Nikon patents update

Patents application 2011-113052 is for a 50mm f/1.2 lens (the patent describes also a f/2 version). This is the second patent for fast 50mm lens (see previous patent):

Patent application 2011-112832 is for a 24-145mm or 28-145mm f/4 lens:

Patent application 2011-118379 is for a 200mm f/3.2 Macro lens (again, several different designs were described with focal lengths ranging from 160-220mm and aperture ranging from f/2 - f/3.2):

Other Nikon patents:

  • Several patents filed in Japan indicate for a removable sensor:

2011-066509: to provide an imaging apparatus capable of easily and surely fixing a light receiving surface of an imaging element on a predetermined position with respect to a holding member

2011-060814: to provide a light receiving apparatus in which a solid-state imaging device can be detachably attached to a mounting substrate, and to provide a member for fixing the solid-state imaging device

  • There are also multiple patents for improving the dynamic range:

2011-066506: to achieve compatibility between the expansion of a dynamic range at low sensitivity, and a high SN ratio at high sensitivity

2011-066338: to widen a variable range of capacity value in a floating capacitor

2011-055345: to provide an imaging apparatus of a high S/N ratio and a wide dynamic range

  • Patent 2011-041092 pertains to tilt-shift lens that communicates the lens position to the camera. This implies a new camera able collect tilt shift data from the lens:

"The lens barrel 20 is provided with the amount detection encoder 21 (an oscillation angle detection encoder and an angle-of-rotation detection encoder) of swings and tilts which detects the amount of swings and tilts performed by the swing-and-tilt mechanism 23...

If the camera body 10 is equipped, the characteristic data will be recognized by the camera body 10. namely If the camera body 10 is equipped with the lens barrel 20, the camera body 10 can recognize that the lens barrel 20 with which it was equipped is what has a swing-and-tilt function. The camera body 10 can grasp the state of swing-and-tilt operation of the lens barrel 20 with the detecting signal (an oscillation angle signal and an angle-of-rotation signal) of the amount detection encoder 21 (an oscillation angle detection encoder and an angle-of-rotation detection encoder) of swings and tilts."

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  • Tim

    did the macro lens patents include VR?

    • patents usually don’t mention VR, just the lens design

      • True, but you can usually figure out whether VR is there or not by just looking at the internal focus element group. Short of Nikon redefining their VR system, you just have to look for the usual positive element grouping. The 50mm doesn’t have it, thus no VR. The other two lenses are a little trickier, but I’ll let everyone figure it out for themselves.

        • sade

          Thom, Do you still think that we will see a 24-70mm replacement soon(2011-2012)? After my 24-70mm is stolen, I am waiting until a better version is announced. Even if a 24-70mm f/2.8 VR is introduced, I would be plenty happy!

          • The invisible man.

            you’re kidding right ?

            • sade

              Why do you think I am kidding? My 24-70 is seriously stolen, I am seriously waiting and I seriously asked Thom if he still thinks 24-70 might be replaced until 2012. Bear in mind that even though 24-70 is a fantastic lens, it lacks the sharpness in corners a bit and this is more pronounced when you use it on a camera with 32mp resolution. VR is also more important in such a case. The next generation of Nikon bodies might not be of 32mp resolution but for sure it won’t stay on 12. Canon is also about refreshing its already nice 24-70. Anyway, I am seriously waiting.

            • i think he meant what you would for the hell want to improve?
              Ok i would prefer the front element not moving, but the overhead shade solves troubles.
              Visually is 28-70 also nicer, but i dont see anything which would warrant new model.

            • sade

              Actually the movement of the front element of 24-70 is perhaps the least important thing Nikon might ever consider to resolve and it might not be even possible to fix but adding VR to this lens is very important IMHO. People might say that bumping the ISO up compensates the slow shutter speed but eventhough the noise of the new cameras are great, I prefer to keep the ISO as low as possible to have better dynamic range and lower noise in the shadow. Moreover it is nice to take sharp pictures with slow shutter speed to create nice effects, without using tripod. I do not see any reason not to have a 24-70mm VR.
              When an UWA 16-35 features VR why doesn’t 24-70? The other thing that can be improved, as I mentioned before, is the resolution figures of this lens when used on large resolution cameras (specially in the corner). One more possible improvement is in the range. 24-70 is too short when used on FF. I don’t hope to see this change because it makes the lens too big. That being said, 24-70mm is a phenomenal lens, but in its time, not for the next gen cameras.

          • Paul

            Do yourself a favour and buy some insurance with your next lens. As to waiting for a 24-70 VR, I think you’ll be waiting a long time

            • The invisible man.

              The best insurance for you camera gear is to care about it and keep an eye on it, you won’t find any “stolen” insurance cheap (if you find one).

        • Todd

          you mean the 50mm f/1.2 WON’T have VR?!
          what a useless lens. i won’t buy it.

        • The 24-XXX/4 isn’t hard to figure out; one of the groups is labeled “GVR” with an up-down arrow next to it. That seems like a very strong hint. The Micro looks as though G3 ought to be usable as a VR element.

      • True, but you only have to look at the internal focusing group. The 50mm doesn’t have the necessary positive elements for Nikon VR.

        • Roger

          Did anyone expect a 50mm F1.2 to have VR?

          I’d rather like to know if Nikon plans to make another 50, is the bokeh gonna be good, or is it gonna be like other Nikon 50s?
          Every day they dont make me a great 50/1.4 or 50/1.2 is a day they dont get my $1,599.

