Nikon definitely knew what they were doing when they released this video on their Japanese channel. The video shows what happens to lenses when they are met with the elements. And by elements I mean oil, color, markers, mud, ink, permanent markers and just about any other fluid on earth.
The fluorine coating acts as repellant and just like Teflon nothing sticks to it. Some of the secret lies in the way the Fluorine coating interacts with liquids. While regular surfaces let fluids ‘rest’ on them, the Fluorine repels them and makes as little contact with the fluid as possible. Here is now Nikon explains it on their site:
Nikon’s fluorine coat effectively repels dust, water droplets, grease or dirt, ensuring easy removal even when they adhere to the lens surface. Thanks to Nikon’s original technology, it delivers higher durability and is more peel-resistant. Compared to other manufacturers’ coating of a similar kind, fluorine coat endures a higher frequency of lens surface wiping and provides longer-duration staying power. Its anti-reflective effect also contributes to the capture of clear images
This coating does not come cheap though, it is currently only present on Nikon’s $18,000 800mm f/5.6 and $12,000 400mm f/2.8 beasts.
It would be totally awesome if the next step would be to make their lenses to actually repel fluid like with the material below
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