Nikon working on a carbon fibre SLR body?

An interesting anonymous tip I received few days ago (edited):

"For the last few months Nikon has been working on a carbon fibre body for a Nikon pro-level DSLR. They are specifically looking at the manufacture of a resin-infused 3D woven CFRP body as well as fatigue testing of some CFRP components. The body appears would be a full size (D1, D2, D3 sized SLR). The benefit of using carbon fibre is increased stiffness and a slight reduction in mass."

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  • bman8


    • Indeed so, let’s hope that this is legit.

      • Oh dear. Luckily carbon fiber is a lot cheaper than magnesium alloy. I guess the D4 will only be around USD 8-10k.

        • Cheaper cost does not mean Nikon will cut the price…but sure it will increase their profit!!!

          Since is rumor…I speak with rumor..Haha

          • PHB

            Nope, Carbon fiber is quite a bit more expensive and will require a completely new set of tooling. Fiberglass is cheap but carbon fiber is very expensive, particularly for the woven to shape systems being discussed here. That is Formula One type technology and runs to tens of thousands of dollars for small volume production.

            Lets see, the D90 is adopting the magnesium body and has most of the features of the D300s. The D300 and D700 are the lightweight version of the D3, looks to me like this could very well be a feature that appears on at least the D400 and the D800.

            Any development of that sort is going to be very difficult to comprehensively field trial in secret. And without comprehensive trials it could easily backfire. Just like the iPhone4 antenna issue did. So not out of the question that they would per-announce carbon fiber along with the EVIL system at Photokina.

            • GML

              Field testing in secret may not be that difficult. Carbon fiber can be covered with lack of a better description a graphic “layer”.

              As a general rule carbon fiber components that are exposed to the elements have a clear coat applied. So that you can show off that you have carbon fiber bits (think sport bike and tuner car parts). But with a graphic layer it’s darn near impossible to tell it’s CF unless you can examine the part very closely. Some expamples would be paintball barrels made by Stiffi and Sly.

              So they could go with a uniform black graphic layers on the test cameras that will be field tested. And once it’s ready for prime time a clear coat will be used to show off the CF.

            • Richard

              One of the hazards of carbon fiber construction is the risk of total catastrophic failure of the structure due to impact. If you watch F1 races, you will have noticed that carbon fiber goes flying everywhere when there is a coming together. The same has happened in America’s Cup competition. There are ways to reduce the risks of such failure by using a combination of other material, such as Kevlar in addition to carbon fiber. The problem gets to be the need for skilled labor when performing the hand layup of complex composite structures. The cost of materials, while not insignificant, are not overwhelming as there simply is not that much required for a camera body. With pre-preg cloth cut to shape the layup can be mechanized to a greater extent than race car parts which are made one or two at a time. When a sufficient quantity of bodies are accumulated, they can be “cooked until done” in the autoclaves and final machining performed for the critical fit areas.

              All that said, I am not sure just what the benefits of such a fabrication would be compared to the current technology of die cast magnesium frames overlaid with thermoformed or molded materials such as are presently used if the body is to be one of the larger D series ones.

              On the other hand, if Nikon were attempting a minimalist body for something similar to a Leica M9, I can see that it would enable them to integrate several discreet structural components into one resulting in both a weight savings and an exceedingly compact body. If Nikon were to come up with a high tech (EVIL?) version of the M9 that is affordable for a large number of people, it just might be “the big surprise”.

            • PHB

              I was thinking more of the reviewers noticing that the cameras they were testing were significantly lighter and had a very different balance.

              Collisions in F1 are rather faster than the type of collision I would hope my camera is involved in. The real question is whether the weight saving from the carbon fiber meant less energy to be dissipated when dropped. Also they can mould on grips etc in rubber to cushion the fall.

              Given that the only parts of the camera where the alignment is critical are the mirror box/sensor/viewfinder/mount they could make that in one piece and the rest of the camera could be more loosely joined to it.

              Now using carbon fiber for bodies is cool. But using it for big lenses would be cooler. Imagine a 400mm f/2.8 that weighs only a bit more than the weight of the glass.

            • GML

              Yeah a reviewer/tester would likely know something is up with the construction. But I have a feeling the big leak that confirms that Nikon is indeed going forward with a CF body in a production camera will come from the people in the testing labs and manufacturing shops. Looking around it seems that this particular leak came from a prototyping shop/lab. And for right now it still seems to be in the evaluation stage as opposed to a serious ramp up for production phase. Only time will tell.

              As for brittleness, durability, catastrophic failure and so on. I have to fall back on my personal experience with CF in the fields of motocycles and paintball. I’ve used carbon fiber barrels and CF wrapped 4500 psi high pressure air tanks and the only issue I encountered was a fraying/delamination issue on a pre-production version of a Stiffi barrel which was fixed a few months before official release. Overall considering the abuse paintball equipment goes through compared to a camera the failure rate is extremely low. When it fails in a barrel it more often that not broke at the point of connection when the gun was dropped barrel first. The only way I can see that happening with a camera would be with a long lens dropped at a very odd angle. It would all depend on how they engineer the mount.

              And finally there are a bunch of DOT and CSA approved CF motorcycle helmets out there. And the testing they have to go through to be approved is pretty extensive. But it may not be the best example because one should replace their helmet after a severe impact.

            • Richard


              The use of CF for a lens barrel actually makes more sense than for a body. If a body is dropped (and takes the impact of the fall rather than the lens) I could foresee it completely coming apart. There is no particular performance benefit I have seen discussed to making the body from CF.

              A lens, on the other hand, may actually benefit from the thermal stability of CF. I am aware of other optics companies having studied the use of CF as a body material specifically for its dimensional thermal stability. As yet, however, they have not introduced a product based upon it. There is still the matter of impact resistance, however. In the case of a lens being dropped, especially a super telephoto, nothing good will come of it in any event so it might be a possibility.

      • Dxxx0

        “slight reduction in mass”

        after years of slight increase in mass for each upgrade, we are due for a MAJOR reduction in mass

    • Paul

      Indeed, this could be for the upcoming D4.
      I hope the rest of the camera will be just as impressive.

    • dkat

      I rather have Nikon finally putting something legit IN the body. It’s time for something better man, a D3s is just not cutting it and the D700 won’t do either.

      A 1d mark4 like in full frame and a bigger buffer would be a start. Nikon is focussing alot on the consumer end but their going to drop alot of Pro’s if it’s taking them to long to make something competative again.

      • Good one, made me laugh early in the morning ;)!

        • My thoughts exactly.

        • RMPossible

          I got a chuckle out of this as well… That said, I worked for a major airline manufacturer who uses a carbon fiber in their latest offerings. A few of us photographers there saw designs for all kinds of interesting “little boxes”. We speculated about the advantages of a carbon fiber. I To me it is just a matter of time before we see such a body. Question is, will we see it from Nikon before the others…

          • dkat

            If seen it in the cycling industry. The use carbon for everything right now, it’s fashion. Most of the products could be much lighter made with magnesium and titanium.

            I’m not against the black gold though, I just want Nikon to do better than this.

            1/500 sec flash sync
            12 fps 150 RAW buffer
            20MP FX of D3s quality
            HD filming like the 1d mark4

            Think bigger Nikon, kill it!

            • RMPossible


              1/500 synch won’t happen and it really isn’t necessary.
              12fps, what is wrong with 9fps, canon does 10, right? Not a big difference. Switch to DX mode and you get 11fps. Yah, a bigger RAW buffer would be nice, but shooting discipline comes into play as well… Heck the Canon you refer to only supports a buffer for 28 large jpgs…
              20MP with D3s quality… maybe 16MP or so, but gee wiz, 20MP is getting into the place where Nikon will still charge a big premium. I want the D4 or whatever it is called to hold at the $5k or less mark!
              I hope the video is better, check out all the complaints about Digic IV.
              And the low-light performance is without pier, the Canon is good, but truthfully the best low-light performance I have seen from them is in the 7D.
              I short, Nikon has done a lot right and now that they are making their own processors, the sky is the limit. In the mean time, the D3s is still without peer and a joy to shoot with!
              Nikon is in very little danger of losing the pros that are using the D3s… it is that good!

