Nikon patent for a 55-300mm f/2.8-4 full frame lens

Just a quick update on another Nikon patent filed in Japan for a 55-300mm f/2.8-4 full frame lens that just got published by Egami:

  • Patent number: 2012-212087
  • Patent release date: November 1, 2012
  • Patent filing date: March 31, 2011
  • Zoom ratio: 5.17
  • Focal length: 56.50 - 292.00mm
  • Aperture: 2.88 - 4.12
  • Angle of view: 8.35 - 23.13°
  • Image height: 21.60mm
  • Lens length: 248.90 - 288.60mm
  • Back focus: 38.47 - 62.51mm
  • Lens design: 22 elements in 17 groups with 5 ED elements
  • VR
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  • King of Swaziland

    That’s weird…

    • Ben Hipple

      Follow up to the 24-120mm f4.

      The dx users need the 55 starting end.
      More money and more range then the 70-200 f4.
      But the price must be higher then many would like.

  • Ben Hipple

    This rumor has come up before, would be an interesting lens. add a converted 1.5x to make it your 80-400mm f5.6 replacement.

  • denverlasik

    I think that is a very nice range with minimal loss of light (f/4 max). Hopefully not too much distortion. It does have VR and if the specs are good, would consider getting this lens. It would be especially nice for video.

  • rafael

    i wish the front element doesn’t rotate as 55-300 dx

    • Patriot

      How do you know if it will?

  • JLK

    While I love the quality of my grandfather’s 50-300 f/4.5 ED, the weight is something of burden to contend with when attempting to focus on anything moving. This sounds very compelling, especially with VR and compatibility with modern TCs.

    • KnightPhoto

      How heavy is the old beast?

      • JLK

        Right at about 5 pounds (2250g) with the 95mm filter screwed on.

        • KnightPhoto

          Thanks JLK,

          @95mm that front element on the old design and overall weight at 5 lbs. is overly large, so I wonder if a newer design would need to go there? I.e. the current 300mm f/4 (IIRC) is able to use 77mm filters.
          If Nikon were able to retain that front element size, it would keep the overall size, weight, and cost of a new design 55-300 f/2.8-4 way down. I am not a zoom lens designer, so not sure if they can keep the front element the same size as on a prime 300 f/4?
          Best Regards

          • JLK

            To dream, right? Would like to find a layman’s explanation of the physics involved with aperture, focal point, barrel length, and lens diameter. Where do advancements in technology and hard physics meet?

            • KnightPhoto

              One rule I am aware of: 300mm f/4.

              Divide 300 by 4 and the front element must be 75mm in diameter. What I don’t know is lens design, for a zoom must it be even larger?
              Steve Knight

  • Paul

    How big is this going to be? The 70-200mm is 8.5 inches long and the patent lists 11.4 inches for this lens, jeeze.

    • Look at the size of a 300 /4…

      • Paul

        Yeah, also like 8.8 inches. So, it’s still shorter.


    this lens is exactly 80-400 f/4-5.6 PRIOR TO applying the 1.4X TC.

    divide by 1.4 and you get 57-285mm f/2.8-4.

    it does solve the problem if you are photographing your family’s wedding one day in a Pacific Island and then shooting birds and surfers the next day. Otherwise you would have to bring two heavy lenses (70-200/2.8 and 80-400). Now you only need 1 lens and a 1.4x or even 2X TC.

    I’m sold. with 5 ED elements the quality wouldn’t be bad. expect to pay up $2500 for a copy however. such a lens does not exist throughout the AF era.

  • Up $#!t’s creek….

    interesting combo of length and exposure. aside from aperture, I just wonder if we will now start seeing a lot of low end fx lenses like we have with dx

  • josh

    I’m guessing this would kind of be nikon’s answer to sigma’s 120-300mm 2.8. I have a feeling it will be slightly more affordable than the sigma to make it a competetive decision. not sure thought if I would give up my 70-200 VR2 for this. If nikon comes out with a D400 replacement sometime in the near future. I would like to see nikon produce a 50-150 2.8 like sigma. I would almost consider that. sometimes while shooting roller derby with my D7K, I am needing that extra 20mm on the wide end, and the long end past 135mm does not get used as much.

