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Dallas

Nikon Had No Choice

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So Nikon has announced they will bring in the new professional mirrorless camera with a new mount and adaptability to F mount lenses. I don't think they had any choice in the matter, to be honest. 

 

I think we will see a couple of new mirrorless bodies. There will probably be a flagship and a prosumer grade body. I reckon the flagship will most likely have the designation of DM-1 and the prosumer most likely a DM-300 or something along those lines. 

 

Hopefully they will have designed something that inspires the competition to up their game too, but based on recent pricing of models such as the D5, I reckon we can expect a wince when the prices are announced, which will leave ample room for the competitors like MFT, Sony and Fuji to compete well. 

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Looking at the initial marketing material, they might be trying for a low light monster with at least one model.  Rumours are that there are a number of versions to come.

 

Lets see if they can get this right - they've pretty much flopped with every thing they've tried other than their DSLRs recently.

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It will be very interesting to see the adoption rate amongst dyed-in-the-wool Nikon shooters who are entrenched in the F mount. And then, if the adoption rate is good, what will Nikon do with the DSLR lines? Wear them down by attrition or continue to put new models into the market? I believe that when it eventually arrives it will be a kick ass camera and those who have been against the EVF will finally see just how much of an advantage they are. 

 

Interesting times ahead, not forgetting that Canon will also be bringing a pro level mirrorless to the game this year. 

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I use both EVF and DSLR bodies.  Each has their place, but neither is optimum for all of my photography.  A FF Nikon EVF body would allow me to use my Nikon glass at shoots where an EVF is a better choice than an OVF, so I look forward to it.    As technology marches on there may come a time when a mirrorless body can do everything at least as well as a DSLR, but we are not there yet IMO.

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Waaaaaaay too late, very stupid Nikon!

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Let's not jump to too many conclusions. I think the Nikon legacy is strong enough to support a new product line, but why they want that line to be based around 35mm is curious. What they probably should have done is build a medium format mirrorless system first, then scale it down to a smaller format. 35mm means nothing if they aren't building it around their existing mount. 

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It could also be that Nikon have realised that there is a significant trade in adapters which allow the use of Nikon F lenses with both Hasselblad's X1D and Fuji's GFX camera. As the GFX and D5 are virtually the same price, and with the Fuji offering a larger "small medium format" sensor (even if some of those Nikkors can't cover the whole sensor and have to be used in 135 crop mode), there's no getting away from the fact that the GFX is effectively a multiple format camera that can make use of Nikkor FX lenses for the same price as a D5. For pro studio work the GFX already makes a lot more sense than a D5 given that extra flexibility, which has probably reduced the market for Nikon's flagship already.

 

Choosing FX sensor size (as announced) instead of small-medium format with crop mode for FX may well be the most questionable decision for this new camera, in that case.

 

I had to laugh at this line, though: "Nikon will continue to lead imaging innovation with the launch of the new mirrorless camera".

 

They are so many years behind in this technology by now that one can only wish them good luck in playing catch-up before they can claim to be "leading innovators" again.

 

With both the Hasselblad H1D and Fuji GFX already well established, labelling oneself as "leading" imaging innovation just smacks of hubris, particularly if the sensor really is going to be just an FX sensor taking on the Fuji and Hasselblad 50MP 43.8mm x 32.9mm offering, and a new lens line only good for 135 format coverage.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Alan7140 said:

I had to laugh at this line, though: "Nikon will continue to lead imaging innovation with the launch of the new mirrorless camera".

 

There's no spin like corporate spin, hey? :D 

 

In the long term I suppose that they are looking at 35mm as the thing that they can tap into the existing user base for. Maybe they believe that if a photographer has invested in their glass, they will be happy to use that glass on a mirrorless camera with the same capturing size. However, what you say about them making a bigger format sensor that can still use 35mm lenses in a cropped mode does make sense. It also increases the scope for further expansion down the line without really compromising the size of the physical device (considering the comparison below). 

