50th anniversary of Nikon F-mount

Well this is not a joke - Nikon just had an official news release for the 50th anniversary of Nikon F-mount and a new... logo:


Couldn't they find a better way of celebrating this milestone?

Here is the complete text:

Longest history among lens mounts for 35mm-format SLR interchangeable lenses/cameras

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the 50th anniversary of its legendary F-mount lens-mounting system, employed on the company’s lens-interchangeable SLR cameras and NIKKOR lenses. Apart from Nikon, no other maker has been able to sustain its original lens mount for such an extraordinary period.

The Nikon F-mount was first employed on Nikon’s earliest lens-interchangeable SLR camera, the Nikon F, released in June 1959. Nikon has consistently utilized the same mount without changing its basic structure, even as other SLR camera manufacturers found it necessary to alter their lens mounts in response to changing technologies, such as autofocus compatibility and digitalization.

One of the biggest advantages of lens-interchangeable SLR cameras is that users are able to choose from a larger selection of lenses. Maintaining the same basic structure of lens mount for a longer period means a broader, constantly growing array of compatible lenses. For this reason, the lens mount is an extremely important and symbolic element for both photography enthusiasts and professionals, who are able to benefit from ongoing use of their carefully selected collection of lenses. The Nikon F-mount, employed for even the latest, most advanced digital SLRs, has received and continues to garner the highest evaluations as a reliable, long-serving lens mount.

Evolution of the Nikon F-mount

  • Introduced on Nikon’s first lens-interchangeable SLR, the Nikon F (1959)
  • Auto aperture indexing enables automatic setting of maximum aperture (1977)
  • Program auto exposure mode compatibility (1981)
  • Aperture information exchange with the camera body through CPU communication (1983)
  • Autofocus compatibility (1983)
  • Digital SLR cameras compatibility (1995)


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  • Nikon Fan

    This is all very interesting and very consistant, but where are the new lenses?

    • Numos Bufez

      I hope there is a “50th Anniversary Edition” 18-55DX coming soon… 😀

      • too funny. And sadly, too true.

    • Aaron


  • Nikon Fan

    Unfortunately, we do not always appreciate what has been done for us in the past, but what are you going to do for me now.

    Let’s have all new AF-S primes as soon as possible.

    • Pablov

      “but what are you going to do for me now”
      VERY GOOD QUESTION and point.

      I appreciate all Nikon has done, but when it’s time to decide what to buy you watch what is today, not only what was since 50 years ago…

      Today is not as yesterday, it’s much faster growing, much faster replaced or updated by new releases, etc.
      Technology development is faster than before.

      So your point should (in fact: MUST) be kept in mind by every Manufacturer if it wants to keep existing customers and gain new ones… specially when there are more competitors…

      • Anonymous

        boys, stop whining and use what nikon already have to offer.

        • Pablov

          we write what we think and feel.
          And many times it reflects what we really need

        • Pablov

          Maybe I’m wrong and it’s completely Useless to write suggestions that can be considered by manufacturers.

          But if Nikon or any manufacturer read sites like this, then I think it is useful to expose the oppinions, thoughts, and specially suggestions and needs.

          If I worked as engineer I would keep in account lot of the suggestions I already read in many sites, that seem to had been missed by designers, and (some of them) are very easy to include via firmware updates, for instance, or just in new gear being designed.

          Japanese designers were well know to watch what other designers do, then take the good ideas and improve them, besides implementing their own ones.

          I, as tech consultant, do it, respecting the intelectual rights, but watching carefully other designers’ work.

          • never

            You may be right that Nikon’s engineers should be paying attention to what we the users want. But until we start writing in Japanese, our ideas may be lost…..

            Just kidding, someone should send NR’s link to Nikon’s R&D department.

          • Zoetmb

            Nikon released 9 lenses in 2008 – that’s the most they released in one year since 2001. The average since 1992 is 5.6 lenses per year. I think we’ll be below average this year: I predict 4 new lenses including the already announced 35DX.

            They don’t grow these things on trees – you guys gotta’ learn to relax. In the first three fiscal quarters of this year, Nikon sold only 1.39 lenses per body. You guys make it seem like if only Nikon came out with all the new primes and other lenses everyone is screaming for, they’d be selling 10 lenses per user. That’s NOT the case.

