TIPS AND TRICKS
Nikon Super Integrated Coating
Nikon’s exclusive multilayer lens coating achieves high transmittance in a wider wavelength range. Even for zoom lenses with a large number of glass elements, this coating system effectively reduces the ghost and flare effects that are likely to occur in backlit situations, helping you achieve high-contrast images with rich gradation. With outstanding color balance and reproduction capability, superb optical performance can be achieved. Ghost and flare effects caused by internal reflections particular to digital cameras are also effectively minimized. This coating system is applied to all current lenses in the NIKKOR lineup.
This type of lens utilizes non-spherical surfaces on either one or both sides of the glass in order to eliminate certain types of lens aberration. These aspherical elements are particularly useful for correcting the distortion in wide-angle lenses. Such distortions are caused by variations in the magnification of the image, depending on its distance from the optical axis. Aspherical lens elements correct these distortions by continuously changing the refractive index from the center of the lens. Since the 1960s, Nikon engineers have established design theories and lens-processing techniques to refine the aspherical lens. In 1968, the OP Fisheye-Nikkor 10mm f/5.6 became the first interchangeable SLR lens incorporating aspherical lens elements. Since then, aspherical lenses have been an important part of the NIKKOR lens family, with every new addition to the lineup providing a new level of contrast, resolution and compact design. Hybrid aspherical lenses: made of a special plastic molded onto optical glass. Molded glass aspherical lenses: manufactured by directly pressing optical glass into a high-precision aspherical mold.
Close-Range Correction system
The Close-Range Correction (CRC) system is one of Nikon’s most important focusing innovations, because it provides superior picture quality when shooting at close distances, increasing your focusing range. With CRC, the lens elements are configured in a “floating element” design wherein each lens group moves independently to achieve focusing.
Internal Focusing (IF)
With this focusing method, all the lens elements are divided into front, middle and rear groups, with only the middle group moving to focus.
Nano Crystal Coat
Originating from Nikon’s work in semiconductor manufacturing technology, NIKKOR’s Nano Crystal Coat is an antireflective coating that employs an extra-low refractive index coating featuring ultra-fine, nano-sized* crystal particles. These crystallized particles eliminate reflections inside the lens throughout the spectrum of visible light waves (380 to 780 nm) in ways that far exceed the limits of conventional antireflection coating systems. Nano Crystal Coat not only solves ghost effects caused by red light, which was incredibly difficult for previous systems. It also effectively reduces ghost and flare effects caused by light entering the lens diagonally. The result: clearer images.
*One nanometer equals one millionth of a millimeter
Vibration Reduction (VR)
With NIKKOR’s Vibration Reduction system, camera shake information is detected by the VR sensor of the VR lens unit, which is continually in motion inside the lens, aligning the optical axis with your camera’s imaging sensor, thereby reducing image blur. By providing the equivalent of shooting at shutter speeds up to 4.5 stops* faster, the system helps you achieve sharper shots when shooting sports scenes, dimly lit landscapes and handheld situations.
Three VR modes selectable according to shooting situations
Normal mode is recommended for most general scenes. In this mode, slow and wide camera movement is regarded as the photographer recomposing a shot and blur-correction operation is limited accordingly. Normal mode also includes automatic panning detection.
When shooting from a moving vehicle or other unstable position, the lens can sometimes misinterpret camera movement or a photographer’s intentions. In this case, choose Active mode for further compensation, a more stable viewfinder image and even steadier shots.
Sport mode is particularly effective for shooting sports because natural finder image can be reliably provided even when tracking randomly moving subjects. This is also achieved when tracking subjects with handheld panning or even during movie recording. A more stable finder image is attained when utilizing a monopod or a tripod. For shooting still subjects, Normal mode that offers a higher blur-correction effect is recommended.
*Based on CIPA Standard. The value is achieved when: DX-format lenses are attached to a DX-format digital SLR camera, FX-format compatible lenses are attached to an FX-format digital SLR camera, and zoom lenses are set at the maximum telephoto position.
Aspherical ED glass
Using ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass that successfully minimizes color fringing as a material, this type of lens features nonspherical surfaces on one or both sides of the glass. It provides superior rendering capability by maximizing the advantages of both ED glass and an aspherical lens – effectively correcting various lens aberrations such as lateral chromatic aberration, coma flare at the periphery, as well as distortion and spherical aberration. Adopted in the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR.
Nikon was the world’s first camera maker to develop ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass that could minimize prism-caused color dispersion. This low-dispersion ED glass also offers anomalous dispersion characteristics like calcium fluoride crystals, which consequently minimize the secondary spectrum. For lenses using normal optical glass, the longer the focal length, the more difficult it is to correct the chromatic aberration that causes color fringing. Nikon’s ED glass, which effectively compensates for this kind of chromatic aberration, is employed in a wide range of NIKKOR telephoto lenses for superior reproduction. Nikon has also developed Super ED glass featuring even lower dispersion properties and extremely high performance in eliminating the secondary spectrum, to minimize chromatic aberration even further, as well as other lens aberrations.
Rear Focusing (RF)
With Nikon’s Rear Focusing (RF) system, all the lens elements are divided into specific lens groups, with only the rear lens group moving for focusing.
Meniscus Protective Glass
NIKKOR’s exclusive protective glass for lenses comes attached to the front of fast super-telephoto lenses. Normal flat protective glass lets incoming light reflect off the surface of the image sensor or film, especially under a strong light source such as a spotlight. This then reflects again off the protective glass, resulting in a ghost effect. NIKKOR’s curved meniscus glass dramatically reduces this re-reflected light, realizing clearer images with less ghosting.
