Third party Z mount AF lenses?

2

Comments

  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    edited July 2020
    Bird photography is a small niche of photography, not really big enough to build a business around as a camera maker. I have seen plenty of this niche, since I do it when I can. You are correct, at one time it was extremely common to see a large number of people with low cost third party super zooms on D90/D7000/D300s class bodies and equivalent Canon bodies. Thing is, since the 200-500 VR/300mm F4 PF, and the revised Canon 100-400L II came out it’s just not that common anymore, at least not in my area. I also have noticed a sharp decline in the number of bird photographers in the past 3-4 years as well.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    PB_PM said:

    Bird photography is a small niche of photography, not really big enough to build a business around as a camera maker. I have seen plenty of this niche, since I do it when I can. You are correct, at one time it was extremely common to see a large number of people with low cost third party super zooms on D90/D7000/D300s class bodies and equivalent Canon bodies. Thing is, since the 200-500 VR/300mm F4 PF, and the revised Canon 100-400L II came out it’s just not that common anymore, at least not in my area. I also have noticed a sharp decline in the number of bird photographers in the past 3-4 years as well.

    And PB_PM is in a paradise for bird photographers. There is at least one club that leans very heavily to bird photography.
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 537Member
    edited July 2020
    PB_PM said:

    I also have noticed a sharp decline in the number of bird photographers in the past 3-4 years as well.

    I'm wondering if it's because camera makers have priced their customers out of the market, or the equipment are good enough that people have got their pictures and don't care about getting more of the same.
    Post edited by tc88 on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    tc88 said:

    PB_PM said:

    I also have noticed a sharp decline in the number of bird photographers in the past 3-4 years as well.

    I'm wondering if it's because camera makers have priced their customers out of the market, or the equipment are good enough that people have got their pictures and don't care about getting more of the same.
    That is possible.

    It could also be a fad. I remember one of my photography instructor saying something to me. He was very successful as a sports photographer so this wasn't some second rater mouthing off. During the Sochi Olympics he had three of the four covers on a leading national Canadian magazine. So lots of long telephotos in his gear collection.

    He said, "Bird photography! Don't go down that hole. Those people sit in the back of their pickup truck in an easy chair and blast away." Now I think he was exaggerating but his point was that except for focussing, it does not require much in the way of skill. Whereas a fine art photographer uses almost every skill in the book.

    And that is the thing. If something is like that, you will get bored of it in short order - a fad. Other forms of photography are really hard and are not a fad.

    And I actually really enjoy bird photography even though I don't do it as much as I would like. It is nice to get out, not that hard, and it produces nice images.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    edited July 2020
    Anyone who says bird photography takes no skill, and is "just done from a pickup truck" has never done it. Having shot both competitive sports tournaments, and birds, I can say without question that sports is in some cases easier. At least I for one found it not very hard to pickup, but that was after years of bird photography. Many of the skills required for action photography carry over from one to another, which helps.

    That said, after doing it for 12 years, I find the bird watching element far more interesting than the photo taking part. I don't take anywhere near as many shots, simply because I am watching for specific activities, not just a bird on a branch. Bird photography has also become much easier as auto focus has greatly improved since the mid-late 2000s.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 537Member
    Bird photography (I'm talking about flying birds) is the most demanding on both the equipment and photographer. They fly more erratically than gymnasts, they fly faster than sprinters, they cover bigger area than outfielders. They may only show up once an hour and fly within range of your equipment for 5 seconds. I'm pretty sure a good BIF photographer can shoot sports perfectly fine.

    @WestEndFoto, all I can say is that your instructor doesn't know what he's talking about. Yes, I said it. :smile:
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 537Member
    Now I do think there is some uniqueness factor associated with the sports photography that makes it less duplicative compared to bird photography because each picture is associated with a particular event in history. While on bird photography, it doesn't matter whether you caught an osprey fishing on day 1 or day 30.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    Yes, keep in mind the comment was between two people that know each other and I did not take his comment as literal as it sounds. I think he was trying to point something out as it relates to me. My take away is that there is a fad element to it.

    Also, the photography I enjoy tends to be creative. Bird photography tends to be more technical, aspect of which can be technically difficult but not creatively difficult.

    I should not have omitted the context.
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 537Member

    Bird photography tends to be more technical, aspect of which can be technically difficult but not creatively difficult.

    That's true.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 991Member
    I have never thought of bird photography as being easy, but (as an amateur pianist and music lover) when it is hard I comfort myself that writing an opera is probably harder :).

    What I do like about bird photography is that it always brings you new challanges. For what I do, as a bird guide illustrator, it is a constant search for better ways to photograph new species, subspecies, different sexes and ages, and different behaviour. This year I have spent a lot of time close to home, trying to find new locations, settings up hides and working on my bird knowledge (song recognition in particular).

    For me, there are usually two parts to most photographs. It is the planning, finding the location, how to attract the birds, stay hidden, getting a nice background and so on. The second part is doing the actual photography, which I usually do 3-4 times if I have a plan that works. I also do opportunistic photography, but carefully planned projects usually work best for me.

    I don't spend a lot of time working on the technical photography aspects, but when you are photographing birds you need to know how to track and work with af and how to quickly change exposure without looking. You also need a set of mental presets, for example when I photograph against a blue sky I set exposure at +1.7, white birds on ground -0.7, and so on (I usually shoot manual with auto ISO). When I have time I check the exposure on the screen.

