Author Topic: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses  (Read 1578 times)

Erik Lund

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2022, 10:12:46 »
....
Are you talking about lenses or cameras? The Z lenses focus quieter and with more precision and less hunting than the F-mount lenses, and the lens motor solution seems to help the AF algorithms used on mirrorless cameras - especially when comparing with early AF-S lenses. I think the full speed of the lenses can only be obtained at the moment with the Z9 which focuses very nicely indeed. The Z6 II I find to be acceptable for static subjects but gives a lot of grief on moving subjects. I don't there is any significant flaw in the AF system design as whole, it's just that mirrorless AF is more dependent on the processor than DSLR AF and only the Z9 has a decent processor (and fast sensor read time which also contributes to AF) that can focus on moving subjects acceptably. But they'll make more cameras like that over time, and I'd expect the Z9's processor (Expeed 7) to be standard across the next revisions of the lineup, especially Z6 III and Z7 III.


You cut up my reply in bits and pieces, anyway; By doing heavy processing of these optical flaws, distortion etc. you loose sharpness and the whole image quality is lost, your argument it's a compromise does not change my opinion. You are entitled to yours.

Your argument mentioning four lenses re size and weight is, factually correct,,, I was was referring to he whole mirror less Z system as such, and the hope from a lot of people that a mirror less system would be small and light weight, even the Z body's all have this huge volume behind the sensor and the viewfinder even more sticking out, and unusable without a proper support underneath like a battery grip which was lagging for the first set of Z's - this was my point. Sorry you don't have the same view, again you can have your own view, doesn't change my view.

Decoration, not imho! A clear fact is that one design 'tools' to have optimal form and function and also easy visual as well as feel of identification of the functions.

For me the Z system was struggling more - and I am so happy I can hear the AF-S working on my D850 - gives me confidence that I nail focus every time same goes for all of the AF-D lenses.

On the Z7 using for instance an Nikkor S 50mm f/1.8 i could get unsharp images in AF-S, by unsharp i mean without any sharp point anywhere in the frame and without any warning or deliberately trying to fool the camera or lens. Something that I have never seen on any of my pro range DSLR cameras-lenses.
I know that it's another type of focus system  :o :o :o come on.

It works for me in Infrared since it takes care of focus shift, both AF the 40mm f/2 but especially all of the nice old MF Nikkors.

So happy to hear Z works for you! And yes they will be better and better. I have not yet used the Z9 but from reviews it seems like it has solved a lot of the issues.

 
Erik Lund

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2022, 12:47:51 »
I minimize the quoted text to avoid repetition and conserve space. I don't do this in an effort to mislead or misquote but rather to stay as concise as possible. The original post is (almost) always there in the thread. Some forums have explicit instructions to keep quoted text to a minimum and I think this is good practice, although I've gotten criticism occasionally for following it.

There is a common practice among companies that they put out a test model to the market which is immature and then if there is some degree of success, they follow up with a sequence of improved models. Avoiding the first models is sound practice from a consumer's point of view, irrespective of which company is making the product. The Z7 had some issues, e.g. when trying to focus on a portrait subject in low light, a large percentage of shots came out of focus, some were completely blurry (this was my first contact with the Z7). I also couldn't really time the shots because of the lag. The Z6 II which is a second-generation model, however, handles the most portrait situations with excellent results when using wide-area AF with face/eye detection ON. I spent a few months learning the camera and its quirks. In my wedding, academic events and portraits, about 1% of my images taken with the Z6 II are out of focus. I know where the Z6 II works well and what its limitations are and I don't use it for those tasks which I've found not to work. It would not work at all well for photographing approaching subjects, so I shoot those with DSLRs. However, my interest in the Z camera are in its quiet operation which makes it easier for me to photograph people at events indoors without being too noticeable. As long as the subject is not moving quickly, it can handle most situations I've encountered photographing people. I would not judge a system based on the first model irrespective of company, or even the second. As for the camera and lens sizes, the Z system includes both small and large cameras and small and large lenses, so one can put together a setup to satisfy one's needs, and the selection will continue to improve in the coming years.  E.g. the Z9 and 400/4.5 felt exquisitely fun to use in the hand when I got to try it out, and the AF worked very well indeed. The camera and lens feel really balanced together even for hand-held use.  Since I mainly use the Z6 II with relatively short focal length lenses for now, its size hasn't been an issue other than not having enough space for adequate physical controls. The Z9 has a similar number of controls as the D6 and those can be assigned so that one doesn't need to go into the menu as often as with the Z6 II. But a lot of people on forums complain about the size of the Z9 and don't seem to want it. A variety of products of different sizes seems the only solution to the varied needs of users.

