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So, why isn't Canon 'cool?'
Old 05-21-2016   #1
wakarimasen
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So, why isn't Canon 'cool?'

Not a thread for scoring points or lobbing hand grenades. I'm just interested in why Canon - for whatever reason - does not seem to enjoy the 'cool' status enjoyed by Nikon. I read many threads extolling the virtues of the F2, F3, F4, F5 and F6 and precious few (in comparison) for the F series, T series or EOS cameras. In terms of history, quality and capability it's arguably a wash between the two, so why does Canon fair poorly in the comparison of mystique?

Is it because Canon is the bigger company (everyone loves an underdog), or because they abandoned a lens mount and permanently disaffected many users?

Opinions please, but keep it objective :roll eyes:

By the way - I speak as a user of both - and I can't figure it out....
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Old 05-21-2016   #2
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Canon actually had a period when they were cool, perhaps even a little bit cooler than Nikon - Pellix to EF/F-1 era. But right after that they stumbled over expanding by designing their consumer cameras to the same type of market research that brought us 70s/80s Japanese consumer car specifications. Which brought them a lot of sales, but stuck them with a portfolio of incongruous products which were much less well designed than the competition. Between the A and T series, they grew into the Honda rather than BMW of camera production. And the rare and expensive New F-1 and T90 did not really make up for the omnipresent AE-1program and T50 (any more than Honda could fix the Civic reputation by racing the Formula One)...

Throw in that they lost pretty much everybody who still had a sentimental attachment to Canon (plus anybody who had just invested into a T90) over the FD>EF switch. That had them drop to the worst reputation in their history for the start into the AF era of black blob SLRs - where the difference between makers diminished to the point that reputation gains for design classics did not happen any more.
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Old 05-21-2016   #3
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I think that Nikon has (had) the luckier hand when it comes to marketing.
The central decision to keep a mount that doesn´t allow a useful connection of other worlds
lenses may have kept a lot of users to stay with the system.
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Old 05-21-2016   #4
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none of the classic cameras that we think are really really cool today were made by canon. iconic designs, game-changing products, famous users, legendary optics...nothing really comes to mind for canon. the canonet ql17 giii is sought after in its class, and the canon p is a solid poor-man's leica, but that's not enough to build an enthusiastic fan base.

i love my new f-1, though. i'm glad that prices aren't being inflated by coolness.
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Old 05-21-2016   #5
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eos...REBEL. that agassi campaign is something.

https://youtu.be/E78OnfyQiWo
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Old 05-21-2016   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan View Post
eos...REBEL. that agassi campaign is something.

https://youtu.be/E78OnfyQiWo
Ok - so that's really not cool
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Old 05-21-2016   #7
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I think the "cool" diamond in rough is the A1. People will maybe come around to appreciate that camera but really, Canon (and I use a multitude of cameras for different digs including my Canon with L lenses) seems more like a tool to get the job done. My Canon kit is my go to kit for most of my work because it's the real work horse. Nothing too fancy about it as it's a reliable setup. Everything else augments that main kit. Those pieces are the "fun" ones that don't carry the weight of getting the job done. At least that's how I feel about it.
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Old 05-21-2016   #8
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Cool? Who cares? Do they take good pictures? That's my interest.
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Old 05-21-2016   #9
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That FD to EF thing was 30 years ago, give it a rest.

In the AF era, Canon is very, very solid. Since they introduced the EOS-1 there is a steady progress: the 1n added more focuspoints, the 1v even more, the 1D added digital - but in essence, it is the same camera. No disruption, no quantum leaps. It is a bit boring and compared to Nikons they seem a bit too much technology driven. But the ergonomics is great of these cameras and they just work. Nikon on the other hand went from the F3 to the F4 to the F5 to the D2 and the D3 with every time changing fundamentals.

Nikonians were reluctant to go AF and stayed with their F3's, making that a cult camera.
Nikonians were reluctant to go to the F5 for several reasons, making the F4 a cult camera.
Basically Nikonians don't like change, they stick with their old cameras and think they are cool

Whatever the reason why Canons aren't considered cool, they do sell the most DSLR's....
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Old 05-21-2016   #10
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Historical accident: in the glory days of film reportage, especially the early glory days when the F was edging out Leicas in the 60s, Canons were quite second-rate. In the 60s, many might have guessed that Pentax had a brighter professional future than Canon. Later, with the Eos series, Canon were responsible for some horribly bloated cameras.

Also, the change of lens mount did them no favours. Younger photographers may dismiss it as ancient history. Those who were around when it happened feel differently. It takes decades for that sort of animosity to die down, and during those decades, people will be saying "Don't trust Canon".

