Nikon medium format (MX) analysis

Many readers think that those Nikon medium format ads are fake (even though the poll says otherwise). I would agree if it wasn't for ad #3 and the ad #1. Each one of the remaining ads could be created based on existing Nikon product images and a good knowledge of PS, but the viewfinder in ad #3 looks real to me. Can someone think of a camera that has similar shaped viewfinder? This seems to be difficult to fake (but not impossible). Note that all of the fake PS jobs are based on existing models. I haven't seen a fake Nikon image created from scratch.

The other problem I have is the red triangle on the handle of the first ad – the triangle looks different than any of the existing models (personal opinion, I could be wrong). The sequence here is MX, D3, D2HS, D700, D300, D200, D90, D80, D70 and F6. Did I miss a model?

Here is the lens from ad #3 done in PS by one of the readers:

Looks pretty damn close.

Here is another detailed compassion of the DX-FX-MX sensors from ad #4 done by another reader:

The next one is a PS job sent to me anonymously. The text on this one means "Old fox" - a crafty or clever person.

Thank you all for you your comments and analysis. Remember that I am in the same boat as you - I just want to know and I don't know anything more than you do.

If you did not get enough, here is another one of the many emails I got on this topic:

If you measure the size of the wheel on the D3 image (on my screen) you get 9mm wide if you measure the size of the mirror you get 15.5 mm wide 15.5/9=1.722 size factor
You can do the same measurement with the d700 image (once again on my screen) and you get 22/13 1.69.....from these two measurements we can assume the size factor of the wheel to the mirror on these two cameras is  about 1.7 and can be used as a good measure for all Nikon cameras.
since we know that the real size of a Nikon mirror is 36mm wide we can get a real life size factor from the photos also..........36/15.5=2.322 for the D3
.........36/22=1.636 for the d700
we can now use these measurement to find the actual wheel size.....2.322*13=20.898 for the d3 and 1.636*13=21.268......from this we can assume that the size of the wheel on all cameras is roughly 21mm wide
If we measure the size of the mirror from the big ad we see it is about 23mmx14mm on my screen and the size of the wheel is about 10mm.  If we then use the wheel (21mm wide) as a standard.  21/10=2.1 size factor.  We can then use this size factor to determine the real life size of the sensor.  23*2.1=48.3mm and 14*2.1=29.4mm.
Now take it with a grain of salt but from my calculation looking at the photos the sensor of the camera in the big ad would be roughly 48x30
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  • Jon Fitch

    This looks like a Nikon F Photonic or an F2 Photonic.

  • That’s what I was thinkin’!

  • Anonymous

    I still don’t get what’s so weird about the “MX” lenses looking like current PC lenses. What, Nikon’s going to make every new lens look completely different?

  • Juergen

    F Photomic. Not F2 Photomic.

  • Pablov

    If the MX format is true, and it has 16:9 aspect ratio too, I think Nikon would put good efforts to have full HD MOVIE in a Professional way with that camera.

    – I am only hoping Nikon does it too with FX (and even DX) DSLRs cameras. (besides a good low noise IQ, etc.)

    If not, the EOS 5D Mark II seems too Good in that area…

    Because the price of a MX-camera would be much higher than FX/DX cameras, and maybe less versatile for outdoor/everywhere work.

  • Mike

    The red triangle on the mock-up advert looks to me like it’s from a D200 or D300, with shadow falling across the right hand side.

  • aratatv

    古狸 is Old badger in Japanese
    It means “Old fox” a crafty, sly, or clever person.

  • Martin

    The comparison of the different grips and red triangles is interesting. To me the triangle on the grip of this proposed MX camera looks pretty much like the one on a D700, although slightly stretched in vertical direction. (Easy with any GIMP, Photoshop, or whatever.)
    You were saying: “I would agree [with the opinion these ads are fake] if it wasn’t for ad #3 and the ad #1.” Well, I’d say especially ad #1 makes me think it is indeed a fake. I have written it as comment to ad #1, but got no comments. So, I’ll write it again:

    If you look closely at the mount in ad #1 you can see a meter coupling lever (upper right hand side – observer’s pov – of the mount just above the screw and to the left of the mounting index mark), just like the one on the D3, D700 and F6 for that matter.

    I wouldn’t expect a meter coupling lever on a camera without aperture coupling lever (doesn’t make sense, does it?), because the mount would most likely be completely electric (just like the Canon EF is).
    At least I would expect that, since Nikon would most certainly do a complete redesign of the lens mount for this new proposed medium-format-ish camera.

    There’s another clue, which makes me believe it is a fake.
    The mount looks exactly like the one in the picture of the D3 (except of course the aperture coupling lever and the autofocus drive shaft). The shadow thrown by the lens release pin is exactly the same, and the tiny shadow of the meter coupling lever is exactly the same. Even all of the reflections on the mount itself are exactly the same. Take a look at all the other pictures of the other cameras’ mounts. They look all different, if you care about the reflections. I think the picture of the mount for this new camera has been taken from the picture of the D3, and then modified.
    If you erase the aperture coupling lever and the autofocus shaft, you’d get exactly the mount above. And if the erasing isn’t done carefully, you’d lose the third flange on this side as well.

