Missed opportunity for a standard lens mount

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ChrisPCrunch Regular Member • Posts: 103
Missed opportunity for a standard lens mount
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This is just a pipe dream, and likely never to happen, but I wish the photo industry would just standardize on a single lens mount for each format. It might not be the best for the manufacturers (which is why it won't happen) but it would be great for photographers.

For as long as we have had cameras with inter-changeable lenses we have a multiple different and incompatible lens mounts. But ultimately, glass is glass and it would be nice if we could mix and match lenses and cameras. Imagine using Canon glass on a Nikon camera etc. with no adapters! With mirrorless most SLR glass can be adapted to most any mirrorless camera since the flange distance is a lot smaller on mirrorless giving room to fit an adapter. But, you don't have that option to adapt mirrorless lenses from different systems. Plus, adapters need to reverse engineer the protocols and they don't always work perfectly or with all lenses. Imagine, if the industry had worked together when launching their new mirrorless systems to introduce a standardized lens mount! The move to mirrorless would have been the perfect opportunity to standardize lens mounts.

The first mirrorless system (micro four thirds) got things off right with Panasonic and Olympus sharing the same lens mount. But others failed to follow. What if Nikon had released some Micro Four Thirds cameras instead of launching their own Nikon 1 system? Sure Nikon 1 was even smaller than MFT, but it was ultimately a failure. If Nikon instead had supported MFT, we could have a bunch of nice Nikon glass in the MFT system now!

Likewise, Sony, Canon and Fuji all launched their own APS-C mirrorless systems within a couple of years of each other: Sony E-Mount, Canon EF-M and Fuji X-mount. What if the three companies had worked together to produce a single standardized APS-C lens mount system! Canon's EOS-M system is lacking in native glass, but what if you could have used the large selection of Fuji lenses with your Canon? Likewise you could use Canon's sharp 32mm F1.4 lens with your Fuji camera. Or get a Sony camera to take advantage of their great autofocus with all your Canon and Fuji glass etc. Lots of opportunities.

Finally, we see the move to Full-frame mirrorless. Again, the L-Mount alliance is on the right track with a shared lens mount, but Canon and Nikon each have their own RF and Z mounts. All three mounts are somewhat similar with a large mount with short flange distance. If only, Canon, Nikon, Leica, Panasonic and Sigma had all worked together on a single Full-frame mirrorless lens mount! That would have been awesome. Mixing and matching bodies and lenses from all those manufacturers would give photographers a lot of choice.

Standardized lens mounts also would benefit 3rd party lens manufacturers. Companies like Sigma and Tamron etc. have produced lenses for ages for other manufacturers systems. But, they have had to release multiple versions of their lenses (one for Canon, one for Nikon, one for Pentax etc etc.). They are the same lens, just with the different mount. It would be more efficient if there was a single lens mount, so they just produce one version of the lens that works with any of the manufacturers cameras!

But instead, we have numerous mounts from different manufacturers. Not likely to change. Plus, camera sales have been in decline for a decade. We might see some manufacturers disappearing or at least getting out of the camera business in the future. I doubt a single lens mount would have changed anything, but for photographers, it would be comforting knowing that all your glass would still be useful on another system if your brand of choice disappeared.

Anyway, just dreaming!

Chris

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