Z7-Z6 Lenses

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  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,401Member
    mhedges: Yes, first lenses out look good and it seems Nikon intends to produce all S lenses to a higher level. Now we just need some better Z bodies with dual card slots and vertical grip. Hopefully Nikon intends to do that also and we will soon see a Z8. I would like to see Nikon produce a mirrorless body with dual card slots, built in vertical grip and with a choice of sensor sizes, one with a 24 mp sensor, one with a 45 mp sensor and one with a 70 or 100 mp sensor. They can add a letter designation to whatever the name is. The letter f can be for the fast 24 mp sensor body, they don't need a letter for the 45 mp normal sensor body, and they can use the letter x for the high megapixel 70 to 100 mp sensor like they did for the D3x. I am finding that uploading D850 RAW files through the internet to be too time consuming and end users don't really need all that data anyway. One job I did took almost two days to upload all the images over the internet to their in-house system. That is just crazy slow. I purchased a used D4 just to get smaller RAW files for internet transfer. I am considering purchasing a used D3s for the same reason. As the D_ bodies have more and more megapixels (I expect the D6 to be 24 mp) you get to the point where the end user is really using only about 2 to 4 of the megapixels and you are just wasting time transferring all the additional megapixels, especially when you are shooting with studio flash so you don't need high ISO which means the image quality of the "old" sensors is fully adequate for the task. More and more these days we are using images for website display and not for posters or billboards. Most of those images will be displayed at less than 1 megapixel. So why are we shooting them on a 45 mp sensor? When you consider the end use and internet transfer a raw image shot on an 8 mp sensor should be more than adequate.
  • rmprmp Posts: 572Member
    I agree. A large percentage of my images end up in videos or on the web so a small (8mp) would be good enough. Then it happens -- my wife, daughter, or, yes, even my grandkids pop up and ask for a print -- a big print. So, I take 1600 images on a trip. I discard all but about 200. 180 out of those end up in videos. Maybe 16-20 end up on face book. Then there are the 4 to 6 that become prints, big prints (3x4) feet. Yes, I need the 45mp sensor. I have no way top know which images should be big and which should be small.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,401Member
    3 feet by 4 feet is a really, really big print! The largest I have printed is 2 feet by 3 feet from a D800 36 mp sensor (not counting 6 feet wide panoramas because they were more than 100 mp images stitched together from many vertical shots with a 36 mp sensor). When Nikon produces its 100 mp Z body you will need it! I won't, but I will probably lust after it anyway! LOL
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,319Member
    I have done canvas prints up to 40" wide off my D7200 and they still hold up. Now canvas of course is less demanding than a conventional print.

    I currently have a 24" x 36" metal print off my Z6 and Sigma 14-24 on its way. I'll let everyone know how it turns out. Should be a better test since metal is more like a normal print.
  • rmprmp Posts: 572Member
    I have made two prints that were 8 ft. by something. One was 2 ft. the other was 30 inches. I have also had request for prints that fell apart when I tried to enlarge them. One, a few years ago, I think it was from a D3, my wife loved and wanted a really big print. I sent it to a printer. He called me and said I should see it before I paid to print the large size. It was bad, really bad. My ego was so fragile and it hut so much, from that image onward I want as many pixels as possible. I also want a tripod when ever possible and I try to save several exposures for every image. Yes, I screw up a lot. But once in a while I get lucky.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,401Member
    rpm: You don't "get lucky." You work hard for the results you achieve. An 8 foot wide (or tall) print is so terribly large very few cameras, even medium format, can do that. It is amazing you can achieve it with a full frame sensor. Richard Avedon was doing it with his In The American West series but he was using an 8x10 view camera. Now that is a really, really large sensor!
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,607Member
    I would also expect that if you had an eight foot wide print, you might not be standing that close to it. Heck, 8 megapixels is enough if you are 15 feet away.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,450Moderator

    I would also expect that if you had an eight foot wide print, you might not be standing that close to it. Heck, 8 megapixels is enough if you are 15 feet away.

    HAH! Hands up those who still press their noses against big prints - Mine is up. Stoopid really.
    Always learning.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,607Member
    Yeah, mine is up to. That could be called “analogue pixel peaking”.
  • rmprmp Posts: 572Member
    My hands are up. The nuts at https://www.imagewizards.com have a long hall way of giant prints they inspect with loups.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,319Member
    edited January 2019
    I'm guilty of this too, at least somewhat. I keep it in check because I can't focus super close anymore, but haven't gotten glasses yet.
    Post edited by mhedges on
  • moreorlessmoreorless Posts: 120Member
    mhedges said:

    mhedges said:

    I only have the 24-70 but I am very happy with it. I love getting top of the line performance without having to pay for (or carry around) f 2.8 lenses.

