More Otoji leaks

I received another cryptic message about the Otoji project:

The initial problem of the difference in flange register between both standards is addressed by the automatic repositioning of the focal plane of the sensor unit. The adjustment is made automatically when the adapter is mounted. The mirrorless design allows for adequate space to accomplish this while electronic masking ensures accuracy while still keeping the unit size very compact.

The keywords here are:
  • automatic repositioning of the focal plane of the sensor unit when the adapter is mounted
  • mirrorless design
This is getting more interesting by the day. I am expecting more info next week.

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  • somebody

    Maybe a normal fx-body which can fit a bigger sensor because there’s no mirror and can be built smaller. That would explain why the Fx-lenses are supposed to work or am I wrong?? Or Just crop like dx on D3/700?

  • Pablov

    “the automatic repositioning of the focal plane of the sensor unit”, I don’t understand it. Does it mean the sensor is moving? What for?

    If there is no mirror, then there is rangefinder and/or uses Live View, I suppose..

    I wonder how big is going to be this camera body.

    Would be great if it is like a FX DSLR camera, but with interchangeable sensors.
    That would allow the camera be upgraded by changing sensor instead of the entire body.

    But, is this project aimed to just studio work?
    I mean, will be possible to handhold it like a DSLR ?

  • Pablov

    Sorry, I got it, the repositioning is to keep backward compatibility with current line of lenses..

    But still wonder about the size of this camera and its practicity as a DSLR…

  • Whoknows

    Wow. That would be somthing… If I read that correctly it means it works ‘full size’ unless you put an FX/DX lens on it, then the sensor moves forward to maintain infinity focussing? And the reason it can be done is no mirror. This has me worried about the viewfinder, I think such a high MP is not right as a rangefinder, you really want to see through the lens, so that leaves electronic viewfinder and unless they pull off somthing amazing I’m not convinced yet. On the other hand, no ‘traditional’ mirror box would keep it quite small? Still, a rangefinder would be nice but please not in a high end studio camera, thats just plain silly!

  • NL

    6×6 Digital Medium Format?

  • hulk

    as i understand it :
    the distance between lens and sensor need to be adjusted when switching between FX and MX. Seems reasonable.

    This is done thanks to an adaptor, which shifts the lens INSIDE the body.
    The lens can get inside the body, thanks to the shutterless mirrorless design. Shutter and mirror were replaced by electronic parts.

  • Whoknows

    No, it would seem the sensor shifts, not the lens. I can’t see how you can shift a lens 20-30mm into a body… Larges ones wouldn’t fit, smaller ones you can’t reach controls/zoom ring maybe? Also it would give it very weak lens mount, wound’t want to hang a 30o/2.8 on that…
    On a lighter note, (humor alert) there’ll probably be a petition for wedding pros to let nikon use the full sensor size with FX lenses. Reason? Instant in-camera vignetting! Less PP :))

  • moritz

    It can also be a new way of solving the problem with digital Rangefinder cameras.
    Adequate to the focal length the chip will move to avoid too angular lightrays.

  • improbable

    This idea of moving the sensor is very odd, I can’t imagine why it would be necessary:

    If the new system is mirrorless, then the new mount can be closer to the sensor than in an SLR of that size. In fact you may as well make it closer than the F mount, as then you could make an adapter which holds the F lens the right extra distance away. Nothing moves.

    If you wanted to use the F mount for the new lenses, and still have them sit closer to the sensor, then you’d have to move the sensor back when an old F lens is mounted. But this means you’d have to leave space behind the sensor, which I would have thought defeats the point of moving it closer in the first place.

  • I wonder if the sensor will be on a track with stops, or if the distance it moves will be firmware and adapter input based….

    Because if it would be the later, wouldn’t this make room for a lot of aftermarket companies making adapters for a number of lenses… possibly in addition to firmware hacks.

    It’s an interesting conclusion to a problem like this, more to break? haha.

  • David Olsen

    This seems very good information but the time scale is wrong ….this will not come before may 2009 ..I can not believe they will even announce it before they are four weeks away from being able to deliver this is one for next year

  • Blog Admin

    The date I got for this is March 2009.

  • Joe

    Can current lenses even work with a sensor that is larger then FX?

  • That Guy

    I’m way skeptical of this post. It’s describing something that borders on the fantastic. It seems more like somebody trying to fill the holes in a previous rumor with more rumors which are less and less based in reality.

    I’m thinking Otoji is either (1.)a box (like most medium format cams) where you can change the prism, the lens mount, sensor module, etc via modular parts – or (2.) a medium format cam that uses a newly designed lens mount and simply has the abilty to crop using the FX and DX portion of the sensor.

    There seems to be a thematic regurgitation of a “rangefinder” camera because if the add in the like-named magazine. However, that magazine is not dedicated to the “rangefinder” style of camera. It’s just a photography magazine.

  • MarkDphotoguy

    This is my take…
    Interchangeable backs with the DX and FX backs having a sensor that is deeper into the body to provide normal FX and DX focusing ranges.
    The MX back is further from the lens mount to allow for the larger image circle required.
    The MX lenses will use a leaf shutter inside the lenses.
    The FX and DX backs will flash for the image acquisition (similar to D50 and D70(s) which had a shutter blind but no actual traditional shutter unit).
    Camera will be a rangefinder (for normal to short telephoto shooting distances) and use live view for close and long telephoto.
    It would also have an external EVF as a finder option.
    New mount (MX, M, NM, who knows what it would be called) with F mount adapter option.
    So far this is the best speculation I can come up with that fits the available evidence.
    Being a rangefinder could make this MF camera actually affordable to the masses as without the bulk of a MF SLR this camera could be quite nimble and VERY QUIET to shoot with and who knows maybe even priced under 20K USD with lens.

