Move to the Z system or buy a F-Mount Lens

webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
Hi all....I am what I would like to think is an interesting position and before I jump all in, wanted to get some opinions.

My kit is pretty much done minus a few lenses on my dream list. Now I have been saving for the last few years for these lenses and I am now to the point where I can finally make the purchase. Only one issue: enter the Nikon z7 ii.

I looked at the Z system when it came out but they didn't even have the full trinity at the time. Now they have the full trinity, teleconverters, and some very interesting wildlife lenses on the road map (100-400mm, 200-600mm, and of course the 400mm and 600mm primes). They do not have the one lens at the top of my list: 300mm f/2.8.

So my question comes down to this:

1) Purchase the 300mm f/2.8 and continue with the F mount

Advantages:
- Get to enjoy in my opinion, one of the best lenses I have ever used
- Less of the expense

Disadvantages:
- Z mount is the future and Nikon has stated they are focusing on the Z system
- I will continue to use DX (D500) even though my goal is to move the FX (D850)

2) Use my savings and fully buy into the Z system purchasing my most used lenses (24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, 50 f/1.8, 85 f/1.8, and TC1.4).

Advantages:
- Future Proof my kit
- Switch to full frame
- Higher pixel count
- Z lenses purchased can be kept for years and upgrade only bodies if needed
- Capitalize on the resell value of my current f-mount lenses that will be replaced

Disadvantages:
- More of an upfront expense
- Will need to use the adapter for the lenses that do not have Z mount replacements as of yet but are on the road map (100-500mm and Macro)
- Will have to wait longer for the 300mm f/2.8 :'(


So, if you were in my position, what would you do?
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Comments

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,530Member
    I suppose that if I was in your position, I would continue to save your money until there was a Z body you were happy with, then jump in. With the money you have allocated or saved, you could then fill in the gaps. Buy an FTZ for each F-mount lens and permanetly affix it, then you don’t have to screw around with them.

    I am really well kitted in the f-mount so I am not highly motivated to transition. I have been buying professional grade AIS lenses in the last few months in an anticipation of buying a Z 6ii and Z 7ii with permanetly affixed FTZs, but that is not really transitioning. I will probably transition into a high resolution Z8 and the 1.8 primes first for travel. But I plan on maintaining my f-mount kit to at least 2030. I will buy a D880 when it comes out to supplement my D850.

    The lens I miss not having is a modern 200mm f2.0. My 70-200mm 2.8E holds serves as my 200 prime until then.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,427Moderator
    I don't have a dog on this fight so I say that the future is Z and if you want/need it and nothing else more important to spend it on, go for it because a/ you can sell it if you don't like it, b/ you can sell the old kit if you do. The best way to find out what's best is to own it for a while.
    Always learning.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
    @WestEndFoto The Z7 II is very similar to the D850 spec. I currently have a D500 and the D850 was going to be my next purchase. Both the D850 and Z7 ii are at the same price point. The only lenses I would keep that are f-mount would be the 200-500mm and the Macro until the Z versions come out.

    @spraynpray That is a valid point. I was thinking about renting the z7 ii and the Z 70-200. Being that was going to be cost about $500 for 5 days, maybe better to make the purchase then resell like you said if I don't like it. Of course don't know what a slightly used Z7 ii would go for.
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 205Member
    I am not sure anyone can answer that for you. I moved to Nikon F mount one and a half years ago (after twenty years with Canon). Two reasons for my move are D850 (best DSLR ever made IMO) and 500 f/5.6 PF lens (no one else has anything like it, including the new Z mount). Until there is a distinct advantage to mirrorless, which I don't see at this time (except maybe silent shutter), I have no desire to switch and I am not sure you need to. Another consideration is that mirrorless is still new so in a few years there might be a better understanding of who is better. What I mean is since you are investing in a new system it may be in a few years that Canon or Sony are clearly better investments. It also may not be and Nikon may be better, I am just saying it is safer to wait and see how this plays out.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 971Member
    Like MrFotoFool says, it is hard to answer the question for you. But the way I think about it is that there are two questions that need positive answers:

    1. Am I sure that the Z mount is the best mirrorless mount for me?
    2. Will my photographs improve enough to make it worth the cost to migrate?

    I still have negative answers for both of these questions. Other investments, like trips and better editing soft- and hardware, delivers more bang for the buck for me.

