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Thread: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

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    Member jdbfreeheel's Avatar
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    Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Cross-posted from LL forums.

    All,

    Decidedly a rumor, but this is certainly interesting, given the new big sensors/DBs/Camera systems that have already been announced by Hassy, Phase, and Sinar.

    Basics: Rumors that are starting to be substantiated are suggesting a Mamiya 6-like digital rangefinder with a 41-48mp sensor that could possibly use existing Nikon glass...

    http://gizmodo.com/5045897/nikon-41+...al-rangefinder

    At the very least, I'm interested...but that would be one mighty expensive rangefinder...I know lots of folks who thought $6K for the Leica digital rangefinder system (albeit, not MF) was too pricey.

    -Josh

  2. #2
    Mort54
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Yes, it's a very interesting rumor, and many would love to see it happen. As for cost, it would compete with MFDBs, so I guess cost is relative.

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    Member jdbfreeheel's Avatar
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mort54 View Post
    Yes, it's a very interesting rumor, and many would love to see it happen. As for cost, it would compete with MFDBs, so I guess cost is relative.
    Mort, I agree with you that cost is relative, what I meant was that in the world of MFDBs, at least when newer, bigger, better comes out, there are trade-in/upgrade systems in place to swap out "old" DBs for the new DBs. In the case of a full-fledged camera with the sensor built in, there would need to be a new process by which either sensors/electronics can be swapped as well as healthy firmware upgrades, since we would be not only "just" exchanging the DB but rather the whole camera (similar to 35mm digital world) and keeping only the glass. I compare that to now in the MFDB world where many photographers keep their camera systems as well as their glass and upgrade the DBs more frequently.

    In any event, this is still exciting.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Wow that may have some serious power to it. Things are looking UP for Photokinia
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  5. #5
    Mort54
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    When the Nikon MF rumors first started gaining traction about a month ago, it sounded like pure fantasy. But as each new tidbit surfaces, it's starting to actually seem possible. What's especially interesting in these latest rumors is that the Nikon MF rumors have now merged with the Nikon rangefinder rumors, which have been circulating for over a year now.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdbfreeheel View Post
    Mort, I agree with you that cost is relative, what I meant was that in the world of MFDBs, at least when newer, bigger, better comes out, there are trade-in/upgrade systems in place to swap out "old" DBs for the new DBs.
    If this happens, I wouldn't be surprised if there were no trade in options. For that to be acceptable in the marketplace, Nikon would have to drive the cost down considerably compared to MFDBs. Maybe not down to DSLR prices, but certainly much less than current 39 MP and higher MFDBs. They have the wherewithal and mass production facilities to do this IF they can get the sensor costs down. But that's a big IF.

    To drive down costs, they would have a few things working in their favor. A rangefinder design would eliminate the expensive viewfinder prism and mirror box. Nikon has expertise in putting most of the electronics into custom processing chips. They could probably achieve commonality of processing chips, LCDs, etc. with their other products, which would certainly help.

    Anyway, if they do something like this, I'd jump at it. And if they don't, then they, or somebody, should :-)

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Mort I wonder and this is the big question in this is the sensor . Who is it coming from. The biggest we have heard from Sony is FF sensor. The only ones I can think off are Dalsa or Kodak. From memory Nikon does not make there sensors, correct me If i am wrong but to pull this off who is the supplier or at least who would we guess and at quantity for costs
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member EH21's Avatar
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    While I'm really excited about a nikon MF rangefinder, I'm even more excited about a possible 48x48mm 48 megapixel sensor. It's all rumor but if someone is really making that, I'd love to see it find its way into a back for either the Hy6 or Rollei 6008. And since I'm still dreaming, I hope this is a kodak sensor using their new matrix with RGB filters plus a clear one for luminosity.

  8. #8
    Mort54
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    From memory Nikon does not make there sensors, correct me If i am wrong but to pull this off who is the supplier or at least who would we guess and at quantity for costs
    Hi Guy. Nikon doesn't make their own sensors - true - but they do design them for selected products. The D3 sensor is a wholy Nikon designed sensor, for example, manufactured by somebody other than Sony. Nikon won't say who it is. As for costs, that's hard to say since all fab companies fiercly protect their pricing information. I've heard rumors that the Kodak 39 MP sensor costs about $5K US, in the quantities Phase One uses them. I heard that at least a year ago, but still, it was unconfirmed at the time. If this thing is real, I think Nikon will be aiming at much bigger quantities than Phase One is currently delivering, so the cost would presumably be less.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Thanks be interesting to know who is behind this. Hopefully this will be a reality
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Both Canon and Sony have fabs. We can be relatively sure that Canon won't be supplying sensors to Nikon...

