Been thinking about why the Z mount was made so big

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
beatboxa Senior Member • Posts: 6,209
Re: Been thinking about why the Z mount was made so big
2

Matsu wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

tektrader wrote:

Then it dawned on me...... Maybe it is big enough to use for the medium format Nikon camera of the future?

How big are the mounts on the Fuji or Pentax medium frame cameras ?

It's not.

I agree that it's likely not their intention, however... it might be just big enough for the size around which the newest mirrorless Medium Format systems have standardized, ie. 44x33. Actually 43.8x32.9 (Pentax/Fuji GFX /Hassleblad X1D). These are 55mm image diameter systems, actually, just slightly less, 54.8mm. Even Leica's oddball 45x30mm fits in a 54mm image circle.

So, 55mm inner diameter is borderline, especially when you consider the mounting tabs which steal a couple of mm, lets call it 52mm. It's not uncommon at all for the mount to shade the corners of a sensor/film when viewed head on. This was the case for many Medium format films. Virtually every 6x6 or larger camera had a mount smaller than 80mm - the diagonal of 6x6 film - some considerably so. Only 645 film was smaller than the throat diameter of these cameras, and probably only because many were conceived as modular systems to accommodate different backs between 645 and 6x7, and in some cases 6x8 and 6x9 even!

At a push it wouldn't be completely crazy to cast Z mount as a modular system scaling from APSC to 44x33, or nearly two stops from smallest to largest. 28.1mm image circle at the smallest. 54.8mm at the largest. 43.3mm (135 format) at the sweet spot.

Again, I wouldn't make too much of it because, like you, I don't think so, but...

It's for more flexibility in lens design. Also remember IBIS. And diminishing returns.

Less optimal, sure, but all design involves compromise. For medium format ultra large apertures are even less of a necessity, and IBIS can work within very tight constraints.

Diminishing returns warrants some careful consideration - it plays out in a number of ways and not something I can predict...

They could do a medium format, but why? Remember that to get even 1 stop improvement (like DX to FX), Nikon would need a sensor that is 54mm x 36mm, which has a diagonal / image circle diameter of 65mm.

You'll note that the "medium format" of Fuji and Pentax is less than 1 stop more than full-frame. There is much more difference between even APS-C & FF than there is between FF & these modern digital medium formats.

Diminishing returns have many ramifications - cost, size, performance, market acceptance, etc...

That's the right question: are 2/3rds of a stop worth it? I don't know. For me? No, I can do anything I need with less camera than I already have. Nikon has mentioned software solutions being developed to take sensor resolution higher in the face of diffraction effects, which means they're thinking about what a 100MP + file looks like, and beyond. Some market must be thinking about what a really large print looks like from 60MP vs 100MP - more or less the difference between state of the art 135 format (35mm, aka full frame) and state of the art 44x33mm (the new tweener medium format).

I think we should be pretty happy Nikon has made a solid housing for a 35mm full frame mirrorless system, and not worry about whether something larger may crowd the same space in the future.

Don't get me wrong. I think Nikon could do a medium format in Z mount. But I don't think they will, because I agree it's not worth it.

It just doesn't make sense to do. What problems are they solving that full-frame can't do? It's not light gathering, since all the medium format lenses are slow anyway. It's not resolution, since there is plenty of room to get full-frame up to hundreds of MP, especially with today's ultrasharp lenses. And also since cameras can do sensor-shift to push resolution by approx. 2x linear = 4x MP.

Fuji's medium format complements their APS-C, because they started at APS-C and recognized that 1 stop difference is not that much.  I just posted this, related to this topic.

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