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 07.14.22.png

 

If I was still invested in Nikkors (and size in the field didn't matter as much to me as it does) it would be great to know that I could get a camera that will not only allow me to use all my existing glass for it, but also buy bigger glass to make use of its much larger sensor for critical work too.

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I agree with the comments regarding the advantages of EVF on mirrorless cameras but like Luke currently still find my Nikon SLRs more effective in given situations. A situation that is likely to change with time.

I'm not sure you guys have necessarily got it right with Nikon however. They may have played a smart game. Dallas has already pointed out the strong legacy of the Nikon system and whilst overall sales have been down in keeping with all of their competitors they are still a leading brand and a major player.

Having made a false start with the '1' system they have enjoyed the advantage of watching their competitors develop the mirrorless systems without investing in the r & d to production levels. You can imagine that they have torn apart every Fujifilm, Sony et all over this period, ticked off the plus points and discarded the bad. Development at the semi-pro level is now levelling out on mirrorless so now is a good time to step in with a trump card. If only that's the plan!

Nikon's weakness has always been its marketing in my view, and they have failed to convince the public with several great cameras. Hopefully they will have learnt from Sony whose marketing ploys have seen the photographic press do most of the hard work for them.

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I don't think the D5 and the GFX are really competitors.  I recently shot the GFX on a day's shoot organised by Camera World (a UK retailer from whom I have bought Fuji gear) and Fujifilm UK.  I had the use of the GFX for the day, with a variety of lenses.  I have not had time to process the images, but my immediate reaction is that they are of superb quality (the camera's work, not mine!).  The camera is a lot like my X-T2 and it was easy to set up and use.  Users of the X-H1 would feel even more comfortable.  

 

However, the camera is nowhere near as fast and responsive as a D5.  The D5 is a superb high ISO sports, action and wildlife camera, amazingly fast and responsive.  But it is not Nikon's best in term of image quality, that is the D850.

 

I know that Michael Erlewine prefers the D850 to the GFX, but I have not done the comparison myself.

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Thinking about this my first digital cameras were mirrorless, except that they were point & shoot 🤪

 

The innovation comes with the intelligent combination of interchangable lenses, decent sensors, good viewfinders and good ergonomics

 

Why Nikon took so long to adopt this winning combination has been puzzling and debated to death on multiple forums

 

As for the new Nikon's I'm very curious, what has held on migrating to Olympus, or Fuji is the expense to replace my lenses, and the fact that my D800 continues to deliver great results, then even when Nikon starts to sell the new cameras I will wait and see what happens

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11 hours ago, Anthony said:

I don't think the D5 and the GFX are really competitors.  I recently shot the GFX on a day's shoot organised by Camera World (a UK retailer from whom I have bought Fuji gear) and Fujifilm UK.  I had the use of the GFX for the day, with a variety of lenses.  I have not had time to process the images, but my immediate reaction is that they are of superb quality (the camera's work, not mine!).  The camera is a lot like my X-T2 and it was easy to set up and use.  Users of the X-H1 would feel even more comfortable.  

 

However, the camera is nowhere near as fast and responsive as a D5.  The D5 is a superb high ISO sports, action and wildlife camera, amazingly fast and responsive.  But it is not Nikon's best in term of image quality, that is the D850.

 

I know that Michael Erlewine prefers the D850 to the GFX, but I have not done the comparison myself.

 

As I said  - "for studio work". The GFX and H1D are hands down a better choice than the DSLR FX D5 in that arena, particularly the GFX with its optional articulating electronic viewfinder.

 

Speed is usually not a consideration in studio work - even fashion shoots with live models are limited by the recycling rate of the flash units as far as shooting speed goes. During my years in an advertising photography studio we had motor-driven Pentax 35mm cameras for speedy location work, but in the studio 135format was never used - it was always medium and large format (Hasselblad, Pentax 6x7 and Cambo gear). Not much has changed in the demands of that sort of shooting these days, either.

