Nikon’s 18mm f/2.8 mirrorless DX lens patent


I want to mention again patent application 20110080659 filed by Nikon on September 30th, 2010 for a 18mm f/2.8 DX lens (28mm equivalent) because I think this could be the lens used in their upcoming high-end APS-C compact camera. As I already mentioned back in 2011 when I covered this patent, this lens is not designed for F-mount - the back focus (BF) is 19mm and it needs to be 46.50mm for F-mount. The lens is also very compact - only 58mm from the image plane to the front element. Here is the lens diagram from the original patent filed in Japan (2008-40033):

Nikon 18mm f2.8 DX lens patent

Based on the above diagram, the lens will most likely have 6 elements in 5 groups.

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  • PAG

    Sounds like plans to flesh out the Nikon 1 line continue.

  • AE

    too wide and too slow

  • i think your wrong. it would be way to wide for a fixed prime camera. an actual 28mm lens makes 10x more sense

    • Pat Mann

      An actual 28mm lens was used in Nikon’s full-frame 28ti, an upscale compact released in the 1990s.

      A 28mm lens makes perfect sense to me for an all-around fixed-lens point-and-shoot. When I shot Nikons with 35mm film, my 28mm lenses (f/2.8 AI-S or f/3.5 PC) were on my camera more than any others.

      35mm also makes a lot of sense – before the 28ti, Nikon released the 35ti in the same basic package. For me, an f/2 or f/1.4 makes more sense at 35mm – shooting with Leicas in the 1960s I never had a 28mm – it was always 21-35-90, and the tiny old 35mm f/1.4 Summilux was a real workhorse for indoor shooting – performance, environmental portraits, reportage, and street shooting in dim light or at night. Gorgeous results.

      Of the Nikon ti cameras, the 28mm was a bit more expensive as I recall.

      • No longer Pablo Ricasso

        All of those throw away film cameras they sell in the grocery store use a 28 mm lens, as do most of the fixed compacts that they undermine. Some may have used 35 mm a long time ago. The Kroger brand works really well between four and ten feet and cost about four bucks the last time I saw one. I’ve got a feeling the camera won’t be a bank buster with it’s 16 megapixel sensor that is likely recycled from old Sony cameras. It might be great for what it is, and it’s probably good that someone is holding down the cost with a smaller lens. Why do most of us with our SLRs and compacts already even care about this? Is every primadonna going to stomp their feet every time the company is said to be introducing a camera that isn’t in the exact niche that they had been wanting?

        • Lorenzino

          Personally, I have been waiting for a similar camera for years. The only relevant difference: a ZOOM instead of a prime. That would seriously distinguish Nikon from the other companies. Similar compact cameras are in fact being offered by Sigma, Fuji and, with FF, Sony and Leica. Only Canon offers an “almost 43 sized” compact with zoom.

          APSC with a decent zoom (similar to Fuji ex1, but more compact, being a fixed combo, and overall better) would be a first, a classic, and a must (at least for me)

        • Lorenzino

          Personally, I have been waiting for a similar camera for years. The only relevant difference: a ZOOM instead of a prime. That would seriously distinguish Nikon from the other companies. Similar compact cameras are in fact being offered by Sigma, Fuji and, with FF, Sony and Leica. Only Canon offers an “almost 43 sized” compact with zoom.

          APSC with a decent zoom (similar to Fuji ex1, but more compact, being a fixed combo, and overall better) would be a first, a classic, and a must (at least for me)

  • Should’ve been f/2…

  • NAq

    At last, a sign of goodwill. But I think it is relatively slow, a bit more aperture would be better appreciated. I think these would be better for DX users:
    10 mm f/2.5
    16 mm f/2.0
    23 mm f/1.8

  • Arkasai

    I think it’ll be the perfect focal length, 28mm is damn close to the usual 30-35mm range that I remember a lot of up-scale compacts having in the film days. I don’t feel f/2,8 is slow either, not when you consider how good sensors half this size have gotten in the last few years.

    • 18mm f 2.8 will pretty much make dof irrelavent

      • Arkasai

        I don’t buy that at all, less pronounced sure, but far from irrelevant. You can get depth of field at f/16 if you focus close enough.

  • should’ve been F/2.0 & F-Mount DX the wide angle is nice, aspecially for those who shot in night clubs

  • per

    The good thing would be to just scale up the V1 to DX size. Theb we’ll have a camera!

  • mike kobal

    forgot about that small detail of 2.8, I am starting to wake up and the digital S3 is only a blur now…fading fast

  • Eric Calabos

    just a landscape lens .. so 2.8 is enough. I dont need f2 if its gonna ruin the corners

    • Guest

      The 24 mm f/1.4 is also a landscape lens. No point for being slower by 2 stops.

