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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
1 Introduction and handling
One of three lenses launched alongside the Nikon Z6 and Z7, on the face of it the Z 50mm F1.8 S might appear the most pedestrian of the group. It's hard to get too excited about a medium-fast 50mm these days, but in its promotional literature Nikon claimed that its latest standard prime is anything but a standard standard. In fact, the company claimed that the Z 50mm S would offer superb resolving power, low aberrations and excellent wide-aperture performance, impressive enough to challenge assumptions about what lenses of this type should be capable of.
The Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 is twice as heavy, twice as large and about twice the price of the company's equivalent lens for F mount - but is it twice as good? We've been shooting with one for a few weeks, and one thing's for sure - it's a radically different lens.
Compared to its nominal F-mount equivalent, the Z 50mm F1.8 S is an obvious step up in terms of optical technology. Featuring advanced coatings, almost twice the number of elements (including two aspherical and two ED) and three additional groups, the new prime is substantially more complex. Compare this to the single aspherical element in the F-mount version (itself a novelty when the lens was introduced in 2011) and it's obvious that Nikon has taken the opportunity to completely redesign its newest standard lens for the radically different dimensions of the new Z mount.
Product Photography by Dan Bracaglia
The Z 50mm F1.8 S is as different optically to its F-mount predecessors as it is cosmetically. Somewhat reminiscent in overall look and feel to a modern Sony ZA or Sigma Art-series prime, the new lens is smooth, stylish and simple in design. Constructed from a mixture of polycarbonate and aluminum, the barrel of the 50mm is dominated by a wide and well-damped metal focus ring. A single A / M focus switch is the only other moving part. Since the new Z-series cameras feature in-body stabilization, the lens itself is unstabilized.
'Build quality' is a notoriously hard quality to measure, and one that we have to assess subjectively, on the basis of anecdotal (but as extensive as we can manage) experience. The Z 50mm F1.8 looks nice, handles well, feels neither too heavy nor too light, and appears to be manufactured to a high standard. There is no give in the focus ring, no wobble in the mount, and after weeks of use it hasn't fallen apart in my hands. Etc., and so on.
|In common with other prime lenses we've seen that are specifically designed for mirrorless camera systems, the Z 50mm F1.8 S has a relatively small, concave front element.|
|The only physical switch on the barrel of the Z 50mm F1.8 is for manual / automatic focus. Since the Z6 and Z7 feature in-body Vibration Reduction, there's no need for the lens to be stabilized.|
Less anecdotally - and more importantly - we've put the Z 50mm F1.8 to pretty hard use in the past few weeks. Unusually hard, in fact. I've spent hours with the Z7 and 50mm shooting in extremely wet and windy conditions on multiple occasions recently, working on a photo project on Washington's Pacific coast. In rain heavy enough to somehow soak down, under, into and around multiple layers of waterproof clothing, the Z7 and Z 50mm F1.8 kept on working without any serious problems.
The only issue I had after extended exposure to the elements was a very occasional glitch where the Z7 would switch out of automatic focus and into MF mode. Re-seating the lens in the mount was enough to clear the problem. Whether the issue was caused by moisture getting into the camera (I didn't see any when I looked later) or into the M / A switch on the lens I don't know. Either way it didn't prevent me from working.
|This image shows the rubber gasket around the Z 50mm F1.8's mount, which helps keep dust and moisture from getting into the camera. Our experience shooting with the lens in exceptionally wet conditions suggests that it's highly effective.|
|This is the Z 50mm F1.8 S side-by-side alongside the Z 35mm F1.8 S. Good luck telling these lenses apart if you're fishing around inside a camera bag.|
We already know from Roger Cicala's tear-down that the Z7 is impressively well-sealed, and while the Z 50mm F1.8 S might not be gasketed to the same standard (we won't know that for sure until Roger takes one apart), it certainly seems very well sealed from my experience.
