Ditching f mount once Nikon goes mirrorless?

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  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,122Member
    edited September 2017
    I think we'll be seeing a few more years of DSLR's, but I suspect it's days are numbered, for consumer oriented models anyway. The likes of the D5 and D500 might be around for a while longer, until they feel mirrorless can exceed what those can do. You might see more Df type cameras for the SLR nostalgic types long term.

    Why would Nikon do that? Check out all the mirrorless cameras, manufactures are charging more for them than equivalently spec'd DSLR's. What manufacture would turn down higher margins per unit, and that require an entire new set of lenses? Nikon management has stated to shareholders that higher margins per unit is one of the moves they will make. There are only two ways to do that, use cheaper materials and labour, or charge more per unit. Nikon has been doing a bit both (only the D5 is still made in Japan for example), so only time will tell which will win out.

    If Nikon gets mirrorless right, they'll at the very least maintain market share and could potentially grow it. If they fail, it could tank, it's that simple.

    I don't think Nikon should, or needs to abandon the F-mount, but they most likely will with the end of consumer DSLR production.

    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,337Member
    edited September 2017
    "Give us a mirrorless D5M, D500M and D850M." Most likely Nikon will do so before 2019 arrives. Nikon already has the technology and parts for those bodies and just needs to integrate them into a mirrorless body plus include mirrorless specific parts and features. Nikon's mirrorless may be here very soon and with a very big bang. Many of us may be saying "I should have waited a bit more before purchasing that D500 or D850."
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member

    "Give us a mirrorless D5M, D500M and D850M." Most likely Nikon will do so before 2019 arrives. Nikon already has the technology and parts for those bodies and just needs to integrate them into a mirrorless body plus include mirrorless specific parts and features. Nikon's mirrorless may be here very soon and with a very big bang. Many of us may be saying "I should have waited a bit more before purchasing that D500 or D850."

    Here is my question to you @donaldejose
    Let's say Nikon releases the new mirrorless crop and full frame cameras with the new mounts as rumored (and basically confirmed by NR). And lets say Nikon release ALL of their mirrorless lenses they have patented. So that includes:
    the recently published 24 1.8mm full frame mirrorless lens
    Nikon 52mm f/0.9 full frame mirrorless lens
    Nikon 36mm f/1.2 full frame mirrorless lens
    Nikon 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 VR full frame mirrorless lens
    Nikon 24-68mm f/2.8-4 full frame mirrorless lens

    Let's also say they do what you wrote and release a D5M, D500M, and D850M with the new mirrorless mount next year in 2018.
    Which one of those new mirrorless lenses will you be using to shoot sports on your D5M or D500M? The slow f5.6 80mm? Perhaps the f4 68mm?

    My point is simple. Some of Nikon's best lenses and camera bodies are basically going to become second class citizens once the new mount hits. Why invest any more into the dead F mount when Nikon itself has declared that full frame cameras going forward will use the new mount? This is the strategic fallacy Nikon will be making and as a result they will foolishly allow Sony to grow even more.
    PB_PM said:

    If Nikon gets mirrorless right, they'll at the very least maintain market share and could potentially grow it. If they fail, it could tank, it's that simple.

    I don't think Nikon should, or needs to abandon the F-mount, but they most likely will with the end of consumer DSLR production.

    I think they will get it wrong with the introduction of a new mount. They will be competing into an already very crowded space...Fuji, Canon, and Sony all have mirrorless DX offerings already with growing native mount lenses. The wide and normal range photography is going to become dominated by computational processing over the next decade...things like Olympus's high resolution mode or Googles photos processing will only get better over time. Its the telephoto where you can't use multiple capture and computational processing/stitching that will be the last stand for the camera manufacturers. Right now Canon and Nikon have a dominant presence in that area but they both appear to be stupidly throwing it away to start afresh with new mounts.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,122Member
    edited September 2017
    If all you see is doom and gloom, that is what you will get, no way around it. Is Nikon behind? Yup. Do I think launching a new mount will kill the brand? No. Sony changed mounts, several times, didn't kill them. Canon changed mounts, didn't kill them either.