Those lenses I have for the Z system do not rely on software corrections to produce good results (one can bypass those corrections by using a converter which is not Adobe's or Nikon's). I am aware that there are lenses in the system that do use software corrections heavily but my experience is that that approach doesn't work for me (from trying to work with the F-mount 24-120/4, a lens which I did not get along with), so I simply avoid those lenses. I frequently photograph in white interiors and 4-stop vignetting which is present in some of these lenses would not result in acceptable results  (correcting is possible but this increases noise when working already at high ISO this is pronounced). With the 24-70/2.8 S I haven't run into any problems. It's become my main lens on the Z system because of the high degree of consistency and beautiful images, and the best of all, it handles shooting in rooms with large windows easily (the flare management is excellent). I still use the F-mount 24-70 lens when I am using DSLRs but so far the 24-70/2.8 S has been the lens which has given me the most incentive to use Z. I still dislike the EVF and find that I need to shoot a lot more images to catch moments because of the lag, and I find it very distracting, so I basically compensate by shooting more than usual (which would not be my preference). I am now simply willing to work within the limitations of the new system to gain from the advantages. I don't like it but alas, the characteristics of this one lens (and the pleasingly quiet sound from the camera) have motivated me to accept the situation.

Other examples of first models of a product not being very good are easy to find; Mercedes' first attempt at a small car (A-series) could be toppled over by turning the wheel and cornering too quickly, an astonishing blunder from a major manufacturer. They fixed it by developing a system which stabilizes the car but also subsequent models in the A-series had entirely different shape and don't have those tendencies and are very nice to drive. They do advice against turning ESP OFF even so. Another example seems to be Sony's Airpeak drone which got quite bad reviews for apparent problems with maintaining the connection and software issues as well as maneuvarability and even video quality. Nikon D1 which I didn't have, was reported to lose image files if the camera was turned off before the card stopped writing. Come on! Nevertheless these problems cannot tell us reliably about future success of the companies. I think Nikon will likely do well over time with Z, even though the public doesn't give them much slack for getting late into the full-frame mirrorless game.

Erik Lund

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2022, 15:07:25 »
Well, I see we mostly agree here, thank you.
I can of cause see that a lot of the Nikon Z S lenses are amazing!
I did own the D1 and yes was loosing some images before realizing it didn't write all of the buffer when turning it off. I also recall the horrible color issues it had and getting less than 200 images from a battery-pack  :o :o :o Still loved it so continued to invest in the following iterations.
 
Erik Lund

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2022, 15:09:42 »
It seems that the 105 f/2.8 MC “S” Macro has been well received.  From the odd comment that I have picked up on, the non-"S" 50mm f/2.8 MC lens appears to be less well received. 

Has anyone here had the chance to compare this 50mm Z-mount MC lens with its F-mount predecessors, namely the 60mm f/2.8 G and the 60mm f/2.8D Micro Nikkor lenses?

TIA.
Hugh Gunn

Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2022, 16:48:21 »
It seems that the 105 f/2.8 MC “S” Macro has been well received.  From the odd comment that I have picked up on, the non-"S" 50mm f/2.8 MC lens appears to be less well received. 

Has anyone here had the chance to compare this 50mm Z-mount MC lens with its F-mount predecessors, namely the 60mm f/2.8 G and the 60mm f/2.8D Micro Nikkor lenses?

TIA.

I have dozens of close-up and macro lenses. the "S" 105 f/2.8 MC is superb IMO. The  S 50mm f/2.8 MC not so much. I kept it but, seldom to never use it. The "S" 105 MC, IMO, is better than either of the earlier 60mm Micro-Nikkors, IMO.
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Ian Watson

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2022, 06:42:56 »
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Dogman, indeed, very nice "3D Depth" to your photo.   

To me, the character of an image is determined as much by it's "depth" as by it's "bokeh".