          • I do not understand people who want VR in every lens. I photograph a lot with the 600 VR and often turn it off. Simply because it consumes a lot of energy and often messes up the picture. I don’t know why, but it can create weird looking bokeh. I wish Nikon would give us more options, since they charge quite a bit of an extra for a feature not everyone would pay for if there was a non-VR version. Heck, I’d pay the same price as for the VR version if the lens had an aperture ring, so that it could be used more efficiently on the RED.

            • Roger

              Preaching to the choir, my friend. I dont get people wanting VR everywhere either. I certainly dont need it!

            • kyoshinikon

              Which is why I find the 16-35mm f/4 useless. I just replaced my 17-35mm with the 14-24mm because I was annoyed that the 16-35mm was a f/4 (and while it weighs less than the other 2 nikons it weighs more than either canon’s or sony’s 2.8 versions)…

            • Smudger

              Yep. VR on the 600mm is just dead weight most of the time. On a decent tripod it’s worse than useless; unless you like soft images……

            • PHB

              Real men use their 600mm handheld

              Back to the gym with you!

            • people just want VR so they dont have to improve their technique and thats it.

              I have been reading complaints about why the Nikkor 17-55 f2.8 dont get the VR in an update and they all say its URGENT because the lens need it, but seriously a lens this wide and a proper holding won’t produce blur at all!

          • John

            Dude – I have the 50/1.2 AIS and it does not need VR. What the 50/1.2 design needs is an updated optical design that gets far better IQ wide open (spherical abberation correction I believe) and better coatings to reduce flare/ghosting. I would not want a 50/1.2 with VR. The current 50/1.2 AIS is stunning at f/2 on a D700.

            • Yes, stopped down a bit, it is my sharpest lens by a good margin. But, it needs a good clean.

  • The return of the noct? Several of those patents look interesting. Increase in DR especially.

    • osmosisstudios

      Let the NOCT name stay legendary: don’t sully it with anything. Make a f/1.2 lens, yes, but don’t call it the NOCT

      • Noct is a valuable marketing name. It has no value to Nikon if it never gets used.

    • PHB

      Nikon is has almost completed its AFS transition. At this point the only major mainstream lens short of the AFS upgrade is the 80-400. There are other lenses that could use an update for other reasons, but the only lens where the lack of AFS is really an issue is that one.

      The push to upgrade the whole range to AFS began with the 50mm f/1.4. There is a symmetry to completing that upgrade with a 50mm f/1.2.

      Contrary to the claims of the cannonistas, there is really no design constraint that imposes a maximum focal ratio on a lens mount. Having a wider mount hole matters a great deal less than the mirror sweep path. And that is something every SLR has to work round. But in any case, its the aperture and the angle of acceptance that are the issue and the angle of acceptance is only an issue for wide angle lenses. All telephoto lenses have to work to throw unwanted light away.

      Nikon already makes the 85mm f/1.4 which has an aperture of 60mm, equivalent to a 50mm f/0.8. So there is no reason a f/1.2 AFS can’t be done. There is certainly a huge demand for fast primes with smooth bokeh. Nikon has recently released a lens that has even better sagittal coma flare performance than the Noct (the 85 f/1.4 AFS).

      So my prediction for the next Nikon lens releases are:

      80-400 AFS
      135 f/2 AFS
      50 f/1.2 AFS to launch at Photokina 2012.

      Thats only three lenses in the ‘no-brainer’ category. Three years ago it was 20 lenses needing an urgent upgrade. What else might we see?

      The only other lens that is a major perennial ‘want’ is demand for even more lightweight FX lenses. Nikon may or may not oblige there. If you are only going to use lightweight lenses you lose the advantage of going to full frame.

      They already have a lightweight 24-120 f/4 and a 28-300 VA design. For what its worth, Ken Rockwell thinks that the performance of the two is near identical but the constant aperture has a $300 premium despite having a much shorter range.

      A D700 with one of those lenses may or may not perform better than a D300 with a mid-range lens. But for the same money as a D700 with a mid range lens you can get a D300 with a top quality lens that will definitely out-perform the FX setup. And you are better placed for a later FX upgrade as well.

      So, I am skeptical of the need for more mid-priced FX zooms but I could see an argument for a 300 f/4 VR and even a 400 f/4 VR. With modern high ISO digital cameras, losing a stop is a price many will pay to go tripod-less.

      The big unexpected market seems to be for the primes and in particular the budget DX primes. The 35 f/1.8 DX was a major success. Many of us could use a 20, 18, even a 10! The market for FX primes is already served pretty well. There are more focal lengths people might want but how many people are going to buy a 28 f/1.4 as well as rather than instead of a 24 f/1.4?

      • Not true. Nikon has a lot of non-AF-S lenses:

        14mm f/2.8
        16mm f/2.8
        20mm f/2.8
        24mm f/2.8
        28mm f/2.8
        35mm f/2
        85mm f/1.8
        105mm f/2
        135mm f/2
        180mm f/2.8
        200mm f/4
        80-400mm f/4.5-5.6

        That’s not “almost done.”

        • I’d like to add that Nikon’s updates are not always for the better. Take the new AF-S 50/1.8G for example. They remove the aperture ring, update the AF and what happens … it gets a lot chunkier. Now it weighs about the same, but the increase in size is quite significant. Not to mention the three new f/1.4 primes …
          I tested it and an M9 with a Summicron takes up less space than a D5100 with the 35/1.8G DX.