  • Pablov

    with USD 20.000 you can buy a small house here…

    or a good car.

    No way to pay such amount for a box 🙁 even if it has a big chip inside.

    I hope digital photography gets cheaper with so high growing demand (ya, I know it is state-of-the-art technology, but I guess the demand for cameras is bigger than ever, releasing new models more frequently, and Companies could drop down prices a bit, or more at this point….)

    – Something I ever wondered: What happen with “old” models not sold that are taken ouf of marketplace when a new update arrives?
    Aren’t they destroyed, are they?
    So.. what happen?

    I would like to buy many at very low prices 🙂

  • MarkDphotoguy

    If Nikon does jump into the MF arena and IF they are at a lower price we should all fully expect a price drop from the current MF players as they will see that Nikon will be tapping into a market they haven’t explored yet, the former MF shooters who would love to go back but can’t afford the super high prices.
    If Otoji is under 20K then in four to five years time we could see 2nd or 3rd generation Nikon MF in the 10K range possibly lower if sales are strong and makers like Mamiya and Hassleblad get in on the action.
    10K is still allot of money but well within the price range of serious hobbyists with deep pockets and small market wedding shooters who would eat this camera up.
    In my experience old models are sold off.
    At the end of a models life the distributor will make a deal with various retailers and sell off all remaining stock on a model allowing the retailers to have a great model closeout sale.
    They don’t just get thrown out.
    Take the D90 to D80 transition. The D80 three months ago was very hard to come by and the reason for this was that Nikon Japan was holding back worldwide distribution in order to build up a stockpile of cameras so that when Nikon switched over to D90 production they would be able to resume D80 distribution until the D90 production levels get high enough that it won’t be out of stock everywhere. D80 are no longer being produced but ARE being distributed to retailers (at a really good price these days). This way Nikon has switched the production over and will not loose out on one cent or loose any bodies to landfill.

  • PHB

    Sorry, I don’t get why repositioning the focal plane would be necessary on a digital focus camera.

    Provided the focal plane is moved backwards rather than forwards it is still going to be possible to focus the DX lens. All that will happen is that the infinity stop will move slightly. So what? I never look at the infinity stop anyway. Even if I am focusing on infinity I probably want to be off infinity to get the hyperfocal distance.

    The only lenses where this would make a difference is on ultra-teles. And on those the effect of temperature and altitude are sufficiently great that there is no fixed infinity stop anyways.

    Looking at the figures, I would suggest that we can calculate the new focal plane distance.

    The FX multiplier is allegedly 0.5x. If the focal plane had not moved it would be approx 0.3x (40/12). At 0.5x that would suggest a focal plane of 78.9mm.

    A 54mm square sensor would be larger than the ‘blad.

    My guess is that if this does come out it will be in the $8K region. Maiyma already has a $10K Medium format digital camera.

    I would also suggest that a digital viewfinder is quite likely.

  • PHB

    Hmm, strike the part about the multiplier. The figures for the FX lenses are only if you have them at their design focal plane distance.

    One possibility is that there are two adaptors. One that is essentially an extension that allows you to use the FX lens full frame, a second that allows you to use it at its design distance to the focal plane.

    This is the only reason I can think of for having to play with the F-mount. A rangefinder camera does not need such a large hole in the body as an SLR..

    I would also suggest that we know of a set of Nikon FX lenses that have an unusually large coverage – the recently arrived PC lenses. I would bet that the initial set of lenses for the M1 would be the same focal length as the PC lenses.

  • Realize we are talking tools, not toys. I doubt that very many taxi drivers drive cars that only cost $20,000. While some amateurs did buy medium and large format cameras, most of the users used them as the tools of the trade on the job. If Nikon does have a large sensor in the works, it almost certainly is aimed at those who do photography for a living.

    Hasselblad does make cameras that cost somewhere around the cost of a taxi driver’s tools, and they seem to be doing quite well with it. Just because a taxi driver drives a car that cost $40,000 does not mean that he is rich any more than a working photographer who uses a $20,000 camera. Good tools both cost money, but also make money.

    There are loads of inexpensive digital cameras for you to purchase. Buy a used D40 or a Coolpix 8400 or 8800. If this level of quality is not important, there are hundreds of compact digital cameras to choose from.

    With new cameras there are price-points that do not change much – only the features change. The D300 is spectacularly better than the D200, but both cost roughly the same when they each first came to market. The D90 shows how much can happen in the two years that followed the shipping of the D80. Each represents a specific price point aimed at a specific strata of buyer. Each time a new model replaces the old, it incorporates all the technology of the past couple of years.

    If Nikon builds a large sensor camera upon which you can mount the leaf-shutter lenses they built for view-cameras at a price well below $20,000, there would be a huge market. Not amateurs and enthusiasts, but the tens of thousands of people who make their living photographing weddings. DSLRs are loud – cameras with leaf shutters are quiet. That is why so many wedding shooters use Mamiya 7 film cameras.

    With a large sensor with a pixel density comparable to the D3 and D700, they can work in churches with both the advantage of the quiet shutter AND high ISO. Furthermore, they can easily produce big prints – from which there is big income. The camera might well pay for itself on the very first wedding shoot.

    With LiveView, it would also be an excellent studio camera for work that is now done on film with view and technical cameras, and would be a lovely way to do corporate communications work hand-held.

    Whether doing weddings, studio or corporate, the cost of a camera is nothing compared to the cost of wages and expenses. The camera cost is also covered in the cost of doing business.

    Again, we are talking about tools – not toys. Around the world there are hundreds of thousands of people who go to work, earning their daily living doing photography. It is for the employers of this mass of workers for whom companies like Hasselblad build tools. Nikon already has built a line of excellent lenses with leaf shutters, that would be simple to adapt to such a camera. It makes total sense.

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