Nikon patents update #2 (light meter, phase detect sensor, collapsible lens, fuel cell, 3D)

Patent 2010-224290 is for a light meter built into the prism (for use during video recording?):

“This invention relates to the camera which has a photometry sensor which measures the strength of the light with the light led to the optical finder and the optical finder.

Problem to be solved: to make effective use of a photometry sensor.

Solution: Since subject luminous flux is not led to an optical finder in a mirror up state, TTL photometry is not performed by the photometry sensor 8 provided in the finder. However, by changing an angle of a movable mirror 6, the subject luminous flux is led to the photometry sensor 8 from a photometry window 51 provided on a front surface of a pentagonal prism cover, so that external photometry is performed. The photometry is continuously performed by holding the movable mirror 6 at an angle where external photometry is performed the external photography can be performed when a live view mode is set or when a moving picture is taken while the mirrors 1 and 9 are held in an up state.

While enabling observation of a photographic subject by leading the object light bunch which penetrated the taking lens to a finder optical system by a main mirror with a single-lens reflex camera, it is common to receive the light led to the finder optical system with a photometry sensor, and to obtain photographic subject luminosity

The photometry sensor is only used for the conventional single-lens reflex camera as a TTL photometry sensor, and it does not aim at effective use of a photometry sensor.” (machine translated)

Patent 2010-243781 is for a Coolpix camera. Hard to tell if this model was already released:

Patent 2010-243772 and another 50 patent applications filed in Japan are for Nikon’s phase detect sensor:


“To prevent degradation in image quality due to an influence of when image output at a position of a focus detection pixel is interpolated based on output from the focus detection pixel, image quality is deteriorated by influence of existence of a separation zone that separates a pair of photoelectric conversion parts and has no optical sensitivity.”

Patent 2010-243734 is for a collapsible lens. Interestingly Pentax recently filed a similar patent.


“According to this invention, body tube length can be shortened and the imaging device which raised the operativity at the time of equipping and using the lens barrel which can be stored can be provided.

To provide an imaging apparatus improved in operability when in use while attaching a storable lens barrel by shortening the length of the lens barrel.”

Patent 2010-237677 is a cooling solution for a fuel cell:

“To surely supply air required for power generation to a fuel cell

The opening which incorporates the open air which the electronic device of this invention is an electronic device which uses a fuel cell, and is supplied to a fuel cell, When it has the member turning which moves an opening between the 1st position of a wrap, and the 2nd position that exposes an opening and member turning has been arranged at the 1st position, as compared with the time of having been arranged at the 2nd position, the power consumption of an electronic device becomes small.”

Nikon has filed other fuel cell patents in the past.

Several 3D/stereoscopic patents:

  • Problem to be solved (2010-226390): To output images captured beforehand by an imaging apparatus such that the images can be displayed easily and three-dimensionally.
  • Problem to be solved (2010-226391): To compose an image processing unit for generating images for display, having a more improved stereoscopic effect.
  • Problem to be solved (2010-231192): To provide a stereoscopic imaging apparatus for creating a stereoscopic image having a deep depth of field, without reducing the quantity of light from an object.



Patent 20100323878 is a method of producing Ca-La-F based transparent ceramic (calcium lanthanum fluoride glass). Fluorite (CaF2) has a high Abbe number of 95. This is way above my head, but I was told that an Abbe number over 80 would be ED glass (thanks Brian). Maybe a new type of ED glass?
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