          • Mike

            :-). Yes, but with the money you save buying a D5100 with 35 1.8 vs a Leica with lens, you could buy a bigger bag…. or a Kia.

        • PHB

          Nikon also has a lot of manual lenses still on sale.

          I just can’t see a business case for updating the lenses you list there. Some of them are great lenses, but that does not mean there is a case for updating them.

          The f/2.8 primes were great in their day, but the zooms outperform them. I have quite a few of them from the film days but they are not something I would consider buying again however great the performance unless the lens was significantly faster than the zoom. Although the 20mm did get a workout last week.

          I see the 35 f/2 being superseded by the 35 f/1.4 and the 35 f/1.8. So like the 80-200 AF its a lens that has no exact AFS replacement but isn’t likely to see an upgrade.

          So I don’t see a case for an ‘upgrade’ to any of the wides you list. The new primes I want to see are ultra-fast FX primes and not so fast but very cheap DX primes.

          I could see an upgrade to the 135DC but can’t quite see the need for a 105DC which is not much longer than the 85 in any case. The 85, 105 and 135 correspond to 28, 23 and 18 degrees. The only case I could see for the 105 would be as a cheaper alternative to the 85 f/1.4.

          The 200 f/4 is a macro lens and those have been all over the shop focal length wise. At the moment there are 5 macro lenses in the catalog which is more than for any other class of special purpose lens. Rather than update the 200 to AFS it is going to make more sense to add in a completely new focal length to the mix.

          • With the 35 f/2 something like a 28 f/1.8 AF-S would be a decent replacement , would like something wide and very fast but not breaking the bank in the same way as the 24 f/1.4 .

            As for the 80-200 f/2.8 – something like a 70-200 f/4 VRII would be a decent modern replacement.

            Would like a 200 f/2.8 AF-S VRII Micro-Nikkor to round out the micro lenses.

            As for the wide primes I can see your point with some of the f/2.8 primes on FX nowadays as there are so many options but a 18mm f/2.8 DX and 24mm f/2.8 DX wouldn’t go amiss I feel.

            What would be nice is if they updated the 13 f/5.6 😉

            • PHB

              Agree on the 13mm!

              I can see a demand for a lot of primes but I can’t see a reason to repeat the apertures or the configurations of the film era just for the sake of it.

              So I expect there will be a group of orphaned AF primes left over that don’t get refreshed to AFS. But that does not mean there won’t be any new lens at that aperture, just that it will be a completely new design and likely very different.

              Shooting my 20mm f/2.8 against my 10-24, the zoom wins on sharpness by quite a way. And that is on a lens that is not exactly the very sharpest of modern lenses. Its good for an ultra-wide DX lens, but a modern redesign of the 20 should beat it.

              About the only time I use the 20mm is shooting night shots of cars shooting flames from the exhausts. And that would be better with a strobe setup.

    • Doesn’t have the aspherical elements necessary to remove coma. Not a NOCT.

      • PHB

        The 85 f/1.4 AFS does not have an aspherical element but it has better coma performance than the Noct. If they have solved those design problems at 85mm, why not apply the same approach at 50?

        What I want is an AFS lens that performs like or better the Noct, not a lens that has particular design elements.

        • Roger


        • Personally, I don’t want another G lens. I miss barrel-mounted aperture rings as I use an FM2 also.

          I’d rather Nikon put out more D-lenses. If they want AFS, add it, but don’t take away the aperture ring.

          • PHB

            What I don’t get is why they can’t just have three separate dials for speed, aperture and ISO and each one have an ‘auto’ position.

            They almost have that with the two dial setup. But then they made one of the dials double for two of them and add a combo function with the right hand side on the other.

    • Doesn’t have the right aspherical correction to remove coma and be NOCT-worthy.

      • Roger

        No, but all these years after Noct, I’d hope it’d be better than the Noct.
        As for aspherical, well, that kinda sucks. Best SLR 50? Aspherical Sigma. Best 50 on Earth? Aspherical Leica. There’s a pattern there.

        • Roger

          to add:

          still, asph or no, they can make a better lens today. i hope they will, i’m literally begging them to take my money here 😉

          • Mim

            I’m sure you are. Problem is every time someone says that and the product arrives, they balk at the price and offer price/2 as a ‘fair price’ they’d be willing to pay.

            • Roger

              no, not every time. you hear that stuff only from the newbies who think they can get a 35/1.4 for 400$. 😀

              i’d say i’d pay 1600. i could go higher if it’s worth it. that’s more than what canon 50L costs, i know what would the cost be.

  • So my 200mm f/4.0D Micro may become redundant – NEVER.

  • I would so love for Nikon to release an updated 50mm 1.2. I know several canon users who say the only reason they’re still with Canon is because of their 50mm f1.2

    • Carsten

      Yepp, an AF 1.2 would be something, but I am sure it will be in the $1600 league

      • InfraRed

        $1,600 seems a bit high for such lens. Price elasticity for a 50mm is not that high. I doubt Nikon can extract more than $1,200 may be $1,299…

        I bought a used 50 f/1.2 at the Nikon store on Ginza for $450. True, it’s not AF but the sharpness at f/2.0 is amazing. In addition, the quality of assembly is so much higher than newer products. I hope Nikon can make this new 50mm lens as mechanically solid as the old one.

