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NIKON Long Lens Challenge ?

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
About 50% of what I have been shooting has been my grandkids sports . Had real fun shooting my 8 year olds Little League season and had one of my most successful projects . Most here know I am a huge Leica Fan Boy and I really tried to make the Leica Sl2_S and the 90-280 SL zoom my working kit . Image quality was terrific as was high ISO performance .....but as always the AF tracking just wasn't t good enough . I made do with a 70-80 % hit ratio and just tried to shoot a lot . I NEED BETTER AF TRACKING to be happy .

Currently I have both a Nikon D5 and a D850 which I used extensively when I lived in Florida for sports (Polo,Surfing etc) . Nothing beats a D5 for AF tracking except maybe a D6 !

Switching to a Sony A1 would probable do it except that I would have to trade out $30K worth of long glass (200/300/400/600) . The Nikon AF to Z adapter works but results in compromised AF speed and tracking (AND THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT ) . So the newer Z7 2 isn t a logical choice either .

Since my primary requirement is to improve my hit ratio thru better AF tracking ....it seems I must go back to the D5/D850 or wait and hope the Z9 improves the use of Nikon AF telephotos .

ANY IDEAS ???
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Since my primary requirement is to improve my hit ratio thru better AF tracking ....it seems I must go back to the D5/D850 or wait and hope the Z9 improves the use of Nikon AF telephotos .

ANY IDEAS ???
I think you've about summed it up here. I suspect the Z9 will have AF that meets or exceeds the D6, and by all reports, the D6 is only marginally better than the D5, so I wouldn't upgrade to that if you're thinking Z9... Do you have the new 180-400 with onboard 1.4x? It's amazing, though pricey by Nikon standards -- but as a Leica shooter that's not new to you ;) We have no specs yet, but the Z 200-600 and 100-400 will be out soon and likely will be excellent options. I am pretty happy with AF performance from my Z7ii and 70-200S, even with the dedicated converters; and pleased enough it will remain in my stable after the Z9 is released.

Hope this helps in some small way!
 

stngoldberg

Well-known member
Roger,
I took the hit on my Nikon 500mm and my Nikon 200-500mm lens along with two Nikon bodies and switched to the Sony A1; I recovered about 75% of my original investment through Fred Miranda. The immediate and continuous focusing ability of the Sony A1 along with the 30 frames/sec are revolutionary.
I have been photographing sports and birds for over 30 years and have never been completely satisfied with my captures until now
stanley
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
The challenge is avoiding the cost of upgrading 4 expensive prime telephotos . I have the 200/2; 300/2.8 ;400/2.8 and 600/4 Nikkors ..they work great on my d5 and would get the job done . I never really tried the D850 with a vertical grip ...but I ve read that the AF is near D5 speed . I will not go to a D6 as its only marginally better .
(keep in mind I am used to shooting Polo behind the goal with the horse and rider coming straight at me ..yes I am crazy !)

If I go to a Sony A1 I have the cost and hassle of trading out those lenses plus another 8-10 Nikkor Primes . I would sure love the A1 follow focus and eye focus for candids .

If I wait for the Z9 ....I worry that no real improvement will be made in adapting my legacy Nikkor telephoto primes to the mirrorless bodies .



I will list out all my Nikon and gear and determine fair market prices at a minimum I need to thin out my Nikon gear .

Guess I will experiment with the D850 and the vertical grip until more is known about the Z9 . Size doesn t matter much when you are swinging a 400 0r 600 prime on a monopod .
 

JLeeSaxon

New member
I'm forseeing a hit to resale values (even more than we've already seen) once the Z9 (and the foretold Z 400 and 600 primes) are a reality. I'm seriously considering selling my D850 and 500/4 now, and just living without its capabilities for a while. I realize that's not an option for many.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
I'm forseeing a hit to resale values (even more than we've already seen) once the Z9 (and the foretold Z 400 and 600 primes) are a reality. I'm seriously considering selling my D850 and 500/4 now, and just living without its capabilities for a while. I realize that's not an option for many.
The resale values are already very low. The last few weeks, my local camera shop has received lots and lots of used F-mount gear which is now selling a very low prices. It's almost like film cameras 15 years ago. Mint D5 with 30K clicks? $2,100. I'm sure it's possible to discuss the price further down.
 

