Nikon’s patent for a ring flash

Nikon's patent 2012-185190 filed in Japan is for a ring flash attachment that uses optical fiber to transfer the light beams from the camera's built-in flash and position them around the lens (similar to the Ray Flash adapter).

This entry was posted in Nikon Patents. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • St.

    How abou 24-70mm 2.8 VR?

    • Me

      Nice comment on the actual topic. Nikon reads this site just to decide what not to make.

  • Craig

    Do you really need VR on sonething around the “normal prime” length? I think not.

    • Kuv

      Actually, for video… Yes, you do…

      • Big J

        Get a Nikkor 24-120mm VRII then. More range and you save on money. You don’t need VR for a prime length such as that. Not even the new Canon 24-70mm needed it. There’s always a tripod and the 3rd party stabilizing grips you can use. Problem solved.

        • St.

          Well, 24-120 is not the best possible lens for stills. I don’t like to have 2 mid-range zooms – one for stills and one for video.
          Nothing hurts if they release a VR version – this way you can choose the one you like more – with or without VR.
          I hear only positive feedback about the VR on the Tamron 24-70. Seems it’s not that useless as some people think.
          Plus, it’s different if you have VR in 50-70mm range.

          • RC

            I vote YES for VR. Might as well add motorized zoom while they’re at it!

          • fjfjjj


            buy the tamron!

      • St.

        EXACTLY, Kuv!!
        Plus, sometimes you just need to shoot at slower shutter speeds and I would like to feel more comfortable in the range 1/20 – 1/100 sec.

      • Abraham Collins

        If you have VR on while shooting video you don’t know what you’re doing.

        • St.

          May be not all people shoot video only with the camera on a tripod or slider. Sometimes you just have to hold it and then (excuse me) VR makes heck of a difference!

          • Abraham Collins

            During shooting, when the lens’ VR element reaches the edge of its casing’s perimeter it violently jumps back to the center of the lens barrel and creates jumped frames that look like shit. This can happen multiple times per second. There are no cine lenses with VR/IS go look it up!

            A $5 barbell weight suspended rigidly from your rig would provide stabilization results that a $*** VR element could never compete with. Do your homework.

        • St.
          • …yep! Still looks like amateur garbage when it’s not on a proper stabilizing rig. I’ll take my $15 and a superior OEM lens over third party with VC any day.

          • Abraham Collins

            As stated above, the footage displays embarrassingly amateur frame jumps when the VR element reaches its perimeter limit. Put a $10 Johnny Lee stabilizer for 100% better results.

        • catfish252

          Wow the testosterone is getting pretty thick today boys — How about we just go along with the old adage “To Each His Own” Does it really matter whether a particular guy wants VR on a certain lens?

          • Abraham Collins

            I want Nikon’s R&D focused on relevant lens applications (which for me at the moment is a 17mm PC-E) if they made a really cheap 24-70 f/4 VR that would make sense, but the users above want a 2.8 VR to use for video.. which is not only a waste of time for everyone but also a bad investment for Nikon.

        • porkchop

          What rock did you crawl under from? Yes if you have jibs dolleys or super super steady hands you may not need vr for video but for the vast majority of people pros included vr for video is a must. And its not gonna kill anyone to use vr for stills either.

          • Abraham Collins

            Pros do not use VR when shooting video. Go find me one, I’m waiting.

    • wublili

      Surely it wouldn’t hurt anyone.

      • Ano

        Except your wallet…

        • FDF

          And your back .. just imagine the weight 🙂

      • RC

        Couldn’t it have an effect on IQ, specifically bokeh?

    • preston

      You don’t “need” it in the same way you do on a 300+mm telephoto lens, but do you think it wouldn’t be immensely useful in low light conditions without moving subjects? I don’t have my tripod on me 100% of the time. .

      • St.


      • RC


    • Phil

      It sure comes in handy on my wideangle 16-35mm lens, would be even more useful on 24-70mm.

  • DX2FX

    Designed only for P&S cameras ?

    • wublili

      This one, yes.

      But surely it would be possible tot make similar for DSLRs.

  • dx

    when can we expect the new DX camera?

    • RC

      Yes, I want to see the D300s and D7000 replacements.

    • Chimphappyhour

      Wow! I’m surprised I had to scroll this far down before getting to one of these posts. 😛

      • Me

        Usually Jesus comments make it in pretty early on as well.

  • Hawkeye

    It can be yours for only $999.99

  • It’s ridiculous what trivial stuff can be patented these days. There is a ton of prior art in the net how to built your own.
    I don’t want to question the usefulness of this device as such, but the patent system we have…

    • iamlucky13

      A given specific product can be patented as long as it has “non-obvious” distinctions from non-patented prior art. What qualifies as “non-obvious” is a bit hazy, but sometimes includes adaptations to particular situations.

      That makes it somewhat easy to get a patent on items that seem fairly generic. However, the limitation is the patent has a very limited scope. A competitor could still build a similar ring flash as long as it doesn’t share those distinctions.

  • Me

    Good job on staying on the topic. Why bother having topics?

    • Anne Ominous

      Too bad about the NHL lock out.

  • It looks very similar to my DIY ring flash adapter:

    The first prototype is from 2011 May. But there are many similar DIY projects. There is nothing to patent here.



    • Sem Svizec

      The specific attachment style may be a slightly new thing here.
      Then, they might patent a revision of Nikon’s default overly smart TTL-BL mode, which would make it compatible with such add-ons, because the usual TTL-BL isn’t (underexposes more than the max +1EV flash compensation), although plain TTL is, but plain TTL is unfortunately not available with the built-in flash by default.
      But the main issue is that there is a much simpler solution which mostly works better. That is, a translucent diffuser disc with a hole for the lens, mounted roughly in the plane of the front lens element. Better because it brings light from the side, not evenly around the lens, more diffused, and does not produce donut catchlights.

  • Back to top