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Author Topic: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...  (Read 34419 times)

BernardLanguillier

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Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« on: January 11, 2018, 05:34:42 PM »

https://nikonrumors.com/2018/01/11/nikons-upcoming-mirrorless-camera-rumored-to-have-a-new-z-mount-with-16mm-flange-focal-distance.

It may even be possible to adapt E mount lenses to it since it is 2mm shorter and has a wider diameter.

Considering the larger diameter, it sounds like compactness may not have been the driving force of the design. I bet they have looked carefully at what Sony has been doing lensewise during the past 6 years since E mount was released and have designed the most future proof possible mount with lens performance and look as their number one design objective.

We should see soon enough. I am really looking forward to this. In the past 10 years since the D3 Nikon engineering has always managed to release the best product on the market for serious shooters in the segments they were targeting (bodies and lenses). Letís see if they have managed to outdo Sony or not.

It seems obvious that a me too product would kill the company. The key question is therefore what features they have come up with to attract users from Canon, Nikon DSLR and possibly existing Sony mirrorless users. My guess is unique/outstanding lens designs.

What's yours?

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 07:17:14 PM by BernardLanguillier »
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Chairman Bill

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 06:39:28 PM »

It surely shouldn't be beyond the realms of Nikon engineering to ensure a straightforward compatibility with current Nikon lenses. Fingers crossed.

Peter McLennan

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 07:49:23 PM »

a straightforward compatibility with current Nikon lenses. Fingers crossed.

Mine, too.
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BJL

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 10:12:02 PM »

https://nikonrumors.com/2018/01/11/nikons-upcoming-mirrorless-camera-rumored-to-have-a-new-z-mount-with-16mm-flange-focal-distance.

Considering the larger diameter, it sounds like compactness may not have been the driving force of the design. ...
If true, this sounds like a sensible decision. Not only does the short flange-focal distance allow more flexibility in lens design, so does the wider diameter. The F mount is unusually narrow at 44mm, particularly compared to Canon EF mount's 54mm, which has made some fast lens designs harder or impossible for Nikon. (Canon flaunted this with extreme designs like its 50mm f/1.0 and 85mm/1.2)

« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 10:20:03 PM by BJL »
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 11:09:00 PM »

Indeed.

F mount has been around for 50 years, I can only imagine the amount of attention they have put in this new mount. It is by far the most important design decision the Nikon employees in charge (engineers and higher mgt) will have taken by the time they retire.

Cheers,
Bernard

shadowblade

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 11:43:01 PM »

I would be sceptical of any company's announcements until they have proven their capability in the field. So far, Nikon has not demonstrated that.

It's taken Canon the better part of a decade to refine their dual-pixel system; as yet, they haven't put it in a full-frame mirrorless camera, but we know it works well from its implementation in crop-sensor and video cameras. We don't know whether it works well enough for fast action yet, though.

It took Sony several years, and several generations of cameras, to develop their mirrorless AF into an action-capable system, and, until the A9 was actually released, it was not certain whether the current generation of bodies would be action-capable (like the 1Dx2) or more in line with the 5D4-style general-purpose bodies.

It's good that they're making moves in this direction, but Nikon has to demonstrate this mirrorless capability first before I would take their announcements seriously. They will likely get there, but possibly (probably) not in the first generation.

The problem for Nikon - as it was with SLRs - is incumbency. Sony has incumbency with full-frame mirrorless cameras, just as Canon had incumbency with full-frame SLRs. This lets them build up early market share. It takes a lot of effort, as well as stagnation on the part of the incumbent, to overcome this early advantage - people won't switch systems unless Nikon provides them a compelling reason to, and, with the exception of the 70-200 f/2.8, Sony's mirrorless lenses are equal to their Canon and Nikon counterparts and are growing in number. Once again, Nikon may have arrived late to the party.

It surely shouldn't be beyond the realms of Nikon engineering to ensure a straightforward compatibility with current Nikon lenses. Fingers crossed.

It will need an adapter.

