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Friday, 24 August 2018

Comments

My take is that sensor stacks in Z cameras are same as in DSLRs not cause problems using F-mount lenses and this requires also the new lenses to be telecentric.

Still the new 35/1.8S is lighter and slimmer than my current Tamron 35/1.8 Di VC. So while I would have preferred something small like AF-D 35/2, I am not too disapointed.

I ordered Z7 and the three lenses right away. They were just what I would have chosen.

It seems to me like more and more high-end modern primes follow this same design, mirrorless or not. Kind of long, kind of fat. Like the three Olympus 1.2 primes, the 17, 25 and 45, which all look the same side. My Pentax HD FA* 50 1.4 is the same.

My guess is Nikon wanted to make sure there was more optical correction than digital correction, even though these are not quite high-end primes.

If i remember correctly, the Fuji X-system was launched with only three lenses of which only one was top notch. That didn't stop it from turning out pretty well.

Wouldn't it have to be "firstly"?

A 50mm f/1.8 lens for $600? It had better be *really* good!

With regard to the lens sizes, I had the same thought myself. The 35 is a bit outsized for the camera. Since, in my opinion, a primary feature that distinguishes these cameras from Nikon’s DSLRs is size, I would think that the first native lenses they would offer would be compacts, to take advantage of that feature.

Fortunately, this isn’t really something that I’m concerned with, as I’m in no position to drop $3,400 on a new camera when my D800e is still going strong. Nor would I consider trading in my Nikon 35/1.4, a lens they’ll have to pry from my cold, dead hands before I give it up...

So, after my (previous) comment about the size of the new 50mm "standard" S lens for the Nikon Z6/Z7 being larger than the "standard" 63mm lens on the medium-format GFX50S, so is the 35mm f/1.8!

MIke's right...

I never understood "First Off" (just like I never understood "One Off.") Seems to me that "First of all" makes more sense. Similar to "Before all else." That's assuming you have a list.

New lens has better MTF and presumably better image quality.

Old:
https://imgsv.imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/f-mount/singlefocal/wide/af-s_35mmf_18g/img/mtf.png

New:
https://imgsv.imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/z-mount/z_35mmf18s/img/mtf.png

That is quite the reason to be larger and heavier, just compare Sigma Art 50mm or 85mm to older 1.4 variants.

Unlike in DSLR era they seem to be going Leica way with slower lenses being made as good as they can be instead of being cheaper variants with related compromises.

With all the talk about the new lens mount being large enough to accommodate f0.95 lenses freeing Nikon from some of the restrictions of the F mount, and given that Nikon and Canon are playing Catchup in the mirrorless world I would have expected a couple of drool worthy lenses at launch. And, Given the long criticism of Sony for having no lenses (which they worked hard to overcome) I expected Nikon to announce something more than f/1.8 and f/4 lenses in polycarbonate structures. These APPEAR at least to be 'Kit 'type lenses. (they may in fact be excellent.
Given the emphasis on video now I also would have thought that they would have included aperture rings, and long throw focusing.

None of this says that this is not a fine new system, but if you are chasing Sony, some of these features would seem to be no brainers.

Lastly, as you have also commented, one of the true advantages of mirrorless cameras is that there is no need for retrofocus designs.
If you do not have to add extra elements to move the focal plane back, or add groups of elements and motors to do image stabilization it becomes easier to design great lenses.

I was disappointed with the initial choices.
If the money is indeed in the high end, this would have been a perfect time to introduce a line of premium lenses with premium features that both still and video shooters would aspire to own.
Now Nikon is telling us that these lenses ARE special and have a new "S " designation, but I find that difficult to believe that 35,& 50 f/1.8's and a 24-70 f/4 polycarbonate barrel offerings with no aperture rings are in any way special. They seem adequate and unexciting.
I read that the upcoming 58 f/0.95 while sexy, will be Manual Focus !
Is the future of Nikon Mirrorless really manual focus ?

Nikon has given the world some of it's best cameras & lenses for a LONG time. I am rooting for them, but these things are head scratchers

New 35mm might be also better-made which might add some weight.