        • Roger

          1600$ is about right. I’d pay that much.

          Old 50/1.2 is very sharp at F/2, but at F/1.2 nothing special. shows its age, poor bokeh too. new lenses will never be mechanically solid as the old ones, but as long as the optics are better, that’s what it’s important

          • kyoshinikon

            I find that while the canon produces much nicer bokeh the focus point isnt really sharp till you shoot at f2 or faster (on the 85mm I would say F/4) whereas both the current nikon 50mm 1.4 and 1.8, while the bokeh suffers they are actually sharp wide open.

            While one could push charts all day I’ve used all the suckers in real world situations and have been dissatisfied with the sharpness on all of canons f1.2 lenses (although the 85mm is much worse than the 50mm)

            • Im referring to the center sharpness (the falloff is pretty apparent though)

          • InfraRed

            Roger: I just noticed the MSRP of th 85mm F1/4 is $1,699 so you may well be right 🙂

  • Mock Kenwell

    A 50mm f/1.2 would sell like hotcakes, even though Nikon would charge an arm & a leg for it. I wonder if Nikon is finally ready to take a whack at this long-forbidden aperture for them. But a stylus?! Too funny.

    “Dynamic range at low sensitivity?” LUST.

  • Ole

    And don’t make it an AF-S, just AF. We want it as light as possible.

    • D-RiSe

      well i would like af-s (i’d like the focus to be precise) but the af-d 50 are much faster…

  • AnoNemo

    NR Admin, please do not get me wrong I do like patents and interesting posts but lately you did not post any rumors. Do you have a “bone” for us? 😉

    • Ole

      Perhaps a D800-bone? 🙂

      • AnoNemo

        Does not matter … I mean this is supposed to be a rumor site. (?) Now check this out (copied from the bottom of this page) and it has only 1 rumor:

        Latest Nikon Rumors
        •Nikon patents update
        •New firmware update v1.1 for Nikon Coolpix L23, L120 and P500
        •You have another month to upgrade your Nikon D3 buffer
        •Nikon D4 with 32MP, D400 with 24MP sensors from Sony?
        •Weekly Nikon news flash #115
        •DIY wireless tethering for Nikon D300s
        •Guest post: Time-lapse Landscape Astrophotography
        •Weekly Nikon news flash #114
        •Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2 lens patent
        •Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens now in stock
        •Nikon Regsweeper released + ViewNX 2 64 bit?
        •Nikon files patents for 10-30mm and 7-13mm lens for mirrorless cameras
        •Weekly Nikon news flash #113
        •Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G lens now shipping in the US
        •Offline for few days
        •Reality or fiction: Nikon D4, D4x, D400, D400x, D800, D800x, D9000 specs
        •Top 10 posts for May 2011
        •DIY Android based Bluetooth remote controller for Nikon DSLR
        •Nikon Capture NX3 book shows up in Europe
        •New Nikon instant rebates

        • AnoNemo, by asking multiple times about any news on upcoming Nikon products you are not going to change anything, which is why I consider comments like your as spam – they just make the thread difficult to read without providing any significant information on the topic.
          You have to understand that I don’t make sh*t up and if I don’t hear anything from the people who know, I cannot publish any rumors. If you are a long time NR reader, you would know that there are always “slow times” after an official announcement.

          • AnoNemo

            But we also know that before announcements there are always some “noise”. Looking back, for example last year you posted much more rumors.

            Why don’t you introduce a section where reader can vote about all the “wildest” you receive. But currently the site can be re-named as official Nikon patent office and news central. 😉 (I hope got the joke)

            In the meantime, I suggest to remove those two posts where I asked about what is going on if it makes the thread “hard to read”.

            BTW it is almost 3 months since the last Nikon DSLR announcement (D5100 @ Apr 5, 2011) …. Let’s add another 3 months and you’ll get the first rumors around November 2011. This means that we’ll get nothing this year.

            • That probably means there will be no announcement anytime soon. The date I keep hearing is end of August, not sure if there will be anything before.

              I do not like the “wild rumors” section, I prefer to provide less but reliable information.

              BTW, the last announcement from Nikon was on April 27th:


            • AnoNemo

              Thanks NR Admin

              Can we try to put a button between the “Home” and “Forum” called “Wild Rumors”? There readers can vote and see how the stats will look like.

              I was talking about the D5100 announcement on Apr 5, 2011. I think the 50mm was an error.

              The date I keep hearing is that Nikon has nothing for this year. (1-2 coolpix maybe) Remember, when the D3x was announced we already knew something months before. Same is true for the D300s or D3s or D7000. At this time this quietness means that they have nothing.

            • Mock Kenwell

              If you can do it so much better, build your own site. I prefer a more credible site that intelligently posts rumors. Peter does a very good job selecting what to put in and what to leave out. You’re new here and it shows. We likely won’t hear another word from you once the D800 finally does come out. Your posts are all very long. Consider being more brief or you come off as a huge troll.

          • Dweeb

            Since the 2008 crash companies are just sitting on their hands and the quake hasn’t helped either. Would you launch new products in a state of 10% unemployment in the USA? This malaise is found on all of the internet photo sites. It’s just not that interesting out there right now. There hasn’t even been a D800 photoshop job for quite a while. Or maybe interest in digital has largely peaked and is in decline. In any case the companies had a good ride out of it.

