Difficulty Getting Sharp Eyes With Z50 Portraits (50mm 1.8G)

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larrytusaz Senior Member • Posts: 2,668
Difficulty Getting Sharp Eyes With Z50 Portraits (50mm 1.8G)

I have had a Z50 since last September, and pretty much right away I got the FTZ adapter for using the 50mm 1.8G for portraits of my kids. Getting the Z50 was something I really was looking forward to, as to me it's basically Nikon's answer to the Sony A6000 I used to own yet with a 16-50 that's actually decent (plus newer technology).

I used to own the D3300 and even the D600 for a spell, and the main thing that caused to decide that mirrorless was where it was at for me--difficulty getting eyes in focus due to not having enough AF sensors and me not being able to get the hang with focus & recompose. My A6000, and also the Olympus E-M10 II when I had it--they just nailed it pretty much everytime. Especially with the E-M10 and its face detect, I could just point and as long as I saw the "live square" was on the subject's face, I could pretty much be guaranteed pin-sharp eyes almost everytime.

I figured the same with the Z50, and I have been totally disappointed. I dare say that it's been almost as difficult getting sharp eyes with it as with my D600, a camera which for me was VERY hard to get sharp eyes. SURELY I'm not THIS incompetent, surely the Z50 can't be THIS bad, but what else explains this?

Here are some samples:


I can't recall the settings except to say that I am sure I have eye-AF on, AF-A/S/C is on AF-S, and I have the "closest subject priority" setting (as opposed to the one where you specify the point, it's the setting to the far right where the camera picks the point).

The only reason I can explain this is that maybe 1/60 second is not that fast, but with my Olympus E-M10 II and 45mm 1.8, I could easily pull this off. Do i REALLY need to use insane shutter speeds such as 1/320 second just for a sharp PORTRAIT? That's ridiculous. Unless it's high noon and a sunny day, I'd have to shoot at like ISO 500 to have that fast of a shutter speed, even with the f-stop at f/2.5 or so.

Is that the explanation for it, or is it something else? I've had some say the 50mm 1.8G isn't the sharpest, and I have pondered getting the 50mm 1.8 S (Z) lens because it's so highly praised (and I wouldn't need an adapter), but I'm remiss to do this if it's this hard just to get a sharp portrait. I'm this close to returning to my Olympus E-M10 II and 45mm 1.8 setup if only for portraits, and saving the Z50 and 16-50 for landscapes, because while I'm an experienced SLR user, I don't want to have to work so danged hard just for sharp portraits with a 50mm shot at (around) f/2.5. To me, this is ridiculous, and I'm very disappointed.


 larrytusaz's gear list:larrytusaz's gear list
Sony RX100 III Nikon D3300 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G +3 more
Nikon D3300 Nikon D600 Nikon Z50 Sony a6000
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