Over the last few years, the ability to record HD video on a DSLR has gone from non-existent to a very common feature. The video quality DSLR cameras are capable of mean that a lot of video pros are using the cameras to record video. Many of those people are finding that it's hard to make smooth zoom transitions using the manual zoom lenses on most DSLR cameras.
Nikon filed a patent applicant back on June 3 2009 that surfaced last week that outlines a cool new lens that videographers and still shooters will really like for their DSLR cameras. The lens has a method to allow for manual focus and to allow for automatic focus on one lens. The automatic zoom would be used for smoothly zooming in on the subject when making video.
The manual focus option could be used when taking still photos where speed is more important than zooming smoothly. The lens would be controlled manually by twisting the lens like any DSLR user is familiar with and by hitting a button on the back of the camera body for automatic zoom. At this time, there is no word on when the lens will surface for people to purchase.