            • AnoNemo

              Yes, I would launch a product even in a state where unemployment is 20% but not the way how Nikon does it.

              Nikon is enjoying a comfortable ride …. Let’s bet, in 3 years the colpix line will be gone.

              In 2 yrs the cheap DSLR line will be almost gone but will have nice colors like the coolpix.

            • Mock Kenwell

              I will take that bet.

        • Discontinued

          you have a rather narrowed view of rumors, it seems to me. Just one rumor, you say.

          •Nikon patents update
          •Nikon D4 with 32MP, D400 with 24MP sensors from Sony?
          •Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2 lens patent
          •Nikon Regsweeper released + ViewNX 2 64 bit?
          •Nikon files patents for 10-30mm and 7-13mm lens for mirrorless cameras
          •Reality or fiction: Nikon D4, D4x, D400, D400x, D800, D800x, D9000 specs
          •Nikon Capture NX3 book shows up in Europe

          Which one is it? NX3, mirrorless, 50mm 1.2, D4 or one of the others. Make your choice.

          • AnoNemo

            I am not sure what you mean. I listed the recent postings from the bottom left of this page that has yellow background. Yes, since May 29 we saw maybe 2-3 rumors and nothing is serious when you read it.

            Do you consider a patent filing as a rumor?

            Anyway, the point I was trying to make is that it would be much more interesting if we have a section where “wild rumors” can be posted and we can vote about their “possibility”. Sometimes some may have some validity or others would notice something.

            But the “rumors” you were refering to is nothing else but fairy tale and I would have voted for each 90% not likely. 😉

            • Mock Kenwell

              What is the point of having people “vote” on rumors? You are getting a ratio of likely 3% or less of people who could intelligently hypothesize about these rumors with any degree of accuracy, and 97% would be fanbois and newbies making unqualified, irrational wishlists versus well-thought-out speculation. Stop dominating these threads and make your own site. Advertise it here and see who views it.

              FYI, patents are news. News stories reveal corporate behavior patterns. Patterns help support rumor validity. It makes sense for a rumor site to also convey news. Shall I draw you a picture?

            • Discontinued


              and I’m not sure what you mean. You copied recent postings and I copied them from you and deleted all the postings I do not consider rumors or rumor related.
              So how come your rumor count has risen from one rumor to two or three rumors now, even though I’ve shortened your own list?

              And to answer your question, yes I do consider patent filings as something very strongly related to rumors. The NEWS is that patents were filed. Everything beyond (guessing and prediction based on the content of this or that patent) is a RUMOR.

            • AnoNemo

              @Mock Kenwell
              My suggestion to include a vote button alone! No option of making comments. It is like voting about items. Even NRAdmin can make it simple by using only a + or – sign and total would indicate it from -100 to +100 scale the likelyhood. (This -100 to +100 score would be calculated)

              I agree with you patents are news and that is why I suggested adding a completely separate section for the “wild rumors”. I think it would be entertaining and since it would be in a separate area it would not bother the main page.

              Have you heard about “exaggeration”? Now that is what I did. I was trying to make a point but when you closely look at those rumors I would say only 1 has some seriousness.

              Yes, paten filing is news (aka fact). As you after that there is guessing but guessing is not rumor! Do not let the tie fool you! 😉

            • AnoNemo

              I mean + and – signs

              For example:
              Rumor 1 received
              25 + votes
              15 – votes

              Total 40 votes

              In this case the ratio of + to – votes is
              0.625 or 62.5 voted it is likely
              0.375 or 37.5 voted it is not likely

  • broxibear

    Here’s another for all you patent lovers, it’s for a new Nikon AF system

  • kaze kaze

    tele micro f2 f2.5 me want me want

  • PAG

    PHB mentioned an upgrade to the 80-400mm and adding VR to the 300 f/4 and I agree that these are both severely needed. The next lens Nikon needs to compete with Canon in the amateur bird photography market, which is a lot bigger than many people realize, is a 400mm f/5.6. They already have a fantastic and cheap 70-300mm and fantastic cameras with great high ISO performance (real important when shooting birds in flight) in their consumer DX line. Toss in an updated D400 and they will be more than competitive in this market.

    • PHB

      Agree on the D400, not sure that a 400mm f/5.6 prime would make sense.

      The problem there would be performance relative to the 80-400 replacement. It is not going to be faster, it is at best likely to cost and weigh only a third less (see 14mm vs 14-24).

      It would be pretty much a dedicated birding lens, so I would not be getting too bent out of shape over distortion. Atmospheric distortion will dominate. And with such a small maximum aperture it is not going to be a bokeh monster whichever way you slice it.

      I could see an argument for a 400mm f/4. But even then it is competing against the 200-400 f/4.

      The best way to cover 400 f/5.6 would be to use a 300 f/4 with a TC14. That gets you a 420 f/5.6.

      Or for birding the other route is going to be to go EVIL and get another level of sensor crop. That 300mm on EVIL is going to be a 750mm equivalent rather than a 450.

      You simply can’t get a 750mm lens for full frame without a TC. And even with a TC you are limited to a 600+TC14 which is only 840.

      What a lot of people miss comparing the D300 vs the D700 is that what matters for most photography is when your autofocus stops working. Thats at f/5.6 for both formats at present. So the D300 can get longer reach because the ‘built in’ TC15 only robs you of a stop as far as the light hitting the sensor is concerned. It does not affect auto-focus.

