Love at second sight? Nikon Z fc with Z DX 18-140mm and 300mm PF

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shidan
shidan Forum Member • Posts: 82
Love at second sight? Nikon Z fc with Z DX 18-140mm and 300mm PF
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I got a good offer for a Z fc two-lens kit, with the Z 28mm and the Z 18-140mm. I wanted the 28mm for my Z6ii anyway, so I bought it. It's my second Z body after the Z6ii. I use it

  • as a light (travel) kit: about 500g lighter than my Z6ii bag for roughly equivalent focal lengths
  • for increased reach with my 300mm PF (+TC-14ii)
  • as film camera for my teaching and as webcam (the display comes in handy)

CAMERA.

I'm quite happy with the camera. Nevertheless, some (non-)features are annoying, and the retro design isn't an excuse. I think most of them are discussed elsewhere:

  • A 20-cent rant: The hot shoe protection was not included (my dealer confirmed it wasn't, please correct me if yours had one)
  • No way of saving user presets (except on SD card). If a "U" on the dial was felt to spoil the design, a menu option would have been nice instead.
  • The choice of functions that can be assigned to buttons or the i-menu is too limited. I don't see a reason for these constraints.
  • The EVF is not on the level of the Z6ii (I knew that before). It is OK if you don't wear spectacles, but the round rubber eyepiece cuts away the corners when I wear them. so I'll try to find a different one.

Some features that I thought would annoy me didn't in the end:

  • Ergonomics: I would have preferred the grip of the Z50. But for my (not so big) hands, the Z fc feels good, and for heavier lenses (the 14-30mm or the 24-200mm) I add the Smallrig grip (Arca swiss compatible).
  • No button switch between Auto and manual ISO. I added that to 'my menu' top of the list (why can't it be added to the i-Menu??)
  • Buffer limitations: I only shoot short bursts, mostly in L (4f/s), sometimes in H*. The buffer was never full.

LENSES.

With the Z 28mm: a nice lens, as expected, with both the Z fc and the Z6ii

With the Z DX 18-140mm: This lens was not on my original shopping list, but the offer was convincing. I tested it against the 24-200mm at shared focal lengths (24, 35, 50, 70, 100, 140, on tripod, ISO 100, wide open and f8, raw). I had expected to see noticeable differences in the corners and margins between the FX and the DX lens, but even at 100% it was hard to see any differences at all.

I'm adding a couple of pictures. I wasn't prepared for shooting dragonflies with this lens, but I had left the 300mm at home. The Zfc+18-140mm performed quite well. I got the impression that the lens focuses somewhat more slowly than the 24-200mm, but I can't verify this. The Zfc's focus system is excellent, behaves exactly like the Z6ii's and gave me some nice shots (cropped, because 140mm is a bit short for a 1,5 inch dragonfly). A surprisingly good lens, but I never would have paid the regular price for it (plastic, no lens hood, no function buttons??).

Z DX 18-140mm

View: original size

Z DX 18-140mm

View: original size

With the 300mm PF ED: For telephoto shooting, the Zfc+24-200mm at max. length is acceptable, but the Zfc+300mm PF is a very, very nice: still compact for 450mm equivalent focal length, very reactive AF. Roughly on a par with the Z6ii+300mm+TC14iii, but smaller. Below are some pictures taken with the Zfc+300mm+TC14iii, some of them quite heavily cropped. This time the dragonfly was the victim of the heron, and the falcons weren't nice with each other either.

To sum up : I was unsure of my choice when I ordered the Zfc, but I don't regret my choice. True, it forces me to shoot differently (on the Z6ii I use U1-U3 presets for different situations). But I like to use the Z fc in manual mode with Auto-ISO, adapting shutter speed using the wheel or the dial. I still need to practice with it. Thanks for watching, and for your advice in the previous post.

- Pierre

300mm PF + TC 1.4iii

View: original size

300mm PF + TC 1.4iii

View: original size

300mm PF + TC 1.4iii

View: original size

300mm PF + TC 1.4iii

View: original size

300mm PF + TC 1.4iii

View: original size

300mm PF + TC 1.4iii

View: original size

All pictures shot raw and processed in Capture One.

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 shidan's gear list:shidan's gear list
Sony RX100 II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Olympus PEN-F Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z fc +15 more
Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Nikon DX 18-140mm F3.5-6.3 VR Nikon Z fc
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