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Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread

  
 
sum1sgrampa
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p.34 #1 · p.34 #1 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


I have to admit, I was pretty bummed when I learned from the experts here https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1852411/4#lastmessage that my lens is not really a main wildlife lens. It's a secondary lens. Not to worry, I simply painted an S on the side and now I won't be embarrassed to show up at Conowingo to line up alongside 25 others on the fence shooting eagles like fish in a barrel.




  NIKON Z 9    NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR lens    600mm    f/6.3    1/3200s    2000 ISO    -2.3 EV  




Apr 07, 2024 at 02:00 PM
AlphaPhotography
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p.34 #2 · p.34 #2 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


I've seen a number of posts about what's believed to be "soft copies" of the 180-600mm, including a couple people who sent theirs back for replacement and said the difference was night and day, with the replacement copy being substantially sharper. Mine arrives on Tuesday and I'll be comparing it directly to my RF 100-500mm and brother in law's Sony FE 200-600mm (a lens I owned previously and used with the A9II and A7RIV).

sum1sgrampa wrote:
I have to admit, I was pretty bummed when I learned from the experts here https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1852411/4#lastmessage that my lens is not really a main wildlife lens. It's a secondary lens. Not to worry, I simply painted an S on the side and now I won't be embarrassed to show up at Conowingo to line up alongside 25 others on the fence shooting eagles like fish in a barrel.




Apr 07, 2024 at 02:09 PM
3catsinky
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p.34 #3 · p.34 #3 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


Mine is razor sharp. Iím thrilled with it. Iíve never had to exchange a lens for sample variation


Apr 07, 2024 at 02:28 PM
Fred Amico
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p.34 #4 · p.34 #4 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


Wish mine was sharp.

Z9, 180-600 @ 600mm, f6.3




Apr 07, 2024 at 03:50 PM
AlphaPhotography
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p.34 #5 · p.34 #5 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


I know you're being sarcastic and compression is probably not doing it justice but the example you posted doesn't look all that sharp. Do you have a Flickr or link to full res version? Or ideally an unsharpened version? Although these comparisons are mostly meaningless without a proper side-by-side, I'd like to get some baseline of what it's capable with in good light straight out of camera. And see if there are notable differences between copies as claimed by some members here and many more in the 180-600mm FB group.

Fred Amico wrote:
Wish mine was sharp.

Z9, 180-600 @ 600mm, f6.3

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53605766617_ed1c084b49_b.jpg




Apr 07, 2024 at 04:14 PM
sum1sgrampa
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p.34 #6 · p.34 #6 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


AlphaPhotography wrote:
I know you're being sarcastic and compression is probably not doing it justice but the example you posted doesn't look all that sharp. Do you have a Flickr or link to full res version? Or ideally an unsharpened version? Although these comparisons are mostly meaningless without a proper side-by-side, I'd like to get some baseline of what it's capable with in good light straight out of camera. And see if there are notable differences between copies as claimed by some members here and many more in the 180-600mm FB group.



OMG ! The noticeable difference between users is much more relevant than the difference between copies. It's capable. Go out and find something interesting to point your camera at and no one will give a flying you know what if your photo is not as sharp as the best 600 f4 out there. This is all so ridiculous. I'm personally so tired of reading on these forums about how modern equipment is not good enough for people here. I'm sorry to dump on you Alpha, don't take it personally. You just got caught in the crossfire It's time for one of my 3 month long breaks from this insanity. I'm off to California in two weeks where I'm unable to log on to this site. Thank God if there is one.



Apr 07, 2024 at 04:21 PM
AlphaPhotography
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p.34 #7 · p.34 #7 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


Of course it's capable. There is no doubt about that. There are dozens if not hundreds of excellent shots in this thread including your own. I only ask because I've seen several posts of users disappointed in their copy. It's difficult to discern what this lens is capable of without compression, sharpening, etc. Some have replaced their original copies with ones they claim are far sharper than their first. I'm trying to temper my expectations and be realistic about what this lens is capable of, especially at 600mm f6.3 and with the 1.4x. If it's significantly softer than my 100-500mm I'll have to decide if I should try to exchange it or just return it if it's normal for this lens. Hopefully I'll just be thrilled with it and not have to worry.

I'm in the middle of a massive potential system change. The telephoto zoom lenses performance are an essential piece of that decision. I owned the Sony 200-600mm previously that I shot on my A9II and A7RIV. I loved and miss that lens. My current RF 100-500mm is excellent but a bit short on reach. The 1.4x TC limited compatibility is frustrating. The Canon 200-800mm which I also have on order has mixed reviews. It's external zooming, fixed lens collar/foot, slow aperture, slower focus speed than the 100-500mm, and potentially soft at the long end depending on who you ask. When you're spending thousands of dollars on lenses I like to be sure they're performing as expected. Perhaps some people's expectations are just too high. Mine are high for all of these modern lenses, even if those in this range are considered the "budget options". I work on a 48" 4k display so soft lenses become quite obvious. I enjoy tack sharp images and it weighs into my decision on which lenses I buy or keep. I crop and reframe often. When owner's emphasize how sharp their copy is but it either doesn't appear sharp (not their fault with compression) or it's impossible to discern with clear heavy sharpening, it's only fair to ask if that image can be viewed in a more appropriate resolution for a fair shake. If they don't wish to share the full resolution that's fine too. But I'd assume they would if they're elated with their copy of the lens enough to make a point of it.

