Author Topic: Z9 Release Thread  (Read 27064 times)

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #255 on: December 31, 2021, 12:08:03 »
Quote
Another question I have, if you know. which of the Z lenses (probably the 'S' series) are considered the finest so far, in your opinion. Especially, which of the zooms?

Unfortunately I only have fixed focal length Z lenses so far, the 24, 35, 50, and 85 f/1.8 and the 105 MC.

From what I've understood the 14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 are all optically the finest of their class. 

My plan is to get the 24-70/2.8 next and then either the 100-400 or 70-200/2.8. I don't currently have compact long teles and am thinking the 100-400 with its self-compensating mechanism which keeps the center of gravity almost constant as one zooms makes its very appealing, along with the good visual qualities of the results from the lens. The 70-200/2.8 gives very beautiful images but I already have the F-mount FL version and think that's more than good enough for my purposes so I'd be getting more "added capability" from purchasing the 100-400. However, I've got a bad track record with f/5.6 long focal length lenses and have ended up selling all of them. I just find myself too often in situations where a larger aperture is desirable. However, now that I only have fast teles I am finding them heavy and desire a lighter lens again. :-)

Michael Erlewine

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #256 on: December 31, 2021, 12:23:23 »
Unfortunately I only have fixed focal length Z lenses so far, the 24, 35, 50, and 85 f/1.8 and the 105 MC.

From what I've understood the 14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 are all optically the finest of their class. 

My plan is to get the 24-70/2.8 next and then either the 100-400 or 70-200/2.8. I don't currently have compact long teles and am thinking the 100-400 with its self-compensating mechanism which keeps the center of gravity almost constant as one zooms makes its very appealing, along with the good visual qualities of the results from the lens. The 70-200/2.8 gives very beautiful images but I already have the F-mount FL version and think that's more than good enough for my purposes so I'd be getting more "added capability" from purchasing the 100-400. However, I've got a bad track record with f/5.6 long focal length lenses and have ended up selling all of them. I just find myself too often in situations where a larger aperture is desirable. However, now that I only have fast teles I am finding them heavy and desire a lighter lens again. :-)

I have the 70-200mm Z lens and find it very wonderful. I also had the FL version of the 70-200mm, but sold it. I find the Z version of the 70-200mm worth the trouble to change.  I too would like the Z 24-70mm f/2.8, but instead have on order the Z 100-400mm zoom. I do have the Z 24-70 f/4 and was surprised how good it was for a kit lens. I have the 50mm and 85 f/1.8 primes and they are fine.

I am VERY impressed with the Z 105mm Macro lens, but not so much the Z 50 mm Macro.

I also sold a lot of old lenses and bought the Z NOCT f/0.95 lens and am totally satisfied with it.

I never anticipated I would buy into the Z lenses, but planned to use all my F-mount lenses with the adapter, but the new z lenses are just that good, IMO.
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #257 on: January 04, 2022, 14:49:10 »
I am a ‘still’ nature photographer that leans toward the darks. Almost always use ISO 64 with either the D850 or the Z7 II.

When I look at a graph like this (Included) I see that Z7 II ISO as clearly different at the low ISO end from the new Z9. I am not a sports photographer and am used to the ISO 64 in the mentioned cameras. There must be an ‘effect” from the difference in ISO as shown in the graph between the Z9 and the other cameras. What are we to think of this change in ISO 64?
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Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #258 on: January 04, 2022, 15:25:36 »
When I look at a graph like this (Included) I see that Z7 II ISO as clearly different at the low ISO end from the new Z9. I am not a sports photographer and am used to the ISO 64 in the mentioned cameras. There must be an ‘effect” from the difference in ISO as shown in the graph between the Z9 and the other cameras. What are we to think of this change in ISO 64?