            • Jabs

              Do you know WHY they had 1/500 sync?
              Do you know that MODERN cameras actually sync HIGHER than that?
              Ever heard of 1/8000 sync of MODERN DSLR’s ?
              Do you know that the reason for the 1/500 sync was related to non-electrical issues and now we have front-curtain sync and rear curtain sync. The older HIGHER sync was for FLASH power duration within the body or body/lens combination in order to give you a PROPER exposure. That is why they use HIGHER flash sync with leaf shutter equipped cameras/lenses.
              With Radio triggered or Nikon’s CLS, that no longer is needed – GET a White Lightning unit or something similar and then LEARN!
              The OLD Nikon FM-2 and FA synced high and so did the D40, but they are worse than current cameras, as this feature is NO LONGER needed, as we have electrical syncing NOW -versus- electro-mechanical sync of old.
              You are dated in your complaints.
              You probably cannot even shoot at 8fps, so why ask for 12 fps? Have you ever shot at a HIGH fps and then how does a camera take IN FOCUS shots at that high a frame rate? WHAT is the point, then besides bragging?
              You probably are a ‘spechead’ searching for ‘solutions while clueless’ and without knowledge as to WHY they do no longer do things a certain way.
              GET a medium format or a leaf shutter lens camera system and be done with it.
              OR buy a Leica S2 and their ‘vaporware’ lenses and accessories.

            • dkat

              Haha @Jabs and @RMPossible,

              I shoot extreme sports. I work with a D300 and a D70s. I used the D3 a few times, but it was not worth my money.

              1/500 sec flash sync is very much needed for me and many people I know. Ofcourse the new Pocket Wizards can give me that and even beyond my needs, but for everyone who have the old PW’s it would make their day. I’m also shooting with the old Nikon sb-28 flashes like many of my colleages, so no CLS eather.
              And what if you work with bigger flash units like a Ranger…

              1/500 flash sync is the way to go. make that 1/1000 sec while your on it.

              I don’t want to spend 3000 euro’s on new speedlights and PW’s. I’d rather spend that money on changing to Canon. Although the 1d mark4 is no FF, it’s a more a complete product than the D3s to me. And for a second body the 5d mark 2 or/and the D7 rock harder than a D700 or D300s

              12 frames a second. I make sequences that I combine in one shot. I now do 8 frames and it’s not enough or not the right rithm in most of my shots. but 12 would be much better for my needs.
              And I don’t need a focussing system at all for this, I focus at one point and I’m done. If I would need to focus, ill step back to a frame rate that would alow focussing.

              And filming is not that great with Nikon. And yes the Canon it’s 7D is awsome. I’m about to buy it.

              My point is, all great that carbon body, and the D3s is a great product. But many photographers want Nikon (and also Canon) to do better IN the body. In the meantime, I’ll put my money on Canon.

            • Jabs

              They call you in the Industry – a problem already SOLVED but you are either too poor, too foolish or too stuck in the past to understand WHY.
              The D3s has a higher framing rate in DX mode than ANYTHING from Canon including the 7D. Your problem seems like you just want to BASH Nikon, because –
              1. You do NOT understand photography and thus amateur pretender.
              2. People NOW use MULTIPLE higher WATT-seconds flashes OFF the camera to get even coverage and multiple lights to gain EXACT metering of varying areas of a large area and thus YOU just exposed yourself as a web site reader.
              3. HIGHER x-sync = LESS light for exposure, so you are defeating yourself. Higher WATT-seconds = GREATER flash power at the speeds that STOP action, or everyone would be using a Hassleblad or such leaf shutter equipped cameras to shoot fast sports due to their HIGHER X-sync. The Higher WATT-second lights like MONO-Blocs or similar White Lightning units allow you to shoot without thinking about X-sync, as they are DAYLIGHT balanced and thus moot point.
              You see many of you here are just amateur Canon specheads trying to tell PROS what to purchase or counter us Nikon shooters, BUT your arguments bely your own ignorance of today’s reality. WHAT you stated worked eons ago in the FILM days with amateurs and since cameras now sync HIGHER and no one uses ON camera flash to shoot an Arena, then what is your point?
              People use ON CAMERA flashes often to just trigger HIGH POWERED flashes via radio waves, IR or such and thus NO X-SYNC employed.
              The 7D cannot keep up with a D3S or a D3 and thus you defeated your own argument here.
              You should have been honest in the first pace and just said – YOU like Canon. No argument there as NOTHING from ANY 35mm DSLR manufacturer in the whole world can keep up with a D3 or a D3S. It focuses faster and shoots faster than anything else out there.
              You have confused the Casio – (I think) multiple focusing HIGH speed LOW RES cameras and thus you are fooling only yourself.
              REAL photographer here.
              BTW – the D3 does 11 fps in DX mode and less in FX mode and can do this all day at high shutter speeds BETTER than any Canon. It focuses faster and shutter lag from SHOT to SHOT is less, so you are thus proposing for a photographer to go BACKWARDS. Do you know the difference between X-SYNC and the newer flash sync? Apparently – NOT.

            • Jabs

              @dkat –
              WOW, you shoot extreme sports with a D70 – lol!
              OK, now I understand the problem.

              Maybe one day, you’ll be able to afford some ‘real’ professional gear. I would have respected you better if you said that you shoot with a Nikon D2H as they are cheap and shoot really fast though they are only 4+ megapixels.
              There is NO substitute for money or expert equipment, so buy the older pro gear until you can afford the better newer stuff. In some countries or areas of the world, people cannot afford top of the line equipment, so I feel ya’ – OK!
              The cost of modern professional equipment is astronomical but since it pays for itself, then the major problem is getting the money to buy it FIRST. I would personally use a D2H over almost all of the ‘amateur’ bodies unless you need a certain file size or even image size. Many companies in America still use the D2H, as its’ file sizes are still suitable for Newspapers and Web sites plus it is fast and professional tough. Perhaps you buy one or try and rent a D3/D700 if available in your area of the world.
              Have a good one!

            • dkat

              I meant X-sync, sorry for the confusion.
              1 Nonsens, you create a discussion that’s not there by making up comments that supposedly provoked you to react like this. Your telling me things I already know.
              2 Yes, I do.
              3 What is your point? I need less light for exposure, that’s the whole purpose.
              I never compared the 7D to the D3s by the way, you do. I just feel the 7D is a better camera for that money and has a much better HD video function that I need really bad.

              4 No I did not mention Casio, I don’t need a high frame rate and focusing only a high frame rate.
              5 11fps in DX mode won’t cut it. I need more than the 5.whatever MP it is giving me, I don’t do only web, also commercial work and I need every extra pixel.
              6 You’re a frustrated Nikon user for sure, I feel your pain. Cheers buddy.
              7 Yes I shoot extreme sports with a D70s in the brightest daylight for my strobist photography, but also a D300 most of the time using ND filters and it gives me 8fps, it will do, but 12fps would be perfect, I calculated it based on you the frames fit in one frame. I only pick 3 frames of every second, at 12 frames I have more to choose from and it would suit my needs perfectly.
              8 The money aint no problem , I could get the money or whatever, the D3s is just not enough of a upgrade to me, I need a little more, so I’ll wait with buying that pro body untill Nikon or Canon will get it right.

              Thanks sport.

            • Jabs

              NOW, you just confused me and rendered your own arguments MOOT.
              You shoot with a low res camera, you claim you want a Canon 7D – now for its’ better video!
              You need a 1DMk4 and NOT a 7D.
              You claim you need 12 fps or there about plus higher resolution and the D3 is FULL FRAME and thus its’ 12megapixels is HIGHER than the 18 megapixels of BOTH the 7D and the Mk4 as they are CROPPED frame cameras (classic mistake of specheads).
              You like Canon,so admit it.
              PLUS, in extreme sports the PRIMARY requirement is focusing accuracy, SPEED and the ability to have a fast throughput from SHOT to SHOT.
              NOTHING beats the D3 or D3S, and thus you are deluded.
              HOW does a ND filter allow you 8fps?
              Explain that here as many posters make that claim and I don’t buy it.
              A – N.D. filter allows you the ability to shoot at certain shutter speeds in bright light but often you can do the same exact thing with exposure comp. The newer cameras have 1/8000 sec and if you have a lens with a LOWER F-stop (F1.2, F1.4 for example) and you want to shoot WIDE open and you cannot get a shutter speed BELOW 1/8000 sec, then you need a ND filter to get your exposure – duh
              You seem to read web sites bub!
              WHO shoots extreme sports with camera mounted flashes?
              You are groping for explanations but lost in your own dreams.
              A D70S cannot shoot fast even if it has a higher X-sync.
              Therefore – BALONEY!
              The average shutter speed needed for SPORTS is 1/1000 sec or ABOVE and often 1/5000 sec with longer lenses, so unless you are IN the water or right in the middle of the action, you need at least a 180mm lens and then would require a 200-400 zoom or at minimum a 70-200 zoom.
              I specialize in ferreting out baloney, as Consultant in my field and all that you state so far DOES not add up. Describe your lens/body set up plus whether you use it handheld, on a tripod or a monopod for us here.
              You can fool others here, but I am asking you to prove here that you even know what you claim to do or are stating.
              REAL photographer here!
              Last point – YOU really expect to use a DSLR as a video camera for extreme sports?
              OK – I am stooopid, RIGHT?
              What will you light the scene with in VIDEO?

