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Nikon digital rangefinder M mount?
Old 05-21-2008   #1
alan davus
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Nikon digital rangefinder M mount?

Have just been reading Mainlinephoto News (Mainlinephoto sell and distribute CV stuff Downunder) and I'll Quote: "Is it fact or fiction?" (regarding the possible release of two new Nikon cameras "But the one of most interest to us rangefinder guys is the non SLR camera with a 6 or 7mpx sensor. This unit will, as rumour has it, use M bayonet mount lenses. It will probably be released with a 45 pancake lens as a ready to use kit. I have heard it could be produced by our friends at Cosina."...... Anyone heard a similar story?. I remember several years ago hearing about the R4 Bessas on the M/Photo website before stories appeared anywhere else.
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Old 05-21-2008   #2
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Oh, if only.

Have a word with Stephen Gandy. He posted here that there is substance to the rumour, in that they HAVE been working on a prototype. But prototypes don't always make ti to market, cf the digital Konica Hexar AF that I have now been lusting after for a couple of years...
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Old 05-21-2008   #3
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With so many digital RF rumours flying around from Gandy, Mainline etc, SOMETHING has to be in the works. I'm hearing less about the new 5D then I am about a new digital RF!! Thats saying something.

I think there will be something to show at Photokina.

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Old 05-21-2008   #4
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My gut feeling regarding Nikon and Drf's is that something is definitely up. I was floored when I opened up the latest Asahi Camera magazine yesterday to read the several page spread on the reissue SP and S3, several rf lenses new and old, and the SPX that was developed in the 60s with an M-mount but never went on sale. I've never seen any magazine in Japan in recent years cover Nikon RF gear with so much detail. A teaser for something new in Nikon RF? I hope so!
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Old 05-21-2008   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
My gut feeling regarding Nikon and Drf's is that something is definitely up. I was floored when I opened up the latest Asahi Camera magazine yesterday to read the several page spread on the reissue SP and S3, several rf lenses new and old, and the SPX that was developed in the 60s with an M-mount but never went on sale. I've never seen any magazine in Japan in recent years cover Nikon RF gear with so much detail. A teaser for something new in Nikon RF? I hope so!
I never rely on rumours. Speaking of the SPX, yes backwards rumoring still tells the prototype had M-mount and TTL metering.

But - if you just look at the photos of the two real SPX prototypes, you see that it has :
- a Nikon-S mount with the same Contax/Nikon focusing wheel as the other S-rangefinders do
- absolutely no TTL metering, this is obvious in that there is a coupling dot on the speeds selector disk to accomodate for an external light meter, probably the same as the first external selenium coupled light meter of the Nikon F.

Yet I do hope that Nikon is onto something re. a possible D-RF camera featuring an electronic rangefinder, a live-view mode, a flip-and-turn screen, and the like. This would pour a bit of salt and pepper in all those boring M8-related threads.
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Old 05-21-2008   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
I never rely on rumours. Speaking of the SPX, yes backwards rumoring still tells the prototype had M-mount and TTL metering.
Very wise not to rely on rumours, however the photo in the Asahi Camera magazine is of an M-mount Nikon SPX. I will post a picture of the magazine page when I get home tonight.

Regarding the SPX with TTL metering, Nikon says they developed the SPX with TTL metering on this page (toward the bottom).
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Old 05-21-2008   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan davus View Post
Have just been reading Mainlinephoto News (Mainlinephoto sell and distribute CV stuff Downunder) and I'll Quote: "Is it fact or fiction?" (regarding the possible release of two new Nikon cameras "But the one of most interest to us rangefinder guys is the non SLR camera with a 6 or 7mpx sensor. This unit will, as rumour has it, use M bayonet mount lenses. It will probably be released with a 45 pancake lens as a ready to use kit. I have heard it could be produced by our friends at Cosina."...... Anyone heard a similar story?. I remember several years ago hearing about the R4 Bessas on the M/Photo website before stories appeared anywhere else.
The guy who owns Mainline appears to have a pretty tight relationship with Cosina ... he actually sold me my M8! When I was shopping for a 15mm Heliar they had a deal on an M8 Kit that came with the 21mm finder for an excellent price ... it was boxed and marked as an M8 kit and I noted that he had it available before anyone else!

He may have been given some info from the top!
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Old 05-21-2008   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Very wise not to rely on rumours, however the photo in the Asahi Camera magazine is of an M-mount Nikon SPX. I will post a picture of the magazine page when I get home tonight.
Regarding the SPX with TTL metering, Nikon says they developed the SPX with TTL metering on this page (toward the bottom).


