Is the Nikon 1 dead?

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  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,368Member
    edited May 2017
    Of course Nikon will use the F mount so as to provide access to their vast supply of Nikon lenses. The use of "legacy" glass is one strong reason to chose a Nikon mirrorless body over a Sony mirrorless body. Nikon won't abandon that advantage.
    The only question is whether Nikon will ditch the mirror box space and use a new flange to sensor distance and produce a few new lenses to take advantage of that shorter distance. I predict they will do so. The pancake lenses will be a 28 prime like the one in the Coolpix A for street shooting, a 50 mm prime like the old 50mm series E compact lens, and a 28 to 85 variable f-stop zoom. That is all Nikon needs for "pancake" lenses specifically designed for mirrorless. Nikon will produce a spacer for use of legacy lenses with the new mirrorless bodies. As to an extender "snapping" with a heavy telephoto, the existing teleconverters have been designed to handle that weight just fine now. Nikon can use the same wall thickness. No glass needed inside. Maybe Nikon will keep the mirror box distance and design "pancake" lenses that sit down inside that empty mirror box. Interesting concept. But I would think it would preclude apertures larger than about f2.8 or f2 because the entire barrel of the lens has to be of a smaller diameter than for a lens sitting outside and on top of the flange. A smaller exterior lens diameter must mean a smaller interior lens diameter letting less light thorough.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • BVSBVS Posts: 440Member

    I think for the reasons you mention Nikon should not produce a thinner body and just leave the F-mount intact on a new mirrorless camera.
    Here are the brutal facts about Nikon:
    1) They have no good pancake primes for either pros or consumers.
    2) They have no mirrorless lenses for larger sensor cameras.

    Surely they would make mirrorless lenses if they had a mirrorless camera. Nikon wants you to buy more lenses. Also, wouldn't wide angle lenses be simpler and cheaper to make if they didn't have to retro-focus (i.e. more money for Nikon)?

    No one likes using adapters and for heavy telephotos the adapters could snap.

    Is this a problem with TCs currently? I assume they could make it as robust as needed, and the camera body would probably be lighter, so less stress on the adapter.

    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,001Member

    Of course Nikon will use the F mount so as to provide access to their vast supply of Nikon lenses. The use of "legacy" glass is one strong reason to chose a Nikon mirrorless body over a Sony mirrorless body. Nikon won't abandon that advantage.
    The only question is whether Nikon will ditch the mirror box space and use a new flange to sensor distance and produce a few new lenses to take advantage of that shorter distance. I predict they will do so.

    You can't change the sensor to flange distance and still be able to use the old lenses. You may be able to physically mount old lenses assuming they kept the F-mount circuitry intact, but those lenses would not generate a focused image as a mount is really two things: the physical connector and the distance to the focal plane that the glass is bending the light onto. Perhaps a massively curved sensor with fancy compensatory microlenses could overcome such a limitation of a shortened flange distance for those old lenses, but as of yet no such sensor exists.
    BVS said:


    Surely they would make mirrorless lenses if they had a mirrorless camera. Nikon wants you to buy more lenses.

    Therein lies the conundrum. If Nikon decides to start from scratch with a new mount, then why invest in Nikon? They have abandoned mounts before (cough Nikon 1).
    BVS said:


    Is this a problem with TCs currently? I assume they could make it as robust as needed, and the camera body would probably be lighter, so less stress on the adapter.

    I don't use TCs because of the image degradation and the fact that they do put more stress on the camera-lens mounting interface. If you are already hand holding a decently heavy lens like the 200-500, that alone if putting a lot of stress on the camera mount. Pick up that lens attached to a camera by the grip and then ask yourself why would anyone want to put additional strain in there? For a smaller mirrorless camera that will likely have an even weaker lens mount, does it really make sense to use a converter all the time? Frankly I would rather just have a regular, reinforced F-mount and have Nikon come out with new lenses that stick into the body for size reduction.
  • BVSBVS Posts: 440Member

    Therein lies the conundrum. If Nikon decides to start from scratch with a new mount, then why invest in Nikon? They have abandoned mounts before (cough Nikon 1).

