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The New 'G' lenses

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by DangerKilo, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. DangerKilo


    May 14, 2009
    I would like to pose a question to the people buying newer AF lenses. Specifically as noted above, the 'G' lenses. With the emersion of the G lenses, i have to admit, I am concerned about the future that Nikon has in mind. If G lenses proliferate, we could be seeing a future mount change leaving the AI/AIS and older lenses behind. Forcing people with great older glass to upgrade if they want to upgrade bodies.

    Ken Rockwell refers to these new lenses as "handicapped". And I have to agree. I am not against the invention of new lens types, but when a major iteration comes about, I find I am getting nervous. It would really suck if the D700x that people are hoping for, or the D4 popped out and said, Surprise, G lenses only suckahs! While this is probably not likely, discontinuing support for AI/AIS lenses could very well be in the future with the removal of the aperture ring. The most likely scenario is dropping body support, and designing an adapter that would be sold separately.

    What are you thoughts about these new lenses? I have seen their results, and I am definitely impressed, but I do fine by my older lenses.

  2. panda81


    Feb 7, 2008
    I don't really see changing the mount-type happening in the near future. If Nikon does any consumer research on the web, they should easily see that part of the charm of using their SLR system is having access to their older AI/AIS lenses. I imagine one of the main reasons why they removed the aperture ring is because since most people control aperture electronically through the camera now, they don't want to spend the money to keep a large stock of parts that will be rarely used or appreciated. (Rare in the sense that in the grand scheme of things, I think there's probably a less people who would really use the aperture ring like on older non electronic bodies, than the opposite).
  3. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    The only reason Nikon dropped the aperture ring was to save money on expensive machining. Many of the modern G lenses are made with plastic injection molded plastic:frown:. Mass produced in Taiwan.
    I wonder if nikon wishes they never made the Nikkor AIS glass because how long they last and how many people now are buying used Nikkor AIS instead of the G.
    Long live the mighty Nikkor AIS, they will be around long after the plastic G are in the land fill. I personally hate the feel of the focusing ring and the little dial to change the aperture on the camera's. I really miss the good old shutter speed dial on the digital camera's like we had with the F3. And God forbid if you want to reverse a modern lens with a BR2 reversing ring, put on a tube, mount it on a bellows, with the modern G lenses. The Nikon system that gave Nikon it's reputation, is broken with the G generation of lenses.
  4. I don't see the removal of the aperture ring as an indicator of an eventual mount change. I do worry about high end bodies without focusing motors or being able to meter with non cpu lenses, however.
  5. kichu


    Oct 25, 2008
    This eventually will happen only if the Nikon will replace all non AFS AFlenses with their AFS equivalents. Considering the amount of non-afs lenses they have it's not going to happen soon I think.
  6. I don't see any mount change, if they did they would have done it when they came out with the G lenses. Ken Rockwells whole point is that the G lenses can't be used on older bodies. But one can always use the older lenses on the older bodies. So I don't see the problem with G lenses. With a newer body an aperture ring is not needed so whats the point of having it? We should just be glad we can use all the classic lenses on the newer bodies.
  7. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    For a self contained dslr camera, where the photographers have but one or two long range zoom lenses (eg. 18-55 + 55-200 or 18-70 + 70-300) they make a lot of sense. The whole concept of the physical aperture ring is a throw-back to the days of mechanical cameras, and that is not what casual, but involved shooters want.

    There are plenty of third party and older Nikkor non-G lenses available for purists, so I can see Nikon wanting to entice newer shooters (who may start out using primarily scene modes) into getting a dslr. Besides, I kinda like the control dial in cameras that have a front and back one.
  8. DangerKilo


    May 14, 2009
    Yes, this is what has kind of piqued my interest. The G lenses do not work on older cameras, and while it may just be to reduce cost, it is a bold move. If they can drop all the mechanical parts for the older lenses, that will cheapen things even more. I am no talking about a complete change from the F mount to something completely different, but just removing standard support for older lenses. Call it the Microsoft effect, dropping support for older versions of Windows. They still work fine, but now they have no support.

    So too might the new cameras "drop" support for older mechanical lenses in favor of more technologically advanced lenses.

  9. wingspar


    Mar 16, 2008
    I’m sure people whined when Nikon dropped the old bayonet mount. Myself, I really like the feel of a lens with the aperture ring. I dislike that the 70-200 VR is a G lens. Seems like I’m always fumbling around trying to line up those two white dots. With my other glass with aperture rings, there is never any guesswork in mounting them. I could do it in the dark.