    Finally I pray Nikon will not release a sensor with an aspect ratio even wider than 3:2! This would be just silly. Because you couldn’t do any portrait shooting (camera turned upright) with it. A square aspect ratio would make much more sense, especially if you look at all the real medium format cameras.

    That’s my two cents. What’s the opinion of the others?


  • Gerugg

    狸(Tanuki) is Raccoon dog.

  • Shoewreck

    +1 on aspect ratio. With squre format (or at least squarecrop) it is even possible to pull more out of current FX image circle (I hope that Nikon won’t redesign the bayonet – I’m pretty sure that the current )

  • Anonymous

    It can also mean “old timer”, as in a veteran of some industry. Did Nikon, some long time ago, make something that handled film larger than a 35mm frame?

  • Nick Korr

    Yeah, the 古狸 ad could be possible, most realistic, now that Nikon have abandoned aperture ring from their standard primes… .

  • Martin

    Thank you, at least one agrees with me on that topic. You could get more out of the existing image circle of a full frame lens, if sensors with square aspect ratios are used. But if Nikon were to make a medium format SLR camera, they need to redesign the lens mount. Here’s why: It is technically impossible to use a lens designed for FX on a medium format SLR camera, because essentially all lenses would lose the ability for focusing to infinity. And that in turn is cause by the bigger distance between the sensor and the mount. Which again is necessary because a medium format SLR camera needs a bigger mirror, and so on.
    Essentially a FX lens used on a medium format camera would be like using the same lens on a FX camera with an extension tube.

    What Nikon – if they are really planning to build a medium format SLR camera – need to do: They need to design a new lens mount in such a way that it is mechanically impossible to mount a lens, which isn’t suited for medium format.

    And that’s why I’m convinced, Nikon will certainly redesign the lens mount. But only if they are going to release a medium format SLR camera, and of course only on that new medium format camera.
    In other words: If ‘BIG’ or ‘MX’ or whatever it is called, if this is for real, it’ll be the starting point of a new system alongside the classic F-mount.

    I consider all this a technical necessity. It’s just the thinking of an engineer. I don’t know anything about whether Nikon is indeed planning on a medium format. But if they do, that’s how they should do it. And as far as my experience with Nikon goes: they are great engineers, so they will take these things into consideration.

    As far as I am concerned: these so called Nikon ads are all fake. But since Leica recently released the S2, I’d consider it a very real possibility, Nikon will create something similar.

  • dfgdfgdfg

    They made large format lenses

  • Blog Admin

    corrected – thanks

  • Blog Admin

    for ad # 1 I had the red triangle in mind

  • Martin

    I see. My mistake. 🙂 You see, I didn’t consider the red triangle an important part of camera design. Especially since my F-601 (aka. N6006) has a vertical red stripe and my F80 (aka. N80) has a big red stripe on the inside of the grip instead of a red triangle.

    Anyway, I think a lens mount is significant considering camera design, since it is a very important part of a camera system. What is your opinion on the inconsistencies of the lens mount in ad #1?

  • Blog Admin
    My gramer (whic we al kno is bed for verios reazon which I am not going to discas here) has notink to do wit the kredibiliti of tis rumur site. Go to and wait for the ofisial anoncement if u want to read somethink eror free where a hole departmend worked on it before it see the lights of day (do I have to say that Nikon hed few tehnikal miztakes on their web site when thei anounced the new AF-S 50mm 1.4 lenz).
    you see it could be way worse
    Anyway, I corrected it and I thank you for telling me but don’t link credibility of a rumors site with grammar.
  • Dude,
    if you want more credibility, double check your work and don’t rely on the spell checker blindly. You used “add” (the math function) where you should have used “ad” (short for “advertisement”). Both are correct spellings but different words.

  • Nikon Rumors staff — if you know where these ads supposedly are, i.e. store name location, or billboard location, I live in Tokyo and can go and verify them, using video if necessary. You know how to contact me.

  • fotomik

    I’m liking the idea that the “M” in MX isn’t for “Mediumformat” or something, but for “Micro”!

    Of course it all ends up being fake, and the real BIG thing is after all the large-format printer. Blah.

  • Blog Admin

    Don’t think they are out there – we don’t even know if they are real.

  • Erik

    It was said right at the beginning but my first reaction to “old fox” is that it looks like my old F2A with the hand winder PS’d out.

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  • billybarty

    interesting-ish, but just as the leica s2 was interesting until most realized they couldn’t afford it and went back to their lives, how many people looking at these (very potentially fake) ads will ever throw down for a 10K euro medium format camera?

    (i still think it’s cool, though…)

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