    Is the photo making market changing, sure always has been. Will Nikon be left behind, maybe, but I doubt a new mount will be the cause. I sure wouldn't buy Sony, even though they have a stock of E-mount lenses. Why? If I can avoid Sony as a brand, I'll do it! Sony just does not get photography. They make nice looking cameras, but user friendly? No. Is it something you can count on them to stick with long term? Ha, not a chance. Sony will likely change mounts again in 5 years, just to pump up sales.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,337Member
    edited September 2017
    manhattenboy: My answer is that if Nikon uses a new mount in their mirrorless bodies Nikon will release an adopter which will allow the use of all F-mount lenses on any new mirrorless with a new mount. Nikon did this before, the Nikon FT1 mount adapter. As long as all lens functions are electronically actuated such a mount should not cause any loss of performance because it is just an electronic connection between body and lens.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member
    edited September 2017
    PB_PM said:

    Is Nikon behind? Yup. Do I think launching a new mount will kill the brand? No. Sony changed mounts, several times, didn't kill them. Canon changed mounts, didn't kill them either.

    Is the photo making market changing, sure always has been. Will Nikon be left behind, maybe, but I doubt a new mount will be the cause. I sure wouldn't buy Sony, even though they have a stock of E-mount lenses. Why? If I can avoid Sony as a brand, I'll do it! Sony just does not get photography. They make nice looking cameras, but user friendly? No. Is it something you can count on them to stick with long term? Ha, not a chance. Sony will likely change mounts again in 5 years, just to pump up sales.

    You and I disagree on how Nikon should proceed with mirrorless; I think they should stick with the F mount. What technical benefits will another mount bring? It is most useful for large aperture wide angle lenses. But I would argue that if you are going to create a new mount targeting that segment, then why not do a medium format mirrorless camera and mount?

    Which leads me to another question: why would Nikon release a new mount over using the F-mount?
    PB_PM said:

    Why would Nikon do that? Check out all the mirrorless cameras, manufactures are charging more for them than equivalently spec'd DSLR's. What manufacture would turn down higher margins per unit, and that require an entire new set of lenses?

    Many manufacturers do that, and many loyal Nikon users will follow them regardless of how many times they switch mounts, etc. However, most business run into long-term troubles when their only reasons for decisions are aimed at the hope of making money rather than leveraging their strategic advantages for making money. Nikon's new mount will eventually be a success, I have no doubt about that. But look at when Canon finally made some traction in mirrorless: it was when they put in dual pixel chips that allowed for superior video focusing versus existing mirrorless competition. What is the strategic feature Nikon will be competing on when they release their new mirrorless cameras? On a new mount it is not obvious to me what that will be. On the F mount it would have been the vast selection of lenses and the things that using those lenses would allow you to shoot versus the competition.
    Post edited by manhattanboy on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,122Member
    I don't disagree at all actually. I also think Nikon should keep using the F-mount, but I know they won't. Just look at the main blog, there are lens patients for "mirrorless FX and DX sensor cameras" listed. To me that says, good bye F-mount.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • BVSBVS Posts: 440Member
    After all these years I don't think Nikon would just 'ditch' the F-mount lightly. I think if they do go with a new mount it means that either there are major technical problems associated with using the F-mount, or they believe it will put them at a major disadvantage vs. their competitors.
    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member
    @BVS I hope that I am wrong, but I seriously doubt Nikon will say why they released a new mount when they release their mirrorless cameras. Canon failed to tell why they chose a new mount for their eos M line.

    But let's say that Nikon did give a reason, what could it be? Looking at thier patented lenses perhaps they could say it would allow for ultrawide aperture lenses like f0.9. But what immediate message does that send to the public? It says this is a specialy camera line aimed only for unusual shooting situations. Moreover it implies that future energies will all be spent towards trying to make lenses that take advantage of that unique feature.

    Let's say that instead they argue it provides superior focusing, coupling, etc. The implied message is that you should not buy F mount lenses because they are inferior. Are your current F mount lenses so terrible that you feel Nikon needs to change something? Mine aren't.

