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Nikonbs new lens mount system General Discussion


According to one of the biggest German photo-magazines (Color Foto), Nikon will come out later this year with a newly designed lens mount (parallel to the old one).

We opened this new thread for you, to give you the opportunity to discuss your thoughts about this step of Nikon.

Would you invest in this new system, do you think Nikon can catch up or surpass Canon with this step?



New Member
When the new lens system is released, I will evaluate how whatever new body is released compares to the Canon offerings and decide whether to switch or not. I'm in no way tied to the Nikon name, I do this for a living and if I have to buy all new lenses anyway, the best camera will win.
I don't believe it. 1-The F mount is large enough for 35mm film why would they change it for a 35mm size CCD? 2-Nikon seems committed to increasing the megapixel count on the current size CCD. 3-Nikon is busy designing new DX lenses for the current size CCD. Considering the source of the information, the intent may be to increase participation on a certain new forum that isn't doing too well.
Then again Nikon may have a 10 pound $3000 F2.8G 70-200 IF VR lens on the table just to increase sales.



Can't see why Nikon would introduce a new mount for a full 35mm frame-equivalent CCD because:
a) The current mount easily encompasses the 35mm film frame size
b) The current F-mount doesn't appear to have given Kodak any problems with the new 14n model.

I reckon this is just one of those chinese whispers.



we are well known that we do NOT spread any fast rumour around - in contrast to many other websites.

1. The source

The source is Color Foto. Color Foto is a highly regarded, very conservative German photomagazine. It is one of the two biggest photomagazine in Germany with over 60000 sold items per month. In the past 10 years, Color Foto only announced so called serious rumours, when it is 99.9% sure that it is true, but officially they were not allowed to say that it is confirmed. Since the article is on the very first page (a full page about it) in the editorial page, they would risk a lot just telling untrue things.

2. It is not the question whether the current lens mount is big enough to COVER the 35mm area. The question is what kind of image quality you get in the corners with the current lens mount size. There is a very interesting thread on the site about this and the official pdf download from Olympus is explaining this with pictures in detail. Look for details on the page:

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

3. There is also in Color Foto the mentioning of a new Nikon Digital camera this year with the current lens mount with 6MP and below the price of the D100. But since this is the name of the game (to introduce almost each year a better model for less money), we did NOT mention this specifically as long as we do not have detailed information what it will look like.


regarding the Kodak, I am still sceptical. I have not read yet anything extremely positive about it except an average recomendation on dpreview. Time will tell whether the number of pixel itself guarantess excellent image quality.

And IMHO I do not believe that a niche market player like Contax is risking to loose its costumers by introducing a new lens mount, if there would not have been significant advantages compared to the old one.

Also the fact that Nikon did not yet said anything about plans with a full frame chip even after 9 months of "Canon 1ds marketing success" makes me cautious...

So with the current information available, there is absolutely no reason NOT to believe this.


Here are some copies of the thread, where different approaches of different manufacturerss are discussed:

"...Reports are that the Kodak 14n has vignetting problems, so that technique apparently does not mitigate the well depth issue. This was a known issue, and people in industry circles were surprised that Kodak tried this...."



Dear all,

Here's what I heard from a friend who works in the IT industry, with some clarifications on CCD vs CMOS I found it extremely helpful in understanding the issues regarding digital photography.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

Kyocera pulled back N Digital to upgrade the firmware and add in better cooling devices. I have not heard anything regarding to what sensor they will use for the next high end digicam though. With the lesson learned from N Digital and Kodak's 14n, I think Kyocera will be super conservative this time.

The N1/ND was a very ambitious project. Probably it was too ambitious. Kyocera underestimated the engineering efforts around the 6MP Philips sensor. The Philips sensor specs look very good on paper; however, for real world application, it has two major problems: 1. It eats up lots of power. 2. It can generate lots of heat which will increase the noise level. Kyocera had lots of troubles with these two issues. The Philips sensor is Ok for med format digiback because it has the space to install good cooling devices. This is not an option for N1. At the end, Kyocera had to lower the ISO rating to reduce the noise. Also, Kyocera was short of software and firmware engineers. Many things could not implemented correctly and on time. Another minor issue is the corner performance. Even with larger N mount and larger image circle of N lenses, the angle which light strikes the micro-lense at the border of CCD is still off too much. This causes some performance degradation with the 17-35 lens.