I understand your concern about S lens availability. However, “ ... you pick cameras for lenses, not the other way around … ” is not the axiom it may have been when we were just still photographers. After six years of hearing and reading commentary from people who want video and still performance from one camera, I’ve gotten the idea that some have switched to Canon DSLR and Sony mirrorless bodies because of their respective video capabilities, not lens availability.

This is pretty much why I'm sticking with my D750. I'm happy with the lenses I'm using and have no interest in using them on a Z camera with an adaptor. My thinking is similar in that I'm willing to wait to learn more about the Z-Mount and the S-Lenses. The cameras themselves don't get me fired up although I do like the styling, which reminds me of a very slightly down-sized D750. I was hoping for smaller/lighter lenses, but the two primes are larger/heavier and more expensive than the 1.8G versions and make overall size/weight about a wash.

Maybe someday a Nikon DX mirrorless with a set of small primes? I know what Thom would say: Buzz Buzz. (He's right of course, and it does feel like 27 years since the last DX prime).

You don't like "first off"?

How about "These Ones"?

Or "To be honest with you" or "To tell the truth"?

Or, you could be in Minnesota and "Go With". Maybe in Utah and be "ignernt" and proud of it.

First off: I would imagine this is shortening of "First of all" a perfectly reasonable emphasis.

As someone who loves 35mm, I'm not exactly enticed here.

I can use my existing Nikon 35mm and make it larger thanks to the adapter, or I can buy the new 35mm which is practically twice the cost of what you can get the existing 35 1.8 for. I want to hold one of these in my hand, because if the build quality on these new lenses feels like the plastic fantastic G series there's no way I'm biting.

This looks like a nice camera, but I'm not touching ye olde credit carde until more is known about where this whole thing is going.

And just for some perspective: It would cost me $4k to buy this new rig with three lenses. (That's with the cheaper Z6.) On the used market I could buy an X-T2 and about seven Fujinons for that price.

It's off topic but I wonder if anyone has ever done a real forensic analysis of the corporate structures of Sony/Nikon/Canon. With the way Japanese corporations are so intertwined who knows who owns who. Many of the ownership(s) are off book from what I understand. It would be interesting to find out though.

Read also interesting comments by Thom here @ https://www.43rumors.com/tony-northrup-believes-the-new-canon-nikon-mirrorless-will-force-olympus-and-panasonic-to-change-strategy/#disqus_thread

I was wondering along different lines regarding that lens. I had noted that both it and the 50mm seemed excessively large, and considered that the 50mm f/1.8G lens mounted on say a Nikon Df, may be shorter than the new 50mm on a Z6, but wasn't bothered enough to check. What did have me wondering, was that there seemed to be a lot verbiage about how special the 50mm lens was, but very little mention of the 35mm, other than it was also available. Then I saw the price was even higher than that of the 50mm. Why so? What's special about it? Come on Nikon. Do your sales pitch for me, because I want to know.

I know it's going to be a couple of months behind the arrival of the first Z7's in the shops, but I'm interested in the one that'll probably sell more of the two cameras, the Z6. Everyone else seemed to be taking about the Z7. Or was that just the photo press community.

Perhaps I should hold on until things start happening amongst their really high volume selling ranges - the APS-C sensor cameras. I'm interested to see if, when they start becoming mirroless, they also have the likes of sensor stabilisation. Wouldn't be surprised if they also had a mount that's large relative to the sensor size - the F-mount. It may live onward there.

I can relate to your psychological scars from your Sony camera ownership. I used to own a Sony computer – they don't make computers any more. I own a Sony TV – they don't make TVs any more. I own a Sony audio amplifier – they don't make amplifiers any more... So I refrain from buying Sony cameras because I don't want my (Sony owning) friends to find they have something that is unsupported and unrepairable. Hopefully we won't have that problem with Nikon as they don't have too many other business interests.

