the image processing means with the presentation standards stored in the recipe database."

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  • ja

    great ?

    • Could it be an update to the 24mm PC-E? Would be nice to have the independent tilt or whatever Canon calls it.

      • WoutK89

        My thought exactly

        • Victor Hassleblood

          Could be and would be nice, as the current model does not perform really well, shifted and used on FX.

      • Roger

        It would be nice to have independent movements AND larger image circle.

        Nikon, for the love of god, give me a 24 PC-E that will have perfect sharpness across the frame @ F/8 at 12mm shift on long axis + movements like the Canon 24 TS-E II. Oh, and less vignetting. Come on!

  • Will this effect the price of the new 24 1.4 I just waited months for and paid top dollar for?

  • David

    A tiny, light f3.5 24mm lens that leverages Nikon’s recent advances in wide angle lens design (such as used in the 14mm – 24mm) to out-resolve 20+MP sensors could be an incredible lens for backcountry landscapes!

    • WoutK89

      it’s not Tilt-Shift/PC design?

      And sorry for being lazy, is it FX or DX?

      • FX

        • WoutK89

          excuse me, I read too fast hehe

      • WoutK89

        I am too lazy I see, Admin said FX 😛

    • PHB

      The existing 24mm is easily light enough for any application. The f/3.5 must be aimed at some other purpose such as tilt/shift.

      • David

        It’s true that the existing 24mm is light but it’s not especially sharp. It’s OK but not great. An update that increased the sharpness but kept the small size and light weight would be most welcome.

  • Anonymous

    Any rumor about its release date?

  • A compact 24mm f/3.5 is a good idea, and a compact ultrawide prime (eg. 16mm f/4)would be even better.

    Plus, it’s about the right time for introducing the optically refined G version of the already-compact 18-35mm D to go along with the upcoming walkabout lenses.

    • Anonymous

      Are you dense?

      The 16-35 f4 VR is the 18-35 f3.5-4.5 replacement. People begged for VR, constant f4, and AF-S. The result is the major size and price increase.

      • Am I dense? Thank you Clever Anonymous !

        The new 16-35 is a monster which has no more relation with the other in terms of shape (and price too). I just meant a basic G version of older 18-35mm, nothing more.

        I’d rather buy a 2nd hand of that lens for my new FX. Reviews agree on the fact it’s sharp at 18mm, but soft past 24mm. Anyway better than it were the opposite way 😉

        • Banned

          I would rather have them focus on interesting new designs than constantly re-releasing existing lenses.

        • El Aura

          What would be the point of a G-version of the existing 18-35 mm? It is optically clearly inferior to the more modern wide-angle lenses.

          • Not really when stopped to f/8. Why pay a fortune and carry loads if I’m going to shoot at f/5.6 -11 anyway (due to establishing sufficient DoF , even it’s a f/1.4 ? The logic is the opposite of portraits. Landscape photography has a different discipline of its own. The highest priorities of another’s may become irrelevant & vice versa.

            I’m going to prefer the most convenient lens which provides corner-to-corner sharpness at the apertures said.

    • Roger

      Compact primes are forgotten lenses. Instead of the oversized and overpriced beast like 16-35VR, why not:

      18/2.8 AF-S = way smaller than any zoom, sharp to the corners at F/8.
      35/2 AF-S = stick AF-S in there, and make it better optically than the AF-D.

      I’d much have two primes like this than any of those humongous zooms.

  • photonut

    Outstanding! There is still hope for light weight lenses in Nikonland!

    I want that f2.8 or f3.5 asap.

    • I agree, but there is something to be said about the feel of a heavier balanced lens, depending on the body it sits on I guess.

      • photonut

        True, it feels great for a few min.

        But for landscape or any other work where I have to haul my equipment around all day long it like it as light weight as possible. Even my tripod agrees with that … 😉

        • X


        • makes sense….I sometimes tire of carrying a fx body with 80-200…my arm hurts at the end of the day in fact.haha

  • NikonRumors

    “there is still a mirror in the viewfinder”
    “it seems that there is no shutter, or at least I cannot see one”

    You missed the whole point of mirrorless cameras, didn’t you? 🙂

    1) Who care about a mirror IN THE VIEWFINDER? the point is no mirror on the optical path to the sensor.

