Interesting: Nikon filed a patent for a full frame mirrorless lens

Nikon 28-80mm f:3.5-5.6 VR lens patent
Nikon filed a patent in Japan for a new 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 VR full frame mirrorless lens. I do not remember seeing something similar in the past. Could there be a new FX system on the horizon for 2015? Nikon already had an AF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6D lens designed for DSLR cameras that has been discontinued for a while.

Two other recent Nikon patents - continuous bracketing shooting with a rotating PL filter:

Bracketing shooting with a rotating PL filter Nikon patent
and a solution that can capture visible and infrared light at the same time and use the color information from the visible light to add color information to the infrared light - this will help to obtain better IQ when shooting in low light:

Nikon visible infrared light patent Nikon visible infrared light patent 2

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  • Max

    Yes I think so: Nikon must produce a mirrorless FX system for its survival. 2015/2016 the right time. Sony, with its A7 system, from fish has become a shark ready to eat.

    • nikomment

      Not really. Except the kit lens, which is supposed to be weak, all the A7 lenses are extremely expensive. This will put many people off, including me.

      • Fry

        well there’s the f4 kit lens, which is supposedly ok.
        But I highly doubt that Nikon’s own FX mirrorless system will be cheaper than a Sony.

        • Thom Hogan

          The 24-70mm f/4 is just over US$1000.

        • Piotr Kosewski

          But then we can be almost sure the optics, handling and overall performance would be much better. People concentrate on the fact that Nikon can’t mass produce its own sensors, but tend to forget what this company is really good at. 🙂

          Also, wouldn’t you pay extra 10% for access to Nikon’s lenses?

        • EarlFargis

          The first couple of FE zooms Sony came out with weren’t very good.

      • HULK educate you- Step 1: Get of welfare. Elite imaging systems not for financial underperformers.

      • RRRoger

        The Darth of affordable A7 lens are what keep me from going to Sony.
        I would like to see an adapter for Nikkors that has electric contacts for AF and VR.

      • Alana Danes

        I said the same thing for sometime but once I thought about it, it’s not as bad as I thought right off. The fact is that someone who is going to spend good money say upwards of two grand on a body probably is not going to want to put some two hundred dollar lens on it. It would be nice if Sony offered say a cheaper 50 f/1.8 (which as a Sony Shooter I agree is way to high) but I think most would do it for the quality and 1200 for a 24-70 I think most would be willing to pay. I see more being paid for Nikon and Canon versions. Granted those are 2.8 not f/4 but the mirrorless are to be smaller and lighter so part of the trade-off is we lose a bit of speed so I think its a fair asking price. I think cheaper lens options will become more available as more bodies come out and Sony look for FE offerings for people who bought older bodies used.

    • Eric Calabros

      I dont know why people think Sony was fish! They have been 3rd in market share as long as I remember, and according to their own presentations they dont seem to become 2nd even at 2018. They just want profit, a stable profit.

      • Andrew

        Well, I am certain that buying out Konica/Minolta in 2006 with their camera division and anti-shake system gave Sony a big leg up in the camera market. Sony needed to move aggressively in the camera market since videographers were showing too much love for full frame cameras. Sony’s camcorder business was no doubt under a lot of stress. And with Nikon showing so much love for videos these days, it is easy to forget that Nikon is relatively new to that segment of the market. But Sony itself knows and admits that it is hard to dethrone Nikon and Canon in the professional photographic market.

  • Matt012

    Maybe too late. Now A7 series is going to conquer the FF market segment. Its sale volume is increasing at all times.

    • Fry

      It’s not too late. But given Nikon’s recent history, I’m afraid the camera will be intentionally dumbed down not to compete with their pro FX bodies, and it will cost a fortune of course.

      • Eric Calabros

        Its a kit lens here, and will be cheap, but a bit bigger than 24-85 kit we already have, so where is the size advantage of that gonna-be-made-finally mirrorles FX system? 🙂

        • nwcs

          The size advantage is proportionate with sensor size. That’s why I think APS is the perfect crossroad between sensor size and lens size.

          • neonspark

            yes an no. you don’t shoot with just a lens. you have to account for the body which removes the prism for the OVF and the mirror box. this holds regardless of sensor size.

            plus as we have seen, the sony mirrorless FX bodies are really thin even if the lenses remain large.

        • Andrew

          I think Nikon is simply going to establish a beachhead in the 1 inch, APS-C, and full frame (FF) segments of the market for their Mirrorless cameras and then see where the sales are strongest. The great experiment has begun 😉

          So it looks as if they are first going to attack the low end (1 inch), then high-end (FF), and finally mid range (APS-C). But at least this announcement changes everything. We know now that Nikon is serious about Mirrorless technology.

          • Sahaja

            Don’t get too excited. It’s not an “announcement” just a patent filing – and many of Nikon’s patents never see the light of day in an actual product.

          • RRRoger

            Even if they came out with a superior FF mirrorless camera tomorrow, I would not buy it unless they increased the (USA) recording limit to at least 90 minutes.

        • neonspark

          the size advantage will be there silly. it doesn’t mean it will be small. it will be smaller.

          • Eric Calabros

            Oh yea.. In body’s depth. What a game changer!
            Sorry genius, we deep grip lovers don care about that body depth difference

    • Joven

      It depends on what sensor Nikon uses. If the sensors are comparable or better than what Sony has, then most people would probably just pick up the Nikon version. The difference between Sony using an adapter and Nikon using an adapter for mirrorless cameras is that there is a lot more Nikon glass out there than Sony.

      IDK about you, but I’d rather keep the glass I have now if I were to pick a mirrorless camera up as a 2nd/travel camera. Never underestimate the cost of switching.

    • Thom Hogan

      Have some sales numbers for us to examine, do you? Didn’t think so. I’ll bet that Nikon’s FX sales outnumber Sony’s A7 sales.

      It’s easier to go from zero to something (hey, growth!) than it is from something to something higher.

      As far as I can tell from all the data I have available to me, both public and private, Sony’s market share in ILCs is back to its historical peak (that would be under Sony, not Minolta’s peak), and most of that is driven by mirrorless. That still puts them a long way back in the #3 position. Nikon’s position hasn’t budged from 33%, about double Sony’s share.

      • neonspark

        we can debate sales all day, but you know what is more fun?
        The f-mount finally going the way of the dodo! and that is cause of celebration.
        Nikon will finally be able to get it right:
        -no more mechanical links to set the aperture of the lens
        -no more restrictive throat diameters that prevent sub 1.4 apertures with AF
        Finally after being constrained to a mount dating half a century, we’re ready to move on. The adapter approach was always the best. They can still make hefty bodies for those that want them, but now they will be able to make really slim ones for the average joe.