 

Digital made the use of larger formats limited to those whose turnover could afford a camera that cost as much as a luxury car or even a house, which is what caused the 135 DSLR gain a foothold in an area that was never considered its domain in film days. The small-medium format mirrorless cameras such as the X1D and GFX are helping to address that shortcoming at a similar cost to the top-end 135 DSLR cameras, and hopefully a further step will be taken with a full-medium format mirrorless camera appearing at an affordable price in the not too distant future. At $40K+ the Hasselblad H6D-100c is still an unaffordable stretch for most studios to contemplate, as is the top end Phase One.

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I'm anticipating the FX mirrorless, but likely permanently on the sideline as a consumer. I was really hoping to be in the game, but the arthritis in my hands is making the handling of my DF (e.g. the weight /  torque of it's lenses) a lot more difficult. For me the backward compatibility of the new NMFX body with existing F/G-mount lenses is just not an issue, I need smaller. So my decision for the Fuji X-system some time ago appears to be well thought out. 

 

I bought my first Nikon in 1968. It's a bit odd to think of this as a watershed moment. I haven't been without one (or several) for all that time. We still have a Nikon 1 V2 and it's my wife's favorite camera and of her options I prefer it's file flexibility; RAW files in auto mode. She gets to use the camera in a way that's comfortable for her and I get the processing flexibility that I like.

 

I look at the evolution of the Nikon system through the eyes of a general (possibly more documentary with some landscape interests) photographer. In the professional realm, the camera that stands out as the most versatile is the D850. I'm just not enough into the sports/action genre to see the D5 as anything but a slipping niche player, but I've always been shortsighted in that arena.

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Quote

 

They are so many years behind in this technology by now that one can only wish them good luck in playing catch-up before they can claim to be "leading innovators" again.

 

So sad this crowd can not stop bashing cameras with a mirror.

The MIRROR, or lack there of, contributes NOTHING to advancing the state of the art of imaging.

 

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1 hour ago, fredazinger said:

They are so many years behind in this technology by now that one can only wish them good luck in playing catch-up before they can claim to be "leading innovators" again.

 

So sad this crowd can not stop bashing cameras with a mirror.

The MIRROR, or lack there of, contributes NOTHING to advancing the state of the art of imaging.

 

 

One voice is not a crowd, Fred. 

 

However, many former users of the Nikon and Canon brands are vocal about how they have slipped behind the technology curve by ignoring the advantages that a mirrorless architecture brings to the game. It isn't unusual for people to express this disappointment in posts on forums like FZ. You'll find the same conversation all over the web, not just here. I don't think that interpreting that commentary as "brand bashing" is fair. It is observational. If it gets personal then that's different and it will be dealt with. 

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36 minutes ago, fredazinger said:

They are so many years behind in this technology by now that one can only wish them good luck in playing catch-up before they can claim to be "leading innovators" again.

 

So sad this crowd can not stop bashing cameras with a mirror.

The MIRROR, or lack there of, contributes NOTHING to advancing the state of the art of imaging.

 

 

Who said anything about a mirror?

 

By simply pointing out the fact a certain manufacturer which decided to ignore advancements in technology for years is now suddenly joining the fray and claiming to be "leading innovators", I was only making a valid observation on a corporation's management and apparent hubris, not on the technology per se. We all know that things are changing, just some manufacturers seem to be a bit slow on the uptake.

 

SLR technology is still absolutely current if you're using film (as I have been increasingly doing of late), and there is no use for any of the modern digital image capture technology when using film. As a technology the Nikon F4 I used between 1993 and 2005 was pretty much the ant's pants - even the last in the line F5 lent little improvement to what that F4 was capable of.

