Nikon Z Mount is Huge! Diameter 55mm Vs. Sony FE 46.1mm: Allow Medium Format and Better Lenses

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mateo goodman
mateo goodman Regular Member • Posts: 382
Nikon Z Mount is Huge! Diameter 55mm Vs. Sony FE 46.1mm: Allow Medium Format and Better Lenses
6

I remember way back when Canon switch to EOS EF mount, they trumpeted heavily the advantage of the larger diameter. As I just found out, Nikon Z mount is huge, way bigger than any other mirrorless lens mounts, way bigger than Sony FE. Wondering why Nikon chose such large size, I found this article discussion the advantage of the large Z mount:

https://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/08/23/nikon-z-vs-sony-alpha/

The diameter of the Nikon Z-mount is a fair bit larger than the Sony FE mount. This diameter would actually accommodate a medium format sensor in the future. For the present, there are immediate ramifications of the mount design. Nikon claims that the design of the mount will allow for production of faster and better quality lenses.

While, I’m sure there is some puffery and exaggeration there, it’s easy to imagine that the wider diameter will allow Nikon Z lenses to offer superior corner performance and less distortion. Sony lenses often require significant distortion and vignetting correction. While I can’t confirm it, I would expect Nikon Z lenses to perform better in the corners.

Having such a large mount does have a downside — You can’t make a camera any smaller than the mount itself. I don’t think this is a big deal for the full frame models but if Nikon eventually does APS-C cameras, where some buyers value compactness, Nikon won’t be able to go nearly as compact as the Sony A6xxx cameras.

Sony started out with APC, it appears to me Sony opt'ed for smaller body, with a just enough for full frame lens mount. Instead of sacrificing body size for better lenses. Whereas Nikon chose a different approach: big lens mount for better optic, forgoing tiny APC camera body....

Seem like by simple dimension, the Nikon Z mount is better for lens design/quality wise, which should give Nikon more head room to grow in the future. Maybe in a few iterations, Nikon will have lenses that are far better than the small diameter lens mount competitions.

Wonder what size Canon will use? Big is my guess...

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sharkmelley
sharkmelley Senior Member • Posts: 1,918
Big issue for astrophotography
16

That's right. The wide opening of the Z-mount will be a huge advantage for those who wish to use adaptors for telescopes and for other lenses. The narrow opening of the Sony E-mount causes me big vignetting issues on some telescopes and lenses attached by adaptors to my Sony A7S. Using some optics the corners of the A7S sensor are in complete shadow.

I do wonder if Sony's E-mount was designed for APS-C sensors instead? Like the star eater problem, I really wish I had known about the consequences of this before buying the Sony camera. I'm watching the Nikon Z cameras with great interest ...

Mark

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Clayton1985 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,067
Re: Nikon Z Mount is Huge! Diameter 55mm Vs. Sony FE 46.1mm: Allow Medium Format and Better Lenses

mateo goodman wrote:

I remember way back when Canon switch to EOS EF mount, they trumpeted heavily the advantage of the larger diameter. As I just found out, Nikon Z mount is huge, way bigger than any other mirrorless lens mounts, way bigger than Sony FE. Wondering why Nikon chose such large size, I found this article discussion the advantage of the large Z mount:

https://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/08/23/nikon-z-vs-sony-alpha/

The diameter of the Nikon Z-mount is a fair bit larger than the Sony FE mount. This diameter would actually accommodate a medium format sensor in the future. For the present, there are immediate ramifications of the mount design. Nikon claims that the design of the mount will allow for production of faster and better quality lenses.

While, I’m sure there is some puffery and exaggeration there, it’s easy to imagine that the wider diameter will allow Nikon Z lenses to offer superior corner performance and less distortion. Sony lenses often require significant distortion and vignetting correction. While I can’t confirm it, I would expect Nikon Z lenses to perform better in the corners.

Having such a large mount does have a downside — You can’t make a camera any smaller than the mount itself. I don’t think this is a big deal for the full frame models but if Nikon eventually does APS-C cameras, where some buyers value compactness, Nikon won’t be able to go nearly as compact as the Sony A6xxx cameras.

Sony started out with APC, it appears to me Sony opt'ed for smaller body, with a just enough for full frame lens mount. Instead of sacrificing body size for better lenses. Whereas Nikon chose a different approach: big lens mount for better optic, forgoing tiny APC camera body....

Seem like by simple dimension, the Nikon Z mount is better for lens design/quality wise, which should give Nikon more head room to grow in the future. Maybe in a few iterations, Nikon will have lenses that are far better than the small diameter lens mount competitions.