This subject almost demands a separate topic  :)

A photograph is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional subject. It requires cues to suggest depth. Lighting, perspective and depth of field spring immediately to mind. What about lenses? Well, how about the way sharpness fades to unsharpness? Much has been written on this topic. Older lenses may be more gentle in this respect. Birna has described them as being "rounded." (Birna?) Yet modern lenses might have learned the lesson.

As for bokeh, the modern perfection is not just a curse but also a blessing. It is not fussy and generally never gets in the way. One never has to worry about it.

BruceSD

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2022, 16:10:10 »
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Since my last post, I've reviewed hundreds of Flickr.com images taken with the Nikkor z mc 105mm f/2.8 vr s lens.     Here's what I've learned -

To my eye, it's sharpness is incredible.  However I'd rate it's 3D depth/pop/separation, color, and bokeh to be good but not outstanding.  While it's sharpness probably makes this lens a great lens for macro photos, I personally prefer the "character" (pop/separation/depth, color, bokeh) of some other lenses a bit better.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2022, 16:40:50 »
.
Since my last post, I've reviewed hundreds of Flickr.com images taken with the Nikkor z mc 105mm f/2.8 vr s lens.     Here's what I've learned -

To my eye, it's sharpness is incredible.  However I'd rate it's 3D depth/pop/separation, color, and bokeh to be good but not outstanding.  While it's sharpness probably makes this lens a great lens for macro photos, I personally prefer the "character" (pop/separation/depth, color, bokeh) of some other lenses a bit better.

I believe that is true. My APOL EL Nikkor `105mm f/5.6has the pop and the sharpness. Yet, the Z MC 105 it is very good for close-up work, IMO.
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Roland Vink

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2022, 00:10:52 »

Since my last post, I've reviewed hundreds of Flickr.com images taken with the Nikkor z mc 105mm f/2.8 vr s lens.     Here's what I've learned -

To my eye, it's sharpness is incredible.  However I'd rate it's 3D depth/pop/separation, color, and bokeh to be good but not outstanding.  While it's sharpness probably makes this lens a great lens for macro photos, I personally prefer the "character" (pop/separation/depth, color, bokeh) of some other lenses a bit better.
It would be interesting to take pictures of the same subject with your Z 105 micro and one of your other lenses to show the difference in rendering.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2022, 01:55:51 »
Here are a couple fine lenses and the Z MC 105.

(1) Z NOCT 0.95

(2) APO El Nikkor 105

(3) Z MC 105
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BruceSD

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2022, 04:02:01 »
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Thanks for taking the time Michael to take and post the above 3 photos.

The bokeh and 3D-pop/separation/depth I see in the first photo is excellent.   I'm not able to evaluate the comparative sharpness of the above images because they are too small of files.

Colors from the first two photos are fairly similar, however the flower's color in the third photo is a very different hue.   Assuming you used the same camera/camera-settings and lighting I guess that only explanation for this color difference would be the lens itself.  I am not familiar with the flower in the photos and therefore have no opinion on which of the three photos is the closest to what the flower really looks like.  But if I were to hazard a guess, I might pick the flowers in the first two images as having the most realistic color.   Am I right?

Frank Fremerey

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2022, 00:38:44 »

I got into the Z game because of a lens. The 1.2/50S.

Of all the lenses I own this is the one that blows me away all the time. Yes, my 2/200VR is very very nice but it is 3000g and I do not take it everywhere.

And then one day I used the 4/24-70S "Kitlens". I never thought it would be so great.

The MC2.8/105S is "addictive" says Birna. Yes.

So: will I stop buying these? Will I start selling the F-lenses? Two straight "no". An exceptional lens like my 1.8/85G cannot be replaced with another lens.

The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon FD Lenses

When I first bought my Nikon Z7, my entrance into the mirrorless realm, I told myself that I had all the lenses I needed and would not need to buy any of the new mirrorless lenses. I had the adapter and would just use that. It would save a lot of money, or so I thought.

The last thing I expected was that Nikon would start making much, much better lenses, although a thought or two would have set me straight. Of course, that wider flange makes all the difference, but nevertheless I thought Nikon will be Nikon and manage to make average lenses these years as they had been doing for some time.

