Is the upcoming FF mirrorless lens mount change more than smoke and (no) mirrors?

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I may have missed it but the recent press release on the mirrorless bodies didn't say much about the new lens mount other than that there was one.

Three possible reasons for introducing a different lens range spring to mind: Continue the weight reduction strategy, squeeze more money out of the purchasers, or ... ?

I'm not sure about the first and don't go with the second - why offer a mount adapter in that case? Which leaves the question is the change about a lot more than simply dropping the mirror?
 
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The change in the mount is obvious. if you don't have a mirror box the camera does not have to be so thick. if you use the old mount you will be stuck with a bigger camera. If you are going to change the lens mount you want to make it bigger as this allows all sorts of new (fast) designs and if it is shorter you can them make an adapter to allow the use of the older lenses.

cheers,
alexis and Georgie Beagle.

" I want an F0.8 50 mm lens now...." - Georgie Beagle
 
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I believe that Nikon has pretty much exhausted what can be done with the f-mount. In order to move forward, things need to change. If you are going to get into mirrorless seriously, then a new mount makes sense.

Regarding the f-mount adapter - with over 100 million f-mount lenses out there, all those existing users....the amount of time it will take for a new lens mount to have a mature system behind it....it makes sense from a camera makers perspective as well as a users perspective to have an avenue to bridge that gap using existing lenses until Nikon can make the new lenses and for us as consumers to be able to afford them.

Nikon is a company and their mission is to make products people want to buy and make a profit. So, Nikon should innovate in a such a way that is appealing for people to want to spend their money. Not too many companies or ventures are successful going against that process. I don't think that "squeeze more money out of purchasers" is the right attitude. It's business 101. You need to cover costs of production and operations, have profits for expansions, upgrades, R&D, unforeseen issues. You do that by putting out a compelling product at a price point that the market will bear.
 
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I believe that Nikon has pretty much exhausted what can be done with the f-mount. In order to move forward, things need to change. If you are going to get into mirrorless seriously, then a new mount makes sense.

Regarding the f-mount adapter - with over 100 million f-mount lenses out there, all those existing users....the amount of time it will take for a new lens mount to have a mature system behind it....it makes sense from a camera makers perspective as well as a users perspective to have an avenue to bridge that gap using existing lenses until Nikon can make the new lenses and for us as consumers to be able to afford them.

Nikon is a company and their mission is to make products people want to buy and make a profit. So, Nikon should innovate in a such a way that is appealing for people to want to spend their money. Not too many companies or ventures are successful going against that process. I don't think that "squeeze more money out of purchasers" is the right attitude. It's business 101. You need to cover costs of production and operations, have profits for expansions, upgrades, R&D, unforeseen issues. You do that by putting out a compelling product at a price point that the market will bear.
Let's not forget with Nikon going FF mirrorless, this is the first company that will have true pro support with a comprehensive repair network. If you're an NPS member you'll be able to get loaners, priority repairs and the typical 1-year plus 4-year warranty lens coverage. Even though I'm shooting Sony mirrorless now, this is probably the main reason why I still keep a Nikon kit around.
 
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Yeah... Nikon has the opportunity to do this really right. The size of the new mount and the fact that they put a traditional off sensor phase detect unit in the adaptor suggests they are making little to no compromise on the camera even though legacy glass will be supported.

Really looking forward to checking it out.
 
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Thanks for the input. One follow-up question, mainly for Beagledog: why do you say "stuck with" a bigger camera?

I can understand that not having to accommodate the mirror mechanism will open up some design opportunities but there has been comment about the good quality ergonomics of the new body and to me that means it would be of an overall size similar to the existing pro and semi-pro lines, easy and comfortable to hold and operate.
 
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I believe, and I could be incorrect, "that the stuck with a bigger camera" reference was predicated on the sentence before it. Thickness. The f-mount requires a certain flange to sensor distance that f-mount needs and cannot be changed. Going with a whole new mount allows for that flange to sensor distance to be changed and all subsequent new lenses can take advantage.

Then, an adapter can be used to allow the old f-mount lenses usage. Same as it is with all other mirrorless cameras on the market right now. With the right adapter, you can get a whole world of old pentax, nikon, Canon FD, etc lenses to be used.
 
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Thanks for the input. One follow-up question, mainly for Beagledog: why do you say "stuck with" a bigger camera?

I can understand that not having to accommodate the mirror mechanism will open up some design opportunities but there has been comment about the good quality ergonomics of the new body and to me that means it would be of an overall size similar to the existing pro and semi-pro lines, easy and comfortable to hold and operate.
The flange to sensor distance is, by necessity of the mirror box, larger that is necessary for lens design purposes. By going to a new mount the designers can make a camera where the flange to sensor distance is much smaller. So the camera can be smaller, or perhaps a better word would be thinner.

Hopefully that makes sense.

Cheers,
alexis and Georgie Beagle

"I remember the good old days of film when the mirrorless cameras were called "Rangefinders" a smaller and lighter alternative to the big SLRs" - Georgie Beagle
 
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The flange to sensor distance is, by necessity of the mirror box, larger that is necessary for lens design purposes. By going to a new mount the designers can make a camera where the flange to sensor distance is much smaller. So the camera can be smaller, or perhaps a better word would be thinner.

Hopefully that makes sense.

Cheers,
alexis and Georgie Beagle

"I remember the good old days of film when the mirrorless cameras were called "Rangefinders" a smaller and lighter alternative to the big SLRs" - Georgie Beagle
It does in the sense that I understand that the change to mirrorless removes an element that could compromise some design changes. However, it does not in the sense that thinner could compromise ergonomics - comfortable grip, and real estate for control placement for example.
 