    2) HOW ON EARTH would you be able to see anything on the viewfinder’s monitor if a shutter OBSTRUCTS THE OPTICAL PATH to the image sensor?

    • all the m43, nex, and nx cameras have shutters. the shutters are not closed most of the time like DSLRs but they are there. the mirror in the Viewfinder might turn out to be a good thing as the distance from your eye to the image will be increased with out the EVF getting too big.

      Also a global shutter that some thought was going to be on the G2 is not there because of patten problems (or so i read). so a shutter less camera would be a plus for me even if the sensor is smaller.

      I think nikon will have a strong showing.

    • 1. The mirror in the viewfinder is to extend the viewing distance of the EVF, probably to provide better eye relief in a very short thickness.

      2. On all prior mirrorless cameras, the shutter is normally open. As you press the shutter release, the shutter closes and the sensor reset to capture the image, the shutter opens for the image, then closes at the end of the image at which time the sensor offloads the data captured. It’s why most of these cameras have a fairly distinct and long “shutter sound.” AF tracking becomes an issue because of all this shutter flipping, as the data stream to the AF system is considerably interrupted. Unlike a phase detect AF system, a contrast based system needs multiple data points after the image is taken to “catch up” to where focus is. Nikon’s patents seem to indicate that Nikon has a different idea about focus and shutter, but they don’t tell us what that idea is yet.

      • PHB

        I would suggest that shutterless has more to do with reducing costs, increasing shutter speed with flash sync at all speeds and supporting video.

        Shutterless is just an all-round better design. It is cheaper to make and removes the one remaining moving part that needs maintenance. I can see professional photographers going for this, even if it does cost them a tiny amount of ISO response.

        Even though modern cameras have fast light response, the shutter speeds have not advanced from the 1990s when the 1/8000th setting became standard. And flash sync speeds are positively glacial.

        ISO 12800 is nice, but do we really have to push to ISO 25600 and beyond as if there are no other improvements that might be worth having?

        The cost of shutterless is one gate per pixel site. It is standard on video cameras of course. There is a slight reduction in the silicon area available for the pixel, but the micro lenses might well make that point moot.

        I have been predicting that DSLRs will go this way for some time. It is the only measure that provides both a cost saving and a real improvement in performance.

        • Roger

          Yes, we really have to push to ISO 25,600.

        • Anonymous

          But what about the effects of blooming when using shutterless designs? Are they less of a problem with CMOS sensors?

          Personally I’ve never experienced blooming with my gated-CCD D40, so for me it’s a small price to pay to get the great 1/500 s flash sync (or up to the maximum speed of 1/4000 s if you cover one of the hot shoe pins).

  • ja

    are we going to see either the D3xs or a D700 update before the year is out , as im not going to jump for the D3x when theres an update coming , why the big secret nikon just let the world know whats on your mind dont need to give full spec just something to aim for

    • preston

      Maybe you didn’t notice, but this post is about a wide-angle lens and the EVIL camera. You can read the dozens of recent posts about a D700 update and answer your own question as well as anyone else could. Don’t be lazy.

    • Nobody really knows, but some recent rumors point to that direction. Nikon has holes in its semi-pro camera line & some lenses, but trying to compensate as much as possible. The new 24-120mm f/4 VR can be considered in that way, to be the quality kit lens of an upcoming FX that will sell to masses (relative to D3x).

      I’m expecting a 24mp D800 with a tweaked sensor from D3x to comply with today’s standards (high iso 0f min. D700 level & 1080p video).

      This will be Nikon’s answer to 5D mk II.

      Two questions left: When? Sometime between Sept. 2010 to March 2011 Price? $3000-3500 (We may see more elaborate rumors approaching to Photokina)

      • Anonymous

        for 2 yrs Nikon was unable to answer the 5DII challenge. I wonder what the Canon engineers were doing in the meantime.

        • LGO

          A low-resolution high-ISO FF dSLR to compete with Nikon’s D700? 😀

        • LGO

          Seriously, I suspect a 5D Mk II with the AF of the Canon 7D, in what is possibly a lower than 21mp resolution for improved high-ISO performance and even better dynamic range. This may sound like a better 1D MK IV but Canon needs a faster and more able full-frame (the 1D Mk IV is an APS-H 1.3x camera).

