Patent shows off Nikon 300mm f/2.8 fluorite lens and potential new manufacturing method
posted Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 10:30 AM EDT
It should be no surprise to those who keep up with Nikon’s exotics that the 300mm f/2.8 lens is due for a fluorite element update. Now, fuel has been added to the fluorite fire with a recently-published patent for a 300mm f/2.8 FL lens.
Nikon has already updated the 400mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4 and 600mm f/4 lenses, in addition to releasing an 800mm f/5.6 fluorite element supertelephoto optic in recent years, leaving the 300mm f/2.8 as the longest fast telephoto prime in Nikon’s lineup to not utilize a fluorite element.
Before we get into the details of the patent, let’s briefly cover what a fluorite lens element is, and why you want one in your exotic glass. Fluorite is a monocrystal that does a particularly good job of correcting chromatic aberration while remaining lighter than standard optical glass. Its transmission properties are most beneficial for longer focal length lenses.
The patent filed in Japan discusses a lens that is actually longer than the existing 300mm lens by roughly an inch and a half, but doesn’t have any information on the potential optic’s weight, although it will presumably follow suit with Nikon’s other FL lenses and weigh less than its predecessor.
A particularly interesting aspect of the described lens is that it will have adjustable lens elements. There are no details on exactly how this will work, only that the lens can be adjusted after assembly. This might not matter in any obvious way to the end user, but it means that a lens can be adjusted following quality control testing without having to be disassembled again. The New Camera states that this could be a “technological breakthrough and will uplift the overall quality of Nikon lenses.”