    I think it depends on the person. If you're somebody who invested a lot in lenses then I can understand wanting to keep the mount. However, if you're one of the 90(or whatever)% of DX users that never buys any lenses beyond the kit lenses then I think it doesn't really matter.

    Canon developed a new mount for EOS-M, and now Canon is #2 in mirrorless in Japan (link). This probably has more to do with name recognition, faith in the brand, marketing, and making the product available in stores, more than any specific technology in the camera. Couldn't Nikon achieve similar success by capitalizing on it's brand?

    Also, if Nikon sticks with the F-mount, doesn't that limit technological progress in some respects (e.g. making lenses faster than f/1.4, or adding in-body stabilization - similar to how Fuji can't do it)? Does Nikon simply continue to use the F-mount till the end of time even while other companies are evolving their tech?

    I don't use TCs because of the image degradation and the fact that they do put more stress on the camera-lens mounting interface. If you are already hand holding a decently heavy lens like the 200-500, that alone if putting a lot of stress on the camera mount. Pick up that lens attached to a camera by the grip and then ask yourself why would anyone want to put additional strain in there? For a smaller mirrorless camera that will likely have an even weaker lens mount...

    If you're putting a big heavy lens on a small mirrorless camera, wouldn't you pick it up by the lens instead of the body, regardless of whether there's an adapter or not?

    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,368Member
    manhattenboy: you seem to be missing the point that a shorter flange to sensor distance can simply be filled with an empty tube "spacer" passing all electrical contacts to the existing DSLR lens. As long as that spacer restores the normal flange to sensor distance an existing lenses will focus just fine. That way a new Nikon mirrorless body can use all existing lenses while Nikon builds out a line of new lenses designed with the shorter mirrorless flange to sensor distance. Either this year or next Nikon will come out with its mirrorless body and we will then know what decision Nikon made.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,001Member
    BVS said:


    I think it depends on the person. If you're somebody who invested a lot in lenses then I can understand wanting to keep the mount. However, if you're one of the 90(or whatever)% of DX users that never buys any lenses beyond the kit lenses then I think it doesn't really matter.

    Canon developed a new mount for EOS-M, and now Canon is #2 in mirrorless in Japan (link). This probably has more to do with name recognition, faith in the brand, marketing, and making the product available in stores, more than any specific technology in the camera. Couldn't Nikon achieve similar success by capitalizing on it's brand?

    Thanks for responding.
    If you are one of the ~90% of DX users that only buys a kit lens, then again I pose the question of why choose Nikon? Canon at this stage has better name recognition, and to be fair, those infrequent shooters probably would enjoy the strengths of a Canon camera such as better video focusing from the dual pixel technology. Nikon's longest lasting strength has been in the prosumer and pro photography realms, and most of those individuals do have significant investments in Nikon F-mount glass.

    In regards to the Canon is now number 2 remark: I will say this, if Canon had made a mirrorless camera with a native EF mount and silent shooting ability, I would have pre-ordered such a camera instantly! The Canon DSLR lenses and controls are excellent. My humble opinion is that Canon has not fully embraced how mirrorless cameras can do certain things better than a DSLR. Imagine being able to use the 70-200 2.8 IS ii with a silent shutter during a wedding. That would be perfect if such a Canon camera was ever made. Alas, Canon has left money on the table in their mirrorless efforts because certain people will continue to seek out mirrorless cameras for the benefits they provide over DSLRs. Canon is merely providing a loud shutter-clacking mirrorless DSLR equivalent, which is sadly a different thing.
    BVS said:


    If you're putting a big heavy lens on a small mirrorless camera, wouldn't you pick it up by the lens instead of the body, regardless of whether there's an adapter or not?

