Nikon 100-300mm f/4 full frame lens patent

Nikon filed patent 201293548 in Japan for a Nikon 100-300mm f/4 full frame lens:

  • Patent release date: May 17th, 2012
  • Patent filing date: October 27th, 2010
  • Focal length: 102 - 294mm
  • Aperture: 4.1
  • Angle of view: 8.2 - 24.1 deg
  • Lens length: 282.43mm
  • Image height: 21.6mm
  • Lens design: 22 elements in 16 groups, 4 ED elements

FYI: few months ago Sigma discontinued their 100-300mm f/4 EX DG APO HSM lens.

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  • Rob

    bad idea nikon

    • Michał

      You gotta be kiddin’ me.

      • Rob

        why an f/4? they could make a f/2.8 with this range.

        • El Aura

          A 100-300 mm f/2.8 would have the size and cost about as much as the 200-400 mm f/4 since a 100-300 mm f/2.8 + 1.4x TC would give you a 140-420 mm f/4 lens.

          Whereas a 100-300 mm f/4 lens would be about the size of a 70-200 mm f/2.8 (a bit longer) as it similar to a 70-200 mm f/2.8 + 1.4x TC.

          • Rob

            well then why buy this lens if i can just use the TC on my 70-200?

            • delayedflight

              Because it probably won’t cost as much to buy the 70-200 plus TC.
              I believe Nikon is aiming this lens at the same market Canon’s 100-400 is aimed at. People who need range but don’t necessarily have the money to splash out on the 70-200 + TC.
              People need to realise not everyone has the money to spend or the dedication to this craft to be able to justify spending large sums of money on lenses.
              If this is priced around the same price as Canon’s 100-400 and includes VR. I reckon it would be quite popular with advanced amateurs.

            • El Aura

              It likely is also better optically since you can optimise the lens for one purpose, ie 100-300 mm f/4 and not for multiple purposes as it is with a TC and a separate lens. And you likely can make optical integration that is not possible if you need the TC to be detachable.

        • Sahaja

          A lens like this is used outdoors. Do most people really need f/2.8 and the extra size, weight and cost that implies? On a lens of this focal length the DOF at f/4.0 is already fairly narrow.

          I’ll bet it will sell many times what a 100-300 f/2.8 would – because it will be far more affordable.

          • Richard


            A high quality f4 with VR should be at a price point where a lot of people will be able to afford it which has been one of the stronger selling points of the Canon counterpart.

            Apart from cost, the f4 will be small and lighter than some of the lenses people are saying should be made. Note the 16-35 f4. I see this as being a part of Nikon’s second tier of high quality lenses…which are sorely needed IMO.

      • Not Surprised

        Relax. This is just a patent people. If anything, Nikon is planning-ahead for the day when people say the 70-300/VR isn’t good enough anymore.

        A 100-300/4 could be an excellent alternative for some users, who need the fixed stop at f/4 and perhaps enhanced sharpness, which would probably be possible by the time its produced.

        (Remember, the 70-300/VR was made for 12MP cameras. Nikon is now up to 36MP, and its probably going to go a bit higher in 3 years.)

    • Trevor

      I have a Sigma 100-300 f4 and I love the focal length I get on a crop sensor. I am glad nikon is doing this because the quality of the glass and if it has an internal focus motor, the focus should be much faster and more accurate. For those who think that it would be better to make an f2.8, they obviously have never held a 300 f2.8. They are HEAVY and that is a prime, a zoom lens of that size would be even heavier. I hope this patent makes it to production!

  • Spock

    I will take one.

    • Darkness

      Loved the old AFS 300 f.4, sold it for a 70-200, is it still made?

    • i love old 100-300 f5.6 and f4 would make it better,

      though i would much more like to have 35-150 f2.8

  • C_V

    Don’t see any indication of VR!!

  • This will go great on my D700!

    Just kidding guys.

  • this could be a really great lens for me, it would beat canon’s 70-200 f4. Hope it’s gonna be cheap if released.

