Author Topic: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850  (Read 919 times)

David H. Hartman

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The other day I almost fumbled my D850 into a koi pond. The fish have been carping at me ever since.  :D

No harm, no foul but the incident scared the hell out of me. I feel a need for an alternate camera that is newer than my D800 and especially my D300s.

I’ve been reading the Nikon Z6/7 Mirrorless System discussion but I’ve only finished page 14 of 55. I’m learning a lot but it takes forever.

I’m considering buying a Nikon D500 but it uses a non-BSI image sensor. The D500 is a 21MP (almost) DSLR. The lack of an AA filter is very welcome. The D500 works well with all of my Nikkor lenses bought from about 1977 to date and some AIS, AI and AI(ed) lenses I’ve acquired sense. The viewfinder magnification is 1.0x and it accepts a DK-17M but I doubt that I can use the magnifying eyepiece while shooting with glasses. The D500 is a bit long in the tooth today. If the price is low enough it may be worth buying.

The Z 7II is priced out of reach so I’m considering the Z 6II. I might be able to stretch to buy it with the 24-70/4.0 in Z mount. I’d be buying it with the ZTF adapter. The ZTF adapter seems a quite limited option as it seems to offer nothing to AI and AIS lenses but the ability to mount them. The ZTF adapter is also limited in that it does not offer AF to AF and AF-D Nikkors. I own six of these lenses and the loss of AF is not welcome. I understand the limitations of the ZTF adapter for legacy manual focus lenses but Nikon seems lazy to not adapt AF-D lenses to allow AF to the Z series camera considering that they are still selling AF-D Nikkors new. The Z 6II uses an AA filter on it’s BSI image sensor. I really don’t want an AA filter but perhaps it is needed. My current AF-S lenses are only a 20/1.8, 50/1.8 and 105/2.8 Micro.

I’m concerned that I’ve become a Megapixel Slut. I’m used to the D850 and the ability to crop quite deeply if my technique is tight and the lens and aperture used are up to it. Also the ISO used can limit my ability to crop. I wonder if either camera is going to be satisfying to me. I’m finding my aging eyes are limiting my use of AI and AIS lenses on my D850 even with the improved viewfinder. The 0.75x viewfinder magnification is an improvement over the viewfinder of my D800 but i’m finding it’s not enough.

Probably the camera I should buy is the Nikon Z 7II or wait for a D500 replacement if one is coming. Given concerns over the future value of US Dollar and possible hyper inflation I’m loath to sit on cash. Please don’t drift in to political discussion here.

When my primary cameras were the Nikon F2As I wanted a Leica M4 with a 28 or 35mm lens and with a 50mm lens and possibly a 90mm lens. I wanted this to quite operation for candid photos of people.

I probably will not have the finances to buy a collection of Z mount lenses. The inability of AF and AF-D lenses to AF on the Z series Nikons is problematic.

I injured my back so I’ve sold my pickup truck. I have a window of opportunity to buy something new. I’m weighing many options.

Thank you for entertaining this rambling post.

Dave
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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2021, 22:22:47 »
The D850 is currently deeply discounted in the US, B&H price $2497.

That's what I would get and am planning on getting a second D850 myself some time this year.

Roland Vink

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2021, 23:06:31 »
Quote
I understand the limitations of the ZTF adapter for legacy manual focus lenses but Nikon seems lazy to not adapt AF-D lenses to allow AF to the Z series camera considering that they are still selling AF-D Nikkors new.
They may still be selling new AF-D Nikkors, but they were recently discontinued, along with the last remaining AI-S lenses. But yes, there clearly is a market for an screw-drive AF FTZ adapter which Nikon has missed.

As for a backup camera, is there reason you only mentioned the Z6II and Z7II? The original Z6 or Z7 cameras are good cameras and are cheaper than the II models. There is also the Z5 which is a competent camera by all accounts.

MFloyd

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2021, 23:28:26 »
At the present stage, I don’t see any advantage of getting into a mirrorless system. Unless you make also videos. For the moment, the D850 is (still) the best all round camera money can buy.
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Roland Vink

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2021, 00:41:26 »
Quote
I’m finding my aging eyes are limiting my use of AI and AIS lenses on my D850 even with the improved viewfinder.
Focus peaking, magnified viewfinder (plus IBIS) should be a big advantage of the new mirrorless system for these lenses. But you also have to live with much greater battery usage...

Hugh_3170

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2021, 03:03:26 »
David, if going down the Z6/7 route versus the newer Z6-II/Z7-II alternatives, you will need to factor in the cost of XQD and/or the newer CF-Express cards. 

Here in Australia these are much more expensive than pro quality SD cards. 

This card cost issue may erode the price difference between the older Z6/7 and their newer Z6/Z7 II successors.  This may not be an issue for you if you have already opted for XQD and/or the newer CF-Express cards for your D850, but it may be if you are using SD cards in the D850.
Hugh Gunn

David H. Hartman

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2021, 03:41:20 »
As for a backup camera, is there reason you only mentioned the Z6II and Z7II? The original Z6 or Z7 cameras are good cameras and are cheaper than the II models. There is also the Z5 which is a competent camera by all accounts.

My thinking since the Z7 and Z6 were rumored was I'd wait for Nikon's second offerings so maybe some bugs would get worked out.

Dave

BTW back in the mid '90 Nikon offered a mirroless camera with instant blackout like a Hasselblad 500CM. I wasn't much impressed. I don't remember what it was called.
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David H. Hartman

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2021, 03:51:48 »
The D850 is currently deeply discounted in the US, B&H price $2497.