            • Jabs

              Last Comment.
              You know what is really weird about your claims.
              They have been solved by MODERN cameras and it is called FILL-FLASH at exposures up to 1/8000 sec.
              You tell us your problems and your needs BUT you are clueless about current photographic trends and solutions.
              You want speed yet you use a D70S.
              Why not use a D40 which has 1/500 sec sync, if I remember right?
              You want speed in a better camera YET, you choose a Canon 7D over a 1DMk4!
              Nothing adds up in all of your claims.
              The 7D shoots at 8 fps, exactly like the D300 while the Canon 1DMk4 shoots at 10 fps.
              NOW, explain all these conflicting claims and arguments.
              I’m outta here!

            • dkat

              Your a funny chap Jabs,

              Wondering why nobody else is participating in this discussion? Because your talking so much nonsons and stuff that was not even an issue that nobody seems to have a clue what your talking about. But not in a positive sense. Your so fixed in your world, that during commenting, your bringing all new kind of points and information in, it’s crazy. But… one more try…

              I shoot extreme sports and I use remote flashes only, no on camera flashes.
              The d70s is nice for is fast x-sync of 1/500 and the d300 is a great camera in every aspect. It makes a great combo to me. Ofcourse I would rather only use the D300 because of its quality. But sometimes there is to much light and I need a faster shutter speed. So I take the D70s or I use some ND filters to loose some ambient. If I want, I can hook up my D300 with a pre-release cable and a PW multi max and I can use this combo to get 1/500sec or even 1/1000sec x-sync with delay the flashes. But it’s a pain in the …. To get that set-up going. It would be easier to just have a DSLR with the faster X-sync.
              Ofcourse I can buy new Nikon flashes and new PW that make it possible to x-sync at 1/8000sec, but it costs a fortune. I have the money, I just don’t think it should be necessary to spend a 3000 euro on new flashes and PW’s if Nikon could just fix a 1/500sec x-sync.

              Yes sure, I can find way’s to make it work with what is on the market, but it could be much more simple, and don’t we want simple? I do.

              For the frame rate.
              I know have 8fps, and it’s fine. But I would rather have 12fps, I calculated it would suit my needs better, I explain that in my last comment. I don’t shoot sequences head on, just from the side to make photos like this, do you understand now? If not, your not that much of a Pro, I’m sorry. This is not my photo by the way.

              So, yes, a Mark 4 would be better for my needs, but would still not buy the perfect cam for me. So at that price, I rather get a 7D first, so I can start filming HD and later get a Mark4 if I really really really need the frame rate( like I said, 8fps is fine to begin with), or just hire one or wait for a 1d mark5. That’s just my opinion, take it or leave it.
              As for the D3s, I think it’s not better as the Mark 4, they both have strong and less strong poits, but they are both not worth the upgrade for me right now.


            • Jabs

              Show us some of your works.
              You make general statements BUT what you choose as a solution does not line up with your claims.
              There are solutions and you are stuck in the PAST complaining while I really do understand your comments and even your equipment needs, yet you expect a camera geared towards YOU ONLY, and that makes you delusional or even foolish.
              You seem stuck in the FILM world of past as what I tried to explain to you is a solution EVEN with your current equipment, but you want what YOU want.
              OK – do as you wish.
              Here is my understanding of your requirements:
              1. You want to shoot 12 CONTINUOUS shots on either one frame or a series of at least 12 shots in a second that you later combine in a montage of your doing in whatever way you choose.
              You want a higher X-sync than 1/500 second because you don’t KNOW how to shoot and sync at ALL shutter speeds and too stubborn to buy EQUIPMENT already designed to do this easily NOW.
              You now expect ALL camera Manufacturers to cater to you WHILE the problem has already been solved.
              OK – now time to leave you alone in your dream world, as BACK in the days of MY Nikon FA, I had the same issues and then SOLVED them with external flashed triggered by TTL and now there is better solutions and you want more X-sync speed.
              WHO uses that anymore?
              The solutions today – use some newly introduced White Lightning or Mono-Bloc flash units and trigger them remotely by whatever means and be done with it. You now sync HIGHER than 1/1000 sec.

            • Jabs

              HERE is your solution.


              Here is what a PRO thinks about it.


            • Jabs

              Today, I looked at Popular Photography’s Web site and they have an article there about a PRO shooter.
              READ it there yourself and then see WHY I don’t pay much attention to you and your claims. I also replied to you BEFORE I even read this article and perhaps it will educate YOU as to what people in America do in Photography.


              Have a good day.

            • dkat

              Good evening from the Netherlansd Jibba jabba,

              So, as for the White Lightning flashes. I’ve been looking at them. Are you suggesting freezing action with short flash duration as an answer for a in my opinion to low X-sync? Because I already do that and it’s not a solution to every situation.
              Or don’t I understand you? Please tell me I am.

              Nice interview about the baseball photographer, impressive career to say the least.

              Thanks for sharing the links, they were a nice read.

              See you.

            • Jabs

              I am glad that we know understand each other despite our language differences.
              The camera that you use and its’ capabilities determines much plus how and what you shoot. The usual thing is to shoot with enough light to light up the scene and then use flash power or even flash ratios to stop action. They have stroboscopic flashes to shoot multiple shots quickly but it depends on the type of flash and its’ recycling rate. There are different types of flashes and flash heads, so perhaps you look around the Internet. Newer cameras have newer syncing features and outfits such as Sports Illustrated or ESPN in America have experienced shooters who do that type of shooting daily. You seem to need just a camera that offers the ability to shoot sequences quickly in a given time frame and the D700 or D3 can do that, but you need HIGH POWERED flashes to stop the action mid loop. Many ratio down their flashes to up the recycling time, meaning LESS flash output gives faster time to be ready for next flash and therefore you have the White Lightning unit that I gave the link to. Just email them with your requirements and see what they say. Multiple flashes set to lower ratios also give the equivalent light and then diminish the recycling time, so that also is one point. You need to buy or rent some equipment and then get a more modern body or use lots of flash to stop action. We now use rear or front curtain sync to get effects or high powered lights with sometimes LOWER shutter speeds to stop action as the high powered flash STOPS or freezes the action instead of shutter speed and sync alone. Look over that web site of that PRO and then see if you can email him, as he is an expert at that. Look at the people who shoot extreme sports such as BMX racing (bicycle racing on special platforms or even areas/arenas) in America and then ‘google’ them and their web sites as to what they use in flashes and flash heads. Lots of magazines on that subject in America.
              Have a good one.

            • dkat

              Hello Jabs,

              Thanks for your time.
              Here are some photos I shot with my D300 these past two years with different shutterspeeds, please take a look, it’s only a small selection, some have been published all over the World I’m fortunate to say:


              I have been using a high power flash, a Elinchrom RX Speed AS with A-Head. It gives me really short flash durations and it does the job most of the times.

              Only when i’m overpowering the fast moving subject with ambient, I’m not always able freezing action at lets say 1/250sec and a short flash duration of 1/5000 sec. I feel with a faster x-sync this will help me to get it done, altough it will only be needed on a rare occation.

              I will consider White Lighting, It seems like a great product, only their website tells they don’t have a European Sales person any more, so it’s hard to get my hands on one for trying some stuff out I think.

              Enjoy and thanks for the website link.

