Nikon Patents Some Extreme Lens Designs

Nikon Patents Some Extreme Lens Designs

When Nikon moved into the realm of full frame mirrorless cameras, they generally went for pragmatic lens designs meant to tackle the majority of situations photographers would encounter. However, a variety of interesting lens design patents recently emerged, and they show the company is now thinking about some more extreme options as well. 

Recent lens patents from Nikon show some extreme supertelephoto lens designs, likely made to match up with the powerful Z9 mirrorless camera. These include:

  • 400mm f/4.5 
  • 600mm f/5.6
  • 800mm f/6.3
  • 1,000mm f/8

What is interesting about all these lenses is that they are PF (Phase Fresnel) designs, which is Nikon's term for diffractive optics, which allow for lighter and more portable supertelephoto designs. For the sort of photographers who generally use such lenses (mostly sports and wildlife shooters), these designs can be a real boon, as the weight savings make a significant difference, particularly when on long hikes.

Of course, just because a design is patented, it does not mean the product will eventually make it to the market. Nonetheless, the company's AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR was quite highly respected, so I suspect we will see at least one Z mount PF lens at some point. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I have been waiting for the 200-600 mm........But I would be interested in a 600 mm PF for sure.Let's see what comes first.

Odd that this article doesn't not that two of these lenses, or at least equivalents, are already available from Nikon. The 800mm 6.3 PF Z and the 400mm 4.5 (Not PF but still filling a near identical niche) have both been available for some time.

Gives me more hope that a 600mm PF might actually be released.

Whenever I see these patents posted, I always wonder how likely are they to be released vs the company is just securing something that could be valuable in the future. In the case of a 1000mm lens, I wonder if that's aimed at photographers at all or some sort of specialized application? I remember at Ritz camera we had some wild 800 or 1000mm lens that used mirrors but man was the quality awful.