Years ago, Nikon tried something really courageous with the Nikon Df–but if the company were to create a brand new Nikon Mirrorless Full Frame F Mount camera, it would be an announcement that would genuinely shake up the industry. If any camera company were able to do it, it would easily be Nikon or Pentax due to the fact that they’ve been using the same mount for many, many years now.
Canon used the FD mount for a while and then almost lost everything when they switched to EF. Nikon has used the F mount for years and has made it evolve over time with some lenses having autofocus abilities and some not. The Pentax K mount has done something similar over time. Years ago, Pentax made a mirrorless K mount camera which arguably could have been made smaller just like many of their other film SLR cameras. Nikon, for many years, also made small, professional quality film SLR cameras like the iconic Nikon FM2. With the Nikon Df, the company created a nod to their history and to the folks that wanted a retro-style camera. But it was, and still is, physically large. In fact, it’s not much different from the company’s other full frame DSLR cameras.
When the story of Nikon saying that a brand new mirrorless camera was on the way, it really got me thinking. The Nikon 1 series of cameras were a hit for a while but then started to die down a lot. Ashton Kutcher’s gorgeous face and being all over pretty much every sports arena in America can only go so far. Combine this with the fact that phone cameras are getting better and better and you’ve got a lot of competition. Nikon has been in the process of restructuring for a bit of time and it’s only a matter of time until something changes.
With that said, it makes a whole lot of sense for a brand new Nikon Mirrorless Full Frame F Mount camera to head to the market. A small camera body can surely be made to be used primarily with a number of Nikon’s fantastic, small f1.8 prime lenses. These lenses aren’t weather sealed, but they’re compact and don’t weigh a whole lot. Pair them with a small, lightweight, Nikon film body today and you’ll see that the balance is still very nice. Put them on a small, lightweight, full frame digital camera body that can use the same mount and you’ve got yourself a great platform for folks to continue to use the lenses and the cameras.
In fact, you wouldn’t even need to ditch your DSLRs. You can use your Nikon DSLRs for your more serious work and your mirrorless Nikon Mirrorless Full Frame F Mount camera to do the stuff that requires you to be a bit more low profile. For example: wedding photography and photojournalism. A small Nikon Mirrorless Full Frame F Mount camera could also easily be thrown into the bag of any modern street photographer to capture every day moments as they happen during your commute.
When and if you’d like to get more serious, you can throw on their very good professional zoom lenses. Or if you want to go even smaller, perhaps look at Voigtlander’s pancake prime lenses and many of the third party old school lenses that have been available for many years. Want that old Zeiss look? You can most likely get it.
Of course, one of the advantages of mirrorless full frame cameras is the fact that you can adapt anything to them. That’s where the Nikon Mirrorless Full Frame F Mount camera may not really excel. But again, with so many lenses already available for the Nikon F mount, why worry? Zeiss, Tamron, Tokina, Sigma, Rokinon, Samyang, Venus Optics, and others already make a variety of lenses that can be used.
But maybe I’m just dreaming a bit too much. I certainly hope not.