    Nikon's releases and roadmap actually seem to make a lot of sense to me when looking at how the cameras might be used by most people. Were as Sony's have basically just copied a DSLR lens lineup on the FE mount they've switched F/2.8 zooms for F/4 zooms and F/1.4 primes for F/1.8 primes for their high performances releases.

    To me that actually seems the most useable size for the Z6/Z7 bodies, for anything larger I would personally want a Pro DSLR sized grip, I wouldn't actually be supprised if we see a camera like that when bigger Z mount lenses start being released,
    Well supposedly the Z mount 70-200 2.8 lens will be about the size of the F mount 24-70 2.8 lens. I will believe it when I see it but that would be pretty great if true.
    My guess is there won't be a magic bullet and the F/2.8 zooms will be similar in size to F-mount versions but again I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a larger Z-mount body released sometime this year to match up to them and the Noct.

    I would argue what Nikon seem to have done differently to Sony is that they haven't stuck to the DSLR mindset were your F/1.8 primes and F/4 zooms are often(not always of course) the cheaper/lower performance option. I think that makes sense personally as with cameras like the Z7/Z6 a lot of users will want to maximise size saving without limiting quality.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,401Member
    I predict the S series 2.8 pro zooms will be shorter than the F mount versions because Nikon will use new optical designs since they are now able to move the rear element much closer to the sensor. Shorter also means a bit lighter.
  • ggbutcherggbutcher Posts: 345Member
    Thinking back to the film days of yore, I recall jonesing the 50mm f1.2 for my F2 Photomic to put as much light as possible on ASA 400 Tri-X, to avoid doing stupid developing pet tricks. I ended up with the f1.4 for affordability reasons.

    I have no data to support this, so as an idle rumination I wonder, "how important is really wide max aperture in light of (pun intended) these extraordinarily sensitive sensors?" Some of my imaging is in low-light (performance spaces), so this is more than just an arbitrary concern...
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,607Member
    edited January 2019
    I avoid shooting above ISO 400 on my D850 unless there is no way to avoid it and if I am really serious, default to ISO 64 and use a tripod. The noise is not objectionable, but you lose resolution.
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,401Member
    I too have kept my ISO at base up to 400. But I am now going one step greater to ISO 800 in light of the following article. Tests run between the D3, D3s and D4 indicate you can shoot those bodies up to ISO 800 with no noticable difference. I am finding that I want some lower megapixel RAW files at certain times so I have purchased a used D3s and D4 at surprisingly good prices on ebay for that purpose. That is why I was looking at reviews and tests of the D3s. It also seems that if you are using strobes so you can shoot at base ISO there is no difference between the D3 and the D3s so you could even pick up a low shutter count D3 for less than $700 and it would be fine for 8x10 prints (actually probably up to 16x20 prints), internet, website, etc.

    https://photographylife.com/nikon-d4-vs-d3s-vs-d3-iso-performance-comparison

    There will be one exception to limiting ISO to 800 and below; constant light and people or animals who are sensitive to light. I have found that some people and animals need the constant light turned down to the point where I need ISO 1600 or 3200. There is no real problem using those high ISOs with recent Nikon bodies if you are using studio lighting because you have complete control of the lighting and are likely to be using a 1 to 2 or 1 to 3 or at most a 1 to 4 lighting radio so you are not going to visible noise in the shadows. You also are not likely to need ultimate sharpness because if you are shooting animate objects they don't want every blemish and line to show and if you are shooting inanimate objects you can just use a long shutter time combined with a base ISO.

    As I mentioned once before we seem to be moving into a time when the normal bell shaped curve no longer exists in photograph. Web use and full page magazine images or 8x10 prints from a home injet printer are by far the most common use for photographs and they will be fine with a 12 mp sensor. Super huge giant prints will be best with a 45 mp and higher sensor. But very, very few people (maybe something like 3% of photographers) will print this big. The "normal" DX and FX 24 mp sensor is "overkill" for web use or small print use and would be fine for poster size prints which few people will do and even fewer people will be printing larger than poster size. A 24 mp sensor can produce 100 mp images if you just shoot it vertically and stitch them together.

