New Nikon patent for 600mm f/4 and 400mm f/2.8 super telephoto lenses

Nikon Nikkor 800mm f:5.6 lens patent

Nikkor 800mm f/5.6 lens patent

Nikon Nikkor 600mm f:4 lens patent

Nikkor 600mm f/4 lens patent

Nikon Nikkor 400mm f:2.8 lens patent

Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 lens patent

Nikon filed a new patent in Japan for a 800mm f/5.6, 600mm f/4 and 400mm f/2.8 super telephoto lenses. The patent was originally submitted on May 30th, 2012. The 800mm f/5.6 lens is already announced and in stock. The current Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ($8,899) and 600mm f/4G ($9,799) lenses were announced back in 2007 - maybe Nikon is planning to refresh them for the upcoming Winter (or maybe Summer) Olympics?

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f:4G ED VR lens design

Design of the current Nikkor 600mm f/4 lens

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f:2.8G ED VR lens design

Design of the current Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 lens

Via Egami

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  • Vin

    Now this looks like good winter Olympics, & 2014 World Cup equipment!

    • kassim

      Maybe true replacement for D300s and D700 are also coming.

      • There’ll be no other D700 replacement than the D800. But a D400 might come but only if Canon come up with a 7D Mk II.

        • saywhatuwill

          How do you explain the Df then? It’s more of a replacement for the D700 than the D800 since it uses the D4 sensor as the D700 used the D3 sensor.

          • Will

            It’s more of a replacement for the D7000 than the D700 since it uses the D600 AF-Module as the D700 used the D3 Af-Module. Duh!

            • saywhatuwill

              You know, your comment was valid up to “duh” which made it all invalid because it just showed that it was a child making a comment. Too bad. So much potential.

          • It still has inferior AF.

      • disqus_QlHYblaSnt

        Yeah so is Christmas…

      • Vin

        Yes could be? , this is where Nikon shines, the 400mm, 500mm, 600mm, 800mm, wow with a D400,/D9000, this would rock.!

      • neversink

        Get a life… No offense meant, but use what you have and enjoy it. The D700 is dead. Long live the D800 and the D4. Two different cameras. Technology has moved on and always will. Use your D700 (I keep mine for a back up) if you like, but I have found the D800 and D4 so much better.

  • Bas

    I’d rather see a new AF-S 300/4 with VR….

    • Morris

      it’s coming

      • rt-photography

        let me get you some tissue.

        • gandalf

          you were too slow, he swallowed it with pride. his words i mean.

          • Morris


    • rt-photography

      yes with a price hike of $1000 over the current AFS. like the old 80-400 vs the new.

      • desmo

        I’d prefer not to see that price hike

        • zoetmb

          He’s right. Nikon’s recent history is to bring out new lenses with slight improvements in order to justify a price increase. It’s a simple way to drive increased revenues. And from the time they announce, it will be a year before ordinary retailers have these lenses anyway.

    • Plug

      …and 400/5.6. Lightweight and VR.

      • saywhatuwill

        Unfortunately in Nikon’s eyes, they brought out the 80-400 that’s “as good” as the 400mm f/5.6 prime. I truly don’t think we’ll ever see a 400mm f/5.6 prime from Nikon.

      • disqus_QlHYblaSnt

        Yes agreed, I could actually carry that around with me all day.

  • Joseph Li

    oh..a new, sharper VR II is coming? NICE

  • Keith Homan

    I’m sure they’ll be lighter as well, thinking Nikon will use the fluorite elements like they did with the D800.

    • kassim


      • Keith Homan


    • Anto de Chav

      I have this lens.. it’s amazing… dumped my EF800 to get it after testing it…

      • KnightPhoto

        You’ve got the Nikon 800mm? Tell us more please…

        • Anto de Chav

          There is a reason it’s so expensive,tolerances are very tight and the construction is superlative,it has huge resolution,the d800e shines on it,I’m really looking forward to the next D4X with 60mp as I have no doubt this lens can easily resolve the señsor..