            • Jabs

              Great shots and thanks for the links.
              The first observation is that you need more light plus some colored gels for the background.
              Many shooters use multiple lights like the White Lightning units and I personally think that those are what you need, but the decision is a personal one – LOL!
              The way some stop action is they ratio the flashes and then trigger them in SEQUENCE, so that they ‘travel’ with the subjects and then freeze action at multiple points.
              You need a camera that simply does ‘multiple exposures’ sometimes for some shots and others you need multiple flashes placed along the course at strategic points to light there and freeze action. If I remember well, many pros use flashes synced by remote releases and when the action enters that zone, they flash either a pre-determined flash ratio or they use a co-ordinated series of flashes to get the exposure they need. I don’t shoot that type of photograph, but once I had to shoot a series of skaters skating off a stairway and doing flips and I SIMPLY USED multiple flashes with TTL on a F3HP plus an F3TC (Chrome) that synced at 1/80th (LOL). How I did it, is that I used a few Metz flashes (I believe that was the brand) with different heads set on MANUAL for the metered exposure I wanted and then I used a Nikon SB16A (F3 head style) and a SB16B (FA, FM style ISO shoe) plus, I believe an SB (forgot number) and then linked all the Nikons with the Nikon TTL external cords and then mounted the 2 other Nikons on small tripods (lol). When I shot the scene, the Nikon’s TTL metering did all the calculations and the other non-TTL flashes were merely FILL-FLASH, as I had ‘ratioed’ them down for maybe 1 stop of LESS exposure, so as to not fool my main flashes. One manual flash had a green head and the other had a red head, so hence my problem. It was an experiment and it worked out well, as I was using Fujichrome Pro 50D, 400D and 64T slide films. I also shot some fireworks the same night and I used a combination of TTL and manual flashes to light an area (under St. Louis Gateway Arch looking at the bridge) as I wanted to also give a little highlight to the stainless steel Archway and I was also using Nikon polarizers (LOL), so had my hands full. Worked well for an experiment and the shots were awesome!
              Thus, you need to get gear, even older gear and EXPERIMENT a lot, plus read how others solve complex problems. Nikon now has CLS and this is way beyond what I had then, PLUS it works reliably with the NEWER cameras and flashes. I don’t know about your D70s, but the D300 works with it, so you need multiple flashes and then put them down the path you are expecting the object to go and then that is where the sequencing comes in. Sorry, but busy today and thus have to leave NOW.
              Have a good one.

      • ShaoLynx

        Yes indeed. Good remark about the Canon 1DM4.
        That camera is really superior to the D3s.
        In comparison the D3s has nothing inside.
        Just check out Photography Bay: they made a clear comparison between the two:
        Conclusion: Oops! (read the article in order to understand)
        OK, in general we know the PB is just a little biased in favor for Canon.
        But as we can see from the article: they do can remain objective.
        Now, *that* made me smile in the morning.

        • Jabs

          Good references, as I too have been following that article at Photographybay.
          The problem with the Canon Mk4 is NOT only autofocus performance but also RED channel response, or even a lack of it clearly demonstrated in actual photographs from the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
          People tell us crap here and I often overlook them or set them straight.
          The Canon 1DMk4 does NOT even equal the original Nikon D3, which has the same autofocus module as the newer D3S.
          The D3 series floored Canon just like when the F3 series was introduced and wiped out the Canon F1 and then the F1n. History repeats itself often in the Nikon -vs- Canon debate/war – LOL! Now, let us see what Canon introduces in a full frame camera (maybe at Photokina …?) to really counter the D3 series and it sure HAS NOT been the cropped sensor 1DMk4, as that was aimed at the D300/D300S which is Nikon’s crop sensor Pro BODY.
          The newest or most recent Canon full frame camera is the 21 megapixel 5DMk2 which contains the old sensor from the older full frame Canon Pro body with an antique (by current AF -DSLR standards) focusing system and slow fps (frames per second).

      • Jabs

        What are you going on about?
        Facts for you:
        Canon DOES not have a full frame DSLR that is even current or with current state of the art technology. Their OLD full frame body is a few years old and even released BEFORE the D3 (the original) and not the D3S.
        The new 1DMk4 is NOT a full frame camera and it cannot even equal the older D3 much less the NEW D3S. You have your wires crossed!
        Nikon is ahead of Canon by a MILE in the Pro ranks and the D3X with 24 megapixels costs a lot BUT so does the Canon older FULL FRAME model with 21 megapixels.
        All over the Internet people rant about Nikon being behind in the PRO ranks and even behind in megapixels, but the FACTS show otherwise.
        Please get back to me WHEN Canon finally updates their ONE Pro body and it sure is NOT the 1DMk4. Maybe they will have something for us at Photokina!

        • Not the camera body.

          Canon leapfrogged Nikon in the pro arena (mainly sports?) because of their lenses – especially those with image stabilization.

          That’s the reason for all the white at sporting events, not the body.

          Will Canon’s latest releases keep them there? time will tell.

          • Jabs

            @Not the camera BODY:
            Old outdated information dude!
            That was correct years ago BUT not today, unless the photographer is from a COMPANY stuck in the Canon system via an arsenal of lenses. The BODY is what matters as Nikon has surpassed Canon in lens quality and Nikon’s VR-2 eats Canon’s lunch.
            Canon JUST caught up with the NEWER unreleased lens stuff (interesting for sure), but the BODY is where focus speed and accuracy determines how many KEEPERS you have and Canon sucks at that right NOW, hence most have LEFT Canon except those stuck in the lens hole – lol!
            I expect something spectacular from Canon soon, BUT they are in a hole NOW and can’t get out.

  • wow… now you can beat people with your camera if they try to steal it.

    • Like you can’t already?

      • eyrieowl

        eh…magnesium alloys transmit the vibration right to your hand. good way to get a stress fracture. you need something which will remain firm while cushioning your hand as you strike.

        • El Aura

          You don’t hold the camera, you swing it at its straps.

          • Victor Hassleblood

            Right, this is how it’s done. Takes a bit more practice but adds acceleration and is significantly extending reach in combat. But why make it lighter? For a girly fight?

          • Bob Agens

            This comment made my day…

          • LGO

            The photographers in this video had it wrong then?


  • DFive

    Great !!! A $10K + Camera !!!!

    But it would make the camera 250 – 400 grams lighter perhaps ?

    or perhaps its the MX Format: Studio / Landscape / commercial type of camera with 64Mp – 1.5 frames per second and ISO Max of 6400 !!! 😉

    • And a standard Mamiya mount for digital backs please. (just dreaming)

    • Lawliet

      Don’t be afraid of the price point. Think of RC cars, the better ones come with a carbon chassis yet you could buy a whole racing team for the price of one of the common pro lenses. 🙂

  • benS

    wow ! would this make the carbon fibre DSLR as fast as an F1 car ? … just joking.

    WOW ! WOW ! this would be the first exotic camera ala exotic cars 🙂 After the dslr body, i bet their pro lenses would then be carbon fiber too. yahoooo !!! just think how much attention Nikon would get.

    Oh btw i am an formula 1 fan. Whenever an f1 car has a big crash, it shatters in pieces. I guess that would happen to the carbon dslr and carbon lens when you drop it hard enough 🙂

    • Noed

      Yes, but not the chassis. Only the nose cone and the rear wing (plus wheels, of course) that will break into pieces, but not the tube (monocoque chassis) where the driver sit in.

      Btw, I guess it’s the answer to why D7k will have a magnesium alloy body.

      • SGN

        I like the name D7k! No reason why I can’t call ours D5k then!

        • SGN

          Then, who needs D4????? 😀 😛

        • Dan

          Why not the DfK8!

      • PHB

        No, in Formula One almost the entire chassis is made using composites. The only major structural component that is metal these days is the engine block.

        Indycars might still use a tube frame. The design of Indycars and most other formulas was frozen several decades ago to avoid the rising costs of Formula One racing where it now costs in excess of $50 million a year to run a team at the back of the grid. The major teams spend ten times that amount.

        • Jabs


          Carbon fiber used in F1 is a composite of varying things. They use it as an overlay with other things beneath it.
          THE usage model there is about strength, prohibiting penetration from IMPACT, structural rigidity and LIGHT weight plus SPEED in parts or assembly changing.
          You can MOLD a shape in ONE piece and then when there is a crash, you CHANGE parts as a unit.

          You folks depend on wikipedia TOO MUCH. Google cannot make you an experienced commentator NOR allow you to decipher what you just read.

          BOTH F1 and Indy use carbon fiber BUT the RULES preclude much of their differences plus the cars go at different speeds and use different types of tracks.
          F1 has many road races, HENCE a need for greater durability while Indy is mainly smooth TRACK based like NASCAR.
          Indy and NASCAR are American based while F1 is International based – ‘gearhead’ here!
          Have you seen an Indy car lately – like in the past TEN years?