    • RBR

      The Canon shooters are already adding the Sony A7 to their kit because of the fully functional (3rd Party) adapter to Canon lenses. If Nikon does not move and quickly, there stands to be a shift away and I don’t think it will be temporary.

      • Andrew

        I think the Sony A7 is in a segment of the market where the sales are either tough to come by or highly contested among prosumers, and it is that segment that the Nikon D610 and D7200 cameras targets. So the question is how prosumers view DSLR versus Mirrorless, and whether the shift that Sony needs will come from the Nikon or Canon camp, or from those relatively new prosumers not already wedded to Sony’s two biggest competitors. But I definitely do not think that Nikon needs to rush so long as they keep exciting us with cameras like the D750.

    • neonspark

      too late? people with nikon lens investments outnumber A7 users by miles. if this new mount lets you use those lenses with an adapter, plus remain nikon, sony is powerless to stop this migration.

  • Both of these developments sound amazing to me.
    If Nikon does it right, they could really be on to something here.

    I would love to see lines of Nikon FX and DX mirrorless cameras and lenses with a shortened flange distance for dedicated small but high quality cameras.
    But it will only work if the system has a mount that is still compatible with existing lenses using an adapter, so all my old Nikon lenses are good to go on the new mirrorless bodies by throwing on an adapter (if I want to sacrifice the size advantage.)

    And easier access to infrared light? Hell yeah!

  • Max

    And, in case of a new full frame mirrorless line, I suggest Nikon to leave the old Nikon attack for old lenses or to find ways to get their old lenses without losing autofocus. Maybe it could be the right move.

  • scott800

    AWESOME! Maybe a FF mirrorless option that could adapt to use F-mount glass with full functionality. Hopefully that would mean the development of all kinds of goodies like focus peaking, 4k internal recording, ultra high speed digital shutter, etc. EVF quality and response is finally good enough to use professionally, so I welcome the possibility of a pro mirrorless Nikon.

    • Kiboko

      1. And I hope they stay with the same hot-shoe and CLS-system as they have in the DSLR-cameras. Not do like with the 1-series.

      2. I hope as you, that the old lenses will fit on the new cameras (with adaptor) but also that the new mirrorless lenses will fit on the DSLR cameras …

      3. And I hope that they will make one of them waterproof, with a set of lenses … Nikonos resurrected! But useful above water as well.

      • David Peterson

        Nikon AW1!

        • Kiboko

          But with FX-sensor … 😉

  • Peter

    I don’t understand why they always come up with these 3.5-5.6 lenses. Why not make a f4 lens for the start. A fullframe mirrorless system will be addressed towards pros and enthusiasts and those are likely to spend some more money for a reasonable lens. But I guess we will see 3-5 iterations of dark consumer zooms first before getting to a reasonable set of lenses… 🙁

    • Fry

      1) to keep the price down for new customers
      2) to keep the size down

    • Eric Calabros

      Sony 24-70 f/4
      Tank Enough

      • Louis-Félix Grondin

        Go mirorless they said, it’s so much smaller they said.

        • Andrew

          Very funny 😉

    • Thom Hogan

      Those “reasonable set of lenses” will be pretty much as big and heavy as the current FX set, especially as you move upwards in focal length. That tends to mitigate the “small size” advantage of mirrorless.

      • Carleton Foxx

        All we want is constant apertures without the massive size of the 2.8s… And Nikon has shown with their f/1.8s and their f/4 zooms that they can do it.

        • Piotr Kosewski

          This is really weird in the DSLR world. Why do people think constant aperture is better?
          If a 24-70 zooms is OK at 70/4, its wide angle is most likely good enough for f/2.8.
          But both C and N decided not to do such lenses. f/4 is more “pro”-ish.

          I like the “new” manufacturers for not having this “pro” history and “pro” user expectations.
          Fuji 18-55/2.8-4, Samsung 16-50/2-2.8 – both very good.

          As for f/3.5-5.6 zooms – you can always use them as constant f/5.6 :P.

          • Carleton Foxx

            You’re right about using them as 5.6….but it is annoying when the f/stop changes as the focal length changes with variable aperture zooms. If I get my exposure dialed in, I don’t want to have to do math every time I change focal length. And as video and stills converge, I hope that someday Nikon’s optical engineers will create lenses that free us from focus shift, image shift, breathing, and the rest of the hassles of DSLR lenses.

      • Peter

        Now it gets a bit difficult for me ’cause I am not native in English. But here you have the choice between sitze/weight and quality. IMHO it doesn’t make sense to go for a slow lens on an FX body to save weight. If you want lightweight equipment and Almosen no compromises on quality, you’d rather go DX mirrorless. I think that’s in line with your “good enough” statement. There you are able to even build smaller lenses at better apertures. But if you warnt to go the quality route you also should build quality lenses. That by the way is the reason why I think that DX is the sweetspot for mirrorless.

        • Bengt Nyman

          There really is no sweet spot.
          If you want a small and light camera you start with a small image sensor, like in a smart phone.
          If you want maximum image IQ, you are forced to go to a large sensor with associated large and heavy equipment. Most cameras will eventually be mirrorless.

        • EnPassant

          A sweet spot is the area which gives maximum response for a given amount of effort. It’s the ideal place to hit the ball on for exemple a tennis racket, golf club or baseball bat.
          Obviously in photography no camera system can be the sweet spot for every use.
          Mirrorless DX (APS-C) being the best compromise between size an quality would be a better way to describe your opinion. Though many M43 users would propably beg to differ.

      • Bengt Nyman

        My reason to go mirrorless is not primerely size and weight of the camera body. I am looking to:

        Reduce moving parts, noise and vibration.
        Eliminate misalignments in autofocus light path.
        Use manual lenses with focus peaking.
        Enable tethered, high speed, live view photography.

        • Thom Hogan

          > Reduce moving parts,
          The primary moving part removed is the mirror.

          > noise and vibration.
          To date, other than cameras with totally electronic shutters (which have their own problems), I don’t think that has been the case. My D810 is “quieter” than many of my mirrorless cameras. I put that word in quotes because it isn’t just decibels that are important in whether we consider a camera noisy. As for vibration, less mass means you lean on IS more, and we’ve seen plenty of vibration-induced issues with mirrorless cameras to date.

          > Eliminate misalignments in autofocus light path.
          Yes. At the expense of reducing the data discrimination quite a bit.

          > Use manual lenses with focus peaking.
          Could be done with DSLRs (Live View). Why Canon/Nikon seem averse to that, I don’t know.

          > Enable high rate, live view photography.
          Not sure what you mean by that other than the Nikon 1 cameras.

