Good news for those who did not sell their 35mm film SLR systems.
Surprising that Nikon is the first to file for 35mm.
Would not others have thought of this previously?
Nikon may have sensed that technology has progressed to such an extent that this may soon be not only technically possible but commercially viable.
It is not so far fetched. After all digital backs for Hasselblad 503 have been in stock for sale at Cathay Photo for a long time already.
So this is like a first mover thing. Nikon places its flag on the new territory. So in future if others want to make such they have to pay royalties to Nikon. It must have learnt from Apple how profitable such patent filing actions can be.
As the article mentions, this is probably to prevent other camera makers from doing this. As the article mentions, the huge issue here is cost. How much would users be willing to pay? Would you pay $1000 for a digital back for your F100 or buy a D5100 for the same cost. In terms of functionality the D5100 is more advanced than the F100. Its a lot easier to build DSLRs from the ground up than design a digital back within the constraints imposed by a film SLR body.