    • MyrddinWilt

      The main reason I would see to come out with a new design would be to save weight. Going to a carbon fiber frame would seem like the right move to me. It is a lot tougher than metal weight for weight and it is stiffer too.

      It does bend a little under a LOT of stress but at the point where a metal body is going to dent. And it will spring back.

      They have tested CF in their D5300, so it looks like the time to move it into the monster sized lenses. The superteles are going to benefit most. But the 70-200 and 24-70 could benefit as well.

      • Marcel Speta

        great idea, but this would save about 20% of weight. There are pieces of heavy glass and metal. Most of the parts can not be replaced by CF. i do not know if Nikon uses magnesium like Canon do. If not – then the saving could be more significant.

  • whisky

    has Nikon suddenly discovered the benefits of Fluorite glass elements?

    • disqus_QlHYblaSnt

      Yes this what it will be. Canon’s super tele range have the fluorite and they are considerably lighter. Almost 1kg on the 600mm.
      I own the 500nf4 for bird photography but will certainly concider the 600 if it gets lighter.

      • Dpablo unfiltered

        Canon’s big telephotos are lighter because of magnesium bodies and titanium bolts. The new Nikon lens is also very light.

        • AnotherView

          …and the fact Canon relies more heavily on fluorite (lighter than ED glass) and jettisoned the front protective element. Nikon will not be able compete with Canon in the weight department.

          • Dpablo unfiltered

            The Nikon 800 weighs 10.12 pounds.
            The Canon 800 weighs 9.9 pounds.
            The Nikon 800 has a protective front element and 2 more elements than the canon and beats it into pulp fiction. That’s worth the .22 pound difference and at this point I would consider the Canon competitive only if I was comparing the cost of a used lens to a New Nikon one. I doubt there are many used Nikon 800s for sale at the moment.

            • AnotherView

              “The Nikon 800 weighs 10.12 pounds.
              The Canon 800 weighs 9.9 pounds.”

              True, but Canon’s current 800 isn’t the latest design of the new 400/500/600. A new 800 IS II should be closer to 9 lbs by my estimation.

              The real questions is; will I be able to afford a new NIkon supertele? The price of the 800VR is nothing less than scary.

            • Dpablo unfiltered

              What is Canon going to do to lighten up their existing lens? It already has two less elements and is less sharp than the Nikon.

            • AnotherView

              The front protective element for one thing. Not sure if the current 800L is designed the same as the new IS II’s (in terms of minimizing weight) but you can be the new 800L IS II will be sharper too.

        • disqus_QlHYblaSnt

          Nonsense. The significant factor in the weight difference is the fluorite glass. Nikon and Canon’s big telephoto lenses both have Magnesium bodies.

          The Canon is almost 1kg lighter (in the case of the 600mm) Due to the use of…Fluorite glass!!!

          The new 800mm already uses fluorite glass, it will probably be rolled out across the range of super telephoto lenses at least to 300mm F2.8 I suspect.

          • Dpablo unfiltered

            The 800 has the magnesium titanium construction. The 400 and 600 have aluminum and steel construction. And as someone else stated, they have a protective front element. And as you stated, the 800 has a little fluorite. It’s really light (for an 800…)

            • Jason

              According to Nikon’s website the 400mm & 600mm are made from something called

              “Magnesium die-cast for a lightweight body with rugged construction”

              Sounds a lot like Magnesium. The word Aluminium incidentally doesn’t appear on their website….?


              I could of course be wrong, perhaps I’m reading it wrong but I still feel that the significant factor in the weight difference is the fluorite glass.

              Do you have something to substantiate your assertion that the 400mm 500mm 600mm from Nikon are not made from Magnesium?