Wonder what size Canon will use? Big is my guess...

I can't say that it makes my list of concerns at least until I can see how it actually benefits me.   Maybe my opinion will change once we start seeing Nikon Z lenses compared to the equivalent Sony lenses.   And if it only gives Nikon an advantage with f/0.95 lenses then I don't care.

DVT80111 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,319
It's all BS. The true reason is
4

with a larger mount and 16mm,  they enable an adapter for Sony FE /Zeiss lenses to lure Sony customers into their camp.

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Paul Barnard Senior Member • Posts: 2,444
The real reason for large opening
21

mateo goodman wrote:

I remember way back when Canon switch to EOS EF mount, they trumpeted heavily the advantage of the larger diameter. As I just found out, Nikon Z mount is huge, way bigger than any other mirrorless lens mounts, way bigger than Sony FE. Wondering why Nikon chose such large size, I found this article discussion the advantage of the large Z mount:

https://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/08/23/nikon-z-vs-sony-alpha/

The diameter of the Nikon Z-mount is a fair bit larger than the Sony FE mount. This diameter would actually accommodate a medium format sensor in the future. For the present, there are immediate ramifications of the mount design. Nikon claims that the design of the mount will allow for production of faster and better quality lenses.

While, I’m sure there is some puffery and exaggeration there, it’s easy to imagine that the wider diameter will allow Nikon Z lenses to offer superior corner performance and less distortion. Sony lenses often require significant distortion and vignetting correction. While I can’t confirm it, I would expect Nikon Z lenses to perform better in the corners.

Having such a large mount does have a downside — You can’t make a camera any smaller than the mount itself. I don’t think this is a big deal for the full frame models but if Nikon eventually does APS-C cameras, where some buyers value compactness, Nikon won’t be able to go nearly as compact as the Sony A6xxx cameras.

Sony started out with APC, it appears to me Sony opt'ed for smaller body, with a just enough for full frame lens mount. Instead of sacrificing body size for better lenses. Whereas Nikon chose a different approach: big lens mount for better optic, forgoing tiny APC camera body....

Seem like by simple dimension, the Nikon Z mount is better for lens design/quality wise, which should give Nikon more head room to grow in the future. Maybe in a few iterations, Nikon will have lenses that are far better than the small diameter lens mount competitions.

Wonder what size Canon will use? Big is my guess...

it’s actually to give better access to the sensor for cleaning. We all know Nikon users have massive hands and as soon as they switch to MILC from DSLR they are going to have to start a daily sensor cleaning regime.  Like the small Sony grip the small Sony mount aperture is just useless for Nikon users.

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PhilthePhrame
PhilthePhrame Contributing Member • Posts: 521
Re: Nikon Z Mount is Huge! Diameter 55mm Vs. Sony FE 46.1mm: Allow Medium Format and Better Lenses
1

Perhaps no surprise that one of the next lenses Nikon plans to roll out is a native 50mm f/0.95, which should show case the advantages of the wider aperture and shorter flange of the Nikon system.

P.S. Kudos to Nikon for setting out a road map of the Z lenses they plan to roll out in the next few years, instead of playing coy like Sony.

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fredflintstone Regular Member • Posts: 462
Mechanical reasons?

The larger Z mount will mean there is less force on it due to torque for an equal weight and size of lens as compared to the E mount.  For equal precision of machining and strength of the body front wall, there will be less tilt of the lens relative to the sensor, however small that maybe, which may result in better sharpness at the edges and corners.

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JimKasson
JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 23,099
MF sensor? No.
15

mateo goodman wrote:

I remember way back when Canon switch to EOS EF mount, they trumpeted heavily the advantage of the larger diameter. As I just found out, Nikon Z mount is huge, way bigger than any other mirrorless lens mounts, way bigger than Sony FE. Wondering why Nikon chose such large size, I found this article discussion the advantage of the large Z mount:

https://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/08/23/nikon-z-vs-sony-alpha/

The diameter of the Nikon Z-mount is a fair bit larger than the Sony FE mount. This diameter would actually accommodate a medium format sensor in the future.

I don't buy that. The GFX throat is much larger:

https://fujifilm-x.com/us/x-stories/gfx-technologies-2/

And some people don't consider 33x44 to be real MF.

Jim

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Kent Ekasak
Kent Ekasak Regular Member • Posts: 391
Re: Nikon Z Mount is Huge! Diameter 55mm Vs. Sony FE 46.1mm: Allow Medium Format and Better Lenses
3

Not only potential better IQ in coner, bigger mount allows Nikon to build more ergonomic less-head-heavy len shape too.. Plus better IBIS from more space in sensor movement..

