The latest Nikon lens patents

Nikon patent application 20120182617 is for a 300mm f/4 with VR. The interesting part is that the overall length of the lens is relatively short ~ 190mm (around 7.5 in.) with back focus - so real length would be ~150 mm, much shorter than the existing 300/f4 (222.5mm/8.8 in):

Size comparison between the new Nikon patent with diffraction surface and the current 300mm f/4 lens

In the patent calculations one of the surfaces is marked as "Diffraction surface" which is probably the reason for the compact lens size. I believe this is the first full lens patent with diffraction. See also Canon's explanation of the Diffractive Optical (DO) element.

Nikon also filed a patent in Japan for a 100-230mm f/4.718-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and 18-200mm f/3.5-6.7 lenses:

Nikon 100-230mm f/4.7 lens patent

Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens patent

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-6.7 lens patent

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