Nikon Af Mount Vs F Mount

By | 24/10/2022

Information technology has been most 60 years since Nikon introduced the Nikon F mountain on its kickoff SLR moving-picture show camera, the “Nikon F“. Since then, Nikon has made over 100 million lenses for this mount without irresolute any of the concrete dimensions, primarily for the purpose of keeping lenses compatible between unlike cameras, whether picture or digital. With its new full-frame mirrorless system, Nikon is now introducing a brand new “Nikon Z” mount, which is quite different when compared to the Nikon F mountain. Get-go, it is larger in its bore, which offers a number of important benefits pointed out below. Second, due to a much shorter flange distance (thanks to lack of the mirror machinery), it opens upwardly many more opportunities for new types of lenses that we have never seen before.

Let’s take a expect at the benefits of the new Nikon Z mount in detail and compare it to other popular mounts, sorted by throat diameter:

Clarification Pharynx Diameter Inner Diameter Flange Distance Format
Leica Grand 40.0mm 44.0mm 27.8mm Full Frame
Fujifilm 10 41.5mm 44.0mm 17.7mm APS-C
Minolta SR 42.0mm 45.0mm 43.5mm Total Frame
Sony E 43.6mm 46.1mm xviii.0mm Full Frame
Nikon F 44.0mm 47.0mm 46.5mm Total Frame
Pentax Grand 44.0mm 48.0mm 45.5mm Total Frame
Leica L 48.8mm 51.0mm 20.0mm Total Frame
Canon EF fifty.6mm 54.0mm 44.0mm Total Frame
Catechism RF fifty.6mm 54.0mm 20.0mm Full Frame
Nikon Z 52.0mm 55.0mm 16.0mm Full Frame
Fujifilm Yard 62.5mm 65.0mm 26.7mm Medium Format

As you can see, the new Nikon Z is larger in bore than all other current 35mm mounts, whether DSLR or mirrorless. The Fujifilm G is the just medium format arrangement in the in a higher place table, provided purely for comparing. While some rumors indicated that the Nikon Z mount is almost equally big as the Fujifilm G, merely looking at the size of the image sensor itself compared to the mount size shows that the Nikon Z mountain is only designed to accommodate total-frame sensors – information technology will not be able to physically fit a medium format sensor.

Nikon Z Mount Benefits

If nosotros accept a look at the size differences between the new Nikon Z mount and the Nikon F mount, nosotros tin clearly see the size differences between the ii. Nikon increased the throat size from 44mm on the Nikon F to 52mm on the Nikon Z. To visualize this, take a look at the comparison of the new Nikon Z7 camera vs the Nikon D850:

Nikon Z7 vs Nikon D850

As you can encounter, while the new Nikon Z7 mirrorless photographic camera is smaller in physical size when compared to the Nikon D850, its mount diameter is visibly larger. Nikon changed quite a few things with the new Z mount. At that place are now 4 screws to hold the mountain instead of 5, and the number of lens contacts has increased from 8 to 11 every bit well. Interestingly, there are now a full of 4 metallic ridges that hold the lens, which means that attached lenses should stay more securely on the Nikon Z compared to Nikon F. This is probably why Nikon besides moved the mounting white dot upwards also.

So what are the benefits of the new Nikon Z mount? The larger mount opens up more opportunities when compared to the Nikon F. First of all, information technology provides more space for the sensor to movement around when manufacturers add in-body paradigm stabilization (IBIS). Since virtually mirrorless systems feature IBIS, information technology is adept that Nikon future-proofed its mirrorless mount by making it larger. If at that place is more than space for the sensor to move to, Nikon tin implement a very complex IBIS system that not only compensates for camera shake, but also allows to implement such features as pixel shift and star tracking (something Pentax has already done on the K1 / K1 Two).

2d, a larger mountain gives more flexibility to camera manufacturers when it comes to designing lenses, sometimes assuasive simpler lenses to be designed at lower costs. At the aforementioned time, mount / throat diameter is not the only variable that impacts lens pattern – flange altitude is also equally important. Shorter flange distance allows lenses to be placed closer to the sensor, which in itself allows lens manufacturers to beginning building simpler, smaller, lighter and less expensive short focus lenses instead of the retrofocus types. In addition, the throat diameter combined with flange distance determines the maximum possible angle of incidence of the marginal rays from the lens, which is important in designing lenses – generally, the larger the angle of incidence, the easier it is to make high-performance lenses.