            • Dpablo unfiltered

              I stand corrected. I must have been thinking about the AIS versions, which, if I remember right were aluminum and both over 12 pounds despite their lack of a focus motor. The weight of the 800 is in line with Canon despite the protective element and the more complex optical formula. I do remember reading about how Canon had replaced all the steel bolts and hardware with titanium. I believe that’s as much a factor as anything. No matter. The new lenses will probably also have fluorite glass just like the 800 does. And the weight will be comparable.

    • Ken Elliott

      They know all about Fluorite glass – and its limitations. That’s why they developed PC102 (AKA ED Glass). Here’s the story.

      BTW, they actually make calcium fluoride glass. They would certainly use it if they felt it was the material to use.

  • rt-photography

    ill take 2 of each please 🙂

  • Marcel Speta

    hm… that could mean that the price of current models may drop, especially used gear. I am dreaming to get 600mm or 400mm someday….

    • neversink

      I have the 500mm f/4. After testing the 400 and 600, I preferred the lighter weight 500 with basically the same incredible IQ of both the 400 and 600. I also tested the 200-400 which is incredible, but couldn’t justify the business cost given that I have other lenses that will cover this area.

      • Marcel Speta

        I heard the same opinion as well… Do you have experience with attaching TC’s ? Actually I own Nikkor 300/2.8 VR II and its working well with all TC’s (1.4, 1.7 and also third gen. 2.0) so i have reach of 500mm/f4 , but the thing is how 500/4 works with TC 2.0 III at 1000mm/f8. Did you try it? I am looking for this focal lenght only for birds. Sometimes 600mm is not enough.

        • neversink

          Marcel, I have used the 500mm with the TC1.4 with excellent results on both the D4 and the D800. The focusing is faster on the D4, although now slouch on the D800. I haven’t tried it on the D700 which I keep for back up emergency.
          Although I own the other two TCs, i have never tried them with the 500. I will do so soon and report back to you. You will have to use a camera like the D4 or D800 in order for AF to work with the TC 1.7 or TC2.0III combined with the 500mm.
          At 1,000mm you will have more problems with heat waves at infinity, of course depending on atmospheric conditions, etc.
          The higher the TC magnification, the narrower the field of view, making it harder to track fast moving subjects.
          So, I find the 700mm reach the TC1.4 coupled with the 500mm easiest to use. And I rarely handhold this lens at 500mm, but never with the TC1.4 attached.
          Hope that helps…. By the way, I find any of the TCs work marvelously with the 70-200mm f/2.8

          • Marcel Speta

            damned. My reply is lost. It was quite long, but not that much 🙁
            OK, That would be wonderfull to get your report.
            I have good experience with TC20EIII with 300/2.8VR2 so 500/4 itself is nice but not solving my need for longer reach. So something around 800mm – 1000mm is welcome for decent price.
            So i am curious to see some tests with TC17/TC14 on that lens.
            thanks for willingmess

            • neversink

              Marcel, I did get to try all the TCs on the 400mm f/ 2.8 lens — and they results were great on all — including the latest ten TC 2.0III.
              However, it is a heavier and bulkier lens than the 500mm, which is why I chose the 500 over the 400.
              I probably won’t get to that test for a few weeks. Just got back to Kenya from USA. and I am rather busy with assignments and family, and my tests take several days I test at minimum, middle and infinity focus points and at different aperture settings and ISOs, I don’t shoot lens test targets, just different subjects. I look at the targets other people have taken and posted on the internet, but I make my final judgement of a lens based on my own observations of my shots. There have been times when I have had to return or exchange an individual lens due to it being a lemon,
              I read your earlier reply, but you have left out your email, so I will post it here. You did say you are from Czech Republic, didn’t you?

