Another Question on F-Mount Lens Stabilization w/ Nikon Z7 (II)

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BostonBoy
BostonBoy Senior Member • Posts: 1,909
Another Question on F-Mount Lens Stabilization w/ Nikon Z7 (II)
1

Folks, I need some guidance on what else to try as I had some disappointing results yesterday and I still believe it must be user error. Here is the scenario: I mounted my Nikon 180-400mm F4, which is typically glued on my D6, to the new Nikon Z7 II with FTZ Adapter (all latest FW, lets rule that one our right away). I took 461 BIF shots and none of them is critically sharp. None. I've attached a sample picture for discussion below (#1 OOC JPEG, #2 after running through Topaz Stabilize AI). Shot is taken at F5.6 (with built-in TC), ISO 64, 1/2000s (plenty for a mid-size bird gliding in calm air). Plenty of light out there yesterday as well BTW.

I spend the entire evening looking through pictures, considered technique (same as on my D6 which nails 80% plus BTW), Mode Setting (only shot Aperture and Shutter priority yesterday), and various other settings as I could already tell in the field I won't get crisp results. Tried mostly AF-C Wide-L w/ the new Z7 II animal detect FW features, but also some other AF variations. Tuned to Focus (instead of Release Priority) for both AF-S and AF-C. Not much of a difference.

I think in the example below I can prove the "detail" is actually there (thanks Topaz!), but the image is just "blurry". Like the image stabilization systems on the long lens fights with the Z7II. At least that is the initial conclusion I came to but I'm open to other ideas.

I understand that the 5-axis image stabilization is actually split up in the modern lenses, pitch and yaw remain in the lens (source: Nikon Z Series: Mount Adapter FTZ from Nikon). However, I can't turn them off separately, it's only on or off (lens switch) and the grayed out menu item in camera follow suit (indicates on and off).

Some Questions I have:

1.) Has anybody else experience in this scenario and can shed some light?

2.) Is this really 'just' image blurr (I have yet to come to conclusive results)?

3.) I expected "better" results with the superior image stabilzation system (and mainly mounted the Z7 for superior cropping and reach). The opposite seems to be the case here.

4.) Any other settings I should try? I will turn off Image Stabilization altogether for another test and get a D850 as additional data point as well.

Thoughts? Your insights are welcome! Maybe I'm doing a simple mistake?!

- R

Falcon, OOC JPEG Z7II w/ F 180-400 w/ FTZ, cropped, EXIF intact

Same picture run through latest Topaz AI in "stabilize and sharpen" mode

Nikon D6 Reference shot last week, same lens, handheld, post-processed in Photoshop (Express)

 BostonBoy's gear list:BostonBoy's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1
Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II
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