Nikon today announced a new three times teleconverter lens for the Coolpix 8400. The TC-E3PF is unique in the compact digital camera arena, it is the first to be based around a Phase Fresnel (Fray-nell) lens which has a series of concentric circles engraved onto it (similar to Canon's DO SLR lens). This new teleconverter is 33% smaller and 33% lighter than the older TC-E3ED while maintaining the same image quality.

Press Release:

Nikon Telephoto Converter TC-E3PF

A pocketsize 3x telephoto converter heralding a new generation of
Nikon optical achievement

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of the TC-E3PF — an advanced new 3x telephoto converter born of unique Nikon technology for use with the new 8-megapixel COOLPIX 8400. Smaller and lighter, the TC-E3PF illustrates how Nikon is taking existing lenses and redesigning them for “on-the-go” convenience. Furthermore, the widely acclaimed TC-E3ED is also compatible with the Coolpix 8400.

In conventional telephoto converters, a lens with a pronounced convex shape is used to refract the light received through the first element to a greater degree. This results in the desired reproduction ratio, however chromatic aberration can occur. In the event that a convex ED lens is used, such chromatic aberration is corrected, however the refractive limitations of such a lens make it difficult to reduce overall dimensions.

Through its superior understanding of optical technology, Nikon has succeeded in innovating a new kind of lens with a design that enables lower prices through more efficient mass production. Based on the Phase Fresnel lens (pronounced Fray-nell) — a lens which appears to have a series of concentric circles engraved onto it and which has a jagged surface in cross section — the new TC-E3PF is made possible by fusing two such lenses together, and succeeds in correcting any chromatic aberration to the same high degree as an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass lens while simultaneously achieving a reduction in overall body length. As a result, the lens is made smaller and carrying it around becomes significantly more convenient.

The PF lens also offers additional advantages arising from the nature of its construction. Indeed as it is created by fusing a single precision glass molded (PGM) Fresnel lens with another made from high-quality resin, accuracy is maximized through eliminating any air gap, perfect alignment is maintained due to the bonding of both elements and the cost of production is significantly reduced.

Presently the COOLPIX 8400 and various other cameras of the COOLPIX lineup offer the advantage of compatibility with the TC-E3PF, and Nikon is already considering the application of PF technology to other lenses in the Nikkor range. Indeed as this unique production process is refined even further, Nikon aims to one day make all lenses smaller, lighter, and more affordable.

Sales release schedule: The TC-E3PF is scheduled for release in December 2004.

Note: Specifications, design, product name, standard accessories, and release schedule may differ by country or area.

TC-E3PF vs. TC-E3ED

TC-E3PF Specifications

Lens construction 6 elements in 3 groups
Magnification x3
Dimensions (dia x len) Φ61 x 64.3mm
Weight 175g

TC-E3ED Specifications

Lens construction 6 elements in 3 groups
Magnification x3
Dimensions (dia x len) Φ75 x 78.6mm
Weight 260g

Comparison

  TC-E3PF TC-E3ED Improvement
Dimensions (Approx.) ø61 x 64.3mm ø75 x 78.6mm 33% smaller *
Weight (Approx.) 175g 260g 33% lighter

* In volume