          • X

            What’s the obsession with higher & higher iso. 5D II noise levels are fine enough for the majority. I had the chance to compare with D300, and mkII won hands down @ iso 1600, especially when downsampled to 12mp.

            The only problem with that camera was the smearing of low contrast details even at low iso setting, which I never saw with Nikon.

        • Check Amazon best-sellers: D700 sells better than 5DII, so Nikon has no pressure to come with a new FF for the masses.

          Nikon also has top seller, the D3000. One can only guess what will happen when D3100 is up for sale.

          • Anonymous

            rhlpetrus – what do you smoke? 🙂 The 5DII outsold the d700 by at least 3 to 1. Which amazon you are looking at? Amazon Albania?

            • BornOptimist

              Just check the link. Amazon USA. D700 is no 12 on the list, while 5D2 is 13

          • Victor Hassleblood


            this bestseller list is a joke anyway, but you need to look thoroughly through it, before you read something into it. If you had done, you would have noticed, that 5DMKII appears more than once (as body and as kit), whereas the D700 does not.

            But still it puts things back into perspective. The D700 might be outsold by the 5DMKII, but probably not more than something between 1.5 and 2 to 1. Figures like 7 to 1 (that have been mentioned here earlier) are probably complete nonsense.

            • any nonmouse

              The second 5DMKII listing is #58 on the top-seller list, hardly enough to upset rankings.

          • zzddrr

            rhlpetrus – you may want to consider the time both cameras spent among the top 100.

            D700 = 418 days
            5DII = 647 days

            I am not sure but I think the ranking is based on the last 100 days of sale at Amazon.

            Bottom line is that it is hard to believe that the d700 outsold the 5dII with 50% less time among the top 100.

  • WoutK89

    What is optical piece L21, is it normal for a lens element to be that shape?

    • Recent Convert

      I have only seen this once before, in the Zeiss 15mm f/8 Hologon. In that case, the kerf was defining the f/8 without creating a diffractive pattern on a multi-bladed aperture diaphragm. However, the aperture blades here are between L22 and L23. Still, the only reason why one would kerf a lens would be an optical path that requires both the front and the rear of a lens, but not the center. In this case, I can see the front being used, but the rear of the lens does back onto a smaller L22, so the full diameter of L21’s rear surface cannot be used. In other words, I am stymied. . .

      • PHB

        The lens is very thick and so I guess there might be a risk of reflections coming off the sides of the lens and back into the optical path.

        The kerf means that the surplus light can be directed off out to the sides where it is not going to cause issues.

        The nodal point of the lens is probably inside that kerf area. So thats the point where the picture is flipping upside-down.

        • WoutK89

          Thats, I understand what you said 🙂

        • Recent Convert

          PHB: Good gues on your part! The patent (page 47, item (0285)) explains the groove. It is there to reduce stray light glare. It is also clear that it is not a PC lens. Incidentally, the diameter at the bottom of the groove is only 10.4 mm. That “scales” the whole lens and it is really compact.

    • e_dawg

      If you take a look at the lens schematic for the Canon 24/2.0 and 24/2.8 FD and EF versions , you will see that Canon has used that design concept as well. In fact, the EF 24/2.8 uses a kerfed/grooved lens forward of the aperture AND a concave-convex cemented group in the rear section.

  • “SOLUTION: An automatic recipe creation apparatus includes an imaging means for capturing a dish presentation image, an image processing means for extracting presentation features from the dish presentation image captured by the imaging means, a recipe database for storing presentation images and presentation standards of each kind of dish, and an evaluation means for comparing the presentation features extracted by the image processing means with the presentation standards stored in the recipe database.”

    So Nikon’s created a combination camera/food replicator? Far out.

    Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

    • Anonymous

      Picard out.

      • Banned

        Fatal Picards?

        I think it’s aimed at the food industry. Apparently, the system they describe would take a photo, then run this through some computer process which would detect the placement and nature of the ingredients on the plate, and then compare that to a reference photo and recipe. Then the output would be “CONFORM” or “NOT CONFORM” to the documented reference.