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-21-2016   #11
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Yep, I agree with Roger. I can actually remember the days when "Made in Japan" was a death sentence for a product. Nikon came along and and was so good they blew up all the German stuff. Since that time my generation often never even considered any brand besides Nikon for film. I do own a Canon "Barnack" and many Leicas but the linage of the Nikon and the consistent lens interchangeability is hard to overturn. For me it has been the Pro choice for decades.
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Old 05-21-2016   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
No disruption, no quantum leaps. It is a bit boring
That is the key problem of the whole AF and digital era - cameras have not been memorable any more since they simply evolve the same already existing features...
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Old 05-21-2016   #13
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I still use Film on regular basis.

I was given a number of AE-1, Ae-1P,purchasing Av-1.
The cameras are really great.
The lenses, I was donated Canon lenses, as well.
Yes, I used the EOS system and hated it with passion.
It like most "auto focus", is not 100% reliable..
Where I have difficulty focusing, the AF screws up!

The Canon A series are super fun to use, great results.
I love my Pentax K-1000,KM,ME-super,Mv,Spotmatics.
The Canon A series way more cool to use.

Nikon has same mount, but that doesn't mean you CAN actually use,
those old lenses, easily or SAFELY, on newer Nikon bodies.

The Nikon-F is not nice to hold, has sharp edges,
But a most perfect professional camera,
that not only wounded Leica,
but wiped out German camera photo industry.

Looking at my Film log diary, The Canons most used so far 2016.
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Old 05-21-2016   #14
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Roger sums up my feelings on that to a tee. Especially the news folks using Nikon & it was cool in the 1960's, and why SLR's took off and rangefinders faded away for photojournalists. I started putting together a "camera package" in 1976 and over the next ten or so years assembled a modest (but expensive for me) stable of Canon FD gear. I was furious when they changed the mount, but since I couldn't afford to change to Nikon, continued to shoot the Canon FD non-AF gear until 1995. Then I switched to Nikon and swore off Canon.

Finally came full circle a couple months ago because I just wasn't happy with any Nikon 35mm AF lens, and longed for a good, clean 35, and some of that "L" glass that I missed about Canon. So now I'm shooting a 6D with a 35mm f1.4 L lens, and it may not be as "cool" as Nikon, but it works.
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Old 05-21-2016   #15
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The only reason I purchased Canon DSLR it was cheaper than Nikon.
Canon is not looking cool. And none of Canon SLRs looks cool.
It is something which costs not so high and works.
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Old 05-21-2016   #16
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Two simple reasons.
1) Until the EOS, Nikons were professional cameras; Canons were amateur cameras. Perception is reality.
2) Almost any Nikon F-mount lens made can be used safely and fully functional on almost any Nikon body with only minor modifications. These lenses are high performers, reliable, plentiful and now cheap.
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Old 05-21-2016   #17
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Five different lens mounts in my lifetime? Or did I count wrong.

LTM
Canonflex
FL
FD
EOS

Bodies come and go but good glass is something to hang on to. Joe
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Old 05-21-2016   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leicapixie View Post
. . . Nikon has same mount, but that doesn't mean you CAN actually use those old lenses, easily or SAFELY, on newer Nikon bodies.

The Nikon-F is not nice to hold. . .
First extract: with the exception of "mirror up" lenses, I haven't yet found any Nikon or Nikon-fit lenses I can't use perfectly safely on my Df.

Second extract. Yes it is. I find it so, anyway. It's certainly a vast improvement on the half-melted plastic ashtrays that so many modern SLRs resemble.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-21-2016   #19
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Now I can't get Paul Simon's Kodachrome song to stop playing in my head
"I got a Nikon camera, I love to take photographs..."
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Old 05-21-2016   #20
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Earlier this week I took part in a photocall at the International Man Booker prizegiving (not the kind of event I'm normally involved with). I was surprised to see that, without exception, every one of the pro photographers I was lined up with was shooting Nikon and not necessarily the latest gear either (D3s etc.). I cast my mind back to the 1970s and thought about the time when I compared a Canon F1 with a Nikon F2. Why did I choose the Nikon? Simply because if felt more solid, better put together than the Canon and for no other reason. My D700 works just as well today as it did eight years ago when I bought it. IMHO this is why Nikon is top dog when it comes to pro gear.
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Old 05-21-2016   #21
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Quote:
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eos...REBEL. that agassi campaign is something.

https://youtu.be/E78OnfyQiWo
Hm. If Canon started an ad campaign with this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CDWV6o1o4A

and later brought out something like the DF, everybody would be laughing. If Nikon does this, it's cool.
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Old 05-21-2016   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by View Range View Post
Two simple reasons.
1) Until the EOS, Nikons were professional cameras; Canons were amateur cameras. Perception is reality.
2) Almost any Nikon F-mount lens made can be used safely and fully functional on almost any Nikon body with only minor modifications. These lenses are high performers, reliable, plentiful and now cheap.
Sort of wraps it up well. Just last week I used an old Nikkor AIS 50 1.4 on my Nikon D610 and had no problems once I set up the 610 for manual lens focus. The green dot even worked. That's pretty well.... cool.
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Old 05-21-2016   #23
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Any company that names cameras "Rebel" doesn't deserve to be considered cool...