Silent Wave Motor
Nikon’s original Silent Wave Motor (SWM) converts “traveling waves” into rotational energy to drive the optics used for focusing. The two SWM lens types – ring type and compact type – are specifically chosen to match each lens’s specs and design. Any AF-S NIKKOR lens featuring these SWMs delivers extremely smooth, quiet and comfortable auto focusing for both general shooting as well as extreme situations, such as sports and wildlife.
M/A (manual-priority auto) mode
Simply by rotating a focus ring, M/A mode allows you to switch from autofocus to manual with virtually no time lag. This makes it possible to seamlessly switch to fine manual focusing while looking through the viewfinder.
A/M (auto-priority manual) mode
This mode also enables an easy transition from autofocus to manual during AF operation. However, mode switch sensitivity has been altered to reduce the possibility of sudden unintentional switching to manual focus while shooting.
A-M mode ring/lever/switch
Thanks to a mechanism incorporated in the lens barrel, smooth focusing operation in Manual focus mode is realized in the same way as users have become accustomed to with conventional manual-focus lenses by adding an appropriate torque to the focus ring. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II and AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED VR II are equipped with A-M mode switch, and the focus ring on these lenses rotate during autofocus.
When shooting with an ordinary diaphragm, blurry, polygon-shaped spots are likely to appear in images of scenes that include point light sources such as street lamps or holiday lighting at night. A rounded diaphragm is achieved by using specialized blades for a beautiful and naturally round shape for out-of-focus objects.
D Signal – Distance information output capability
The D stands for Distance. Subject-to camera distance information is obtained with an internal encoder, which is linked to the lens focus ring. This information is then transmitted to the camera body for high precision exposure control found in 3D Color Matrix Metering II/III and i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash. Every AF, AF-S, PC and PC-E series lens has a distance signal built in.
For this type of lens, apertures are always selected from the camera body, as there is no aperture ring on the lens itself. Through the powerful control of diaphragm blades, stable high-speed continuous shooting is enabled, even at smaller apertures*.
*Some limitations apply
An electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism is incorporated inside the body of these lenses and controlled via electronic signals from the camera body. This gives you incredibly accurate aperture control, even when a teleconverter is being used with a super-telephoto lens*.
*Some limitations apply
High Refractive Index lens
With a refractive index of more than 2.0, one HRI lens can offer effects equivalent to those obtained with several normal glass elements and can compensate for both field curvature and spherical aberrations. Therefore, HRI lenses achieve great optical performance in an even more compact body.
Fluorite is a monocrystal optical material that features a high transmission rate within both the infrared and ultraviolet zones. With its superb anomalous dispersion properties, fluorite intensely blocks the secondary spectrum in order to effectively correct chromatic aberration within the visible light spectrum – something that is more difficult to achieve at longer focal lengths. It is also significantly lighter than optical glass, giving you a more effective lens with less weight.
PF (Phase Fresnel) lens
The PF (Phase Fresnel) lens, developed by Nikon, effectively compensates chromatic aberration utilizing the photo diffraction phenomenon*. It provides superior chromatic aberration compensation performance when combined with a normal glass lens. Compared to many general camera lenses that employ an optical system using the photorefractive phenomenon, a remarkably compact and lightweight body can be attained with less number of lens elements.
A general interchangeable lens forms an image on an imaging plane, using the photorefractive phenomenon. The degree of light refraction differs depending on the color (wavelength), and image formation is performed in the order of blue (B), green (G), and red (R) starting with the portion near the lens. The color deviation referred to as chromatic aberration induces color bleeding, resulting in a deterioration of observed or captured images.
With PF (Phase Fresnel) lenses, on the other hand, image formation is performed in the order of red (R), green (G), and blue (B) starting with the portion near the lens. By combining the PF (Phase Fresnel) lens with a refractive lens, chromatic aberration can be effectively compensated.
* Diffraction phenomenon: Light has characteristics as a waveform. When a waveform faces an obstacle, it attempts to go around and behind it, and this characteristic is referred to as diffraction. Diffraction causes chromatic dispersion in the reverse order of refraction.
Due to the characteristics of a PF (Phase Fresnel) lens that utilizes the photo diffraction phenomenon, when there is a strong light source within the frame or when light enters the lens from outside of the frame, ring-shaped colored flare may occur according to shooting conditions. This phenomenon can be minimized with “PF Flare Control” included in Capture NX-D. Refer to the software manual for more information. Capture NX-D is available from our website. Please download and use the latest version.
AF-P lens/Stepping Motor
An AF-P lens employs an STM (stepping motor) for driving the AF. Motor operation is synchronized with pulse electric power, rotating one step per electric pulse. It offers high response and controllability for starting and stopping, and its simple mechanical structure allows for extremely quiet operation. Useful for video shooting and other times when operational noise from the lens is a concern.
Cleaning Your Lenses
When you expose your camera to any external environment, it is bound to accumulate dust, smudges and fingerprints on its lens. However, do not fret. Here are some tips on cleaning your lens safely and effectively.
Protecting Your Lenses
It is important to protect your lens when you’re out and about capturing images. Your lens is prone to getting scratches, water, dirt, and damage from prolonged exposure to bright sunlight. Here are some ways to protect your lens, and the reasons behind them.
Using a lens hood or lens filter:
Using lens caps:
Adjusting to weather conditions:
Storing Your Lenses
Storing your lens properly is integral to its life span, and your image results. Remember that rusting of the lens’ internal mechanism can cause irreparable damage.
Here are some tips you can keep in mind when putting your lens away.