The performance of adapter-mounted EF and A-mount lenses on Canon and Sony mirrorless bodies is underwhelming, compared to native lenses.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 12:23:57 AM »

The problem for Nikon - as it was with SLRs - is incumbency. Sony has incumbency with full-frame mirrorless cameras, just as Canon had incumbency with full-frame SLRs. This lets them build up early market share. It takes a lot of effort, as well as stagnation on the part of the incumbent, to overcome this early advantage - people won't switch systems unless Nikon provides them a compelling reason to, and, with the exception of the 70-200 f/2.8, Sony's mirrorless lenses are equal to their Canon and Nikon counterparts and are growing in number. Once again, Nikon may have arrived late to the party.

I don't think so.

Mirrorless is just starting, the amount of a7x vs the amount of full frame DSLRs outthere is just very tiny, probably no more than 2-3% at most.

The DSLR replacement market is there to be taken and the best solution is going to win.

The early start Sony took is good, but I believe it has also helped Nikon and Canon understand what they could do better. The a7x for sure have some loving customers, but they have also many users unhappy about the experience. They are far from perfect cameras and the system as a whole is even less perfect. There is clearly room for improvement and both Canon and Nikon have a very large base of users who would rather stay in the family because it is likely to be cheaper. Both companies do also IMHO have superior lens technology, better tracking AF algorithms, a better understanding of ergonomics, better weather sealing, better ruggedness,...

Yes, adpated lenses AF performance may not be good for all lenses, but then again few people need great AF performance on all their lenses. AF performance is basically irrelevant for anything wider than 50mm for example. So a majority of users would be fine with buying 2-3 mirrorless lenses and adapting their existing ones.

Think also that Nikon users would finally be able to mount some fine Canon glass without having to spend too much also. The major migration on-going from Canon to Sony would also be greatly slowed down and the need for Canon users to access good sensors has clearly helped Sony a lot move in faster.

Future will tell.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 12:34:51 AM by BernardLanguillier »
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 01:00:56 AM »

I hope the Nikon arrives soon and I hope itís a killer. Will I drop Sony after the past year of working with the cameras? Hell no, but the the competition will be great.

I am betting on Sony long term. If it doesnít pan out I will switch but I have doubts. Sony have massive resources in AI from their manufacturing and robotics industries. I think this is a big future trend in photography and Sony has the edge here. We are not far off being able to set up a camera on the side of a field and tell it to follow a particular cricketer or rugby player. AI will then take care of the rest. Eye focus, nose focus, lion focus,  itís on the way

« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 01:08:10 AM by Martin Kristiansen »
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scooby70

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 06:54:51 AM »


AF performance is basically irrelevant for anything wider than 50mm for example. So a majority of users would be fine with buying 2-3 mirrorless lenses and adapting their existing ones.

Future will tell.

Cheers,
Bernard

I think a lot of people will disagree with that statement. I'm also not entirely sure that Canon and Nikon have superior lens technology, I'd rather judge individual lenses rather than make a blanket statement and some of the Sony lenses are simply outstanding.

I had a Nikon SLR for decades before switching to Canon DSLR's and then to Sony mirrorless and I frankly don't care who makes the kit but many people do seem to buy into brands and I can see a Nikon or Canon FF CSC doing very very well even if it's a mediocre product, just because of the badge.

Time will tell.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 08:10:50 AM »

Zeiss Otus is outstanding, Rodenstock HR is outstanding,...

I would agree that the G Master 85mm f1.4 is close to outstanding.

Cheers,
Bernard

hogloff

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 09:18:04 AM »

Zeiss Otus is outstanding, Rodenstock HR is outstanding,...

I would agree that the G Master 85mm f1.4 is close to outstanding.

Cheers,
Bernard

12-24 is outstanding...beats the he'll out of the fabulous Nikon 14-24.

Batis 135 is outstanding.

The Loxia 21 is outstanding.

