Way forward for hybrid shooting w/ existing lens wardrobe

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
iljitsch Senior Member • Posts: 1,094
Re: Way forward for hybrid shooting w/ existing lens wardrobe

I got a Nikon Z fc very recently, so consider this biased.

From some casual testing I'd say that the Z fc, and thus presumably all recent Nikon Z cameras, is/are pretty good at video. It looks like Z mount lenses use quiet focus motors (AF-P lenses) and the autofocus in video mode is pretty good, but of course nothing that rivals professional video or film production of moving subjects.

You can use all your recent AF-S and AF-P lenses on a Z camera with full functionality. However, the issue of the relatively noisy focus motors remains with many/most/all? AF-S lenses. I tried some video with one of my AF-S lenses and it also seemed to hunt for focus, unlike the Z AF-P kit lens.

Older AF lenses such as AF-D won't autofocus, as the FTZ adapter lacks the focus motor to drive them. However, they work perfectly in manual focus mode.

Manual focus lenses (without a CPU) are largely crippled when it comes to stills as it seems you don't get all the focus aids, and aperture changes are "live" so with a small aperture, the image gets dark and gains a lot of depth of field so good luck focussing.

For video you'll probably won't need to change the aperture during shooting (the AF-P lenses will do that no problem and quietly, I think the AF-S ones on the FTZ also but with a little bit of noise) and if you can either set and forget the focus or focus manually during the shoot you're good.

Apparently there will be a new FTZ2 relatively soon, and although unlikely, it's not impossible that that one will have the focus motor for AF-D lenses, so if you can wait...

There are adapters for all lenses known to man to the Z mount, but apart from the FTZ and one that adapts current Canon lenses to Z, they're all passive, i.e., no electronics, so the same limitations apply as with non-CPU Nikon lenses on the FTZ.

I'm thinking of getting the M42 to Z myself, so I'll be able to use even more ancient 50 mm lenses or that ginormous east German Pentacon 135 mm f/2.8 "bokeh monster" lens with its 15 aperture blades.

On the other hand, if you want to switch systems, perhaps it makes sense to sell your old stuff now, as it's likely that as more people adopt mirrorless, Nikon F mount second hand prices will decline.

On the third hand, if you have a Nikon film body that drives AF-S lenses, you could use those lenses with all your cameras and you won't be duplicating anything.

 iljitsch's gear list:iljitsch's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon Z fc Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +7 more
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