      • preston

        Why does everyone keep saying the 24mm f/1.4 is a landscape lens? I’ve never thought of it this way. The 24mm PC-E is a much better choice for landscape for even less money. I see the f/1.4 as more of a wedding/jounalistic lens.

        • Good and rare to see someone who knows what they’re talking about 🙂

    • NAq

      The 24 mm f/1.4 is also a landscape lens. No point for being slower by 2 stops. Adequate aspherical design is for address the corner issue.

      • Eric Calabos

        adequate aspherical design may need more than 5 elements
        So it will be bigger, heavier and expensive.
        (24mm f1.4 has 12 elements. Weight: 620g!)

        • NAq

          Let’s see a 16 mm f/2.0 for example: I don’t think that it would be heavyer than the 28 mm f/1.8 FX lens, which weighs only 330 grams, according to nikonusa info. It’s not that terrible. 330 grams (or less) nicely fits on DX bodies (500-600 grams). If you don’t give it to a 3 year child, it is not heavy at all.

        • NAq

          Let’s see an example: the 28mm f/1.8 FX lens. It weighs only 330 grams, and costs approx. $700. A similar option as a DX lens would have less glass, so it would be lighter and cheaper. Say 260 grams and $400. A 18 mm f/2.8 “solution” is almost a kit lens. 2/3 stop is only a bit more than marginal gain over kit lens. Light is everything, no matter of focal lenght.

        • NAq

          I admit, sometimes a pancake is a worthy extra option, but not should be the only option. A DX equivalent of 24 f/1.4 would be also a bit of monstrous, indeed. But f/2.8 is slow, definitely. F/1.8-2 is fast enough without being unnecessarily expensive and heavy for DX users.

          • Eric Calabos
            • NAq

              This is a FX lens, but, if we convert it to a DX, and make it f/1.8 from 2.8, we are there, where we wanted to go. So, it is not impossible 🙂 I hope that Nikon finally will observe these things.

            • No longer Pablo Ricasso

              But we are discussing an 18 and not a 28 and I bet the lens portion of the camera weighs about 100 grams and takes a small, small filter.

            • NAq

              Please, read fully this thread. I talked about 28mm equivalent DX lens from the start…

            • No longer Pablo Ricasso

              Maybe, but then why are we comparing it to a 24 and a 28? I have an 18. It weighs a lot and takes a big filter and is f3.5. I think it also sells for more than this camera will.

      • A lens that fits the scene within the frame is not necessarily one that best suited for it… I wouldn’t say any of the 24 1.4s are landscape lenses… although they do pretty well once stopped down to f/11… then again, which lens doesn’t?

    • Only a silly person would get a camera like this if they were serious about landscapes.

      • Eric Calabos

        We are talkin about a compact camera that may fit in a pocket. (Yea, a bit big pocket).
        However, are you confident enough to compete with any serious landscape shooter’s landscape photos shot by Olympus PEN with pancake lens?

        • By that logic you can use a mobile phone to do landscapes. Why stop at aps-c and FourThirds format point and shoots?

  • Sad

    another fail from nikon. why the hell they release wide lenses so long… i dont have money for 24/1.4 and 28/1.8 and this one is too long. grrr nikon stop failing. ignoring DX lenses line, no D400, no 300/4 replacement. why the hell u want me to switch camera brand? if pentax can make lenses like limited line, why u can’t. what’s wrong with you ? ;/

    • Eric Calabos

      Calm Down and Switch

    • chubbs

      Have a cookie.

    • NRA Advocate

      That’s it…I’m switching to Zenit.

      • Shawn Young

        Ve-ry nice!

      • Young Boy

        That’s it! I want to switch from Zenit to Nikon! Who want to change his FX for my Zenit with 29/2.8 fixed wide-agle? 😛 😀

    • neversink

      Shut up with the “where is my DX D400″whine. What a bunch of babies.

  • duo

    will it have integrated VF?

  • Matt

    What market need is this addressing? Not enough compact cameras already for sale? What problem does this solve?

    Given so much missing from their lineup of DSLRs and lenses (both non-existent and update-ready), why is Nikon spending resources putting yet another new (?) product onto the market?

    Looks like procrastination. Or cluelessness.

    • well if it is 28mm and not 18mm it be one of the first compact cameras with some real dof control. 18mm sounds wrong to so i think the admin might be jumping to conclusions

      • rearranged

        Since we don’t already have the nex, nx, m43, canon m, leica m and fuji x cameras with fast primes, we can be happy about nikon providing us a good mirrorless camera….

    • Eric Calabos

      Nikon see this in a different way. Filling the gaps of current DX line is just wasting the resources, in their view. Not introducing the new mount!

  • MegaMo

    I’m switching to Holga.

