« Photographers on Process and Practice | Main | A Photographer's Home »

Tuesday, 05 January 2021


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I warms the heart of an old "Nikon-nite" (or is it "Nikon-neet" to see "my" brand of more than 40 yrs get some love here. :-)
I have tried a couple of times to leave Nikon but I always come back to it. Not as big a brand as the giant Canon. Or as sexy as Fujifilm. Or as ambitious as Sony.
But in all honesty. It is not the brand that is holding my photography back. I have come to a point where I realized that I do take a certain kind of photos. Regardless of camera brand.

It seems that Nikon is following the same path from the DSLR days. They offer both full frame and crop sensor cameras and then never offer a dx line commensurate with the potential of the bodies.

I know, I'm suppose to just use full frame lenses on the crop sensor cameras, but then I might as well just go full frame since there would be no size advantage. Put that 24mm full frame on a dx body to get to a walk around 35mm-ish lens and suddenly my Fujifilm cameras are even more attractive.

It's nice that Nikon is filling out the Z line, and if I were starting from scratch, the full frame body and lenses would be nice. As it is, my full frame DSLRs and great F mount primes lenses are mostly unused because of the joy the petite Fujis are to use.

The “hubbub” may be on YouTube (and other social media sites?) ... I watch YouTube primarily for audiophile/HiFi content. Nearly every video I watch has ads for the Z lineup.

Yes, things have changed.

Oh, now I know! I feel like a Nikon-knight!

If I were Canon and seeing this, I would aim to fill in a niche that no one else is paying much attention to except Olympus. Small(er) sensor pro action photography. If Canon introduced a pro body and 2-3 pro lenses (weather-proof, fast) in their M line of APS/C equipment, they could take over small sensor sports shooting. Why do sports shooters need the weight and size of "full-frame" when I bet 99% of their photos are never shown other than online and on small screens to boot. At the very least, they would capture all the non-pro or quasi-pro sports shooters.

I don't understand why Olympus is the only company covering this niche and have been doing so for a while now.

Even older used Nikon and Canon sports bodies cost too much for my blood, never mind the full-frame lenses you're required to purchase.

It's just odd to see unfilled niches in a market this mature.

You may want to check your definitions of micro and macro.

Prefix from the Greek "makros" meaning large or long. Ref: Macro Economics etc.

'Macro' is not the correct term for looking at objects closely or for 'magnifying' small objects. Hence the term 'micro'scope ... not 'macro'scope !

The term 'macro' would be better applied to an 8mm fisheye !.


And a "thank you" to Nikon for continuing to support their DSLR series as well, unlike Canon which has essentially said they will stop development of their current EF/EFS mount cameras and lenses.

I recall reading on Thom Hogan's site that Nikon continues to sell a lot of DSLRs so keeping both the Z and the F in the Nikon system is probably a good idea. I have a history with Nikon going back to about 1973 and a number of older cameras and lenses I continue to use. While I have no need of anything new at this time it would be nice to know there's still lenses and bodies to replace what I have should I happen to live long enough to need it (and Nikon, the company, outlives me).

It looks like a solid line up, but I must admit I don't see anything there I want to buy.

I have had my Z6 for two years and the 24-70 kit lens is really a useful tool for what I do. But if they had come out with a compact 35-40mm I would have bought it rather than the adapter for my 35 - 2.8 Sony Zeiss, which doesn't work all that well.

Canon has some interesting lenses including a compact and less expensive 35mm which I would have bought. And I might have preferred their 24-105 but after 40+ years of Nikon ownership I stayed with Nikon.

Nikon could have built a ZTF adapter that allowed full aperture viewing, and that really would have really opened up something that has not been available. But they didn't bother to do it. I know that most of their customers don't understand what that would mean, and actually don't know that they don't have it. But for the few that do, it would have been important. And since they are the only camera company that still makes and sell manual focus lenses as well as cameras, they were the only ones that had a reason to do it.

Heck, they didn't even bother to make the light meter work with manual lenses in manual exposure mode until last month. At least they finally gave us that update, after patiently explaining that it was impossible, despite the fact that everyone else could do it.