I also find the Batis 25 and 85 outstanding...has delivered amazing photos for me.
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Two23

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 09:58:34 AM »

I truly don't understand the obsession with "full frame".  I shoot a lot of different "frames"--DX, 35mm, 828, 6x6, 6x9, 4x5, 5x7, and am thinking of some day trying 8x10.  None of these are any "better" than the other--it depends on what I'm using the camera for.  What I want Nikon to make is a small camera.  A "full frame" would be much larger than what I'm looking for.   My favorite small system camera, the one I often take for "street shooting" and travel?  The Leica IIIc with tiny Leica lenses 28/35/50/90mm.  All of this was made in the 1940s.  In the 1950s Nikon made the excellent SP camera.  How come they can't make something that small and excellent today?  I'm most likely going to pass on any "full frame" mirrorless they come up with. 
https://www.cameraquest.com/nrfblsp2005.htm


Kent in SD
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 11:43:12 AM »

I truly don't understand the obsession with "full frame".  I shoot a lot of different "frames"--DX, 35mm, 828, 6x6, 6x9, 4x5, 5x7, and am thinking of some day trying 8x10.  None of these are any "better" than the other--it depends on what I'm using the camera for.  What I want Nikon to make is a small camera.  A "full frame" would be much larger than what I'm looking for.   My favorite small system camera, the one I often take for "street shooting" and travel?  The Leica IIIc with tiny Leica lenses 28/35/50/90mm.  All of this was made in the 1940s.  In the 1950s Nikon made the excellent SP camera.  How come they can't make something that small and excellent today?  I'm most likely going to pass on any "full frame" mirrorless they come up with. 
https://www.cameraquest.com/nrfblsp2005.htm


Kent in SD

A big part of the challenge is making optical design that can satisfy modern high resolution sensor. If you take those wonderful 1940 and 1950 lenses and shoot them on a modern camera, the results will be not acceptable by many. Add to that the current fashion of shooting wide open, and you end up with what is talked about in a recent LuLa Leica interview video from Kevin: it is very difficult to design and fabricate lenses that have top notch performance wide open.

I fully agree that folks should use what they need or require for their profession.

Chairman Bill

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 12:04:01 PM »

I see no reason why Nikon couldn't produce a digital SP in an APS-C format, and a DSLR-replacing FX mirrorless. If they could make it about the same size as my old FM or FE, that would be great.

shadowblade

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 06:10:26 PM »

I don't think so.

Mirrorless is just starting, the amount of a7x vs the amount of full frame DSLRs outthere is just very tiny, probably no more than 2-3% at most.

The DSLR replacement market is there to be taken and the best solution is going to win.

Probably more like 10% if you're talking about full-frame only.

Thing is, Sony owns 100% of that 10%. And, more significantly, the percentage of new sales is far more than 10% - at the moment, they are not selling 9 full-frame SLRs for every one full-frame mirrorless body. Most of that 90% is made up of pre-existing/legacy bodies.

Quote
The early start Sony took is good, but I believe it has also helped Nikon and Canon understand what they could do better. The a7x for sure have some loving customers, but they have also many users unhappy about the experience. They are far from perfect cameras and the system as a whole is even less perfect.

Sony's experience may help Canon and Nikon get started more quickly, but it has helped Sony even more. It's not like Sony doesn't also know what else could be improved. And, from their own experience, they would also know how to do it.

Expect future Sony bodies to be more A9-like and less A7-like, with improved weather sealing and connectivity. Looking at the trend since the launch of the initial A7, you can expect them to increase in width and height to something similar to an SLR (probably D7500 dimensions rather than D850 dimensions), but retaining a saving in depth, since there is no need for a mirror box. Expect the weight to be more like 700-800g, instead of the A7r3/A9's 600-700g or the D850's >1kg. But expect them to use the increase volume and weight to deliver performance, not just empty weight or bigger batteries.

And that's just the camera bodies. The lens incumbency is probably even more important, since lenses tend to stay around for several cycles of bodies. Sony has all the major bases covered (superteles, tilt-shifts and fast medium-teles (e.g. 200mm f/2) are still to come, but they represent a very small proportion of the overall market). Unless the Canon and Nikon bodies launch with a new 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, some sort of fast UWA zoom and an 85 f/1.4 (or similar), they will find it difficult to make significant headway until those bases are covered, regardless of what the bodies are like.