          • Bengt Nyman

            1. The mirror mechanism is the bulk of the moving parts mass.
            2. IS does little to mitigate mirror/shutter vibration because they do not share frequencies.
            3. B.S.
            4. No, they can not because their DSLRs do not use the image sensor for focusing.
            5. DSLR live view photography is slow because of the double mirror cycle required.

            I think your observations represent yesterday.
            I am talking about tomorrow.

          • Bengt Nyman

            1. The mirror mechanism is the bulk of the moving parts mass.
            2. IS does little to mitigate mirror/shutter vibration because they do not share frequencies.
            3. B.S.
            4. No, they can not because their DSLRs do not use the image sensor for focusing.
            5. DSLR live view photography is slow because of the double mirror cycle required.

            I think your observations represent yesterday.
            I am talking about tomorrow.

            • Thom Hogan

              1. Sure.
              2. Not true. On a camera like the D8xx, the shutter actually generates more “vibration” than the mirror during the exposure. But a good IS system should be able to remove vibration up to its limiting frequency.
              3. Sorry, but it’s true. On a phase detect system, the accuracy of the data is determined by the separation between the defocusing lenses and the detector. On a sensor, that’s a very small distance. On the mirrored systems, it’s a very large distance. If you have a way of beating geometry, I’d sure like to know what it is so I can publish it and be famous.
              4. Sure they do. They just use contrast detect. When you’re manually focusing, contrast detect is actually fast enough. Funny thing is, if you had been paying attention, this is EXACTLY what mirrorless systems USED to do (and some still do).
              5. Seems like you’re living in a cave. Nikon doesn’t doubleclutch the mirror except when you’re using flash. The rest of the time it just stays up.

              Funny you should think my observations are in the past. I would say that you have no idea what’s happened in the past or present, and your idea of the future is a bit off, too.

            • Andrew

              Nice reply, I enjoyed reading it 😉

            • Bengt Nyman

              2. Wrong.
              IS is the most effective in a range around 5 Hz and designed to combat human hand tremors typically between 2 and 10 Hz.
              Mirror slap and shutter noise is in the range of 100 Hz. So there is essentially no help here from the IS.
              3. DSLR camera PDAF involves the potential for misalignments and the need for AF micro-adjustment. Mirrorless eliminates this error.
              4. Nikon and Canon could do it but they don’t, that’s what counts.
              5. When you use live view on a D8XX the mirror is lifted. When you press the shutter release all the way the mirror is released to enable AF and light metering. When this is accomplished the mirror is lifted again to facilitate the exposure, after which the mirror is released again. This constitutes a double mirror cycle. To avoid this you would have to focus and light-meter with the image sensor, like a proper, mirrorless camera.

            • Thom Hogan

              2. Mirror slap happens prior to the shutter opening. The only “vibration” that would still exist is ringing. As I’ve noted on several mirrorless cameras, they have real problems with SHUTTER vibration in the 1/10 to 1/100 (sometimes wider) shutter speed range. These problems don’t show up on Nikon VR systems, by the way. This notion that IS is tuned to only one specific, and very narrow in your definition, is mostly incorrect. Every camera engineer I’ve talked to about IS talks about the RANGE of things they have to deal with and correct, not a specific thing.
              3. Yes, DSLRs can have misalignments, but you’re changing the topic here. The topic is data discrimination. DSLRs have more precise data than on-sensor PD systems, and by a fairly wide margin.
              4. Okay. But you were the one that suggested that DSLRs can’t use the sensor for focus. DSLRs can and they do. It’s only the fact that Canon/Nikon haven’t added peaking that you’re really complaining about. Again, stop changing the argument. If you’re going to argue with me, stick to you point, don’t try to pepper it with incorrect statements.
              5. That’s incorrect. I’d have to say you haven’t used a D810. Nikon switched to a “mirror stays up” system a few years back. The only time it comes down in Live View is if you force it to (e.g. use flash). Indeed, one of the early complaints about the change was that the matrix metering done with the behind-the-prism meter (mirror down) was creating slightly different exposures than when it was using the sensor (mirror up). That’s since been adjusted a bit.

              Look, I don’t disagree with your last assertion. I’ve gone on record as saying the mirror will eventually go away. But that’s no reason to spew falsehoods.

            • Bengt Nyman

              2. Ringing goes on up to 2 seconds and can not be ignored.
              3. No. You are changing the topic. My original topic deals with misalignments and the need for micro adjustment.
              4. In my opinion focus peaking is helpful in facilitating the use of manual lenses.
              5. The D810 (D800E etc) mirror is up (it pivots up and out of the exposure light path) in live view and during exposure. Maybe you got your nomenclature backwards.

              Thom, you just said: “I’ve gone on record as saying the mirror will eventually go away.”
              I agree, and you can safely leave the technical reasons and details to those who know.

            • Thom Hogan

              2. Perhaps. Depends quite a bit on mass and whether the mass is damped. Moreover, a “ring” is generally not the same amplitude or frequency of the initial shock. What I’ve measured on any number of cameras is that many of the mirrorless systems actually have more shock movement from first curtain shutter than DSLRs do from mirrors moving. I don’t think you can generalize the way you’re trying to, and again, IS isn’t quite designed as narrowly as you suggest. At least it shouldn’t be. It isn’t in the Nikon VR system, though there is a limit to what it can react to.
              3. First, let’s be clear: microadjustment is still necessary in mirrorless systems (note that the Olympus E-M1 has a better microadjustment system than Canon and Nikon). The reason is that those AF tuning bits are necessary to make sure that the lens tolerance matches what the camera thinks. Yes, there are additional positioning adjustments in a DSLR, and they’re one of the reasons why mirrors will eventually go away (more manufacturing time due to alignment testing, amongst other things).
              4. Sure. And Canon and Nikon should support it in DSLRs. Especially given that those DSLRs are targeted at video users.
              5. Okay, I skipped a couple of words, which you are now misinterpreting: “Nikon switched to a mirror stays up system IN LIVE VIEW a few years back.” It does not double-clutch during Live View as you assert.

              I spend a lot of time with camera engineers (basically every opportunity I can get). I try to relate what they tell me. I’m not sure where you’re getting your information from.

            • Bengt Nyman

              Thom, I understand that you are eager to show your readers your photography prowess. However, your lack of technical knowledge makes this discussion pointless.

            • Thom Hogan

              Funny. I would have said the same thing about you. Plus you change your argument points ;~).