 

The SLR system was honed to perfection with film cameras. Compare it with the cameras in use in the 19th and much of the first part of the 20th Century and its easy to see just what a fantastic product the film camera had developed into by the 1990s - instant return mirrors, superbly designed viewfinders using the capture lens image instead of some separate lens to view the image and so enabling accurate framing with a bright clear image that accurately showed the focus point (the F4 is still the best non-digital viewfinder system I ever used), inbuilt meters again using the taking lens as their source, auto focus, auto exposure - just some things that spring to mind (having frequently been a user of older technologies such as view cameras, rangefinders and twin lens reflex cameras myself in the past).

 

Unfortunately I think the popular and commercial era of still photography using dedicated equipment is nearing an end, but were it to survive for another century or so, I would be equally certain that DSLR cameras will be regarded by historians as being the equivalent stepping stones that those earlier film cameras were between the Daguerreotype, Tintype, Ambrotype and collodion plate apparatus compared to the ultimate expression of SLR cameras, should they even bother to compare DSLRs to whatever pure digital capture devices eventually wind up as.

 

Should I be right in theorising that popular still photography has a life measured in a decade or two rather than centuries, the whole thing becomes pointless anyway as to the gear involved. While it may persist as a hobby or art form, it's not hard to imagine that as soon as a hand-held device that captures a holographic/VR movie clip that can be instantly streamed of any subject, popular and commercial interest in the still photograph will evaporate along with whatever the latest still capture device of the day might be.

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      What’s the point of having a $3K lens if I am not going to be able to shoot at the range I want to shoot at and get top IQ? Unless I want to stack focus, I am kind of limited to “arty” photos, ones with just a hint of field depth. It’s nice, but for only once in a while.
       
      The 95mm PN can be used mounted directly to my Nikon D850, provided that camera is mounted on a focus fail. I could also add a very small helicoid to the lens, but the moment I do that I immediately lose some of what I most need, range. This lens is designed for something like 1:2 magnification. I find the 95mm very sharp, easy to use, and probably gives me the best bang for the buck, so to speak.
       
      The PN 95mm has 45mm outer threads. The lens mount M45 x 0.75 and there are 12 blades.
       
      The 105mm PN pretty much has to be on a bellows or view camera and, even then, the range is limited to about one view and (for my work) that is not even at its sharpest.
       
      The PN 105mm has 43mm filter threads and the lens mount is M45 x 0.75. There are 12 blades.
      There are two PN 150s (actually three), but the one not mentioned here follows the lead of the PN 150, 2nd version, and I don’t have it.
      The 150mm PNs are advertised for 1X magnification range, but it will work wider, but of course at a loss in IQ I would imagine.
       
      The PN 150mm (first version) has front and rear threads of 62mm. I’m not an expert, but this earlier version of the 150mm has an additional ring that compensates for the magnification, insuring sharper images over a wider range of magnification. This is perhaps what makes this version the most useful to me. It actually works and is kind of amazing to watch. You just dial it in and it is sharper.
       
      And the PN 150 (version 2) has a filter thread of 58mm and 12 blades. It can’t go much above f/4.5 and not lose quality. It does not have the extra ring to compensate for magnification.
      As far as mounting the Printing Nikkors to the Nikon-F mount, it is not difficult, but you do have to match up adapters. I have enough laying around here to mix and match until they all are ready to go. 
       
      I post here two stacked photos for each of the four Printing Nikkors I have. These photos give you a rough idea of the kind of reproduction-ratio that I can get with these lenses. I am sure if you want to go 1:1 and above, you would with some get better results. However, I do the best I can with what I have.
       
      Below are shown two sets of four images, the first four are simple stacks of 2 layers, one each focused around the center of each flower. This lets you see each lens with little stacking. However, these are at f/11, which is the opposite end of where the lens is sharp. It still is pretty good.
       
      The second four images are all stacked liberally. They will show you what a stacked image looks like with each lens.
       
      I’m not sure what you will get out of these, but you can take a look. Meanwhile, I continue checking out these interesting (to me) lenses, the Printing Nikkors.
      I will have to post the other four images in a second post. Won't fit.
       
       








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