The new Nikon mirrorless Z series cameras and lenses represent an incredible breakthrough in both technology and performance. We want to help you answer some of the questions your customers may have to understand the full scope of the new Z series, and specifically how it will enhance their current NIKKOR lens system.
One of the most important aspects of this new system is the Nikon Z mount. It represents a dynamic change to Nikon’s historic F-mount lens system, a technology that was introduced almost 60 years ago.
With this in mind, we turned to the engineering team at Nikon to discuss their philosophies behind the development of the Z system.
Q: Why change the lens system after so many years?
A: Our intention was to create the optimal lens system for our new Z series mirrorless cameras, while also giving our loyal Nikon users the ability to continue to use their F-mount NIKKOR lenses as they have for years. Therefore, while we’re introducing the Z mount on our new mirrorless cameras, we’re also introducing the Mount Adapter FTZ to enable photographers to use any of their existing NIKKOR lenses, without compromising any of the quality they would expect.
We recognized an increasing need for a new lens system to be able to develop the capabilities of more advanced lenses, enabling photographers to create new possibilities for images now and into the future. But we also believe that the ultimate combination of Z-mount and F-mount lenses provides the greatest flexibility for current and future Nikon cameras.
Q: How does the new Z mount compare to Nikon’s classic F-mount system?
A: NIKKOR F lenses are the result of a long tradition of accumulated optical expertise, drawing in light in the purest and most precise form possible. As a result, they deliver highly accurate subject information to the sensor, enabling high-resolution images with real depth.
The Z mount’s 55mm inner diameter and 16mm flange back distance clear the way for a new generation of outstandingly high-performance lenses. This new system lifts optical performance and image quality to new heights by permitting more light to enter. A 55mm inner diameter allows us to design every focal length and f-stop combination in a lens, not only with the types of lenses that have been possible with the F mount but also with lenses that have so far been difficult to develop. These include video lenses and super telephoto lenses.
Also, unique focal lengths open a wider range of photographic expression; for example, take the new NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens with a maximum aperture of f/0.95. Although there are some f/0.95 lenses on the market, the new Noct delivers point images and a level of resolution that has rarely been experienced.
Despite its extremely large diameter, the lens achieves both superior point-image reproduction and high resolving power at maximum aperture. This is due to the rigorous suppression of lens aberrations.
The Z mount’s breakthrough engineering makes it the foundation for a new generation of lenses that excel in speed, sharpness and accuracy, blazing a new trail in lens capability.
Q: Can I still use my F-mount lenses?
A: Yes. Approximately 360 F-mount NIKKOR lenses can be attached to Nikon Z cameras using the optional Mount Adapter FTZ with no degradation of image quality.
Furthermore, all of those lenses will benefit from the VR (vibration reduction) image stabilization that’s built into the cameras, regardless of whether or not it’s a VR lens. The adapter also allows for seamless AF/AE functionality on more than 90 F-mount NIKKOR lenses, including all G-type and E-type lenses.
The new optional mount adapter shows how much Nikon values existing NIKKOR F lens users. The mount was developed to achieve the ultimate in optical performance, but Nikon also considered it important that F-mount users could utilize their existing lenses seamlessly with the new system.
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