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Will Nikon soon replace mech aperture lever with EMD?

ZoneV

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ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2005
Tue 28-Jul-09 10:02 PM | edited Tue 28-Jul-09 10:05 PM by ZoneV

All except three new Nikkor lenses utilize the time-tested mechanical aperture stopdown lever. There is a mechanical, spring-loaded lever that protrudes from the lens mount and it interfaces with the camera mount's own lever, mechanically telling the lens how far to stopdown. For those who did not know this, you can prove it by removing the lens and physically sliding the lever with your finger. You will see the aperture open up.

All of Nikon’s newest lenses, except for 3 PC-E lenses have the mechanical interface. Stopdown to working aperture on the PC-E lenses s via an electromagnetic pulse (and I assume a small motor in the lens itself coupled to the aperture). Only the very newest generation of camera bodies is capable of controlling the aperture electronically in this manner. Older bodies require a mechanical coupling in the lens. For this reason, the new PC-E lenses have a manual stopdown button.

While the mechanical system is proven like the F-mount itself and has worked well since 1959, it does have some disadvantages: the aperture stopdown actuation is noisy, and the coupling lever is subject to being bent if one is not careful when mounting the lens. Especially with newer cameras offering video capability (and pressure from RED) it might make sense for Nikon to begin building lenses with smoother and quieter operation. Since future Nikon SLRs will likely offer auto exposure and AF during video recording, it makes sense to build lenses with smoother AF-S motors and quiet electromagnetically-driven aperture actuation systems, in order to prevent jerky continuous AF and annoying pickup of mechanical aperture stopdown noise when recording video and sound with the built-in microphone.

I wonder why Nikon has only built the EMD (electromagnetic diaphragm) into the new PC-E Nikkors, and not other lenses. (Granted it would mean yet another partial compatibility break in the F-mount, so maybe this is a factor.) but then the question of why they built the PC-E lenses this way in the first place comes up. Would it not make sense to move the whole lineup over to EMD as per Canon? Canon has had the EMD since 1987 when the EOS system and EF lenses were introduced. They used the "no mechanical linkages that are prone to damage" tagline as part of their marketing material for the "revolutionary" new mount.

Any feedback on this would be appreciated.

Nikon user since 2000

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