Nikon Z or DSLR? Which is the better choice for plenty of AI-s and AFD lenses?

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alentine

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Nikon Z or DSLR? Which is the better choice for plenty of AI-s and AFD lenses?

Hello everyone,
Really could not decide which camera that can serve better?
Nikon mirrorless like Z7ii, with FTZ adapter of course?
Or,
Nikon DSLR like D850?
and why that choice?
Have several lenses of AI-s & AFD Nikon lenses.

Happy to know your thoughts.
Regards.
 

Paul Howell

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At least with Sony/Minolta A mount to E mount even the Sony made adaptor is noisy and slow. How quite is the Nikon adaptor?
 

Moose22

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The nikon adapter is just a tube for spacing and a few contacts.

I went mirrorless a while back. Love it, still shooting a Z7ii, but the best part about the Zs is using the Zs native lenses, which outperform what previously I thought were almost perfect lenses. Like the 20mm Z is better in the corners than the 20mm G lens I absolutely loved. The vibration reduction is both in the lens AND on the sensor and I can genuinely get an extra stop or two over my previous digital with VR. It is almost trouble free to do crap like hold it over the heads of a crowd and spray and pray. The Z kit is just fantastic for my sorts of digital uses. And the sensors they're using have unreal dynamic range, so you can dig a lot out of the shadows of the latest Nikons.

But mirrorless has drawbacks. Small camera, but the lenses are very large for what they are. And cost more than legacy lenses. And battery life is significantly less than a DSLR with the same sensor. But for being stupid big and spendy, the optical quality is just spectacular.

Now, if you're going to use your current crop of lenses exclusively, DSLR is fine. The FTZ adapter works for anything that has the focusing motor built in, but your AF-D won't autofocus on it. I still use some AF-D on my Z7 and hand focus for a lot of stuff, but it's stuff I would hand focus on anyway and the digital viewfinder actually helps me there -- focus peaking and a hand focused 105 are a fantastic rig for shooting musicians on stage where the autofocus will try to grab the mic, not the musician's face, for instance. I can make sure the eyes are in and also see the real DOF even in weird light and cluttered environs, which is a game changer for me. But you'll still see the disadvantages of the mirrorless and your image quality won't be better.

The latest gen of DSLR using the same senors will have the same IQ with your older lenses. And they'll autofocus on the ones with the screw drive, where the Z7 with the FTZ will not. Likewise, you don't have the disadvantage of the Zs, like the shorter battery life, which is significantly shorter. I always have spares because the non-optical viewfinder uses a bunch of battery, just like using a DSLR while focusing with the back screen, so I burn through them. Expect about 3x as many shots on the same battery using DSLR as on Mirrorless. Also, some other small things bug me about the Z7, like how I access exposure modes with the i button, or digging for settings in the Menus, but my last two DSLRs also had quirks, so I don't know if an 850 would not have something that bugged you. Nikon's menus and software functions are... well, Nikon has never been good at software. They're not getting better. We'll leave it at that.

TL: DR I'd get a DSLR if you're only ever going to use your legacy lenses. I'd get a Z6ii or Z7ii if you were also interested in the new Mirrorless lenses, which are absolutely phenomenal.
 

bdial

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I like my Z, and overall I’m glad I went mirrorless instead of SLR.
But, the FTZ is a clunky solution, and doesn’t bring much to the table if you’re not using G lenses, though it will allow the camera to recognize the AF D’s and give aperture control. Focus peaking works pretty well for manual focusing.

The Z’s short flange distance lets you adapt just about anything. The battery life life hasn’t been a problem for me.
As mentioned, mirrorless is the future.
 

Light Capture

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Z camera gives more options. It won't focus AFD lenses though.

I had different DSLRS but none of them satisfied me when it came to manually focusing manual focus lenses.
Had installed split screen in D600 years ago and it had to be shimmed up to focus accurately.
Didn't find the AF confirmation that useful with fast lenses.
Latest SLR type camera that seemed to do focusing on MF lenses right I used was F6. Everything else needed some work to be critically focused.