  • Poster

    Hell yeah, new primes. I saved a bunch of money when I got Nikon 50mm 1.4 AF-D, when the new G version came out. I paid $244 in total. Now if Nikon would only update the 85mm primes, I would vigorously hunt for cheap deals. Come on Nikon!!!!

  • niknik

    they release the new logo

    • UF

      Yes, that year we were waiting for any new equipment and all they came out with was an announcement for a logo. Glad I didn’t pay for a flight to Las Vegas for this.

      They’ll be back to raid our pockets at Christmas. Maybe they’ll have a press conference and issue a decree explaining why some items are in gold boxes and some come in grey boxes.

      • Gustav

        Why would you pay for a flight to this show even if they released new stuff? Is it that important to see new things before they arrive in your local store? Seems like a waste of money to me, new stuff or not. The money for a flight to Las Vegas could be spent on new gear, or to a flight some place nice where you could gasp – take pictures.

        • this was the reason I didn’t go, and I thought I will be more useful behind the computer instead of the pma show.

  • Eli

    I would kill for some new primes and a less expensive, less massive midrange zoom for FF.

  • johnnybottoms

    wait, let me pinch myself.

  • Geoff

    Who want new lenses. I am still saving up for the 14-24mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm and the 200-400mm.

    • Nikonmonster

      Don’t forget 600mm f4

  • thomyc


    • Eric B


  • James

    Nikon it’s good to celebrate the 50 years of F-mount by refreshing the line up of lenses.

    Give us new 70-200 2.8 for FX !!!

    I will buy it immediately!

    • RJ

      And I’ll be next in line!

    • Dat

      Yes, me too. I will order it immediately as soon as it announced and accept pre-order.

      best regards

  • Nikkorian

    “no other maker has been able to sustain its original lens mount for such an extraordinary period”

    what about leica, who have put their M2 to market in 1952 and are still using the same mount & lenses?

    • Nikkorian

      OK, it was the M3 in 1954, but I was close 😉 still 55 years!

  • Archer

    The Leica M mount is older than the Nikon F.

    • And the M mount is backwards compatible to LTM, that goes back to the 20ies or 30ies. Neither are SLR mounts though.

  • lox

    What’s that? 50 years of visual illusions? 50 years of psychadelic drugs? At least they could have used the F-Mount layout as the digit 0 in the logo…

  • RJ

    I know the whole secretive thing is a part of marketing that is widely done, but why can’t Nikon let people know their intentions… if they aren’t going to release a new 70-200 in the next few months, for example, I can look at other options, but it seems that so many people are just waiting and not being able to plan their purchases…if they said that, say a D400 is going to be announced at PMA, people would still turn up to see it, they don’t have to release any more detail than that but it would just stop people from having the annoyance of waiting like this. Canon haven’t got anything to announce either do they?!

    • Zoetmb

      That’s an absurd comment. Since when does a manufacturer announce what they’re NOT going to produce? “Nikon issued a press release today stating that the previously unannounced 10-18mm 1.8 is NOT going to be produced.”

      And since when does a manufacturer announce what they are going to produce before they’re ready (except perhaps for car manufacturers)?

      • Anonymous

        Other options to the 70-200VR ? What other options ? Canon ?

  • Madias

    I dont care about the lenses but that logo is horrible !

  • Pells

    I can’t understand why everyone wants a new 70-200. That lens is insanely good. There is so much more that needs to be done. If Nikon made an 80-400 with fast zoom and VRII that would be a winner. Doesn’t replace the 70-200 but gives us FF people the reach we lost when we left DX.

    • RJ

      That’s true, but at the moment the 80-400mm is significantly worse quality, and roughly the size of the moon – with the 70-200 you have a much better lens and can CHOOSE to use a teleconverter to lower the quality to that of an 80-400 when you need, and it’s considerably thinner. And really, it isn’t insanely good on full frame, without being picky, it just isn’t.

