Release of Nikon mirrorless and demand for old MF lens

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Eric Rose

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I'm thinking that the release of the new Z series Nikon mirrorless cameras are going to create a huge demand for older Nikkor lenses. I used Nikon FF DSLR's for some years but finally switched over to mirrorless for all the extra advantages. I kept my Nikkor lens, just in case. I was going to sell a bunch of them, have some in the classifieds right now, but decided to hang on to my favs. Canon will be bringing out their mirrorless pretty soon as well. I think the same thing will happen to the old FD glass. The old lens have a look you don't get with the new stuff, especially for video which is mostly what I am doing these days.

So if you are thinking of buying a mirrorless FF Nikon or Canon and don't have some old glass now is the time to buy it before the price skyrockets. Or want to add to our film Nikon and Canon systems act fast. Just my opinion.
 

Alan Gales

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The new Nikon mirrorless cameras use a larger lens mount than the DSLR's did. Nikon is making an adapter for the new cameras so you can use the older glass. The big question is if the new adapter will diminish the quality of the older glass.

Also from what I have heard, the newer glass that will be coming out will be faster than the older glass and faster than the glass that the Sony mirrorless cameras use. Some will pony up for the faster lenses.

You may be right about prices going up on the older Nikon glass if Nikon succeeds with their two new mirrorless cameras. There are a lot of if's though. It's definitely going to be interesting.
 

BAC1967

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Micro 4/3 cameras can adapt almost any lens, people have been buying old lenses for them for years now. You don’t have to use Nikon glass just because it’s a Nikon camera, they will start making adapters for everything like they did with Micro 4/3.
 

Theo Sulphate

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The popularity of autofocus in the 1990's onward and the popularity of digital after that kept the prices of Nikon pre-AI and even AI(S) lenses relatively low. This allowed us old guys to buy all the lenses we dreamed of - not only Nikon lenses, but Canon and even Hasselblad ones as well.

One of the hardest and more expensive lenses I had to search for was the Minolta 50/1.4 AF -- because the Sony guys like it so much.
 

alentine

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That trick will go over digital fanatics only. They strive for "film look" digital pictures, but are not able to take the challenge to learn and master the craft of making photos and using film!
No merit of using SLR lenses on a range finder camera more than it's on SLR camera, leave alone digital range finder camera.
The internal processors of even medium format digital cameras, are unable to cover the plentiful old lenses varieties in consistent way.
But still, can produce different look digital images.
The reverse situation of using the well corrected range finder lenses(if possible) on SLR after modification or on whatever camera, has it's merit of course.
Will see if the new Nikon lenses(4, I think) can cover more than full frame or not? If so, Nikon will invest in a larger sensor camera system maybe in the near future!
 
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kmg1974

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The new Nikon mirrorless cameras use a larger lens mount than the DSLR's did. Nikon is making an adapter for the new cameras so you can use the older glass. "The big question is if the new adapter will diminish the quality of the older glass."

with a flange distance of 16 mm I don't see any need to include an optical adapter to the lens (unlike the contax to nikon, or canon fd to canon ef adapters; though those only have simple lens setups so one can hope that quality is retained). Thus, the main 'problem' that could affect the image is if the adapter reflects some light (which I hope Nikon would take care of).

the main issue will be the angle of incidence on the sensor when adapting ultra-wide angle lenses.... maybe Nikon will address that from the get go with a thinner filter stack.... you could use the biogon G 21 without any issues then :smile:
 

RattyMouse

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I'm thinking that the release of the new Z series Nikon mirrorless cameras are going to create a huge demand for older Nikkor lenses. I used Nikon FF DSLR's for some years but finally switched over to mirrorless for all the extra advantages. I kept my Nikkor lens, just in case. I was going to sell a bunch of them, have some in the classifieds right now, but decided to hang on to my favs. Canon will be bringing out their mirrorless pretty soon as well. I think the same thing will happen to the old FD glass. The old lens have a look you don't get with the new stuff, especially for video which is mostly what I am doing these days.

So if you are thinking of buying a mirrorless FF Nikon or Canon and don't have some old glass now is the time to buy it before the price skyrockets. Or want to add to our film Nikon and Canon systems act fast. Just my opinion.

Sony has already done this with their A7 and now A9 cameras. That really released the digital crowd to go all in on old lenses. I doubt Nikon's release will have much effect for several years.
 

alentine

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Z7, body only: $3400/ 45MP
Z6, body only: $2000/ 24MP
 

locutus

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I'm tempted by the Z6 for use with Leica R lenses and as a back on the Cambo Ultima.

Maybe in a year or so when i can pick one up second hand.
 

nick_clark

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I'm thinking that the release of the new Z series Nikon mirrorless cameras are going to create a huge demand for older Nikkor lenses. I used Nikon FF DSLR's for some years but finally switched over to mirrorless for all the extra advantages. I kept my Nikkor lens, just in case. I was going to sell a bunch of them, have some in the classifieds right now, but decided to hang on to my favs. Canon will be bringing out their mirrorless pretty soon as well. I think the same thing will happen to the old FD glass. The old lens have a look you don't get with the new stuff, especially for video which is mostly what I am doing these days.