Z7 I use now has useful peaking and zoom for critical focusing. Manual focus lenses can be entered and called up when needed.
Leica lenses when I tried them were very very good. As mentioned earlier Z lenses perform extremely well but for my use older lenses also work well since these newer lenses are much more clinical.
If you liked the look and rendering of your lenses so far, they will work the same way on Z camera.

If any macro work is needed, Z's win hands down. It's simply much more convenient to use and due to focusing aids focusing will be much more accurate.

If critical focusing is not important, DSLR's are faster to use.
 

ColdEye

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100% the Z. I have a D700 too and I love it, but the Z is just more flexible (no AF on D lenses tho unless they are AFS). Adds VR to my 300/4 AFs D. Plus focusing manually with legacy lenses is way easier.
 

Anon Ymous

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Now, seriously, with the exception of reduced battery life in mirrorless cameras, could anyone name another disadvantage?
 

Paul Howell

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I don't like EVF,s my A7II has a translucent mirror, 90% of the light passes to the film, 10% to the sensor for the EVF. Although adjustable contrast looks off to me, have the wake up the viewfinder before taking a picture a few seconds delay. With a DSLR what I see is what I get, can judge color and contrast better, when I bring the camera to my eye it is ready to shoot. The A7II has pretty good high ISO performance, can shoot up to 15FPS, so a better camera for sports or wildlife, most of the time I use a A700 or 900.
 

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Mirrorless lenses, especially the not astronomically expensive ones, seem to generally be slower lenses. DSLRs are most amazing when full frame, and lenses that are f2.8 or faster.

I have a Fuji XPro3, I use it for fun, I only use prime lenses. I tried a Fuji H2S, I sent it back. Not for me. I have a good friend that is a photojournalist, he still is using a D5 but he's resigned himself that his next camera will be a full frame mirrorless.

My camera that I reach for most, when shooting digital is a Nikon DSLR.
 

Moose22

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Mirrorless lenses, especially the not astronomically expensive ones, seem to generally be slower lenses. DSLRs are most amazing when full frame, and lenses that are f2.8 or faster.

Really? They have a 20 1.8s (which I have used the crap out of and it beats the 20mm1.8G) , 24 1.8. 28 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 14-24 2.8, 35 1.8, 40 2, 50 1.8 and a 50 1.2, 85 1.8, 70-200 2.8 -- dude, if you can't find a faster lens that suits your needs in that range you're really picky.

And Nikon is behind on lenses. Other manufacturers got a better start out the gate. The selection will grow with time.

Personally, I do damned well with the 20mm 1.8s and the 24-70. Fast, beautiful lenses. I have the 24-200 which IS a slow lens, but for certain things I shoot it'll be daylight and the all in one is worth it so I never change lenses. I won't rave about that one though, it's just a good lens but not great.

But I can very easily find fast lenses for when I'm working at night or shooting a band with marginal stage lighting.

Also, and this is likely just as true of the latest DSLRs as well, I'm really happy with the Zs higher ISO performance. I can buy a couple of stops there that I couldn't on the Nikons from 10 years ago.

But, and I do NOT think this is true of the DSLRs, the extra VR boost from the Z helps for static shots in darker circumstances. A lot. An extra stop or two a lot.

I don't use the VR as much as I could because I shoot moving people, but for just scenes I've been able to get sharp shots in candle light and way into blue hour at ridiculously slow shutter speeds by leaning up against a tree and shooting handheld. The VR has gotten that good.


For the OP, the question is just how much he is sticking with his current lenses. If he's using them, the Z lens lineup is moot. But if fast native lenses are the thing holding him back, that's moot.
 

mshchem

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Really? They have a 20 1.8s (which I have used the crap out of and it beats the 20mm1.8G) , 24 1.8. 28 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 14-24 2.8, 35 1.8, 40 2, 50 1.8 and a 50 1.2, 85 1.8, 70-200 2.8 -- dude, if you can't find a faster lens that suits your needs in that range you're really picky.

