Why Does Canon’s New Industrial Camera Feature a Nikon F Mount?


At first blush, the news that Canon just released an industrial camera that features a Nikon F mount might confuse you a bit. But once you dig a bit deeper than the surface-level of the announcement, it starts to make more sense.

Today’s announcement of the M15P-CL is Canon’s first step into the industrial camera market. Many who have covered this news fail to mention what Canon means by “industrial camera,” so to specify: this camera is meant to be used with the Camera Link system, most often used for security systems and quality control purposes.

Why did Canon use a Nikon F mount, though? Quite simply because the Nikon F Mount is the most prominent of all mounting systems among glass still in use.

With Canon wanting to get their foot in the door of the industrial camera market, the companies looking to buy Canon’s new piece of imaging gear will be more inclined to switch when they see that they can use the glass from their old systems — an enticing option for those wanting to try a new piece of tech with minimal investment.

Although the camera will likely never see the light of day in the consumer market, it has some specs that certainly seem enticing in a consumer DSLR. The monochrome-only sensor offers high ISO capabilities, incredibly high dynamic range and broad tonality in the images, all meant to help pinpoint minute imperfections in the production of products and detail in security footage.

So, while this news may be a bit confusing at first, it’s not as crazy as it initially sounds. It’s merely Canon making the most logical choice for getting themselves into a new market. If you’d like to see the full press release, you can check out a translated version over on Canon Rumors.

(via Canon Rumors)

  • Daniel Lowe

    In terms of sharpness, Canon glass is not that great. Most older Nikon lenses are sharper, Canon glass is “softer” and better for shallow depth of field. It’s more artistic, better for bokeh, and not as good for scientific / industrial applications.

    This has me wishing Canon would offer a Nikon F mount on *all* their cameras, I have a modest selection of older, good quality, used Nikon F-mount lenses.

  • zdroberts

    I’m kind of surprised that there isn’t a service that switches the mounts out on cameras at this point. But I guess there’s a lot more to deal with than just the mount.

  • Peter Be

    If you want to use Nikon-Lenses on Canon DSLRs just use an adapter. Since Nikon has the bigger focal distance that should be no problem … except if you don’t like to focus manually …

  • Theo Lubbe

    You mean ‘flange distance’.

  • Theo Lubbe

    There are/were people that did so privately, but the AF software in a Canon, Nikon or Pentax DSLR won’t drive the AF on a lens not of that brand. Pentax used to or still offers a service of converting the mount on some of their lenses between Canon/Nikon where they would also replace the AF drive for you, though I don’t know which lenses this covered anymore.

  • Peter Be

    I’m no native speaker, so yeah I was going for “flange focal distance” to be exact, but I think it was clear to all :)

  • Theo Lubbe

    Fair enough :)

  • Me

    Will Canon be supporting Nikon’s 10-pin connector? Like it or not, that old interface now connects to lots of things.

  • roxics

    Can the F mount be used by any manufacturer free of charge?

  • Matthew Wagg

    Ah a monochrome sensor with high iso performance, yes please canon… Are you even listening?

  • Metasepia

    APRIL FOOL!!!!

  • pokeken

    If you listen carefully you’ll hear the little brains of the canon and nikon fan boys explode….

  • Sean Walsh

    It sounds like Rice Krispies…

  • Greg Podolec

    This makes even more sense to me knowing that Nikon manufactures digital sensors here in Portland, Oregon, that are used in industrial cameras that inspect for imperfections in computer chips manufactured here.

  • Zos Xavius

    Sure, why not? This doesn’t have any connections anyways, so no AF or aperture control.

  • Bob

    What utter tripe!

  • Alan Klughammer

    I am sure Nikon has a patent or two on the shape of the mount. Mind you it is so old that the patent may have expired.
    Or maybe Canon is paying royalties to Nikon…

  • Markz

    snap, crackle and pop…


  • lexplex

    Where’s this Nikon F mount? None of the actual real announcements mention it at all. The only occurrence is a throwaway comment on Canon Rumours

  • lexplex

    Ummm… I’ve actually done resolution comparisons and Canon beats Nikon hands down. Canon FD mount beats Canon EF mount because of flange distance and glass layout. That’s just physics though.

  • sshoihet

    if you look at the Zeiss page:

    “Carl Zeiss ZF lenses are compatible with most industrial cameras. The F-Mount is a popular standard for high-resolution industrial cameras with large sensor sizes and for line scan cameras with sensors up to 43 mm. ZF lenses from Carl Zeiss are widely used in machine vision, automation, quality inspection, optical metrology as well as in Research and Development e.g. with High Speed cameras. Thanks to the large image format, our objective lenses are ideal for the constantly increasing use of high-resolution image sensors with bigger sensor formats. Due to the manual adjustment of the focus the helical focusing mount of ZF lenses are much more precise than usual focusing mounts. The Infrared Edition of ZF lenses are suitable for the use with special cameras like IR cameras without an IR blocking filter.
    The transmission of ZF-IR lenses adds up to 70% at 1000 nm.”

  • dbur

    They should just supply a $10 F mount adapter. I have old F mount lenses I use with no problem on my EOS with only a simple mount adapter. Then they could still capture some Canon lens sales.

  • anon

    On the shape? Circular? No prior stuff using circular lens mounts I’m sure. If they do have anything it isn’t anything that will hold water.

  • Alan Klughammer

    like cell phones with rounded corners…

  • Martin Agfors

    Nikon sell F mount bayonet by the package, so obviously they are fairly open to the idea of others using it :-)

    It is very common as a generic mount when building optical machinery of all kinds. And it’s been around for a while.