Well, I don't get those の登場後も TTL 測光の quite clear but I suppose you're speaking of this SPX :

http://www.newprouk.co.uk/rotoloni%20reviews%20JE.htm

(photo #4). Yes it has a M-mount and what looks to be a TTL lightmeter, no doubt whatsoever.

However it seems that the only SPX's having finally shown-up as in-the-flesh completed cameras (some lucky fellows even report they have seen them at some NHS' shows) look to be these two ones (two variants, with the main variations re. the speeds selector dial and frames selector colors) :



They're quoted by Stephen G. and also in an article by Fred K. :

http://www.nikonhs.org/editorials/ed...er_may_02.html

OTOH I doubt that the M-mount SPX could have been released. The M-mount wasn't public-licensed at that time yet, and I can't think of Nikon paying an expensive tribute to the Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH company for the M-mount manufacture and use rights...

Also interesting to see that the M-mount & TTL-metered SPX borrowed the very flip-and-fold rewind crank design of the Canon VI-T and P...

Last edited by Highway 61 : 12-03-2008 at 11:05.
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Old 05-21-2008   #9
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Quote:
Have just been reading Mainlinephoto News
Just to fix the "source" of our discussion Vol 18 issue 1
Article: Rufus´ gossip mill
http://www.mainlinephoto.com.au/newsletter.pdf
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Old 05-21-2008   #10
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Old 05-21-2008   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post


Well, I don't get those の登場後も TTL 測光の quite clear but I suppose you're speaking of this SPX :

http://www.newprouk.co.uk/rotoloni%20reviews%20JE.htm

(photo #4). Yes it has a M-mount and what looks to be a TTL lightmeter, no doubt whatsoever.

However it seems that the only SPX's having finally shown-up as in-the-flesh completed cameras (some lucky fellows even report they have seen them at some NHS' shows) look to be these two ones (two variants, with the main variations re. the speeds selector dial and frames selector colors) :

They're quoted by Stephen G. and also in an article by Fred K. :

http://www.nikonhs.org/editorials/ed...er_may_02.html

OTOH I doubt that the M-mount SPX could have been released. The M-mount wasn't public-licensed at that time yet, and I can't think of Nikon paying an expensive tribute to the Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH company for the M-mount manufacture and use rights...

Also interesting to see that the M-mount & TTL-metered SPX borrowed the very flip-and-fold rewind crank design of the Canon VI-T and P...
Ok here's a shot of the SPX photo in the Asahi Camera June 2008 Issue (the photo was provided by Nikon to Asahi Camera ). I should have read the article more carefully because as it says in the article, and as you can see by the photo, the SPX mount is not M-mount. Rather than the four "claw" M-mount, the mount on this SPX is a three "claw" mount (looks rather F-mount-ish to me).

TTL 測光の「Nikon SPX」 translates to "Nikon SPX with TTL metering".


Last edited by jonmanjiro : 05-21-2008 at 05:44.
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Old 05-21-2008   #12
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Here's a better shot of the SPX photo in Asahi Camera (photo provided by Nikon to Asahi Camera)

In Rotoloni's latest book, pages 130 to 133 cover the "SP2" which has the focus gear wheel and an S-mount as shown above, and pages 134 to 135 cover the "SPX" which has the same mount as the SPX camera shown in Asahi Camera magazine (below).


Last edited by jonmanjiro : 05-21-2008 at 04:30.
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Old 05-21-2008   #13
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Wish that was true. I'm not going to sell my film RF, but I'd sell my Canon 350D + 10-22 lens as part of the payment of a Nikon DRF in M mount as long as the price is ok. What I hate about digital is that everything is outdated in 6 months maximum. Maybe not so with a DRF body, but certainly with DSLR bodies.
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Old 05-21-2008   #14
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Define outdated. Do they suddenly stop taking good pictures if they did before?
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Old 05-21-2008   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colman View Post
Define outdated. Do they suddenly stop taking good pictures if they did before?
No, in the Dslr world outdated means just technically superior enough to induce a severe case of GAS.
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Old 05-21-2008   #16
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my personal feeling, is that after you get a FF DSLR, you do not need to update.