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There is clearly room for improvement and both Canon and Nikon have a very large base of users who would rather stay in the family because it is likely to be cheaper.

Sony also knows how to price-match. They can ask what they do now because there is no competitor. When there is one, they will reduce their prices, like everyone else. Remember the prices of the early Canon full-frame SLRs, before Nikon started making them?

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Both companies do also IMHO have superior lens technology, better tracking AF algorithms, a better understanding of ergonomics, better weather sealing, better ruggedness,...

Lens technology is arguable. Sony certainly knows how to design them well - on paper, they are as good or better than the others. Their manufacturing tolerances, though, probably leave something to be desired (which is probably what leads to such things as the 70-200 f/2.8 underperformance, and the 16-35 f/2.8's sample variation).

But the 12-24 f/4 is the equal of the Canon 11-24 (if not slightly better) and soundly beats the Nikon 14-24. The 24-70 GM is as good as any other 24-70 out there. The 100-400 GM is sharper than the Canon 100-400, and much sharper than the Nikon 80-400 - indeed, sharper at the same aperture than the Canon 200-400 f/4.

Better AF tracking? Certainly not in the case of the 1Dx2 - the A9 is right up there. Even compared to the D5, the A9 is not as fast, but probably even more accurate. As in, when tracking a fast-moving object, it will have more frames out-of-focus than the Nikon (usually lagging behind the subject's movement), but, when tracking a slow-moving object, it is more likely to remain focused directly on the targeted part of the subject rather than being slightly front- or back-focused (e.g. focused on the subject's ear, nose or eyelashes, rather than the eye).

And that is just 'dumb' AF - tracking a moving point in space, without any system knowledge of what it's actually tracking. Sony is well ahead in 'smart' AI - things like eye focus - which are only going to become more and more prominent in the future.

I'd say Sony understands plenty about ergonomics and ruggedness. Look at their video cameras. Just that the A7 series was designed - initially, at least - with small size in mind. But they are becoming bigger, heavier and more rugged, as they trade small size for increased usability. The A7r was 465g. The A7r3 is 657g. The trend will probably continue, up to around D7500-size. They wouldn't want to go too big, either. I'd much rather shoot an A7r3 or A9 than a D850 or D5 - the grip on those cameras is far too large, leading to a precarious grip. Many others are in the same situation. Not everyone has huge hands and difficulty manipulating small objects.

Quote
Yes, adpated lenses AF performance may not be good for all lenses, but then again few people need great AF performance on all their lenses. AF performance is basically irrelevant for anything wider than 50mm for example. So a majority of users would be fine with buying 2-3 mirrorless lenses and adapting their existing ones.

Think also that Nikon users would finally be able to mount some fine Canon glass without having to spend too much also. The major migration on-going from Canon to Sony would also be greatly slowed down and the need for Canon users to access good sensors has clearly helped Sony a lot move in faster.

Yes, Canon's sensor weakness was Sony's strength. If Canon's sensors had been up to scratch, I doubt the A7 series would have been anywhere near as successful as it has been.

But that won't be repeated. Sony's system doesn't have a fundamental weakness that they refuse to correct which can be similarly exploited by Canon and Nikon as they launch their mirrorless systems. The 'leakage' to Sony may slow, but won't stop until Canon and Nikon both manage to match Sony in mirrorless body capability and lens offerings. Unless they make a major effort and launch 6 high-end lenses at the same time, this is unlikely to happen for a few years.
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shadowblade

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2018, 06:21:16 PM »

Sony have massive resources in AI from their manufacturing and robotics industries. I think this is a big future trend in photography and Sony has the edge here. We are not far off being able to set up a camera on the side of a field and tell it to follow a particular cricketer or rugby player. AI will then take care of the rest. Eye focus, nose focus, lion focus,  itís on the way

Been saying that for years.