  • I don’t think Nikon will release this at a cheap price… 😀

    • Not Surprised

      If Nikon skips the VR — then it could be much cheaper than some people expect. In fact, if made much sharper than the current 300mm/4 (also no VR), then it could even be considered the 300/4 replacement, people!

      300/4 replacement makes sense if there is no VR.

  • yrs

    Would blow the canon 70-300 out of the water with a fixed aperture.

    • peterw

      and not just the canon, also the nikkor 70-300… 😉

      • This will be atleast 2-3x the price of the 70-300 VR, so they are not competitors.

        Basically Nikon is trying to replace the 80-400 AF and 300 f/4 AF-S with one lens… and if it does well with the TC14, as a nature photography enthusiast with a limited budget, I can say it will be a hotseller.

        People have eyed the 100-400 IS and compromised with no AF-S, no VR, or the heavier and slightly inferior in IQ Sigmas for long (or Shifted to Canon… Yes, I know many atleast here in India who have done this).

  • Wendell Franks

    I’d love to have it if it has VR; wouldn’t consider it if it does not.

    • GeoffK

      Can’t say I ever used the VR on my 70-200. /shrugs

      • Joe

        Never missed VR on my AF-S 80-200, too. When photographing action a short exposure time is needed anyhow, and in other cases I really love to use my tripod or Monostat.

        • VR FTW

          Oh and action is the only use of a long lens?

          I’ll remember to ask the guests of the next event I photograph to run more.

          • Pixelhunter

            Sometimes people like you can read but still lack a descent education – that’s somebody I would then call an idiot.

          • Joe

            > I’ll remember to ask the guests of the next event I photograph to run more.

            If you find it helpful for artistic purposes: why not. 😉
            Apart from that: Did I say that tele lenses are for action only? No. I just said that I (me personally) like to use camera support such as mono- or tripods, when exposure times are getting too long. Or I use a flash to freeze movements.

  • mikils

    I do not see any floating group; can’t be VR unless i’m mistaken (hope so)

  • Chantla

    I just bought the Nikon 70-300mm VR a month ago. If I new this lens going come out soon I would wait for it, Dam!

    • Relax.

      This is just a lens patent and if/when it will be released, it will be much more expensive, bigger and heavier than the Nikon 70-300VR.

      Until then, enjoy the 70-300VR!

      • Luncheon Ticket

        The 70-300VR is a great lens for the money: it’s not a 70-200 2.8, but then again at a quarter of the price what’s not to like? Just sell it when the 100-300 shows up and that’s it!

        • E.

          I agree. The 70-300mm AF-S VR is an excellent value. I have three modern 300mm lenses (300 f2.8 IF-ED, 300 f4 AF-D, 300 f4 AF-S) and the zoom has its place in my inventory, especially because it is light weight. Extended all the way to 300mm does not produce the best image quality but there are times when a “real” 300 is not the best option. Interesting thing is that I also have the 70-200mm f2.8 VR (first version) and I rarely ever use it.

          A constant aperture 100-300mm is something I too would consider.

    • chkchkboom

      Yea you messed up big time.

  • Sammy

    this seems to be budget lens for the d600 lineup 🙂 no vr and f/4 🙂 probably only with sealed mount, but most likely it would have great optical performance 🙂

    • Vin

      I think it will be made for the D600. This is old school zoom. 100-300, 100-400, f4. Or f4-f5.6 in the 80s. Now it will be lighter. Like someone else said used for outside mostly.

  • pragjna

    I’ll take one!

  • Manuel

    I can’t see much practical advantage over the 70-200mm/f2.8 plus TC-14E – except that one could use it with TC-20E at f/8 (AF on the D4 or D800 only). The price point will probably similar to the 70-200mm/f2.8.
    I would prefer a (relatively) lightweight 70-200mm/f4.0, as I’m still using the 70-210mm/f4.0 from the 80s on DX.

