I had the opportunity to attend a Z event in my hometown the other day, and while listening to the presentation and discussion by the various Nikon reps and fooling around with the cameras and lenses (I have done this several times) and the new 14-30 f/4.0 lens (first time) I reflected on how good a job that Nikon has done.
I thought that I would take this opportunity to thank Nikon by acknowledging certain of their achievements that are important to me.
First, I would like to thank Nikon for not threatening the value of my current Nikon gear by creating not only an adapter (FTZ), but an integrator - they should have called it the FTZ integrator, not the FTZ adapter. I was fretting before the launch of the Z that Nikon would create a situation where my f-mount lenses would not seamlessly integrate with a Z camera. With a quibble regarding my 135mm f/2.0D and 200mm f/4.0D lenses, the integration is seamless. But hey, the 200 is a macro lens, so I rarely used auto-focus. In fact, the 200 will be superor on the Z, as the focus peaking benefits in my view far outweigh the loss of auto-focus. In fact, focus peaking will bring new life to my seven manual focus lenses, especially my PC lens. So another thank you for focus peaking.
I am heavily invested in Nikon gear with over 25 f-mount lenses (22 that I shoot and are not in retirement), three DSLRs, a Coolpix A, almost all the accessories that could fit on a D800/D850 including grips, 5 SB-910s. So this was quite important to me.
Second, I would like to thank Nikon for not correlating the maximum aperture of a lens to quality. On the f-mount, a smaller aperture usually (though not always) meant a lens with inferior optics and build quality. This is apparent with all four lenses in the Z-line, but it really hit home with the 14-30 f/4.0. This lens is almost certainly the best wide zoom money can currently buy. I base this on the images that were demonstrated to me the other night (tack sharp wide open, edge to edge, if not quite corner to corner), the MTF charts that Nikon has published, the fact that it takes 82mm filters, the fact that when holding the 14-30 in one hand and the 24-70 in the other, I had to look at the lens to tell which one was which - they are both really light. Now I can truly decide if I want a big or a small lens without having to think to hard about image quality. When I do buy a Z eventually, the 14-30 will be in my kit. I use these focal length's usually for land and city scapes, so I don't need 2.8. In fact, I expect their 1.2/2.8 lenses not to be significantly better than their 1.8/4.0 lenses. This will not be a slight on the 1.2/2.8 lenses, as the 1.8/4.0 lenses are already very sharp.
Third, I would like to thank Nikon for giving me focus points across the frame, as I often like to shoot portraits at 1.4 when the eyes where beyond the focus points of my D850. This is nearly impossible if you can't hold focus on an eye. In fact, I would also like to thank Nikon for improving edge sharpness so that when taking shots that I just described above, the most important part of the image is sharp. But this is not a Z benefit. The 105 1.4E, 28 1.4E (with a quibble at the extreme edges) and the 24-70 2.8E also provided this benefit.
Fourth, I would like to thank Nikon for designing a mount that is capable of delivering lenses with great image quality. The four new Z-lenses demonstrate what Nikon has achieved here. This is not strictly a Z benefit. First with the 58 1.4G (Note), it has been apparent that Nikon has doubled down with image quality. Today, my 105 1.4E and 28 1.4E continue to astound me. Note: The 58 deserves criticism for being somewhat soft wide open - anyone that says it is mush however is probably a gearhead and not a serious photographer - there are other qualities to this lens that demonstrate that Nikon made a big effort in achieving an image quality objective.
Five, I would like to thank Nikon for going all in on XQD, including making it future compatible with CFast. Buffer concerns will, if not quite yet on the Z6 and Z7, soon be a thing of the past.
Now, just give me my 200mm f/2.0E and 28mm f/3.5E PC!!!! Grrr......then I will have everything I can possibly want in F and can start investing in Z.