      So a D300 can autofocus with a 1260mm equivalent focal length and the D700 can ‘only’ manage 840mm. On EVIL you will be able to get 2100mm!

      The AF limit is starting to become one of the main limiting factors. It will be interesting to see if this is addressed in future bodies.

      • Roger

        I’m sure 400/5.6 would make NO sense. 80-400 vr replacement and new 300/4 vr + 1.4tc and you’re golden

      • jsa

        >You simply can’t get a 750mm lens for full frame without a TC<

        Sigma 800mm F/5.6

      • PAG

        PHB, I once felt the way you did about a 400mm f/5.6, but then I saw how many Canon has sold and appear in the field all over the place. Some people choose it over Canon’s 100-400mm lens, others like the zoom, and some own both. That tells me that there’s a decent market for both for Nikon for birds and sports.

  • borneoaddict

    and all these AF-S G updates at the expense of the venerable aperture ring….

  • ion

    I currently own Canon gear, but think about switching over to Nikon in the following months. This is why I follow sites like Nikonrumors and Canonrumors, to try to find out what the two companies could have in mind.

    Regarding the upgrade to AF-S: I’d rather see all lenses with no AF motor built-in, if AF precision is not compromised. AF speed is pretty similar with most AF-S and AF lenses (except for the large primes which require more specialized motors to move the heavy elements around), but I’ve read numerous stories of very good lenses with their AF motor dead. A 50/1.4D lens will still work in 2050; a 50/1.4G may not make it to 2015.

    Canon currently has the 70-200/4 and 70-300/4-5.6L lenses which Nikon lacks. Moreover, both companies would definitely need an upgrade to their 300/4 and 400/5.6 primes (modern IS/VR and updated IQ). Both companies also lack an updated 70-400/4-5.6 kind of lens. As someone said before, there is a big market for such lenses which needs to be filled.

    I don’t see the real need for f/1.2 lenses, as these are merely just 1/3 stop faster than the f/1.4 versions (f/1.0 – f/1.1 – f/1.2 – f/1.4). As we’ve seen in the Canon 50/1.2L , IQ can actually be worse than the f/1.4 counterpart, and the only real benefits which remain are the 1/3 stop and better build. AF speed would be also worse because of the heavier elements which have to be moved around).

    Here are the lenses I would find most useful:
    24-135mm f/4 VR
    60-210mm f/4 VR
    300mm f/4 VR
    400mm f/4.5 VR
    400mm f/5.6 VR
    70-300mm f/4-5.6 VR
    70-400mm f/4-5.6 VR
    DX 17mm f/1.8
    24mm f/2
    100mm f/2
    135mm f/1.8
    150mm f/2.8 Micro VR

    Here are the bodies I would expect:
    D9000 – 16MP FX
    D400 – 24MP DX
    D800 – 16MP FX
    D4 – 24MP FX
    D4X – 32MP FX

    • Roger

      I’m right there with you on 135 F1.8, I want one like yesterday.

    • The invisible man.

      14-24mm f/2.8 AF-s
      24-70mm f/2.8 AF-s
      85mm f/1.4 Af-s
      105mm f/2.8 micro AF-s
      300mm f/4 AF-s

    • KnightPhoto

      For once and for all – f1.2 is 1/2-stop faster than f1.4 (NOT 1/3-stop!)

      Not that I’m buying mind you, but let’s get our facts right 😉

      • The invisible man.

        Yes 1/2 stop you are right, but only 1/3 if you take care of the film’s reciprocity effect over 240 ISO (no need with “real” digital sensors)

      • ion

        Ok, sorry for the wrong info.
        Then how do you count from f/1 to f/1.4 in 1/3 EV increments ?

        I used to think f/1.25 is 1/2 faster than f/1 …

        • ion

          OK, my apologies.
          f/1 – f/1.1 – f/1.25 – f/1.4
          f/1 – f/1.2 – f/1.4
          I mixed them up. Right ?

      • Cold Hands Luke

        1/2-stop brighter than f/1.4 and 1/3-stop brighter than f/1.4 both round to f/1.2.

  • Lulz

    Finally a 50 f1.2? That’s exciting!

    • The invisible man.

      Why is it exciting ?
      Probably $1500 for a lens that have no resolution and monstrous fall off ?

      • Richard

        Patents are one thing. Actually bringing a product to market is quite another. I do not really see that there is any great need or demand for a 50mm f1.2 lens and I certainly do not see it as something that should have a higher priority than any number of other lenses in need of updating or a lens to fill a gap in the current catalog.

        • Mike

          Cough, wedding industry, cough cough.

          • The invisible man.

            No, brides are getting too fat these days, f/1.2 aperture won’t give enought D.O.F

          • Mock Kenwell

            +1. Just because you don’t see a need doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Do you shoot f/1.2 for edge-to-edge sharpness? No. Tell Canon their F/1.2 lenses have no audience. If that were the case, they would have been gone years ago. F/1.2 in 2012 with Nikon’s demanding AF capabilities? Sign me up.

            • Richard

              Yea, Mock, but how many of you are there? Nikon needs to focus on the bottom line and they could most certainly sell a lot more 50mm f1.4s than f1.2s which would make it a better business decision.

              Yes Canon does sell their 1.2s, but not that many people who use them (you sort of have to after that investment) think they offer much other than an extreme lack of DOF and a soft image…oh, I nearly forgot to mention the slow auto-focus.

