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Nikon 9mm f/2.8 DX
© 2006 KenRockwell.com

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NEW: How to Use Ultrawide Lenses 11 August 2008



I'm hoping Nikon will introduce this some day. I'll buy one if they do because I love ultrawide photography.

This article is wishful speculation. I hope it gives Nikon the right idea.

This lens stands out because it's not only the widest lens in traditional digital photography, but it is also designed to fanatical standards of optical quality.



Name: Nikon will call this the Nikon Nikkor 9mm f/2.8G AF-S DX IF-ED.

9 mm on DX digital is similar to a 13.5 mm lens on a 35m film camera. No linear distortion: straight lines stay straight. It doesn't cover 35mm film.

f/2.8. Seven-bladed rounded diaphragm stops down f/22.

15 elements in 12 groups. One ED glass element helps eliminate secondary lateral chromatic aberration (corner color fringes) and three aspherical elements help eliminate distortion at all but the closest focus distances.

Close Focus: 0.7 feet (9" or 0.2 meters). This is measured from the film plane. This means you can almost focus on the front element. Be careful about keeping the front clean, since the huge depth of field can have front element fingerprints show up as dark regions in your photos!

77 mm filter size. I'm hoping. It's more likely this will have a huge front element like the 14 mm f/2.8 film lens. If it has a thread we can use real filters, if not, we'll have to be very careful of the curved front element.

Lens Pouch included.

Size: 3.1" (79 mm) diameter by 4.2" (107 mm).

Weight: 20 oz (567 grams)

Price: $1,599. This will be a pro lens like it's film brother the 14 mm f/2.8 designed with few compromises.



If Nikon takes my hint it will be spectacular, as its price suggests. It's for people for whom the 12 - 24mm isn't wide enough and rectilinear converted 10.5 fisheye images aren't sharp enough. As the price suggests, the 9mm DX is designed for people like me who already own the other more general purpose lenses. It doesn't replace any of them.

This lens hopefully will be unusual in having no measurable linear distortion. After learning so much making zooms with aspherical elements I'm hoping this lens will set a new standard. No one wants to have to correct distortion in Photoshop, which coincidentally loses sharpness in the translation. I'm hoping to be able to use the images straight out of the camera.



If Nikon builds this I'll order it the day its announced.

Maybe it will come as an f/4. We can use f/2.8 in low light since the depth of field is so great, but we don't really need f/2.8 either. Since this is a pro lens I'm hoping it might be f/2.8, however I'll prefer the size if it's made as an f/4 or even f/5.6.

This page is speculation. I hope Nikon makes this. I don't know if they ever will.

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10 April 2006