Nikon has patented a new 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for full frame DSLR cameras, which is different from existing models as it comes packed with a Phase Fresnel element.
Canon is known for making lenses with Diffractive Optics technology. The Japan-based company is using a DO element in some of its optics in order to reduce the size and weight of a lens, while increasing the image quality. However, such technology is expensive, so this is why it is used in a few amount of lenses.
At the beginning of 2015, Nikon decided to follow Canon’s lead by introducing a lens bearing its own version of DO technology. It is called Phase Fresnel and it is available in the AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4E PF ED VR super-telephoto lens, which costs about $2,000.
It appears that Nikon is planning to bring more Phase Fresnel optics to the market, as the company has patented a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens which comes packed with such technology.
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 PF VR lens patent shows up at the USPTO
The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 PF VR lens patent has been discovered at the US Patent and Trademark Office. It was filed in May 2014 and it was granted in September 2014.
The patent application is describing a standard zoom lens with a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the zoom range. The lens is designed to cover full frame image sensors and it features built-in Vibration Reduction technology.
On top of that, the lens employs a Phase Fresnel element, which will reduce its size and weight while raising the image quality, as stated above.
Nikon could release its second Phase Fresnel lens at the end of 2015
This model is not expected to show up on the market before late 2015. However, Nikon photographers will surely wait, as many believe that this model could become a “must-have” lens thanks to the addition of both VR and PF systems.
The current 24-70mm f/2.8 lens does not have either of them and it is available for about $1,700 at Amazon. This means that the new version could be more expensive than the existing model.
In addition to the already-announced 300mm f/4E PF ED VR and the upcoming 24-70mm f/2.8 PF VR, Nikon has a patent for another Phase Fresnel lens. The 200-400mm f/4-5.6 model was patented back in 2012.
This super telephoto zoom lens is not expected to show up on the market in the near future. Nevertheless, we should not draw any conclusions at this point, so take all these details with a pinch of salt.