I don't want to derail this thread much on discussions of copy variation for this lens instead of seeing more great images from it but here are some further discussions about it: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4743109

The copy Steve Perry tested was "quite a bit" softer at 600mm f6.3 compared to the Sony 200-600mm: https://youtu.be/qV-KWLzOncE?si=tRECSCsLvTONPiD2

https://bcgforums.com/threads/180-600-disappointment.28886/

Based on this do you think there is a quality control issue (bad copies) or are some people's expectations too high?

I'll report back my thoughts once mine arrives and I'm able to test it. If I'm unhappy with the performance I may make a dedicated thread here on FM for a proper discussion.


sum1sgrampa wrote:
OMG ! The noticeable difference between users is much more relevant than the difference between copies. It's capable. Go out and find something interesting to point your camera at and no one will give a flying you know what if your photo is not as sharp as the best 600 f4 out there. This is all so ridiculous. I'm personally so tired of reading on these forums about how modern equipment is not good enough for people here. I'm sorry to dump on you Alpha, don't take it personally. You just got caught in the crossfire It's time for
...Show more




























Apr 07, 2024 at 05:00 PM
Fred Amico
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p.34 #8 · p.34 #8 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


AlphaPhotography wrote:
I know you're being sarcastic and compression is probably not doing it justice but the example you posted doesn't look all that sharp. Do you have a Flickr or link to full res version? Or ideally an unsharpened version? Although these comparisons are mostly meaningless without a proper side-by-side, I'd like to get some baseline of what it's capable with in good light straight out of camera. And see if there are notable differences between copies as claimed by some members here and many more in the 180-600mm FB group.



Sorry, I don't have any full res versions online. I can say that initially I was hesitant about getting this lens until I saw how many good images made with it were posted here awhile back. Seeing those changed my mind, I got mine, and am very happy with it. As sum1sgrampa said, get one and see what you think. No matter what some folks have said about its poor performance, I disagree and think you will be pleased with one.



Apr 07, 2024 at 07:30 PM
SCoombs
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p.34 #9 · p.34 #9 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


AlphaPhotography wrote:
Of course it's capable. There is no doubt about that. There are dozens if not hundreds of excellent shots in this thread including your own. I only ask because I've seen several posts of users disappointed in their copy. It's difficult to discern what this lens is capable of without compression, sharpening, etc. Some have replaced their original copies with ones they claim are far sharper than their first. I'm trying to temper my expectations and be realistic about what this lens is capable of, especially at 600mm f6.3 and with the 1.4x. If it's significantly softer than my 100-500mm
...Show more

For whatever it's worth, I was very skeptical after seeing a lot of what I considered underwhelming images shared online but was on a long waiting list so was unable to try one myself. While I was waiting, a fair number of much better images were posted online leading me to go through with my order when the time came. I received my copy around a month and a half ago now and... well, I've been disappointed.

I'm not someone coming to the lens with unreasonable expectations. Until the past week I'd never had a nice prime lens and the only past lenses to help set my expectations were the Nikon 200-500 and the Sigma 150-600 sport. The best way I can describe my experience of my 180-600 is that I can get results that look about as good as I got out of the 200-500, BUT I have to stop the 180-600 down to get those results whereas the 200-500 can achieve the results wide open, and so to get what I get with the 200-500 at f5.6 I need to shoot at f7.1 on the 180-600, meaning that for a given shot at, say, ISO 1000 it will instead be ISO 1600 or something, or ISO 3200 vs. 2000, or ISO 6400 instead of 4000, etc.

I've also found that my copy of the 180-600 is it seems a lot more finnicky about things like turning the VR off at higher shutter speeds. I never had to turn the VR off on my 200-500, whereas on this lens if I leave it on at higher shutter speeds it seems to result in minor blurring. I find this slightly more annoying than it may seem because the lens does not have a physical VR switch meaning that to go back and forth in a live shooting scenario I have to do a little bit of menu diving. Because I am also shooting the lens at f7.1 most of the time, I am also a little bit more active in terms of adjusting the shutter speed down for static shots and up again only when I need it, so I am having to mess with the menus more than I'd like in order to get the VR on or off as appropriate.

Since this is a thread about discussion as well as sharing, I will share some of the better results I have been able to get with the lens. It's worth noting that most of these have had much more sharpening applied then I typically have with other lenses like my 200-500 and they don't look this good at more normal resolutions:
















































Apr 07, 2024 at 09:15 PM
AlphaPhotography
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p.34 #10 · p.34 #10 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


Thank you for the feedback and great images. It's good to hear some criticism. Do you think it has anything to do with quality control or sample variation or do you believe this is simply what this lens is capable of? Have you found examples from others that you think appear better than what your lens is producing? I'm sure it's probably impossible to tell since most images are processed, sharpened, compressed, etc.