    I think Nikon Z mount has improved a lot since the introduction and what I want to see now is long prime lenses and birds eye af. Having read about the Sony A1, good electronic shutter performance is also interesting.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,530Member

    @WestEndFoto The Z7 II is very similar to the D850 spec. I currently have a D500 and the D850 was going to be my next purchase. Both the D850 and Z7 ii are at the same price point. The only lenses I would keep that are f-mount would be the 200-500mm and the Macro until the Z versions come out.

    @spraynpray That is a valid point. I was thinking about renting the z7 ii and the Z 70-200. Being that was going to be cost about $500 for 5 days, maybe better to make the purchase then resell like you said if I don't like it. Of course don't know what a slightly used Z7 ii would go for.

    Hi Webmastadj, I think the "spec" can be a little misleading. Specs are ephemeral. In the long run the difference between the entry level and pro models and everything in between is the ergonomics. Those are the differences that endure. Having played with a Z 7 (with a noct!) I would say that it is not on the same level as my D850. There are some buttons missing and while sizes are getting smaller, it needs to be bigger. I to intend on buying a Z 7ii and Z 6ii, but at first those will be to use my AIS lenses with an adapter - and then after that we will see.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
    @MrFotoFool I am actually looking at getting the 500mm f/5.6 PF. Do you like it? I mainly do wildlife 80% of the time which is why I have the D500 (d850 wasn't an option when I bought in). I have the 200-500mm, wondering if I could possibly replace it with the 500mm.

    @snakebunk My concern is not necessarly will the Nikon Zii will work for me. I haven't tried a single mirrorless camera yet so not 100% sold. I am happy with my D500 for now. My main concerns are: the longer I hold on the F glass, the less it will be worth and spending money that could otherwise be spent on the new Z glass (whenever it comes out)

    @WestEndFoto This is true, and it is not like my D500 doesn't produce great images when using the high end glass. I rented 400 /f2.8 on it once, and they were beautiful results. At first glance, I do not like the button layouts of the z cameras. I much prefer the D500/D850 button layouts.


    Now thinking about it, with the FTZ converter, it might make sense just to purchase the F mount lenses I have been saving for: 500mm f/5.6 pf and 300mm f/2.8. Then as others have stated, wait for the Z system to mature more. Considering neither of those are even on the roadmap for the Z system.

    Thanks for the input, I am thinking I will stick to my original plan on purchasing the lenses and just stay with my current system for now.
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 205Member
    @webmastadj Yes I love my 500 PF lens and I keep it permanently on a D500 body. When I bought it I only had D850 but got the crop D500 for extra perceived reach due to smaller sensor. I was following a distant family of coyotes with pups and often used it with the 1.4iii teleconverter. My brother had the 200-500 that you have but felt it wasn't sharp enough so he recently replaced it with 500PF, which he likes better (though he hasn't used it that much yet).
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
    @MrFotoFool That is great news! I am in the same scenario, want something a bit sharper, faster to focus, lightweight and more rugged as I take it out on kayaks and boats with me. Now with that said, I am also looking at the 300mm f/2.8. I want them both, but with a TC 1.4, the 300mm f/2.8 becomes a 420 f/4...which almost gets me there. Still the 500mm f/5.6 is half the weight of the 300mm f/2.8. I think with the both though, it will be a good pair.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 377Member
    The 500mm f/5.6 PF works very well on the Nikon Z6 and siblings and still feels quite well balanced (perhaps even more so with the smaller body).

    The downsides are:
    - Function buttons not being as customisable as desired and not matching those on the bigger Z lenses.
    - Not able to share TC's with your Z lenses
    - There are no lens strap lungs (Not Z specific but I found it a bother)

    As I did, perhaps rent it for a week and see if it right for you. I am considering still buying one, but that is also £3250 I can put into the 400 f/2.8 if it comes out this year.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
    @photobunny I would love to get a 400 f/2.8 but that price point is pretty high at $11k. I did rent one and love it! The overall size and weight of the lens along with the price though, it is not for me. Can you use a F-teleconverter with the FTZ adapter?
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 377Member

    @photobunny I would love to get a 400 f/2.8 but that price point is pretty high at $11k. I did rent one and love it! The overall size and weight of the lens along with the price though, it is not for me. Can you use a F-teleconverter with the FTZ adapter?

