Nikon filed a patent for a 24-70mm f/3.5-4.5 full frame lens

Nikon filed patent application 2011-221421 in Japan for a 24-70mm f/3.5-4.5 full frame lens. This lens only makes sense as a part of a "cheap" full frame body kit. The patent contains several different calculations:

Example #1:

  • Focal length: 24.70-68.00
  • Aperture: 3.51-4.51
  • Omega (half field of view): 42.63-16.87
  • Image height: 21.6-21.6
  • Overall length: 112.599 - 138.896
  • Back focus: 38.818-54.481

Example #2

  • Focal length: 24.70-82.50
  • Aperture: 3.60-4.60
  • Omega (half field of view): 42.62-14.04
  • Image height: 21.6-21.6
  • Overall length: 121.098 - 158.098
  • Back focus: 38.818-58.586

Example #3

  • Focal length: 28.80-102.00
  • Aperture: 3.63-4.62
  • Omega (half field of view): 38.28-9.85
  • Image height: 21.6-21.6
  • Overall length: 123.531 - 157.844
  • Back focus: 38.818-54.339

Example #4

  • Focal length: 24.70-87.20
  • Aperture: 3.60-5.80
  • Omega (half field of view): 42.64-11.49
  • Image height: 21.6-21.6
  • Overall length: 124.699 - 156.696
  • Back focus: 38.819-56.191

Example #5

  • Focal length: 22.55-77.20
  • Aperture: 3.59-5.78
  • Omega (half field of view): 45.22-15.08
  • Image height: 21.6-21.6
  • Overall length: 126.365 - 166.395
  • Back focus: 38.819-68.503
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  • Mitch

    Maybe a kit lens for a 16mp FX D400? I know I’d be interested.

    • texajoe

      FX not DX

      • Yeah, we can’t see the D300 line turning FX anytime soon.

        • Anonymous Maximus

          Why should D300 line turn FX? D400 will rather be DX.

          • RC

            I think a majority of D300 shooters want better high ISO performance, and the only acceptable way to do that is to go FX. I know that’s what I want, and I’ve been shooting with a D300 from the beginning.

            • ben

              If you want high iso get a d700 they are $2,199 at bh photo.

              a lot of people want the extra reach of a dx camera. They need a dx pro camera. The d400 will be that camera.

              There will be a consumer FX camera d9000 maybe but it is a year away. Nikon cant keep up with the FX camera demand it has right now.

            • RC

              The D700 is “old.” We can probably gain a couple of stops just through improved noise reduction processing. I don’t doubt that some want the reach offered by DX, but I’ll bet that most chose DX because it was cheaper. I know I did.

            • vertigo

              If people want the extra reach of DX they can switch to DX mode or crop.

            • ben

              Thom Hogan is out testing new cameras and more. More being a new announced camera he cant talk about.
              Do you think it is just a d3200 or does he have the d400 or even the next FX?

            • Thom has mentioned several times that he doesn’t get any pre-production models from Nikon.

            • RC

              Plus, the D700 doesn’t have video mode. I’m not buying another camera without video mode. Just update the D700 with video mode and the D3s sensor, and it will sell like hotcakes.

            • Moo

              I think a majority of D3100 shooters want better performance
              doesn’t mean 10yrs from now D3900 will be a flagship model.

          • Shawn

            (sarcasm) Because Nikon should just give up trying to compete against the superior Canon 7D, who needs that market share anyways? (/sarcasm)

        • twoomy

          I don’t think a D400 going FX is beyond imagination.

          1. The D2h/D2x went full-frame with the D3 and D3x.

          2. Nikon has a full DX tier right now: D3000, 5000, and 7000 series. Do we really need four tiers of DX? I know some will argue that the D7000 isn’t high-spec enough to be a replacement, but it’s pretty close.

          3. There is a missing camera in the line-up. The D800 is not quite the D700 replacement, so I can easily see a D400 filling in the FX lower MP tier.

    • Dimitrii1130

      24mp –>sony

    • MRGABE

      yep, sounds like something that would accompany an entry-level FX camera.

      • PHB

        More likely a D9000. If Nikon want to have a second professional FX compact body they would do better to recycle the D700 name than use a name that would prevent them updating their DX line ever.

        The D300/D300s has still outsold all Nikon FX bodies put together. So its kinda silly for people to think the DX line will disappear while the D800 is still $3K.

        • wublili

          Using D400 for FX doesn’t stop Nikon introducing later another high end DX. For the same reason as having old D70 did not stop Nikon introducing D5000 (the successor of D60).

          Or put it even simplier :

          D50 -> D40 -> D60 -> D5000 -> D5100

          If Nikon wants to continue the current Dx00 DX serie, they might go for D9x00 serie. That is actually very logical as it would make 4 digit serie to be DX and 3 and 1 digit series to be FX sensors. (2 digit serie is buried at the moment… for future use…)

          • Almost.

            D50 -> D40 -> D40x + D40 -> D60 + D40 -> D5000 + D3000 -> D5100 + D3100

        • This is due to price not a majority preferring dx

          • Rob

            And FX will always be that expensive. It just costs too much to make the sensor.

            • RC

              How much more could it possibly cost for a slightly larger sensor? If they make them in higher quantities, this price difference could be offset. There are so many people ready to jump to FX right now. Also, the reason I’m not jumping at the D700 is because it’s old. Release a new camera at $2200, and I might be interested.

            • Silicon wafers are round. Even 10% bigger means a large reduction of the number of chips you can fit on a wafer. 50% bigger makes for what I would guess is around 1/3 the yield per wafer (wild uneducated guesses here).

              Think about it. Imagine sensors chopped out of this:

              Then, remember that they’re rectangular, which is an even less space efficient shape.

              That said, I can pick up a D7000 sensor for $300 off ebay. This is with a board ready to install. Probably costs less than $100 to produce. If a D700 sensor were twice as expensive, that’s still only $200. Which I’m sure is high ball. Every year, chip fab gets better and cheaper and wafers are getting bigger and bigger.

