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Sunday, 20 October 2013


Wow! Very interesting :)

I'd rather see a Pentax

Hhmmmm... So far only Fujifilm has done retro right. I just hope it's not another ghastly digital approximation/abomination. Otherwise, much prefer to continue using the original FM3A. Still...

Take that film advance lever or rewind knob and connect it to a generator charging a built-in battery or capacitor.

Body size of EM, performance characteristics of D800, build quality of F2 would sweep the market.

I am all a'quiver with expectation. FM3a best all-time Nikon camera, followed by FE2 and FM2.

Whatever the rumor, I hope it has a .86x magnification viewfinder like the old FE/FM series. Or better yet a .97 viewfinder like the Pentax MX.

I'm truly getting tired of our modern, small field of view finders on DSLRs, whether APS-C or full-frame.

If I were the king of the world, no camera design team would be allowed to design any part of the camera before they designed the best viewfinder possible...

Oh. Boy. I've always dreamed of owning a second hand FE2 and at the time, I decided on a modern camera instead (a Pentax MZ-5) which forever took me down a different route... but I've always loved the FE2.

So how about it Pentax? Give me that MZ-5 in digital!


I think the FM needed a little watch battery if you wanted the meter to work. Like my older Nikkormat FTN (which still has the same battery from mid 1990s and is still going, not that I use it much).

When shooting film I still use very oft my FM2 because of its size, weight and simplicity. A digital alternative with similar size and weight where I could use my 50/1,4 and the 20/2,8 D (my most used lenses on that body) would be very interesting for me, with the hope of a less loud shutter! For sure it is an interesting moment for photographers, many different options on the table. Now, decisions, decisions, decisions...

If these rumours are confirmed, it's my digital camera dream come true! An SLR-like body with mirror and pentaprism, and with a full-frame sensor? I've been daydreaming about a camera like this for years. I always thought it would be Olympus to make such move, but apparently they're tethered to (micro) 4/3. It will imply building a whole new system, but I simply must have this camera! (Providing, of course, it will see the light of day.)

If this is, as rumoured, going to accommodate F-mount lenses, it isn't going to be small. Particularly if you want to use it with a lens mounted.
Retro-mania strikes again...

Nikon hybrid: 143,5 x 110 x 66,5mm, 765gr
Nikon FM2: 142 x 90 x 60mm, 540gr
Nikon D600: 141 x 113 x 82mm, 850gr
Sony A7: 127 x 94 x 48mm, 465gr

So size and weight are closer to the D600 than to the new Sony.
But if it is a nice camera it could still be a good move. It does not have to be designed in a FM retro style. With the series 1 Nikon proved they still can come up with nice looking tools. Unlike the black pudding DSLR's they have been making over the last fifteen years.

If anyone would be crazy enough do it, it would be Nikon. Remember, they did real retro 10 years ago with the re-issued S3 and SP rangefinders. Mind you, that was a very limited run (about 8000 of each) and supposedly Nikon lost money on the venture, even though each camera sold for something like 5 grand.

And yes, the FE2 or FM3a would be a more likely starting point; perhaps the story says "FM2-like body" simply as a suggested form factor rather than a feature list. The FM3a only went out of production in 2006 after all.

Anyway I will believe it when I see it, not before.

I'm a Canon digital shooter nowdays (just circumstances - when I came to choosing a DSLR, the 40D was better than anything Nikon had at the time). However I still have 2 x Nikon FM bodies and some lenses (a couple adapted to work with Canon digital). An FM armed with a 50mm f1.4 - absolute pigs heaven!

Realistically, if the rumor turns out to be true, I expect the price of the camera to be pretty high, making it a niche product in the first place.

Nikon actually did have a prototype digital FM2 type design some time ago that didn't use a battery. Had no LCD and powered the sensor and electronics using the wind lever. So an FM2 design isn't out of the question. I just don't think it logical, as the more mechanical nature just doesn't have as big a potential market as putting a battery and LCD in and making it more electronic.

But if Nikon makes only an FX version of this product, they will be making a mistake. One of the biggest existing buyers of D40 through D3200 bodies is the group that wants a "digital FM/FE" but doesn't want to pay an arm and leg for it. That group doesn't tend to be frantic for really wide angle, either, so they're perfectly happy putting their 20-35mm prime lenses on those DX bodies and getting ~28-50mm angle of views.

