Why can't lenses extend behind the flange distance?

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bastibe Contributing Member • Posts: 719
Why can't lenses extend behind the flange distance?
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Compact cameras such as the Fuji x100, the Ricoh GR, or the various Sony RX models, all employ lenses whose rear element extends deep into the camera body, making them comparatively compact.

DSLRs clearly could not support such lenses, as they would have interfered with the mirror.

But why can't we have that with mirrorless lenses? There's usually more than a centimeter of wasted space between the sensor and the lens mount. Some of that is probably used by the shutter curtain, but there should still be plenty of room to move the lens partly into the body.

Do you know why such rangefinder-like lenses are not allowed/possible for mirrorless cameras?

My best guess is something about microlenses and a need for relatively perpendicular light incidence angles on the sensor. But compact cameras can evidently deal with that, so why not ILCs?

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Ricoh GR III Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Sony RX1 Panasonic LX100 II +5 more
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