Author Topic: How accurate is the auto infinity at startup with Z wideangle lenses?  (Read 174 times)

Jan Anne

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With the 40/2 being my first native Zee lens I am slowly learning the features and possibilities of focus by wire lenses, one of them is that focus is set to infinity automatically when turning on the Z6 which it did’t do with adapted lenses including the 200-500VR.

My biggest beef with most modern lenses is that there’s no hard stop for infinity which makes it a challenge to shoot startrails and such in the dark, especially with gloves on. With the Samyang 14/2.8 I used to set infinity during the day and fixate it with tape so there was one variable less to check before taking those long exposures.

On the Sony I moved to the Voigtlander 15/4.5 which I can still use on the Z6 with an adapter, really like this lens as it is all metal, tiny, great optics, has an old skool aperture ring, a chip which communicates focus distance and a hard infinity stop. The only downside is that the max aperture is f/4.5 which is not ideal in low light, especially for astro work.

With Nikon now slowly rolling out Z wide angle lenses the time is getting near to switch to a native ultra wide but would like to know how accurate the auto infinity setting is for landscapes and astro capture. If it works as designed one could easily disable the focus ring for one of the user profiles and have a fool proof setup for infinity (night) shots.

As one of the reasons of loosing a hard stop is that with modern lenses infinity focus might change with temperature so I was also wondering if this feature is self calibrating or if it can be finetuned manually.
Cheers,
Jan Anne

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: How accurate is the auto infinity at startup with Z wideangle lenses?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2021, 18:27:37 »
I wasn't aware that focus is set to infinity automatically; in my Z6 II the focus position is remembered and restored across power off / on cycle.

Focus distance is temperature sensitive and so it wouldn't work to set the focus at a fixed element position, if you want really accurate focus. I always focus on the stars right before I start shooting.

Jan Anne

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Re: How accurate is the auto infinity at startup with Z wideangle lenses?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2021, 19:18:29 »
Interesting, found this on the Nikon site:
Changes from “C” Firmware Version 3.20 to 3.30
• A Save focus position option has been added to the SETUP MENU. If On is selected, the focus position in effect when the camera is turned off will be restored when the camera is next turned on. This option applies only when the camera is used with Z mount autofocus lenses.

Updated the firmware and tested it with both settings and set to OFF the camera still boots up with focus at infinity, when set to ON it stays on the last focus like my D500.

In the meantime I’ve also found a video where an astro photographer had less image defects with the 14-24/2.8 with auto infinity focus as the slightest focus error could cause things like coma.
Cheers,
Jan Anne