If I still had a humble PR photography business I'd want a spare D850. Back in the day I owned three F2As bodies. One for Kodachrome, one for Tri-X and one for customers. I always carried two bodies to a job.

Dave
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David H. Hartman

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2021, 04:10:18 »
At the present stage, I don’t see any advantage of getting into a mirrorless system. Unless you make also videos. For the moment, the D850 is (still) the best all round camera money can buy.

I remember my D2H was not too bad for focusing even a 50/1.2 AIS. You are guessing a bit where prime focus is as the bright focus screen may only show f/2.8~f/2.5 but It as doable. The D2H with DK-17M gave a 1.0x magnification viewfinder. The D500 offers 1.0x viewfinder so I'm thinking it was be easier to focus and I'd get more use out of my AI and AIS Nikkors.

In the day I complained bitterly about the loss of my 105/2.5 AIS but with a D850 and the huge AF-S 105/2.8G IF-ED VR I'm sort of covered. FX is my first choice but I do think DX has some advantages for some use.

As for an advantage for mirrorless silent or near silent and perhaps shooting with the LCD at waist level like a TLR seem like advantages. Even when people know you are taking their picture not having the camera at eye level is less aggressive and one might be ignored like the fly on the wall. In camera VR would be another advantage.

I shoot home quality videos but don't even own a basic video microphone as yet.

Dave
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David H. Hartman

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2021, 04:16:37 »
David, if going down the Z6/7 route versus the newer Z6-II/Z7-II alternatives, you will need to factor in the cost of XQD and/or the newer CF-Express cards.

This is a good point: currently I only have SD and CF cards so I'm making do with a 64GB mid-level SDXC card for my D850. I could buy a 128GB CF-Express B card but I'm holding on to my cash as I contemplate another body.

Dave
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Snoogly

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2021, 08:37:25 »
The Z5 is a disaster in low light. I read about it before I bought one, even after seeing the literal flood of Z5 bodies being sold on the main Japanese used-camera shops. It is a fine camera, until the available  light is even just a little dodgy. Then the LCd screen becomes a terrible blotchy and ‘artistic’ = mess of pixels. Effectively a useless camera unless in bright light, Of course the actual images don’t show the defects of the live view LCD screen, but if you are using manual lenses you may as well give up. If you like Doctor Who special effects from 40 yers ago, you will live the Z5. Otherwise, do not buy it.

I kick myself for buying it, even though I could factor in a lot of rebates and trade ins, but however cheap, the Z5 should be avoided at all costs.

A Z6ii is the minimum to buy,

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2021, 10:20:49 »
If I still had a humble PR photography business I'd want a spare D850.

Right, but is there a specific reason you want something other than a second D850? A Z6 II with adapter is not going to be much less expensive and it won't autofocus screwdriver lenses. However, it does provide manual focus tools (peaking, which I find incredibly distracting by the way, and zoomed viewing, which is very unstable when hand-holding IMO) in the viewfinder which the D850 does not (I mostly use manual focus when working on a tripod, so for me this is not a major issue).

I too wish that Nikon would make an enhanced FTZ which would provide at least some screwdriver lens autofocus and wide open metering and focusing of manual focus lenses. However, Nikon seem unlikely to provide this (not that I expected Sony to make a new adapter for A mount lenses but they did, even though reports are all over the place as to whether it works or not depending on particular camera bodies).

I don't think it makes much sense to get a Z body unless you also intend to get Z lenses at least over a period of time if not immediately. In my opinion, the major advantages are in video and availability of lenses designed for a short flange back distance. There is also improved AF accuracy in some situations especially reported for longer distances (which is where DSLR AF tends to be more variable in result).

You could of course try the Z6II at a shop (are brick and mortar shops open to customers in your area?) and see how it works for manual focus for your needs, if it does then at least you get an advantage in that. But none of your camera bodies will really be 1:1 backups for each other in that case, so I don't know how that would work. What if you drop that Z6 II in the pond and by that time relied on its features as essential part of your kit?

golunvolo

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2021, 10:36:57 »
Focus peaking, magnified viewfinder (plus IBIS) should be a big advantage of the new mirrorless system for these lenses. But you also have to live with much greater battery usage...

  This has been a true "game changer" for me. I know the expression has almost lost its meaning lately in the photo business but I use it here heartfelt. All types of manual lenses have a new and vastly improved life in the Z6 body.

Ian Watson

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2021, 15:13:22 »
The Z5 is a disaster in low light.

Thank you for the warning. The current rebate had made it tempting for use with my AI Nikkors.

JJChan

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Re: Nikon D500 v. Nikon Z 6II as backup or alternate to Nikon D850
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2021, 15:25:42 »
David
I too enjoyed and used my D850 until a big intro sale of Z cameras in Australia made me look at getting a Z6. Unfortunately they were out of stock when I turned up at my local shop and I ended up getting Z7+24-70/f4+FTZ+XQD card+reader at a very good price.

I was less concerned with AF/D compatibility as I was shooting Leica more and was keen on getting a good sensor on a camera to use with my lenses including Leica M mount, M42 and Nikon.

Within 6 months I had sold my unused D850, Leica M10 and only kept D200IR and Df. Since then I have added another Df (black NOS for work) and a bunch of film cameras going cheap (F6, F3/T, Pentax Super A).

I found new life in my Nikon Noct and other old Nikkors surprise me almost always. Although FTZ won’t give full EXIF, it does give focal length. Using Leica and other makes not limited to F mount was quite liberating. The camera is light so I bring it with me everywhere. It is a great tool. And as others have said, focus via magnified live view with IBIS is truly a game changer.

JJ