    • jason

      exactly mate ! no way would nikon ever risk that happening also if they did happen to bring out a carbon fibre D4 body then expect 1-2k on top of the price as CF aint cheap i too am a motorsport fan

    • Jabs

      The reason an F1 car comes apart in a crash HAS nothing to do with carbon fiber or NOT. The car is designed to purposely COME APART to absorb the impact, splinter and SAVE the driver and the precious components INSIDE the car.
      A controlled implosion or explosion that moves away from the vehicle.
      It is a safety measure like collapsible steering columns, break away steering wheels,engine and suspension mounts that shear away instead of remaining intact and then kill the driver by crushing the cockpit. Same as in safety tanks and such things in a modern race car.

      • iamlucky13

        More or less correct.

        Also, carbon fiber parts can be created in a variety of different weaves and layups and with a wide range of binder materials (epoxy resins or plastics, typically). The properties of the binder contribute to the properties of the CF part.

        The result can be parts that are very rigid, but not very damage tolerant (often seen in bike frames) or more flexible or susceptible to localized damage, but damage tends not the spread.

        I’m a little skeptical of the rumor because small carbon fiber parts are relatively tough to shape, but that doesn’t mean Nikon isn’t trying to work out a reliable and accurate process for making camera bodies out of it.

        • Jabs

          True – but we don’t know for sure WHAT parts Nikon is going to use the various carbon fibers to make, mold or even cover surfaces with. I refuse to guess, as that is a point of speculation so since I am not aware of or privy to their plans, then a waste of my time. Let’s see what they introduce – LOL!

      • Richard

        You are both right and wrong. All modern race cars, yes, even NASCAR bodies, are designed with crumple zones to absorb energy and have a survival area of the chassis which, with luck will not be compromised in the crash. Even some components are intended to come off, but have tethers to keep them from flying into the stands. (F1 chassis are subjected to crash testing believe it or not.)

        All that does not change the basic nature of CF, however. CF is strong and light, but when CF fails, it is gone. It does not crumple like some other things. It fractures into a great many pieces. It is true that certain components have a structure that is “one the edge”, such as wings whereas the driver compartment is fabricated to withstand impacts.

        • Jabs

          Your guesses are definitely WRONG.
          Carbon fiber is a NAME or designation for ‘zillions’ of composites. THEIR intended use determines what is used as the formula or ingredients in the COMPOSITE structure or even the composites themselves.
          You reread wikipedia or googled answers perhaps BUT you still do NOT get it. I just posted an F1 blog to perhaps educate you as I work in Industrial places (I did not make this leak, either) and thus NOT guessing. My background is also Automotive Engineering, so no need to comment to you again, as indeed you are clueless.
          Composites can be from graphite to kevlar to all types of things and some are all fiber while others are a combination of minerals, metals and other such things.
          HENCE, when you do NOT know what the composition is or the application and the intended USE of a thing is for, then you are CLUELESS as to what they are making or also using in the substrate.
          Some composites are laid up and then resin impregnated while others are molded/vacuum formed or such. Some are machinable – some contain metals in their centers or cores and others are pure synthetics or a combination of synthetic/mineral/natural fibers, e.g..
          Carbon fibers is too wide a definition or area to guess about as that makes you clueless and without ANY details there is nothing to go on.
          Simple as that!

          CARBON is what throws you off.
          Carbon life form = humans in Sci-Fi movies!

  • Stepper

    I hate carbon fiber! It’s so 2005.

  • John

    Well, magnesium frames ain’t cheap and the cost of doing anything with carbon fiber is continually decreasing due to advances in manufacturing techniques and sheer volume of the raw materials that are now produced.
    It’s also very very temperature stable and can be very thermally conductive if you know what you are doing, so I can see how it could be applied to a camera body.

    Very cool. I want one, whatever it ends up being put in to.

    – John

    • DFive

      Nah….. I want:
      a cast Titanium upper and lower Body…..
      with a full Carbon Fibre internal Chassis…..
      with the back screen being Saphire Crystal like the Leica S2…..
      and Ceramic Buttons Like the Vertu Phones…..

      thx Nikon.

      ( It will be called: “NIKON D-Canon Is Crap As” 😉

      • Jabs

        You people here are really stupid and uninformed.
        To me – it seems like Nikon is perhaps investigating Carbon Fiber as an EXTERIOR covering for a camera, as it absorbs bumps and bruises better.
        I don’t think that they are going to use it on the frame or structure of the camera, as that is perhaps too precise for that plus that requires precise alignment from machined surfaces.
        It reminds me of when Nikon used Titanium in the F3TC to make the OUTER shell of the camera more impervious to bruises and scratches PLUS to better protect the INNER components of the camera from destruction via falls and such.
        You people read too much on the Internet/TV and then DO NOT understand it as perhaps you did not go to College and study Material Sciences – duh!
        Nikon is the opposite of Leica or even BMW, who use carbon fiber as the ultimate in ‘chicness’ along with such catch-phrases to throw at foolish or uninformed RICH persons or sybarites who now quote that which they are clueless about as exotic benefits (lol). Carbon fibers’ strength is its’ ability to ABSORB impact and then retain its’ shape without damaging things below it.

        • Richard

          Excuse me! Carbon fiber does a number of things well, one of them is not “absorb bumps and bruises better”. Just what is your experience with carbon fiber?

          • Jabs

            College – Material Sciences, Engineering, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Biology as Majors – 30+ years of experience in Industrial stuff.
            25+ years of USING and owning cameras.
            Logical thinker – A+ student – ‘muttonhead’ + goofball person – LOL!
            Analytical mind – Nikon fan.

            Need more?

            • DFive

              Re comment : “you stupid people”
              If your such a god damn self admitting Genius why not take a chill pill and have some fun bro….

            • Richard


              None of your “qualifications” have anything whatsoever to do with CF failure mode analysis. (Plus, you must not be very good at your profession not to know the limitations of your expertise.) The “Li’l Abner Rule applies here: “As any fool can plainly see…” Anyone, anyone at all with real world experience with CF fabrications knows you are, quite simply, wrong and could hardly be more wrong if you tried.

              You appear to have done one thing well, however…fooling your employer.

            • Jabs

              Sorry to burst your bubble, but I have my own Business and have done this for years and am also a Consultant in my field and work daily there too. You read and perhaps perceive not.
              You are caught up in NAMES and terms while unaware of what they really mean. I do work for Industrial Companies mainly and they think that I am great and they pay me correspondingly, as I explain things to THEM for a living, hence you are clueless and when someone tries to alert you, you tell them things unknown to you. You read about small shops and their hand made things, but that is NOT what the Industry does. HP introduced a professional 3D printer a few months back – go find out what it does and then come back here and explain this to me or anyone here – web site reader. Try and find it now and then attempt to explain what it does and then HOW!
              Certain things are above the grasp of ALL of us humans, but when you don’t know, it is best to just shut up and let someone else teach you.
              I’ll give you a little hint – over 30 years ago, I designed and started to build a revolutionary CF boat in my backyard from fiber overlaid with resin.

    • LGO

      I would expect that a carbon-fiber body produced in the thousands would also significantly bring down the costof a dSLR body vs a carbon fiber component manufactured as a one-off item or in the tens, or hundreds at the most.

  • Dan

    wow.. D4?

  • Ren Kockwell

    They should make the bodies out of Legos. If it falls, just put in some new bricks.

    • Have you seen the price of LEGOs? We’d have another Nikon body that everyone would be yelling, “No one can afford this!!1!”

      • jay

        Then it would be NOCAT1, NOCATs, and NOCATx

  • Dan

    One thing though if it is the new D4 material, it will be some time before they can set it up for a production run… It sounds like they are just trying to come up with a solution for their housing. Definatly a year off if this is the case.

  • i_still_want_a_D900

    I wish nikon use carbon fiber on more lens barrels as well, particularly the 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8s.

    • sword

      Good idea!

    • LGO

      I understand that Canon did something exactly like this in one of its new long lenses.

      It will be a matter of time before we should see the same in Nikkor lenses.

    • The thing is that carbon fiber has one disadvantage — it gets quite brittle at lower temperatures.