One frustration - although it's not the optical designers' fault - the new 50mm and 35mm F1.8 Z primes are so similar to one another cosmetically, that they're almost impossible to distinguish in a camera bag. They're almost the exact same size and shape, very similar in weight, and both use a 62mm cap. A Nikon Z shooter carrying both would practically be forced to label them in some way to avoid mixups in the field. Ditto the HB-89 and HB-90 lenshoods, which are mechanically interchangeable and almost indistinguishable (to the extent that I have no idea why Nikon bothered to make two different hoods), but which are frustratingly shy of being exactly identical.
The Z 50mm F1.8 S is an internal focus design (the lens doesn't get bigger or smaller when focusing) and in normal or bright lighting conditions, it focuses quickly and accurately on a Z6/7. Autofocus actuation from the stepping motor isn't as fast as Nikon's snappiest F-mount zooms with more powerful ring-type AF motors, but it's at least as fast as most of the company's older primes and good enough for rapid acquisition of most subjects. The Z 50mm F1.8 S focuses slightly faster than the Z 35mm F1.8 S but there's not much to choose between them.
As well as being rapid, autofocus is effectively silent, too. Video shooters might detect a subtle 'zip' sound on the in-camera audio as the lens makes large focus adjustments, but it's very subtle. Normal video AF movements are slow and smooth enough (this can also be customized) that you probably won't notice it, even if you're relying on the in-camera microphones for sound.
|The large focusing ring makes up most of the length of Z 50mm f1.8 S's lens barrel, and offers fine-geared control over focus via a 'focus by wire' system.|
The Z 50mm F1.8 S uses a 'focus by wire' system for manual focus, which offers very precise control from the wide, nicely-damped focus ring. The movement is speed-sensitive, not linear, meaning that a slow rotation of the ring will result in a similarly slow movement of the focusing group. If you move the ring quickly, the motor will respond more rapidly and make a larger focus movement.
This is great for stills, but some videographers (especially those that use follow focus systems) might find themselves wishing for a linear response, where X degrees of movement of the ring always results in X amount of focus movement. This is less a criticism of the lens, more of the Z system at this point but we're hoping that Nikon can adjust this behavior via firmware. Similarly, it would be nice to have the option of switching the direction of the manual focus ring, for photographers coming from different systems.
Feb 19, 2019
Feb 16, 2019
Feb 11, 2019
Jan 7, 2019
Nikon has laid out its ambitious plans for the next three years of Z-mount lenses. The most eye-catching is a 58mm F0.95 'Noct' lens and, naturally, standard focal lengths such as an 85mm F1.8, 24-70mm F2.8 and 70-200mm F2.8 will be appearing in due course, as well.
You can't launch a new camera system without lenses, and Nikon has three Nikkor Z-mount lenses available at and slightly after the launch of the Z 7 and Z 6. They include a 24-70 F4 S, 50mm F1.8 S and 35mm F1.8 S.
Nikon's new Z-mount marks a major departure for the company, which (barring the short-lived 1-Series) for almost 60 years has relied on the 1950s-era F-mount for its interchangeable lens cameras. In this article we go hands-on with the first three 'Z' lenses: the 24-70 F4, 35mm F1.8 and 50mm F1.8.
We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
Following testing of the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II, we've added it to our Pocketable Enthusiast Compact Cameras buying guide as joint-winner, alongside Sony's Cyber-shot RX100 VA.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
What's the best camera for under $500? These entry level cameras should be easy to use, offer good image quality and easily connect with a smartphone for sharing. In this buying guide we've rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing less than $500 and recommended the best.
Whether you've grown tired of what came with your DSLR, or want to start photographing different subjects, a new lens is probably in order. We've selected our favorite lenses for Sony mirrorlses cameras in several categories to make your decisions easier.
|The sights this window has seen! by NPW UK|
from Creative Window
|Tacking Point Light House by photoman555|
from Nikon Challenge
The EF-M 32mm F1.4 is a welcome addition to Canon's APS-C mirrorless lens lineup. It's a good performer all-around and enjoyable to use on the EOS M50, and we hope to see more like it introduced to the EF-M range.
The data breach we reported on last week did not only affect 500px but a total of 16 websites, including mobile image sharing platform EyeEm, Animoto, Artsy and Fotolog.