      • Pells

        I actually sold my 80-400 and got a 70-200 with the 2x teleconverter so I am in agreement there. I guess I have visions of a sleeker 80-400. However I think it is an extraordinary lens even on full frame

    • Willis

      I agree, but I do think it piculier that they never raised the price on the 20-200, but the increased the 24-70 $300… perhaps they were trying to clear out the channel?

    • Dat

      Yeah, a new or update 80-400mm VRII with F4 or F3.5-5.6 instead of F4.5-5.6 I would love to have this lense in my back too.

      best regards

    • Anonymous

      everybody whine about state-of-the-art 70-200mm because they spent too much time reading DPreview forums and take the others’ opinion too seriously. yeah yeah, they all complain about the lens based on a human error.

      • Anonymous


        • Anonymous

          +2 ! I am stunned by the people who trust online whiners they’ve never met. It’s scary.

  • dino

    Very strange they are celebrating their 50th F mount birthday without any announcement. Or something VERY big is just round the corner or they just missed a real marketing opportunity…

    • RThomas

      I agree… typically Nikon has done something special on anniversary dates, like the 25th anniversary F2… I hope they don’t just push out a line of “50th Anniversary” lenses for collectors (besides if they did they would probably be as ugly as the special gold D60… what was the reason for that model again?)

      Oh well, what am I worried about; I like what I have now, no need to buy more.

  • Blago

    what about the new flashes and consumer body with built-in ceiling bounce flash ?

  • re the leica mount – that is true.
    However – read Nikon’s release in context – they are discussing SLR mounts.
    Get it right!

  • Good NEWS on PMA from Nikons – NEW logotype… bravo-ah

  • martin



    A 35mm lens just wont do. if they don’t present a body soon i might be FORCED to switch for a canon 5d… and I really feel for nikon.

    : ‘ (

  • stj

    Does this meen that we get 5 new lenses? That is 5 times F-mounted slr lenses… Hard to choose between “missing” lenses, but one could easily point to:
    80-400mm (or will it be 70-400mm?)

    Or was this just the biggest anniversary with the smallest customer / faithful F-mount user impact in the history of the Nikon F-mount… If that was it – then it´s time to cry guys – no new lenses, even this time 🙁

    • RJ

      Hopefully it’ll be something like 100-400 or even 120-400, just so they can make it a lot smaller than the colossus that is around at the moment. Cue physics rant from someone saying that that wouldn’t make much difference….

      • WoutK89

        A 120-400 would be the best choice, when combined with a 24-120 VR, you’ve got a mighty range covered in just 2 lenses, both stabilized and FF. 🙂 It would also mean a better optical quality if I got it right, the smaller the zoom range, the better the optics

        • Pells

          The 24-120 really needs an update. I finally sold that lens and it bothers me to look at a lot of the pictures I took with it.

  • Tony M

    To parlance a favourite Mel Brooks film of mine.
    Nikon seem to be backwards in coming forward with new lenses.
    As someone said – “Marketing opportunity lost”. Could have been Milton …

  • Tom

    Unreal. Nikon make some of the best photographic equipment available and all people here can do is whine and demand more. There’s not one person who has said WELL DONE NIKON ! 50 great years !

    Shame on you. Sell up now and move to Canon.

    • RJ

      Yeah actually on reflection you’re probably right – it’s not as if they have a bad lineup, especially of DSLRs… I think it would take a camera the size of the D700 with built in DX and FX sensors for wide and reach, full HD movie and the noise performance of the D700/3 before people stop clammering for more though…

      I suppose also it’s the public’s moaning that drives them on, so whilst it is irritating, perhaps it’s necessary?!

      • Anonymous

        Well I rather think it’s profit and a desire for excellence. I’m not entirely sure Nikon execs read online-whines and think, wow, they’re right, we really do make a sh!t 70-200VR.

        • RJ

          Yeah but who do they make the profit off? If they make ‘shit’ items they won’t make a profit, cos nobody will buy it

          • Scott

            Plenty of people have bought the 70-200VR 🙂

  • 50 years of the F-Mount sure. But Nikon has been killing backwards/forwards compatibility for years now. How stupid is it that I can’t use the new 50mm f/1.4 AF-S on my 8 year old FM3a. Atleast the converse is still true. I can use my AI based lenses on my D200.

