Patent watch: Nikon patents 81x zoom lens for 1-inch sensors


posted Monday, September 12, 2016 at 10:00 AM EST


The Nikon P900 camera proved to be highly popular and was difficult to find in stock for a long time after its spring 2015 launch as a result. During my field test of the superzoom, I found that its 24-2000mm equivalent lens made it particularly well-suited for photographing wildlife, but its small 1/2.3-inch sensor and lack of RAW image recording held it back in the image quality department. A new patent seen via Egami suggests Nikon might be looking to make a high-zoom lens designed for a camera with a larger 1-inch sensor.

The lens patent is for a 7.4-600mm f/2.8-6.3 lens, which would provide a 20-1620mm equivalent focal length when paired with a 1” sensor. The patent discusses a lens which would extend to a total length of over 12 inches, which would be massive for a 1-inch sensor camera. Nonetheless, the 81x zoom raises an interesting possibility.

Nikon Rumors posits that the patent may be for a superzoom DL camera. Following rumors in early September that the three announced Nikon DL series cameras were being delayed indefinitely – although thankfully followed up by a second rumor that the cameras would release this coming January – it would be a pleasant surprise if Nikon opted to expand its imminent DL lineup with a superzoom sometime next year. With that said, the DL 24-500 should offer plenty of telephoto power for most users. 

Recently published patent for an 81x zoom lens for a Nikon 1"-type sensor. Seen via Egami.

Wildlife photographers sure would be happy to have another superzoom camera to choose from, especially one with a 1”-type sensor. That extra sensor size can provide a lot more image quality than the 1/2.3-inch one found in the P900. And hopefully, if this potential camera ever arrives, it does so with RAW recording.

(Seen via Nikon Rumors)