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M43 users are. But FF glass is FF glass.

So I found it odd Sony made the choices they did with the A7.
Sony's mount is the problem. It's optimized for APS-C, with just enough wiggle room for full frame. In fact most of Sony's lenses are designed in such a way that there is a significant space between the rear lens element and sensor plane. If rumors are true and Nikon goes with a larger mount, it's possible we will see smaller lenses.

Using M43 as a point of reference, the mount diameter is large in relation to the four-thirds sensor and most lenses are quite compact for their focal length. Also Olympus for example has created f/1.2 lenses that are quite small for such fast glass.

I feel Nikon will be able to emulate that same design strategy with their rumored larger mount. Also having shot with Sony FF mirrorless for several years, I can honestly say I much prefer Nikon lenses in their rendering and design. This is one area where people have ignored as a huge advantage for Nikon. Sony might have the cutting edge tech, but Nikon can build some amazing glass. I have no doubt they can close the gap quickly with native lenses.
 
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Sony's mount is the problem.
The small mount, small camera, small battery, cramped controls, and that ludicrous menu structure.

So much of it just doesn't make sense for FF.

So I am looking forward to what Nikon does. Of course they could always disappoint, and my greatest fear here is pricing, but with the exception of Fuji, I just don't see the other mirrorless OEMs matching Nikon's flair for getting the photography thing right.
 
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The small mount, small camera, small battery, cramped controls, and that ludicrous menu structure.

So much of it just doesn't make sense for FF.

So I am looking forward to what Nikon does. Of course they could always disappoint, and my greatest fear here is pricing, but with the exception of Fuji, I just don't see the other mirrorless OEMs matching Nikon's flair for getting the photography thing right.
I think pricing is another area where people are underestimating Nikon. If you compare the current Nikon 70-300mm AF-P FX VR versus Sony's 70-300mm FE OSS, Nikon is selling their lens at almost half the cost. Nikon's budget 1.8 prime lenses either match or exceed the Sony branded 1.8 prime lenses at a cheaper price point.
 
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I think pricing is another area where people are underestimating Nikon
Agreed Nikon has some of the best glass/$ than many (as does Canon). But their mirror box/shutter is more like a commodity these days rather than a product of new r&d.

We'll see what r&d costs we'll have to bear for a new in-sensor focusing system, evf, and shutter (hoping for a global electronic one in addition to mechanical).
 
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We'll have to wait and see . . . early rumors suggest a larger than Sony hand grip. Besides, aren't all the mirrorless crowd clamoring for "smaller" ? :LOL:
I have wondered about that. I only know one "top end" mirrorless owner and his move from FF (Canon 5D3) to mirrorless (Olympus E-M1 Mk II) was age-related behaviour, namely a need to shed weight. Random recollections of posts in a more general photography forum would all suggest the same - people mainly looking for a lighter rig that can deliver good quality images rather than something smaller.
 
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I have thought long and hard about switch and for what I shoot I am going to give Nikon one chance to get the big things right or I will switch to Sony. Mirrorless means I can mix ambient and flash simply. Set the camera for ambient in the viewfinder look at the settings and add continuous light to make it work or aff flash. I do it now by taking multiple pictures to see how the ambient looks and the white balance. I can use live view but that is cumbersome and why not just go mirrorless then. Finally Sony has eye focus and can memorize a face. That way in a crowd the bride or groom is in focus or the subject you want in the group has the focus. Important when shooting wide open. Nikon needs to fo this right or they will not survive. Camera are computers capturing light and right now the number of lens is why I still shoot Nikon but the A9 and A73 make that less of a benefit.
 
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I have wondered about that. I only know one "top end" mirrorless owner and his move from FF (Canon 5D3) to mirrorless (Olympus E-M1 Mk II) was age-related behaviour, namely a need to shed weight. Random recollections of posts in a more general photography forum would all suggest the same - people mainly looking for a lighter rig that can deliver good quality images rather than something smaller.
The lighter set up has me thinking of trading in some of my Nikon gear for a mirrorless system. I will keep one of the D7100 and the 200-500 and 55-300. The rest I will sell.
 
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One of the big advantages of mirrorless is precise AF especially at fast apertures. If the lens is optically solid, it won't be held back by the need for AF adjustments or poor focusing. Also the ability to adapt lenses is great allowing more flexible options in regards to visual style, portability and just enjoying the old school craftsmanship of lenses when they were built to last! Also being FF, I don't think it will be necessarily lighter, BUT the new Nikon mount will allow lens design choices that can lead to better optimized mirrorless lenses. Sony's small mount is forced to rely on a tele-centric designs due to the small diameter mount. Nikon might be able to pull off more exotic lenses like fast FF pancake lenses and they also have FL and PF lens technology that can lead to significantly lighter mirrorless telephoto glass.
 
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One of the big advantages of mirrorless is precise AF especially at fast apertures. If the lens is optically solid, it won't be held back by the need for AF adjustments or poor focusing. Also the ability to adapt lenses is great allowing more flexible options in regards to visual style, portability and just enjoying the old school craftsmanship of lenses when they were built to last! Also being FF, I don't think it will be necessarily lighter, BUT the new Nikon mount will allow lens design choices that can lead to better optimized mirrorless lenses. Sony's small mount is forced to rely on a tele-centric designs due to the small diameter mount. Nikon might be able to pull off more exotic lenses like fast FF pancake lenses and they also have FL and PF lens technology that can lead to significantly lighter mirrorless telephoto glass.
Thanks Jonathan - that seems very sensible and would indicate that the mirrorless bodies could offer much more than weight loss (and falling into line with current fashion :)).
 

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