  • Hmmm more and more f1.2 rumours floating around. Might mean something round the corner.
    But I’m also waiting eagerly for the juicy rumours which should knock on NR’s door anytime soon! 😀

  • The invisible man.

    Still waiting for the D800/900…..

    This year is the 10th anniversary for the september 11th attacks, maybe Nikon is waiting for such a big even to announce his new baby !

    You never know….perhaps also a special “D800 Bin Laden edition” that goes through airports security X rays machines ?

    • AnoNemo

      charged in Fukushima and you’ll never have to replace the battery! 😉

      How is your Polaroid work going on? I bet your Polaroid has more resolution than the D700. 🙂

      • The invisible man.

        We’re waiting for the films, I hope the film’s battery is still good or I’m loosing $30 !

        • AnoNemo

          get it from Fukushima! Those batteries last for a while

          • The invisible man.

            stop it, the computer you are using right now is probably powered by a nuclear electic plan, so be quiet please.

  • Looks like all of these are for FX. Nice to see Nikon doing lots of R&D. Now, where are the new FX bodies?

    • AnoNemo

      No FX bodies this year … as you can see there is not one FX rumors. We’ll get pink, yellow, and some crap brown DX cameras this year along with the regular Ashton Coolpix Editions. 😉

      • Roger Moore

        “Not one FX rumors”? There was a rumor about the D4 earlier this week, and one that supposedly revealed the D4 and D4x specs earlier this month. Are those not FX rumors? Or do you demand that the admins make stuff up so there can be rumors every single day?

  • Jadewatcher

    Guys, i can only be ok with the fact that a refreshed 50mm f/1.2 with AF will be out in the near future, what i just cannot understand is the lack of depth of field scale on any new Nikon Lens. This “G” phenomenon. I mean, that would increase the field of photographic applications that any lens might have, why just remove it? Does it really keep manufacturing costs down a little bit? I don’t think so, please correct me if i’m wrong. This is such a let-down for landscape photographers who use hyperfocal settings. Not to mention, they removed depth of field scale from wide angle lenses too..

    • The invisible man.

      Here we are again, (are you Ken Rockwell’s brother ?)

      The “G” mount is ALL BENEFIT for us, it’s more reliable, cost less, have a seal, and look nicer 🙂

      There is also something fantastic that only the G mount can do but I’m not allowed to discut about it, maybe later when I’m almost to die.

      • “The “G” mount is ALL BENEFIT for us, it’s more reliable, cost less, have a seal, and look nicer”

        Reliable: Don’t make me laugh, internal AF that could break in a few years and less metal on all the bodies.
        Cost Less: a Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF cost $1000 vs. Nikon 70-200mm VR II for $2000. The same optical formula+VR for double the cost.
        Have a seal: I’ll give you that.
        Look nicer: Completely subjective.

        • Also don’t forget the lack of focus scale and aperture ring.

          • Mock Kenwell


          • ion

            +1 !

      • The invisible man.

        OK ! OK ! stop calling me, I’ll tell you now my “G” mount secret, but before you have to know that;

        – I won’t be responsible for any injuries, hair lost, headaches, gain or lost weight, gum bleeding, noze running, underarm itching, dizziness, vision or hearing lost, depression, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, resulting from a mishandling or inadequate use of famous Invisible Man’s “G mount secret”.

        • The invisible man.

          As you all know, Nikon’s bayonet (mount) are not made of stainless steel anymore (to reduce cost, as my friend Ken like to say).

          After a while (sometime a short while) the ugly yellow brass start to show up on your $$$$$ f/1.4 AF-s Nikkor favorite lens !

          What a shame ! (and no way to blame on your wife or kids !)

          So, you can order a new bayonet from Nikon (about $50) and replace it if you are able to handle a screw driver, OR, you can use my priceless trick to keep you “G” mount like new for ever !

          • The invisible man.


            Get some SHC 100 grease (very expensive grease that we use in aviation but you won’t need alot, share with friends).

            Spay your lens and camera bayonet (gently) to make sure there is NO DUST on it.

            Apply a little amount (I SAID A LITTLE AMOUNT !) on both lens and camera bayonet (I use a toothpick).

            Make sure you don’t put any grease on the electronic contacts.

            Mount on/off your lenses several times.
            Wipe the grease excess, ET VOILA !

            Remember, It work great for me because God love me but I won’t take any responsability of any kind in any way at any time is something wrong happen to your camera or lenses !

            And also, NR is your best source for news and other tips about your Nikon gear !
            You can donate anytime by clicking on the Paypal link (located at the “contact” page).

  • Rolf

    How useful would a 200mm f/3.2 Macro be, I wonder? At 4 feet, a 200mm at f/3.2 has a depth of field of only about 1/4 of an inch. I’ve been trying to get pictures of bees around the local flowers recently, and I’ve been having a bugger of a time trying to get a whole bumblebee in focus at the same time. Easily 90% of the images have only a small part of the fast-moving little blighters in focus, and I’ve got a lot where the front (or some other part) is perfect and the back (or some other part) is totally fuzzy (well, more blurry than bee-butts are normally are :-), even in bright sunlight where I can get f/9 and a 500th of a seconds. I can’t imagine trying to photograph anything close that moves with a 200mm macro lens at f/3.2. Taking a pic of a stamp from a tripod maybe, but….