"You buy a camera for the lenses" - that is the key ! Right now, Z is the obvious FF mirrorless for Nikon F lens owners and probably should not be under serious consideration for anyone not planning to adapt F mount lenses. I mean, if it interests you, then by all means, look at it, but I would wait for the native lenses I want to be available.
Like you, I was sort of burned by my eagerness to buy into APS-C e-mount early on. I even upgraded along the way, added a couple 3rd party primes, tried lenses that I didn't expect to be good because some people insisted they're not so bad (and found that my expectations were right). At this point, I have a couple of bodies and half a dozen lenses to sell off.
The latest & greatest Sony rumors even have a new high end performance-oriented APS-C body with dual control dials ... but still no mention of any new APS-C lenses.
The Z intrigues me as a Nikon lens owner, but as an APS-C Nikon owner, half my lenses are DX and the cost to upgrade is more than I need to spend. And, like Sony, Nikon seems to have zero enthusiasm for APS-C. (I'd consider switching to Fuji or m43 just for their ongoing commitment, but there's no compelling reason to spend money to do much of anything right now, except keep taking pictures).

Had there initially been a very high quality relatively compact 50mm f2 lens available I just might bite now. As it stands, I'll wait and see.

That said, the Z7 looks pretty sweet and well thought out. I'm just not in the market for another "system" camera.

What I'm holding out for is a fixed-lens 50mm camera, if one ever shows up. Or a compact mirrorless (that word again) camera + very high quality relatively compact 50mm lens (that's not a Leica rangefinder (or a Sony for that matter)).

IMHO the lens selection (even those in the roadmap) clearly shows the target for this cameras. It looks like these cameras are not aimed at people interested in taking photographs, but at people interested in reading and making test shots.

The question is: who is expected to buy these cameras? People buy full frame cameras for the image quality, and they buy mirrorless because they are smaller and lighter than DSLRs.
The prime lenses are very large, so there is almost no difference from F-Mount ones: I really don’t understand why somebody should buy a Z7 instead of a D850.

I think that Nikon should have designed also some lenses like a 28 mm f/2.8, a 35 mm f/2.8 and maybe even an 85 mm f/2.8. To me f/2.8 is fast enough with a modern sensor and designing very high quality lenses with such an aperture would be a rather simple task. They could be designed quickly and they could be very small and light. Not as small as Leica M lenses, for obvious reasons, but they could be much smaller than DSRLs ones. Couple such lenses with a mirrorless camera and you have a much smaller and lighter kit that should appeal to a lot of photographers. Last but not least, such lenses are simpler, with fewer and smaller elements, so only greed could make them expensive.

The size of the 35 mm f/1.8 and 50 mm f/1.8 suggests that Nikon has decided to maximize image quality even at larger apertures in order to show great results in tests. As we have seen lately with 50 mm f/1.4 lenses you need huge ones for the best results at full aperture. Somebody suspects that DOF at f/1.4 is so thin that there in no way that the borders of the frame will be in focus when the center is in focus, unless you are photographing a test sheet, but it looks like a lot of people use those tests to decide what to buy.

So I believe that Nikon is hoping to sell this new system to people who want the best possible image quality and is willing to spend a lot of money for it, and they don’t care about size and weight. Of course there the risk that those people already have a D850 and they don’t see any reason to buy a Z7 to get a camera with similar weight and a much shorter battery life.

Since about the only brands I'm not into are Canikon, take this as the uneducated opinion of a fat middle aged white guy with no credibility and access to a keyboard....

Weren't the SLR versions of these two primes highly regarded? From my reading it seems that the SLR 35 and 50 1.8 are very good lenses that may be better than their price indicates.

So that would indicate it's a very good thing that Nikon has basically adapted them for mirrorless, wouldn't it? Same optical performance adapted to AF better on the new cameras. If they are mirrorless adaptations then we *know* that they will be fine lenses worthy of the Z7 sensor. They're more expensive because all camera stuff is. Manufacturers can't survive on the old high volume/low margin days. All brands are doing this.

I don't really see how bringing a good lens to mirrorless is a negative...

Gordon

I've taken the prime lens sizes to be part of the statement about the S-Line lenses being of superior optical quality to all that has gone before (from Nikon). They seem to be more like the Zeiss Otus and Sigma Art lenses, larger and more complex and more highly corrected. They spoke of near zero aberrations in the 50/1.8 during the system announcement presentation.
I hope we get some credible reviews of the initial lenses soon.