              Sigma make a custom chip in limited quantities and sell it for $3000. I’m sure Nikon can make a $2000 FX camera at an excellent profit if they want.

              It ain’t coming this year though.

            • thats an outrageous statement prices on these kinds of things have been falling for years showing no signs of stopping

            • soap

              Prices on these sorts of things have NOT been falling for years and years.

              A full frame sensor is defined by its size, and wafer prices as measured by the unit area have barely budged in 20 years.

              Modern chips are far cheaper than they used to be because they have gotten far smaller, something a full frame sensor can not.

              Not only does wafer use go down with die size increases, the cost of yield failures goes up as well.

        • The Fantastic G

          I’m thinking there won’t be a D400. Have a strong “feeling” that it’ll be a D9000. It will have the 16MP or 24MP DX sensor. Most probably, the 16MP. There might be another intro FX camera, but naming is up in the air. Maybe a D710?

    • wublili

      I’m starting to think also that D400 will be FX camera.

      D7100 will be the top of the line in DX. It will adopt the few missing features of D300s that D7000 doesn’t offer at the moment.

    • Azmir

      Hi Mitch,

      Do you know of an FX D400 coming out this year? Will there be another FX camera out? I’m rather interested coz the D800, as great as it is, is quite above my budget.

      • Mitch

        Nope, I don’t know anything, I’m just a reader and making guesses like everyone else that doesn’t work for Nikon. A D9000 16-24mp DX and D400 16-24mp FX is where my betting money is, though. It fits the model # progression, and fills the voids in the current lineup.

  • Marco

    Maybe a cheaper FX body is on his way….

  • The D400 is coming. How long does it take from patent to product?

    • CRB

      A lot of time…nikon filed a 24mm DX (36mm eq) a long time ago and nothing till now…

      • sometimes they file patents years in advance

        • OverExposed

          I hope they file something like an updated 24-70 f/2.8 with VR (for video) sometime soon. lol 🙂

          • VR is not optimal for video with FX. The element and motors end up bigger and louder = bad for video. Try any full frame VR lens out with video and see. You’ll hear it. It’s easier just to get a good rig to stabilize the whole camera. And besides, video is more forgiving of the type of motion that VR corrects. VR is optimized for stills.

            • OverExposed


              Thanks for the heads up! I’m just starting up with video. I now have something to re-think. 🙂

        • Landscape Photo

          A new compact 28-105mm VR kit lens is what I’m expecting from Nikon.

  • texajoe

    Would only be good if it’s a few hundred dollars… But there is already the 24-120.

  • BlackWolf

    16mp d4 sensor at a pricepoint of approx ~1500? That would blow canon out of the water.

    • Fishnose

      Not going to happen as it would also blow D4 out of the water, like D700 did with D3.

      • applepie

        Lesson: History does not repeat itself…?

    • Andrew

      Impossible at $1,500, but possible at $2,200. It will not have the speed (fps) of the D4 so sports photographers will still buy the D4. But it will make much more money for Nikon than the D4 because of a significantly greater sales number.

      • Mark J.

        You won’t be seeing it at $2200 either. At least not until its near the end of its lifespan. Nikon isn’t going to cut the price on a new D700 successor that heavily. Not when the D800 is selling for $3,000 and they can’t even keep up with demand.

        • Yup, we can’t see the FX price getting that low that soon either.

  • Fishnose

    The 24-120 f/4 is a far more logical lens for a decently priced kit. And it’s very good.
    But it’s not exactly cheap…

    • Pat

      and it’s not exactly that sharp and not exactly cost-effective for what you get.

      • Fishnose

        Interesting. All the tests I’ve seen say it’s as sharp as the 24-70 f/2.8. Not as fast, not as fancy, some vignetting, some distortion (like all zooms). But very good.
        Maybe you’ve had several and know better?

      • The first shots I saw weren’t that great–even the ones from Nikon! However, I’ve seen some shots more recently that contradict all that. I can’t imagine that they’ve somehow made it better than it was when it was released, but…maybe? I’d say try one out if it interests you.

        The old 24-120 deserved it’s reputation of being a mediocre lens. Dunno about the f4.

      • The 24-120 F4 G lens is tack sharp and my primary lens. It has one less lens and one less grouping than the 24-70 2.8g and has the same quality of glass including nano coat, SIC, and three aspherical elements which you usually all only see on the pro 2.8 and faster lenses. Same 77mm filter thread too.

        The 24-120 f4 g has the following advantages over the 24-70 2.8g;
        A) Far sharper in the corners
        B) Extended zoom range into the 85-110mm portrait range
        C) VR
        D) About a third less weight

        I will take all that over the f2.8 one stop advantage. The number of times you would use the 24-120 F4g extra capabilities FAR outweigh the ability to shoot at 2.8 or need 2.8 for focus lock. Ok, the 24-70 2.8g has internal focus and the 24-120 telescopes, big deal.

        Excellent 24-120 F4 g review

        If someone cannot afford the cost or weight of the 24-120 F4 G lens, then they might as well stick with what ever kit variable 5.6 lens is offered. I don’t see a point to this new patented lens.

        • the 24-120 is also cheaper, I use it on the D800 stopped down – I have uploaded few full res samples on Flickr

          • of course I am talking about the 24-120 f/4 VR lens

        • Ilkka N

          The point is that a 24-70/3.5-4.5 is much less ambitious design than the 24-120/4. The latter has extreme distortion and vignetting through most of its range, poor corner sharpness and a slight lack of clarity in the final images. A narrower-range 24-70 can have fewer optical compromises, smaller size, and lower cost than the 24-120. Thus it is welcome and needed.

  • Mazzy

    The FX 24Mpx $2,000-2,200 is coming in winter 2013, just a little of patience.
    Take the D700 throw in the new Sony 24Mp Fx, Think about better IQ/ISO perf that D800 & D4, 6-7fps base at FX. It’ll be in back order for years… Too many people have gone all-in with D800… Superb camera but too slow for anything but studio & landscape, mammoth files and not spectacular High ISO performance. The Nikon ‘cheaper’ FX will rule them all.