Given the low number of production Z9s out there being measured it seems to me that a % difference in the low single digit range may even be sample variation. and even if it is not, the real question is “what is the effect of the signal noise on the image?”. The cameras capture a dynamic range which is beyond our capability to print and display, so while having a very low noise signal is helpful when imaging high dynamic range subjects, it is not quite as important for images such as yours with controlled indoor lighting. What is going to be important is how the sensor renders the scene. That is not something which can be teased from that chart. What do the colors look like? Is there a smooth separation of mid-tones, a toe to the curve? I’m not suggesting that the Z9 is better in these regards, but it certainly may be different. The Z7II may still be the best option for you, but these charts only tell a very small part of the story, and the differences between the two cameras are quite small. I’d not base a buying decision on them alone.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #259 on: January 04, 2022, 15:34:53 »
Given the low number of production Z9s out there being measured it seems to me that a % difference in the low single digit range may even be sample variation. and even if it is not, the real question is “what is the effect of the signal noise on the image?”. The cameras capture a dynamic range which is beyond our capability to print and display, so while having a very low noise signal is helpful when imaging high dynamic range subjects, it is not quite as important for images such as yours with controlled indoor lighting. What is going to be important is how the sensor renders the scene. That is not something which can be teased from that chart. What do the colors look like? Is there a smooth separation of mid-tones, a toe to the curve? I’m not suggesting that the Z9 is better in these regards, but it certainly may be different. The Z7II may still be the best option for you, but these charts only tell a very small part of the story, and the differences between the two cameras are quite small. I’d not base a buying decision on them alone.

I hear you. I guess it's a bit of 'wait and see' to find out what comes out in the wash, so to speak. I couldn't find a copy of the Z9 anyway.
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Wally

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #260 on: January 04, 2022, 20:15:08 »
Nikon continues to stick to regional SNs
Highest SN seen here in the US is 30032++, as of Jan-1
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David H. Hartman

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #261 on: January 04, 2022, 20:35:58 »
If one shoots at ISO 64 does a difference in dynamic range of 11.6 stops v. 11.3 stops really matter? I would look to other features of the image and or camera to make a choice.

When shooting with a Z9 I might avoid the ISO(s) of 250, 320 and 400 and with the Z7 II use whatever ISO works best.

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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #262 on: January 05, 2022, 11:04:21 »
If one shoots at ISO 64 does a difference in dynamic range of 11.6 stops v. 11.3 stops really matter?

I don't think it does.

However, if the photographer never needs the fast autofocus of the Z9 then one can take the advantage of the Z7 II sensor and make use of it, no matter how small the difference might be.

Quote
I would look to other features of the image and or camera to make a choice.

Right, for me the silent shutter capabilities and handling (more physical controls, larger body), larger battery, viewfinder and autofocus capabilities are important. I do not want to purchase a Z7 II as I don't like the body type and controls that much (the remote control and flash trigger goes to the left side where I have my L-bracket fighting for the same space) and so I'm not willing to pay that much money for it. I understand the attraction of the small body for many things but I prefer the 10-pin interface in the front of the camera.

Quote
When shooting with a Z9 I might avoid the ISO(s) of 250, 320 and 400 and with the Z7 II use whatever ISO works best.

This isn't really necessary IMO as dynamic range is just one parameter. The SNR of the midtones and highlights will still improve as you go down from 800 to 400 to 200 and 64.

David H. Hartman

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #263 on: January 05, 2022, 21:50:08 »
thank you for your comments.
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Jan Anne

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #264 on: January 10, 2022, 18:31:55 »
Excellent review of the Z9 video capabilities for those interested in doing video:
https://youtu.be/NIk2DfZZEbM

Gerald is not the typical youtube noob reviewer, lot of technical details are being discussed and he is often referenced by other content creators.
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Jan Anne

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #265 on: January 14, 2022, 00:36:42 »
Mine arrived yesterday and I haven't had a good chance to get out of the house with it, but I'd be happy to answer any questions or perform quick tests if anyone is interested.

Initial impressions are that it seems really responsive.
I've not really used autofocus much, but this camera has definitely changed my mind about it. I think it will take some time to figure out which combinations of settings work best for what I do, but that is usually true of any new camera.
In comparison to the Z6 it seems quite big but I think it will balance larger lenses well.