    You would of course; but therein lies my point as you have now adjusted your routine shooting to bend to the limitations of a tiny mirrorless camera. Look at all of the reviews of the new Sony A9. By far the majority of them want it to be bigger with better grip, bigger buttons, more robust materials, etc. The idea that mirrorless automatically equates to a small cheap-material consumer camera is killing the camera companies thinking in regards to mirrorless. Many folks such as myself just want a camera that has the best features and best handling; for me I want the mirrorless camera to be able to allow me to shoot in situations where my 810 or 500 do poorly. Unfortunately, many times features and handling suffer in order to shrink mirrorless cameras down in size, and in general this is doing a disservice to the mirrorless category. Many people already have a very small mirrorless camera with them; its called a smartphone. Camera companies need to stop looking at mirrorless cameras as smartphone replacements.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,161Member
    Manhattanboy, I wholeheartedly agree. There is very little in between space now. I have 3 loadouts in terms of cameras in my gear selection-

    1. All heavy gear- There's a particular shot I need and I need all my best gear to get it- D7000 and all my lenses.
    2. Light camera- I need good image quality and a fast lens, but it must fit in a large hip pouch- Sony RX100- Nikon doesn't really have an equivalent after the canceled DL line.
    3. No camera- Image quality doesn't really matter for me/I don't mind using my phone/most situations- LG Nexus 5x.

    If I care about size or weight, I wouldn't be carrying a D7000. If I wanted something small, I would carry the Sony RX100. I wouldn't want to mess with swapping lenses anyway. I agree that making small mirrorless is a bit of an oxymoron, it's not really helping anyone. It would certainly hurt you with large lens ergonomics and battery life for sure, both aspects that DSLR users value highly. That's partly why I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to keep the F-Mount for mirrorless, but if they do, they better make the camera damn good. I hope they add a huge battery and add in wireless flash control like the DSLRs.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • moreorlessmoreorless Posts: 120Member

    Of course Nikon will use the F mount so as to provide access to their vast supply of Nikon lenses. The use of "legacy" glass is one strong reason to chose a Nikon mirrorless body over a Sony mirrorless body. Nikon won't abandon that advantage.
    The only question is whether Nikon will ditch the mirror box space and use a new flange to sensor distance and produce a few new lenses to take advantage of that shorter distance. I predict they will do so. The pancake lenses will be a 28 prime like the one in the Coolpix A for street shooting, a 50 mm prime like the old 50mm series E compact lens, and a 28 to 85 variable f-stop zoom. That is all Nikon needs for "pancake" lenses specifically designed for mirrorless. Nikon will produce a spacer for use of legacy lenses with the new mirrorless bodies. As to an extender "snapping" with a heavy telephoto, the existing teleconverters have been designed to handle that weight just fine now. Nikon can use the same wall thickness. No glass needed inside. Maybe Nikon will keep the mirror box distance and design "pancake" lenses that sit down inside that empty mirror box. Interesting concept. But I would think it would preclude apertures larger than about f2.8 or f2 because the entire barrel of the lens has to be of a smaller diameter than for a lens sitting outside and on top of the flange. A smaller exterior lens diameter must mean a smaller interior lens diameter letting less light thorough.

    I would point out that the old 50mm E series is both a manual focus AND an SLR lens, the long flange distance being the reason it can be made that small. You look at say the new 50mm F/1.8 FE lens and its certainly not pancake size being considerably longer than even the modern 50mm F/1.8 G(dispite having a less recessed font element). The only pancake lens thus far is the 35mm F/2.8 and that's sacrificing a stop over what you'd typically expect at that focal length.

    I would argue that if you look at the Sony FE system the size saving really isn't there in the lenses at all which are typically somewhat longer than there SLR equivalents. Really the big size saving is in the body which I think makes a lot of sense as the larger the format your shooting obviously the larger your mirror/prism/AF sensor will need to be. Nikon could get the majority of this advantage simply by making an F-mount FF camera without a mirror that uses an EVF instead.

    I think its more as you move down in size that mirrorless really gives more advantage. At APSC your dealing with smaller lenses anyway plus indeed the potential for very small bodies as more users are happy with no(or a small) EVF and more limited controls. The EOS-M camera really represent a package that no DSLR is going to come near and I tend to think that's the product Nikon are lacking right now as I do think its going to take up a bigger and bigger part of the APSC market.

    The 1 series for me if it has a future seems best suited to either ultra cheap bodies or targeting tele shooters were the extra reach from the big crop factor is obviously an advantage.