If you can program a camera to focus on a human eye, you can just as easily program it to focus on a particular person (using facial recognition like in security systems), an animal or type of animal or a vehicle. Programming it to seek certain compositions (close-ups, whole-body shots, etc.) is even easier.

Combine it with a motorised gimbal mount, or even a drone (connected to, and controlled by, the camera) and you'd have a system that can track, follow and compose, rather than just focus. Combine it with drone-mounted flash units and you get even more options.

Then you might have a single sports photographer covering an entire stadium, overseeing a network of autonomous cameras from a laptop or remote workstation, telling the cameras what to do and who/how to shoot, rather than doing it directly. One photographer could replace many.

Or, for individual rather than commercial applications, you might have one photographer controlling multiple Gopro-type cameras and mobile flash units, shooting a scene from multiple angles simultaneously.

AI is the future of photography. The individual photographer will no longer be a grunt directly controlling a single camera, but the 'commanding officer' coordinating a whole squadron of autonomous or semi-autonomous cameras. And that gives you far more options and far more flexibility than being restricted to a single camera in hand.

The Nikon-like ability to rapidly track the movements of an otherwise-anonymous (as far as the computer is concerned - obviously the photographer knows what is being tracked) point in 3D space is primitive in comparison, even if it can track that anonymous point in an anonymous 3D space faster than anyone else. Nikon may have perfected previous-generation AF technology, but that's not far from reaching a dead end.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 06:25:21 PM by shadowblade »
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alan_b

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 06:22:43 PM »

It may even be possible to adapt E mount lenses to it since it is 2mm shorter and has a wider diameter.

Conversely, it would make Nikon ďZĒ lenses non-adaptable to other mirrorless cameras.

shadowblade

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2018, 06:27:43 PM »

Conversely, it would make Nikon ďZĒ lenses non-adaptable to other mirrorless cameras.

Probably both ways.

2mm is too thin to realistically make an AF-supporting adapter. It's smaller than the 2.5mm difference between Canon EF and Nikon F mounts, and manufacturers struggled even with that. So E-mount bodies may not be able to use Z-mount lenses, but Z-mount bodies probably won't be able to use E-mount lenses either.
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bassman51

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2018, 07:39:53 PM »

Nikon has a huge (potential) advantage in capturing the existing F mount installation base, as they are likely to be able to engineer a superior adaptor that will appeal to existing lens owners over adaptors to other systems.  Given the experience of the 1 Nikon system, where they deliberately crippled the adaptor, itís unknown if they will execute this to the marketís satisfaction.

They have a huge (actual) disadvantage arising from their previous abandonment of said 1 Nikon system.  And their stillborn DL line.  While I might be willing to sample a reasonably priced mirrorless body that worked seamlessly with my existing lenses, Iím not sure how willing I might be to invest in lenses that have no future.
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shadowblade

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Re: Nikon mirrorless FF body nearing - new mount...
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2018, 08:02:26 PM »

Nikon has a huge (potential) advantage in capturing the existing F mount installation base, as they are likely to be able to engineer a superior adaptor that will appeal to existing lens owners over adaptors to other systems.  Given the experience of the 1 Nikon system, where they deliberately crippled the adaptor, itís unknown if they will execute this to the marketís satisfaction.

They have a huge (actual) disadvantage arising from their previous abandonment of said 1 Nikon system.  And their stillborn DL line.  While I might be willing to sample a reasonably priced mirrorless body that worked seamlessly with my existing lenses, Iím not sure how willing I might be to invest in lenses that have no future.

What makes you think Nikon can do it when neither Canon nor Sony could (the adaptors for EF-M and E mounts don't work nearly as well as native lenses)? An adapter is a mechanical and electronic device, not an optical one, so it's not like Nikon has a particular strength in that area. And to make it perform like an SLR would essentially mean putting in a pellicle mirror (and losing 1/3 of a stop of light) and a full off-sensor AF system, resulting in an adapter that costs as much as a high-end lens and still isn't as good as an SLR (since greater tolerances and movement in a mount system reduces accuracy, and makes microadjustment more difficult, compared to a fixed system where the AF system and sensor can't move relative to each other).
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