Check out the Z lens brochure: it has the lens cross sections of the Z lenses. The 35/1.8 Z looks very different than the existing FX 35/1.8ED.

https://cdn-4.nikon-cdn.com/e/Q5NM96RZZo-RRZZFeeMiveET0gpU-PYm90DZMEpjBfZRR51BYn9b4sjxcCuc2_t9Tr8iw3d-qf0=/Misc/NIKKOR-Z-Brochure.pdf

The 50's front element looks interesting too: it's very concave!

Mike, an addendum to my previous post: this is an easier to access page to get the lens diagrams for the 3 Z lenses.

https://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/z-mount/

Click on each lens, and then click on Specifications to see the lens diagram as well as the (presumably) computed MTF.

Interesting analysis by Thom, and one I broadly agree with. Sony and Nikon duking it out at the top end will allow Canon (and others) to capitalise at the volume end.

The comparison pick of the GFX and Z7 is very telling.

“Locution”, eh? You’re so dang erudite. :-)

If you like to pretend to be with it, you have to stop having “goes” in the phrase “as far as ... goes”. The usual phrase now is “as far the weather, I think it’s too hot.”
Perversonally I hate it, but they tell me the language changes.

Very interesting article. Sony started with a pretty weak lineup for the a7 series. Sometimes I think they want to see how serious we are about the cameras before they commit to all the lenses.

I can't readily find a diagram of the Z 1.8/35, but from a look at the front element it's clearly not retrofocal. It's much more likely telephoto.

While smaller lenses are my preference, I don’t have the responsibility of keeping investors happy. Nikon is well aware of who is its main customer base, and it is not the likes of me or Mike Johnston.

In the last few years it has been clear from the kinds of lenses that have garnered a lot of attention that those folks who are willing to spend some serious money want BIG, high quality lenses. Sigma and ZEISS have been rather successful with such lenses. Do you really expect Nikon to ignore that cash route?

From what I’ve read, the new “S” lenses are meant to be sharp at maximum aperture. And no, the AF-S 35mm f1.8 G is not sharp wide open. Or at least not my copy.

PS. Calm down, they’re just lenses.

I agree very much. One of the main points of mirrorless was not only smaller bodies, but smaller lenses. And yet, everybody is now making these huge lenses.
The outstanding Leica M lenses are small. Hmm.

Ask and ye shall receive.

Here is the Z-mount S-Line 35mm f/1.8

Here is the Z-mount S-Line 50mm f/1.8

I'll let everyone evaluate for themselves the complexity of these designs, and their similarity or lack thereof to F-mount Nikkor designs.

(I emailed higher res versions to Mike directly.)

I don't know anything about lenses, but since you (Mike) are a lens guru, it has occurred to me to wonder about the following, which perhaps you could elucidate: with this much larger lens mount, and a proper lens design, wouldn't it be possible to push those very same lenses out a bit...like the adapter does to make the F lenses usable on the Zs -- and have lenses that would work on a medium format camera? Assuming that Canon, Nikon and Sony are going to be battling it out over the FF territory, I suspect that if Nikon came out with a really solid lens line and, say, a MF 4/3 or square 100 mp sensor on a camera similar to the Z, at a reasonable price, they could dominate the MF market. What other MF maker (Fuji, maybe? I don't know) has a really extensive lens line for MF? If the lenses could be shared between FF and MF, the FF people would help pay the costs for the MF people. MF is one place Nikon could go in an increasingly cramped market.

If that's possible.

I think Nikon let the APS-C market go for the same reason I would have -- I can't see why it exists. With the small handy cameras and extensive lens lines of the 4/3 makers, which still provide excellent quality, and the falling prices of FF, why would anyone want an APS-C with a body and lens set that is essentially as bulky as FF, with quality that's not as good as FF, and hardly any better, but more expensive, than m4/3?

Nikon Z lens to flange distance = 16mm.
Leica lens to flange distance = 27.8mm.

I hope those back-alley adapter surgeons are hard at work. The thing that is exciting about the advent of mirrorless at this level is the theoretical ability to use any lens on any camera. . . just a hope of course.