  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,368Member
    edited May 2017
    Another argument which could be made is that Nikon should replace the Coolpix A with a leaf shutter fixed lens DX sensor mirrorless body like the Fuji X100F. How many people here would be interested in such a Nikon body? I would. I just think what killed the Nikon 1 was too small a sensor size and too high a price. When I use my V2 it always seems like a toy DSLR to me suitable only for use in good light and with subjects which were not going to be printed larger than 8x10. I could see no reason not to use the advantages of a DX sensor instead of that CX sensor when the D3xxx and D5xxx bodies are light enough and small enough.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,001Member


    I think its more as you move down in size that mirrorless really gives more advantage. At APSC your dealing with smaller lenses anyway plus indeed the potential for very small bodies as more users are happy with no(or a small) EVF and more limited controls. The EOS-M camera really represent a package that no DSLR is going to come near and I tend to think that's the product Nikon are lacking right now as I do think its going to take up a bigger and bigger part of the APSC market.

    Look at the size comparison between the Canon DSLR SL1 and the mirrorless Canon Eos M5.
    http://camerasize.com/compare/#448,684
    Granted the M5 is a little thinner, but really they are basically the same size!
    The argument that you can't make small DSLRs is bull; Thom has also written about that several times.

    Another argument which could be made is that Nikon should replace the Coolpix A with a leaf shutter fixed lens DX sensor mirrorless body like the Fuji X100F. How many people here would be interested in such a Nikon body? I would.

    I would too if Nikon managed to capture the same street shooting ability of the X100F. By that I mean nice small retro looks, dead quiet leaf shutter, fully silent electronic shutter with minimal rolling shutter artifacts, a decent battery, good manual controls, smartphone connectivity, etc. There is a lot that Fuji has done right, probably the only thing I would have liked to have seen on the X100F would either be IBIS or lens IS allowing for better stabilization.

    However, rather than copycat Fuji's X100F, I think a retro-styled, small as possible DX camera and new series of pancake primes would actually be better.
  • moreorlessmoreorless Posts: 120Member

    Look at the size comparison between the Canon DSLR SL1 and the mirrorless Canon Eos M5.
    http://camerasize.com/compare/#448,684
    Granted the M5 is a little thinner, but really they are basically the same size!
    The argument that you can't make small DSLRs is bull; Thom has also written about that several times.

    I'm thinking more cameras like the EOS M3 but equally APSC does seem to have the advantage that you don't need to increase the sizes of the lenses as much for mirrorless mounts. I'm guessing the smaller image circle is actually more suited to a smaller flange distance so your having to correct light angles less.

    Indeed with ASPC DSLR's you are also dealing with cameras that inherited a flange distance which was actually designed for 35mm sized mirror clearance, naturally longer than it needed to be anyway.

  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    edited June 2017
    The RX100 series is a super camera as is the EOS M series.

    For those who want a superb walk around mirrorless camera that is not a compromise with an outstanding Zeiss fixed lens the Sony DSC-RX1R and the newer Mark II produce amazing images in FF format with the creative advantage of a leaf shutter which is an amazing tool for people who know how to use flash including less shutter slap which produces sharper images without having to lock up the mirror. These two Sony cameras are the penultimate today for size and quality.

    Fuji's little X100T, which is now discontinued also has a leaf shutter for about a third of the price of the above Sonys, is an excellent alternative for a great walk around camera. I have used both the Sony and the Fuji with remotely fired flash units and the little built in flash on vacations and like the results.

    These cameras with the Nikon 1 Series V3 and J5 in a small shoulder bag cover just about any shooting situation for me. For lenses, I use the sublime little super wide 6.7-13mm, the 32mm, the 10-100mm, and the 70-300mm covering 18-800mm in 35mm format.

    I seldom miss carrying my huge by comparison f/2.8 lenses on vacation.
    Life is good for photographers these days.
    Post edited by TriShooter on
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,161Member
    edited June 2017
    I agree, the RX100 was definitely useful for me in Hong Kong, especially when I was taking photos in museums. The D40 was already loud enough in a quiet museum, I can't imagine how loud the D7000 could get.

    The AF system isn't quite fast enough in low light situations, but the sensor is oh so amazing.

