Nikon’s new zoom/focus assist lever NAL-1

With the D5300 announcement, Nikon also introduced a new zoom/focus assist lever called NAL-1 "that enables smoother zooming and focusing when attached to the zoom ring or focus ring on a NIKKOR lens". Pricing and availability are not yet announced.

This entry was posted in Other Nikon stuff and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • well about time!

  • robert

    ridiculous. a new low for nikon.

    • koenshaku

      I think it is handy to know where your positioning is when filming versus you looking at your focus ring and trying to see if it measures up to what on your LCD. I could get used to this ^^

    • mikeswitz

      Why don’t you go troll on a site where you might know a little about the intended uses of the sites products. Do you even own a camera?

      • robert

        im not trolling. im entitled to my opinion like you. if you dont like it piss off mikeshitz. yes I do, my iphone camera 🙂

        • Jeff Hunter

          I hope you’re being sarcastic 😉 if not come join the Nikon DSLR ranks and have some fun!

        • mikeswitz

          What are , 12? “mikeshitz”? You are the very definition of a troll, right up to your stupid emoticon. There is a huge difference between having an opinion and being completely lacking in any knowledge of the subject on which you are opining. Go troll on Canon rumors and give Nikon photographers a break. Did you notice the twelve down arrows on your first comment? No, I didn’t think so.

          • J. Dennis Thomas

            This idiot has been trolling for some time now always under the guise of voicing his “opinion” which is mostly misinformed garbage.

            I’m surprised he didn’t call you a Nikon PR person yet.

            I think it’d be best if we collectively ignore any posts by “robert” in the future. He’s obviously a sad loser that gets his jollies by trolling.

  • Chris

    Not really ridiculous… It’s for Video or fine MF applications I assume.

    • vFunct

      Looks great for MF assist but need to know how usable it is – does it bend at all when pulling focus? etc..

      Ideally they should enhance the lenses for smooth, noiseless power-zoom/focus features (no breathing), with controls coming from the camera directly, interfaced to extrenal LANC controls.

  • Plug

    Absolutely brilliant, I’ve made my own but these will be much better for the little video that I do.

  • James Donahue

    Same ole Crap…Announce a new product with NO Price.

    • Pat Mann

      Nice to hear about it. The price will come soon enough – before it’s possible to order one, even, I’m sure.

    • mikeswitz

      It’s why this site is called Nikon RUMORS

  • Dweeb

    Hasselblad made these 40 years ago.

    • Anoy

      Where we can get it?

  • mike kobal

    fantastic for video, I am using 3rd party levers found on ebay – they actually look identical and come in different colors for about $14 ~ $20 bucks each, really useful for video on lenses with very short focus throw

  • Andy Aungthwin

    If it’s more than $20 then watch the video below. I road rested two other more affordable options.

    • thecouchguy

      Ha nice, first thing I thought was dam, thanks for the idea Nikon, where are those bloody cable ties?

  • “new” =)
    I bet on $40 !

    • zoetmb

      That would be my guess.
      But what Nikon really needs to do is release a lens for video that keeps focus at any zoom level and/or make continuous focus really track primary objects and keep them in focus. Candid videography is just about impossible on current Nikon cameras because of focus issues.

  • Don Hogfun

    As said, there are already cheap solutions that do the same but good for them that the saw the need for it.

    The most critical for video MF is the smoothness of the focus ring which NIKON abandoned for new lens designs.

    How about some new fine MF lenses NIKON instead of gimmicks?

    • Jer

      I suppose it will never happen, but I would love to see a series of wide angle to medium focal length primes that have silky smooth manual focusing, aperture rings, distance scales and might as well throw in Nano coatings. My wish list would be:
      15mm f2.8 like the Zeiss that can use thread on filters.
      20mm f2.0
      28mm f1.4
      35mm f1.4
      50mm f1.4

      • Sahaja
      • groucher

        … and a digital FM or rangefinder to put them on.

        • I think rangefinders are not coming back, since they offer nothing over a modern mirrorless camera. Of course for lens compatibility, I would love to see an Nikon DSP…. With Live View instead of the obsolete rangefinder, of course….

          I want something to use my Nikkor 5cm 1.1 in…

          Hang on, this is a thread about focusing aids… oops.

          • MisterF
          • J. Dennis Thomas

            The rangefinder is far from obsolete. I find my Leica is 100% quicker to use than any live view camera is. Many people share the same opinion as evidenced by the continued success of the digital M series and and Fuji’s wild success of the X100/s and XPro cameras.

            • Spy Black

              It all depends on where you’re coming from. If you’re old school sure, but today we’re entering the age of EVFs. A lot of people poo-poo them, but I think they’re great because they allow you to see and focus in situations where you couldn’t optically. I can’t wait for a Nikon with EVF.

  • DL

    Look at all the whiners and doubters who think this is ridiculous…when IRL Spielberg, Scorcese etc are using tape measures and gaffers tape to do the same thing. Get over yourselves

    • mikeswitz

      Actually this has existed as standard equipment on 16mm film lenses since the forties. They are called zoom sticks. What is new is Nikon might make them for their mid-range dslr lenses. Not exactly an innovation, but a very useful product none the less.

  • R!

    This is nice to have a NAL-1 and to get a stick to screw in,great job!
    this blow me away;seriously this is great specially with the 60p on the D5300 Nikon is comming back on the video seriously,dont slide!!

  • Sahaja

    Wonder how much they will manage to charge for these – and how cheap the near identical Chinese knock-offs will be.

    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Actually this is Nikon knocking off the Chinese cheap brands. There are dozens of similar devices available already, and have been for quite some time. Google DIY follow focus and you’ll see a bunch of cheap but effective ways to do this.