It has always been the case that the best lenses were not all of one line, but a classic here and a classic there. Why not put together a lens kit of the best of the best? An Olympus here, a Pentax there, a Hexanon, a Canon, a Leica and so on. I wonder whether there will be a revival of classic lenses as a result of this and the inevitable Canon answer.

Mike, if you want a non-retrofocus design, get a nice "king of bokeh" (see what I did there?) and slap it on the front of a Z7 -- there's your digital medium format camera right there.

I'm with you Mike. Show me the lenses! Once bitten, twice shy. Like you, when I eventually jumped into mirrorless I opted for Sony as a vote of confidence - they were the ones pushing the technology envelope. I bought an NEX-7 and waited for the lenses to arrive. I also got tired of waiting, and jumped to Fuji for the lenses. Have not been disappointed. I stayed.

Nikon will undoubtedly increase the number of Z lenses, but how fast and which ones, and will they match the ethos of mirrorless, i.e. compact? The initial signs are not good. Sure, I too have a lot of Nikkor glass gathering dust in that closet that you warned George about back in 2010, but let's be honest, ultimately you want native lenses. My Sony experience has made me wary as well.

BTW, do the Z6 and Z7 have an electronic shutter option? Anyone doing event or concert work needs this feature. It was part of the reason that my Nikon dSLRs have a thick covering of dust.

I was thinking about this new Nikon and something occurred to me.

Nikon Z7 with 24-70 costs $3997

My current Micro 4/3 system with 4 camera bodies and 7 lenses covering 35mm-e 18-600mm cost me $3985.

I know it's apples and oranges...but still...hmmmm.

I'm sure glad you added the update to this post. I watched the live launch event for the Z products, and it was screamingly obvious that your initial post completely missed what Nikon was trying to achieve here in terms of image quality and lenses and system priorities.

Now, thanks to Eamon, you are getting it. I'm pretty excited by it. Whether I buy in is a more complex matter, but it is great to see a clear set of priorities and emphasis on ground-up design for photo quality, photographer's experience, and general toughness, instead of checklists of features and bigger numbers than the next guy.

I wouldn't be too hard on Nikon - three years after they introduced the SL, Leica have only rolled out three native primes for the camera (in addition to two zooms), and the last two are still as scarce as hens teeth. Mind you, the 90SL f/2 is worth the weight (pun intended).

Is there going to be an adapter to take the new lenses the other way, back to the old F mount for use on older, even film, cameras? Is this even possible?

Mike, If you look at MTF the graph goes to ~22mm, which is half of 44mm. At that point the lens is not too bad. Sony famous “MF” sensor is 44x33mm._I_ think they really made the mount to support “MF” sensor and to have that option in the future, maybe they will not do it.l, but it is wise that they don’t close that door if market requires them to do it. There were some comments about it before launch, but I think they were comments, not rumors.
Note: like you I don’t know nothing.
Rfeg

[The diagonal of 24x36mm is a little less than 44mm. So the right side of the graph represent the extreme corner of the image on FF. --Mike]

My decision-procedure for cameras is (fortunately) pretty simple. First question: Is there a small, reasonable quality prime in the 35mm-eq ballpark? That knocks the Z6 and Z7 out straight away, at least for now. The new f/1.8 S is too big, as is the f/1.8G with the adapter; and the old f2 AF-D won't autofocus on this camera. ("Big" here is judged according to my standards, about which I'm infallible.)

I'd love a full frame setup with the gestalt of my Panasonic GX7 and Olympus 17mm 1.8 combo, and it looks like the Sony A7 series with the Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 still comes closest at the moment. Which is a pity, because I expect these Nikons will handle better as cameras.

But the Z6 and Z7 look good to me, and I'm pleased to hear that others will be buying in. I'm a Nikon fan, and was a Nikon user before moving to micro 4/3s. When (if) the right lenses come along, these cameras will definitely be in the mix for me.

Thank you to Eamon and Mike, for the update. Also thanks to Timo Virojärvi for your comment, that had me comparing the new 35mm and 50mm lenses, with the rather large and heavy Tamron 45mm ƒ/1.8 VC that I have. Glad to see they're both smaller and lighter than the Tamron.