CMOS sensor indeed has more noises than CCDs. Another problem with CMOS sensor is that it does not have the idea of shutter. I.e. CMOS sensor is always ON. The good news is that the CMOS process allow the designer to put lots of extra circuits to the same chip. A s&ling circuit can be added beside a sensor to monitor its value all the time. When the camera is not doing the shot, the s&ling circuit will record down the noise level in the sensor. When the camera is taking a picture, the s&ling circuit will act like an artifical shutter, record down the sensor value at the end of the shot then decrease the recorded value with the noise value s&led last time to get the real picture value. With this, you will see a very clean image with little noise. The penality is that this will reduce the dynamic range of the sensor. It hurts the tonal gradation as well. This is the main reason you can see why pictures from Canon D60 and 10D all look very clean; however, they look just more fake than S2Pro and D100's. Anyway, almost all CMOS sensor are using this multi-s&ling noise reduction circuit now. Canon is just the first one which used it on consumer digicams.

One more good thing about CMOS sensor is that the sensor pixel is shaped like a tile, more or less like an area sensor. The light which hits any spot on the tile will be recorded. On the other side, CCD sensor pixel shaped more like a well. A micro lens has to be added to the top of a sensor to focus the light to the right spot. This is the main reason that with the Nikon F-mount, Nikon will never be able to produce a full-frame digicam with CCD sensors. The angle of the light path to the film boundary is too narrow for a micro lens to focus light to the sensor.

With CMOS sensors, Canon has more design freedom. The 1Ds uses bascially a sensor made up by two D60/10D sensors.

Kodak's 14n uses a 14MP CMOS sensor from FillFactory. The sensor is actually more hi-tech than Canon's; however, since it has more pixels, each pixel has to be smaller than Canon's. Small pixels means that each pixel will have less area to accept light. With the smaller Nikon F-mount, the pixels around the border have the light angel issue again. Kodak had to add in complex exposure compensation function to correct this problem. Another issue is that the FillFactory chip was noisy... something Kodak had not expected. On paper, the sensor should have a dynamic range around 11.5bit(69db?) but in reality, it is less than that... I think probably FillFactory has tried too many fancy things with their noise reduction circuit which may not work well all the time. On the other side, Canon just relies on some proven brute-force apparoach.

Sure, Kodak also has lousy software engineers such that the post imaging processing is simply not as good as Canon's. It will take a while for things to improve...."



Active Member
I imagine that the new lens mount system is a complement to the current system. We do not know to date how large the image circle of the new lenses will be, maybe it covers alot more than 24*36mm. Maybe Nikon is bringing us a system to compete with medium format systems. Time will tell.


... no not yet. So we will have to wait til July for the following issues of Color Foto or FotoMagazin to get more information. Surprisingly Color Foto has not updated yet its news-section on their website (as of yesterday). You could see online the cover of the newest edition with the mentioned news, but all news in the newssection are outdated.

Maybe Nikon made a call to Color Foto, if they do not want it to be disclosed yet

Since photomagazines are dependent from theadvertising (and also some internetsites), this can be an "uncomfortable" situation.

But I see it as a positive sign (the articel). It shows the committment of Nikon to catch up market share in Digital. And as long as you can have both, the new and the old lens mount, nobody will have a probelm with it. At least not me...



Well-Known Member
Well if they do make a new mount - I sure hope that they make adapters for current F-mount lenses. This way the long/tele lenses (which aren't a problem for digital) can still be used.

I understand the quest for all out image quality with wide angle lenses on Digital platforms, but does the ND have these issues with it's lens mount and using wide angle lenses?


"...So now we will have a film lens mount and a digital lens mount?.."

I do not think that it will be separated into film mount and digital mount, because they write in this article that there will be also a new digital camera with the old mount this year (6MP and cheaper than the D100).

IMHO Nikon will launch this new lens mount as an alternative for those who would like to have it - or new Nikon customers, who just start buying their Nikon equipment.

But over the long run (5-10 years) I doubt that there will be 2 different lens mounts at the same time. At the end of the day, the costumer is deciding this. If the sales numbers of the old one will still outperform the new one, Nikon will definitely not remove the old one.

And because it is impossible to offer from day 1 a huge lens range for a new lens mount, they are forced to offer both at the same time - at least in the first 2 years. The stock of the old one will also not be that fast sold out

So there is no reason to worry for the old mount



"...but does the ND have these issues with it's lens mount and using wide angle lenses?..."

Good question. I have not heard yet anything negative from the ND users at in this respect. But it is difficult to tell, I think.

If someone is using for exmaple the new N2.8/17-35 in position 17, it is hard to tell what is the "fault" of the lens and what the chip/ mount design.

But at there is a huge thread about the ND with many ND owners. Maybe it might make sense to ask them. Maybe there are some of them also members here...



