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Sigma or Tamron 18-200?

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by simon haycocks, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    When did electrical contacts appear on Nikkor lenses? The A-series lenses for my SLR, the Pentax Super A, which I think was launched in 1983 (I bought mine the following year), had electrical contact studs. I think it was my 50 mm f/1.7 standard lens that occasionally reverted to f/22 in Program Mode, presumably when there was loss of electrical contact to tell the body that the lens had been set to ‘Auto’ aperture. I think it was only a couple of years later that Canon joined others offering autofocus, and abandoned their FD mount for the all-electric EF.

    Chris
     
  2. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    There are stories of F4 cameras working after some serious abuse...
    I couldn’t say, I haven’t handed a Canon for many years.

    I trust Simon is intending to treat his camera and lenses with rather more respect than is apparently accorded by correspondents in was zones.
     
  3. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Nikon introduced CPU lenses with the first AF cameras in the mid 1980s. The early ones had/have four contacts, later lenses have rather more than that. The contacts support more functions too, AF, diaphragm control, VR, focused distance reporting etc. I think Nikon has done rather well to incorporate so much into 60 year old bayonet. The Z mount was long over due in many respects.
     
    ChrisNewman likes this.
  4. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the update. A new Nikkor mount was essential to get the potential benefits for mirrorless lens design of mounting the lens much closer to the sensor. Otherwise, as my latest, E-series Nikkors have all-electrical contacts, there would now be little incentive to change the basic design.

    I think Pentax have also done well maintaining continuity with their mount. But I don’t know whether Pentax yet match the all-electric nature of the latest Nikkor E-series F mount. When I bought my Super A there were several minor camera manufacturers that shared the mount (but I suspect none of them are still making interchangeable-lens cameras). I believe the system even included an M42 screw thread mount adapter.


    Chris
     
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    The Pentax K mount is much newer than the Nikon F mount, your Super A was some years later than the first K mount which, unsurprisingly, came in with the K series. There was an M42 adaptor
     
  6. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The Pentax K mount has the advantage of a wider throat than the Nikon F, the narrowness of which has been an increasing disadvantage. Width was one of the reasons for Minolta and Canon changing mounts when autofocus cameras were introduced. Nikon should perhaps have done likewise, mirrorless full frame has meant the change to the Z mount, maintaining the use of the F mount for these cameras would imho have been a major blunder. Similarly the lack of a modern Pentax mirrorless system, which ultimately I believe will see their demise as a camera manufacturer, those who cut or abandon r&d rarely survive in the medium or longer term.
     
  7. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Yes, Pentax introduced a new range of lenses, referred to as KA, for the Super A and its successors. The earlier K mount lenses worked fine, but didn’t offer shutter priority or program modes.

    Chris
     
  8. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    The narrow throat is certainly a reason why it might have been beneficial for Nikon to update their mount, although I can see advantages in maintaining compatibility. If they were going to change, the obvious times to do so would have been on introducing autofocus, or on introducing electronic control of aperture, ceasing the need for any mechanical communication.

    Canon certainly showed foresight in abandoning mechanical communication at such an early stage when switching their mount; my impression is that the Minolta/Sony transition was more messy.

    Nostalgic for the brand because of my years using the Super A, I’ll be delighted if Pentax manage to continue as a manufacturer of DSLRs in much the same way as Leica continue as a manufacturer of rangefinders. But they don’t have the same aura of quality, and don’t yet have the field to themselves. It seems very hard to imagine they could become successful mirrorless manufacturers at this late stage.


    Chris
     
  9. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Indeed there are advantages in maintaining compatibility, there is of course a lot more data passing between camera and lens than used to be the case, all of which requires reliable contacts, also mirrorless cameras work on a shorter distance from mount to sensor. Canon at the time of introduction of the new mount were not as big in the professional domain, where Nikon had the larger share of the market, wishing at that time to keep faith with pros who had large collections of F mount lenses.

    I have had Pentax film cameras over the years, the M42 drew thread models were robust cameras, none of the consumer K mount models ever seemed as good to me (the Pro orientated LX was a lovely camera). I know a number of people who had ME Supers, I thought they were dreadful fiddly things, the Super A removed the worst irritations. I had moved into an Olympus OM1n which I liked, eventually replacing it with a Mamiya 645, although I had started using a Nikon FM2 for 35mm, the Olympus had to go as a part exchange for the Mamiya.

    I take the view that Pentax is heading to oblivion as a camera manufacturer, I am always impressed by the loyalty of their users, their market share is small though and can only decrease now. For the record I actually dislike the Nikon Z series cameras, the handling imho is not as good as their DSLRs and I also have Fujifilm CSCs, so a move is not really viable. The load of a X-E1 or 3 and lenses is also far less than my D610, in some respects I prefer the IQ of the Fujifilm cameras.
     
  10. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Which brings us nicely back on topic. The data passing through the interface between lens and camera is the entire reason for the known compatibility problems with third party lenses. The data format is proprietary and Sigma, Tamron etc. don't have all the details. All I can say is buy such lenses new if possible.
     

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