Two New Lens Patents

I've been a little hard on Nikon for producing fairly conservative, tried-and-true lens specifications in the Z-mount (though optically excellent). This week patents appeared in Japan for two lenses that show a very different approach:

  • 90-140mm f/4-5.6 VR Micro-Nikkor. This appears to be something akin to the 70-150mm design but with fewer compromises (1:1 and VR, which the original didn't have). This lens appears to have been originally designed for the F-mount (long back focus). 
  • 200mm f/4 with built in teleconverter options using a new type of TC-relay design. This produces a 200mm f/4 with 280mm f/4 (!) and 400mm f/5.6 options. I'm still trying to decipher all the technical information on this lens, and I don't know if it's practical to build yet, but it does show the Nikkor designers heading in some interesting new directions.

Neither seems like a mainstream lens, and it's possible we won't see either in production. But this begins to answer the question of what new ideas the Nikkor team is exploring beyond filling out the basic lens set.

Meanwhile, the 105mm f/2.8 VR S is scheduled to be released June 25th, but Nikon corporate has already produced the usual "apology and notice of delivery delay," due to demand exceeding expectations. 

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