    • Egan

      “not spectacular High ISO performance” that nearly matches the D4 according to DXOMark? “not spectacular High ISO performance” that is just as good as the 5D MkIII up to ISO 12800?

      Do tell what you are basing this drivel on?

      And you only have mammoth files if you go full tilt RAW 36MP files. There is a wonderful thing called “Medium” sized files for most shots.

      • D800 owner

        Medium is in jpeg. But your right though. Shoot lossless compressed + 12 bit raw and the files are only about 35MB. About half the 70ish MB everyone whines about.

        It’s not too slow for anything other than studio/landscape either. That’s only the opinion of people who don’t own the camera but are basing their opinion on spec sheets.

    • Fishnose

      “D800… Superb camera but too slow for anything but studio & landscape”

      Bollocks! Jeez what a bunch of crap.

      • D800 owner


  • lexie

    Well, I would actually prefer a slow-ish (4.5 at the end) shorter lens with a 24-70mm range over the 24-120mm – if it permits better performance in the range it offers, maybe at the level of the 24-70 2.8G. Why? If one has the 70-200, the 24-120mm doesn’t offer any real benefit over a 24-70mm.

    And for landscape (think D800) it is possibly more interesting to have a excellent performing slow lens (or two: the 70-300 is quite good until ~200mm).

    • Travis

      If someone can afford to buy and carry 70-200G then he should have no problem buing and using 24-70 2.8

      • RC

        I have a 70-200 F2.8, and I don’t have a 24-70. I wish I did. I also wish it had VR. Might take a look at that Tamron when it comes out.

    • Fishnose

      “Why? If one has the 70-200, the 24-120mm doesn’t offer any real benefit over a 24-70mm”

      2 major benefits: VR II, and 24-120 gives a nice overlap over the 70-2o0 so you don’t have to switch lenses so often.

      • photo-Jack

        I think neither the 24-120 nor the 24-70/2.8 are a quality choice! Compared to the 14-24/2.8 and the 70-200/2.8 the 24-70 lacks a lot. Now, after the less forgiving D800 is on the scene it really should be updated. I wish it would come with an internal zoom (not extending) !!! and VR II wouldn’t be wrong. It also should keep the 77mm filter thread.

  • Hold your horses. It may not be for an entry FX body. It could simply be a cheaper alternative for the folks with more money than sense and have an FX and no idea why. This could be a cheap, lighter alternative for someone who doesn’t want to spend $1500 (or whatever the 2.8 is going for now) on a lens to take photos of their cat.

    I understand FX are expensive too. But, for those switching from D80-90-300 to a used D700 (which they should be practically giving away once D800 really becomes available) as an alternative to the comparatively priced D7000, this may be just the lens they want.

    Also, alot of them look nothing like a 24-70. This is the way I see it:

    1: 24-70
    2: 24-85
    3: 28-105
    4: 24-85
    5: 24-75 (this ones a little wonky on both ends).

    All of them seem like reasonable ranges. Personally, I think the 24-85 would sound splendid in an F/2.8.


    • Mark

      Sorry. Almost $2k for the 24-70/2.8.

    • GeofFx

      There are currently only 2 FX options from Nikon. The lens doesn’t apply to those with a D4 and it’s doubtful that it will be sharp enough for the D800 if it’s an “affordable” lens.

      Therefore, I don’t see how this lens would apply to someone who has a current generation FX camera and doesn’t know why, and just wants to take pictures of their cat.

      • The D700 isn’t going to fizzle out. Unless the D400 really is a kick-ass FX camera, the D700 will still be in high demand for a while with people switching over. Hell, even if the D400 is kick-ass, it’s going to drive the D700 price d0wn (and will be on backorder for far longer practically longer than its lifetime), and the demand will grow higher. People only having a D800 or D4 is like saying all DX users only have a D7000 or D300s.


        • Sahaja

          Yeah but there are an awful lot more DX users than FX users – so it makes sense to have more DX camera models.

          There also have to be cheap DX cameras to match the competition and to get people to buy into the Nikon system.

          There were 3 Nikon FX cameras: D700, D3s, D3x and there currently still are 3 Nikon FX cameras: D700 D800 and D4 – since the D700 isn’t discontinued

    • Dan

      Why is it a problem for you if i use my D800/24-70mm f/2.8 to take pics of my cat? What are you insinuating?

      • Nothing. I take photos of my ducks almost on a daily basis with my D800 and 24-70. But, I also take photos of paying customers on the regular as well.

        Generally, the people I’m speaking of will not understand why the camera doesn’t have an AUTO mode to take a photo of their beloved feline with to begin with. They’ll snap the photo on “A” mode, assuming it stands for AUTO, then post them all over the internet having them look like an instagram photo taken by a three year old, asking for critique and for people to “really lay it on” them because “they’re ready!” Those are the ones that SHOULD have the lens on their camera.


        • Mark,
          Very nice portfolio. Thanks for linking.

        • The tigress


          Actually, it is the dog people who are so keen to use the auto modes.
          Cat people are of a higher order, as are the felines to whom they belong.

          p.s. Ducks are for eating, not petting.

          • fred

            As a dog owner and professional photographer, I object to your generalization. Anyway I mostly take pictures of dead cats with my Hasselblad H4D.

          • Fishnose

            LOL! Agreed.
            Cats are independent animals, dogs are slaves.

            • Dog lurver

              Cats are assholes. Dogs are true friends.

  • Donald

    re “Superb camera but too slow for anything but studio & landscape” , D700 , 5fps . D800 4fps , many people , myself included have been shooting D700 for years without finding the fps to be a major issue , I recently shot breaching Whales & surfing Penguins , no problem with fps at all (did fill buffer a couple of times) , what are you shooting where fps is too slow ? or is fps the new equivalent of “need more MP ?”

    • or is fps the new equivalent of “need more MP ?”



      • D400

        you nailed it.

      • +1,000

        I’d say the majority of the greatest sports photos of all time were taken on cameras that had less than 5fps.