Swissblad

Well-known member
The resale values are already very low. The last few weeks, my local camera shop has received lots and lots of used F-mount gear which is now selling a very low prices. It's almost like film cameras 15 years ago. Mint D5 with 30K clicks? $2,100. I'm sure it's possible to discuss the price further down.
The D5 is an excellent camera - for those not fixated on a MILC system - $2100..- is a bargain for a PRO tool.

Who knows, perhaps I'll be able to afford that elusive Nikkor 800mm f5.6 after all.

Interesting times!
 
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Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
The D5 is an excellent camera - for those not fixated on a MILC system - $2100..- is a bargain for a PRO tool.

Who knows, perhaps I'll be able to afford that elusive Nikkor 800mm f5.6 after all.

Interesting times!
Also the lenses to go with that body are available at cheap prices, 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 58/1.4, 85/1.4, 105/1.4. I hope to build the DSLR kit of my dreams within the next 12 months.
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
The only answer ,it seems ,for a Nikon F user with a large sunk cost in Nikon F gear is to keep using it . The potential improvement in AF and reduction in body size is impossible for me to justify a full system switch . The hope is that the Nikon Z9 will provide some real improvement in AF AND allow for decent performance from my existing long lenses . If not then I will have to evaluate Sony and Canon as alternatives .
 

Swissblad

Well-known member
The only answer ,it seems ,for a Nikon F user with a large sunk cost in Nikon F gear is to keep using it . The potential improvement in AF and reduction in body size is impossible for me to justify a full system switch . The hope is that the Nikon Z9 will provide some real improvement in AF AND allow for decent performance from my existing long lenses . If not then I will have to evaluate Sony and Canon as alternatives .
Basically our sentiment as well - the loss in gear value is simply too great (battery of tele and macro lenses) - waiting to see what Nikon comes up with next. In the meantime we'll enjoy clicking away with what we have. ;)
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
I may be one of the few Z camera users that appreciates being able to use legacy F glass without any real notable difference in performance as compared to when I used them on an F body, but admittedly my last F body was the D810. Additionally, with the depressed market I've picked up Nikon's legacy 58/1.4 and 105/1.4 quite reasonably, and even replaced the 200-500 zoom I had sold in anticipation of depressed market for it as the prices hit the floor -- it works better, meaning faster, more accurate AF and has better stabilization on my Z7ii than it did on my D810.

My point here is that many of the contemporary F lenses are excellent optically and integrate quite well with the Z cams. I doubt you'd take much of a hit in AF performance going from your D5/D850 to using the same glass over the FTZ on a Z6ii or Z7ii today. That said, most of the S line glass been a pretty remarkable step up in performance over the last generation F lenses they're replacing, so if (when) you migrate, you will likely take a hit in selling big F lenses -- but then again, most of the longer prime F glass is so good already, you may not feel overly compelled to upgrade it...
 
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Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
Basically our sentiment as well - the loss in gear value is simply too great (battery of tele and macro lenses) - waiting to see what Nikon comes up with next. In the meantime we'll enjoy clicking away with what we have. ;)
Couldn't agree more, or again; buy at rock bottom prices and get a kit that just a few years ago was state-of-the-art and that will produce high quality images for years or even decades to come.

Interestingly, early high end mirrorless bodies lose value even faster. The same shop has a mint Fuji GFX50s for sale for under $1,700. That's the camera that revolutionised the digital medium format market by costing under $6,000 less than 5 years ago.
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
I may be one of the few Z camera users that appreciates being able to use legacy F glass without any real notable difference in performance as compared to when I used them on an F body, but admittedly my last F body was the D810. Additionally, with the depressed market I've picked up Nikon's legacy 58/1.4 and 105/1.4 quite reasonably, and even replaced the 200-500 zoom I had sold in anticipation of depressed market for it as the prices hit the floor -- it works better, meaning faster, more accurate AF and has better stabilization on my Z7ii than it did on my D810.