    For me I am waiting on the Z 400mm f/2.8 and it is critical in the lower light for wildlife where the 500mm f/5.6 was a wee bit more limited.

    As for the TC's, no you can't use the F ones with the FTZ. You need TC's for your F and TC's for your Z lenses. This is one of the bigger reasons for me considering the Z 100-400 and 400/600 native when they are out. TC's are expensive and having two instead of four seems way more sensible.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
    edited February 2
    @photobunny That is what I am going back and forth on. I am not completely sold on the Z cameras, but spending money on F mount glass seems to be a waste. If they had Z mount versions of the 500 f/5.6 pf and 300 f/2.8, then I would be more able to make the switch. But maybe I am just thinking too much.
    Post edited by webmastadj on
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 377Member
    @webmastadj I had the same dilemma not too long ago. Frankly if it where not for COVID I would have a 500mm PF in my hand already. But with the lockdowns and knowing I'll miss the season when I am most active, I am just going to hold off.

    A growing number of wildlife shooters have went Z and there will new new Z bodies to go with the amazing glass. Though, the Z6 and 500mm f/5.6 are an amazing combination, it is just daft Nikon didn't make that a native Z from day one, it would have sold a lot of people on the Z system like those f/11 lenses have for Canon R.

    The 300mm f/2.8 Z is likely coming sooner than later. The Z 500mm f/5.6 on the other hand will be far longer in the making. I can use a 400mm f/2.8 for 12 months of the year but a f/5.6 is dead on arrival December to February in Scotland so it slipped down my list.

    The 'promise' of the upcoming Z 100-400mm f/4.5 to f/5.6 S is that it'll be sharp, even with TC's. And if it is like the 70-200 S then even the 2X TC is going to be a-ok. It throws a wee spanner in the works, but something to consider is that 100-400 as a potential substitute to the 500 PF. They're about the same size but it'll give you that more sure AF, control ring, and native buttons that the S line lenses have.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
    edited February 2
    @photobunny I currently don't have a Z camera. But with what I have saved, I could replace 90% of my lenses and purchase a z7 ii. I just will have wait another 2 years to purchase the Z 300 f/2.8 and 500mm f/5.6 equivalent as I would need to save up again. So the decision comes down to, buy into the Z line and sell off my F mount glass now, or just continue to use the f mount and upgrade in another 5+ years.

    Is there something that came out stating the 100-400mm is going to be f/4.5 to f/5.6? I assumed it would be along the lines of the 180-400 f/4 with the same price point.
    Post edited by webmastadj on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,042Member



    Is there something that came out stating the 100-400mm is going to be f/4.5 to f/5.6? I assumed it would be along the lines of the 180-400 f/2.8 with the same price point.

    The 180-400 is F4, right?

    I can't see them coming out with an extremely expensive specialty lens like that now. And really to me that lens price is just crazy. If you want F4 stick the 1.4 TC on the 70-200 and you have 100-280 F4 for under 1/4 the cost.

    They need a "everyman" telephoto zoom, something to compete with the Canon and Sony 100-400/500 lenses. Not that those lenses are cheap. I'm guessing it will be 4.5-5.6; $2700.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
    @mhedges Yeah, I corrected it, it would be the f/4. On the roadmap they do have an "everyman" non-S model: 200-600mm. That I think is the 200-500 replacement.

    As for expensive lenses, the 400mm and 600mm that is on the roadmap, those will be expensive lenses. Maybe they will release at least one of those before the Olympics this year. They need serious "pro" grade lenses on the list for anyone to take them seriously in my opinion. I didn't even take the Z mount seriously until they came out with the trinity line. If they didn't have the trinity, I wouldn't even be looking at it.

    The reason I chose Nikon when I started shooting, was their glass. The reason why I will continue, will be the same.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 377Member
    edited February 2
    The upcoming 100-400 is way to small to be a f/4.0, it is why is is speculated to be a f/4.5 to f/5.6 like the Canon(well the new one goes to 500 f/7.1 now)/Sony/Sigma. It is sized with the 70-200 S f/2.8 so it'll be really 'small'.

    Great for when the big boys are to much of a hassle to lug around or on your second body when you have a 600mm f/4.0 stuck to your main body on a tripod and something gets too close.