        I know great sports photographers who admit that shooting at 8fps+ has made them lazy.

        • Rob

          That’s because the majority of the time cameras existed they had less that 5fps.

          • applepie

            By the same token, most of the finest pictures ever taken were made with cameras that had manual winders.

            • RC

              In the hands of a capable photographer, higher frame rates equate to higher chances of getting “the” shot. The camera should never be “in the way.”

            • BartyL

              All this whining about FPS and MP! Honestly! All you really need is some ground ochre, an auroch-horn torch, and a virgin piece of cave wall.

            • Fishnose

              Ground ochre! Luxury.
              We had it really tough. We had to use our own feces to paint with…..

            • Ugggh the caveman

              Ugh! Ugggh ookk!

              Stik durt!


  • The D800 fps are fine. The D300s has 7fps on paper. In real world usage, the D800 rules the D300s in my case. fps depends on to much: AF-system, focus priority, picture quality settings, etc…

    And the D800 is really superb in all areas (except the display 😉 )

    • joey

      It is my understanding that the D800 in dx mode with the MB-D12 grip will shoot 5-6 fps. If this is the case, D800 is relatively versatile. It works as a landscape camera and a decent camera to shoot kids sports (not at a pro level).

      • Yep, with grip and the D4 or AA batteries, it will do 6 in DX.

  • Iris Chrome

    I highly doubt Nikon would ever release this lens. They already have the 24-120 as a “cheap” FX lens. If anything they need to update that one instead of releasing a nonsensical 24-70 with a variable aperture.

    • unless they release a “cheap” FX camera

      • Iris Chrome


      • DX2FX

        Yes ! a 16MP D800s !

    • Fishnose

      So the 24-120 is a ‘cheap’ lens that needs updating? What planet do you live on?
      Check exhaustive comparative test at and learn something new.

      • thebiter

        You know, there are two versions of the 24-120, right?
        24-120/3.5-5.6D VR
        24-120/4G VR

        One is double the price of the other.

  • Many photographers want VR in a 24-70mm lens, not sure why, but this may be a solution for those photographers.

    • Jon D

      You don’t need VR on the 24-70!

      • bigeater

        I have the 24-70 and I wish it had VR every single day I use it. These higher-megapixel cameras pick up EVERYTHING. It would be especially helpful for handheld video.

        • BINGO. For general purposes, the 24-70 really doesn’t absolutely NEED VR. But, with the new cameras also being produced toward video, it would be incredibly nice to have. Not only that, sometimes one gets a bit excited when they’re in-the-moment. It’d be nice to have then. And, sometimes, one has a 36MP sensor that will pick up 1nm of movement over the course of 1/8000s. It’d be nice to have then.


          • Camera shake, I mean.


          • Mark, what’s the reason to have 36 MP and VR if VR affects image quality? I was relying on stabilizer of my 105VR until realized that my images could be much sharper if I’ll switch VR off. Even at D5000 camera which have only 12 MP. Care to elaborate?

            • RC

              Please explain how one’s images can be sharper with VR off? VR has done wonders for me.

            • VR corrects movings by shaking (electromagnetically) the dedicated lens group, thus micro-shift is enough to make everything little bit worse.

              A Wikipedia article explains this issue:

            • Michael

              VR creates higher image quality till around 1/250 according to one site.

            • Michael, I’m sure you miss something. Maybe they were claiming that because of bad hand-holding technique at 1/250? I was experiencing such problems with 105 VR due to its overly fat construction (and I’m tall guy with huge hands), it is too difficult to handle and manage accurate manual focus at MFD due to helluva large barrel diameter.

      • I think the 24-70 would benefit from VR… if even only because it stabilizes the pre-shot for your focus system.

      • Fishnose

        Nonsense, of course the 24-70 needs VR II.
        I suppose you were one of those people who said that digital photography is ridiculous, we don’t need it, or the CD is destroying real music by chopping it into little bits… and other great lines.

        • Hash

          No it doesn’t need it. You need to suck less. Or buy a mono/tripod.

          I use my 24-70 on my d800 every day and it’s no problem with good technique.

  • tengris

    > This lens only makes sense as a part of a “cheap” full frame body kit.
    There was an AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 full format lens. A nearly perfect FX clone of the AF-S DX 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 lens, with the same pros and cons like the DX kit lens. The only full format Nikon body during the lifecicle of this cheap kit lens was the F6. The AF-S 24-85mm was discontinued before the D700, the cheapest Nikon FX DSLR ever, hit the road.

    The funny thing is that even Pentax still releases 35mm format lenses, which would only make sense with a full frame body. No rain in the desert so far.

  • Tao

    phiff – Been done before – 24-85mm G ED 3.5-4.5. Great little lens but production stopped years ago. It was an upgraded “Kit lens” with the ED elements.

    Looks like they will be updating it as there are not cheap FX glass in production.
    Only the 28-300mmVR, 70-300VR, & 80-400VR, is in the cheaper variable zoom FX class that is still produced.

    Other FX out of production variable zoom lenses: (ED – higher grade)
    28-200 (now 28-300)
    24-120 (variable zoom – not replaced in the same price point)
    70-300 vr (still made)
    80-400 vr (still made)
    I’m missing one somewhere in there as well.

    • Zorro


  • Tao

    That was the cheap kit one. There were a handful of ED ones.

    24-85mm f2.8-4 was another one.

  • chase

    I see this pointless, it will probably cost the same as the sigma 24-70 2.8 hsm. I currently own the sigma and its a exelent lens (if sigma QC shows up to work that day) my only complaints about the sigma is the crap finish that is prone to flaking off, so far my copy has not. If someone is in the market for a 24-70 and cant afford the nikkor 2.8 I dont see this being a good alternative to the sigma unless the name “Nikkor or Nikon” is a absolute must.