      • John

        What – where did you get this from? I guess all those carbon fiber tennis rackets, trekking poles, airplane wings, etc. immediately break when used in cold temperatures. Just not true.
        There are many different types of carbon fiber material that are used for different applications.

        • Brittle…

          Yes, but it might be a bad idea to take it to Artic/Antartica and then accidently drop it on a rock….

          • Jabs

            That’s a foolish comment.
            It gets colder in the upper atmosphere than in ALL of Alaska or the Arctic.
            The temperatures that airplanes are subject to in subsonic or supersonic speeds or even in SPACE, are lower than anything here on Earth.
            There are MANY different forms of Carbon Fiber – a COMPOSITE material used in various structural scenarios for different reasons. Composite means = made up of various elements to achieve a desired result, thus Carbon fiber VARIES by its’ intended USE and covers a lot of different materials that make it up!

  • sword


  • Scaled Composites in California. Someone is getting their ass fired come Monday.

    • LGO

      It may not be a good idea to suggest this here. Poor guy.

      Can Admin delete the name of the company?

      • No worries, this is just somebody’s guess – there are many companies out there that can do that kind of research.

        • T140Rider

          Exactly my thoughts.
          I visited a small CF shop in the Midlands(UK) a week or so ago. They were making all manner of small stuff that would go into Cars, planes etc. They started out making Racing Car Chassis. At least 4 F1 Teams are based with 20 miles of this company.
          This is the sort of place that could easily produce a body for Nikon.
          These guys are wizzards at sorting out the manufacturing problems that something as intricate as a DSLR body needs. Some of the CF components for Aircraft would easily be as complicated as a DSLR Body.

          • Myself

            Aircraft components are *way* more complicated than a DSLR pro body.

  • to be honest if they are indeed working in a carbon fibre body this could be just the first step into a entirely new way to build camera gear that is actually lighter without sacrifice of strength, imagine something like the big telephoto lenses like the 400mm f2.8 and 600mm f4.0 being made in part with carbon fibre to lose few pounds and make it easier to handle

    if the full body line is getting new materials means also they could squeeze either heavier electronics or bigger battery without changing the weight of the current D3s/x giving us more powerful camera

    bottom line, this is something no one was expecting!

    • foto

      most of the weight is glass

    • John

      Tue, the weight reduction would not be huge, but carbon fiber has other interesting properties, like high stiffness, high vibration damping, and low coefficient of thermal expansion – all great things for a lens structural material.

      • Richard

        Yes, CF has great thermal stability, but is that really a problem in camera bodies?

  • jay

    “slight reduction” – what does that mean?

  • zzddrr

    I like this, we have tennis rockets made out carbon fiber for over 10-15 yrs, gitzo has been making carbon fiber tripods for awhile….and formula 1 or space tech is all around carbon fiber for at least 20yrs. Thank God Nikon is innovating. I am serious right now because not 1 Japanese manufacturer wanted to make a carbon fiber dslr. Of course don’t forget that carbon fiber is now cheaper than the machinery of metals not to mention the speed difference between machinery and cf tech. (and I did not want to get into the deal of making the cf bodies in low cost countries where they do not give sh*t about environment etc.)

    OTOH, by the time Nikon will release this new carbon fiber body, we have to carbon date everything from the existing dslrs already on the market at the release date of this “magic camera” to estimate when I made this guess. 🙂

    • Ben

      Yes, I’m sure that over the years, none of them had thought of it, and it has nothing to do with cost. :rolleyes:

    • Jabs

      What are you rambling on about?
      It is MACHINERY that makes Carbon Fiber components in an Industrial Environment and NOT people.
      The designs are made via COMPUTER Assisted Design or even 3D Prototyping and then laser guided manufactured prototype development.
      WHAT does this have to do with low cost labor? ANYONE can push a button, but how many can oversee Computer guided manufacturing in CLEAN ROOMS?
      Stuck in the past dude?
      Carbon fiber is also a VARIED item per its’ intended usage, so perhaps you go back to School or get up to speed in CURRENT Engineering disciplines.
      Actually per current Industrial usage models, the Japanese are way ahead.
      EVER heard of where on Earth are RACE bicycles made and by WHO? Who mastered composite structures first as a consumer item – don’t tell me about the US Military too!
      Who has Boeing outsourced their latest Dreamliner to and WHY have they been unable to make this GIANT composite airplane? Have you read WHERE and WHY they have so many delays in this COMPOSITE airplane?
      Advice to you – LEARN much as it precludes complaining!
      Makes you a better person too!

  • zzddrr

    one drawback, cf cannot last that long. It gets tired over yrs compared to metals.

    • zzddrr

      ok, for digital cf non modular body is fine because anyway a current body becomes pretty much outdated in 10-15 yrs but forget about beyond that.

    • Ben

      Yes…that’s why its being used in Boeing’s dreamliner, and in sports, where it endures heavy impacts and has proven itself reliable. Its definitely not a suitable material for a camera, which is going to see little to none of these stresses.

      • zzddrr

        That’s not the point Ben.

        • With that logic, all cameras could just be made out of plastic.

          Pro bodies have a pro build because they can, and with many field photographers, will endure great physical stress.

          • Ben

            Sorry, I think you missed my tongue in cheek there. There’s no way a camera is going to see any of the stresses used in sports, and yet carbon fiber is a perfectly suitable material for those activities, without getting “tired.” Therefore, suggesting that its a weak material for cameras because it will get “tired” after a few years is ludicrous. Complaining about Nikon exploring the use of carbon fiber is asinine.

            • JorPet

              My thoughts exactly. Boeing builds jets for 20-30 year life spans. The 757 is a monocoque frame, so you can’t swap out pieces of it. Thus a camera body made of the same material should have a 50 year life expectancy no problem.

            • zzddrr

              I was trying to point out that there are areas on a dslr body that could be under tremendous stress and not sure whether 10 yrs later it would not be tired and fail. (e.g. the lens attachement) When cf fails it is pretty bad when metals fail they bend.

    • Jabs

      You are WRONG.
      The reason why the Airplane Industry is going to COMPOSITES is because metal fatigues quicker than COMPOSITES.
      Composites bend and absorb impact while metals are rigid and thus FRACTURE.
      There also are a variety of composites like what are used in the Stealth airplanes in the US and around the world.
      EACH composite has a differing make up thus the TERM composite. Composite = COMPOSED of many things to achieve varying goals.

  • That’ll give them another reason to jack up the price of the pro bodies 😉

  • Rafael

    why a D4 if the D3x is just perfect.. bah, BRING THE NEW D800 or D700x cmon! cut the crap

    • Victor Hassleblood

      You mean D700c? I am sure its carbon body will do a lot for IQ.

  • Oh c’mon Nikon, you can do better than carbon fibre. How about Kevlar?!!! Kevlar would make us all sound as hard as nails!

    • fotosniper2000@yahoo

      Kevlar has a low melting point. other substances will scratch it easily. no very high on the hardness scale. cf is very strong but brittle. losing weight is a plus but I don’t think it would be more durable

      • Ren Kockwell

        If Kevlar can endure 120 degree Afghanistan heat under gear on a sweaty soldier, I’m guessing it’s fine for my camera.

      • John

        “Brittle” is not quite the word to use to describe carbon fiber. Yes when it fails, it fails spectacularly, but to get it to fail takes a tremendous amount of effort. Depending on the type, it can have little to no plastic deformation before it fails. It’s very durable and tough that’s why they use it for things like tennis racquets, trekking poles, airplane wings, etc., etc.
        It has fantastic properties, but can be difficult to work with.

    • jason

      the weight of the camera doesnt really bother me, its more how it performs that makes me want to buy it , and lets face it when nikon does produce the goods us users will be getting what ever it is for its nikon simply the best
      your nikon , i am nikon , the world will be nikon ha ha

  • roadrunner1

    I had heard about this research and was also informed that the results of the research will be used on the next semi-pro DX body. Once the first body has been tested in the field and all is well, then it will be used for other full frame cameras.

    • Kevin

      Semi pro DX meaning the D7000 replacement?
      Or the D400?

      • jason

        someone tell me , why if the D300/D300s is the pro-DX models then why arnt they in a pro style body something like the D2 series now that in its self would be a killer the D400 in a pro style body no more buying the battery grip that would mint

        • PHB

          Nikon already sell a 10MP large body DX camera, its called the D3x.