    I don't quite understand small mirrorless. I hate juggling around lenses, large or small. Sure smaller lenses are more convenient in terms of sizing, but either way you're still messing with lenses. If I wanted small I would go with the RX100 and forget about lenses.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • TriShooterTriShooter Posts: 219Member
    I agree the RX100 is a super all-purpose solution in one body. I have traveled many times with only the Sony RX1R which I like for being a full frame 35mm and also the slightly smaller Fuji X-100T which is in DX format and not felt wanting; both these cameras with their leaf shutter are fun to play with using an external flash. The downside is my flash attachments are bigger than both these cameras. The Sony takes acceptable jpg images at 102,000 ISO by taking four shots and combining them which is nice to have but overkill for me as I usually like to see whatever I am shooting. However, if I was traveling to Alaska or Montana where reach is important the V3 and the 70-300mm lens will go along with me for sure.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited June 2017

    j5 + 30-110 almost looks like its in a puddle of mercury..
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,001Member

    Nothing new from Nikon. They are likely going to make a new start in 2018 with a large sensor mirrorless system camera

    Sad state of affairs in Nikon mirrorless land. Apparently Nikon has misinterpreted their 100TH as 1OOTH and is laying eggs this year in mirrorless. Here is my question: its been more than two years since Nikon has done anything in the only segment (mirrorless) in the photography world that is growing or at least not shrinking. How do you not demand the CEO to step down at this point?
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,368Member
    Wait a few more months.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,001Member
    @donaldejose do you mean for the CEO to step down or for Nikon to do something in mirrorless? LOL
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,368Member
    Think of it this way, the Nikon 1 will soon "explode." By that I mean it will evolve into DX and FX mirrorless Nikon Bodies. The 1 inch sensor will be used in point and shoot bodies. When will those Nikon mirrorless bodies be announced? If not in July, if not in 2017, then surely in 2018.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,275Member
    edited June 2017

    How do you not demand the CEO to step down at this point?

    In Japan the CEO only steps down if the company is in a dire situation, which Nikon is not in yet, or embarrasses themselves publicly. Don't expect to see any changes in the near future.

    @donaldejose Point and shoots are dead, other than at the high end, so yeah that makes sense. Of course Nikon just canceled the DL, which used 1 inch sensors so...
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,368Member
    Yes, point and shoots are "dead" but I think a few Coolpix will survive with a 1 inch sensor. There will not be a series of "expensive" or "premium" compacts with a 1 inch sensor like the Nikon 1 was or the DL would have been. That also is "dead." Instead, Nikon 1 mirrorless technology will morph into DX and FX mirrorless bodies and we will still have DSLR bodies for many years to come until the mirror has no advantage over mirrorless. The last of the DSLR bodies are probably now in the pipeline along with the first of Nikon's DX and FX mirrorless bodies.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,275Member
    Time will tell, no doubt about. I think Nikon will likely start with FX, to justify the price premium they will charge. Expect the first Nikon (non-Nikon 1) mirrorless to be more expensive than the D5.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,161Member
    PB_PM said:

    How do you not demand the CEO to step down at this point?

    In Japan the CEO only steps down if the company is in a dire situation, which Nikon is not in yet, or embarrasses themselves publicly. Don't expect to see any changes in the near future.

    @donaldejose Point and shoots are dead, other than at the high end, so yeah that makes sense. Of course Nikon just canceled the DL, which used 1 inch sensors so...
    The last time a Japanese CEO stepped down was with the Takata airbag issue, where people were killed. Before that, the Olympus book cooking scandal.

    Nikon hasn't really done anything egregious like that other than not making products we really want, so no, I don't foresee any large shakeups in management.

    I'm not sure why they're not forward thinking enough, the better products you make the more profit you get...?

    I mean Canon is more invested in mirrorless than Nikon, and for the longest time the M series wasn't even that great.

    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • SportsSports Posts: 365Member
    Nikon sell a V3 + 10-30mm + 10-100mm bundle at $600 in Denmark.
    They claim it's something like a 70% discount.
    Is it fair to assume the system is 70% dead?
    On the other hand, I cannot find any other discounted Nikon 1 products.
    D300, J1
    Sigma 70-200/2.8, 105/2.8
    Nikon 50/1.4G, 18-200, 80-400G
    1 10-30, 30-110
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,433Member
    It is mortally wounded.
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