Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/11/30

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Subject: Re: RE: [Leica] God, no Canon vs. Nikon...
From: "Ken Iisaka" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 19:12:47 -0800 wrote on 30.11.99 8:13:
>I for one am pleased that
>Nikon never changed their
>mount. I continue to use an
>old F2 camera and just
>recently sold my F. How
>would you feel if Leica
>suddenly decided to change
>the M mount?

I concur.  I have been told that Nikon designers were tempted to change the
mount to remedy its deficiencies, namely the long distance between the
flange and the film plane, and the diameter of the mount.  These two factors
limit the maximum aperture to 1.2 for manual focus lenses, while imposing
restrictions on wide angle lens design.  In addition, the range of aperture
is limited to 7.5 stops for the post-1977 Ai lenses.

The conservative Nikon management decided that the venerable F-mount would
be kept.  This was the time before the Canon EOS system was introduced.  It
is true that the decision prevented Nikon from designing special lenses such
as 50/1; however, management decisions is much to blame for not having the
best AF system until F5 arrived, not the mount.

Nikon has long touted conpatibility and adaptability of its lenses and its
top-of-the-line bodies.  There is however one pre-Ai lens that cannot be
used on F3 onwards.  It is the 2.1cm 1:4 lens that requires a mirror lock
up, due to its symmetric, Aviogon-like design.  Nikon, along with Leica, are
among a small group of companies which stubbornly maintained compatibility
of its products to date.