        • Jabs

          A simple answer – Nikon was unable to make Full-frame cameras a few years ago, as they said that the sensors were not there yet for whatever reason they had. They them touted the cropped sensor and CCD’s as superior to the then sensors others were moving towards (CMOS).
          Canon went full frame and electronic BEFORE Nikon and ran away from them. Nikon countered with better colors and faster framing and tougher bodies but was still behind Canon.
          All this changed with the D3 series as Nikon had ‘perfected’ their new Pro line as a NEW full frame camera and ran over everyone including Canon. The rest is History!
          The D2 series was the professional series then, BUT it was stuck at the cropped sensor level (now called DX). Nikon then made the D300 series (DX Pro body) as the replacement for the D2 series (DX Pro body) and then the D3 series became the new PRO line but it had a new FX sensor or a full frame sensor like 35mm film does, hence no crop factors.
          GOT it?

    • roadrunner1

      My mistake, i should have pointed out that by “semi-pro-DX body”, i meant the replacement for the D300 & D400. It wont be the size of the D2x but a three part skeleton for a DX format sensor without the builtin grip.

  • randyravener

    iirc, molding a carbon fibre isn’t easy, especially if you have lots of curves and dips.

  • CamaJan

    I hope they wont try and charge this “feature ” to much.
    CF is pretty cheap today. And bulilding a simple thing as camera, doesnt reruire aerospace/f1 quality!

    • fotosniper2000@yahoo

      most cf manufacturing is still a hand process.

    • Myself.

      CF is pretty cheap?What CF are you thinking of?
      CF goes anywhere from ridiculosly cheap to pretty,pretty expensive.
      Let’s suppose they go for a 2 part stamp,say front and back.
      The shape isn’t that complex,but the required performance is.
      I repeat,the price depends upon many things,but i’d expect it to be around D3x level prices.

      • PHB

        The rumor talks of a 3d woven shape. That is very high end.

        Most CF work is hand made because it is low volume. I would expect that even the D4 would require considerably more volume than the typical runs to date.

        If you look at the materials Apple used in the iPhone 4, it would have cost any other company about $2000 per phone to make. When you know that you can sell 1.7 million phones in three days you can make some pretty radical choices. Nikon is not in that league but they would place much larger orders than anything that has gone before.

  • Myself.

    Dear anonymous tipper,you work with aerospace materials,i work with aerospace systems.Hope this is really a joke, because for a heavy-duty body the use of CF or CFRP is a pretty poor choice.You need a *minimum* of resilience and shock fracture resistance in those bodies,and CF family will eventually give you that,but at an industrial cost comparable to the rest of the camera.
    Want a crazy-cost-hyperspace body?Ok,go on with RCC or C/SIC,or why not..Ti-C/Al-C?
    Do you really need a k$ body for a few gram less?Will it make better shots because of the lesser weight?

    • Hehe! Better shots, no. But will it look ‘weapon’ cool and make everyone wet their knickers to get hold of one? Oh yes…

      I’m a keen cyclist and carbon fibre has been used to manufacture pretty much every component imaginable regardless of how appropriate it is for the job. (still not convinced by the naked carbon fibre saddles!)

      It does look cool though. People like cool.

      To be honest I’m surprised there hasn’t been more use of these type of materials in photographic kit. Particularly in the pro end where money literally appears to be no object!

      • Myself.

        A less expensive solution would be an Al frame covered in CF layers.
        You can see that in Ducati’s Motogp rear suspension.
        All the extra engineering for saving that last gram,which is what skyrockets the cost,here can be quickly avoided,and those few more grams can quietly go under the name of “safety factor”.
        The external layers can be low module CF,to have higher endurance to “normal life” impacts than highly specialized high module CF.
        Then you’ll have a light body with the same durability as current ones without spending a fortune.
        But of course the words “carbon fibre” means they’ll still going to charge a lot for it nonetheless.

      • Mike

        I too do a lot of cycling and what does and has always worried me is that when carbon fibre fails, it does so catastrophically. Metal dents and cracks, CF shatters. I would wonder about the stress around the mount over time. One day you might be looking at your lens and mount on the floor – still attached. “I ain’t no expert or nuttin”, so I’m quite happy to be told my concerns are unfounded.

        • Myself

          See?That is my point.
          That catastrophic failure is the result of lack of resilience plus anispotropy of young’s modulus(and other stuff) in CF.

  • oooh, thats what i need!

    • but not in Dx sized body only, Dxxx full frame would be appreciated…
      …maybe, one time, pro-backpacker-photographers dream camera will be real…

  • Daf

    Funky idea.

    Wonder if the balance would then be a little wrong i.e. lens outweigh the body.

  • S

    I knew Nikon would be doing this..I speculated the idea with myself some months ago. It would be seen as a natural progression a lot of equipment and things are incorporating the use of carbon fibre.

    I really do expect the D4 to be much much better than the spec sheet of the D3s…the camera must be better in every way…when a new series is out…it’s Nikon’s way. Bigger more detailed LCD, 400,000 actuation shutter life..faster..lighter..much better dynamic range..most probably 1.3 stops better than the current D3X. If we be realistic..Nikon will BLOW our heads off next year come september.

    • S

      By the way guys, If this is indeed true…does that open up the door for slightly lighter FX lenses through the use of carbon fibre..? I know the weight culmination in a lens is mainly due to the glass…but what do you think?

  • Bart

    That would be awesome. I think we will see this in the D4. I think it’s strong enough. Maybey they reinforce it with other metals in to corners or in the more fragile part’s. Nikon is known for it’s strong camera’s so I don’t think they will mess that up.
    And @ S ,

    I think they will use it in the future for their lenses. Seem logical. As long as they don’t change the colour , it’s fine with me.

  • OffCamber

    Most engineered plastic parts that are weight sensitive can be made from a plastic with up to %30 glass or carbon fiber filler. Alot of the components including the chassis could be made in the traditional way with plastic that is CF filled. To bad people would still call it a cheap plastic part. They are very wrong.
    You would end up with very light and strong body except that it would not have that fancy weave look.

  • How much is this gonna cost us ?

  • Phillip

    This will add at least $2000 alone to the cost.

  • rhyan

    I think this body is not going to hit the shelves, although produced. In my opinion it will be some sort of either military or spacecraft usage. Then, e.g. in 10 years or so, it may go into mass production.
    As you know US Army have custom made super duper computers, made by IBM, which are bullet proof, water proof, whatever shit happens proof.
    I suppose such a dslr body is ordered for specail purposes only. As you know Nikon have been the standard photographic equipment on the shuttle and the space station ever since D2, so I suppose, as a requirement for weight reduction, etc. NASA may have requested some sort of lightweight body.
    I’d say – yes, maybe it is under development, but no, don’t expect this product to be available in the stores. At least not in close future.

    And about legos – Metallica have a song named ‘King Nothing’. There’s a verse saying…
    “Careful what you wish, cos you may get it.
    Careful what you wish, cos you may regret it!”

    So…there you go!
    Lego Camera by Pentax

    • Alex Wong

      Weight reduction in zero gravity? :S

  • brave new world

    The camera weight is nothing compared to the newser lens … Why would one want having this for the body? The key is: a camera is a computer with a sensor … it takes the most advanced computing gear and sensor – forget the body.

  • Simpleman

    why are they concentrating on stupid things , dslr magnesium alloys is quite fine , worked until now , i dont understand nikon investing on the outside , instead of improving the inside , still photographers dont care , a little heavier or a little lighter , whats the big issue here , and the ones who wants dslr for video , dont care either coz their gonna put it on a rig anyhow 🙁

  • NascarGeoff

    I think it’s encouraging (if true) to see that Nikon is looking for unique ways to improve their cameras. Although today’s cameras are excellent in so many ways, there still remains many things (eg size/weight) that can be improved upon. It’s nice to see that camera companies aren’t just focused on ISO and MP.

  • kljs

    License to increase prices. Because they will claim that they are giving people a more stronger body, hence the price increase.

  • The price would ROCKET up even, more than usual.
    I’m quite happy with the tough ABS plastic and magnesium alloy exoskeletons.
    Tried and tested.

    The CF and kevlar shutter systems though… they should carry on.

  • I think this is a wonderful idea for anything BUT a pro camera. Sometimes I whine about hefting a pro body and 70-200 all day, but in the end, it gets the shots, and the mass is what subdues the recoil of the mirror. There’s only so light you can make an FX mirror. So…heavy will remain the norm until something more drastic than materials changes.