    However, if I am shooting a landscape image with my D850 (which is more and more rare for me these days) I too will use base ISO and a tripod to get every bit of quality I can out of that file. This dedication to ultimate image quality just isn't needed for portraits or web use images.
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 704Member

    I avoid shooting above ISO 400 on my D850 unless there is no way to avoid it and if I am really serious, default to ISO 64 and use a tripod. The noise is not objectionable, but you lose resolution.

    There is wisdom to this. Even if you underexpose, with the nikon sensors you can boost in post and recover the image the same as if you exposed at a higher ISO.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 704Member
    snakebunk said:

    @Symphotic, and it would be interesting to hear your impression of the build quality of the lenses.

    Build quality of the S-line lenses is fine. They seem better than the Nikkor G lenses. having said that, the 50 mm f/1.8 S lens is heavier than the 50 mm f/1.8 G, even if I add the weight of the FTZ adapter and a shoe for the FTZ so it will work with my tripod. (I could use the RRS L bracket on my Z7 body with the FTZ adapter and without the shoe, however. Larger lenses, like the Sigma, work better when I mount the FTZ to the tripod rather than the camera.)

    So if my goal is to keep the kit as light as possible, the 50 mm f/1.8 G is a better choice. Still, the weight difference between the two is small enough I would still go with the native Z lens.

    The Sigma 50 mm f/1.4 is a monster in size and weight and with the adapter it is better for use as studio gear. I have to carry a lot of heavy stuff like sonars, D-shackles, two laptop computers, power supplies, a video monitor, battery packs, HD-SDI to HDMI adapters, a tripod, etc. in a backpack that fits under an airline seat. Lighter lens and body weight is a big plus for me.

    I'll put up some pixel peeping photos later. I can't compare to the nikkor 50 mm f/1.4 G as it is out in the field with the D810 kit this week.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,450Moderator
    ggbutcher said:

    Thinking back to the film days of yore, I recall jonesing the 50mm f1.2 for my F2 Photomic to put as much light as possible on ASA 400 Tri-X, to avoid doing stupid developing pet tricks. I ended up with the f1.4 for affordability reasons.

    I have no data to support this, so as an idle rumination I wonder, "how important is really wide max aperture in light of (pun intended) these extraordinarily sensitive sensors?" Some of my imaging is in low-light (performance spaces), so this is more than just an arbitrary concern...

    You can't invent photons later in post or with in-camera ISO boosting so best get what you can.

    I find the D850 to be greatly inferior to the D750 for noise in low light so I find I have to try extra hard to avoid noise.

    I do not subscribe to this ETTL theory that keeps coming up, IMHO providing you avoid losing data by over exposing, you will not get a better image than by 'ETTRing'. If the dynamic range is too large, then I use HDR for the shot if possible.
    Always learning.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,438Member
    edited January 2019
    Symphotic said:

    I avoid shooting above ISO 400 on my D850 unless there is no way to avoid it and if I am really serious, default to ISO 64 and use a tripod. The noise is not objectionable, but you lose resolution.

    There is wisdom to this. Even if you underexpose, with the nikon sensors you can boost in post and recover the image the same as if you exposed at a higher ISO.
    Which is fine if all you shoot is static, but useless for anything that is alive.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • ggbutcherggbutcher Posts: 345Member



    I do not subscribe to this ETTL theory that keeps coming up, IMHO providing you avoid losing data by over exposing, you will not get a better image than by 'ETTRing'. If the dynamic range is too large, then I use HDR for the shot if possible.

    I heard this from a film industry fellow, log is about losing about a 1/2 stop on the top end to get decent scaling of the low end. So, you ETTL to put more of the data on the low end. I don't get it, yet...
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 704Member
    edited January 2019

    The Nikkor vs the Sigma, both at 1.8, centre, mid, edges and corners please.

    Be sure to read the end of this post about focusing.

    Hi, WEF: I just ran the Nikkor S and Sigma comparison at the center and edge. Maybe I'll do a more complete test next weekend, but now that the government is open I have some pressing shipments to make: I just setup an underwater camera for a NOAA contract and I have to get it tested, packed and out the door first thing in the morning.