  • CajunCC

    CL3 appears to be a VR group…

    • Bret McGonigle

      Looks like that to me too, I’d be this is just an AF-S + VR addition to replace the $650-$700 Nikkor 24-85/2.8-4.0

      Above average optics in a sub-$1000 range.. something only the 3rd parties offer right now

      • preston

        Nikon have a couple excellent lenses for DX at affordable prices right now, so maybe it’s time they catch up and release some for FX. According to, out of the big 3 (Nikon, Canon, Sony) Nikon has the best cheapo kit lens in the 18-55 as well as the best enthusiast kit lens in the 18-105. Add in the excellent 35mm 1.8 that nobody else makes for only $200 and there is reason to be proud of Nikon’s ability to make a high performing lens that is also affordable. This 35mm is even cheaper than 3rd party options considering Sigma just released a 30mm f2.8 for the same cost for m4/3, and it is over a full stop slower than the Nikon! Obviously I’m saying high quality compared to the direct competition, not compared to the FX 2.8 zooms. Now if only they’d release a wide angle prime (say a 20mm f2) for us DX users like we’ve been begging for! 🙂

  • Steve

    Come on Nikon update the 80-400mm
    Which hopelessly out of date instead of giving us
    this variation on a theme !!!

    • Susan

      I am so with you on that. Every day I say a prayer for that lens.

  • Bret McGonigle

    No way the D400 is going to be FX. I mean the 7000 sized body isn’t go to be an “APS Flagship,” I just don’t see it. D400 will be DX for sure, plus it will appeal to sports/wildlife photographers.. if I was still shooting football games I’d go crop for sure

    This lens ,I’d bet, is more to replace the 24-85 f/2.8-4.0 (no AFS, no VR), which is still in production and currently the only mid-range full frame zoom lens that Nikon offers for FX cameras.
    I see a lot of people going for the D700/D800 cameras and buying Sigma/Tamron zooms to go with them because Nikon offers nothing in the sub-$1000 segment (aside the 24-85 and 28-300 lenses, neither of which is particularly excellent optically).

    Not that I don’t want to see a lower-level FX body, I’d love to see that 16mp D4 sensor in something more affordable.

    • Trevor

      You could be right. Then again, a 24mp FX sensor should have a DX crop around 10mp. That’s tolerable for many sports/bird photographers that can’t afford a D4.

      Hell, the D300s is only 12mp right now. I think MANY people would give up 2mp on the crop side for an FX sensor at the same price.

      I’m sure Nikon would reduce some features/build quality to keep the price down, but give it similar DX FPS as the D300s. Then you get a 24mp FX D400 and a 24mp DX D7100.

      That’s a scenario I could totally believe.

      • Lester Kamstra

        Trevor, i hope that your suggestion is going to happen.
        That would be the best way in this rumor i think.


  • Ralph

    I’m not sure why there is the constant attention on fast lenses. I own the f2.8 obese group and utterly hate them. I only have them because they have great image quality, I don’t know why Nikon can’t produce slower, smaller lenses that have great IQ? I just hate carting around lenses that are designed to shoot in the dark. If I want shallow DOF I’ll use my 50f1.4 or 85f1.4.

    If this lens had high IQ I will get rid of my obese f2.8, same goes for a 70-200f4. Canon has had these for ages.

    I think all lens designers should be forced to do a few weeks of hiking with their creations.

    • Bigeater

      I feel the same way. Is this why we’re seeing this spate of 1.8 lenses all of a sudden? In the pre=zoom days photographers would walk around with two or three cameras around their necks with a couple of different prime lenses—a 24mm on one camera, a 50mm and maybe a 135 or a 200 on a third camera. Even with three cameras I bet it still weighed less than a pro camera and a single 2.8 zoom does today (as long as they were Leicas).
      Two or three “cheap” full framers with prime lenses sounds like great fun.

    • Nikon seems to be approaching the “lightweight, good IQ” crowd slowly but surely now. We have the 16-34 f/4 and 24-120 f/4, and recently filed a patent for a 70-200 f/4 VR if I am not mistaken.

      And before you mention that the 16-35 VR and 24-120 VR aren’t as flawlessly sharp as the likes of the 14-24 and 24-70, (and I would agree with you) …let me also point out that neither are Canon’s 17-40 or 24-105 flawlessly sharp; ONLY the Canon 70-200 f/4 is flawlessly sharp.

      So, I’d say we’re doing alright as long as Nikon brings a 70-200 f/4 VR to market this year. That, and some sort of 135 prime. Oh and an affordable wide prime, too. That would pretty much round out the whole “great IQ, affordable price and lighter weight” lineup.

      I already have the new 50 1.8 and it is exactly what you’re talking about- every bit as good as the 50 1.4, but a little lighter and cheaper. Same thing with the new 85 1.8 although I haven’t tested to confirm: WAY lighter than the 85 1.4, and approximately equal sharpness and build quality.

      So, Nikon’s working on it. Just not in the exact lenses you’re wanting at present…


    • Donz

      so true

  • Frank

    Nikon probably would not let Tamron have the only 24-70mm with VC/VR so maybe they’ll come up with something to compete against it.

    • Personally, I think Nikon is worried about pushing the $2500 mark with their 24-70VRII. The current version is selling for roughly $1800-1900 now. The new would easily approach $2500. Which is quiteeee steep. The Tamron version is $1300, new. Not that that will be automatically comparable, but it’s definitely something to be considered if Nikon were to release one with VR at $2300+.


  • I for one think a more compact less expensive quality mid range zoom makes alot of sense as a standalone and I bet it would out gross the f2.8 if they make it. If they do this as nice lens for pros that and prosumers that dont need a 2000 dollar pro zoom. I am portrait photographer and shoot mostly with primes. On the occasion when I am shooting and event or editorial assignment I shoot a sigma 24-70 that is 2.8 but performs best f4. A lens like this would make all kinds of sense if it is made as a high quality pro lens.

    • Donz

      yip, would be nice if Nikon could keep the price down.
      I picked up a mint second-hand 35-70 f2.8 but while it was cheap, it’s still reasonably heavy and the range is a bit limited requiring other lens also.
      They would sell ship loads of a quality f4 type mid range

  • Sixer

    But where is the replacement for the 80-400 VR?