    • vinman

      Maybe there won’t BE a mirror box at all (cue Mission Impossible theme). While mass is a good way to damp the vibrations caused by the primary and secondary mirrors moving and “slapping”, CF offers great vibration damping through different characteristics. Afterall, there are many very compelling reasons to redesign around the elimination of the traditional mirror box and very few (any?) reasons to keep it aside from having to veer from traditional SLR design…

      • A mirror box doesn’t limit my work. Ever.

        Some obstacles of losing the mirror box are as follows: not as clear a view in low light due to insensitivity of current sensors. Added noise from a combination of heat, amping, and electrical interference from motors in camera. Lag from shutter closing and opening and closing and opening again for every image–also inherent reduction in frame rate because of this. Focusing accuracy would take revolutionary processing because of contrast detect and ability to interpret scenes from large amount of information. Meter not being able to process the large flow of info from the sensor. Whole new mount.

        I’m sure there’s more. That’s all off the top of my head.

        • PHB

          The mirror box may not limit your work but it creates huge issues for designers of wide angle lenses.

          Without the mirror box, a top quality 24 f/1.4 would cost about $400.

          • Jabs

            Baloney about that costing $400.
            US dollars or some other currency?
            The mirror box controls the VIEW through the Pentaprism. It has nothing to do with the cost of a lens.
            Lens costs because they have to GROW glass crystals and then machine and polish them to tight tolerances. BIG lenses diameters as in LOWER F-stop lenses (F1.0 to F1.4 or F1.8 for example) = Higher costs to produce as the glass is bigger, as in bigger diameter per each same focal length lens.
            Simple as that.

            • bernard

              Isn’t the design of wide-angle lenses simpler without a mirror box?

  • LeftCoastKenny

    Clearly, the CF sensor in the Nikon is superior that in both the Sony & Canon cameras.

  • Dweeb

    And don’t forget water absorption, UV damage, hidden moulding stresses, …

    The miracle Titanium laptops didn’t last too long over at Apple.

  • SA

    Hi guys!
    Test Nikon D3100

    With RAW. Comparison with Sony SLT-A55 and Canon EOS 60D.

    Interesting your opinion.

    I saw pictures already and I’m in shock. What a hell is happened with D3100′s metering? All shots overexposed!

    • LGO

      Possibly incorrect use of Active D-Lighting? But there could be a myriad of other reasons as well.

      Nevertheless, in terms of noise, I see that the D3100 performed very well. The D7000 will likely even be better. Bad news for the competition … good news for those who will be getting the D7000.

      • SA

        Some people in my country’s forums telling about that Nikon came back to old practice like in D80. When high ISO digit, for example 12800 in the real is 6400. Because look at the shutter speed in D3100 shots. It’s twice longer, than competitors.

        • Karlosak

          Isn’t it rather because of lighter exposition, judging just by eye could be even +1 EV than competitors. Then there would be no ISO cheating, just different exposure (why is that, that’s a different question though).

  • Nubberz

    In stead of carbon fibre, how about G10? It too is light weight and very durable, on a couple of my deployment knife handles, it’s not affected by temperature, water and could be beaten with a hammer with out shattering. A mixture of G10 and a light weight metal alloy but be superb.

  • Wolf

    Sounds suspicious. For somebody working in aerospace materials, the comment about “full size”, even mentioning particular models, is perhaps a little too specific.

  • Catastrophile

    plastic & professional may not be as contradictory to each other as many seem to think after all. I look forward to the plasticofessional Nikon D4. The tripod mount should be fiber while the glass of the lenses made of carbon instead of the usual silicon glass.

  • cndlpwr

    I’m surprised nobody has brought this up, but are there any wedding or event photographers in the crowd? The smallest weight savings can add up to BIG benefits when you are lifting a camera up to your face hundreds or even thousands of times over the course of a gig. I shot a wedding last night and used a D700 with grip, 24-70 2.8, plus a RRS wedding pro bracket and SB-800 with diffuser. At the end of the night my right hand and fingers were quite fatigued from all the lifting. Now I know we all discover ways to work more ergonomically with time and experience, but there is no substitute for light weight equipment. Yes, it’s always expensive. But when you consider that it’s an investment in your body more than the gear, it starts to make sense. Who wants to be broke down with arthritis and carpal tunnel after years of using the best but heaviest gear available? What good have you done? I for one am happy to hear about the possible implementation of even lighter weight materials for our tools.

    • LGO

      I know what you mean but most photographers who does this gets used to it. Lifting weights if done in the correct form may even help improve one’s physique. 🙂 A little weight training will not hurt. 🙂

      Nonetheless, if using carbon fiber will help to make the body and lens lighter and more rigid at a reasonable cost, then it will be a matter of time before this will become the norm.

      • cndlpwr

        I agree on the aspect of fitness but I’m not referring to one’s general conditioning.

        If being fit was all it took to remove all possibility of physical maladies then we’d all be the better for it. But repetitive stresses like lifting a camera hundreds of times a day for weeks, months, years on end will take it’s toll regardless of how fast you can run a mile. Changes in technique will be made for sure, photographers will adapt to a degree but it will ALWAYS benefit the long term well being of your physical frame if lighter weight cameras are used.

        • im wedding/event photographer and i totally agree with the light weight gear improvements since because im in good shape now but in 20 years i pretend to still doing photography and all the gear I have in my bag isn’t getting lighter as years pass by

  • minivini

    For all of you complaining about Nikon working so hard on the outside of a camera, why do you think that has ANYTHING to do the electronic inside the body? Do you really think the engineers working on ergonomics and structural components are also designing the inner hardware/software? Quit whining and let these people do what thy do best – design and engineer. If (and I stress IF) Nikon is experimenting with CF, and IF it’s not just a proof of concept design, I’m pretty confident in their judgement after shooting their bodies and lenses for 25+ years. There’s more than one type CF, more than one type bonding agent, more than one type molding process, more than one type curing process – ALL of which affect the characteristics of the final product. There may (MAY) be one person in fifteen thousand or so reading this blog who know remotely enough on the subject to weigh in intelligently – I’m not one of them and neither are probably any of you who are complaining. Let’s all drool a little and move along, shall we?

    • Jabs

      Good points!
      We have Web site readers here – wikipedia and such.
      They are clueless and make statements like parrots – without any logics or knowledge.

      Let them have fun.

  • We want metal 🙂 and not CF.
    If D4 would be made out of CF, you couldn’t use it as a hammer anymore. 🙁

  • Phil Gates

    If someone discloses proprietary information from their employer, they should get canned. No idea if this rmour is true or not, but disclosing alleged tips from an R&D stage in order to pimp one’s site is irresponsible at best. If indeed Nikon is working on this, what is the benefit of this discloosure? To tip off Canon? A big -1 for this.

    • S

      Irresponsible whom? The billion dollar company like Nikon? If you’re sooo against it and feel very strongly about what you’ve uttered..why bother coming back here? And while I let off some steam..what’s wrong with tipping off canon ..if it is true…as consumers..we should be pleased because it might mean canon now has earshot of this and might pursue an opportunity to offer the public a competitive alternative.. which would only help lower prices for US ..the hard working, tax paying, regular guy who loves all things photographic.

      It’s tough faeces for Nikon if someone has tipped NR and it’s accurate. Sack the guy who opened his trap and leave NR to do what it does best…

  • nobody special

    “slight reduction in weight”, doesn’t seem to bring a benefit when the bodies are so big and heavy, it would have to be a major cost saving for Nikon if they are going to bother. Though, as mentioned, the moulding of a new shape is easier with CF – time will tell as usual.

  • Dan

    Well since this type of technology has been out there for a long time….. it is not to much of a disclosure of proprietary information. I mean I have a gun stock made of the stuff and it has been out there for ages…. I think the really only info we can get from this is that it is going to be a while before a D4 is released. In fact, if this is true there is no way they could bring the product to market before at least a year out. They have to test shrinking, absorption, shock, stress factors… There is a lot of thinking and testing left to be done to the D4 if they are changing the body to a unproven structure.

  • DaveyJ

    I use Carbon Fiber some in our business. I sure would not look forward to a camera with it. I do think the Nikon bodies like the D90 are way better than some give them credit for. All in all though give me a D700 or D300s type body. It has been duly noted that some weight is better in balancing lens and with shutter operation. I think that point may be lost on some. Can’t fault anyone for experimenting with any material though.

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