Death of the F mount

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kevin_beretta, May 12, 2021.

  1. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I am talking about the quality of wide-angle lenses, not their sizes. The Z mirrorless wide lenses are clearly superior to the F-mount wides in general. An easy example is the 14-30mm/f4 S that can accept regular 82mm filters. All F-mount 14mm wides have a bulging front element. A few days ago I compared the Nikon 35mm/f1.8 S (Z mount) against the much praised Sigma 35mm/f1.4 Art in the F mount. The Z 35mm is even better and is of course much lighter than those heavy Sigma Art lenses.

    Compare the F mount and Z mount 14-24mm/f2.8 Nikkor lenses. The Z one is one full pound lighter and can accept 112mm screw-on filters. Of course quality is better. The Z lens is not necessarily more expensive either. The F-mount 14-24 is cheap now since the F mount is now out of favor so that a lot of them are on fire sale and are getting discontinued.

    The Nikon S line mirrorless lenses are intended to provide high quality, not small size. They are certainly not cheap. There are two up-coming 40mm and 28mm Z lenses that are small, and they will probably be cheap too, but I expect quality will have some compromises.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    That is Nikon's intention all along. That is why they are supplying the FTZ adapters at a reasonable cost. I just bought a 2nd one for $99 along with a Z6 ii body.
  3. I haven't noticed F-mount lenses on fire sale, where can I find those? The 14-24 G is $1746.95 at B&H. When it was a new model (2007) the price was $1,799.95. That's not much of a fire sale, even accounting for inflation. I remember the 300/2.8 that I recently got for 6000€ was earlier priced at below 5000€, so there hasn't been much change there either.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
    bgelfand likes this.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Ilkka, the 14-24/2.8 F mount was well over $2000 a few years ago. Prices had gone way above the 2007 introduction price, but they have come back down now.

    Another example is the 16-35mm/f4 AF-S VR. It was introduced in February 2010 for $1259.95
    Nikon’s Two New FX Wideangle Lenses Preview Currently it is under $800 at B&H.

    Even the fairly recent 70-200mm/f2.8 E FL AF-S VR has been close to $1000 below the introduction price.
  5. I believed that the "Apple ][+ was forever"

    Now I know that the future was actually with 3.5" floppies.:)

    And for a while it was.

    Manure occureth.
    robert_davies|2 and bgelfand like this.
  6. If I remember correctly, the 70-200 was about $2900 when introduce. It is now about $2350 at BH. That is a $550 difference not $1,000. That is about what I would expect as the lens became more and more available and as the hype (the people who absolutely had to have the latest and greatest) dissipated and as third party lenses became available. Even at its "reduced" price the Nikon is still twice as expensive as the Tamron, and although it may be slightly "better", it is nowhere near twice as good.

    And that brings up another point about the Z-mount. There are no native third party lenses available. If the reason to switch to the Nikon Z line is realize the advantages of the design chances, then you must abandon the F-mount lenses and purchase the Z-mount equivalents, With no Third Party lenses available, that is an expensive proposition.
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The 70-200 FL is now $2350, because it is not on sale at the moment, I was just reading this thread from December 2020, about 6 months ago when the holiday sale was in progress, and it was $1900 at that time: 70-200 fl vs S

    Nikon announced the 70-200/2.8 FL in October 2016, at an initial price of $2799.95: Nikon Announces 70-200mm/f2.8 E FL AF-S VR and 19mm/f4 PC-E Lenses

    But it was on deep discount to $1900 several times in 2020. In a mere 4 years, it dropped by $900. That was why I said close to $1000, but not exactly at $1000.
    bgelfand likes this.
  8. No. And your memory is rather confused.
  9. The microlenses do affect the sensitivity to incident light at different angles. However, this doesn't prevent effective utilization of short flange distances and large mount diameters in optical design. The microlenses just need to be taken into account in the design of lenses.

    The first version of the VR 70-200/2.8 was a whopping 3000 EUR when it first came to market in Finland. Luckily I was able to purchase it for a rebated price of around $1500 when I was living in the US in 2005. It wasn't discontinued until 2009 when the v. II came out. Prices can vary across markets and over time and sometimes even items in very high demand are discounted (likely to generate even more demand). It seems the cost of manufacture of these lenses isn't all that high (to reflect the 3000 EUR price, or even higher for the FL version). They just price the product high if the market situation allows it. Sometimes quite a lot of money can be saved by waiting out on a new lens to see where the price ends up. For example, lenses like the 300 PF and 105/1.4 experienced rapid price drops a few months after first availability. This doesn't always happen, though.
  10. Maybe Nikon should just weld an FTZ to some fast long Tele's to satisfy the perceived (by some) need for native long Z mount lenses. If the long lenses are the same size/weight and focus at the same speed/accuracy as an F mount + FTZ, not much reason for Nikon to spend R&D money to make.