    • Why ??
      You can use this with the TC14 and get a 140-420 f/5.6 . Using a TC20 with a 70-200 to get to 400 is not perfect because of focus breathing compromising reach, and a bit of compromised IQ. If this is better with TC14, you gain another option. It may not be what you wanted, (I see the point for a 70-200 f/4 too…) but this does fill another niche.
      Ofcourse we wont know for sure until the rubber hits the road (or photon hit the glass :P)

    • Richard

      A fair number of people have reported successful autofocus at f8 with the D7k. (e.g. 300mm f4 + 2x TC for wildlife photography.)

  • maladat

    If they make it with VR I’ll buy one to go with my 24-120 f/4 VR. That would be awesome.

    • gcoz76

      It’s gotta have VR.

      That’d be my setup.
      24-120, 100-300 f/4,
      28, 50, 85mm f/1.8 primes

      Would hold me for quite a while.

      How do you like the 24-120 f/4? It seems to get lukewarm reviews.

      • Pixelhunter

        The 24-120 VR on my D800 is a nice practical lens if you are ready to trade flexibility for the utmost picture quality. The fairest comment on this compromise type of lens comes most recently from Thom Hogan. And compromises tend to be “lukewarm” – it is their nature, isn’t it?

        For particular situations I would be glad to use a 100-300 VR if the price is significantly lower than the 70-200 VRII.

  • inginerul

    Nikon FTW ! I eagerly expect this lens.

  • Bill

    This looks like it would be great for sports and video. DOF at 300 at f4 photo or video is still pretty small; my guess is probably around 2 feet either direction. Good enough for most guys, even the ones shooting for SI.

  • Spacedog

    I already own the Sigma 100-300 4.0, bought it second hand and love it. It’s a wonderful and affordable lens for nature and animals. It works great on d700 and d7000, but the sigma tc could be better and the af could be a bit faster. A fokus limiter also would be great, let’s wait and see what nikon provides and hope that there will be a tc17 eIII or a affordable cam with f8 in the center, d800 is much money!

    • Agree

      I’ve had the Sigma 100-300 f4 for years. It’s an excellent lens.

      However, any new Nikon version would absolutely have to have VR.

  • This will go great with my Nikon D600 when i dont have my 35mm Ais or 50mm ais lenses on it (yes I know both exposure and manual focusing).

  • Jabs

    Nikon seems to be stratifying their DSLR’s into lineups at various price points to surround and conquer both Sony and Canon, their major competitors.

    1. Fast glass and fast bodies at high price – D4 and F1.4 lenses
    2. Extreme resolution at ‘modest’ relative price – D800 and various lenses
    3. Cheaper FX bodies and maybe a slew of F4 lenses and slower sharp primes like in the past – D600 and new F4 lens lineups
    4. Later on the really expensive D4X with the 36meg sensor with perhaps 4K Video is a possibility too!!!

    Same but now these bodies – D400 Pro, D7100 Semi-Pro, D5200 and released D3200.

    Great strategy but they now need some new cheaper flash units and a cheaper version of the D4 Gps unit or maybe the newly introduced Gps unit with the D3200 is it???

    Oh, oh – Canon and Sony are about to be left further behind now – lol

    I wonder if Nikon will now use the XQD format card plus a CF card in a new DX Pro body possibly named D400?

    • PeterO

      Jabs, perhaps you know something we don’t know, but the lack of any rumors about the D400 and now the suppositions about the D600 seem to indicate that there won’t be a successor to the D300s.

  • ebraun

    Why not a 100-400VR 4-5.6 FX instead? The current 80-400 is overdue for a replacement. I would imagine the overall size and cost would be similar since a 100-400 would fall off to f/5.6 well before 300mm.

    • HotDuckZ

      You still use TC-20E II or III and it continue to focus with D4/D800.

      The f/4.5-5.6 cannot.

  • whisky

    still waiting with baited breath for the 80-400mm VR successor.

