Nikon Has Filed Patents for Some Weird, Yet Interesting Lenses

It’s good to see that Nikon is keeping the lens pipeline full, even if it is with some rather strange lenses.

We have seen Nikon pop up in news-related posts quite a bit here recently. There have been some good news and bad news articles. Today, we have another good news post for Nikon fans out there. While the company is busy going through a huge organizational restructure, Nikon is still busy designing lenses. New patents suggest that three new lenses are being worked on, and they’re a little weird (to say the least). After the break, we’ll look at these new lenses and talk about what we think Nikon is playing at.

Head on over to Hi-Low, and you’ll see the patents Nikon has recently filed. There are three new lenses designed for Full-Frame cameras. This is good and bad news. Nikon’s Full Frame cameras need some love, but so does the APS-C Nikon Z 50. (That camera seems to have been forgotten about.) Unfortunately, no new APS-C lenses appear to be in the works. The three new lenses are a 16-34mm f2.8 (34mm is not a typo), an 18-50mm f2.8-4, and a 16-50mm f4. One of these lenses is very odd for a few reasons. Let’s break things down a little further.

The Biggest Oddball – 16-34mm f2.8

So, what makes the Nikon 16-34mm f2.8 so odd. Well, the weird focal length on the long end of things. Sure, it’s just 1mm shy of what lenses like this normally offer, but still. It’s weird. I’d love to know why Nikon opted for 34mm instead of the more traditional 35mm. The other thing that makes this lens odd is that the Z mount is already loaded with lenses with similar focal ranges. The Z platform has already been graced with one of the best wide zooms around in the Z 14-24mm f2.8 S. There’s also the fantastic Z 14-30mm f4. Why Nikon feels that another lens in this category is important is strange. If it ever comes to market, I’m sure it will be great, like all other Z lenses, but I’m just not sure where it will fit in.

Two New Nikon Kit Lenses?

Nikon

The two other lenses Nikon has filed patents for scream “kit lenses!” to me. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this at all. In fact, the Z mount needs more affordable lenses. Above is the schematic for the variable aperture 18-50mm f2.8-4. This lens will be a great option to pair with the new Nikon Z 5. The entry-level Full Frame camera could use a kit lens with a slightly wider focal length on the short end. The variable aperture isn’t bad either. This lens reminds me of the Fujifilm 18-55 f2.8-4 R LM OIS that comes packaged with many Fujifilm cameras.

Nikon

I feel the 16-50mm f4 will be another kit lens, although slightly more expensive than the variable aperture offering. Still, both of these offerings will make great lenses to start out with. Kit lenses are honestly pretty stellar these days. I have to say I am a little excited about these lenses. Sure, they won’t have the best optics ever, they won’t have the best builds ever, but they will be affordable. This will give many more photographers a chance to jump into the Nikon Z mount system without destroying themselves financially. What do you think about the patents Nikon has recently filed? Let us know in the comment section below.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.