Interesting observations from both you and Thom!

I found this video about one card slot funny: Dual Slots Führer :-)

Yes Nikon, go for the best (and big and heavy and high priced). Perhaps some aftermarket maker such as Tamron, will make some small, light and reasonably priced offerings that will make the most of your short flange distance.

Mike, I don't understand your 3-lens disappointment. It's what happens when a new system comes out. Nikon did put out a roadmap.

Given Nikon's push for this system and the competition, you bet they are going to put far more effort behind it than other things they have done (Nikon 1).

[Well, YOU might bet. But what I'm saying is that I will hope, but I won't trust. We've had some precedents that are not good signs, like Nikon 1, like the cancelled DL series, like the lack of APS-C primes, and from other manufacturers like Sony. I don't know what to bet on with Nikon here. :-) --Mike]

Funny how the Nikon announcement generates comments from the following groups.

  • Nikon fanboys, anything fron Nikon is a God sent gift.
  • Canon fanboys, anything from Nikon is flawed.
  • Internet camera experts and trolls that haven't seen the camera, have no intension buying one, rarely take pictures but still have an opinion.

Feel free to swap names when Canon will announce theirs. After a three years foray in mirrorless, one OM-D 10, two A6000, one A7, one A7M2, FE35, FE55, FE85, various adapters, I am shooting DSLR because of usability and ergonomics.

We should wait for the cameras and lenses to hit the shelves as well as few firmware updates before getting excited. I agree with Mike's concerns.

Jacques
Calgary, Alberta

There really should be an alert at the top of the article that there is an Update available. The update really changes the tenor of the article, from negative to positive.

The current fashion is to make ultra hi res, size is no object, lenses. Thanks Zeiss Otus!

Here is my Comment (Question) about the new mount. From what I see the NEW mount, it looks and functions the same. I have never had any issues of F falling off the camera or alignment. why fix it if it has been working? My suspicion is that it has to with the new generation of these lenses will need to be purchased for those who don't like adapters. And isn't there a shift to angle of view with adapters for those aficionados. BTW, I use a Novaflex adapter on my Sony to use my Nikon lenses.

Welcome to what Leica shooters have experienced for years. "Buy a camera for the lenses", "high end optical quality", "high-end modern primes" and huge, heavy large aperture lenses. Not to mention that such quality, if Nikon has hit the target, comes with an expense that most will hesitate to pay. The initial offerings are not "kit" lenses, but more likely Nikon has constructed 'moderate' aperture primes with top quality character (we hope) that counts on the light-gathering capacity of the digital sensor to allow low-light capture. What the OOF character shows will be insightful (contrasty & clinical vs rounded with character). I am surprised at the size (the comparison to the Fuji GFX).

Your investigation into the nature of the Z-35 lens was a real service! It relieved me of some anxiety about the new lenses. It is annoying that so much early commentary was about the camera itself with much less specifically spent on the lenses. Eamon Hickey's comments were very helpful in that regard. I was about to switch from buying the 24-70 zoom and getting the 35 but the zoom is heavily discounted when purchased as a package with the body. Can't pass that up.

Sometimes quality isn't everything outside of the preview comments section.

IMO the trend towards whoppingly large lenses is both ridiculous in the context of the camera size trend and in the long term it must be bad for the manufacturers. After all the majority of camera(phone)s in use are thinner than a typical SD card reader.

It is a bargain, here are the numbers.

Nikon Z7 with 24-70mm lens and Mount Adapter, plus the 35mm and 50mm Z lenses = £5,547

'New' Leica M10-P (body only) = £6,500

Not that I could justify going to Nikon as it is more expensive, bigger and heavier than the Sony I would be looking at, but the lack of a pancake (ca 35mm) lens, even in the roadmap for the next several years(!), pretty much takes this system out of the running for my purposes (mainly having the camera on me all day, every day). Perhaps someday 3rd-party manufacturers will fill the gap for Nikon, but the Sony Zeiss 35 f2.8 has done a great job for me for the past five years, with very little distortion and plenty sharp.

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