    When I first saw my first body with the aperture dial in the front, and the shutter speed dial in the back, I went ballistic. I was surprised that it took zero time to get used to.

    That could start a rumor that Microsoft is buying Nikon. :biggrin:
  10. One of the perks of owning the 17-35! AFS D lens baby!
  11. My opinion goes hand in hand with those others posted here. Nikon resisted and slowed its development just to keep the F mount. I do not foresee a change in mounts in the near future.
    We used to determine depth of field based on hyperfocal distance, with all those numbers in the lens barrel. Today we just push the depth of field button. Instead of changing apertures in the lens, we do it electronically in 1/3 of stops. Instead of moving a ring in the barrel to focus we have modern AF lenses that do the job for us. AFS has been a godsend for the AF system.
    If something has characterized Nikon it has been their conservative approach. They resisted all critics on the noise-ratio performance of their sensors in order to preserve the quality of the images. When they finally came up with FX they simply beat the other side in performance.
    Fear not, Nikon is not going to change their mount nor AI and AIS lenses will disappear from the market.

    William Rodriguez
    Miami, Florida.
  12. rvink


    Mar 21, 2006
    New Zealand
    While I prefer lenses with an aperture ring, removal of it does allow the addition of weather sealing, which is probably more important with digital cameras. I don't think the F mount will change just because of G lenses, after all, the current G lenses are still F mount lenses.

    I do think the mount will change if/when Nikon releases a mirrorless camera with an electronic viewfinder like the Olympus E-P1. Removing the mirror will allow lenses with much shorter back-focus, like rangefinder lenses. This promises standard and wide lenses which are much smaller and better corrected than current models. There will be no viewfinder blackout and no mirror slap to cause vibrations. It's just a question of when electronic viewfinders become practical, and metering and AF off sensor is good enough.

    Such a camera will almost certainly have a shorter lens flange register, so there would be scope for an adaptor for F-mount lenses. I can't imagine Nikon could cut off it's existing base by not providing compatibility with older lenses.
  13. DangerKilo


    May 14, 2009
    Well I am definitely glad to hear that you think nikon will stick to its guns. This makes me happy.

    Thanks for posting,

  14. G lenses mean the aperture control arm needs to be in servo mode and drop to the appropriate place during exposure. This is accurate, but not as accurate as when you use the aperture ring, and the aperture control arm goes all the way down thereby making the aperture stop at the detented ring itself. Why does this matter?

    In timelapse photography, you will get flickering with the G lenses because of minute differences in aperture because the servo control is not ideal. With aperture-ring lenses, you don't get this flicker. At least I don't.
  15. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    As others have said I don't see a reason why making G lenses would lead to a mount change at all. Canon changed their mount when going to AF lenses, if Nikon didn't they hardly will in the future. Just imagine all the pros that this would p*ss off if ever they did … not a good move at all :wink:
  16. bill-e


    May 10, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Seems to me that in this time of increasing competition and escalating prices and price disparity, the Nikon mount is their own version of a "Loyalty Program". People are so invested in Nikon that changing brands is out of the question.

    But if their mount changed rendering older lenses useless, then a lot of their core might jump ship.
  17. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    That would also render the current top of the line cameras "useless", hardly a good idea as well :wink:
  18. Well argued points with which I am in complete agreement.

    Here on the other hand I disagree. While I hope it doesn't happen, it would not surprise me at all if the mirrorless, shorter register camera supports CPU lenses only (and AF-S, in-lens motor lenses only).

    An F mount adapter - at least, from Nikon - would then also be CPU only. There would be no mechanical coupling on the body to which the movement of an aperture ring could be transmitted.

    Unless a third party made an F adapter which had mechanical aperture coupling and converted this to electronic signals, of course. I doubt Nikon would make such a thing. Conceivably, to allow use of Zeiss ZF and Cosina Voigtländer lenses on the new body, Cosina might produce such an adapter.

    However, I believe the needed high resolution electronic viewfinders are still some years away, to give the responsiveness and quality needed for professional or semi professional work. While we might see a consumer mirrorless camera which relies entirely on a rear LCD, the conservatism of the middle and upper market sectors would demand a viewfinder, I suspect.
  19. Interesting points. The original aperture control mechanism was merely a two-state device - stopped down to the selected aperture, or wide open. The addition of shutter priority mode meant that the demands on this mechanism in terms of accuracy and repeatability were increased. Its not really a very good shutter control mechanism, in retrospect.

    While I doubt sequences of time-lapse photographs are high on Nikon's radar, "lapseless" sequences (i.e., video) certainly is and this effect might manifest there.
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