New Member
Surely the current F-mount is not capable to handle full-frame sensors with the current lenses. I think Contax ND and Canon EOS 1Ds are just over this treshold, but maybe the open 4/3 system will be the ideal solution. Notwithstanding, Kodak pressed forward with the DCS Pro 14N with Nikon F-mount and a full frame CMOS. The issues are obvious, and Kodak tries to overcome them by a software solution: the camera's menu system has an option "Lens Optimization" which requires the selection of 1) Auto 2) Type1 3) Type2 4) Type3. These are obviously various digitally applied center-filters that try to eliminate the vignetting in the case of wide-angle lenses where the rear lens-element projects light to the edges of the sensor in a too flat angle. But... in the case of certain wide-range zooms this setting should be different in the wide-angle, in the medium, and in the long tele settings. (by the way these zoom lenses are anyhow poor enough quality to supply &le resolution to a high-megapixel sensor...) In real-life situation no one will bother to adjust this... so there is often a very serious compromise... Nikon could have followed various paths out of this. Maybe the bigger mount is not the best one, maybe they know better... It will be interesting to witness what follows. And, as far as possible, to keep hold on any investment...

Cheers, Willy


This whole issue about a new lens mount come down to just a couple of issues that are driving it.

1. Nikon users who desire to have a full frame digital sensor.

2. Nikon's need to offer a 10+ mega-pixel camera that is competitive with the current Canon offering and avoid any increase in digital noise.

3. The need to overcome the optical restrictions of the current CCD designs.

I currently use the D100 and like the 2/3's sensor. I like the concept of using a 400mm focal length lens and receiving an image that appears to have been taken with a 600mm lens. At sixty years of age I do not seek out the opportunity to carry additional weight other than around my waist and as a result of being well fed. The 4/3's sensor would also require a lens mount change so I would not favor that solution. (The 4/3's sensor requires interchangeability with other manufactures bodies and lenses.) Really not smart for a company that sells quality products in a price sensitive market.

I would not object to the new mount if it were made backward compatible with the Nikon F mount through the use of a "reasonably priced" adapter. This could be a real challenge, not making it just keeping the price down.

A larger lens mount would have a few other impacts. Lens may become heavier. The larger mount may offer the opportunity to improve the performance of new lenses when used with film.

Ed Tyler


I just got off the phone with a Nikon representative that assured me the rumors of the death of the Nikon F lens mount are, as stated by Mark Twain of his own death, greatly exaggerated. Further discussion indicated that Nikon is fully committed to cameras and lenses that produced images of high technical quality and that we could look forward to some interesting announcements over the next few months.

My interpretation of his comments would lead me to believe that Nikon is fully committed to the 2/3 sensor and that their development efforts are focused on the 2/3 image sensor platform.

All of that being said, "no new product is real until you have it in one hand and a receipt for it in the other!"




nobody was talking about the death of the old system. It was clearly stated that it is an ADDITION to the old system, NOT a replacement (according to Color Foto)


According to my Nikon Contact, they are not even considering a new mount. As has been noted here there are a number of optical issues to overcome to develop a full frame CCD camera. There equally daunting issues to overcome for a 2/3rd sensor over 10 mega-pixels. Nikon is dedicated to the 2/3rd rout for the present.

For me they are all just tools, I only hope that I can continue to afford them.



"Color Foto is a highly regarded, very conservative German photomagazine."

Well, I have a subscription on Color Foto, and the part I like the least about it is their reporting on new stuff. Usually very conservative indeed, i.e., they only print news 1.5 months after the official press release.

The last time they blew it is where they really lost any credibility with me regarding reporting of news. Their November 2002 issue (appearing mid October) reported on the new Hasselblad H1 system that was to be introduced at the Photokina. As they stated that the "rumours" were that this was done together with Fujim they showed an artist impression (drawing) of the camera. It looked like the Fuji 6x4.5 rangefinders. Needless to say, the H1 looks very different. But the key point here is that this issue mid October appeared 3 weeks after the Photokina opened its door. I learn two things about this:
1) they are really slow in their workflow that they could not update the magazine before it printed.
2) they based their article on rumours, but the source of those rumours was very inaccurate, if one looks how they reported on it.

So for me, their reporting based on rumours is worth absolutely nothing. But time will tell what the truth really is.


Well-Known Member
The below is the response we received on the Nikonians group forumn,


>Ok, everyone take a deep breath...

>Here you go:

>"Nikon is not planning on changing the >standard "F" mount on new cameras."

>Let me shout that out a little louder:


>We were told that you couldn't do AF with >the "small" "F" mount, but we did.
>We were told that you couldn't have internal >focusing, but we did.
>We were told that you couldn't have "AF-S" >focusing in the "F," but we did.
>We were told that you couldn't get extreme wide >angle, but we did.
>Clearly the current lens mount system works and >it would be silly for us to alienate 50 years >of lens purchasers. Hope this is clear!


>-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
>David Dentry
>Manager, Technical Information, Digital >Products
>Nikon USA