    • EnPassant

      With the 28-300 VR on a D800 it is possible to crop to 400 or even 500 mm view and still have as many or more MPs compared to the 80-400 VR on the D700!

    • looon

      That’s what I would like to know.

  • Eugene

    Well, third parties lens already exists, such as Sigma 24-70, Tamron 28-75, and even new Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC( )

  • Boyan

    So lemme see: Nikon files a patent for a 16-35/2.8 and 35.2.8 with VR, has a 16-35/4 on the market with VR, but no VR on any flavor of 24-70? How “smart”…

    • ben

      Nikon cant replace every lens every year. The 24-70 will get VR when its life cycle is over.

  • Mars

    Just a random question.
    I read in a comment above that sometimes Nikon files patents years in advance of actual release.
    But what is the shortest time span between patent filed and release that you’ve seen?

    • ShaoLynx

      Let me answer that: weeks.
      As was the case with the 50 1.8, if I’m not mistaken.
      So sometimes it goes fast.
      But most of the time the patents are way ahead or even not correlated (ghost patents)…
      Damn, I spend way too much time on NR… 😉

    • sometimes they file the patent after the announcement – cannot really judge by that

  • Diah

    cheap full frame lens.. do we have cheap full frame nikon?

    • Bret McGonigle

      D700? That’s extremely reasonably priced right now, in fact I’m very tempted. Sure it’s a little outdated, but unless you really want/need video it’s still a pretty awesome camera.

    • Andrei

      I would love the “cheap” FX.
      If they would put an FX sensor on a D7000 I would buy it immediately.
      They could start with the D3S sensor. It’s the best High ISO ever and it won’t really compete with the D4, etc.

      • Sahaja

        If they are still even making D3s sensors.

        I suspect it is probably much more economical to manufacture 2 different FX sensors than it is to manufacture 3.

  • Hendog

    On the D400 issue, there will be a lot of D800 buyers (including me) very cheesed off if Nikon introduced a lower MP, cheaper FX body.

    • I dunno about lower cost, but anyone who thinks “this is it” for the next generation of Nikon FX bodies, well, I just doubt it. Both Nikon and Canon have the production capacity for up to three full-frame camera bodies at once, and yet the new generation is still just two bodies. As this year progresses and as older full-frame models dwindle in sales, I think we’ll see the “true D700 successor” that everybody has wanted, and also something else from Canon in the 35-40 megapixel range…

      Just an estimate based on historical observation; you’re welcome to disagree!


      • Agreed. Personally, I think if the D700 replacement has no choice but to act as a mini D4. Think about it. Less MP than D800, more MP than D700. So, this puts it in the 16-24 range. Personally, I hope Nikon makes a new sensor and smacks it in the 18MP range if they really MUST up the MP. Anywho, better ISO performance than the D700. 100% VF, popup flash, all video features of D800 (If clean HDMI out is taken into account, this would be incredible). There’s no other option than to have a mini D4 in a D700.

        To be 100% completely honest, I don’t think the D700 will be replaced until they put the D3s sensor in a prosumer body. I don’t think that will happen until they get their run out of the D4. Sales on the D4 would drop like a sack of bricks if they put the D3s sensor in a prosumer body with the video features of the D800 (or even D4!). I hope this is what they do. If so, it will be on backorder for its entire life cycle, and will easily (in my eyes) be the greatest overall DSLR ever created (if they bumped to 18MP and maintained D3s ISO sensitivity, it would be even better so crop mode would be usable).


    • Mark J.

      Not me,. If Nikon releases a DX D400 with D300 FPS i’ll glady buy it as well. Have the best of both worlds. A mini D4, and a D800. Portraits, Sports, Landscape, etc all covered for less than the cost of a D4…. Would be awesome.

  • WOW we’re so far into “just for the sake of it, people will buy it” territory, I dunno what to say.

    I guess it’s just weird to think that some people could buy an FX camera that they barely even put to use, and THEN on top of it they decide to skimp and get kit lenses because they blew all their $$ on that nice FX body.

    You know what though, I don’t actually despise that philosophy… Money is for spending, right? Buy whatever you want. Manufacture whatever people will buy. As long as I get a lens or body that’s right up my alley once or twice a year, I’m happy…


    • Bret McGonigle

      I’m with you there. Not to piss anyone off, but the Sigma SD1 was like the ultimate of “because it exists people bought it.” $9800 for that camera? It’s a nice camera but it didn’t even get a ton of publicity or even positive reviews before people were buying them at crazy prices. I’m in marketing and I have to say, I can’t believe it sold with such little info for high prices, when other decent products are marketed like crazy and fail.

    • Fishnose

      “You know what though, I don’t actually despise that philosophy”
      Aww, now aren’t we all lucky that you don’t despise this or that. Makes my day. Jeez.

    • who says this is gonna be a cheap kit lens. not every lens must be f2.8. as i said earlier as portrait photographer i shoot mostly primes. Even the 24-70 2.8 isnt good enough (bokeh) for what i like. that said haveing agood sharp trust mid range zoom would be great and and f 3.5-4.5 is really pretty bright and will control dof. i cant justify a 2000 dollar lens that i wont use much in portrait sessions. sure a lot of people re in the smae boat

      • I’d agree with that completely, except for the fact that it’s “just” 24-70. I mean the 24-85 is already quite sharp, why not make us a new 24-85, or a new 24-105, if sharpness is the only goal and not aperture? If you ask me, the only real reason to keep a zoom lens under 3X is for achieving sharpness AND a fast aperture. They should be able to pull off 3-4X zoom if sharpness is the only concern.

        Just a guess, of course. Honestly I’d just love to see a new 24-85 that can handle full-frame high MP corners really well at f/8. That’d be the landscape photographer’s dream lens.

        Then again, there’s already a 16-85 DX mk2 coming out, and with the D400 possibly being 24 MP DX, now THAT sounds like a dream camera for any outdoor shooter who is concerned enough about weight to think twice about full-frame.


  • Landscape Photo

    I’d prefer the 3rd formula, 28-102 mm one. Good wide to tele range, compact, lightweight & affordable but not short of IQ esp. when stopped down to f/8 or so.