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Old 05-21-2016   #24
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Wait... Canon isn't cool anymore?

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Old 05-21-2016   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livesteamer View Post
Five different lens mounts in my lifetime? Or did I count wrong.

LTM
Canonflex
FL
FD
EOS

Bodies come and go but good glass is something to hang on to. Joe
The Canonflex “R” mount, FL mount and FD mount are physically 100% identical (a breechlock mount). You can use an FD lens on a Canonflex, or a Canonflex “R” lens on a FD body (like an F-1). The aperture actuating linkage is what is different between these lenses, meaning, you’ll have to set the aperture manually when using an “R” lens on a FD camera and vice-versa.

Jim B.
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Old 05-21-2016   #26
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Aha, the Nikon Appreciation Society is here

Every Canon EF lens ever made works as advertised on any EOS body ever made. You can use your latest, greatest EF 11-24/4L on the 1987 EOS650 without limitations and you can use the 30 year old 35-105/3.5-4.5 on your Canon EOS 1Dx mark 2 or 80D, also without limitations. Isn't that cool? I think that is cool!

You can indeed use almost any Nikon F-mount lens safely and fully functional on almost any Nikon body with only minor modifications, but you can use those F-mount lenses on your Canon as well. That is cool too!

I understand the FD-EF thing was shocking, but ever since Canon gives better backwards compatibility than Nikon. Just try to use a recent Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24mm F1.8G ED on a 1988 Nikon F4.
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Old 05-21-2016   #27
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Canon was cool here and there, for a while Olympus was the cool camera in the mid 70's. At the end of the day, Nikon has been more cool consistently across the decades.

I think calling their Pro camera a F-1 was uncool. Moving from mount to mount was made uncool because Nikon still has the F-mount. Paul Simon immortalized Kodachrome and Nikon in one song.

For a short time I lusted after the Canon EF when it was new because of the shutter speed dial (M5 copy). A friend had one for a while till it got stolen. Out side of then can't think of another new Canon camera (or lens) I wanted. When I was doing the LTM thing the P caught my eye.

Canon's been cool here and there, but Nikons have been cool for decades.

B2 (;->
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Old 05-21-2016   #28
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Speaking for me here, the reason I bought Nikon instead of Canon is that Canon has changed it's SLR mount several times over the years, rendering previous lenses unusable on current cameras. On the other hand, the first Nikon SLR lenses from decades ago still work on many current models. When that first happened, I didn't have either brand, but still noted the flexibility of Nikon's attitude vs Canon's implementation of a polivcy modern industrial obsolesence, a concept which no one in their right mind should respect. Being of right mind, when the choice came, I chose Nikon, and have not been disappointed. Almost every lens I own currently was made for the older Nikons, pre digital. Try that with Canon.

That all Nikon lenses can be used on Canons, but not all Canon lenses? That's supposed to be a strong poing for Canon??? To me it looks like they can't make their own system work. That's not cool at all.

Another very small point for those concerned about aesthetics: Nikons look like cameras. Canons look like Barney the dinosaur with a lens stuck in his nose: shapeless blobs. So it appears they not only don't have competent mechanics on staff, they don't have designers, either. :-)
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Old 05-21-2016   #29
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Quote:
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Speaking for me here, the reason I bought Nikon instead of Canon is that Canon has changed it's SLR mount several times over the years, rendering previous lenses unusable on current cameras. On the other hand, the first Nikon SLR lenses from decades ago still work on many current models. When that first happened, I didn't have either brand, but still noted the flexibility of Nikon's attitude vs Canon's implementation of a polivcy modern industrial obsolesence, a concept which no one in their right mind should respect. Being of right mind, when the choice came, I chose Nikon, and have not been disappointed. Almost every lens I own currently was made for the older Nikons, pre digital. Try that with Canon.

That all Nikon lenses can be used on Canons, but not all Canon lenses? That's supposed to be a strong poing for Canon??? To me it looks like they can't make their own system work. That's not cool at all.

