Nikon Introduces Mirrorless Z System

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ShunCheung, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. But they also have a version of Snapbridge which actually acknowledges that people might like to copy data to a PC

    Snapridge is the mobile app, the transfer of data to PC using wi-fi doesn't involve Snapbridge, but a PC application called Wireless Transmitter Utility. The same program is used to receive files when using the WT-5/6/7 (but in the Z6/Z7, the hardware is built in) or with an Ethernet wired connection (with e.g., the D5).
  2. Some of the new lenses (Noct 58/0.95, the 24-70/2.8 if I recall correctly) have a display on the barrel which I would suspect can be programmed to display the aperture in use.

    I like manual focusing when doing macro, landscape and architectural photography. I don't use it much in people photography but in some situations it can be handy. For example when you have several people approaching the camera, optimal sharpness may be achieved across the people may require focusing between two persons and stopping down. Autofocus is simply unable to do this.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Nikon's up-coming Noct lens will be a 58mm/f0.95 (58, not 50mm).

    Apparently in the announcement in Tokyo on August 23 a week ago, Nikon had a prototype inside a display case. The Noct is manual focus only, no AF, and there is a distance scale on the barrel. It is big enough that it also has a tripod collar. I suppose in this case the focusing ring cannot be reprogrammed to control something else or you won't be able to focus.

    See the following image (#12) on DPReview, and also the page before it #11.

    A closer look at Nikon's new Z6 and future Z-mount lenses
  4. Oops. Sorry, I'll try to get the terminology right. Nonetheless, the cameras can do it, and the D850 irritatingly can't. I've used Snapbridge (for real) to share a couple of photos with my wife when I was away, sending them to my phone for WhatsApp, but full wireless transfer to the computer would be convenient even if it's slow.

    Well without a dedicated aperture ring which has the f/stop marking there is no way to include an A position. With an A position on the lens and an A position on the camera shutter speed dial you don't need the PSAM dial. It's similar to what Fuji does but then Fuji doesn't make all of their lenses with the aperture ring either.[/QUOTE]

    While logically nice, I'm not entirely sold on the "A position" argument. Largely because if you decide to switch between M or A and P (which I've been known to do while handing the camera to others), you lose the aperture you were previously on. Especially fiddly if you work in thirds of a stop. I do find the Df's dial less convenient than the normal mode button on the D8x0 bodies.


    Usually, neither do I (except with actual manual lenses like my tilt shifts). While overseas, though, I've found:
    • I cannot get the AF system to lock on a hovering dragonfly (which is presumably barely there to the AF sensor); I can focus manually reasonably well.
    • When trying to shoot mountains through nearby foliage, I can't get the AF system to ignore the nearby branches, even if the AF sensor point appears to be entirely free of tree. I may do better with single point (rather than 3D tracking), but I'd run out of buttons for different AF modes. Live view would have coped, but manual focus sufficed.
    So: Occasionally useful. I'm nothing like good enough to make minor tweaks to focus in normal use, though.
  5. Actually, it's exactly what Canon's A-Dep mode used to do (line up the focus points, adjust aperture to cover them, and focus in the middle). With more AF points in flight it's a bit harder to think how this could work, unless you rely on face detect - but it can go back on the request list!
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Again, sorry about a major typo on my part. I meant to say the aperture ring is very 20th century. The focusing ring is obviously still necessary, especially with manual-focus lenses.
  7. Oh. Yes. Well, except for my AI lenses, where I've not had a choice. (I'd still like to know why a dSLR can't control the aperture for you on AI-S lenses.) And my third-party tilt-shifts and macro, which don't talk to the camera at all. :) Maybe if I shot timelapse I'd use it.
  8. The problem is that if two people are moving it would not be realistic for the photographer to specify which people to focus in-between, one would need two joysticks to move the points while everything is moving. I could do this with a 28mm wide angle and stopping down to f/5.6, for example, by focusing manually and it wasn't hard to do, but I can't get the autofocus to do it.
  9. Yes - my Eos 300D gets away with it by only having seven AF points, so you can tell what they cover. Face detect group mode might solve the interface problem.
  10. If Nikon wants to I think with the FTZ adapter they should be able to make all Nikkor works with the Z except AF on screw drive lenses. They should be able to make the camera both meter and function in all exposure modes PSAM. The way to do it is to to do something like what they did on the Df that in both A and M mode your have to match the aperture in the display and the aperture ring. In P and S mode just leave the aperture to minimum. Even AI or Pre-AI the movement of the aperture stop down level isn't linear but I think it can do the stop down measurement before exposure and make a small correction with the shutter speed like they did on the FA.
  11. I still want to specify who is within the depth of field and who is not, not have the camera decide.
  12. I think the issue is that to use the Ai-S mechanical lever to set aperture, the camera needs to do a final check on the outcome (for the exposure to be accurate). The meter is peeking through a hole in the prism coating towards the focusing screen and the amount of light it gets when the aperture is stopped down,may differ from what the main sensor gets, so the verification may lead to an erroneous result. A mirrorless camera can check the main sensor image for exposure error (no bias, since this is the light that makes the image) and do a quick adjustment to get correct exposure, which is why you will be able to use the body-controlled aperture on manual focus non-CPU lenses. I am not sure but I suspect in AF and Ai-P lenses the CPU provides additional information about the relationship between aperture realized and the lever position, so a "let's double check the exposure before opening the shutter" isn't necessary. Anyway usually I try to be as accurate as I can but this is based on a discussion I read and I can't remember all the details. Anyway there is a reason why Nikon haven't allowed Ai-S lenses to realize their "S" potential on AF cameras before mirrorless. It's not a conspiracy or intentional crippling.
  13. All this AF can't see mountains through trees or cannot secure a dragonfly could be so easy for a user designated focus limiter.
    Infinity (or near!) lock.
    Dragonfly between 4-5m lock.
    It cannot be that hard!!
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  14. Nikon NX-D--Next Update