Magnar W
Magnar W Senior Member • Posts: 3,813
Re: Mechanical reasons?
3

fredflintstone wrote:

The larger Z mount will mean there is less force on it due to torque for an equal weight and size of lens as compared to the E mount.

Hardly a valid argument. At a certain point, the lens is supporting the camera.

For heavy lenses, the problem is not the mount, but the tripod socket.

For equal precision of machining and strength of the body front wall, there will be less tilt of the lens relative to the sensor, however small that maybe, which may result in better sharpness at the edges and corners.

If this is for f:0.95 lenses, it doesn't affect many users.

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Magnar W
Magnar W Senior Member • Posts: 3,813
Re: Big issue for astrophotography
3

sharkmelley wrote:

That's right. The wide opening of the Z-mount will be a huge advantage for those who wish to use adaptors for telescopes and for other lenses. The narrow opening of the Sony E-mount causes me big vignetting issues on some telescopes and lenses attached by adaptors to my Sony A7S. Using some optics the corners of the A7S sensor are in complete shadow.

Is this limitation caused by the E-mount, the adapter, or the image circle of the lens/telescope?

With E-mount, there also is noticeable vigneting with the GM 100-400 mm at the long end when using the 1.4x teleconverter.

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jiulin Regular Member • Posts: 170
Re: Nikon Z Mount is Huge! Diameter 55mm Vs. Sony FE 46.1mm: Allow Medium Format and Better Lenses
1

mateo goodman wrote:

I remember way back when Canon switch to EOS EF mount, they trumpeted heavily the advantage of the larger diameter. As I just found out, Nikon Z mount is huge, way bigger than any other mirrorless lens mounts, way bigger than Sony FE. Wondering why Nikon chose such large size, I found this article discussion the advantage of the large Z mount:

https://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/08/23/nikon-z-vs-sony-alpha/

The diameter of the Nikon Z-mount is a fair bit larger than the Sony FE mount. This diameter would actually accommodate a medium format sensor in the future. For the present, there are immediate ramifications of the mount design. Nikon claims that the design of the mount will allow for production of faster and better quality lenses.

While, I’m sure there is some puffery and exaggeration there, it’s easy to imagine that the wider diameter will allow Nikon Z lenses to offer superior corner performance and less distortion. Sony lenses often require significant distortion and vignetting correction. While I can’t confirm it, I would expect Nikon Z lenses to perform better in the corners.

Having such a large mount does have a downside — You can’t make a camera any smaller than the mount itself. I don’t think this is a big deal for the full frame models but if Nikon eventually does APS-C cameras, where some buyers value compactness, Nikon won’t be able to go nearly as compact as the Sony A6xxx cameras.

Sony started out with APC, it appears to me Sony opt'ed for smaller body, with a just enough for full frame lens mount. Instead of sacrificing body size for better lenses. Whereas Nikon chose a different approach: big lens mount for better optic, forgoing tiny APC camera body....

Seem like by simple dimension, the Nikon Z mount is better for lens design/quality wise, which should give Nikon more head room to grow in the future. Maybe in a few iterations, Nikon will have lenses that are far better than the small diameter lens mount competitions.

Wonder what size Canon will use? Big is my guess...

Canon will be so BIIIG you'll know it's PRO when you see one from 100m away

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joger
joger Veteran Member • Posts: 5,021
Re: Nikon Z Mount is Huge! Diameter 55mm Vs. Sony FE 46.1mm: Allow Medium Format and Better Lenses
13

mateo goodman wrote:

I remember way back when Canon switch to EOS EF mount, they trumpeted heavily the advantage of the larger diameter.

Marketing anyone?

As I just found out, Nikon Z mount is huge, way bigger than any other mirrorless lens mounts, way bigger than Sony FE. Wondering why Nikon chose such large size, I found this article discussion the advantage of the large Z mount:

You're late to the party

Sony started out with APC, it appears to me Sony opt'ed for smaller body, with a just enough for full frame lens mount.

Looks like

Instead of sacrificing body size for better lenses.

Do you have a proof point for that? Leica M-mount is smaller and still good enough f0r outstanding f/0.95 lenses and some of the best ev er built lenses and until recently Nikon had a much smaller mount as their one mount and they would have denied that it is insufficient

Whereas Nikon chose a different approach: big lens mount for better optic, forgoing tiny APC camera body....

correct

Seem like by simple dimension, the Nikon Z mount is better for lens design/quality wise, which should give Nikon more head room to grow in the future.