Megapixels updates are worthless at this stage, focusing points are more than enough, FPS are just plain too much for a normal usage, so... I don't see a point in upgrading, except perhaps in camera anti-camera shake stuff, other than that, I don't see a MUST HAVE feature.
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Old 05-21-2008   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Here's a better shot of the SPX photo in Asahi Camera (photo provided by Nikon to Asahi Camera)

In Rotoloni's latest book, pages 130 to 133 cover the "SP2" which has the focus gear wheel and an S-mount as shown above, and pages 134 to 135 cover the "SPX" which has the same mount as the SPX camera shown in Asahi Camera magazine (below).
Very interesting, it suggests that what we had been refering to by calling it the "SPX" (the one I displayed above, picture from Shibata's "Nikon Story Book") was actually the "SP2". I had never seen "that other" SPX before having looked at the last issue of Rotoloni's book.

Well, the mystery subsists nonetheless re. the "SPII" which was, according to rumours (I like rumours... ) a SP with a missing and blankened-out secondary 28/35 finder.

Howzabout launching a new rumour telling that the recent 28/35 Cosina-Voigtländer minifinder is actually made with the 28/35 SP's finders stock parts which Nikon didn't use in their SPII bodies ?

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Old 05-21-2008   #18
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I can see updating after a significant improvement in dynamic range of the sensors or whatever, so I can imagine a replacement cycle every few years until dynamic range is "good enough", but other than that it's just the status of owning the latest and greatest.
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Old 05-21-2008   #19
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Originally Posted by lemos View Post
my personal feeling, is that after you get a FF DSLR, you do not need to update.
Define what is a "FF" digital camera... (well, good luck).

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Old 05-21-2008   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Here's a better shot of the SPX photo in Asahi Camera (photo provided by Nikon to Asahi Camera)

In Rotoloni's latest book, pages 130 to 133 cover the "SP2" which has the focus gear wheel and an S-mount as shown above, and pages 134 to 135 cover the "SPX" which has the same mount as the SPX camera shown in Asahi Camera magazine (below).

emmmmmmmm ...
that mount may be inspired by the leica M-mount, but it is not the same.
keep in mind: leica has 4 claws, with a 45° angle of rotation.

this looks more like a modification of the f-mount (3 claws, more or less 60° rotation).

cheers
s.
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Old 05-21-2008   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colman View Post
I can see updating after a significant improvement in dynamic range of the sensors or whatever, so I can imagine a replacement cycle every few years until dynamic range is "good enough", but other than that it's just the status of owning the latest and greatest.
Nikon D3 has this:
  • EXPEED image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb tonal gradation.
How much more do you need?
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Old 05-21-2008   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
Define what is a "FF" digital camera... (well, good luck).

a full frame camera? I'm lost
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Old 05-21-2008   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastel View Post
emmmmmmmm ...
that mount may be inspired by the leica M-mount, but it is not the same.
keep in mind: leica has 4 claws, with a 45° angle of rotation.

this looks more like a modification of the f-mount (3 claws, more or less 60° rotation).

cheers
s.
yep, it got lost in the text but i did mention that in post 11 above

thanks
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Old 05-21-2008   #24
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Im waiting for someone to say: "I buy it if it has FF, No filters, no coding, the iso of the D3, Antishake, liveview, silent shutter etc and that it cost under 2K$"

But I sure hope they will produce it. Competition is always welcome.
If they produce the camera you describe it won't be "competition" anymore - more like "demolition"
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Old 05-21-2008   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikFive View Post
Im waiting for someone to say: "I buy it if it has FF, No filters, no coding, the iso of the D3, Antishake, liveview, silent shutter etc and that it cost under 2K$"
You forgot Face Detection. Hello?
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Old 05-21-2008   #26
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Define outdated. Do they suddenly stop taking good pictures if they did before?
LOL! great point!
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Old 05-21-2008   #27
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Define outdated. Do they suddenly stop taking good pictures if they did before?
No, certainly not. What I mean is that technology is evolving so fast that image quality in digital cameras is improving daily. The Nikon D3 has better IQ than the Canon 5D, and the 5D was a huge leap forward from the cameras before it: low noise at high ISOs, etc. And in some months something will be on the market with better IQ than the D3. That makes a digicam outdated as I see it.

In the film world, it is/was very different. A new camera could have more features, but not better IQ as the IQ came from the lenses and film ONLY, and did not rely in a sensor that could be improved.

Not that you need the latest to take good pictures. I now use a '91 Leica M6 and a '80s 50 'Cron, and I know that it can't get much better than that (in terms of IQ, not lens speed).

I don't know if I've made my point clear. Another example: Does a Canon 10D take good pictures?. Sure. Is it outdated in terms of what you get in the market now?. IMHO, yes.
A friend of mine bought a Mavica digicam that took floppies a long time ago (about 8-10 years ago?) and it sure took good pictures then (or we thought). Well, any cell phone today has better IQ than the Mavica.