    Finally, you can do bird photography in so many ways that it is really hard to talk about it as one type of photography. There are the expidition oriented nature/landscape/story-telling photographers, there are the technical driven action photographers, the art oriented competition and gallery photographers, the ornithology oriented documentary photographers and lots of others.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,417Member
    From the movie "Field of Dreams" is the statement "Build it and they will come." Once the Z mount becomes the standard Nikon mount third party lens makers will produce Z mount lenses. Some will be marketed as cheaper than the Nikon equivalent lens; others (like Sigma Art) will be marketed as better than the Nikon equivalent lens. We just have not reached Z mount market saturation yet so third party lens makers are not "jumping on the bandwagon." They will in the next 5 years, I think.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    edited August 2020
    The Nikon S lenses are blowing away the Sigma Art line, Sigma would need to totally redesign their lenses again to pull that off, not something that will happen over night. The the E-mount Sigma glass is the same design as the F&EF mount designs. The E mount is already considered the open standard, I doubt Nikon has a chance of pulling that off, even if they did open the Z-mount, they are too far behind Sony and Canon when it comes to AF. Nikon hasn’t been #1 since the late 1980s for a reason, they always lag behind, and are too conservative.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 991Member
    PB_PM: I think you are correct, but my Sigma 50/1.4 Art is so perfect – it resolves each pixel of my D810 and it has very little ca – that I don't really think optical improvement of my 50/1.4 can improve my short lens photography in any visible way. Have you compared Z mount lenses to Sigma Art? I am wondering how and if the difference shows.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 991Member
    PS. There is a rumor of a mirrorless version of the Sigma Art 85/1.4. I think all Art lenses will be updated.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    The 50mm 1.8s has superior IQ to the Art, especially outside of the centre.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 991Member
    edited August 2020
    WestEndFoto: You may be right. I don't think I have been looking critically at the sharpness on the edge of my photographs. It is not important on my 50 mm images.

    It would have been a nice complement with Sigma Art 1.4 lenses in addition to Nikon 1.8.
    Post edited by snakebunk on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    The Nikon S50mm 1.8 looks from test figures to be made for 60mp sensors, while the Sigma Art is tapping out in the 40mp range. The “new“ Sigma 85mm F1.4 Is just the DSLR version with a Sony E mount, no optical change is due.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    PB_PM said:

    The Nikon S50mm 1.8 looks from test figures to be made for 60mp sensors, while the Sigma Art is tapping out in the 40mp range. The “new“ Sigma 85mm F1.4 Is just the DSLR version with a Sony E mount, no optical change is due.

    I am willing to bet that you will see improved results on the 50mm 1.8S all the way up to 100mp. It won't be at all the apertures and not in the corners or edges, but I am wondering just how sharp the centre is at 2.8 - 4.0.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    snakebunk said:

    PS. There is a rumor of a mirrorless version of the Sigma Art 85/1.4. I think all Art lenses will be updated.

    Sigma may be in a bit of a pickle here. They will need to design a lens for Sony. But a Sony oriented design will not benefit from the Canon and especially the Nikon mount. The Sony mount is closer to the F-mount than the Z-mount.

    If they want to design lenses for Canon and Nikon and maximize the benefits of the mount, then it will need to be a design that is not compatible with Sony's mount.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 991Member
    @PB_PM: The new Sigma Art 85/1.4 for Sony will indeed be new. The current one is the same as for the F mount. Look for DN in the lens description to identify Sigma lenses designed for mirrorless cameras.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,417Member
    When commenting that third party Sigma Z mount Art lenses will aim for "better than Nikon" I was not talking about the current Sigma Art line. Just as Nikon claims the Z mount allows for designing better lenses Sigma will try to achieve the same thing and try to design new Z mount glass which tops the Nikon comparable lenses just as it did with the Nikon F mount lenses. For the name Art to stand for what it has stood for Sigma will have to design new Z mount glass; not just put the current F mount glass into a z mount. If Sigma cannot do this they will lose that market niche and the word Art will become meaningless. I am guessing that Nikon Z glass will be so good that most people, including me, will have no desire for an Art lens. The 50 S f1.8 on the Z6 allows me to shoot full body wide open and still see the eyelashes. I am sure the higher resolution Z7 would do even better but I really have no need for anything more than full body with enough sharpness to see the eyelashes when zoomed in. This allows me to crop up to a head and shoulders shot out of a full body shot. I suppose eventually I will be seduced by more megapixels and more sharpness but I have to admit it is not needed.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    Good to see you are getting that kind of sharpness on a Z6 Donaldjose. Triple the megapixels on the 1.2 primes and I may not be thinking about medium format.
  • tc88tc88 Posts: 537Member
    edited August 2020
    I don't think third party will bother with Z mount. Nikon's market share (DSLR + Z mount) has come down to 17% last quarter and is predicted to not increase for next year by Nikon itself. At this rate, no one will bother making custom designs for Nikon. You guys will have to make do with Nikon's own offering, at the time and price Nikon feels like.
    Post edited by tc88 on
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 991Member
    edited August 2020
    The Sigma 85/1.4 DG DN Art is now officially announced and it will be available for L- an E-mounts. It is a pity it is not available for Z. I think it will be even better than the original Sigma 85/1.4 Art. At least it is lighter and smaller.
    Post edited by snakebunk on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,662Member
    Well I don’t expect any 3P “designed for Z” lenses regardless of share. All the 3P lenses will be designed for Sony and ported to other mounts. Similarly to how the DSLR lenses were generally designed for F mound since it was the most restrictive.

    As far as if there will be Z versions - It all depends on ROI. Which of course is informed by market share but not necessarily gated by it. Sigma offers a bunch of lenses for L mount, which I gotta figure has considerably less share than Z.

    Personally I don’t really care. I never expected native mount third party AF lenses since Nikon didn’t open the mount up. I’m fine with just buying first party.
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