    Just to give you a general idea, and as a wildlife shooter. I am working towards the 20mm f/1.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 100-400 f/4.5 - f/5.6, 400mm f/2.8, and the 1.4x and 2x TC's. I own 3 of these lenses and both TC's (though the 2x is still shipping).

    This is quite an investment in glass and I wouldn't spend it on F glass.

    The FTZ isn't as direct as the equivalent EF to RF, there is some processing going on and F lenses do focus quickly but they don't seem as sure as themselves as the Z lenses are. Z lenses just seem to know where the subject is and quickly snap onto it then don't let go, let down only but the Z6's lacklustre AI AF modes (eye). But I am sure we'll get animal eye AF and bird eye AF in upcoming bodies that'll reward my glass investment.

    The only F lens I consider worth buying just now is the 500mm f/5.6 PF and I'll repeat that it should have been native Z. I'll likely buy it if the 100-400 with a 1.4X isn't up to the task, but then I'll sell it for a Z version (4-6 years from now perhaps) on day one. I wouldn't suffer the FTZ a day longer.

    If you are looking to sell your existing F and move. I would say invest in the next 50 years and not the last.
    Post edited by photobunny on
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 377Member
    @webmastadj another view to consider:
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,042Member
    edited February 3
    @webmastadj Agree the 200-600 will be cheaper, but I expect it will be more expensive than the F mount 200-500. Hopefully its internal zoom like the Sony equivalent; if so then I think the increased price is fully justified.

    I think the 100-400 will be more the equivalent of the F mount 80-400. That is also a premium priced lens but not crazy 5 figure pricing like the 180-400. Personally I'm not interested in the 200-600. My main use of tele zooms is kids sports where you can sit right on the sideline and 200-600 is too long overall, and especially too long on the wide end for me.
    Post edited by mhedges on
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
    @photobunny That is a good video, thanks. The 500mm f/5.6 is definitely on my list. I did think about using the TC on the 70-200, but like he stated in that video, I want the best I can get when shooting wildlife.

    For the 100-400, I never put the silhouette together with the size. If that is the case, that lens doesn't really interest me. Rather have the 70-200s with TCs in that case. With that said, there are no Z lenses (mainly a 500mm f/5.6 PF and 300mm f/2.8) that I am interested in.

    @mhedges Internal zoom would be nice on the 200-600 but makes me wonder how much bigger it would be than say a 200-500. If it had an internal zoom, I would think it would be a S range. At this point, I wouldn't really be interested in the 200-600 either unless it's performance blows the current 200-500 out of the water. I could see 100-400 being internal zoom.


    Still on the fence. Now I am thinking I can purchase the 500mm f/5.6 PF as that is a recent release from Nikon. I have had my eye on the 300mm f/2.8 for some time now....but it is an older lens; yet a great lens. The fact they already have the 400mm and 600mm on the Z line-up, you can probably assume the 300mm is right down the road. Also was looking at that 120-300 f/2.8. Lol, but the price on that thing is insane and I can't find many reviews on it.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,042Member
    edited February 3
    I'd love it if the 100-400 was internal zoom but it seems unlikely given the size, if the images Nikon has put out are accurate. They show it similar to the 70-200. The Sony and Canon lenses are not internal zoom.

    The Sony 200-600 is internal zoom and I expect the Canon RF lens will be too. So I think the Z 200-600 needs to be also to be competitive.
    Post edited by mhedges on
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
    @mhedges It would make sense to trying a copy Sony as that seems who everyone looks at for mirrorless. I have thought about making that switch, but their lens options are pretty limited. You do have those third party lenses as well.


    Just for fun and reference, here are the wishlists from BH. Trying to decide which wishlist should I purchase: Nikon Z Kit or Missing Z Lenses
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 377Member
    @webmastadj your Z kit looks compelling, though personally I would drop the 24-200 for a 20mm f/1.8.
  • webmastadjwebmastadj Posts: 219Member
    edited February 5
    @photobunny I was thinking the 24-200 would be a good "walking around" lens. I have the 18-140 DX lens, and I use it just for that purpose from time to time. The 18-140 ~ 24-200 on FX. That may turn into a later purchase...will have to wait and see.

    I am thinking of waiting another few months, just to see what Nikon may announce. This road map I believe ends in 2021, so I am curious what they will announce in 2022. With the Z7 ii, the biggest thing I am looking for are lenses.
    Post edited by webmastadj on
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