I rather doubt that with the given history of exquisite lenses for Canon, Nikon, Leica and last but not least Sony. Some of the Sony lenses are the best ever built optical designs corners to corner on FF

Maybe in a few iterations, Nikon will have lenses that are far better than the small diameter lens mount competitions.

I doubt that the mount alone is an indication - both Nikon Z and Sony E mount have a very short flange distance 16 and 18 mm - not that much of a differnce and some of the Sony lenses trump everything ever built to date.

Will there be better optical designs?

Probably yes!

Will the better designs be purely dependent on the larger mount diameter?

Probably not.

Otherwise we'd not see designs that are outclassing even the best designs ever made.

Optical formulation, coatings, mechanical design, new material mixes for body and glass or never used materials like ALON might be the more turning edge foundations for new optical hights.

Just have a look at the 12-24 G, ZA 50, GM 85 . . . all in the top range of optical quality.

Finally quality control and stringent new manufacturing and last but not least miniaturization techniques will have a great influence - I guess Sony is as good as the competition here as well and the Nikon A7 2 ½ (aka Z7) shows how much tailwind Sony has - there is more to a lens than just a big mount - marketing aside

Wonder what size Canon will use? Big is my guess...

In case Canon is clever they make the flange distance even smaller to accommodate even Nikon Z mount

Personally I'd choose the company with the right mount diameter to accommodate large enough lenses and small lenses equally good. Photography is all about compromises - the one Sony choose is IMHO as far as I can see a very good one - I love small lenses and my big ones are as good as it gets and finally they are exceeding my needs today.

The ZA 50 f/1.4 is IMHO nearly unbeatable from f/1.8 to f/2.8 and perfectly fine at f/1.4 - corner to corner.

I'd not want to have a bigger mount and no Loxia or Voigtlaender lenses with small diameter.

personally I could not care less about medium format digital - I will not buy one since it would probably exceed my financial limits for photography - I'd rather invest the saved money in photo traveling - I am current on a waiting list for Patagonia 2020

I think Sony did a very good compromise for all what they did and it pays off in a reasonable good setup:

  • best in class battery life
  • best in class Eye AF
  • best in class optics (Nikon to be tested)
  • (probably) best in class focussing and exposure metering at high frame rates
  • best in class Iso 100 and 640 performance
  • best in class resolution (=Pixel Shift)
  • best in class weight and size (small is beautiful)
  • best in class lens selection
  • best in class IBIS

After all - my A7R 3 never felt that advanced

(just a few thoughts)

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Hosko Contributing Member • Posts: 812
Re: Nikon Z Mount is Huge! Diameter 55mm Vs. Sony FE 46.1mm: Allow Medium Format and Better Lenses
1

Huge mount but you can only get F1.8 8n autofocus for the next two years in their premium line of lenses

migus Contributing Member • Posts: 970
Re: Big issue for astrophotography
1

sharkmelley wrote:

That's right. The wide opening of the Z-mount will be a huge advantage for those who wish to use adaptors for telescopes and for other lenses. The narrow opening of the Sony E-mount causes me big vignetting issues on some telescopes and lenses attached by adaptors to my Sony A7S. Using some optics the corners of the A7S sensor are in complete shadow.

I do wonder if Sony's E-mount was designed for APS-C sensors instead? Like the star eater problem, I really wish I had known about the consequences of this before buying the Sony camera. I'm watching the Nikon Z cameras with great interest ...

"I do wonder if Sony's E-mount was designed for APS-C sensors instead?"

yes: Ca. 10 yrs. ago the 46mm-wide E-mount was optimized for the fastest possible optical designs, with some 'wiggle' room for IBIS and/or larger sensors. And the ca. 17mm flange distance was short enough to adapt nearly every lens ever made, with few exceptions.

The Z-mount and probably the upcoming FF new from Canon are ca. 10mm wider (54-56mm), optimized for FF optical designs.

Naturally Canon could instead just push-up their existing 47mm EF-M mount --already wider than the E-mount!-- for their upcoming FF MILCs, thus competing directly with Sony's FE optical designs (and compromises). We'll see...

However, if Canon also adopts a 55mm-class FF mount aperture like the Z-mount today, this will place Sony's 46mm (APS-optimized mount throat) in a difficult competitive position on the FF optical design wrt. IQ, cost and technical compromises.

nofumble Senior Member • Posts: 2,119
Ergonomic reason
1

Huge lens mount is heavier, so it would balance out better with bigger lens. The leader in ergonomic is so genius.