So I agree, it's a good lens line, but not inspiring enough to make be buy a single new lens at this time.

I think the Z-system 85mm S lens is the best I've ever owned, and I've owned a 35mm Summilux. I can't even explain why it's special; I'm no lens guru. It's possible, I guess, that I've just had a run of luck with it, but I don't think so.

It's probably only me, but by far the most exciting Nikon Z lens is the proposed compact 40mm/f2.8 that's on their roadmap.

Seems like finally there might actually be a non-Micro Four Thirds system that could replace the glory that is the Panasonic 20mm/f1.7.

With respect to adapting lenses to the Z cameras, I have found the Fringer EF-NZ adapter to work well with my Canon EF lenses. I have successfully used my EF 135 f/2, 70-200 f/4 and 300 f/4 IS lenses on the Nikon Z50 and Z7. My photography involves mostly static subjects, performance for other uses (sports, wildlife) may vary. Nikon has a 70-200 f/4 on the road map and I will consider buying one when it appears. The other two seem unlikely to appear in the Z system and I'm happy to use my EF lenses on the very nice Z bodies, especially the 135. It would be interesting to hear the experience of others that have used the Fringer adapter.

Thanks for highlighting Nikon's very rational lens rollout. It may not excite people who want to play with heroic lens designs, but it's the one that gets the job done. And the f/1.8 lenses kept me from jumping ship to Canon.

I recently rented a Canon R6 with their 85/1.2L lens to evaluate directly against a mark 1 Z6 and its 85/1.8 lens on the subject I shoot most often these days: ballet dancers. And the results were interesting: the R6 is the most fluid, transparent camera I've ever used for what I shoot, yet I could not make the jump over because Canon does not have that complete line of f/1.8 lenses that are so important to how I work.

And with a little more effort, I could get the same results on my Z6. The best thing about the R6 is how good its AF tracking is and how easy it is to use: it's so easy to keep that AF focus box on your subject of choice.

But its actual autofocus performance (in terms of finding pixel-sharp focus on moving subjects) is about the same or even worse than the Z6. In a sequence with a dancer approaching me at moderate speed, it got 2 photos in critical focus, about 10 slightly out of focus, and 2 or 3 that completely missed.

Nevertheless, I thought long and hard about it because the R6's user interface is so good, but ultimately, not only would it cost me 2-3 times as much (because they only have f/1.2 lenses that were comparable in quality to Nikon's f/1.8s), but they do not have any wide primes! I was astonished when I realized this looking over their available library. And looking back at EF, thinking I'd adapt those lenses for wides, the selection isn't great either.

They have a 35mm lens now, but nothing below that. They do have fast zooms that cover those ranges, but I'd lose over a stop to use those, in addition to paying more, and having to carry more weight and bulk.

So at the end of the day, that set of f/1.8 lenses is what makes the system really work for me. Even better is that they are the best lenses of their kind Nikon has ever built.

A little off-topic, but I know I wasn't the only person who chose EOS bodies because, among other reasons, I could still use lenses from other systems with adapters, including my old Nikkor lenses. (It didn't work the other way around, because EOS had the shorter flange distance.) Adapted lenses couldn't be auto-focused, but at the time I preferred MF anyway.

There was at least one architectural photographer who did the same, but for the sake of combining Canon and Nikon tilt-shift lenses for range, but I can't recall the name.

Today, of course, most any mirrorless body can pull off that trick, and then some.

I am waiting for my first Z camera (a Z7 II)from Nikon, but sellers don't have them in stock. I see that many of their lenses for both DSLR and mirrorless are out of stock too.

It's probably a combination of factors, including COVID and the major fire at the Japanese Nobeoka City chip-making plant, but (stating the obvious) Nikon could sell a lot more merchandise if it were available.

I watched at the start to see the direction and in 2019 started my movement to the Z.

What got me thinking that direction was that after trying m43 for my travel photography and work within ancient churches, I needed something that was less threatening and quiet. The m43 fit the bill for being unintimidating and silent but the low light quality was always a fight to craft the images.