Camera Rescue, a Finnish organization determined to rescue more than 100K analog, has already saved 46,000 cameras and plans to more than double that number by 2020.
Independent lens manufacturer Sigma has announced that its new 28mm T1.5 cine lens for full frame sensor cameras will be available from the middle of March.
Panasonic has announced the impending release of two new cameras, the ZS80/TZ95 compact camera and the FZ1000 II superzoom camera.
At Dubai's recent Gulf Photo Plus event, Fujifilm showed off several of its early concept mockups for GFX cameras that (sadly) never made it into production. We took a closer look.
Panasonic is well known for including impressive video features on its cameras. In this article, professional cinematographer Jack Lam explains one killer feature the company could add to its S series that would shake up the industry – and it all comes down to manual focus.
Lens manufacturer Irix has announced it's expanding its product lineup into the Japanese market.
Full-frame cameras get a lot of attention lately, but Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks that APS-C makes the most sense for a lot of people – and there's just one company consistently giving the format the support it deserves.
The 12th International Garden Photographer of the Year winners have been announced. We've gathered the top photos from each category and rounded them up into a slideshow.
Kosmo Foto has announced the release and opened pre-orders for its new Mono 120 black-and-white film.
Uber software engineer Phillip Wang has created a website that shows a portrait of a person that doesn't actually exist by using AI to merge multiple faces together.
The Atomos Shinobi is a compact, lightweight monitor that features the same display found inside the much more expensive Ninja 5 monitor/recorder.
Want to know more about the Canon EOS RP? Dying to ask a question that hasn't been addressed anywhere else online? Join the editors of DPReview for a live Q&A about this new camera next Tuesday, Feb. 19 on our YouTube channel. Click through for details.
Got a couple of minutes? Then you have all the time you need to learn about Canon's second full-frame mirrorless camera body – and why it's a compelling option for someone stepping into full-frame for the first time.
NASA's Curiosity rover captures a 360 panorama from its Vera Rubin Ridge 'Rock Hall' drill site before moving on to greener...er...redder pastures.
Xiaomi's new flagship Android smartphone is expected to be launched on February 24 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
A quick glance at the spec sheet doesn't make the Canon EOS RP look that exciting. But having shot with it, we've become oddly fond of this little full framer.
Pixelmator Pro has received an update with new and improved features, including support for Portrait Masks with images captured by the iPhone's Portrait Mode.
Alongside the EOS RP, Canon showed us mockups of the six lenses it says are in development for 2019. There's a distinct high-end flavor to the options in the works.
The new X-T30 may not be Fujifilm's flagship model, but it arrives with some very impressive features and specifications. Chris and Jordan have been shooting it for a few days and share their first impressions, along with a look at an iconic new building in their hometown of Calgary.
We don't often get excited about $900 cameras, but the Fujifilm X-T30 has really impressed us thus far. Find out what's new, what it's like to use and how it compares to its peers in our review in progress.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is equipped with the same 26.1MP X-Trans sensor and X-Processor 4 Quad Core CPU as the X-T3, along with some autofocus improvements. The new camera arrives in March for $900 body-only.
Fujifilm's new XF 16mm F2.8 R WR is a compact, weather-resistant lens that weighs just 155g/5.5oz. It'll be available starting in March for $399.
Fujifilm's XF 16mm F2.8 is one of the widest lenses in the company's lineup of compact primes for its X-series interchangeable lens cameras. We've been up and down the streets of snowy Seattle - a rare sight - to see just what our pre-production copy of this petite prime is capable of.
Firmware version 2.00 brings two new shooting modes and one new setting to its X-T100 and X-A5 camera systems.
Fujifilm has announced its upcoming rugged point-and-shoot, the FinePix XP140.
Get a closer look at Canon's second full-frame mirrorless body and its unique combination of features, capability and price point.
Canon has unveiled its second full-frame mirrorless camera: the entry-level EOS RP. Touting its compact size and approachability for beginners, the RP uses a 26.2MP sensor and will sell for $1300 body-only this March.
A pre-launch event gave us a chance to shoot a sample gallery to show what sort of image quality you can expect from the least-expensive digital full frame camera ever launched.