ImagingResource - an interview with Nikon

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,229
418
An interesting article that discusses design decisions with Nikon reps.

https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2018/08/28/nikon-z7-engineer-interview-deep-dive-q


One interesting part that stuck out for me was :
it does seem that the Z7 loses a significant amount of its low-light AF ability when shooting with lenses slower than f/2. Whether this is a limitation of its PDAF system or an overall limitation of the Z7's hybrid AF system is unclear.
Maybe that was why the new NOCT lens is not AF?
 

YuengLinger

EOS 5D MK IV
Dec 20, 2012
2,645
767
Southeastern USA
Giving up the accuracy of contrast detect AF on the F-mount lenses seems like a pretty harsh compromise. Especially for macro and product photography!
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,419
799
Giving up the accuracy of contrast detect AF on the F-mount lenses seems like a pretty harsh compromise. Especially for macro and product photography!
For product photography you don't need AF at all (you may want focus peaking, but you don't really need it either). For macro photography, you normally don't shoot wide open (unless you use an f/5.6+ lens for your macro work).
 

YuengLinger

EOS 5D MK IV
Dec 20, 2012
2,645
767
Southeastern USA
For product photography you don't need AF at all (you may want focus peaking, but you don't really need it either). For macro photography, you normally don't shoot wide open (unless you use an f/5.6+ lens for your macro work).
I like using Live View with AF for macro and product. Sounds like Nikon's system wouldn't work that way with F mount lenses.

"So I asked the Nikon engineers what in fact they did to enable F-mount lenses to work on the Z-series bodies, and the unsurprising answer was that the cameras simply refrain from using contrast-detect AF when an F-mount lens is mounted. They just use phase detect AF (PDAF) exclusively with F-mount optics."
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,419
799
I like using Live View with AF for macro and product. Sounds like Nikon's system wouldn't work that way with F mount lenses.
It will, but it won't use the second phase (CDAF after PDAF). Which you will highly likely not notice at all if you stop down your macro lens to f/8 or further.
 

Aglet

EOR R
Feb 26, 2012
1,726
15
AB
as long as it has a decent magnified live-view for macro that AF issue is moot.

but for all the rest of my good old glass.... Hmmm... gonna be relying a lot on mag'd LV a lot it seems so I hope it works well in low light. Olympus has a cool trick for low light live view that works pretty well even in partial phase moonlight. Not sure what Canon's low light live view is like now but even way back it worked pretty well.

Altho all that's moot too.... z6 and z7 are not worth it for me. Poor features/price ratio.
What's next?...
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,825
3,341
Seems no members here really understand the ramifications. Or find the Nikons worth discussing.
It's a very interesting review that discusses several generic points about DSLRs vs Mirrorless especially AF and legacy lenses etc.
 

Aglet

EOR R
Feb 26, 2012
1,726
15
AB
combined with the information from the interview by D E on Imagine-Resource it sounds like the new Zs have excellent low light AF ability altho all their AF points are single axis.. Presumably they're all vertical line sensitive rather than a mix of V and H sensitive.

Also that the new lenses present the light to the sensor in a more parallel mannner. And that the sensor filter stack may be thinner than it was on F-mount. Combined that will mean more easily visible sensor dust. Doh! I hate sensor dust issues!
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,973
1,190
119
combined with the information from the interview by D E on Imagine-Resource it sounds like the new Zs have excellent low light AF ability altho all their AF points are single axis.. Presumably they're all vertical line sensitive rather than a mix of V and H sensitive.

Also that the new lenses present the light to the sensor in a more parallel mannner. And that the sensor filter stack may be thinner than it was on F-mount. Combined that will mean more easily visible sensor dust. Doh! I hate sensor dust issues!
No, initial hands on reports are that the low light AF is subpar.
 

Aglet

EOR R
Feb 26, 2012
1,726
15
AB
I'd seen that as well.

But from the update yesterday on the story at I-R: I've bolded the quote. Hopefully there was no error in translation.

"(Update, 8/30/18, 1:16pm EDT: Contrary to the preceding and what's been reported by other outlets, this does not seem to be the case. We asked Nikon about low light AF limits, and received this reply: "AF is possible down to -4.3 EV with an f/1.8 lens, -4 EV with an f/2.0 lens and -2 EV with an f/4 lens." Also, there is no reduction in low light AF performance with F-mount lenses, apart from any due to maximum available aperture.)"