    Btw, why nobody seems to be excited with the new lens patent, rather talk is about an FX vs DX D400. Come on, we have got D800, the ultimate lifetime-good FX+DX. But compact walkaround lenses have been missing.

    • Donz

      yeah agree, not a bad travel option in Example #3.
      Who wants to walk around for a whole day lugging a 24-70 f2.8, especially when there’s heaps of natural daylight?!

  • Nikonian

    Some news about the 70-200 F4? before or after the olympics?

  • Fede

    I went to preorder a D800 in a big store of Barcelona and the owner told me that a FX body is coming soon

  • D800 -D4 GIUGIARO


    • D4 is ok, but D800 is utterly ugly compared to D700.

      • Bret McGonigle

        True story. It’s way to smoothed over.

        Also, where did the AF-C option go from the front af switch? Also what happened to my AF-mode dial on the back?? I know it’s not an action camera but come on..

      • Fishnose

        Just goes to show how much this is a matter of opinions, doesn’t it. I think the D800 is gorgeous.

        • I ever wondered why people, who are trying to be polite, talking about someone who shares his rant with so much fury. Opinion is opinion, not an absolute truth, if even it doesn’t fit to your world. Or shall we speak only good things and pass anything bad or distracting?

    • Nice! I reported that rumor last year:
      Thanks for the link.

  • Smudger

    Just what we all need.

    Yet another, not very wide to not very long, f /dim to f /dimmer zoom.


  • R!

    I’m betting on a 24-70 with: SILENT VR AND AF FOR VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • R!

      …smooth & silent zooming will be welcome!!!!!!!

    • ive never shot video but i am guessing that a variable f stop lens would suck ass for video

  • DX man

    I can’t understand why someone would spend $3k on a FX camera for the reduced DOF and then buy a walkaround that’s so slow it will increase the DOF to DX proportions?!

    Anyone who wants a lightweight high iso camera should wait for the D400 or buy a D7k

    • Landscape Photo

      Is the only reason to buy an FX to get shallow DOF? It may be true for some applications, but not always.

      I’ll get the D800 for higher resolution that I’ve been waiting for long years. For landscape photography apertures around f/8 or f/11 will be chosen (knowing diffraction will take some, but for the sake increased DOF), so there’s no problem having a slow lens as long as the corner resolution is acceptable at f/8. Therefore a slow but compact lens can be preferable.

      Btw, hi-res DX won’t give the same result due to diffraction & lens limitations. 24mp DX is a joke; yes it will be literally 24mp but the results will be no better than 16mp in practice.

      • Sahaja

        A joke?

        A few months ago many people on this forum were saying 36mp on FX was a joke – now they’re all over it.

        • this is normal – many did not believe me when I said the D800 will have 36MP

    • RC

      The main reason I want FX is for its high ISO capability. If I had an FX camera, I’d probably put the 24-120 F4 or the 28-300 on it 99% of the time.

    • If you cant control dof with 24-70 f3.5-4.5 then you dont belong anywhere near a camera

  • Sounds like a great zoom for my F80, since I’m looking for one that will match nicely with it and is AF-S. I wish Nikon had kept selling the 24-85 AF-S, that was good lens, instead they kept the old AF (D version).

  • timon

    I wanted to see better dustproof design all the new lenses, in some of lenses were lacking dustproof design, thus the dust is easily to intrude inside the lens, it also goes to sensor.

    Some of the used lenses of long-term easily found to be inside the much dust in between the glasses, that is especially the front lenses group. These dust are in the using processes to intrude the lens, (which is not pointing the trouble about the tail of interchangeable lens).

    the lens tube and zoom ring there the annular gap easily intruded by the dust and it went to inside, especially between the front-lens-tubes. When the front side of lens is with aweather direction, then the dust is easier intruded, if the lens was lacking a fitting dustproof design.

    the front lenses group gotten too much dust would impair the image quality, and the dust went to the rear lenses group or sensor would get splotches on the image.

    in the digital era, having only dustproof in a camera body is a far lacking.

    • Ray


  • D400 = FX

    Its definitely for cheap FX sensor camera!! Canonrumors had some hints of a cheap one towards the end of 2012 which apparently will revolutionalise the whole scene. Nikon will definitely have to follow suit.

    And a humble request to all those who argue with 100pc certainty about no cheap FX, your D700 is not going to fetch anything near you paid for it. Get real, its an old camera. ;). So, Nikon will make an FX better than D700 and will sell it for 1999. 😉

    • D400 = FX


    • yes, if Canon releases it, Nikon will too

      • nikon has a bizarre ability to not compete effectively with cannon. we are just now getting the camera to compete effectively with the 5d mk2

  • I’m in the market for going FX, so if the D400 is FX i’ll get it, if not then ill go for a D700 or D800. I have a feeling that the D400 will be FX. I feel that if Nikon thinks Canon will release a low end full frame camera in the near future then Nikon will at least have one in the pipeline.
    As of now, I’d rather just wait it out, let my money accrue and get something brand new then jump the gun and get something relatively old and regret it. Right now I’m content with what I have and If I wait long enough, I’ll get a 2k FX camera and a few fast primes.

  • Kim A.

    I see much point in a 24-70mm f/3.5-4.5 when they already “have” the AFS 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF, which is a great lens! Very sharp!Easily obtained on the used market. An d I doubt it could be made lighter than it is. Maybe the 22-80mm could be something to go for…?

    • they dont make it anymore. they make a 24-85 2.8-4

      not a great lens btw

  • I have a 24-70/2.8 and love it for its sharpness, but it is big, heavy and very conspicuous. I would snap up a slower standard zoom instantly if it was short, light-weight and sharp. Manufacturers forget that small and light is vital for certain kinds of photography. I would use them both — horses for courses.