    • Anonymous

      No doubt you’d like your Betamax tapes to work in your Blu-ray ? What’s up with Sony eh ?

      • Scott

        plenty have bought the 70-200VR:)

        • Scott

          oops, wrong place

  • Daf

    Canon didn’t really do much for the 50th of the EOS either.

    My wish list :
    70-200mm 2.8 VR (2?) [I don’t have FX but planning ahead]
    85mm 1.4/1.2 AF-S
    135mm 2/2.8 [I want to do Candid street stuff and a 70-200 (I have the Sigma) is too conspicuous]

    • stj

      Our wishing lists and even the reasoning are the same – wow! I do have an FX though, and I can say that I´m so very satified – hope you can get one as well 🙂

    • Anonymous

      i think i have a solution for you…

      …switch to canon because: they have both 70-200mm f/2.8 IS and 70-200mm f/4, they have both 85mm f/1.2 and 85mm f/1.4 with HSM engine, and they have 135mm f/2 with HSM engine too, for super cheap.

    • Scott

      The EOS system turned 20 in 2007

  • Anonymous

    i bet they made t-shirts and are all wearing them as well….

    • S

      If you get hold of a coffee mug I am interrested


  • Ken Elliott

    Actually, this is funny as hell. Nikon is poking a stick in Canon’s eye. A well-deserved stick, I might add.

    Sure, I can take issue with the fact the the F-mount of today isn’t the same as the 1959 F-mount. And you really can’t mount any 1959 lens on current Nikon bodies unless you perform the AI modification. And Leica’s M mount is much older, and you can mount those old Leica lenses on current bodies.

    But compared to Canon and Olympus, Nikon has done quite well. Good job, Nikon. Thanks for putting the effort into change control. It is ONE of the reasons I stick with Nikon.

    • Scott

      One Canon mount 1959 F-mount lenses on Canons though. It sort of continues that irony

      • Scott

        Oops, meant to say one can mount nikkor lenses from 1959 to EOS bodies.

    • NikonMan

      Actually you CAN mount your 1959 (unmodified) pre-AI lenses on a D60 – works great, handheld lightmeter, manual exposure & focus.

      you don’t really even need a lightmeter because if you get the exposure wrong you see it on the screen and can reshoot right there 😉

  • Brent

    That’s nice…how about these marketing people with nothing better to do go design me a better 70-200.

  • B2

    While the M is much older the F is the oldest SLR. M lenses will not work on an SLR and focus at infinity. You can use non-AI lenses on say a D60, you loose a lot of functionality but they work. It’s something that I’m thinking of doing as I do not have the money for a D100/200/300.

    I still am holding out hope they will come out with some new glass and perhaps a new body……..system?!?…..Perhaps a ERF based upon the F mount. Not that would set some folks at Canon and Olympus back a bit!

    B2 (;->

  • OK. Let’s recall – Celebrating the 90th anniversary of Nikon
    and and n-JOY nice movie about this (*.mov):

    Thank you NIKON! You best of the best!

    PS. or see hi-res movie (*.wmv) –

  • Ravell

    Why even bother turning up at a trade show when you have nothing to show? Very disappointing.

    • Anonymous


      lets see here… while pre-PMA, nikon announced the 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX and a buttload of point & shoots. you call that nothing?

      • RJ

        Goh Anonymous is on a real mission against the disappointed! Go you!

      • Ravell

        Fair enough.. Was just execing a few FX lenses and a D40 replacement like everyone else.

        • RJ

          I’m with you, I would like to see some more FX lenses…. obviously anon doesn’t!

  • Pells

    PMA 2009 is a total BUST. that is the headline. No lenses, nothing.

    • Anonymous

      35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX was one of their PMA surprises…

      • Pells

        Oh really? were you surprised today?

  • jeff c.

    tomorrow is a new day eyes open to ….

    • Tom

      Some impatient spoilt children here….can’t think past their own nose, never mind tomorrow.

      It looks like the manuf. are making announcements as the show progresses – we might yet hear of something more from Nikon ?

      • Anonymous

        Then again….maybe not….maybe we’ll have to wait until the end of March for something more ?

  • Anonymous

    I feel so…under-whelmed…

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