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Will this be Nikon's Future Lens Lineup?

Written by Iddo Gennuth at 11/10/2011 17:59   |   Topics:   |   Print

The following is based upon the published patent list of Nikon from the past several months. Much of this was covered by MegaPixel in the past but there are at least a few interesting "revelations" which should interest many Nikon users.

The following table was prepared by the Japanese blog egami which tracks patents. It only relates to Nikon FX (i.e. Full Frame) line (no DX or CX lenses here).

The table includes 14 lenses – click to enlarge (credit: egami):

  • Nikon 10mm F4 – If this is indeed an FX ultra wide angle lens and not a fish eye, this might be the widest we ever heard about.
  • Nikon 24mm F2.8 – a relatively fast new wide FX lens.
  • Nikon 24mm F3.5 – a slightly slower variant (possibly just one of them will be developed). Might be right for architectural work.
  • Nikon 50mm F1.2 – super fast normal FX lens. Should rival the Canon EF 50mm f / 1.2L USM.
  • Nikon 105mm F2 – A long awaited update to the 1993 Nikon AF DC-Nikkor 105mm f/2D.
  • Nikon 800mm F5.6 – we have already reported about this patent and the possibility of a release date prior to the 2012 Olympic games in London. Should compete with the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM and Sigma APO 800mm f5.6 EX DG HSM.
  • Nikon 24-70mm F3.5-4.5 – an interesting potential lens – basically a smaller cheaper version of the popular Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED pro lens.
  • Nikon 28-145mm F4 – an interesting FX zoom lens with a fixed aperture.
  • Nikon 55-300mm F2.8-4 – A faster version of the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR but for the FX format instead of DX.
  • Nikon 70-200mm F4 - maybe one of the most intriguing lenses in the list. the comparable Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM is a very popular lens and many photographers have been waiting for Nikon to come up with a proper answer.
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm ED VR F4.5-5.6 G II -a new and improved version of the Nikon AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED from 2000 (probably with a new VR II stabilizer).
  • Nikon AF-S VR Nikkor 100-400mm F4-5.6G ED - another lens you can find on the Canon line – Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM which Nikon might like to combat.
  • Nikon AF-S VR 200-500mm F4.5-5.6G ED – don't be fooled by the focal range this is not the Sigma APO 200-500mm F2.8 EX DG behemoth. This is a much slower (and smaller) lens but still one with an interesting range.
  • Nikon 200mm F3.2 Macro – another remake of an old (and very interesting) Nikon lens – Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D IF-ED from 1993.

So what do we have here? 14 very interesting lens patents from Nikon. Does this mean that we are going to see all (or even any) of these lenses in the stores any time soon? don't count on it. Nikon has been stretching itself quite a bit this year. Between the earthquake in Japan, the release of the new 1 series of cameras and lenses (not to mention the DX line) and possibly a new line of pro cameras by the end of this month – it's hard to tell how much manpower the company can allocate for a real ambitious move in its FX line. However we might be willing to bet that we shall see a small number of these lenses before Photokina 2012 (in September).

As always with patents keep in mind that many of them never materialize at all so don't hold your breath.

This is an English version of an article originally published on the Israeli Photography website MegaPixel.co.il

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