    Other tidbits on this rumor--using the D3's sensor technology for extreme high ISO performance; sizes have been estimated from 48mm square to 54mm square.

    Nikon has also published a "Big" ad/teaser which may be a reference to this camera--whatever "Big" refers to will be unveiled Feb 14th, 2009--happy Valentine's day!

    http://www.photographybay.com/2008/0...kon-mx-format/

    P.S. Welcome, Mort!

    -Brad

  11. #11
    Mort54
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyGibson View Post
    P.S. Welcome, Mort!
    Thanks. I've been lurking here for quite awhile, and post occasionally over at LL forums.

    I haven't actually seen the BIG ad, but I've read that is says there will be more information in a month. Since the ad came out in late August, I guess that means more information in late September. A photokina announcement, perhaps? Does anyone know if the ad really says that?

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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    The ad in the link I provided certainly does--I assume you're asking if the ad pictured in the link is authentic?

    Many folks report seeing it in RangeFinder magazine--but that being said, I haven't seen it myself, so I can't say for sure.

    For the moment, I'm assuming the ad is legit, but may be the teaser for anything from a D3x to a new speedlight for wedding photographers. I'm HOPING it's an exciting new entry into medium format, but I guess at least we'll all find out if the ad is legit in the next few weeks when we see (or don't see) the next tidbit of information.

    Take care,
    -Brad


    Quote Originally Posted by Mort54 View Post
    Thanks. I've been lurking here for quite awhile, and post occasionally over at LL forums.

    I haven't actually seen the BIG ad, but I've read that is says there will be more information in a month. Since the ad came out in late August, I guess that means more information in late September. A photokina announcement, perhaps? Does anyone know if the ad really says that?

  13. #13
    Mort54
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Sorry Brad. I totally overlooked the link in your post to the ad.

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    Senior Member EH21's Avatar
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    A 48mm x 48mm sensor with ISO sensitivity of the D3 would be quite something and so far the only square sensor even rumored to be in the works.

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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    How would it use existing lenses with far smaller image circles? Personally I would think that square is a mistake, the market doesn't 'do' square anymore and hobbyists can't afford sensors that big.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Ben,
    I think the conventional thoughts right now are IF Nikon did introduce a large, square sensor, AND allow use of DX, FX and any new MX(?) lenses, they would behave in a "cropped" manor on the sensor, using only the image circle they can project. I still am not sure how that would work, and that is why I have some skepticism about some of these rumors. IF Nikon did put out a new, larger, more MF size sensor, my guess would be that it would require new lenses also. Existing glass might be used, but on a much more reduced (cropped) section of the sensor, much like using DX lenses on the D3 now. Just my thoughts.

    LJ

    P.S. The concept of more limited use of a square image today remains unknown going forward. Yes, most print and layout is rectangular, and shooting square will require cropping away lots of pixels in either direction. Having shot both, I personally prefer the rectangle to the square, but would rather things be closer to the 4:5 format than 2:3 as 35mm is now.
    Last edited by LJL; 6th September 2008 at 10:42.

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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    The thing is that given a square sensor and the potential buyers of such a camera the 40+ megapixels will be less in 95+% of cases due to cropping. Didn't make that much difference with film, 120 film was 120 film even if you lost a frame compared to 645 but a sensor that size will have a price premium which in most cases will be unjustified.
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Assuming the MX format and RF rumors have some grain of truth I think there is a greater likelihood of a MF SLR body AND a sub-FF DRF. As good as the Mamiya M7/II are, the subset of folks that use 120 format RFs is very small vs. those using M-mount RFs and MF SLR bodies. I would also think wedding photogs will want AF.