Edited to add:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincyMAT View Post
No, in the Dslr world outdated means just technically superior enough to induce a severe case of GAS.
That isn't my case certainly. I've only owned one DSLR that I still have and only another digicam before that (a Nikon Coolpix 4500 that I sold), and I currently own only one film camera, being the M6. Not so many lenses either, and not the most expensive ones for sure. So no GAS attack for me.

Cheers,
Javi.

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Dang it!
Old 05-21-2008   #28
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Dang it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikFive View Post
Im waiting for someone to say: "I buy it if it has FF, No filters, no coding, the iso of the D3, Antishake, liveview, silent shutter etc and that it cost under 2K$"

But I sure hope they will produce it. Competition is always welcome.
Now what am I suppost to say?? It would be soo cool if Nikon put Leica out of its misery by puting out a quality digital rangefinder at a good price point. Heck at around 2k I'd buy a cropped sensored RF with none of the above options except the D3's high ISO performance. I'm thinking its time for the market to kill Leica, and Nikon and Cosina could do it.
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Old 05-21-2008   #29
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Now what am I suppost to say?? It would be soo cool if Nikon put Leica out of its misery by puting out a quality digital rangefinder at a good price point. Heck at around 2k I'd buy a cropped sensored RF with none of the above options except the D3's high ISO performance. I'm thinking its time for the market to kill Leica, and Nikon and Cosina could do it.
What good would killing Leica do for you or anyone else?
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Old 05-21-2008   #30
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What good would killing Leica do for you or anyone else?
Its Capitalism at work! Those who don't adjust to the demands of the market die out. Its keeping failing companies around which is bad. Even the American auto makers are starting to come around to market forces, Cosina is to Leica as Toyota is to GM/Ford etc... I have faith that Leica could change its business to compete. Workers are workers, I'm sure some SE asian factory workers could piece together Leica's as well as a German worker and at 1/4 the cost. Where are the M8's put together anyway?

Leica needs to look at Cosina and figure out what it can do to compete in a new market. The old Leica business model is dieing with the babyboomers, Leica needs to court the 18 to 35 crowd like everybody else.

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Old 05-21-2008   #31
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Why would Nikon need Cosina? They are certainly not equipped to make "Leica-killer" bodies. If Nikon had to set up production line they'd easily do it in house.

That said I still think Nikon couldn't care less about investing R&D into minuscule RF market, with total capacity of maybe 1 or 2 days worth of their normal sales. And they don't need to "win" here, they won the popularity contest with F on the verge of 1960s and it stayed like that ever since.

But of course it's your right folks to stay delusional.
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Old 05-21-2008   #32
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Just in case there is a 50/50 chance this (Nikon digital RF) may happen I'm going to start saving up.

I would also point out that the D300 sensor technology is a real step forward in low-noise images at ISO 800-1600. The D3 is so spectacular at high ISO that the low-light performance of the D300 is often overlooked. I used a D300 for 18 hours at an indoor sports photography gig, and if the D300 sensor was manufactured in 135 format (24X36mm), then we'd really have something.

I also think that a Nikon DRF would be somewhat thicker than the typical M camera. The extra distance between the sensor and the lens makes life much easier. I also predict the Nikon DRF would have conventional anti-aliasing and IR filters. The shutter wiil be quieter than the M8, but not by much.

If these predictions are right, then everyone would be happy. Leicaphiles would be able to criticize the non-traditional body thickness and feel good about the purity of their non-filtered images. Everyone else would be grateful to have an alternative to the M8 or a used RD-1.

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Old 05-21-2008   #33
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What good would killing Leica do for you or anyone else?
This is an excellent question. I wonder myself.

At the same time, capitalism and modern business philosophy embraces the myth (I do not use myth in a derogatory manner but in a teleological sense) that the purpose of a business is to capture market share until one's competitors are dead. If anyone can explain how this is a good thing, I'm eager to listen.
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Old 05-21-2008   #34
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I think that Leica competes in the camera market not solely in the RF market, so the death of Leica wouldn't mean the death of all competition (a bad thing). Its the threat of death which is suppose to drive companies to innovate, something Leica doesn't seem able to do. Capturing markets and driving your competition out increases your sales and your profitability. I think Nikon or Cosina could come out with a quality DRF that would cut into M8 sales, or destroy them if they went all out. If I was someone at Nikon I'd bring out a DRF and keep my margins at ~1% and watch Leica burn. I'm not a Leica hater but they really need to wake up.
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Old 05-21-2008   #35
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Why would Nikon need Cosina? They are certainly not equipped to make "Leica-killer" bodies. If Nikon had to set up production line they'd easily do it in house.
Probably don't NEED Cosina, but they did work together in the past on the low-cost film SLR, the FM-10. And Cosina has experience in manufacturing DRFs from the Epson R-D1. So it seems plausible. Though not the only possibility.
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Old 05-21-2008   #36
ferider
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It will come. With M mount and Leica registration distance. And mixed optical/electronic rangefinder (an LCD sensor segment overlayed over the viewfinder optic).

