To use Nikon F-mount lenses, Nikon 1 series require an adapter.

Moreover, the flash unit mount is a custom one too and it seems that there is no adapter at all, but maybe I'm wrong.

What is the technical reason to use custom mounts for this new brand, while there are obvious disadvantages of not keeping the mount which already exists for a half of a century, and the hot shoe which is largely compatible with most manufacturers?


1 Answer 1


The Nikon SLR lenses are designed such that the image circle falls on the sensor/film plane based on the distance from the sensor to the mount (flange focal distance). For an SLR, this distance includes the space needed for the mirror. As the Nikon V1 doesn't have a mirror, the distance from the sensor to the mount point is substantially smaller, so in order to use an SLR lens you need an adapter to create the distance. This adapter does just that.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The key to emphasize here is that mirrorless cameras want the mount to be closer to the sensor and have a smaller imaging circle which lets cameras be much smaller. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Dec 3, 2011 at 14:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Or, to put it another way, the different flange distance means that while they could have made the 1 use the same physical and electronic design of lens mount as the Nikon SLRs use, there would be no real benefit in doing so because you'd still need an adapter to bring the SLR lens further away from the sensor. \$\endgroup\$
    – Staale S
    Dec 3, 2011 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Pentax K-01 is an example of a mirrorless camera that uses a SLR lens mount. Here is a size comparison: camerasize.com/compare/#285,124 In particular, switch each camera to the top view, to see the difference in thickness due to the distance the Pentax mount requires from the sensor. \$\endgroup\$
    – coneslayer
    Apr 16, 2013 at 23:05

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