In the case of Nikon Z mount, that maximum bending of incidence is around 44.09°, which is a lot when compared to the Nikon F that is limited to 12.1°, or the Canon EF that is express to eighteen.8°. Fifty-fifty Sony’s mirrorless E mount has a smaller bending of incidence at 31.6°. All this means that the Nikon Z mountain, thank you to its large 52mm pharynx diameter, along with a very short flange distance of 16mm makes it the most versatile lens mount on the market place today. Nosotros tin see these benefits in the first-class Z-series lenses that have been released so far, almost all of which have been clearly better than their F-mount equivalent (whether in paradigm quality, size, or both).

One downside of a larger lens mountain pharynx diameter, though, is lens size and weight issues. The larger the pharynx diameter, the larger the lens has to be at its mount betoken, which evidently does bear on its overall thickness and weight of the lens. Likewise, the shorter flange altitude can lead to increased vignetting or discoloration in the corners of an image (although this can be mitigated by making the lens blueprint longer to simulate a longer flange distance). Either mode, Nikon made the right choice by going with a large plenty mount that is not as well taxing on lenses, but too is not so large as to increase the size and weight of each lens by too much. Considering that Nikon is aiming its mirrorless cameras to be compact and lightweight, it would non make sense to go for a much larger lens mount.

Third, considering that the Nikon Z mount has the shortest flange distance, also every bit a large 52mm throat bore, information technology means that the Nikon Z system is able to adapt lenses from almost any other DSLR or mirrorless system, while no other camera tin adjust Nikon Z lenses! This means it was both a good determination for lens pattern, and for business concern reasons, that Nikon went with such extreme dimensions for their lens mount.

Lastly, if Nikon ever decides to go with a slightly larger sensor than 35mm, it volition be able to do it with the electric current mount diameter. It will not be able to accommodate a medium format sensor, but perhaps a slightly larger sensor that will provide better low-calorie-free operation or increased resolution could be an selection.

In short, the Nikon Z mount is clearly superior to the Nikon F in a number of ways.

Nikon Z Mount Drawbacks

The but significant drawback of the Nikon Z mountain is that in that location aren’t as many native Z lenses as F-mountain lenses at the moment. Yous tin can check the current progress in our Nikon Z lens roadmap commodity, but because that there are literally hundreds of F-mount lenses on the market (maybe even more than a thou taking all the third-party lenses into account), it will take a long time before the Nikon Z system has as many. The good news is that you can accommodate nearly any F-mount lens to the Z system at the moment using Nikon’s FTZ adapted, then it’s easy to supplement the Z organization in areas where Nikon has not yet released native lenses. However, the FTZ adapter isn’t a perfect solution, and in the long run, it’s best to go with native lenses whenever possible. If you have a huge collection of F-mount lenses, it may be better for you lot to stick with a DSLR for the time beingness, even though Nikon is conspicuously moving in the direction of mirrorless.

The Hereafter of the F Mount

Now that Nikon is focusing its attention on the Z serial and its brand new mount, should electric current Nikon DSLR owners be concerned most the future of the Nikon F Mount? I would say “yes and no.”

On one manus, Nikon is a small company that cannot allocate unlimited R&D resources towards two full-frame mounts. We accept seen much more than development on the mirrorless side in recent years, and that’s very probable to proceed. Eventually, it’s possible that the F mountain will come up to a halt in terms of new DSLRs and lenses. We have seen this happen with Sony (Sony A mountain clearly has no time to come) and it is likely going to be the example with Nikon as well.

On the other manus, while Nikon is going to push more innovations towards mirrorless in the time to come, DSLR cameras are going to be around for many years before they are phased out (and even so, in that location will probably exist photographers who volition e’er prefer OVF to EVF and a larger camera to handle). With over 100 million lenses out there, and DSLR camera sales comprising nigh of Nikon’south sales today, the switch to mirrorless is not going to take identify overnight. And used DSLR prices are improve than they ever were before.