  • Twazer

    In red please.

  • Paul

    I’m confused. I can’t tell if this is Nikon being more serious about video or not.

  • Pat Mann

    Looks like a useful accessory even for still photos when set up on a tripod in situations with awkward access to the lens. Idea came from video, but I think I’ll find a good use for it for other things. Thank you, Nikon.

    Now a couple of nice DX wide primes to use them on, please.

  • tie

    doubles as a trashbin tie, tying down prisoners, organizing wires. good job nikon.

  • Riceboy

    Nikon branded zip ties! Awesome!

  • Ross Marks

    Didn’t Pentax invent these levers for the 6×7 about 30-40 years ago?

  • Looks slightly more professional than my chopsticks and rubber bands setup for celestial photography. LOL.

  • zoetmb

    Do they release easily or do they expect you to buy two for each lens you own?

  • Tom

    I would probably use this for focus pulling if it’s affordable.

  • SK

    Really Nikon, reaaaally… That’s embarrassing! You guys couldn’t figure out how to do proper focusing during recording videos for so long and now selling chopsticks instead…

    I don’t really want to switch platforms but as an amateur family user it’s hard to resist the temptation of having a device that can do both stills and video properly.

    • Global

      “So long”? You do realize that Nikon is not a camcorder business, right? Theyve only been doing this for about 2 generations, and no one had focusing right one generation ago. And these are not chopsticks.. which i assume is some racist statement about an Asian company… these focusing sticks and rings are commonly used in professional video and film industries. Cameras first. Video second. By a camcorder (most take stills but are 100% setup for video) if your priorities are the other way around. This is a dslr camera manufacturer. The fact that they do video is a benefit, not something to criticize for not being perfect. I would like a race-car airplane that converts into a spaceship, but technology only allowed for flying cars as of this year. Video wise, Nikon is doing a good job, hell they started the trend with the D90, even though Canon had an entire camcorder division at the time. And Nikons legacy and current Dslr camera lenses are what they are, designed for cameras. Video is a bonus for the next generation or two. And lenses take time.

      • J. Dennis Thomas

        Obviously this person (SK) hasn’t the first clue as to how professional videos/films are done. I know lots of filmmakers and only documentarians use AF. Most proper films use manual focus and this is a rudimentary focus puller.

        • SK

          Did you even read what I wrote in the second paragraph or checked the image posted in the blog post which indicates that the product is being targeted as a “solution” to the entry level market as well (if you couldn’t catch it, it’s on a D5300)? Do I sound like a professional who is paid to do focus pulling or a family user who wants to be in the frame time to time without training his entire family on focus pulling…

          Leave your fanatic instincts aside and try to empathize with people who has been disappointed with Nikon’s inability to provide a real family-level alternative for their loyal customers. The life will be much easier… Unless doing social media marketing is your profession of course…

          • J. Dennis Thomas

            Go back to your troll-hole robert.

        • mikeswitz

          I think SK is Robert. His syntax is the same. And so is his anger.

          • SK

            You must be right… It should be only this Robert guy who is dissatisfied with the continuous video focusing performance of Nikon cameras.

            • mikeswitz

              see above

        • mikeswitz

          Actually, I was a documentary cameraman back in the 70’s. Of course there was no AF for 16mm cameras and color film was pretty slow. We’d zoom in, focus, zoom out and recompose as fast as possible, hoping that the adustments were quick enoung to be cut out. Later, as verite’ became more popular all that stuff was left in. Think Monterey Pop. Today there is all that fake zooming (Modern Family, Argo) to simulate the documentary look. The whole point being that all video cameras, be it pro or dlsr, suck at auto focus because what needs to be in focus and when is often vastly different than in still photography. I haven’t shot a documentary in a number of years but I can’t imagine todays cameramen letting the camera decide what should be in focus.

          • J. Dennis Thomas

            Some documentarians go for that AF look. Not all of them. It’s getting to be less and less these days, but I still see people using AF vid-cams once in awhile. It’s the “retro” thing to do.

      • SK

        Obviously you are a fanatic and an ignorant about many things which is shown both by the fact that you didn’t even think about the possibility of me being Asian when you made you comment about “racism” and when you called Nikon a DSLR manufacturer. Anyway, I shouldn’t, but I will still respond to you once just to make sure that the message I am trying to get across is understood by everybody.

        I love the images coming out of my D5200. However, looking at the recent trends and products being released by other manufacturers (for example the D70 and A7) one wonders why Nikon cannot come up with a product that does proper stills and video in one package. Nikon is an imaging company, not just a DSLR manufacturer. They existed and led the market well before DSLRs and it would be a big shame if they get thrown off the business by the companies like Sony, Samsung and Panasonic just because they couldn’t keep up with the advancements in the imaging business. I sincerely hope that they will soon release a product below $1300 for the entry level market which can do both and keeps Nikon afloat in this saturated market.

  • David Peterson

    Even if the price is ridiculous (however there is no pricing yet out for it) this is still a very positive sign that Nikon is taking video more seriously!

    So far as I know Nikon is the *first* (again! Like with the D90 :-P) camera manufacturer to bring out their own branded focus assist device? All others I’ve seen are either DIY or third party.

    • when there is a magic lantern for nikon, i will have some hope for nikon dslr video

      • J. Dennis Thomas

        If you want magic lantern so bad the switch to Canon. Personally I would never put a third party firmware on my camera.

        • Spy Black

          Unless it was a second camera you can afford to do without if it bricks up. 😉

  • helpful for video users … follow focus is very difficult on the d800 and just about impossible on the d600

  • Christopher Eaton

    Whatever happened to these? Can’t find them for sale yet anywhere.

  • Back to top