        I can see a market for this, for example ready-meal makers who want a quick robotized way to conduct quality control. However, I don’t see how they can process the under-layers of the food item as these will be hidden from view.

        It’s a significant information to shareholders as it shows Nikon is trying to branch out to something quite different.

      • number 1? I order you to…number 2!

  • Benoit

    Interesting to see they have added a “cover glass” (32 in the fig 1) in the body to prevent dust entering the camera body.

  • Del-Uks

    Pancake… please !

    I just love my Voigtlander 40mm f/2.0

    • Jesus

      if you are looking for a wide abgle pancake, get the voigtl. 20mm f3,5.
      i recently bought it and i think it’s pretty good for 350$…

  • Anonymous

    Nikon starts to resemble to RED … lots of patents but no new actual cameras. You can have the best patents but without new products ….

    The interesting part is that Nikon has not filed any new sensor patent(s). This means that Nikon is still sensor cripled and we’ll see what sony gives to Nikon.

    • Jojo

      No new patents, no new cameras.

      They have new cameras every year, so your point is kind of moot.

    • Roger

      Again with the “Nikon is cripples, Sony this Sony that” eh?

      Nikon makes new cameras every year.
      Nikon makes new lenses every year.

      What was your point again? If you posted just to make yourself seem stupid, good job.

  • Came across 2 recently published US patents for lenses: (Image height 8.5 & 8.2)
    (Don’t know if Admin has posted these before. Looks like for fixed lens P&S)

    #Application 20100195214 Filed on February 3, 2010.
    Published on August 5, 2010
    W M T f = 9.99 19.99 30.00 Bf = 0.5 0.5 0.5 FNO = 3.78 5.60 7.43 2ω= 81.5° 44.9° 30.7° IM = 8.2 8.2 8.2

    #Patent 7755844 Issued on July 13, 2010.
    W IFL1 IFL2 T f = 10.51 ~ 26.50 ~ 70.00 ~ 107.09 F. NO = 2.79 ~ 4.05 ~ 5.65 ~ 5.88 2ω = 80.74 ~ 34.57 ~ 13.42 ~ 8.84 total length = 83.08 ~ 97.01 ~ 121.72 ~ 130.00 image height = 8.50 ~ 8.50 ~ 8.50 ~ 8.50

    • David, I have another dozen of patents that I haven’t gone through yet. I will probably publish them at the end of this week.

      • Anonymous

        NR Admin – do you have anything sensor related? This will help us guessing about what is coming down pipe.

        • I don’t remember seeing any sensor related patents from Nikon.

          • Anonymous

            if that’s the case then again we are at the mercy of sony. Well, I guess we can give up our hopes of a high res small nikon body because Nikon will not put the 24MP into that. The problem is that only sony and canon can make FF sensor that is beyond 20Mp.

            I guess many people will be pissed as hell. On the other hand, I really hope Nikon will sort out its nightvision cameras and start making cameras for actually blind people. They can call this line D3SW (the SW stands for Stevie Wonder edition). 🙂

            • Where did you get that idea from? Kodak makes them all the time (MF), and certainly there’s no reason why the technology developed for the D3s’ sensor cannot be used for more pixels.

            • zzddrr

              rhlpetrus – i think what’s more promising is the sony backlit technology. Some say it only works on small sensors but I have doubts about that,

            • Roger

              “Anonymous” = Nikonrumors #1 doomsayer, and #1 Sony fanboy 😀

      • Astrophotographer

        In fact Patent 7755844 was covered here as application 20090086334 (235691)

  • John

    Just came back from the local pro shop here in a big west coast city and the sales guy says that the Nikon reps are telling him that the prototype Nikon EVIL/mirror-less camera will be disclosed/displayed at Photokina. Sound like it won’t be available any time soon.

    As usual, take this for what it’s worth.


  • brave new world

    the SW comment is just inadequate …

    coming back to the camara design: just more details, but nothing so special, unless the
    viewfinder adn be extended with some lens to make is a projector!!!

  • Kingyo

    Announcements are coming! Finally! 🙂

  • bonzo

    24mm/3.5 would be a really nice & light landscape lens!

    • I need a lightweight 16mm (or similar) too. 24 or 28mm can easily covered by either of the standard zooms, but any lens that covers ultrawide would be bulky & expensive.