I'll report back with my thoughts once I receive mine.

SCoombs wrote:
For whatever it's worth, I was very skeptical after seeing a lot of what I considered underwhelming images shared online but was on a long waiting list so was unable to try one myself. While I was waiting, a fair number of much better images were posted online leading me to go through with my order when the time came. I received my copy around a month and a half ago now and... well, I've been disappointed.

I'm not someone coming to the lens with unreasonable expectations. Until the past week I'd never had a nice prime lens and the
...Show more



Apr 07, 2024 at 09:23 PM
 


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SCoombs
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p.34 #11 · p.34 #11 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


AlphaPhotography wrote:
Thank you for the feedback and great images. It's good to hear some criticism. Do you think it has anything to do with quality control or sample variation or do you believe this is simply what this lens is capable of? Have you found examples from others that you think appear better than what your lens is producing? I'm sure it's probably impossible to tell since most images are processed, sharpened, compressed, etc.

I'll report back with my thoughts once I receive mine.


I think it's hard for me to feel like I have a good sense of what is down to the lens model vs. my particular copy vs. whatever else.

I DO think there are some examples people have posted that are better than what I have seen from my lens, but on the other hand an awful lot of these are posted as lower resolution photos and it's easier to sharpen up a photo when it's only ever going to be viewed at a lower resolution. In some cases I've seen photos posted which have clearly been run through Topaz sharpening or something similar, but that doesn't mean that every good looking example out there has been processed like this.

I'd also say that during the timeframe I've had the lens I have not had the best opportunities to get good photos. It has been a relatively dull and dreary winter where I am and I've generally not had good light.

For whatever it's worth, I've run my lens through Reikan's FoCal several times and it's rated it in the mid 70s for sharpness, hitting as high as 81 during one test. If this is accurate, it would mean that my copy is certainly not as sharp as some out there BUT it would also mean that it is above average or average at worst and so I'd think it's probably reasonable to regard it as representative of what a person can expect from the lens.



Apr 08, 2024 at 12:39 AM
Fred Amico
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p.34 #12 · p.34 #12 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


Z9, 180-600 @600mm, f8, 1/800




Apr 08, 2024 at 04:19 PM
OwlsEyes
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p.34 #13 · p.34 #13 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


Fred Amico wrote:
Z9, 180-600 @600mm@, f8, 1/800

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/53641173623_35d451aa00_b.jpg


This is stunning



Apr 08, 2024 at 07:55 PM
Fred Amico
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p.34 #14 · p.34 #14 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


OwlsEyes wrote:
This is stunning


Thank you for the very kind words, Bruce, and glad you liked it.



Apr 08, 2024 at 08:34 PM
Jman13
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p.34 #15 · p.34 #15 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


Cross-post from the Z images thread. Z8 with 180-600 + 1.4x for the eclipse:



























Apr 08, 2024 at 09:32 PM
sum1sgrampa
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p.34 #16 · p.34 #16 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


Missed the moment of totality. Clouds were too heavy




  NIKON Z 9    NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR Z TC-1.4x lens    800mm    f/11.0    1/32000s    250 ISO    -2.3 EV  






  NIKON Z 9    NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR Z TC-1.4x lens    840mm    f/11.0    1/16000s    250 ISO    -2.3 EV  






  NIKON Z 9    NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR Z TC-1.4x lens    790mm    f/11.0    1/5000s    250 ISO    -2.3 EV  




Apr 09, 2024 at 07:23 AM
Jman13
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p.34 #17 · p.34 #17 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


One more from yesterday, zoomed out a little to capture a bit more of the corona:








Apr 09, 2024 at 08:11 AM
kaiserkudo
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p.34 #18 · p.34 #18 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread






Apr 10, 2024 at 05:47 AM
NightOwl Cat
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p.34 #19 · p.34 #19 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


I finally got this lens 77 days after ordering...

first three shots were of a lone tulip in my yard on this overcast and sometimes rainy day



© NightOwl Cat 2024

  NIKON Z fc    NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR lens    450mm    f/6.0    1/60s    400 ISO    -0.7 EV  





© NightOwl Cat 2024

  NIKON Z fc    NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR lens    600mm    f/6.3    1/50s    400 ISO    -0.7 EV  





© NightOwl Cat 2024

  NIKON Z fc    NIKKOR Z 180-600mm f/5.6-6.3 VR lens    600mm    f/6.3    1/60s    400 ISO    -0.7 EV  




Apr 10, 2024 at 06:35 PM
bs kite
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p.34 #20 · p.34 #20 · Official Nikon Z 180-600mm f5.6-6.3 VR Image Thread


imo..... an excellent, objective review




Apr 11, 2024 at 07:14 PM
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