    I just found another piece of information in the Nikon Z brochure on page 53.

    "RAW file processing software with color control
    points — Capture NX-D (free download)

    Nikon’s Capture NX-D software is the
    best way to process original RAW (NEF/
    NRW) files without losing any of their
    extremely rich data. You can adjust
    options such as exposure compensation,
    white balance, Picture Control, Active D-Lighting and noise
    reduction using a slider. It also incorporates color control
    points that let you edit the hue, brightness, saturation,
    contrast, etc. of a selected area. JPEG and TIFF files are
    also compatible."

    Maybe Nikon has hired DXO to add back control points to their RAW processor. There are now in DXO Photo Labs Elite version.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  15. DXO probably could use the money from Nikon. It was a shock to me when they discontinued NX2; it takes so much more time to do local adjustments in Adobe software. NX-D has never been stable on my computer (old one or new). I hope they can fix it so that it is stable and adding control points would be great, if they can get it to work.
  16. Couple of questions.
    First how to switch metering modes on the Z?
    How much better is the 50mm f/1.8 Z compared to the 50mm f/1.8 AF-S G in F mount? The price is a lot higher.
  17. I think someone suggested you have to go via the menus, unless one of the (few) custom buttons can be assigned. The touchscreen should make it less painful, but I do use custom overrides on my D850 according to scenario. On the D700, AF mode and metering mode were both on the right side of the camera; I'm not very impressed that they've become less accessible during shooting, other than the limited override options. (Until recently I had Fn and Pv set to spot and area meter, with highlight as the default; since dragonfly hunting I've been using the same buttons for area and D9 autofocus, but I'm out of buttons if I want to choose both dynamically.)

    By MTF, apparently a lot - nikon rumors has some MTF curves posted. It looks better than the Sigma Art 50mm wide open (although I don't know how the Sigma compares at f/1.8, and it does sharpen up a lot - for its relatively high starting point - as you stop down). What this means for other aspects of rendering is TBD. Sony's 50mm f/1.8 performs quite well too, and similarly costs a fortune. The suggestion is that the "S-line" are the premium lenses, and Nikon might choose to release some more budget Z-mount lenses in the future. It certainly has an interesting optical design. (Concave front element, IIRC, which worries me a bit for reflections off filters.)
  18. Thanks, Ilkka. Interesting, but my experience with hacking a TC-16A suggested that the lens-specific basics required for the electronic interface aren't much more than the maximum aperture. It's news to me if the lever position information has a more complex encoding. I'm prepared to believe "these folks can just use the aperture ring, and pay for an AF lens if they want camera control", and "absent an AI-S switch on the mount, it's too tedious to hard-wire this in the menu and people will just complain that the metering is wrong" as reasons not to do it, and cynically I'd think they were sufficient reasons, even if I don't think they're good ones. But I guess I should give the benefit of the doubt.

    Still, if the AI-S linearised aperture isn't actually linearised, that's embarrassing...
  19. Belatedly: Yes, but it's kind of fiddly to do that interactively. I can see two ways: have the AF-On button act as "add to AF" and hop the finder around (or use the joystick and its centre button) to add people, or just rely on face detection and let the camera do its best. Mirrorless (or, at a push, live view) could do a bit better with touch to focus, but you'd still need tracking to deal with the subjects moving around while you compose. It's on my list, anyway. I'd like it too, and manual selection would mean you could use it for landscapes (which your'e more likely to have time to select).
  20. I'm pretty sure the reason for not allowing camera to control the aperture is simply that the focusing screen doesn't accurately show brightness differences as the lens is stopped down and so metering based on that in stopped down mode is invalid, and the aperture lever is just not that accurate in those old lenses. However the mirrorless camera main image sensor can accurately read the light and adjust exposure just before making the final exposure,. Nikon would not change policy regarding supporting camera control of aperture on these lenses if it weren't for a good reason that DSLRs can't support this functionality but mirrorless can. They've been very insistent about not allowing this but as far as I know the Nikon 1 does. The lens "CPU" can potentially contain a lot of lens specific data. For example off-center spot metering requires the CPU. Likely there is some information about the lens vignetting behavior or some such things. It would be interesting if this information were actually revealed.

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