            • neonspark

              your last sentence is striking because whatever techincal problems mirrorless brings, they will be solved just as problems with DSLRs were. I also own a D800 which was re-aligned so I have to question your premise that “we got this AF thing nailed on DSLRs” far from it.
              what appears to be your thesis is:
              -Mirrorless isn’t without hard problems so it will be worse.
              maybe at first, but not for long. not a single issue you raise is really a show stopper for the kinds of technology we are seeing today. Your reliance on phase detect AF systems as implemented today simply overlooks advances in computational power which will make more accurate hybrid systems where image analysis is more important than phase detect constrains.
              We already have software which can use the image data to determine where the plain of focus is as well as to determine if the focus needs to shift backwards and forwards based on where your subject is. More powerful computers in cameras will make focusing on a subject instead of a legacy point based system possible. Mirrored cameras have held us back long enough because at the core, computers should be doing the focus where it needs to go, not where your manufacturer placed your AF points (at the center of the VF).
              Ultimately phase detect AF via an OVF was all about “good enough” compared to manual focus. Today with high resolution sensors, we demand more but even nikon’s best attempts fall short:
              AF tune is worthless for zoom lenses that drift over the zoom range. AF tune is worthless for lenses that drift over the distance. One offset value to do it all is basically finding the value that works for what you shoot most.
              Dynamic AF driven by image analysis solves this. Instead of doing a blind offset from zero which is mediocre at best, it will use a hybrid system which offers the speed of phase AF with the accuracy of contrast detect. Plus with the added benefit of being aware of your subject will mean it won’t focus on the back ear of the subject, but instead the eyes. This will be regardless of lens QA or alignment. Your 70-200 could be +15 at the wide end and -4 at the long end. The algorithms will always get the offset right without your input. You try this with today’s OVF phase systems and tell me how it works. Maybe talk to your engineers some more.

            • Bengt Nyman

              See below

      • neonspark

        all true, but here the current state:
        -carry a huge ass body with a tiny lens or a big lens.
        here is the future state:
        -carry a slim thin body with a tiny lens, or a big lens, or buy the hefty mirrorless pro body and the big lens.
        there is no way for current bodies to be made smaller. canon already tried and ended up with a weird camera that is huge only to support the useless mirror box

    • SteveDK

      And I’d rather have even faster prime lenses, f/2, f/1.8 or f/1.4 apertures and 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, normal/macro, tele/macro and something very fast in the 85mm to 135mm range.

  • nikomment

    Sorry, but what exactly makes the lens mirrorless?

    • Louis-Félix Grondin

      The optical design doesn’t fit with any similar focal on SLR, the mirrorless lenses have big optical differences with their SLR conterpart.

      • Bengt Nyman

        It is primerely the rear image distance that differs to fit the shorter flange distance of the camera.

        • Louis-Félix Grondin

          I’m no optician, but that difference in flange distance forces to adopt different designs from what I heard, you can’t design a telephoto or an ultrawide the same way (I know the planar design is pretty standard for normal lenses tough). Then again, I don’t know much about it and the odds are I’m wrong.

          • Bengt Nyman

            Lens designs are very specific to the application.
            Major groups are zooms versus primes and the main drivers are: focal length, max aperture and rear focal distance (flange distance). Now add autofocus, image stabilization and price.
            It’s a lot of technology and Nikon is presently the leader.

    • Bengt Nyman

      The flange distance is made shorter on mirrorless cameras to reduce size and weight. This effects the lens design. You will hopefully be able to use your DSLR lenses with a short adapter.

      • nikoment

        Rather than an entire new lens line, why not just have an extended mount on the camera? Thin A7-like body with a protruding F-mount.

        • Bengt Nyman

          Agreed.

        • Piotr Kosewski

          Look for a Samsung NX3000 picture with the new 16-50 kit (top view preferably). That’s pretty much how a “slim” mirrorless camera with F-mount would look like.

          So I’d rather buy a A7-like body with new mount and a very good adapter to F-mount included. I could use old lenses while Nikon designs new ones. No problem.

          The second approach – releasing a new system from scratch – would not be easy. You have all this customers spoiled by F-mount lens lineup. They want all the different lenses and you can’t keep up with designing them.

          And the third approach is to… design 10 lenses in secret over 2-3 years (keep saying the old way is better!) and release them when the body is ready. This is quite possible, because it would not be the first time for Nikon (that’s exactly what they did with FX).

      • Thom Hogan

        Just as crop sensor only has size and weight impacts up to a certain point, that’s true of mirrorless, too. Have you actually held a Sony 70-200mm f/4 FE? ;~)

        • Bengt Nyman

          I don’t understand your point Thom.

          Sony 70-200f/4 weighs 840g
          Nikon 70-200f/4 weighs 850g
          Canon 70-200f/4 weighs 760g

          • Thom Hogan

            My point is that everyone is gushing over Sony A7’s as “being smaller and lighter.” The problem is that once you start factoring lenses into the equation, full frame is full frame. Sure, you’ve saved a bit on the body size/weight, but the lenses are turning out the same, and that will become more clear once Sony has to start iterating more longer lenses.

            • Bengt Nyman

              Agreed.
              The saving in size and weight by mirrorless alone is minor.
              Sensor size offers more leverage because of its impact on lens size.

    • neonspark

      basically, if you were to mount this on your body, it would focus in front of your sensor because it is designed to sit much closer to it. But if you did that, it would hit the mirror box. So we know that the only way for this to work is without a mirror which means evolution has decided the mirror is dead.

  • HotDuckZ

    Why not f/5.6 fix zoom will smaller size the lens to match the mirrorless body?

  • I am Doom

    Kiss the F mount goodbye.

  • Toomy

    Yes, Nikon needs to do this. Fuji and M43 have proven that they can make cameras and lenses just as good (sometimes even better) than Nikon and Canon. And Sony has been the innovator leading the way with mirrorless. The only thing holding Sony back is that they can never seem to make a compelling corner-to-corner sharp kit lens.

    If Nikon finally enters the FX mirrorless market, they need to 1) be backwards compatible with their existing lenses (via adapter) including PDAF focusing so things aren’t sluggesh like LiveView focusing 2) come up with some compelling high-quality lens offerings, similar to what Fuji and Olympus have done with their systems.

    • Roy LaFaver

      Some of that is true. But Sony cannot get out of its own way. Note that both Nikon and Canon produce exceptional kit lenses for their DSLRs at very reasonable prices. Sony kit lenses are almost useless, and anything decent costs a fortune. This is the reason I would not consider a Sony FX mirrorless camera. They go cheap with the body, but then beat you up on the lenses.

      • Bengt Nyman

        Agreed.
        Sony makes no good lenses except for the 55mm.

        Don´t expect to buy cameras or lenses from Sony.
        Expect to buy mirrorless FF cameras from Nikon and Canon built on Sony image sensors and EVFs.

        • Jononi

          Don’t forget the FE70-200 F/4 and FE 16-35 F/4. All reviews are positive about these two.