            • Marcel Speta

              Hi, correct 🙂 so you’ve got my earlier reply – ok.
              Because it disappeared i thought it was lost somehow …
              Yeap, i am living in heart of Europe close to Prague. I’ve been working in Michigan for a while and then NYC. You can contact me on my gmail account marcel.speta(at)
              Sure don’t hury up with the test especially before Xmas season and enjoy this time with the family. Just when you’ll find the time.
              Thanks and BR


    These will be priced at the same level as the 800mm: same technolgy and it’s the way Nikon has been pricing lenes lately – 2X the cost of the old version……….
    There’s nothin’ wrong with the current offerings – best get ’em while they’re cheap (!)

    • Spy Black

      “…best get ’em while they’re cheap (!)”

      I like that. Cheap…

      • KnightPhoto

        And it’s true; across the board from 200mm f/2 on up, the Nikon’s are cheaper than their Canon counterparts.

        Edit: with the exception of the 800mm 😉

    • AnotherView

      No they won’t. The 800 has a very, very small market which is exactly why Nikon priced it as they did. The 500 and to a lesser extent the 600 have much larger markets…the prices will be less, though possibly more than Canon’s current offerings.

  • peterw

    The story goes that current extremely expensive Canon big guns (much more expensive than the Nikkors – except for the 800 F5,6) take convertors much better than the current Nikkors. Perhaps that’s what’s going on? Competition is tough up there.

  • mds

    You might see the pro sports shooters using them at the Olympics. While it is possible that Nikon will announce and have them in their hands by then, it is more likely that they will get theirs via NPS as on site loaners.

    I am Sure they will be More Expensive, but I don’t think they will double. They will be competitive with the Canons. Nikon does Not want to price themselves out of selling their stuff. That is back to the old Ford vs. Chevy. Ford is not going to charge double what Chevy charges for a 1/2 ton 4 door 4×4 pickup with the same options. That would price themselves out of business.

    I love my 600 and 400, t hey are great, new always “sounds” good but who knows…

    • NotQuite

      Trouble is, that you can always put a Chevy rather than a Ford in your garage. You can’t put a Canon long lens on your D4 & D800.

      • MyrddinWilt

        When we are talking about $9000 lenses, the cost of the body is not so much of an issue. People would switch brands over something like this.

        The 800mm is a completely different situation, it is a niche lens that almost no pros will ever buy. 80% of sales will be to rental shops.

        Given that the D800 plus the 600mm will smoke the D4 with the 800mm in almost any situation, we are talking about a $3000 body, not a $6000 one until the D4x launches.

        • KnightPhoto

          Interesting times. Yes a D4X, D800, D4, or D400 paired up with one of these would be the ticket.

          A lighter 600mm f/4, the weight of my current 500VR, would be ideal and I’d seriously consider it if priced decently, and by that I mean not $16,500 😉

          BTW for the thread… the Nikon 800mm MTF smokes the equivawent Kwanon. Nikon clearly has done something good on the 800mm.

        • neversink

          Are you pixel peeping. I use the 500mm on the D4 and D800. It is great on both. Both sensors have different qualities.

          • MyrddinWilt

            The primary application for this type of lens tends to be taking pictures that are judged for other than purely artistic merit. e.g. nude shots of Madonna sunbathing. So it is raw reach rather than optical perfection they are after. Ability to resolve pixels is likely to be everything for many users.

            The point is that these lenses are not really made to make money. Nikon might turn a profit on them but the volumes are so small that it is not going to be a very large one. They make them because the fact they exist and pros use them attracts people to buy the money making bodies like the D7100 and the D90.

            So doubling the price of what is already a very pricey lens would be idiotic.

  • AnotherView

    Darn, looks like they’re planning on using a protective front element, which means these won’t be a light as Canon’s.

    • OldView

      They’ve been doing that for the last 20 years on long glass.

    • neversink

      There’s a reason for those protective front elements. They are relatively inexpensive if you damage that front exposed element. Glad its on their long lenses.

  • Eugeniu Sofroni

    when will Nikon start using Diffractive Optics ?

    the new Canon 400mm f/4 DO Mark II sounds like a pretty awesome lens and the images are way better than on the Mark I

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