    See the problem with explaining the mount change? Ultimately it's probably why Nikon is going to follow Canon and probably not give any reason for the mount change because in honest truth there is no amazing reason for changing the mount.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,122Member
    edited September 2017
    Nikon will change mounts for two reasons, 1) shorter flange distance, which means the camera can be smaller and cheaper to make due to the use of less raw materials (meets the goal of improving margins per product) 2) they can sell you the same focal lengths all over again, at a price premium, because hey it's mirrorless (yup hits that margins thing again).

    So the final answer is, profit, profit and more profit, any other answer is made up marketing mumbo jumbo.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,236Moderator
    Perhaps Nikon will change mount for a mirrorless range, but the DSLR's will continue to be popular for a while and given that the lens sales make them a lot of money, maybe they shouldn't turn off production or even development of new F type lenses for a while and base the decision to stop on popularity of their mirrorless sales.
    Always learning.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 889Member
    Yes, I think there will be F and mirrorless lenses in parallell as long as there is a demand. I don't think we will see mirrorless versions of DSLRs (like a D850m), but I think the same lense designs will come in F and mirrorless mount versions.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,337Member
    "same lense designs will come in F and mirrorless mount versions" How can that be when there will be vastly different flange to sensor distances?
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,191Member
    Well, they won't be the same, but I doubt a 50mm 1.4 would be much different. Maybe a 24mm....
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Certainly with wide angel, lenses which will not require as much retrofocus will be superior to current models as the optical path is simpler. Long focal lengths, it will not make a lot of difference in design and maybe initially all the lenses will come with an adaptor for the mirrorless when purchased with this body.

    I am waiting and seeing as the kit I have is so far superior to my ability at present, I cannot see the advantage of another body.

    Let me see... new Nikon Mirrorless full frame... $3695.... LOL
    Msmoto, mod
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,122Member
    Add another $500 for the F-mount adapter and I think you've got it right.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,337Member
    I read on another site that Nikon patented 35mm f1.2 and 52mm f0.9 mirrorless lenses. If they add an 85mm f1.2 lens they will have a killer set of primes for pros. It makes me wonder if a new lens mount or a shorter flange to sensor distance makes larger lens openings possible? Also, they better have very accurate autofocus so you can easily use such lenses.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member
    @snakebunk how well do you think demand will hold up for F mount lenses once Nikon introduces a new full frame mirrorless camera with a new mount?
    Are you going to drop $3 grand for that new F mount 2.8 zoom once you know the F mount's days are numbered?

    Personally I would switch to renting or just try to buy second hand knowing that anything F mount will become like leaded gasoline eventually. This creates a vicious cycle when demand slows and as a result F mount lens development slows, which further slows demand and so on.

    The problem is that Nikon is not going to be open about their lens roadmap plans. That's great for Nikonrumors as we can have many more days of wild speculation here in the forums ;) But the only thing Nikon will probably do at launch is target weird exotic lenses like the f0.9, which would in their mind have minimal immediate impact on the F mount given there is no clear F mount counterparts. I think that is part of the reason why we will see those lenses developed and released first.

    I still think Nikon is stupid to not use the existing F-mount, as it was a sure bet. Releasing a full frame mirrorless camera on a new mount is rolling the dice with their existing and future customers. Maybe they get lucky and see a bunch of new purchases while continuing to see tons of money spent on their F-mount products. But their luck could dry up.

    I think Nikon looks at what Canon has done with envy. Canon has managed to release a garbage mirrorless line with the first M1 and then slowly build it up to the point where they are now starting to lead mirrorless marketshare. At some point however, Canon will have to figure out what to do with their full frame customers. They could smartly wait for Nikon to release a new full frame mount and then crucify Nikon with the release of a full frame mirrorless on their existing EF mount. Then all the advantages of the existing Canon lenses could be used to heavily market that Nikon's mirrorless FF lens line up is tiny and not useful. They could also market if they keep the existing EF mount that they fully support their professional customers and are not making them buy new superteles, etc. whereas Nikon is abandoning those customers and causing them to eventually have tremendous unnecessary expenses. That's what I would anticipate Canon doing to give Nikon a death blow. Luckily for Nikon, Canon could also just look at the situation with pure greed and follow suit by releasing a new full frame mirrorless mount and making all of their existing customers purchase lenses for the new mount.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,337Member
    Most likely there will be an overlap of mirror and mirrorless bodies for a number of years. BUT, since most of us think mirrorless will win in the end, if Nikon's soon to be announced mirrorless body does use a new mount we can expect all Nikon lenses to transition over to that new mount as years pass. Could Nikon offer a conversion service? Maybe. But why do so if they offer a spacer which provides 100% lens functionality? Nikon must have been thinking of this legacy lens issue for years and must have the answer right now. They just won't tell us until they release the new mirrorless bodies. Might be good to postpone buying one of those hugely expensive super telephoto lenses for a year.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 889Member