    • catinhat

      The current 80-400 got so much bad rep for its slow AF that it can be had used in excellent condition from a reputable dealer for about $1000. I find that it is a compelling offering. Yes, it is not the first choice for action shooting, but no lens with a max aperture of 5.6 is. I think, this probably was Nikon’s thinking when they didn’t include AFS with it. The sharpness of the current 80-400 is quite good, contrast and color excellent, and the VR really makes a huge difference at the long end. I think at the going rate this lens is a bargain used.

  • arturo sanchez

    24-120 f4+100-300 f4: Wedding killer

    • Great observation! And not just for weddings. My current standard kit is 2 bodies, 2 lenses. Works very fast and covers a wide focal length range from 12mm-200mm (before crop effect of my DX bodies).

    • Yes, a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4 is quite a killer in wedding photograhy… *sarcasm*

      • Sammy


      • peterw


  • photo-Jack

    Was there any patent on something like 80-400, 100-400 or 200-500 in the past years?

    Something in this range would suit my needs far better than just 300mm at the upper end.

    • Sahaja

      Well for years Nikon made a 180-600 – would that suit your needs?

  • Smudger

    This will be vapourware for a long time to come.

    Patents for a 100-500 & a 800mm were filed way back.

    I AM still waiting

    • ChrisMA

      Nikon filed this 100-300 f/4 patent in Nov 2010.
      80-400mm in April 2009
      100-400mm in May 2009
      200-500mm in July 2010 (all 3 are f/4 – 5.6)

      So all the patents were filed over a span of just 19 months.

      • Photo-Jack

        Thanks for your reply!

        I’d go for the 200-500 if it got a reasonable fast AF

  • Jabilson007

    Yum yum gimme some! Option for 200-600 f/8 with TC and AF on new bodies. Hells yeah!

    • peterw

      I have been using a TC 2x III with a 105 F2.8 AF-S VR, a 300 F4 AF-S and a 500 F4 AF-S VR on a D300s and a D700.
      Using autofocus on a F4 lens doesn’t work. You better focus manually with an F4 lens.
      It is not likely that the problem is solved with D4, D800. However, someone with experience may tell.

  • C_QQ_C

    MM Looks like Nikon is having its lenases produced more and more by……. SIGMA !!! 🙂

    • inginerul

      Well, I’m not shure if that is such a bad thing anymore. I mean, I own two sigma’s and I love them to death. The 20 1.8 is pure brilliance and the 85 1.4 is great, shurely a great bang for the buck. Not as good as the 85G but easily as good as the 85D 1.4 I tested in the store.
      Also, I own the nikon 50 1.4G, and while it is a nice piece of glass, at 1.4 could use some improvement, and the sigma 50 1.4 is rumored to be easily as good.

      And anyways, Nikon has no ties with sigma as far as lense manufacturing goes, afaik, they only produce some lenses that resemble tamrons (10-24 and 70-300 VR if I’m not mistaken).

      Yes, there is an excelent Sigma 100-300 f4 out there, but I doubt this has any relationship with that.

  • WB

    1 for ME!

  • 120-300 os for Nikon

    Nice patent but stil not real that´s made me go for the Black Swan Sigma 120-300 os and now waiting for new D body.

  • Flo

    Would love this for birds. I have a old 75-300 AF-D and it’s rather weak on the long end where I need it.

    I was just about to buy a 70-300 VR for a trip next month… No chance this will be out that soon eh?

    • Ken Rockwell

      Not a chance!

  • T.I.M

    zooms over 100mm are useless.

    • GeoffK

      Unless you cannot get near the subject. ;- )

  • Gareth

    THIS LOOKS GOOD! the same price as the 70-200, with VR, and it’s a winner.

    Great for amateur soccer and birds at a cheaper price.

  • sticky

    Ive been using the 100-300 f4 sigma for around 2 years, brilliant lens for the price and would never go out without. At f4 it is a little weak but at f8=f11 it is tack sharp (im mostly a landscaper) so never had any probs. If nikons version is as good then it should be a winner but seriously dont discount the sigma on an fz camera it is a great lens.