    • Donz

      right on. If going hiking up mountains, or on vacation to exotic locations, you definately want something pretty sharp but also pretty light and that will fit in your backpack/day bag

  • FX Dream

    Nikon in your lineup can’t have only 2 cameras FX, D4 excellent, D800 Excellent but not for every FX user by price and High MPx. Nikon must fill the gap between the current D800 and the missing D700. There is here a new position open to FX body, and I believe that D400/whatever come is the new FX body from Nikon.

    • Anonymous Maximus

      What you describe is a D750. 16-24mp FX, more fps, modest price, etc. But do you seriously think Nikon will introduce something like this shortly after D4 & D800?

      There is also a gap for a pro DX. D7000 didn’t/won’t fill that. D400 name fits better for the successor of D300(s). 16 or 24mp DX.

      • FX Dream

        Yes maybe, more fps, FX 24mp, modest price. I think that Nikon put to the market another one, because actually many people don’t jump to D800, not only because the price, but because of all hardware evo. that is need. Many photographers don’t need 36mpx for your casual photos and prints, but they are FX users and are looking something more “affordable”, and so not heavy to manage in their platforms. Nikon launch D800 for a status position on the market, and I think that is great, but let’s down a little to the real world, FX user need a new camera, if it is a 710 or something else, great for us. I’ll be waiting for that day. And in my opinion the Nikon DX format should be limited to four digits models even in its top model.

  • haha

    I doubt D400 (if there is such future product) will be a FX body.
    If D400 is slated to be announced this year, and we know all FX bodies are made at Sendai, how can they keep up producing D4, D800, D800e, D400 unless they change their current manufacturing plans?

    So I reckon D400 will be a D300s successor.
    DX with CX crop (ideally)
    About the same fps as D300s
    About the same ISO rating (but not necessary performance) as D800
    51 pts focusing like D800 with face detection and focus up to f8
    Video of D800 with some limitations
    Built-in flash
    Built-in CLS commander
    Price point of D300s + US100-300 more.

    If they can release this camera, the DX crowd will be thrilled. The FX crowd, that are still waiting for D700 successor (D800 is confirmed by Nikon to be NOT the successor of D700), will be happy for a while. D300 and D300s users can upgrade. D700 users can get a new side-kick. I have both D700 and D300 so I will be doubly thrilled. Canon users will want 5dm3 mini to replace their 7d but who cares about Canon and her users? We will have something like a 5dm3 with a DX reach and if we want 5dm3 with FX reach, we still have used D700 and used D3s. Everyone will be happy! At least in the Nikon world.

    • EnPassant

      There for sure are a lot of speculation IF D300s will get a replacement (DX sensor inside D800 body type) or the replacement for D7000 will get such imrovements it will be top of the DX-line.

      The D400 will like the D300s for sure NOT be made in Japan! A cheaper FX-model will be made where labour costs are lower, like Thailand.

      How big is this DX crowd interested in a DX D400 really? Some sports- and a few wild life photographers who can’t live with 6fps (With D800 in DX-mode with grip or D7000) and thinks 8fps minimum is a dealbreaker?

      Actually I think the biggest part of the DX crowd that once used the D300 only used that body because of the lack of other good alternatives like D7000 now having most of the functions in D300 and a better sensor and D800 with good enough DX-crop in a semi-pro body.

      Many of the former D300 users have since long migrated to FX after the introduction of D700 or D7000 if they were happy with DX. With D800 being like two (DX and FX) cameras in one most of the D300 users will make the jump. The market for a new DX D400 is simply mostly gone. And I don’t think Nikon is such stupid to release that kind of a camera unless they been planning it for such a long time they therefore think they must build it because of all the invested development, like when they released the F6 when digital already had taken over. The improved D7000 does however speak against that possibility.

      Most in the Nikon FX crowd think D800 is a fabulous successor to D700. Even a lot of Canon-users feel envy and think about jumping ship as 5DIII feels more like a replacement or just next years model fixing the problems 5DII had.
      Nikon with right claims D800 is a new camera with a lot of changes like when a car model statst being made with a different look and construction although it keeps the same name.

      However D800 like D700 (and D300) by size belongs to Nikon’s class of semi-pro bodies (D4 is the pro “flagship” and D7000 “enthusiast” while D3100 and D5100 are the entry- level offerings) and therefore is the successor of D700 as Nikon unlikely will release alower MP in a D800 body as the price would be the same. And as you yourself stated Nikon have no production capacity for such a camera in Sendai.

      My advise: Put yourself in the queue for a D800. It will replace both your D700 and D300, but you can of course keep them for back-up and nostalgic reasons. You will be tripple thrilled having not only a FX camera both for high resolution landscapes but also high ISO low light shooting better than D700 and also have a great DX camera with improved focus in low light in one and the same camera!

      Canon users also will NOT get a replacement for 7D, but instead a cheaper FX-camera, just like Nikon! The 60D replacement (70D?) will instead get a more pro build like D7000. At least that is what the Canon rumors say!

      I am sure most Nikon- and Canon-users will be happy in the end when both Nikon and Canon have released all of their new generation bodies. At least if they listen to the wishes for a cheaper and lighter FX-body. It’s after all with 35 mm full frame sensors and lenses Canon and Nikon have a niche they completely dominate and therefore can make good profits in.

      What cameras we will see we can only speculate about here as only those inside the camera companies knows what is being developed.
      It will be interesting to see what Nikon will show at Photokina in september except the expected D7000 replacement.

  • Bob

    Does that indicate that Nikon will release cheap FX soon?
    I heard that Canon has plan to release cheap FX around Aug/Sep.
    I think Nikon should have something to response..
    If so, where is the top level DX?

  • NanDub

    I just don’t get why they would do all these extra work while they had the excellent 24-85 af-s which got discontinued one year before they released D3… That lens is actually pretty well-rounded, albeit no VR, but this one doesn’t seem have VR either… They can simply revive that lens and sell it for $400 new, and get a lot of sales…

  • OttoVonSchriek

    Ah well, Everybody knows I’m keenly awaiting a mirrorless that handles and beahaves like a Nikon DSLR….and let’s be frank, this is an ideal compact lens for such a camera…..

    OTOH, patents often precede products by a long marging, maybe the wait is not over yet 😀

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