    • Way more zoom vs more light at the long end. Value should be the same, but price wise, Nikon should be more expensive per value.

  • vFunct

    This would be a high-end pro lens. Great range, would be very useful for sports/action/journalism.

  • Zorro

    I´ll pass.

    • Jason

      Me too

  • RIchard

    I guess that it would be about 1.5 kilo of weight and with 77mm filter size.

  • nobody

    Nikon published lots of patents for long lenses below the big guns recently.

    New 80-400mm, 100-400mm, 100-500mm, and now 55-300mm. But in reality we’re still stuck with outdated lenses like the 300mm f4 without VR and the 80-400 without AF-S.

    They better stop filing new patents now and start delivering lenses that their customers are waiting for.

    • Justin

      Yup, it’s time to step up with real lenses. I want an 80-400 4-5.6. I guess if they want to accomplish this by giving us a 55-300 2.8-4 that would work, but I still think I would prefer to have the lens all in one package rather than relying on a teleconverter. Unless, that is, they wanted to build-in a 1.4x teleconverter. That would be really cool.

  • Mike

    This sounds like a really interesting lens, especially on DX.

  • Plug

    The quality at the long end would inevitably be noticeably less than an updated 300f4. Primes please!

  • anon

    See i think i’d rather see a fixed f4 from 100 to 300 rather than a variable aperture. Yes it’s nice that you get the 2.8 at the wider end, however i hate having to adjust exposure every time i zoom. For non-full-manual shooters i guess it’s not an issue. Plus i would think less range would reduce the need for compromised image quality across the range. Will this thing be as sharp as the 300 f4 prime at 300 f4?… likely not and if this lens becomes a reality, a 300 f4 prime replacement looks much less likely to happen. All that being said, Nikon has filed sooooooo many patents that have not become product, so who knows about this.

    • Rob

      You’d rather the lens cost more, be heavier, and have less capability? I hope you realize you can just set it at f/4 and not worry about the aperture changing as you zoom, even on manual. This lens has the same capability of a fixed F/4, but you can also use it up to F/2.8 when using A or S modes (and if you actually pay attention on M).

      You remind me of the people who’d rather their camera NOT have video, even though they can just NOT USE THE FEATURE (and NO, you’re not paying anything for the feature – video actually makes the camera cheaper because it allows for higher sales volume to people who need it).

      You may be right on the image quality aspect of such a long zoom range, but you didn’t think that aperture part through.

  • Patrick D
    • Pat

      I would bet this 2012 patent is updated with the “Third Generation VR”. If that’s the case this lens might well be turned into a real product late in 2013.

  • わからない

    I thought this was a bit weird too, until I saw the comment about adding a 1.4 TC. In that case, it’s still a bit weird, but I can see the logic, and this could be a good 80-400 replacement, and possibly be better than the Sigma 50-500 (another potential competitor). Interesting, but this will be heavy and I’m not sure it’d be what I’m looking for in a birding lens.

  • KnightPhoto

    This would be a must-purchase for me for use in Theatre video. Currently using 70-300 on one camera and 70-200 f/2.8 on second camera both filming concurrently, but the 70mm end is restrictive and the f/5.6 is restrictive. Great low light video lens for me! Size not an issue, will be on tripod.
    The fact that with a TC14 or TC17 that the lens would stand in as an 80-400 replacement is gravy for me and would def use for my wildlife photography. Bring it on!

  • bigeater

    Canon makes image stabilized 70-300 and 100-400 that are $1,600 or $1,700 US dollars each, does that mean this lens will be $2,000? Or more? I’m going to have to get a third job if I want to stick with Nikon.

  • maxgrudz

    This is a dream. It’s gonna come with a huge price tag though…

  • neversink

    I’m still waiting for my 14 – 800 mm f/1.2 lens to arrive in the mail… Has anyone else pre-ordered one of these babies????

  • Guest

    Nikon had a massive 50-300 zoom years back, hope this is lighter and sharper!

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