    I did enough testing at f/1.8 to demonstrate:

    Resolution (defined as the ability to read 0.5 mm tall Arial font at 1 meter--we gave up on MTFs as it is too hard to explain to customers) is about the same at the center, but is better for the Nikkor S than the Sigma at the edge. There is just about a half-stop more vignetting with the Nikkor S than the Sigma. Both lenses are excellent for my purpose, but as mentioned elsewhere, I am not going to carry the Sigma out in the field because of the size weight. I can live with a half stop of vignetting.

    I tried the Nikkor f/1.8G and both of the other lenses give better performance.

    Both lenses autofocused very well at the center, but both had some trouble at the edge. Manual focus with the Nikkor S is excellent! It has proportional focusing speed control: if I rotate fast, the focus changes quickly, and if I rotate slowly, the rate of change is slower. That is, the same number of degrees of rotation will give you finer control while rotating slowly than when rotating more quickly. I didn't expect that, but it make manual focusing much easier with the S-line lens for critical applications.

    I was so excited by this discovery I tested the 24-70 zoom lens and it has the same feature. Very nice.
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,607Member
    Interesting Symphotic. Thank you for that. At B&H the Nikon is $600 and the Sigma is $950. Not a direct comparison because one is 1.4 and the other is 1.8, but half the reason to buy a 1.4 is usually that the optics and build are better. Nikon has bested the "legendary" Sigma Art in both optics and build for two thirds the price.

    I believe that Nikon has just redefined the market.


    There is an argument that the Z7 plus the five 1.8 primes in Nikon's roadmap could become my new "landscape set", which also serves as my travel set. Currently, that is my 15 3.5Ais, 20 2.8Ais, 24 2.8Ais, 28 2.8Ais, 40 2.0 Ultron and 50 1.2Ais. Now if Nikon could just trade the "U" modes for an additional card slot, I would find the Z7 more compelling.
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 704Member
    Depending on what figures of merit you use, you could argue that the Sigma is the better lens. For weight at f/1.8 it isn't. For optical resolution at the center they are about the same, but at the edge the Sigma is harder to focus, and serious pixel peepers may favor to the Nikon at the edges. For vignetting, the Sigma is better. There is an intangible: the raw Sigma images "look better". I can't explain why, but it may have to do with the vignetting.

    The big advantage to the Sigma is that it works on both my D850 and my Z7. The S-line lenses cannot be made to work with the D850. And the Sigma is better in all metrics but size and weight than the Nikkor G lenses.

    The fact that you have a lot more light coming in gives the lower level of vignetting on the Sigma. You really have to pixel peep to see the difference in edge resolution, but as you say, we are stopped down 2/3 a stop on the Sigma.

    I am happy with the S lens and like the 50 better than the 35 for taking pictures of the family.

    The big difference is focusing. If you really want crispness at the edge, you need to be able to focus there, and that is a hard place for autofocus to work. At short distances you can see depth of field issues when wide open.

    For testing was focusing at 1 meter, but the spec for minimum focusing distance for both lenses is 0.4 meters. Actually, I am doing a little bit better for minimum distance for both: about 39.5 mm for the Sigma and about 39.2mm for the Nikkor, from the surface of a printed circuit board to the imager.

    Having a better manual focus at that range is a big plus for the Nikkor S even at the center. In my job I can see using the Nikkor S instead of a macro. I can't take closeups of bug faces, but for taking photos of circuit boards to show component layouts, this 0.4 meters is actually pretty good as I can use ambient lighting rather than special lighting for macro. Auto "focus stacking" on the Z can give excellent all in focus images of larger flat circuit boards, or I can use focus stacking in lightroom if I have the time. I have to document a failed board today, so I'm going to give it a try.

    The focusing ring response comes from having a non-mechanical focusing mechanism, and that is very nice. I think it will be amazing when Nikon comes out with a long telephoto or a macro in the native Z mount.

    Conclusion? Buy the Sigma for your D850 and the Nikkor S for your Z7. If I were using a Z6 I might still buy the f/1.8 S.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 704Member
    There are a lot of good things to say about the Sigma. Overall it has better performance, and it works on both the D850 and the Z7. But it is heavier and if you throw in the cost of the FTZ adapter, it is even more expensive than what you show.

    Ease of focus makes a difference. I photograph a lot of circuit boards and generally use a macro lens. Both the Sigma and the Nikkor S focus a little closer than 400 mm, so with focus stacking they both work well, but that variable focus speed feature of the S-line is better for my purposes. At 400mm with focus stacking I can do what I need to do with the high resolution sensor and ambient light, so it is more convenient than the macro.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
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