      • Jesus

        get the voigtländer 20mm

        • Maybe yes until Nikon brings something.

          Nikon needs to inspire from the classic German school design how to make lenses small without compromising quality factor.

        • John

          Well, 20mm on DX is not an inspiring focal length and the Voigtlander 20mm/3.5 on full frame is neither fast (f/2.8 would be better) or very good (it’s just an OK lens on DX too). So not the best solution/example.

  • Pacey

    I think theres a shutter shown of figure.5 (Part 103). I sooooo cant wait for this EVIL camera to come out, I hope theres full G lens functionality with an adapter!! 🙂

  • Soooo, it’s like a GPS, but for recipes? And it can tell you what you did wrong with your salmon… I’m gonna keep waiting until the nikon with the integrated cheese grater comes out.

  • Ken Elliott

    NR > “…in all illustrations it seems that there is no shutter…”

    You don’t have to put all the components in a patent application. The goal of a patent is to describe the invention, not necessarily an actual product.

    As far as a sensor is concerned, lets keep in mine that Nikon patented a RGB (non-Bayer) sensor a while back. If they produced it for the D4 it could be a real game changer. It often takes several years for the product to emerge after the patent.

    • Really? I had no idea nikon had a non bayer sensor, I had only read about kodak’s. that’s exciting! Maybe a backlit non-bayer CMOS coming up soon!

  • Gordon

    This Nikon EVIL camera appears to have some interesting features.
    1) It has an airtight sensor module (90) that has several functions
    a. It shields the sensor from dust
    b. It has a lens surface (32), that can be either flat or curved, to catch dust. Since the dust is so far from the sensor the dust will be out of focus and have a minimal effect on the image. Also, with the lens removed, this module will prevent dust from landing on the sensor, and its front surface will be easily cleaned.
    c. Without a shutter in this air-tight enclosure, there is no possibility of getting dust or mirror/shutter particles on the sensor that you would have with a conventional SLR with venetian-blind shutters and mechanical mirror movement.
    2) The image shutter speed is determined electronically by turning the sensor on and off, and this is more accurate and more repeatable than a mechanical shutter. There is also a three-bladed capping shutter (100) that they call a “barrier member” which, I assume, opens when the camera is turned on, and closes when the camera is turned off. Its main function is to protect the sensor from harmful light rays (the sun) burning holes in the sensor, AND NOT TO DETERMINE EXPOSURE TIME. Remember the Leica burnt cloth shutters!
    Note: I assume that with this EVF/shutter mechanism, that Nikon will use micro lenses on Interline pixels which have only a small portion of their area devoted to image formation, while the rest is devoted to image processing. Therefore, they can view the image and process it at the same time. This capability will enable a lower-resolution view of the image to be sent to the EVF module for viewing.
    3) The Electronic View Finder module (50) has a mirror on it that is stationary and is probably cemented to the inside of the viewfinder housing (10). Since the mirror does not move, and it is completely mechanically removed from the sensor module, there is no possibility of getting dirt on the sensor as you would get from a typical moving SLR mirror. I assume that the EVF (51) will be fast acting and will be high resolution so as to avoid viewfinder lag and the poor resolution problems of previous Nikon cameras.

  • John

    Hurray for a new 24/2.8. I just tested a 24/2.8 AIS on a D3s and it did OK, however on a DX sensor it definitely needs some help to satisfy the 12mp resolution of my D300.
    Hopefully it won’t be too large, heavy or expensive.


  • Jojo

    Too bad that it looks like it will not be an APS-C sized sensor 🙁 Would have liked a NEX type camera with more controls.

  • John

    Actually, the patent shows 11 different 24mm lens designs, five of which are f/2.8 and the others f/3.5 if my counting is correct.


  • Gordon

    I believe that the notch in lens element #21 is a field stop which in lenses usually is a simpler form of an aperture stop and usually within the elements of the lens, to block extraneous light rays to avoid flare and veiling fog. I would not be surprised to find out that the groove is painted with black paint!

  • Dian Cashcab

    The day I decide that I’m going to buy the 24mm af-d, this goes online (I know this is from a few days ago but I just got around to commenting now).

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