  • trololo

    Nikon : I dont go to buy a MIRROLESS and a FX DSLR

    • Eric Calabos

      Well, Why? How many DX lens you have that selling them will be disaster? Whats wrong with mirrorless, if it can focus as fast as your dslr? Whats wrong with FX if its affordable? D800 is now just $2600! Its only $500 higher than your desired D400 price range

      • NAq

        If D800 is just $2600. Please, buy me one.

        • Eric Calabos

          Check the previous post of this site

          • NAq

            Excuse me. I saw it only later, that this answer is specially for him.

      • trololo

        All my lenses are DX

        I need to sell all my glasses to change to DX ?
        I sell all the lens (and the bodys too) and move to Canon.
        Simply like that
        Sorry for my english

        • Aldo

          canon doesn’t have an upgrade yet either…

          • no but they do have a much broader/better lens selection (eg. 300mm f4 IS, 400mm f5.6, 100-400mm IS vs nikons 300mm f4 non-VR, non-existant 400mm f5.6, and too slow focusing 80-400)

            • Aldo

              Good point… i dont think he is changing cuz of lenses though

            • Aldo

              Good point… i dont think he is changing cuz of lenses though

          • trololo

            I know, but i change anyway. Is my way to punish Nikon.

            If i need to buy all my lens again. Bye bye bye Nikon.
            This stupid market strategies, don’t work with me.
            Change the lens, change brand

            If every Nikon or Canon user start to think like this, goinf to see, how fast nikon starts to listen the customers.
            That is the problem in the modern world. The companies don’t respect the clients anymore, they force you to buy according to their desires. They forget WE are the customers and WE pay our money for their products.

            • Aldo

              Well it seems that you are punishing yourself more imo… going through the brand change could be a pain in the ass

            • Aldo

              Well it seems that you are punishing yourself more imo… going through the brand change could be a pain in the ass

      • trololo

        And second.
        I work hard for my money. Is my decision where i spend it
        Is not a NIkon decision. No DX?? Bye bye Nikon
        Im really tired of that new bussines politicies (Starting with apple, following for Nikon and others).
        They think, can decide what we buy or we you have


        Sorry for my english again

        • neversink

          Temper, temper, temper…. All because of a camera…. Get thee to a shrink!!!!

          • neversink

            @ Trobio — See what your stark raving cursing lunacy got you. It got your comment deleted….

  • Petr Klapper

    For fixed lens design only the 35mm fx/24mm dx, f/2 or faster is truly universal – Fuji gets it, Sony gets it, kinda worried Nikon doesn’t..

    • Petr Klapper

      ..even Canon sort of gets it with its first and so far only mirrorless prime 22/2..

    • neversink

      That’s total bunk…Ever hear of the Hasselblad 900 series SWC that sported a medium format fixed 38mm lens equivalent of about 20mm on a 35mm format (FX)????? Many pros bought these wonderful cameras for about 5K to 6K when gold prices were 50 bucks per ounce.

      • Just saying… the Hasselblad SWC was a glorified point and shoot. It’s not something that anyone in their right mind would get. It commands a high price in the used market only because of its rarity (and the rare stupidity of Hasselblad… which they’re going to top with the Lunar IMO) … just the same way people pay millions for aquarium ornament grade Leicas from the 30s.

        • mike rophone

          Actually, I think I might find me an old, used, dead leica for cheap and add it to my aquarium – thanks for the idea~!

          • after a few years you should put it up for auction saying it was pried off the clenched hands of some drowned reporter 🙂

        • neversink

          Love those aquarium ornaments…. but they rust…. and look like a sunken Leica….
          As far as the SWC — Enough pros and doctors and lawyers purchased them. However, I still have a heavy 40 mm Hassy distagon interchangeable lens. It worked for me in the old days. Yeah, the SWC was one heavy p&s, but the output was 100++ mp of info on a 6X6 piece of film. Lovely. Not quite up to the quality of todays obsolete-once-they-hit-the-market digital p&s crud…. (that’s cynicism speaking…)

          • No longer Pablo Ricasso

            I didn’t reply earlier to avoid an argument but I can see the point of ultra wide medium format even if all alone. Enough that I bought the 6×8 backs for my Mamiya. I even thought about having one of these. 36 mp and the 14-24 has eliminated much of the use for this. One thing those can’t do, however, is take a square picture.

            • neversink

              I loved using my 40mm Distagon on my Hassy 500cm. However the 38mm Biogen permanently attached to the SWC had no curvilinear distortion.

        • Big eater

          The rectilinear lens on the SWC was remarkable because it was said to have been very good at keeping straight lines straight and for rendering the world in a pleasing manner. What more does a photographer need?