          • Toomy

            Yes, it’s really the general zoom/kit that fails for Sony. Sony failed NEX with this problem as well… innovative cameras leading the way and then ho-hum bad performing lenses. I would have jumped on the Sony a7r a long time ago if the 24/28-xx zooms were spectacular. Of course they are not.

            Hopefully Nikon learns a think from Fuji or Olympus who are producing brilliant lenses for their systems. Honestly, there isn’t a bad lens for the Fuji X system. If Nikon goes mirrorless, I think they should skip DX; they’ve already lost. FX is where they can still win because of Sony’s lens problem.

          • Bengt Nyman

            You are probably right.
            I do not use any zoom lenses because of their compromised performance compared to high IQ primes.

    • Thom Hogan

      I’ll be the contrarian. Nikon doesn’t need to do mirrorless. What they needed to do is this:

      1. Downsize their DSLR bodies aggressively (the D750 downsize is modest).
      2. Establish a line of f/2.8 DX primes that are small, and a line of f/4 DX zooms that are small.
      3. Build out the FX line (cameras), which they’ve mostly done, and the f/1.8 prime and f/2.8 zooms, which they’ve mostly done.

      Doing ALL those things completely and aggressively would have pretty much sunk most of the mirrorless thrust. Moreover, it would have established a clear reason for DX and FX to both exist: DX would be essentially two stops differential from FX, but in smaller size and lower price, exactly what the consumer would have wanted.

      • whisky

        i get the sense the harder you’ve pushed for Dx, the more you’ve convinced Nikon to double down on Fx. 🙂

      • Radek_42

        Any idea how much smaller DX line would be compared to

        suggested FX?

        Actually, there could be some significant weight savings .. DX35/1.8 is 3x lighter than FX35/1.4 prime. Older FX35/2D weights the same as DX version. Could work I suppose.

        For advanced DX shooters there will always be FX primes if wanted/needed.
        R>

        • Thom Hogan

          That’s a trick question. When you’re doing initial design of product lines like this, you’d generally create a MRD (marketing requirement document) based upon your assessment/survey/etc. of potential customers.

          So, for instance, you might decide that a full DX kit (body, three primes, two zooms) needs to one half the weight of the same FX kit in order for customers to actually be motivated towards and understand the differences. Thus, your DX MRD would be full of X should be no bigger than Y and no heavier than Z types of statements.

          That’s actually the part where I think Nikon may have failed product management-wise. They’re still executing a 10 year old product plan despite having introduced two wrinkles (FX and CX) since then. I don’t see the product line rationalization that makes any sense, thus my suggestion of small f/2.8 primes in DX and larger, higher quality f/1.8 primes in FX.

          We’re seven years into FX now and it seems to be developing pretty much like the way Nikon was filling out film SLRs. But DX just seems to have gotten mostly forgotten, other than “iterate bodies” and “iterate 18-xx zooms.”

      • Toomy

        I don’t know, Thom. How much smaller can you make a D3xxx or D5xxx camera? I think Nikon has been trying to downsize them and lighten them but there’s not much more you can do. When I look at my Fuji T-X1 next to my D5300, guess which one looks like a monster? For hiking and climbing, that little difference means a lot to me. And a good mirrorless FX camera would mean a lot to me as well. I’ll agree with you on the need for DX primes though. The Fuji 14mm prime is what sold me on the X system for my small kit. But after a decade of DX, I don’t think Nikon is going to do any more specialty DX lenses; I don’t think their heart is in it. I’m still Nikon FX, but whenever there’s a 35mm “full-frame” solution with a mature line of quality lenses (sorry, Sony, that’s not you yet), I’d probably jump off the Nikon ship.

        • Thom Hogan

          Have you picked up a Canon SL1? Certainly you can get down to that size/weight, probably some more if you really tried.

          Nikon is a bit like an automaker. They build things on “chassis” designs (the old K car concept). Once a design is out there, it would need a complete rework from the bottom up to get substantively smaller, which is why we’re seeing Nikon do things like replace metal/plastic with carbon fiber and slimming in areas where they can remove or move parts (the D750 body depth, for instance).

          Personally, I think they need a new chassis.

          The fact that you compare to a Fujifilm, which uses the same sized sensor is telling. Yes, the mirror box isn’t going to get smaller, but most everything else can.

  • Roy LaFaver

    I think the most important component for Nikon FX mirrorless will be a fully functional adapter for most F mount lenses of every ilk (G, D, Ai). This will minimize the problem of starting out with a small base of native lenses available. However, I’m afraid Nikon would charge a fortune for such an adapter because it will be a complex device. Hopefully they will see the wisdom (if there is any) of making the adapter affordable for their financially challenged users.

    • El Aura

      How many people actually use the adapter from that provides PD AF for A-mount lenses on E-mount cameras? Because that (PD AF in the adapter) what it takes to be ‘fully functional’. Ideally one would also throw an AF motor in.

    • El Aura

      How many people actually use the adapter from that provides PD AF for A-mount lenses on E-mount cameras? Because that (PD AF in the adapter) what it takes to be ‘fully functional’. Ideally one would also throw an AF motor in.

  • Spy Black

    That would suck. Instead of designing a mirrorless body that would readily take the existing Nikkor line without an adapter, they want to nickle and dime yet another system? This should work out about as well as the Nikon 1 system.

    • Bengt Nyman

      Agreed.
      The very best would be if the first Nikon FF mirrorless cameras used the F-mount.
      My guess is that Nikon mirrorless sooner or later will go away from the F mount to reduce the flange distance and overall size and weight.
      However, unless Nikon decides to sabotage the use of their own F-mount lenses on their mirrorless cameras, Metabones and others should be able to provide a simple adapter.
      If Nikon repeats the mistake that Sony made with the A7 series, (using a super short flange distance and offset pixel optics) the use of adapted F-mount lenses might still be mechanically possible but optically very unsatisfactory.

      • Antonio

        Why do you think so?
        New lenses will have different optic to focus on the sensor. If the adapter does the same with present lenses wouldn’t image quality be the same? And as long as electric connections match each other, all other functions couldn’t work?
        The problem could be a reduction of battery reduced capacity, if they could get a version of the adapter that includes a motor to allow AF and AFD lenses to focus – if they go that far.

        • Bengt Nyman

          “If the adapter does the same with present lenses wouldn’t image quality be the same?”
          Yes, if two conditions are met:
          1. The rear opening of the adapter is large enough to pass the entire light path of the F-mount lens without causing additional vignetting.
          2. The image sensor does not use offset pixel optics to compensate for a highly diverging ray path from the new lenses.

          The latter is the case with the Sony A7 cameras producing inferior IQ with adapted lenses.