But some (3-4 stops ?) of the (D300) sensor's sensitivity will be lost to correct for vignetting - with menu-driven lens coding.

And M-mount versions of the new 35/1.8 and 50/1.4 Nikkors.

And a Nikon RF to M converter.

I do hope so

Last edited by ferider : 05-21-2008 at 12:38.
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Old 05-21-2008   #37
ZebGoesZeiss
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Imagine Nikon, Zeiss and Cosina joining Leica in making digital RF's. Now, that would open the field up...
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Old 05-21-2008   #38
Tom A
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I doubt tat anyone is out to "kill" Leica. Though being a small market, there is a lot of interest in it.
For Nikon/Zeiss/Kinolta/VC it is more of a "filling" up a product line. For Nikon it would to round off the D3 "platform" with the coming high MP D3X and the "super" speed 52000 iso that is supposedly coming at the end of the year.
The M-mount is getting to be the standard rangefinder mount - somewhat like the M42 Pentax mount in the 60's.
As the sales are small, I suspect that less than 25000 Drf's have been sold since the 2004 introduction of the RD-1 (10 000 Rd-1's and around 14-15000 M8's), it makes sense to make a high performance, higher priced Rf than one aimed at the "masses" who most likely will stick with the consumer DSLR's anyway.
CV is already making lenses for the Nikon SLR cameras, The ZF series as well as the 40f2 Nokton and the 58/1,4 Topcon version. In Japan there is much more co-operation between manufaturers than we think.
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Old 05-21-2008   #39
dan denmark
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just came in on this thread. some six or more months ago i asked scott at mainlinephoto if he had access to an RD1S and his answer was "no" however ..."i might want to hold off because there just may well be something on the horizon..." or words to that effect. i didn't, though, as is my want, so i got one from matsuiya and am very happy with it. i have bought two bessa bodies and five CV lenses from mainline in these six months and find scott to be someone who is black and direct and not the chit-chat kind of gossip monger so i'd say he talks to people not everyone else does, given he is probably the main distributor here in Oz for bessa and related products. i trust him.
on the possible new camera side of things, i'm not sure 7-ish mps is really going to make a lot of diff for the on-the-ground user unless the DRF is CMOS based. i have the Digilux 3 and it is so much crisper at medium to close range my shooting distance) than the more recent Nikons and Fuji DSLRs i have tried out. this will spark untold arguments amongst other pros who use DSLRs but as i said before, it is the on-the-ground results for the individual user that is the real measuring stick, how it works for you. but if there is another DRF coming out i'll certainly give it a good look-in. i think the M8 was a good test run for this technology and format. my mum said, never take the first packet off the supermarket shelf, it might not be fresh. the M8 MachII will be the next measuring stick, i reckon....used one a lot and loved it but costs more than my pocket money. i use my film cameras mostly, because of the panoramic dynamic and tonal range of film, but the RD1S i have used a lot recently for State tourism brochures with no complaints and many repeated paycheques. it's a workhorse.
-dd

Last edited by dan denmark : 05-21-2008 at 13:59.
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Old 05-21-2008   #40
jwhitley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemos View Post
Nikon D3 has this:
  • EXPEED image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb tonal gradation.
How much more do you need?
Really short answer: maybe none. Current digital cameras have owned up to their potential in many ways.

Less short answer: If we allow that there's more potential to go... then probably several bits more are useful, measuring that number from the sensor through to the RAW file. From this page, "A scene showing the interior of a room with a sunlit view outside the window, for instance, will have a dynamic range of approximately 100,000:1." That's greater than 16 bits, for a not uncommon case.

IMO, this would be nice mostly so that a single shot and one RAW file captures all of this information, instead of mucking about with bracketing and the restrictions that entails. Such a camera would also produce better results in those modest-DR cases where the base exposure was off for whatever reason.
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