Another very small point for those concerned about aesthetics: Nikons look like cameras. Canons look like Barney the dinosaur with a lens stuck in his nose: shapeless blobs. So it appears they not only don't have competent mechanics on staff, they don't have designers, either. :-)
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Old 05-21-2016   #30
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none of the classic cameras that we think are really really cool today were made by canon. iconic designs, game-changing products, famous users, legendary optics...nothing really comes to mind for canon. the canonet ql17 giii is sought after in its class, and the canon p is a solid poor-man's leica, but that's not enough to build an enthusiastic fan base.

i love my new f-1, though. i'm glad that prices aren't being inflated by coolness.
They didnt have any legendary optics? 50mm f0.95 for the canon 7 which beat leica by many years. I do agree with their lack of iconic designs but you could class their white L lens designs and red ring as a little iconic
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Old 05-21-2016   #31
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When every Dentist was buying them I knew they weren't cool.
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Old 05-21-2016   #32
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eos...REBEL. that agassi campaign is something. https://youtu.be/E78OnfyQiWo
After they picked a spokesperson with a (fake) mullet, it was all over for Canon.

D
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Old 05-21-2016   #33
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Not a thread for scoring points or lobbing hand grenades. I'm just interested in why Canon - for whatever reason - does not seem to enjoy the 'cool' status enjoyed by Nikon.
Only on RFF. Minolta is way cooler than either, anyways.
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Old 05-21-2016   #34
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I understand this is above all about the film era. But in the digital age, hasn't been Canon the SLR market leader? Also if using adapted manual lenses, a few years ago, only a Canon 5D and successor, because of their 'FF' sensor, was cool, everything else uncool, including Nikons with 'FF' sensor because one could only use old Nikkors, not adapt many other SLR lenses as on a Canon. I never liked these big, heavy bodies and used small Pentax dSLRs instead, but others like me and myself, in forums for manual lenses, had been ridiculed by many for using APS-C, not using a 5D.
Well, times change, many of the people for whom a 5D, because of the 'FF' sensor, had been the holy grail for adapted manual lenses then now are using these lenses adapted on a Fuji mirrorless with APS-C sensor. They wouldn't use a Sony mirrorless with a 'FF' sensor, who would use a Sony anyways, Fujis are way more cool go figure..
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Old 05-21-2016   #35
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Based on average prices (IMO kinda high), and film images I see on Instagram and Flickr, the Canon AE-1 and AE-1P are nearly the most popular cameras with younger people getting into film these days.
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Old 05-21-2016   #36
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Only on RFF. Minolta is way cooler than either, anyways.
Nice!!!
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Old 05-21-2016   #37
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My first pro-level SLR system included two F-1 Canons, motor drives, a 20, 35, 85, and 200. It did everything I needed and, in black and white, the lenses were less contrasty than the Nikon equivalents. And, they focused in the same direction as the Leica, not backwards like the Nikon. That said, I switched to Nikon when Canon abandoned the FD lens mount. Were I to do it over again, I would have kept the Canons. The equivalent FL/FD lenses are still less expensive, used, than comparable Nikons. I still use Leica film cameras and one digital - an aging M8. For work, I shoot EOS digital - the autofocus seems more accurate than the Nikons I tried. Admitted, I haven't used a newer Nikon digital, so that may have changed. But the focus direction is a positive for someone who shoots SLR and rangefinder film cameras. As for cool, I don't care.
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Old 05-21-2016   #38
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Based on average prices (IMO kinda high), and film images I see on Instagram and Flickr, the Canon AE-1 and AE-1P are nearly the most popular cameras with younger people getting into film these days.
That must be particular to the US. Hereabouts, only every fifth offer attracts a bid, and those that sell so so for an average 15-20€, compared to 80-120€ for the Nikon equivalent FE/FE-2.
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Old 05-21-2016   #39
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If Canons are not cool, then how come the Canon F1-N sells for more money than a Nikon F2 and most F3s on the used photo gear market?
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Old 05-21-2016   #40
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First extract: with the exception of "mirror up" lenses, I haven't yet found any Nikon or Nikon-fit lenses I can't use perfectly safely on my Df.
The Df is certainly unique in that respect. The problem is that the converse is not true. None of the current G lenses may be used on the classic manual focus film bodies (if you want aperture control) or on some of the earlier auto focus bodies. The AF lenses without internal motors (D series and earlier) do not autofocus on the low or mid-range digital bodies. And, save for the Df, non-AI lenses may not be mounted on any of the modern Nikon bodies. On the Df, metering with non-AI lenses is a clunky affair, at best.

With the introduction of electronic diaphragm lenses, Nikon is now getting to where Canon was in 1987. My fear, though, is that at some point (hopefully later rather than sooner) Nikon will drop the mechanical diaphragm linkage, and my Zeiss and Nikon AIs primes will be unusable on those bodies.

Plus, there is the issue that the smaller F mount impedes the development of faster lenses, hence the reason why Nikon no longer produces a 50mm 1.2.

I own Nikon bodies (including a Df) and a full array of Nikon glass, but Nikon's alleged backwards compatibility is greatly overrated, in my opinion.

Antonio
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