Nikon Z9 with Sigma 500mm F/4 DG OS HSM Sports

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
OP ManosSKG Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: Nikon Z9 with Sigma 500mm F/4 DG OS HSM Sports

FrankG wrote:

ManosSKG wrote:

Yes I got it in airplane mode straight away.

I also have Energy Saving (photo mode) in Setup enabled. Also currently I am using Silent mode enabled.

I will try this. Is there any compromise by enabling this?

The thing with the VR, is that I had customised it for snappier focus and it's a feature I wouldn't want to lose. I feel that the FTZ II is slightly slowing it down and that it searches more than it used to with my D500 (which was locking straight on). I guess I am also inexperienced with the body.

The AF on the Z9 is a very different system and I found takes some getting used to! I have found it necessary to have various alternative AF functions assigned to function buttons for instant mode switching. I think most people are doing this to a lesser or greater extent.

I have tried more or less all of them today. I couldn't quite believe that it was missing focus on a clear sky or when the BG was somewhat cluttered. The second, I can understand, the first I just find inadequate. BTW this is not Sigma related, but a Z9 thing and OEM users confirm that they sometimes lose focus on situations, that they are just inexplicable. It also felt weird that in many cases, for initial focus acquisition, the lens had to do a full search to infinity and back until it nailed focus. Again not Sigma related. I found auto working better on clear skies. It also lost focus when bird flying towards me and came too close. Maybe I need to change Subject Motion to Erratic? In general I have a lot of homework and training to do.

I will pop a question about the VR in the FB relative group, as to see if this also happens with OEM glass, or if it is just Sigma's issue.

I wondered if this might be an FTZ adaptor thing so I tried going back to my old FTZ mk I adaptor - didn't make any difference. I notice that the OS is running as long as the camera is in "standby" mode. So one way to mitigate this is to shorten the standby time-out via custom c3 "Power off delay" for the "Standby timer". I have set mine to 30 seconds (or could go as low as 10 seconds). The thing is that the Z9 is so fast to re-start (almost instant) that usually it isn't a problem - but it can be annoying in a wildlife shooting scenario of course (especially in the confines of a very quiet hide where even the slightest sound is very audible)!

Update: I just checked with my Z50 on the lens and it's doing exactly the same thing - keeps the OS running during "standby" mode until standby switch-off !! I never noticed this before (probably because I hardly ever used the Z50 with this lens). So it's not unique to the Z9.

Apparently this is not Sigma related. Native OEM F mount glass behaves similarly.


What I loved is the complete elimination of any focus shifting, no need to fine tune, just plug and play! Once AF locks, the entire sequence is sharp. Sigma is also  compatible with the entire sensor, something not possible with the R5 for example. I didn't find anything worrying with regards to the lens' compatibility with the Z9. I did find it searching more during BIF shots, than it did with my D500, but I cannot tell if the E FL does not have a similar behaviour (I believe it does). More tests and sample shots coming soon!

 ManosSKG's gear list:ManosSKG's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon Z9 Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C Sigma 500mm F4 Sport Nikon 500mm F5.6E PF
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