    • The invisible man.

      I’ve done insects macro for years (before my wife, kids, and NR took all my free time).

      Basically I use the Flah to freeze the subject, the focus is done by approching to the subject and releasing the shutter when I get the subject in focus (around f/11-16).

      I like the 105mm AF-s, it keep the right distance for insects pictures, not to close, not to far, just right !

      No need for VR (except flowers for wich I don’t use the flash).

    • ion

      It’s about having both a macro AND a long-portrait / short-tele lens in one package.

  • nebus

    This looks promising.
    We’re gonna need a 1.2 lens if they want to get that MF DOF to go with their 32mp sensors 😉

    ha – we lie in wait – again.
    well actually we’ll all just keep doing what we do and hope for the best…

  • Ken Elliott

    I’ve not been totally happy with the Nikon 50/1.4 AF-S, D, Sigma 50/1.4 or the Ziess 50/1.4. So I’m very interested in a “better” 50 from Nikon.

    I’ve suspected that Nikon was working on a pro 50 with 77mm filters. It sounds like a little thing, but I have a lot of filters and other attachments that use 77mm filters. I do have step up rings, nearly every pro lens uses 77mm thread – except that damn 35mm f/1.4 AFS. You see, when I change lenses, I move the lens cap from the new lens to the old. The second I pick up the 35, it breaks my rhythm because I have to go to the bag for a cap and keep track of the 35’s cap. Or I just toss them in the bag. This annoys me enough that I usually avoid lenses without 77mm threads. And don’t get me started about the 14-24’s giant lens “cap”.

    Anyway, the image quality of the 50s are simply not up to the standards of the 24/35/85mm f/1.4 lenses. I’m hoping Nikon has a 50 that fits better with that group.

    77mm filter threads, please? Don’t care if it has VR. Actually rather not have it to be honest. I simply want a shorter 85.

  • Hey Nikon, it´s me again!

    Where is my 20mm 1.8 AF-S lens?

    Where is the DX 17-55 VR II N?

    Stop creating redundant lenses, whe need new fast lenses not other f/4 , f/4-5.6 “versatile” garbage ^^

    50mm 1.2 is interesting but we already have the 50mm 1.4 G , it´s already great!

    Waiting for your good news…as ever! Capiche?

    • nebus

      you’ve obviously never used Canon’s 50mm 1.2 on a full frame camera.
      It’s not about the speed – it’s the DOF.

      anyhoo, each to their own i say. you’ll get yours one day. Who knows when these patents will come to fruition.

    • the Nikkor 17-55 does not need VR or VR II

      and if you need it, you either learn how breath or get yourself a tripod, period

      I repeat, you DON”T need VR in a lens this fast and this wide because the focus length isn’t that long

      • Bip

        I have both Nikkor 17-55mm f2.8 and Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 VC. Nikkor is sharper and better contrast but no VR – I can’t handhold and get a sharp image with a speed below 1/20 – problem solved if I use a tripod. Tamron allows me to handhold at 1/13 with sharp images (it is my backup lens, and I bought it urgently for a trip during which I sent in my Nikkor for a fine tuning).

        So, having a VR does help.

        • I have taken pictures with my Nikkor 17-55 at 1/10 and tack sharp! The problem is the way you are holding the lens and thats it. I had the Tamron 17-50 before and it gave me a hard time after few months, plus doesn’t focus as fast or as quiet, and after few months the focusing engine did not focus properly and then got the Nikkor and never been happier.

          Leave the VR for longer lenses 100mm or longer

      • VR helps make sharper images from 1/60 shutter speed Mr. Iron Lumbs.

        Canon has the 17-55 IS and it´s an usefull feature.

        If you don´t need VR in this range, good for you.

        It will be welcome for me a many more Nikon costumers.

        You know your needs , i know my needs.


        • Use it wide open at f/2.8, crank up the ISO, breathe and hold the camera properly and you WONT need VR on the 17-55 ever

          and if you need it then buy the 18-55 VR kit lens

          how many pictures do you take under 1/20? And how often do you take pictures? Cuz if you don’t know your camera then you should go take loads of pictures and have fun while you learn how far can your camera go

  • ladies and gentlemen i also would like many things so lets start with saving those pennies so we can purchase these lenses and bodies in good time

  • Michael

    The 50 1.8 G seems to perform almost as good as the 50 1.4 G, but costs only half as much. From this point of view, releasing a 50 1.2 G that is better then the current 50 1.4 G and maybe even discontinuing the 50 1.4 G makes a lot of sense to me.

  • FM2Fan

    a 50 1.2 would be great – any of you who had the chance using a Noctilux – it is just fun!

  • GaiaOverAll

    We want the “AF-S 24-70 f2.8 IF-ED N” with VR2 and lens barrel that doesn’t change size !!!
    Come ooooooooooooooon…

  • Dr Motmot

    Interesting…. on 18th May Admin posted a notice of a patent no. 20110109979 for macro lenses ranging from 160-220mm with aperture values from f2 to f3.2 and now another patent notice no. 2011-118379 for 200mm f3.2 macro (‘along with other possible focal lengths ranging from 160-220mm and aperture ranging from f/2 – f/3.2’). Is this a repeat of the same patent? I am looking forward to the release of either an updated 180mm or 200mm macro so this is good news – perhaps this will be one of the releases mooted for August? I’m guessing all new lenses over 85mm will come with VR as standard now?

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