    @snakebunk how well do you think demand will hold up for F mount lenses once Nikon introduces a new full frame mirrorless camera with a new mount?

    I feel pretty certain that the demand for F mount lenses will decrease if/when Nikon introduces a new mount for mirrorless full frame cameras. I can't give you any numbers though, I am not that good :).

  • vtc2002vtc2002 Posts: 364Member
    manhattanboy said:

    They could smartly wait for Nikon to release a new full frame mount and then crucify Nikon with the release of a full frame mirrorless on their existing EF mount. Then all the advantages of the existing Canon lenses could be used to heavily market that Nikon's mirrorless FF lens line up is tiny and not useful. They could also market if they keep the existing EF mount that they fully support their professional customers and are not making them buy new superteles, etc. whereas Nikon is abandoning those customers and causing them to eventually have tremendous unnecessary expenses. That's what I would anticipate Canon doing to give Nikon a death blow. Luckily for Nikon, Canon could also just look at the situation with pure greed and follow suit by releasing a new full frame mirrorless mount and making all of their existing customers purchase lenses for the new mount.

    I certainly agree that this could be Canon's strategy. Personally, I think Canon is struggling with the same issue that Nikon is dealing with - that being the flange depth on their lenses. If Canon could use their current lenses and develop a mirrorless camera that could use them to me it seems a little foolish to wait for Nikon to release a mirrorless camera and then release what they all ready have developed. Releasing now before Nikon has anything in the market to compete against would put more pressure on Nikon and by the time Nikon released their camera Canon could capture large share of the market. This is why I think if Nikon can release a game changer mirrorless camera that is not plagued with QA issues it will deliver a blow to the existing mirrorless camera manufacturers and will put a lot of pressure on Canon to step up.
    I will hate to see Nikon deliver a mirrorless camera that I cannot use my current lenses and I hope I am wrong but I do believe they will use a new lens mount. If mirrorless is the future and Nikon does not have a good camera they will lose a lot of the market and customers.


  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 889Member
    If Nikon makes a new mount I am sure there will be an adapter for f mount lenses, don't you think? The important thing is that Nikon makes a great camera that can compete with Sony and others (who will have very good cameras ready to be released).
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member
    @snakebunk I'm sure there will be an adapter. But have you used adapters with heavy telephotos? Would you hang a 400 2.8 off an adapter? How about chaining an adapter with a tc like the 2x? If they were giving us a brand new set of telephotos and telling us to use the adapter for light weight lenses it's one thing, but they are probably doing the opposite.
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,300Member
    edited September 2017
    I have a feeling the new DF version could be a bold Nikon move into the full frame mirrorless market in 2018 or 2019. I also agree, that there will almost certainly be an adapter option for F mount lenses. Nikon will be the Sony killer in the next 18 months :D
    Post edited by kanuck on
  • BVSBVS Posts: 440Member

    @snakebunk I'm sure there will be an adapter. But have you used adapters with heavy telephotos? Would you hang a 400 2.8 off an adapter? How about chaining an adapter with a tc like the 2x? If they were giving us a brand new set of telephotos and telling us to use the adapter for light weight lenses it's one thing, but they are probably doing the opposite.

    Hanging a heavy telephoto off an adapter shouldn't be any worse than hanging it off a TC currently, assuming it had decent build quality. I don't see why they wouldn't make it as robust as needed, or maybe offer a more robust model and a more basic model.

    Adapter + TC might give me pause, but consider that a mirrorless camera will probably weigh less than the current FF equivalent, and most of the weight will be in the lens anyway, so you're either supporting most of the weight with your hand on the lens, or with a tripod foot attached to the lens.
    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
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