My point here is that many of the contemporary F lenses are excellent optically and integrate quite well with the Z cams. I doubt you'd take much of a hit in AF performance going from your D5/D850 to using the same glass over the FTZ on a Z6ii or Z7ii today. That said, most of the S line glass been a pretty remarkable step up in performance over the last generation F lenses they're replacing, so if (when) you migrate, you will likely take a hit in selling big F lenses -- but then again, most of the longer prime F glass is so good already, you may not feel overly compelled to upgrade it...
Jack

As always it depends on the intended subjects ..even within Sports there is a lot of variety . The Sports shooters talk about two aspects of AF (which may be somewhat irrelevant to most ) ..(1) target acquisition ..especially picking a subject out of a group like in LaCrosse ...even a slight delay in locking on is a big deal (2) focus tracking ...this is most critical in subjects moving toward the camera in an irregular pattern like in football . This is a lot different from Wildlife tracking a bird flying across the sky . The general consensus of the Sports Shooters is the D5/D6 are still the most responsive AF systems from Nikon . The rumored Z9 is promised to be better . If it is I am all in on going mirrorless .

Keep in mind I shoot 400/600 captures wide open to limit a distracting background so my requirements are in that unobtainable category .

If the new S 400 and S 600 turn out better than my legacy AF 400/600 I will for sure upgrade them . Canon has said their new 400/600 will be exactly the same formulas as their EF lenses in the new R mount .
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Roger,

Definitely understand the differences -- if I owned the gear you do and shot what you are shooting now, I would be using it too.

One thing I've learned about Nikon over the years, is they may be slower to market with an item, but when it hits, it's usually a hit ;) They said they designed the Z mount so they could improve lens design, and I believe they are already proving that to be true with every S lens released so far -- I have zero doubts the new 400/600 S lenses will be spectacular and better, if only marginally, than the already outstanding F versions. Undoubtedly the Z9 will have a few teething issues, but I'm confident those will be dealt with via firmware updates. It's virtually certain to be a ground-breaking camera and I plan to have one on pre-order as soon as it's announced.
 

algrove

Well-known member
So to me Stanley has made very valid points from real shooting experiences which most here cannot offer.

Heck we all take hits on selling gear even gear we'd like to keep and it will not break the bank. Nikon has held out a carrot for potential future buyers by offering one image in hoping they will not switch to Canon or Sony before their new flagship hits the stores.

So when have you last shot Polo and used those long lenses? Maybe over 5 years ago?
 

Swissblad

Well-known member
Stan's images with the Sony A1 are very impressive - it looks like a superb piece of gear - which raises my optimism that Nikon (and Canon) will rise to the challenge and deliver a worthy counterpart - it is after all only a question of engineering and not voodoo - so totally doable.
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
No one doubts Stanleys experience or that the Sony gear A1 in particular is state of the art . (eye auto focus is a dream for wildlife ) But Sony represents a complete rebuild of my sports kit . (Same for Canon) . Nikon has two advantages ..(1) what I have now works great and my kit is complete and tested . and (2) Nikon has a decent if not great solution for using existing F lenses on the newer mirrorless bodies .

I just want to wait and see what the Z9 brings before starting an rebuild . Its as much the effort to acquire and fine tune a system as the switching costs .
 

Jack

Sr. Administrator
Staff member
Amen Roger -- the *hassle* of switching, all the re-testing of lenses, extenders and accessories, days of research to find out which generations or versions to avoid, then to have to actually find all of that in stock before you can confirm any of it. Now you have it all, you have to learn a new menu system and spend weeks figuring out which combinations of settings work for your needs; often only to find out the *new* system can't do something the way you like to do it! End of day, these are far larger reasons to avoid a system switch than the swap-cost delta. At least IMHO and respecting YMMV...

PS: Did I mention that I am very confident the Z9 will be a ground-breaking, awesomeness camera that will leave Sony and Canon scrambling to catch up?


:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
Regarding the A1, I’m guessing that some of us hanging out here in Nikon-land probably don’t want a Sony, despite its capabilities. Definitely hoping the Z9 can at least get in the A1 ballpark.

I’ll be looking to add some longer lenses to my kit in 2-3 years and hope there’s more Nikon mirrorless options for native long lenses at that point. If not, then I’ll be looking at an A1 or F-mount myself.

Would love to see a Z-mount 200 f2 and 180-400 TC on the roadmap some day…those are the two longer exotic lenses I’ve got my eyes on.
 
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