    • I also have owned the Sigma 100-300 f4 for a couple years. Excellent lens overall with some annoying limitations. Wide-open at 300mm isn’t too hot, and it’s even worse when you’re at or close to minimum focus distance (the focal plane is way too thin so you’re left with little in focus and a hazy glow over much of everything else). Getting useable close shots within 5-10ft of things like wildlife is out of the question unless you stop down to at least f8. It also has some internal reflection issues with bright sunlight (I mitigate this by trying to shoot with the sun directly to the side or behind the lens).

      These issues irked me so much I actually sent the lens back to Sigma to see what was wrong. They tested it multiple times and claimed the lens worked perfectly fine. It’s just kind of surprising that even spending over $1000 (bought it new) there are performance issues like this. This lens could have really benefited from a flat-field macro element, and I’m not sure why they didn’t incorporate one into the design. Even the Sigma tech I corresponded with stated that these issues with focusing light properly are due to a lack of a flat-field element. Such a bummer.

      If you work within the limitations of this lens you get some really great results (I have a lot of examples on my website in the wildlife section among a couple others, although shots with other lenses may be peppered throughout). I also occasionally shoot it with a Sigma 1.4x TC with good results.

      • sticky

        To be fair most lenses suffer from internal reflections when theres bright light at certain angles .. the lens has a very good hood and when ive experienced this problem myself and hood is not to hand then hand works just as well. Im glad it doesnt have a macro function, incporating extra features like this often makes the lens’ other strengths weaker .. and generally i avoid jack of all trade lenses. Ive made a lot of successful close ups of plants myself and heres one example :-

        Overall, if your willing to work around f8-f16 the results you get from this lens are very good.

  • Charles

    Nikon has and is introducing so many new relatively inexpensive f/4 lenses that I wonder if they are relying on the high iso abilities of their newest dslr’s to compensate for slower glass. In addition, a f/2.8 zoom lens in this focal length would be very large and heavy. You lose one f stop but pay a lot less and lug around a lot less. Even my D3s with a Sigma 150-500 gets to be a bit of a load after several hours of hiking.

  • Brian

    Why wont Nikon give us a 100-400 or an 400 F/5.6 as Canon does. Let’s see

    300 f/4 and f/2.8

    and now this?

    • Sue

      +1,000,000,000. Thank you. I far prefer a non-TC solution for getting to 400mm. Either way id be at 5.6 at the long end. The diff is the TC combos are way heavier and bulkier, making it far more difficult to react quickly to unpredictable bird actions.

  • EnPassant

    If this 100-300/4 is good at the long end it could be the lens Nikon think everybody who are waiting for the 70-200/4 VR and 300/4 VR will buy!

  • Steve

    More crap!

    Update the friggin’ 80-400 !!

    • ChrisMA

      But this + TC would be 140-420 f/5.6, though an updated 80-400 would probably be sharper. Maybe Nikon is going to barrage us with long lenses this year?

  • porkchop

    I bet the street price will be just slightly lower than the Sigma 120-300 2.8 os.

  • catinhat

    Sigma 100-300 f4 is a superb lens. It was the best offering (while it was available) in its range for daytime outdoor sports, providing an excellent balance of speed and hand-holdability. A killer combination with a D300. Very good wide open up to 250-270 and very usable even at 300mm wide open. Step down a bit, and it is sharp throughout the range. The bokeh is as good as just about any Nikkor I’ve ever used. I can’t fathom why Sigma discontinued it, unless they plan to release an update with VR, though for sports one really doesn’t need it, which is the best application of this lens, as for things like theater one really would rather have an f2.8 lens, and for wildlife 300mm is a bit short. I’m sure Nikon will charge for their version of this lens twice what Sigma used to charge, probably with little additional benefit. Sigma color rendering differs from Nikkor though, so I can see this as a deal breaker for some, though not a major issue for sports shooting in my opinion.