The original FTZ works - once you apply a firmware update - and non-cpu lenses work the same as on the other Z cameras.

Default raw images out of the camera are neutral and a bit flat, leaving room for post-processing or applying in camera picture controls. This is kind of how I like it, but makes things a bit dull in the viewfinder compared to what you see on the back of an Iphone. With video this is even more the case, but there is a preview mode which can be applied if you are shooting in 10bit n-log to get a better idea of what the footage will look like.

Controls are pretty well laid out, and are incredibly customizable. It will take me a while to finalize on how I want things set up. The one troublesome thing is that one of the buttons for the vertical grip is easily pressed when the camera is sitting on your lap reviewing images. I'll have to see if there is a way to disable this, or just hold the camera differently.

Anyway, feel free to ask questions if you have any. I learn by answering them so I'm happy to investigate.

Wally

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #266 on: January 14, 2022, 05:43:59 »
Congrats Jack!
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MFloyd

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #267 on: January 14, 2022, 11:08:57 »
I spoke to one of my eminent colleagues in motorsport photography, who received his Z9 and used it.

Here is his quote: “it’s ok. It has some good points. But all the clever stuff like recognizing cars is useless for motorsport. You have to turn all that off. If you set it to focus on cars and you are panning it tries to focus on verging except the car” …. “The Z9 isn’t helping my hit rate. I switched back to single point”.

If you want to see an excerpt of his work, go on Instagram under  gary_parravani or on Xynamic, his professional Instagram.
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Jan Anne

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #268 on: January 14, 2022, 13:22:57 »
Apparently the Z9 can now assign a memory recall function to the AF-ON button overwriting things like focus area, shutter speed, ISO, tracking, etc. So you could have one set of settings under the shutter release like center focus point and a second set under the AF-ON button with wide area focus, eye or car AF, slower shutter, etc.

So where the AF-ON button was mainly used to switch between AF-C, AF-S and MF on the DSLR’s it can now be used to switch between multiple setups which makes handling the camera in hectic situations a lot more efficient. So where the Z6/7 are very DSLR like in their button setup the Z9 takes more advantage of what mirrorless can bring to the table, it does however involve a remap of the muscle memory to utilize the full potential.

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Jan Anne

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Z9 Release Thread
« Reply #269 on: January 15, 2022, 12:29:59 »
Apparently the Z9 can now assign a memory recall function to the AF-ON button overwriting things like focus area, shutter speed, ISO, tracking, etc. So you could have one set of settings under the shutter release like center focus point and a second set under the AF-ON button with wide area focus, eye or car AF, slower shutter, etc.

So where the AF-ON button was mainly used to switch between AF-C, AF-S and MF on the DSLR’s it can now be used to switch between multiple setups which makes handling the camera in hectic situations a lot more efficient. So where the Z6/7 are very DSLR like in their button setup the Z9 takes more advantage of what mirrorless can bring to the table, it does however involve a remap of the muscle memory to utilize the full potential.

This feature (recall shooting functions) is available on the D6 as well, and with fewer degrees of freedom on the D5 (it got it as a firmware update and you can't choose from a list which params are recalled and which are not, whereas on the D6 you can). Z6/7/D780 don't have it though as these were not designed primarily with photographing action in mind. In fact it's a bit more sophisticated on the D6 where you can select recall shooting functions (hold) so it works as a toggle (if you wish). Reportedly the hold option is not available on the Z9.

But on the Nikons you can't recall multiple sets of shooting functions. You can assign buttons to alter a single parameter but if you want to switch between sets each assigned to a different button, this is not (yet) available on Nikons.

I use recall shooting functions (hold) to switch between fast and slow shutter speed (useful when photographing deer on the open fields and then inside the forest where dim light causes enough image quality loss that fast shutter speed is best avoided). Works well especially when using 500 PF as the f/5.6 aperture comes with its own compromises.