    • If flange to focal length remained the same, then the body thickness would be the same. If a mirrorless FX Nikon cannot be a thinner camera body, then what advantage would there be to get rid of the mirror box?

      • Spy Black

        Less moving parts, for one. You also would no longer have a pentaprism, further reducing size and weight. Body thickness is not that big a deal when the body is overall smaller and lighter. More important is complete direct backwards compatibility with the existing Nikkor line. Introducing yet ANOTHER lens mount format doesn’t remotely look like an intelligent idea.

        • ZoetMB

          If the only advantage to a mirrorless camera is the lack of the bump on the top and a very slight decrease in weight, then I’d rather keep the mirror because video displays really suck. You can’t really make a much smaller camera without reducing the body thickness. But there’s another reason for a new lens system and that’s that Nikon’s current lenses are too physically large and heavy, especially the AF-S zooms. So even if they remained F-mount, there has to be a new line of smaller lenses, otherwise the smaller, lighter body isn’t going to make any difference.

          • Spy Black

            ” But there’s another reason for a new lens system and that’s that Nikon’s current lenses are too physically large and heavy, especially the AF-S zooms”

            I don’t know where you’re getting that idea. If you’re gong to make an FF mirrorless body, your lenses aren’t going to reduce in size. They still need to be able to cover the FF sensor.

            ” You can’t really make a much smaller camera without reducing the body thickness.”

            What makes you say that? I don’t agree, but lets roll with that for a moment. It would be cool if the mirrorless body had a built-in extension chamber to readily accept standard Nikkors. So continue use the standard Nikon F mount, with whatever custom mirrorless line, but have the built-in extension chamber. I don’t know if Nikon is that savvy, but that would be pretty brilliant in a FF Nikon mirrorless design. Of course, nobody would buy any of the new lenses. 😉

            • ZoetMB

              >>your lenses aren’t going to reduce in size. They still need to be able to cover the FF sensor.

              Yes, of course they have to cover the sensor. But compare the AF-S lenses with the old AF-lenses. Most of the old primes take a 52mm filter ring and overall were relatively small. Most of the AF-S are from 58mm to 77mm and are also far heavier, only partly because of the motor. And if you go back to the pre-AF lenses, they were even smaller and lighter. The bodies (esp the pro-bodies) used to dominate the lens – now it’s the other way around.

              It would be a bit counter-productive to use a mirrorless body and the current AF-S lenses, especially the higher-end zooms because the size/weight reduction in the body would hardly have any impact (although it would still be nice to support it for occasional special uses). And if you’re not getting size/weight reduction, then what’s the point of going mirrorless?

              I think most people who are interested in mirrorless want to be able to walk around with a lighter kit and if they also happen to shoot video hand-held, it’s far easier to shoot video with a far lighter system. It’s always incredulous to me that I can get rock steady video on my iPhone, but it’s almost impossible to shoot hand-held on my D800 without using lots of expensive accessories.

            • The earlier AF-D relied upon the screw drive in the camera body. The difference is in accuracy, because of the lash in the drive system. AF-S allows faster autofocus and more accuracy. I’m not sure people would want to give up on that. Perhaps Nikon could make some compact lenses, though performance may be an issue.

              I think the D750 is a great exercise in slimming down a DSLR. Losing the mirror box and pentaprism would not be that much smaller. Going with a smaller battery may allow an even smaller camera body, though with obvious compromise in longevity. Seems that many compromises would need to be made to have a truly smaller Mirrorless FX (MX) camera from Nikon.

        • I think some of us would’ve liked to see a DFM, or Digital Nikon FM, but instead we got the Dƒ as a release, which is still chunky. All the current Nikon lenses are chunky, even if plastic makes them lighter.

          I had a camera bounce out of a bag in an off-road car, and the mirror came off the carrier. Other than that one instance, I’ve never had a problem with the moving mirror. Simply removing it to reduce parts, probably would help Nikon profit margins, but outside of that doesn’t excite me much.

          What you are describing would be a Nikon version of the Sony A7, as a “DSRL Style” camera. The only other possible layout is “Rangefinder Style”, like the Leica or Fuji X line (except XT1).

          http://camerasize.com/compact/#579.87,389.277,258.408,495.353,wa,t

          Leica lenses are smaller due to a lack of Autofocus. I think at this point most people want autofocus, which means fat lenses. When you look at the comparison in that link, the reduction is not that much. Sony NEX was quite a bit smaller, but the lenses were still fat, and it’s the same with the A7 series. Even Fuji at APS-C still has some fat lenses.

          To really get significantly smaller, we would need to see manual focus lenses. I think only Leica and Zeiss will do that. Another thing would be to eliminate the LCD on that back, and go to a smartphone interface, though I think few people would be willing to buy something like that. Next is thinner camera body, which is doable, and something most people would notice.

          • Spy Black

            I really can’t say. I dunno. My gut feeling is that introducing yet another body and lens format, especially a FF one, would be suicidal. I mean, just look at the Nikon 1 system. How successful had that been?

            One of Nikon’s greatest asset is it’s lens compatibility. They can fucĸ the Nikon 1 line all they want, but if you mess with that legacy, you’re playing with fire.

            Who knows? Maybe I’m dead wrong. Time will tell what comes out of this.

            • I think Nikon 1 was a new idea, and did gather some customers, but more in the consumer side. The V1,V2, V3 line do not appear to have done that well. The other issue, much like with DX, is that lens choices are limited.

              Any change would need to be compatible with existing FX lenses, which may mean an adapter. The other possibility, would be a tube to keep the existing flange to focal distance the same. Either method would speak to legacy.

              As much as I like that legacy, new customers may not care, behind the brand name Nikon. It really depends upon how Nikon approaches mirrorless. I think many have the wrong idea about mirrorless, in that the size and weight savings are not substantial once you get past pancake lens designs.

              During development for the Dƒ there was mention of a Digital SP (rangefinder style). I would like to see a manual focus rangefinder, but honestly don’t see it as a volume market. There appears to be more interest in “DSLR-like” designs. I expect an FX mirrorless as a DSLR-like design, because it will have a look many expect. Whether new lenses would be successful, I think will depend upon whether the lenses can be made smaller without sacrificing quality. The rumor sites will talk about body design, but the lenses will be the key to success. I think we agree in principal on that idea.

  • stormwatch

    Now that’s something! 24mpix FF, 25fps, 4K 200Mbit/s video @60/50p, real time EVF, with the most precise tripple pixel AF, swivel + detachable Wi-fi screen, Dual cards, weather sealed for only 2.999$….I’m ordering my even before it’s been designed!

    • bgbs

      You know, it’s only a lens patent, but you’re mind has already wondered off this post. Don’t forget your meds this morning.