  • arturo sanchez

    Yeah, try to shoot f4 portraits at the 200-300 range…

  • arturo sanchez

    And regarding about noise: With the D800 or the latest cameras the ISO is not an issue at all

  • ohhh nikon…. man… i want product announcements not patents announcements 😉

  • Michael

    This lens will serve a lot of purpose. It’ll satisfy those who came from DX who want more range. Many have 70-200mm but complain that it’ll not be long enough once you go FX.

    It’ll also replace the 80-400mm. I don’t really understand why is the 80-400mm so big and heavy. Look at 70-300mm.

  • CreativeAngle

    Sigma was stupid to discontinue 100-300 instead they should have given OS to the lens..Nikon is right on spot if they bring this lens with VR.. I will buy one with 1.4 TC in a heartbeat

    • GeoffK

      They made a 120-300 with OS as an update didnt they ?

      • catinhat

        Sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS is an update for the 120-300 2.8 without OS. It is not an update for 100-300 f4. For one, you can hand hold 100-300 f4 for a long stretch, it is more or less the weight of nikon 70-200 f2.8 or just slightly heavier. You can’t hand hold 120-300 f2.8 for any meaningful duration to shoot an event, sporting or otherwise. It is too heavy and it is off balance even with a heavy body with a grip attached, so a monopod is a must. It is also 2.5 – 3 times as expensive as 100-300.

  • If this has good IQ, reasonable cost and bulk, it could be a winner. Remember, patent applications may differ from the actual product. It is an invention concept illustrated by the application that is the subject of the patent application.

  • BartyL

    This is interesting to me. I’ve been weighing up buying the 70 – 200 f/2.8 (wide-ish constant aperture, zoom flexibility, pricey) vs the 300 f/4 (more interesting focal length, wide enough aperture for the focal length, less flexible, less pricey). This sits nicely in the slot.

    Of course, there is no indication of when, or even if, it will be released. Those I know who have the 70 – 200 f/2.8 reckon it’s a very good lens. I’d be interested in hearing an opinion from anyone who owns the 300 f/4, or even both lenses.

  • Great idea. Not everyone can afford (or want to carry around) the 200-400 f4 that I have.

  • Chris Weller

    I have 397 words for you

    “who cares”

    Yes I know its not 397 words. A 100-300 2.8 would be the ultimate sports lens. This lens does not interest me.

    • catinhat

      For outdoor daytime sports F4 is all that’s needed, assuming it is sharp enough wide open. The depth of field at f4 allows for a very strong subject isolation at the longer end of the zoom, if the subject is reasonably close to the shooter. BTW, Sigma has 120-300 f2.8 already, and it is very good, but it is a monster. On the other hand, 100-300 f4 one can carry around easily and shoot all day long without breaking back or arms. Don’t forget the price difference between f2.8 and f4.

  • Nimrod

    I think its a gerat idea – even though 70-200 f4 looks more appealing

    just thing the benefit of 100-300 F4 over 70-300 AFS.
    can use TC, would probably be sharper , better build , joy to use (constant Fno)
    Think of what nikon will put in their version (compared to sima which is great) – it will be a great lens !

    I have the sigme + 1.4 TC – its extremly fast, very sharp (Not as nikons 300 f4 AFS – hey its not a prime !) and high build quality.

    I would take it any day over the 80-400.

    the lack of VR :
    on one hand why ?
    on the other hand – the cost could be afordable more reliable

    So evryone can choose what fits them.

  • Roberto

    Alleluiaaaaaa Alleluiaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • I would love this kind of Lens with VR…
    I love the 70-200, but if I want to have a nice Bokeh I use the 85mm or something around 135mm, so I just need a little bit more range for Sports shooting and for sports like horse riding the aperture of 4 is absolutely perfekt. (The Sigma as not the best AF so I sold it, but from Nikon ..)

    Nikon please: you can do it!

    greetings sebo

    P.S. I´m sorry because of my english… 😉

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