          • Image quality perhaps? 🙂

            The SWC wasn’t the only camera that had a Biogon. Also there are many other lens designs that have no distortion _and_ can give better quality than the SWC.

      • Petr Klapper

        So does it mean 20mm FX is universal now or just that one time in history certain 20mm FX model was popular for many possible reasons..

  • NAq

    Most of the Nikon users, and fans (!!) would appreciate real (Nikon F mount) DX lenses like these:
    10 mm f/2.5, 16 mm f/2.0, 23 mm f/1.8

    Financial problems? Don’t try to convince new customers, keep the older fans keen about Nikon. Give it a try, please.

  • rhlpetrus

    I think a 35mm equivalent would be more useful, even though the cropping abilities of the 16MP sensor is pretty good. I wonder what the AF system will include. PDAF like Nikon 1? I’m not a customer of such a camera, unless the lens comes with nice adapter for WA (18mm equiv) and at least 70mm equiv for portraits.

  • Tags

    I would actually consider this camera if the price is right and it has a proper bulb function. Sounds like a nice backpack camera. 28mm equiv focal length is great for a fixed lens so long as you recognize its niche as a compact camera and not a pro rig… if you really want to knock backgrounds out of focus even the 23mm f2 on the fuji is a pretty mediocre choice compared to 35mm lenses on film or digital. Speaking of which, if you want a 35mm equiv compact camera why don’t you have the fuji already!?

    • “pro rig”

      One person’s pro rig is another person’s back up too.

    • “pro rig”

      One person’s pro rig is another person’s back up too.

  • cgw

    As Thom Hogan recently observed: how many more self-inflicted shots to the feet can Nikon endure? Recently, the laughable CX family and now the possibility of yet another lens mount variant for a late-to-the-party APS-C MILC lurking in the wings? Poor financials and no evidence yet of any immediate focus on or vision of where Nikon is heading. Not encouraging.

  • I don’t see the relevance of posting this patent here as:

    1. enthusuasts are for the most part not interested in PS cameras, and
    2. the amateurs that once were interested in PS cameras could care less

  • Mike Ling

    F2.8 is high end? How can it compete against Sony RX1 or Fuji X100s if this is a fixed lens on a new camera? I think Nikon is much smarter than this.

  • peter chmeller

    This is the only thing that bugs me…if Nikon does release this mirrorless DX camera, won’t they pretty much be saying “we screwed up with the Nikon 1”? The logic behind having CX and DX format mirrorless systems seems kind of counter-productive to me…

  • Alexandre Dizeux

    it will go in a pocket with a lense like that, good !

  • Marc

    for the Nikonext

  • I would definitely be interested in a high-end APS-C compact camera (hopefully with PASM and auto Iso) with a small 18 (28) mm f2.8.

    This could be a really nice companion (for quick wide shots) to my D4 when I have the trusty 70-200 f2.8 on.

  • Vin

    Considering Nikon’s roots were originally from rangefinder cameras it seems perfectly acceptable for them to want to build a camera like this. It may also be very profitable, it will be interesting to see how retrospective looking it will be.

    If they build a camera system like the Olympus O-MD it could perform very nicely with a DX sensor. Add a 1.5X converter coupler for F mount lenses, and some water proofing this could make for a very nice sports and action camera. It just might be a replacement for all the higher end DX DSLR’ s. With no mirror and a good EVF, 12fps and some longer lenses this would make for a very nice compact camera with low light ability.

  • rhlpetrus
  • rhlpetrus
    • KnightPhoto

      Yeah, no OLPF. That is the correct way to go I believe. OLPFs are no longer necessary at these pixel densities.
      And 6fps, that does leave a door open that there will still be a D400 to come 😉

  • BdV

    I have another idea: a 27mm f1.5 excellent quality dx mirrorless lens, to match the upcoming …….

  • lenicolas

    I think this camera could be a hit with pros looking for a second camera.

    28mm equivalent is perfect, with a 50mm on your full frame dslr you can shoot a whole wedding without changing lenses. (Have a 105mm in your bag just in case.) This would not work with a 35mm equivalent ; not wide enough, you would need a larger lens in your bag.

    If i’m gonna go Dx, i want the camera to be tiny and discreet, not a copy of my main camera (D800).

    For shooting in locations where you’re not supposed to, or for times when the less you draw attention, the better photos you get (wedding ceremony in a church, small conferences, cocktail parties…)

    35mm equivalent is said to be more “universal”, but who wants to be universal? The 35mm is the easiest focal lens to shoot, but i noticed I never took my best images with it. It’s a snapshot focal lenght. With something more specific like a true wide angle or a 50mm, you have to make decisions, you have to compose, you really put your creativity to work. I know MY photos come out better with 24/28mm or 50mm than 35.

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