So if you are thinking of buying a mirrorless FF Nikon or Canon and don't have some old glass now is the time to buy it before the price skyrockets. Or want to add to our film Nikon and Canon systems act fast. Just my opinion.

I'm curious why you think this would happen with the Z7/6 if it hasn't already happened with the Sony A7/9? You don't need a Canon/Nikon FF mirrorless to adapt old Canon/Nikon glass - people have been adapting pretty much everything on to the Sony's (and all the other mirrorless options) since they came out.
 

locutus

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The big problem with the Sony's is ergonomics. They feel like designed by a bunch of software engineers with no oversight (and i'm one myself :-D).

Nikon on the other hand, *gets* it when it comes down to ergonomics and UI design. Even with just checklist feature parity with Sony i can see a lot of people going for Nikon instead due to exactly this.
 

alentine

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... The big question is if the new adapter will diminish the quality of the older glass ...
It should not Alan, unless you mean inside camera software, which I think will not perform for SLR old or new lenses as for the new RF lenses.
The three parts(camera, adapter and old lens) all made by Nikon, but I doubt the processor will accommodate every SLR lens made by Nikon so far.
The real problem that may arises, is the performance of the new RF lenses(on Z6/7), compared to other equivalent DSLR lenses on reflex cameras.
If they are equal or just marginally better RF lenses, the whole story of Nikon RF will be so funny.
Most digital photographers are already welcoming full featured big DSLRs.
It's not the first time Nikon make RF lenses, and if the new Nikon RF lenses do not perform on par with Leica/Zeiss RF lenses on their respective bodies(or around, to be fair), I think the Nikon Z systems will be disappointing for any serious considerations, specially at $2K and $3.4K for camera bodies only.
 

mweintraub

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Don't think they'll be much of an upswing as mentioned above the current mirorrless crowd already raised the prices of MF nikon glass. I'd be interested in using my Minolta SR mount glass on a Nikon... finally, though.

ETA: The non-af motor adapter annoys me. Maybe they'll make an FTZII with it.
 

Alan Gales

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I'm far from being an expert on digital cameras but here is Ken Wheeler talking about Nikon's patent for the adapter to mount the older Nikon lenses to the new Z cameras. He says that the adapter uses a mirror that could cut down on the micro contrast of the older lenses. I don't know enough to know if he knows what he is talking about but here it is if you want to watch it.

 

michr

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I think it remains to be seen how much demand there is for Nikon's new bodies. Sony already offers mirrorless cameras with similar capabilities, and people have adapted a wide variety of lenses to those, including Nikon MF lenses. I would think that the prices are kept afloat already because of it, but you can still get a Nikon 105mm 2.5 or 50 1.4 manual focus lens for under $100. It seems likely that old school photographers like those in this forum might overestimate the demand for manual focus lenses.
 

faberryman

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It seems likely that old school photographers like those in this forum might overestimate the demand for manual focus lenses.
There is already grumbling that the upcoming Nikon 58mm f/0.95 is going to be manual focus only.
 

faberryman

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I suspect owners of Nikon MF lenses will buy the camera and adapter, not the other way around.
 

michr

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There is already grumbling that the upcoming Nikon 58mm f/0.95 is going to be manual focus only.

I struggle to nail focus without Nikon's "digital rangefinder" focus assistance already. I can't imagine trying to get it right at f/0.95. But, that lens is already huge without autofocus. BTW, has any camera maker ever made an autofocus lens faster than f1.4?
 

Wallendo

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It is fairly late in the game to introduce a new line mirrorless cameras. What is the target audience for this new line?
I suspect that those Nikon and Canon shooters that really wanted mirrorless have already bought one from Sony or one of the others. If these users switch to a Nikon branded camera, they probably already have the lenses they need. Nikon users switching from DSLR's will probably want to stick to modern lenses.

I suspect a slight uptick in prices, but doubt a large increase, as most of the novelty of putting classic lenses on mirrorless cameras has already passed. Prices for old Minolta lenses which rose due to Sony mirrorless camera sales have fallen over the last year or two.
 

faberryman

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I struggle to nail focus without Nikon's "digital rangefinder" focus assistance already. I can't imagine trying to get it right at f/0.95. But, that lens is already huge without autofocus. BTW, has any camera maker ever made an autofocus lens faster than f1.4?
Canon has the 50mm f/1.2 and Fuji has the 56mm f/1.2.
 

blockend

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High megapixel cameras require the latest high contrast computer designed optics to exhaust the potential of the sensor. Lenses that look characterful and "glowing" on film, can look soft and lacking in resolution on digital. Grain offers older lenses something for the eye to key on to.

People have been adapting manual lenses for use on digital cameras since they emerged. Personally I'd opt for my favourite two or three focal lengths in the new Nikon mount, and leave vintage lenses for experimentation and video. However I wouldn't buy a Nikon mirrorless camera until the second iteration, at least. Too much catch up with Sony and Leica in the FF mirrorless market, and Fuji and M43 cameras in smaller formats.
 
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