At SLRL we’re not really ones for rumors. So often they end up being nonsense or flat out fabrications that covering them is senseless. They’re water cooler talk at best. However, Nikon Rumors published something recently which we found worthy of discussion, and it’s about a new Nikon mount. But again, it’s a discussion stemming from speculation.
We know (because they outwardly said so) that Nikon has its focus set on ‘professional’ mirrorless cameras (whatever that means), and it would make sense for their first offering to land this year. So, that all lends a bit more weight to this notion of a new Nikon mount, and in addition, last July when talks of the D850 were surfacing, I published a piece on what I thought Nikon needed to do and a new mount was one of them. Perhaps this is it.
At this juncture it’s being referred to as the ‘Z-Mount’ and the alleged numbers are compelling. What’s being reported is an external diameter of 49mm and an extremely short flange focal distance of 16mm. To put this in perspective, Olympus’ numbers are 44mm OD and 20mm FFD; Canon EF-M is about 46 to 18, Sony is about the same, and most interestingly Fujifilm is about 44 to 17. That’s particularly interesting given the murmurs of a Nikon and Fuji affiliation that were floating around in the past year.
Keep in mind this is still just a rumor, but seems like a plausible one even if the final figures aren’t solid. It’s still an interesting idea to develop a mount with Fuji, or at least one which is easily Fuji adaptable because it would mean Nikon’s mirrorless would be taken seriously from day one with a bevy of lenses available, and in place of the Fuji X-trans sensors there’d be something more Nikon, and thus more broadly appealing.
A Nikon mount in the vein of this spec would rally the screams of self-proclaimed purists, but who cares? Nikon should realize by now that who they need to please aren’t the 35 and up year-olds but those coming after, who really give less a damn about what the company used to mean as much as what it does now.
Many have argued and will continue to do so, that Nikon shouldn’t change their mount given how long they’ve kept it and the field of lenses they have for it, but I could never see how keeping it was really an option. It would seem sensible that they should adopt mirrorless and strive to integrate that tech into their DSLRs to buy them years of DSLR development and sales, essentially going the Sony A and E mount route.
And if they did go the Fuji-adaptable route it would be a boon to Fuji would move more lenses (similarly to how Sony moves more sensors when in a Nikon body) and X-series users adore Fuji’s ‘special X-Trans sauce’ anyway so it wouldn’t necessarily cannibalize X-series sales.
And speaking of cannibalizing sales, Nikon’s DSLR sales wouldn’t necessarily be hurt either, because if they went with the Fuji option it would mean an APS-C body, allowing full frame to remain the purview of Nikon’s DSLRs.
That’s a helluva lot to extrapolate from a rumor, I give you, but it isn’t out of left field and it’s about the most exciting news regarding Nikon in years.