Nikon patents update (half-mirror, flash with built-in bounce system)

Time for another Nikon patents update. The first patent 2011-28177 is for a Nikon's own "half mirror" with a mirror-up function:

This technology is similar to Sony's translucent mirror. Here is a quick comparison between both technologies:

source: egami

The combination of the moving half mirror and viewfinder lock create several different options for shooting stills and video:

  • During single exposure, the mirror is up and the OVF is closed. Composition can be done through the OVF or LCD.
  • During continuous shooting, the mirror is not up which will prevent the "black out" when pressing the shutter. This setup will decrease the image quality since part of the incoming light was redirected to the OFV. Composition can be done through the OVF or the LCD.

For video there are also two possibilities:

  • In the first one the mirror is up and the OFV is closed. Composition is possible only through the LCD screen. AF will be available during video recording.
  • In the second option the mirror is not up. Composition can be done through the OVF or the LCD. AF is still available during video recording. Decreased image quality because of the half mirror.

Next Nikon patent 2011-13589 is about a flash unit with a built-in bounce system that is created with with a curved surface mirror:

"An illumination-light study system which has a curved mirror which makes it reflect in a reflector formed in free sculptured surface form, and irradiates an irradiated plane with light from a field in which an image of a light source or said light source was formed."

The patent describes the following parts: lightsource (20), collector lens (31), "fly eye" lens (32), curved mirror (33), light scattering component (34).

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