    The MFDB segment has been revitalized by the narrowing gap in price/performance between backs and high-end DSLRs and Leica has proven that there is a market for DRFs - at $5000 a copy. Stick a Nikon DRF m-mount at roughly $2500-3000 into that segment and things will get very interesting very quickly. Given that even Leica has acknowledged the Nikon DRF 'rumor' I, for one, am hoping it has a grain of truth behind it.

    So, rather than try and create a third hybrid segment, I would tend to think Nikon would think themselves better served by injecting new offerings, backed by their volume, service structure, etc., into existing markets currently served by smaller players.

    If one plays conspiracy theorist, the ongoing slide in MFDB pricing of late may have been driven in part by other players picking up on some insider industry chatter and trying to better position themselves for a new, larger, entrant.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    The thing is that given a square sensor and the potential buyers of such a camera the 40+ megapixels will be less in 95+% of cases due to cropping. Didn't make that much difference with film, 120 film was 120 film even if you lost a frame compared to 645 but a sensor that size will have a price premium which in most cases will be unjustified.
    Not sure I agree with you on that Ben. The proliferation of MF square format cameras has lead to a pretty wide ranging group that adheres to the square format aesthetic.

    Not only do I print square from Kodak ProBack/CFV files, I frequently crop 35mm DSLR and 645 digital files to a square. In many cases it is more effecient to crop a 8X10 aspect ratio from a square than from a 35mm DSLR file.

    The wedding albums I use offer 10"X10", 8"X8" and 7"X7" mats ... and the labs I use provide 5X5 proofs.

    There is a whole MF culture and service structure that revolves around the square thanks to Rollei, Hasselblad, etc. ... and now the Hy6.

    The question of course will be price ... and whether any large square digital sensor solution will be adaptable to existing cameras to create the volume of sensors needed to make it economically viable.

    Assuming competitive IQ, 54X54 sensor @ 40 meg on a Hy6 would pique some interest I'll wager.

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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    My point Marc was that wedding photographers won't be able to afford this camera, commercial photographers have little use for the square.
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    My point Marc was that wedding photographers won't be able to afford this camera, commercial photographers have little use for the square.
    Perhaps so for wedding shooters, but not necessarily portrait shooters ... at least higher end ones.

    Commercial shooters are a different matter and most likely where the market would be. The reason for this is the incredible variety of crops and aspect ratios that images are used for now. Images for billboards and magazine spreads used in landscape format, and the same image cropped and used in portrait orientation for page magazine, catalog, and posters. I cannot tell you how many times our advertising clients have stretched the use of images to the breaking point.

    Shooting subjects loose ... with enough background to cover all these applications of the subject while retaining resolution would be highly desirable. I predict that when this happens, no matter who produces the sensor, makers of the Hy6 will not be able to deliver enough of their cameras to meet the demand.

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    Mort54
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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    My point Marc was that wedding photographers won't be able to afford this camera, commercial photographers have little use for the square.
    Since we don't know what the thing would cost, let alone whether it will even happen, that's a lilttle hard to say. However, I can't see Nikon doing this if all they were going to do was a "me too" approach, with quantities and prices similar to the current crop of MF offerings. If this happens, I think Nikon will aim for lower costs and higher quantities (not like their DSLRs, but lower cost and higher quantities than current MF systems). If it happens, I suspect it'll be a smallish, intergrated body, with no separate back, to reduce costs. Also, more integrated electronics, no mirror box or viewing prism, and sharing parts with their DSLRs (like the LCD) to get the benefits of higher volume pricing.

    As a point of comparison, look at what Mamiya was able to do, pricing wise, with the now discontinued ZD body. If the rumored Nikon MF was indeed a rangefinder, it could be even simpler and less costly to produce. Of course, the ZD seems to have failed in the market place, but Nikon is a different company than Mamiya, and is probably a lot more adept at squeezing costs out of these sorts of things and sellilng them with sufficient margin.

    Of course, this is all just rampant speculation on my part about a rumored, non-existent device. Still, we can all dream :-)

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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?

    I think you can use existing lenses to increase the image circle by using glass in between, similar to what Hasselblad does in new tilt lens. if the image circle can be increased then you can use a sensor bigger than 35mm. this presumes that the original lens and the new glass adapter have enough resolution power for the big sensor.

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    Re: Rumor Alert: New Nikon MF sensor in a RF body?


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