I wish they'd make it fully manual - no LCD, no AF, no menus. Then we'll see how many people will put actually their money where their mouths are.

Knowing my luck it shall be available only in Japan and the United States, be a limited edition and sell for US$6000.00.

Now if they could just take my F100 and modify that body for digital with the same simple to use controls and objectives...

Does this mean that I'm finally going to have to get my lenses AI'd?

I'm kind of hoping this particular rumor isn't true. Vintage Nikkors are already in high demand for use on Canon and M43 systems via adapters.

I believe a retro Nikon with an F-mount will increase the demand; but some of us like using vintage Nikkors on vintage film cameras!

Isn't it just us "old farts" that insist they want dedicated controls that are like classic SLR's of the 70's? I would be very interested in the age spread of those who get excited (until they see the price) of the mere rumor of a digital Nikon FM or Olympus OM-1 or Pentax MX or Canon F-1 or.....well you get the picture.

If you want to see me salivating tell me that I can unclip the back of my OM-1 and just clip on a digital module and keep on shooting. A nice piece of fiction that will never happen.

A retro gadget for hipsters must be very expensive otherwise it misses its target.

So will it be called "FD2" (D for digital)? I loved my FM3a with 45mm pancake lens. If this turns out to be real, it makes for an interesting case of "retro-longing" amongst camera buyers? I mean, who will buy these type of retro looking cameras, apart from "older users" of the equivalent film-SLRs? For sure the younger generation couldn't care less about "retro" looking cameras...?

Whatever it might be, it'll be plastic.

Having watched the growing influence of the various rumors sites, I think they do more harm than good. Leaking specs or photos a day or two before the announcement seems harmless enough. But these early vague rumors tend to create either unrealistic expectations or too much FUD. Imagine if this new Nikon were simply announced with no fanfare. Then you'd have a new camera to judge on its merits. Instead, it's doomed to be judged against everyone's preconceptions of what a digital FM2 should be because some rumor site said it's "FM2 like". The Sony forums on dpreview are full of consternation over the future of the A mount and the future of the E mount, both, because of early rumors about NEX going away (the name is going away) and SLTs going away (as in the fixed semi-transparent mirror possibly being eliminated when & if PDAF-on-sensor can replace it).
I imagine I'll continue to be as guilty as the next person, visiting the rumor sites, hoping for A or B, wondering if I should hold off on C. But I do so keeping in mind that until it's announced, it's all just rumors.

The counter to my FUD suggestion is that Nikon have been so inept at product releases and PR of late that if this were black propaganda (i.e. from Nikon but with the source obfuscated) then it would be an encouraging sign that Nikon were raising their game in at least one area.

If the rumours are correct, then this thing will weigh in at 765g and measure 110 mm high. Hardly comparable with the FM 2. In fact it's only minimally smaller and lighter than my Canon 5DII. So what's the point and why would it make me hold back from buying the Sony A7? There is a mismatch.

Too little too late - even if it's true. Whilst 2 years ago I would have jumped at a camera like that I think the world has moved on. My X-Pro1 gives me the optical finder when I want it (surprisingly almost never) and the A7r will give me everything I wanted from the D800E I just sold without the weight and bulk (accepted I will have a bit of a wait for some lenses). As I used the D800E for landscapes with manual focus lenses I used Live View almost exclusively.

I was a fairly hardened Nikonista until last week but I dropped it all without hesitation at the A7r. This announcement doesn't change my view at all.

OK, and where are the new small lenses for it, rather than the bulbous AF plastic wonders we now have.

A hybrid? So film and digital in the same camera huh? Do you think they might make a version without the digital. That would be perfect.

This really looks like a camera for the D700 users who didn't upgrade. I see this as aimed at the D700 upgrader holdouts. Small pixel count that's not the D4 with ISO to 100K and perhaps a retro look. And they can use their old lenses.

Pricing will be interesting. The rumors indicate not quite top end parts (smaller battery, older exposure sensor). I first though it might be premium priced (Fuji style after all Nikon should be looking for good GPM (as Hogan has already said).

The D700 crowd paid $3000 for their new cameras. Will they pay that much for an upgrade (with retro looks?). Maybe, but comparing the current line up D610 at $2000 and D800 at $2800 I suspect this camera might be in the middle: $2500?