Erik Kaffehr
Erik Kaffehr Senior Member • Posts: 2,326
Re: MF sensor? No.

JimKasson wrote:

mateo goodman wrote:

I remember way back when Canon switch to EOS EF mount, they trumpeted heavily the advantage of the larger diameter. As I just found out, Nikon Z mount is huge, way bigger than any other mirrorless lens mounts, way bigger than Sony FE. Wondering why Nikon chose such large size, I found this article discussion the advantage of the large Z mount:

https://enthusiastphotoblog.com/2018/08/23/nikon-z-vs-sony-alpha/

The diameter of the Nikon Z-mount is a fair bit larger than the Sony FE mount. This diameter would actually accommodate a medium format sensor in the future.

I don't buy that. The GFX throat is much larger:

https://fujifilm-x.com/us/x-stories/gfx-technologies-2/

And some people don't consider 33x44 to be real MF.

Jim

Hi Jim,

I don't care about medium format, but I could imagine a 36 mm sensor having a different aspect ratio than 3:2, like a 36x36 mm sensor, such a sensor would need a 51 mm image circle.

With digital, there is little need for standard formats, like in the film era. But, sensor fabrication is an elaborate process and it is rational to have a few standard sizes.

I think that 33x44 mm needs to be seen in that light. It is not really a film size based format, 120 film was around 55 mm wide. But 33x44 mm is a practical format for sensors.

So, you design a camera around that sensor. Develop lenses that are optimised for that size of sensor. It can be called medium format. Personally I would call it a 33x44 mm optimized system.

Nikon could go for a slightly larger sensor than 24x36, like 36x36 mm. That would allow a great variety of aspect ratios. But, a 36x36 mm sensor would be more expensive than a 24x36 mm sensor. On the other hand it would be cheaper than a 44x33 sensor, especially if made in large volumes.

But, what is foremost important is that the lenses are good enough.

On the other hand, does lens quality really matter? I have read a lot of articles about Sony lenses being excellent. But, I have some doubts. Those doubts keep me from buying Sony lenses.

Personally, I feel that Nikon going into mirrorless is a good thing. That sort of validates the concept.

On the other hand, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic and Olumpus have been long time players in mirrorless. It may be that Nikon finds out that Things Take Time. A little bit as Hasselblad did with the X1D. Making an excellent EVF camera may be a bit more of an effort than vendors may believe?

Just to say, I would think that Nikon wants to keep the Z-mount for a long time, so they want it to be future safe.

Best regards

Erik

Lothman Contributing Member • Posts: 880
another observation - plane front on body

beside the larger diameter, there is nothing protruding the bayonet except the battery grip. Usually we see an overhanging view fidner/flash not so at the new Nikon Z.

Do they have plans with very large diameter lenses or shift lenses?

psartman
psartman Regular Member • Posts: 186
Re: Nikon Z Mount is Huge! Diameter 55mm Vs. Sony FE 46.1mm: Allow Medium Format and Better Lenses
4

While accommodating an exotic and expensive design such as the 58mm f/0.95 lens that very few can afford or would even want, the wide mount requires that EVERY lens for this camera will have to be physically larger. The 35mm f/1.8 Z lens has a 62mm filter mount and looks pretty huge.

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Beaverhelmet Senior Member • Posts: 2,296
Re: Nikon Z Mount is Huge! Diameter 55mm Vs. Sony FE 46.1mm: Allow Medium Format and Better Lenses
13

mateo goodman wrote:

I remember way back when Canon switch to EOS EF mount, they trumpeted heavily the advantage of the larger diameter. As I just found out, Nikon Z mount is huge, way bigger than any other mirrorless lens mounts, way bigger than Sony FE.

Big deal. Both Sony E-mount and Canon M-mount are superior to Canon EF-mount wrt throat size (allowing symmetrical designs). And nobody on the forums ever cared about this earlier. The elephant in the room is obviously Nikon F mount that has been quite a hurdle to work around (litterally) for many years. All while the E-mount has been criticized for being narrow while it always was better than the two DSLR giants (F+EF).

While the bigger throat of Z mount can be beneficial for really fast high end FF primes in the future, it will also become severe overkill if Nikon ever decides to make crop cameras with the same mount. Those lenses will either look like cones or have a hollow overly girthy design. 1 cm difference in diameter is quite a lot, and the crop crowd has traditionally been very picky about compactness.

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