And Nikon is behind on lenses. Other manufacturers got a better start out the gate. The selection will grow with time.

Personally, I do damned well with the 20mm 1.8s and the 24-70. Fast, beautiful lenses. I have the 24-200 which IS a slow lens, but for certain things I shoot it'll be daylight and the all in one is worth it so I never change lenses. I won't rave about that one though, it's just a good lens but not great.

But I can very easily find fast lenses for when I'm working at night or shooting a band with marginal stage lighting.

Also, and this is likely just as true of the latest DSLRs as well, I'm really happy with the Zs higher ISO performance. I can buy a couple of stops there that I couldn't on the Nikons from 10 years ago.

But, and I do NOT think this is true of the DSLRs, the extra VR boost from the Z helps for static shots in darker circumstances. A lot. An extra stop or two a lot.

I don't use the VR as much as I could because I shoot moving people, but for just scenes I've been able to get sharp shots in candle light and way into blue hour at ridiculously slow shutter speeds by leaning up against a tree and shooting handheld. The VR has gotten that good.


For the OP, the question is just how much he is sticking with his current lenses. If he's using them, the Z lens lineup is moot. But if fast native lenses are the thing holding him back, that's moot.

I have a D6, I'm happy as heck with it's low light performance.

Tamron and others are making many Nikon Z lenses.

Everything is changing, I'm a dinosaur. In 5 years will there be any DSLRs? Nikon doesn't make cameras and lenses in Japan. What's the world come to? 😳
 

Moose22

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I have a D6, I'm happy as heck with it's low light performance.

I know, man. That D6 is such a great camera. Aren't modern sensors amazing? I had z6 before I went z7. I think it's the same 21Mp sensor, and both the high ISO and dynamic range are incredible.

You really can't go wrong for image quality in digital anymore. It's how you like to shoot and whether the kit fits your style that counts.
 

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DSLRs are so noisy. That's my biggest issue. No one needs flash or bright lights at press events today, mirrorless excel in everything, and they are silent.
 

mshchem

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I'm a Nikon dinosaur. I have DSLR lenses that will work with my Nikon film cameras. If I was starting out I would look closely at every brand. Sony and Canon are huge companies and have resources that Nikon will be hard pressed to keep up with.
When I think of Sony I think of televisions and radios, Sony has always been a leader in technology for what ever market they are playing in.
I do think that the Nikon Z cameras and their higher end lenses are amazing. As good as it gets.
 

beemermark

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DSLR are huge. Mirrorless cameras are small - except the lenses are huge, which makes the whole outfit unbalanced. I love my D750. I have a Fujifilm X-E3 (and owned an X-pro3 and others before) . cameras a small but add a zoom or fast lens the advantage is negated.
 

mshchem

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DSLR are huge. Mirrorless cameras are small - except the lenses are huge, which makes the whole outfit unbalanced. I love my D750. I have a Fujifilm X-E3 (and owned an X-pro3 and others before) . cameras a small but add a zoom or fast lens the advantage is negated.

My favorite lens for the Xpro is Fuji's 50mm f2. Small, comes with an awesome lens hood. Silent, beautiful setup.
 

Mal Paso

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After handling all the Nikons at a recent show I went over to the dark side with a Z7ii. The Z9 is twice the mass and no discounts as they can just keep up with demand. The Z9 battery is huge and 3 times the price.

I am waiting for a 24-70 f4 S and kind of looking at the 70-200 but don't want to pack a f2.8. I'm hoping they come out with a f4 but it looks like they are going the other was and making the camera bigger (Z9). That little Z7 don't look right on my bigger lenses.

I may get the 40mm, it makes the camera almost as compact as the new Leica rangefinders, I need deeper pockets.
 
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