I also note there is a gap in the numbering (D6xx and D8xx) for a D7xx. The D770 perhaps. Number 7 is a lucky number in Japanese numerology.

BTW, Hybrid might mean "a hybrid viewfinder" or "hybrid AF with PDAF on sensor". It won't be film and digital.

Nikon has some patents on hybrid DSLR viewfinders (but they're very different from the hybrid Galilean VF that Fuji uses). I would guess think better overlay data (histograms) rather than full EVF (live histogram?). And they have patents for on-sensor PDAF so it could be hybrid AF.

Will that "AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens" have a aperture ring or something that looks like an aperture ring (driving an encoder rather than the diaphragm?). Or do Nikon expect people to use older lenses for the "retro" look and feel?

Sounds interesting - I currently shoot a good deal with my Nikkormat FTN and an F3. Being able to use the same lenses (AI and Non AI MF) with a digital body would be nice. I currently own a D40 and D 5100, so there is no real lense compatibility.

It would appear to be true.
I have to eat my words.

I'm with Toto (not that my name's Dorothy). Make this as small as an FM3a, with no confounded complications such as an LCD screen or menus. After all RAW is more flexible than film and we won't miss chimping. Then match it to small Nikkor manual focus lenses and not the modern monsters like the new 58/1.4. Sadly, I think there are too few of us old farts around for this to happen. It'll probably be a Dxxx or Dxxxx in retro drag.

I've pretty much completely transitioned to rangefinders, but if anyone offered me a choice of SLR's (digital or film) of any cost (condition you can't sell it, blah, blah, blah), I would ask for a Nikon FM2 as a back up to the one I already own...maybe I'd ask for the titanium one, but any functioning model would be fine. I can see why folks would like a digital variant.

On another photography site, over the past few years, expressed desires for a digital FM2, AE-1, OM-4, etc., usually riled the business-oriented hobbyists, who would go on long spiels about market realities, practically berating the dreamers for failing to fall in line. There was a repulsive corporate America tone to it all, where nothing mattered but investors and sales figures...you weren't even allowed to just imagine.

"Just ignore all the features and the gargantuan bulbous form!" the suits would admonish before then accusing the wishers of being selfish, "Canon cannot just customize its products for you!"

Now we're are seeing that some of these marketing experts were not only obnoxiously plutocratic in thought, but perhaps even wrong, if not for Fuji's offerings alone

I was a long-time Pentax LX user who jumped ship to Nikon in the *ist era, and who sometimes misses having a lighweight, configurable yet uber-rugged system 35mm film camera, essentially waterproof. Nikon never made the LX equivalent. I grew to like the F5 as a better image making instrument (spot metering, TTL daylight balanced flash at 1/250) and appreciate there was no direct Pentax equivalent for the 200-400VR, 17-35mm, 105VR Micro etc. I took my lumps and moved on, albeit at a large weight and bulk penalty.

But nostalgia aside, no way is an FM/FM2 or FE/FE2 the ultimate Nikon. It wasn't a system camera, it was intended as the Nikkormat replacement.
A modern digital redesign will have to be pretty substantial. It'll need aperture and shutter speed wheels both front and back (Pre F5 cameras don't work with VR or G lenses).

An Epson RD2 at last?
Wishful thinking, I know but Nikon could well follow up with one and benefit from Fujifilm's success by creating an SP with a digital sensor and keeping the wonderful shutter-cocking lever which Leica did away with on their latest iterations. It seems Epson have given up but surely one of the big players could jump on the retro bandwagon ...

OOOOuch......nope not dreaming. I would like any full frame SLR camera based of a FE/FM body that does not have video. period.

Nikon.....NIKON person reading this blog....I will buy this camera. Make it strong, simple, and try to keep the cost down.

Love an ex-nikon user who switched to Canon back when the 20d was making the D1x and D2 look silly.

P.S. I want to come back to you. I've missed you. I'll put beautiful vintage Nikon glass and a pretty vintage yellow Nikon camera strap on it...love you...mean it.

I wonder if it'll have painted brass top and bottom plates.

Manuel said: "If these rumours are confirmed, it's my digital camera dream come true! An SLR-like body with mirror and pentaprism, and with a full-frame sensor? I've been daydreaming about a camera like this for years."

I bought this over 2 years ago: the Sony a850!