The Z made sense for me with better low-light, and Nikon brining out the 14-30mm which in tight places saves me time and again. After shooting a few years with the Panasonic 7-14mm, I knew this would be a game changer for me.

Portability is another factor in my work. I schlep my own gear and I'm not getting younger. The Z6 is larger and heavier than the m43 system but smaller and lighter and silent compared to my Nikon DSLR system. The Z replaces both systems and is doing it well!

The other "killer" lens for me was getting my hands on the never-in-stock 24-200mm Z. It's small, slow and in the field and dark churches with high ISO, is just about perfect for my kind of shooting.

Between the 14-30mm and the 24-200mm, I'm back to a very capable, compact and nearly perfect travel combo that takes the place of both my stealthy m43 with the image quality of my DSLR.

As a bonus, my collection of old Leica screw-mount and M lenses is now back in use without having to deal with shooting film. I'm glad I didn't sell all my vintage lenses now that I have a Z 6 and a cheap adapter along with focus peaking and I'm a happy camper shooting ancient lenses older than I.

And Nikon made it easy to make the conversion by making all my old Nikon AF & Ai lenses useable within reason to get me started as they bring new dedicated and quite remarkable Z lenses as they transition to the new mount.

So many seem to be dwelling on the latter days of Nikon. Yet once you start making the transition, you soon see that Nikon still has a bunch of tricks up its sleeve though occasionally they drop a joker onto the table... ;-)

My website link for my "Rendezvous Portfolio" is mostly shot with a Z 6 and Z lenses, especially the later images. The first five pairs were with an Olympus 5II, followed mostly by the Z with a few images shot with an iPhone X for good measure.

I get the strange feeling that even though Nikon may be moving house to the Land of Siam, we read too much in between the lines and start some soothsayin'.

Many years ago, Rollei moved operations to make their 35 scale focusing beauties in Singapore; after a while, the naysayers stopped murmuring when quality maintained.

All said, in life one needs to expect changes and be prepared for them.

I went back to Nikon after a period with Olympus.

My Olympus stuff was getting old and worn out and I wanted a one lens solution for hiking and travel, a kit for casual photography.

I had already tried the Z7 at my dealers and was highly impressed with the EVF and the handling.

When I discovered that the Z7 +24-200 weighed the same as an Olympus EM1 with 12-100 and that both were lightweight enough to take on my hikes, for me there was moment I decided on the Z7.

I must say I am really happy with this camera. , both the 24-70 F4 which came with the camera and the 14-30 are nice lenses.

The 24-200 has proved to be brilliant for hiking and travel, eliminating a lot of lens changing.

I can also use a lot of my F lenses via the FTZ adaptor.

I have discovered that hand holding my Nikkor PC28 lens is doable where I cannot use a tripod with the IBIS and viewfinder level both helping out to keep things level and sharp.This opens a lot of doors for my interest in photographing old Italian monuments.

Am I the only person that thought this was going to be about Zeiss lenses?

Gee, just over a year since the last Nikon Zeiss lawsuit.

I've matured slightly. I'm now a 18 year old trapped in an 80-something body. One of my late brother-in-laws was the P.E. Department head for a large school district. He always wore blue shorts, just like the students used for gym-class. His wife once asked him if he ever was going to grow-up and wear long pants, like the academic department heads. Ed said: what would be the fun in that?

I'd have used "Thoze Lenses" as the title. The bold z garners enough attention. There is little fun in being too restrained 8-)

I have been using Nikons since the Nikkormat, and up to and including the D610. When I started shooting with the Z6 and 24-70mm f/4 Z lens, and brought the images up on my computer screen, it was as if I had purchased a new super-high resolution monitor. There was a real qualitative difference. I believe the new lenses AND the new design (wider throat, shorter flange) are close to revolutionary. Of course I can use all my legacy lenses (including the AI-S manual focus ones) with the FTZ adapter. I also found using the EVF--quite a cange for me--was painless. Bravo Nikon.

I was never much of a Canon guy (in fact, never really a 35mm guy at all), altho I appreciated those very rock solid FTb's, with the "heavy metal" breech lock lenses (never warmed up to the plasticy FD lenses, and always tried to find the early breech lock FD's).