  • bgbs

    Does this mean, that this lens is a different mount?

    • Imperious Images

      Why would Nikon make a camera with a Sony mount? That doesn’t make sense. much more selection with the F-mount which pre-dates most others.
      People with Sony E-mount bodies use adapters to fit Nikon lenses.
      Nikon should make it compatible with standard F-mount to maximize customer appeal. Who really wants to buy more lenses or carry adapters?

      • Antonio

        With no mirrors they may reduce the flange and this will require some kind of adapter for present lenses but will not mean the exclusion of F-mount for dedicated lenses and make that adapter as simple as a kind of extension tube that could match electric connections of AF-S lenses and (if possible to build a version of it (?)) even include a motor to allow AF with older lenses.

  • Imperious Images

    Does a mirrorless lens differ from an SLR lens on flange distance? or something of that sort? Will this mean that Nikon G lenses won’t work on their mirrorless body without an adapter?

    • FredBear

      To make the camera thinner, yes.
      Do they ‘have to’, no.

  • RBR

    Nikon could do a lot worse than to come up with their version of the Sony A7 and an adapter (that is fully functional) to take the existing FX lenses as they build the selection of lenses native to the mirror less format. I have seen the Sony A7 with fully functional adapter in use with Canon lenses as well as their native lenses and it is a wonderful combination. (The adapter for Nikon lenses works only in manual mode…sigh!).

    • Antonio

      “to come up with their version of the Sony A7 ” – Nikon shouldn’t be supposed to adopt “versions” of Sony’s cameras… 🙂 and as the reason why their lenses have to work in manual mode comes only from electric connections being proprietary, so no problem for their own stuff to work as necessary to take profit of AF-S lenses specs (at least).

  • Camaman

    Great lens choice for a start!
    Why start with something wide or long.

    I guess they are going to start at the very begining.
    28-80 neither wide as sooooo many options neither long enoug to make a occasional portait more easy.
    I dont mind the aperture keep te size down, but at least make it 24-85mm

    A real dinosaur lens for a new modern camera. I love it. Realy inline with everything else.

    Maybe Canon will make a 35-75mm as their kit.

  • Andreas Ursin Hellebust

    Whoa can this be true?

    I am currently looking eagerly for ways to sell my gear and go with the Sony A7II since it has a sensor stabilizer (and can use it with old primes).

    HOWEVER the Sony/Zeiss lenses in general doesn’t give enough bokiness for the money (I’m a bokaholic). I don’t think a Sony/Zeiss prime should cost $1000 when it doesn’t perform better than the $300 Nikon 50mm F1.4.

    Right now I have a D600 and the amazing Tamron 24-70mm 2.8, the amazing Nikon 50mm 1.4 and the amazing Tokina 11-16 (works in 15-16mm on FX). But I REALLY wish I had a stabilizer on the sensor (however I doubt Nikon will have on-sensor stabilizer)

    Maybe with a FX-adapter I can keep using this great glass for some time 🙂 The success of Nikons F-mount is both a gift and a curse – they will have to keep developing it so people can use old glass, but they NEED a more modern mount soon to keep up with the competition.

    Anyway: mirrorless is the future for sure. I am eagerly waiting for Nikons solution for full-frame 🙂

    I wrote on this post for 2 hours with lots of interrupts ha ha I see now I will not make any sense with it – oh well 🙂 anyway: I am REALLY eager to see Nikons solution for mirrorless full-frame 🙂

  • Radek_42

    I am not sure if dedicated mirrorless lenses are indeed needed. Sure, one can use shorter flange distance, but what does that mean for the size/weight of the lens itself? Surely, it makes little if any difference for the body itself, since a functional/comfortable grip will be larger anyway.

    Pros:
    1. shorter flange distance (if it results in smaller/lighter lens otherwise it’s pointless)

    2. ?

    Cons:
    1. Yet another set of lenses to worry about,
    2. steeper convergence angle hitting the sensor resulting in decreased light collection efficiency
    3. additional adapters to worry about to maintain compatibility with current F-mount lenses; this HAS to be done

    It seems that keeping F-mount is much better option UNLESS short flange mirrorless lenses can be design significantly smaller/lighter.

    R>

    • AYWY

      Short flange makes design of wide angle lenses easier. There is some literature about this, though a most recent one would be an interview Matt Granger did with a Zeiss guy during Photokina – on Youtube.

  • MB

    The lens seams much smaller and simpler (only 10 elements if I am not mistaken) than similar SLR lenses … add current 80-400 to it and it should make quite compact full frame set … and maybe compact 14-28 for good measure … I wonder if Nikon would go with F-mount but without mirror that would allow protruding rear part for wider lenses but also the ability to use any current SLR lens …

  • At least no more mirror spraying oil on everything 😛 Sadly more photographic untermenschen are going to migrate from Sony system of fgtry to mighty elite NIkon.

    • I hope this is not future of elite Nikon. All elite Nikon owners must defend against invasion of Sony fgts. They like wobbly lenses up their @nus. Don’t be them!

  • Tough to decipher the Japanese to English, but it seems they are discussing three different flange to focal length distances. That suggests a final design is not really that close. Nikon 1 is near 17mm, the old Nikon S rangefinder was 34.85mm, and Nikon F is 46.5mm. If Nikon really wanted a thinner camera, or a “Digital SP”, then I would think 34.85mm or close would be a final design, and an adapter to allow using current FX lenses. Still seems to be more of a consumer oriented line, and not a future D5.

  • vFunct

    If they’re going with a new format, they might as well go with medium-format.

    Or anything bigger than FX… that would cause tremendous prosumer interest.

    • ZoetMB

      Interest, yes. Sales, no. If the D4x lists for $6500, a medium format camera from Nikon would probably list for at least $10,000. What is the market for $10,000 bodies even among pros? Very few. This is Leica territory although one of the reasons people buy Leicas is because of their relatively small size, which makes them good as a walk-around camera.

      Is there a single medium-format digital camera that has done well in the marketplace? Nikon would sell a few of these to the A-list studio photographers for products and fashion, but I don’t believe there’s enough to make such a camera profitable. If Nikon wanted to produce such a camera as a marketing exercise, to give the impression that Nikons are the state-of-the-art and/or the highest quality, that’s another matter.

    • MonkeySpanner

      MF mirrorless – prosumer interest? How many prosumers can drop $10,000 on a body+1 lens? Interest – probably – sales – probably not.

  • I have a *full* set of F-mount Nikkor lenses, but I don’t even care. The thought of putting Leica glass on a Nikon mirrorless is making me tingle in my nether regions.