It's going to be expensive, isn't it? I just want an affordable camera with the D4/D3S sensor...

I want a digital F6 and no, the DSLR's from nikon are not close; pick up a F6 and you'll know the difference -- the grip is amazing!

Wish it were true. But the last time I was really exited about a rumour, it was about a possible digital XPan, and we got the Hasselblad Lunar..tic.

Maybe the success of the D800 has left Nikon with a warehouse full of unsold D4 sensors...

Mike, you couldn't take that picture down could you? it's making me all sorts of nervous about my budgeting.

I was very fond of my FMs (and FM2s; I must have owned 5 over my career). I was very fond of my Leica M3, for that matter.

But, in my case, I'm now asking much more of a camera body than I used to.

When I went to AF in 1994, it was after spending a weekend testing with a rented AF body and lens (plus using my existing manual-focus lenses). I found that I got a lot more good pictures in the kind of situations I regularly shoot in with AF; the AF was faster and better than I was. And of course the AF mechanisms have improved a lot since then -- my D700 AF makes the N90 AF look fairly lame.

Being able to review pictures on the camera is also tremendously valuable. It lets me optimize the amount of blur on panning shots by trial and error. It lets me try things beyond the limit of reliable AF performance and see when I've succeeded by luck (and the same for timing). It lets me use inadequate shutter speeds and push my luck on timing the shot for a still moment -- and know when I've succeeded. (Yeah, with a D700 I'm still enough short of light that I'm fighting inadequate shutter speeds a lot.)

I wouldn't want to go back to the simple cameras I used to use. They were among the best buys at the time, first-rate tools at second-rate prices, but technology has passed them by, and they are no longer competitive tools.

This is kind of the same as people saying sports photographers don't "need" AF because great sports photos were taken in the 80s. Yes, there were, but I haven't yet met an expert sports shooter familiar with both eras who thinks that the best shooters of today would be competitive with their colleagues if they were restricted to using 1980s equipment. The equipment really is improved for many photographic uses.

And not for all photographic uses. I'm an amateur who does everything; if somebody really limited their photography to "one thing" (which nobody I know does), they could get by with equipment optimized for just that one thing, and if it didn't include low light or fast action, then they really could do a great job without all the features I need.

Id love it. I'd love it more if it was simple:
Right hand:
-AF lock / Metering lock.
-Shutter with the selectomatic button around it.
Left hand:
-AF comp
-AF Modes
-Depth of field.
Same metering as the F4
One über precise central AF point

Put the rest on the back out of the way.
The idea would be to have a reporting camera that you don't have to lower from your eye to control. Shoot like Larry Burrows!!!

Working with my D800E and 105/2.8 micro-nikkor i still mising the 6X Finders from my F2a,F3HP and F5. On the moment there is no digitals DSLR with different finders and easy to chance screens.
I want a digital F5 with the choice of different screens and finders.

I think it would have to be mirrorless in order to get close to the size. The FM was the compact Nikon.

btw, I think the FM was booootiful. But the FM2 less so. They changed the design of the prism house in a way which I thought removed some je ne sais quoi. Visual integrity or summin'.

If this is true, Canon take note and release one of your classics updated to a digital camera.. No not the F1, but the truly still beautiful (and father of all modern SLRs) the T90....

The key is in my opinion simplicity. As Gildas says. There are on the market so many cameras full of additional features, like wi-fi, gun machine shooting, GPS etc. But not everybody needs them...
For the time being I'm very interested, of course we'll have to wait and see what comes!
PS: with the hope of a simple menu system :-)

Another look at the specifications offers a clue: The supposed digital FM has a depth of 66.5mm, which is only 6.5 mm deeper than an FM2. The Nikon D610 has a depth of 82mm -- a 15.5mm difference. Could this be because the new camera has no mirror, no optical viewfinder, or has neither?

For those concerned with size, remember if you wanted 5 fps from an FM/FE you had to mount the motor drive!

I remember that, at first, mirrorless were largely ignored. Then, when they started to take a bigger place in the market, many said "Just wait when the Big Guns will do their move - wink,wink".
Those move were the Canon EOS M and Nikon V1, doomed after few months to massive discounts. Now, everybody is speaking of the Big FF With Mirror From The Japan Giant, the definitive proof that "mirrors are alive and well."
Just CorpSpeak to me.

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