Well, the long story short is that my Nikon Z7 came with a kit lens, the Z 24-70mm S f/4 lens, which I would on occasion use, but mostly I used my old standard lenses with the adapter.

Well, by chance I went to the performance of one of my good friends, a blues player. In fact, I had done my best to teach this fellow how to sing and play blues, and he learned. He moved to New Orleans and became one of the city’s top players. Anyway, I went to a show of his here in Michigan and I had my Z7 and that kit 24-70mm f/4 lens on it. I took some photos of my friend.

When I saw the results, I was a bit startled on how sharp and lifelike they were, and all this with a lowly kit lens. The last thing I imagined is that I would fall in love with these new Nikon “S” series lenses, but I sure did.

From then on, I tried more of the new Nikon mirrorless lenses, but I soon found out that for my purposes, only the “S” series were good enough for the photography that I liked to do. When the 105 MC “S” Macro came along, I was astounded at how good it was for my type of photography. Who needs my coveted Voigtlander 125mm APO-Lanthar f/2.5 when we have the Z 105mm “S” Macro, and at a 'lowish' price considered what the lens delivered. I hated to buy more lenses, but the lenses were so good that I had to.

And this was not just my imagination going on a binge, but DXOMark confirmed my experience. Here are some of the Nikon “S” lenses. The first number is the DXO total, the second in brackets the degree of sharpness.

DXO MARK RESULTS

Z 85mm “S” 49 [41 sharp]
Z 70-200 ”S” f/2.8 38 [38]
Z 50mm “S” 1.8 44 [37]
Z 58mm “S” 0.95 55 [35]
Z 24-70 “S” f/2.8 36 [26]
Z 24-70 “S” f/4 29 [19]

Some of my very best F-mount lenses came out like this:

Zeiss Otus 55mm 50 [33]
Zeiss 135mm 48 [41]   
Zeiss Otus 85mm 47 [41]

And so, I was not just dreaming. Nikon was actually kicking ass with these new "S" series lenses. The non-“S” mirrorless lenses, which I tried, were OK, just nothing to get too excited about. As of now I have all of the above listed Nikon Z “S” lenses, plus the 100-400mm S and the Z 24-120mm f/4 S:

I would like to buy more, but I have to sell some of my F-mount lenses to do that. I wonder if my experience is going to be echoed by others? Of course, I can mount my F-mount lenses on my Z9 using one of a couple of adapters, yet I am getting what I want out of the natural Z “S” lenses by themselves. And no need for an adapter.

I also took at a turn back into all of the small Nikon lenses I have such as the many versions of the 55mm Micro-Nikkors of which I have a bunch. And yes, these older lenses were ‘sharp” enough for me, but they were not well enough free of aberrations and the like, which most of the new Z “S” lenses actually were. I don’t see my spending a lot of time with lenses that are not close to APO quality in the future.

And then I got into looking at all my lenses, a wide variety, and came to a somewhat similar conclusion. Why mess with the adapters when I had lenses that were natural to the Z mirrorless cameras. And so, it went with me.

The result is that I am going to sell off a lot of my older lenses and invest in the new “S” mirrorless lenses unless they begin to disappoint me, yet so far they are great.

And, thinking that perhaps I am not the Lone Ranger here, the only one who comes to this tipping point. We may well be at a major inflection point. We shall see.

I am pretty conservative when it comes to the quality of lenses, so if I have come this far, so might others. So, I ask those of you who are experimenting with the new “S” lenses, what are you finding out? I just finished testing my “S” series lenses against lenses like the Zeiss Otus 28mm and 55mm. I can see that I don’t need the Otus 55mm, yet have questions about selling off the Otus 28mm. It is a very, very good lens, IMO, and the new Nikons don’t quite off the ‘3-D’ quality of the Otus 28mm lens, at least in my opinion.

So, if you have time, please let me know what you are finding out if you are testing out both sets of lenses.

Here is that first shot I took of my friend with the Z “S” series kit lens, the 24-70mm f/4 lens.                                                   

You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Me: https://youpic.com/photographer/frankfremerey/

Michael Erlewine

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Re: The Nikon “S” Series of Lenses and Nikon F-Mount Lenses
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2022, 07:53:21 »
Yes, I too find the Z MC f/2.8 105mm "S" lens 'addictive'.
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