    When (if) a native Z tele is developed that is clearly improved over F+FTZ, I would become interested. But I will probably would just get something like a used 500PF when someone else changes mount. I doubt that I will ever replace my 300/2.8AFS version 1 (+FTZ) with a 2.8 native Z.

    Since I still have F mount cameras, a Z mount lens has to have clear advantages over the F equivalent for me to purchase. I did buy a 14-30/4S and like it, I don't think there is an F mount equivalent. Otherwise, F mount lenses still have an advantage for dual system use.
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The Z mount advantage is more than clear. My new 24-200mm super zoom is quite good from 24mm all the way to 200mm. It is a slow f6.3 at 200mm so that Nikon can keep the size, and cost, down. It is a versatile travel lens that simply does not exist in the F mount. I have the 28-300mm AF-S VR and find that lens disappointing. It is totally unsharp at 300mm.

    The two Z 24-70mm are also better than the various F-mount 24-70mm/f2.8 also, not to mention smaller. When you have to leave some 46.5mm behind the mount for mirror clearance, you are compromising those wide angles designs. That is something we have known for decades and that was why those Leica M rangefinder lenses were better than lenses for SLRs.
  12. You'd think this would make Nikon do some innovative lens work and make more things that are Z only and very high IQ.

    Something rad. like a 400mm f4 macro, or the hinted at 600mm 5.6/6.3 PF.
  13. You mean, i think, that the Z mount lenses are better than their F mount counterparts? I.e. that the advantage of using Z mount cameras is that the new Z mount lenses are better?

    Nikon claims that the Z mount itself - being wider - offers an advantage. A Z mount advantage.
    A wider mount has very little, if any, effect on the possibility to design good lenses. So this suggested particular Z mount advantage is far from being clear.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2021
  14. [​IMG]
    Smaller and lighter than the Z 24-200mm!
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    How good is that lens at 24mm? :D It is quite misleading that a lot of F-mount lenses are smaller. There is 46.5mm between the mount and the sensor/film on Nikon SLRs, but there is only 16mm from mount to sensor for Z lenses. In a lot of cases the Z lenses need to be longer so that its front elements can be far enough from the sensor. For a fairer comparison, you need to add the length of the FTZ adapter to those F-mount lenses, and all of a sudden they are not that small any more.

    Nikon is going to have at least two "compact" Z lenses, 40mm/f2 and 28mm/f2.8, but I think most likely their optical quality will be somewhat compromised.
  16. Nikon seems to be very 'happy' to cover, multiple times, the focal lengths between 14mm > 85mm with zooms and primes and then it goes real thin.

    105mm macro aside, they just aren't delivering, or planning to deliver, beyond that.

    Where's the 100-400mm or the 200-600mm?

    The roadmap used to have dates....but not any more.

    I know the World in still in the middle of a pandemic, but the PR department staff are asleep at the wheel. No info, is not good news.
  17. I would be hoping that covid has not gone through the lens development team.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  18. I don't know if it affects Nikon much or not, but remember there's a tremendous semiconductor shortage right now, with little signs of improvement for many months. On top of that, for reasons I don't understand, mechanical part suppliers seem to be maxed out on capacity. It's not a good time for people trying to deliver anything quickly.
  19. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Dispatch from the Land of the Living Dead. I sit at my desk surrounded by Nikon DSLRs of various ages. All with F mount lenses, in use daily, producing entirely satisfactory results. Behind me in a cabinet, a bunch of Nikon Film SLRs with F mount lenses, and a small army of F mount lenses from pre AI to current. If I want mirrorless, under the desk in a case, sits a camera that will take either Leica lenses, or with an adapter, any of the older Nikon F Mount lenses. All unaffected by Death, instead, alive and well!
    Z? zzzzzz!
    kevin_beretta, bgelfand and FPapp like this.
  20. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mike, I hope you are aware that back in March 2021, Nikon's CFO commented that by the end of the 2022 fiscal year, there will be 30 different Z-mount Nikkor lenses: Nikon expects profitability and plans to release more Z mount lenses by 2022

    Nikon's 2022 fiscal year ends on March 31, 2022. Also, it depends on whether you count the two teleconverters as part of the 30 lenses. Of course Nikon reserves the right to adjust their roadmap, but it looks like all lenses on the most recent roadmap will be available by the end of March next year, plus perhaps some others, since there are fewer than 30 on the roadmap.

    And yes, there is a global semiconductor shortage. Part of that is related to Covid, and partly related to that semiconductor factory fire in Japan. I suggest you take a look at this recent article by Thom Hogan. Expect a lot of shortage in the next year, from everybody, not just Nikon: A Bit of Buying Advice | Cameras and Photography Explained | Thom Hogan
    In other words, I take the comment that there will be 30 Z-mount lenses by March 2022 with a small grain of salt.

Share This Page