When I got into management and had to investigate and select based on quality, performance, and longevity for a team of photographers: there was absolutely no question that the redesigned Canon auto-focus lens line was the way to go (which was tough for me, 'cause I was a Nikon guy from way back). It performed way in advance of anything Nikon was doing, with their weird lens focusing shaft drive, and their "alleged" lens mount that worked across all bodies (but really didn't, and was dependent on which bodies had the lens mounts with the "flip up flag"). Canon designed for the future and Nikon didn't, until maybe now (30 years later?)..

When I bought my first pro digital camera, a Nikon, after years of working with the Canon auto-focus film line, I couldn't believe how hit-or-miss it was. I could pick up a Canon, and it always seemed to focus where I wanted (and it didn't have the eye track either); I remember using my early Nikon digital and photographing a line of people filling most of the frame, while the auto-focus was pinging on a bridge abutment on the edge of the frame and far in the background! Wha? And never a full range of primes for the APS-C size cameras.

BTW, someone just sold me a mint Canon FL 35mm f/2.8 lens for my old FT body, and it was pristine! One look and feel of this and you would say "what happened to build quality".

I have z7 when it comes out and even get a z50 to get the light weight lens. But does it win people. I am not sure.

Old enemy even tempt as canon can think differently such as to have those 800mm and 600mm that is handholdable.

But mote important is z lens cannot be used by other system. My ais and up to e lens can be used by my 907x with adapter. Even do some astro pic with my old 70-200 F21D.8 and comes out better than my z7.

I am just not sure.

There is much to celebrate in the Nikon Z line up; however, from my perspective, there is one glaring flaw and poor decision -that is the 35/1.8 (my most used focal length). By all accounts it is weaker than the rest (still good) but more importantly, it is too long and too heavy. Both the Canon and Sony equivalents are smaller and lighter, and the Sony is said to have better qualities and focuses faster. This, and the weakest in class eye AF and tracking keep me from opting for their otherwise very nice cameras and lenses.

https://www.dpreview.com/files/p/articles/9488075251/Camera-Images/NikonZ7review.jpeg See here for sight of the over-long object.

Robert, you bring up an interesting point! I maintain even back in the film days, I never had a decent Nikon 35mm sized lens! I was a 35mm prime user and, altho I didn't use 35mm cameras much, I was really picky about my 35mm lens. I owned all of the Nikon ones at one time, and never had one I was happy with. I was shocked, and happy, when I switched over to the Contax and the Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 was stunning!

My sharpest Nikon wide, hands down, was the old 28mm f/3.5 with the large front element (the one that covered the whole front). Stunning, and my go to lens for shooting slide back-ups to 4X5 architectural photos. Even close up, dead sharp, and contrasty!

Following on from the two previous posts about Nikon 35mm lenses and the Z f/1.8.

I had an enjoyable one camera, one lens, one year challenge using an APS-C Nikon Z50 with the Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8, for my photo-a-day journal. Did have a few extra photos provided by telephotos lenses on other cameras, but the main daily photos were all from the Z50 and 35mm.

I don't mind using some full-frame lenses on a APS-C sensor cameras, despite the seemingly overwhelming negative opinions of others, and I found that this lens was both easy and reliable to use. The size and weight didn't bother me, and I never really noticed it. Originally I'd been planning to try a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Art (APS-C) lens via the FTZ adapter. Wanted to find if out if it was better at focusing away from the centre point on a mirrorless camera than on DSLR's, but after finding the lens plus adapter was the same size as the 35mm full-frame lens, and about 200g heavier, I just went for the Nikkor that appeared at a very good price at the right time.

The lens is (or mine is) more than sharp enough wide open, across the frame, and showed no noticeable CA. Obviously using it on a smaller sensor meant any corner issues would be less significant. If there were negatives, some slight onion-ring circles in out-of-focus highlights in a couple of shots; and possibly related to in camera corrections of distortions, I found that it was less successful when attempting stitched panoramas than other lenses.

A year of me cycling and walking about locally, and other boring life and work type stuff, with some of those extras, here:

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007