  • MonkeySpanner

    Could this be the new kit lens for a new line of mirrorless? Seems like it. Something to compete with the A7? They had better offer something that the A7 does not – or else they are a day late and a dollar short.

  • EnPassant

    This, if correct, is proof Nikon are considering making a full frame mirrorless camera. However that doesn’t mean Nikon will produce any of these lens constructions or a mirrorless camera using a full frame sensor in the near future.

    Just like any innovative company Nikon are testing a lot of ideas with only the best actually being produced.

    While I am not an expert in patent law my impression is that companies file a lot of patents from their research they will themselves never use to obstruct competing companies using same ideas or construction without paying royalty.

    With the modern lens design programs and fast computers available today making new advanced lens constructions have never been as easy. Which is the reason optical companies are producing a lot of lens designs that never come to use. Therefore it is not unusual that the final lens have a different construction than the patents being filed before release.

    As to the possibility Nikon producing a full frame mirrorless or Compact System Camera (CSC) one can ask – Why would they?

    Nikon already have a modern, nearly complete set of full frame lenses for the F-mount. If Nikon want to compete with Sony A7II it is better to build a smaller FF camera. While there are a few wide angle AF lenses for Sony that are more compact than comparable Nikon lenses other Sony lenses are in fact longer as they come with a built in extension tube to keep the rear element far enough from the sensor to avoid the problems with steep ray angles. Thereby the Sony E-mount advantage of the short flange distance is mosly lost when compared to Nikon’s F-mount.

    If one for exemple compare the Sony A7II with the Zeiss 24-70/4 with a Nikon camera with a 24-85/3.5-4.5 VR lens the difference in length from the eyepiece cover to the front of the lens is neglectable. A Nikon D750 camera is naturally clearly bigger than the Sony A7II. But imagine if Nikon put a full frame sensor inside the D5300, which should be possible – with outside difference only being a slightly taller penta mirror hump. Then the main practical difference with a normal zoom lens mounted would be a slightly taller viewfinder hump for the DSLR.

    Here’s an exemple how it could look:

    http://camerasize.com/compact/#567.111,579.393,490.111,ha,t

    (Please note that the 24-85mm VR lens was not available for selection why I choose the same weight and close in size DX 16-85mm lens. The difference is that the 24-85mm VR lens is notably 6mm thicker but actually 3mm shorter.)

    As can be seen the practical difference is not big between the A7II and the D5300 body and would be even less if Nikon used the same slim build for a FF D500 body as they did with the D750 camera.

    So please Nikon, build a real entry level 24MP full frame camera, name it D500 and set the introduction price at for exemple $1,599.00 (I know many would want it be $999.00. But I don’t expect Nikon selling a FF camera such cheap yet. At $1,599.00 it would be a good replacement for the propably soon to be sold out D610 and placed right between the coming D7200 (or D7500?) and the D750.) and I promise it will be a great sales success!

    When it comes to the possibility of a mirrorless DX camera the matter is completely different.

    As a picture says more than thousand words let’s look at this exemple:

    http://camerasize.com/compact/#490.159,567.112,497.387,ha,t

    Notice how much bigger the APS-C format filling Sigma fishey lens is compared to the Sigma fishey lens for full format cameras! And then look at the tiny fishey lens on the mirrorless Samsung camera!

    How can this be explained? Shouldn’t the lens for the Nikon DX camera be as small as the Samsung lens, or at least clearly smaller than the lens for the full frame sensor?

    A simplified answer is that most modern wide angle lenses today use a so called retrofocus design. And the nature of such a design is that the further away from the sensor the bigger it need to be.

    The problem with Nikon’s DX DSLR cameras is that they use the same F-mount and and flange distance as Nikon’s full frame cameras. The flange distance (from the surface of the mount to the sensor or film) for the F-mount is 46.5mm, one of the longest for the original 35mm film format. By comparance Konica AR use 40.5mm and Canon FD 42mm, While the Canon EF mount is 44mm.

    The observant has noticed that these flange distances are all close to the 43.2mm diameter of the full frame sensor and 35mm film frame.

    However for the APS-C format, or DX as Nikon names it, the sensor diameter is 28.2mm. A flange distance for a DX sensor that would be scaled down from Nikons full frame sensor should therefore be around 30.3mm to be able to use the same lens design in a smaller DX scale.

    But as Nikon’s DX DSLR cameras use a flange distance that in relative terms is 1.5 times longer than for the full frame cameras we have the explanation for the APS-C lens being bigger than the full frame lens despite covering a smaller sensor.

    The Samsung NX mount with a 25.5mm flange distance, 21mm shorter than the F-mount naturally need much smaller retrofocus designs which clearly can be seen in the comparing picture.

    All this explains why Nikon didn’t make any DX wide angle lenses except the 10.5mm fishey that is longer than the old 16mm full frame fishey. It simply doesn’t make sense producing a lot of DX-lenses that are actually bigger, or same size, and not clearly smaller than comparable full frame lenses with same angle of view and largest aperature.

    That is also a reason why it in the long term would make sense replacing most of the DX DSLRs with CSCs using a shorter flange distance and new, modern mount that offer much more freedom for compact build of both lenses and cameras.

    This doesn’t mean Nikon should abandon DX DSLRs completely. Until we get EVFs that are almost indististinguishable from the optical view there certainly will be those preffering a classical optical DSLR finder. Also, in a mostly full frame DSLR world a DX action camera with more MP than in the DX crop mode of FF cameras has its place as a budget alternative for more reach.

    That’s it folks! Hope you, if anybody reed this, understand my try explaining things!

    • KnightPhoto

      Great post! Seeing the FX side-by-sides and DX side-by-sides reenforces the need for a “Nikon 2” DX mirrorless with new mount, and the relative non-need for a FX mirrorless to use anything but an F-mount. Also on the FX comparison, seeing the A7, D5300, D750 side-by-side also reenforces the comparatively friendly size of a D750 currently.

  • Serge S Frolov

    Nikon 1 is a joke, it is about time Nikon made FF Mirrorless… what Df should have been! I am still dreaming of digital F3.

  • Ravikumar K

    The moment Nikon/Cannon comes up with mirror-less DX and FX cameras which can use the EXISTING lenses sony’s will not be able to sell anything irrespective of the IQ. I have Sony a7 and the primary reason i bought is size . Sony FE 55 1.8 costs 1000$ while Nikon’s counter part starts from 150$. its pain man. Still I am planning to keep it as I can take it wherever i want without thinking twice. I briefly tried NikonD750 . It was good but its big. I am 5′ 4″ its not for me.

    • vriesk

      Well, Sony FE 55 1.8 is superb to anything Nikon offers in that focal length (50-58mm). But that’s like the only interesting thing the FF E-mount has to offer.

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