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Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?

  
 
pdesopo
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Hi there,

I wanted to share this write-up of mine about the Nikon Zf, which I've been using for the past few months:
I've been a Fuji shooter for about seven years. Last year, tired of waiting for the X-Pro 4, I decided to give the Zf a try.

Here are my conclusions:
https://www.pierodesopo.com/why-the-nikon-zf-is-the-perfect-street-photography-camera/



May 09, 2024 at 12:52 PM
thenoilif
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


I agree with everything in your write up.

I've been a photographer for 10 years now and I went from a Sony a6000 to an A7R2, then to Fuji, and back to a Sony a7R4.

During that time, my favorite camera to actually use were the Fujis. The last one I had was the X-T4. I loved that camera but I had an accident where I fell into a swimming pool while taking a mix of Patron and camera shots and it destroyed the camera and lens.

I replaced the camera with the A7R4 because I thought that Sony had finally corrected their color science and ergonomics and wanted to go back to full frame. I still didn't enjoy the Sony experience.

When the Zf came out I jumped at the opportunity to have a body that worked similar to Fujis while also having a FF sensor.

At first, I thought the body was a little heavy but loved the build quality and how beautiful the camera looked. Soon enough after only using it for a couple of weeks my hands and arms adjusted to the weight of the camera and now it feels as light as my previous cameras.

Another thing that you mentioned is the color science of the jpegs between Nikon and Fuji. I personally favor the colors of the Nikon. Fuji relies so heavily on their film simulations that I tend to see a lot of repition in the images that people produce with those cameras. Nikon does a better job of capturing more releastic colors while also offering up more customization in their picture controls. You can also download presets that emulate some of the more notable film stocks including Fuji and Kodak from www.nikonpc.com and I've found them to be pretty accurate.

I've now had the Zf for 3 months and I can confidently say that this is the most enjoyable camera body I've ever owned. The flexibility of being able to shoot manual focus and using the exposure dials or setting it up to be more like an automated modern camera makes it so much fun to use.

I mostly use it for street, travel, family, and lifestyle photography so I haven't paired with any lenses over 85mm but I think that this is what this camera was mainly designed for. Putting a large telephoto on here may create some handling issues but that's not the type of photography that I ever plan to get into with this camera but its still more than capable to handle that type of photography.



May 10, 2024 at 04:27 AM
newyork
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


That adapter is only like $60? Do have that right? Is the $300 CV adapter not worth the extra coin?


May 10, 2024 at 07:18 AM
pdesopo
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Thanks for reading it!

Then we went through similar experiences. I started with Canon, and then moved to Sony, and like you, I didn't like Sony's colors. Either too muddy, or lacking in one way or another. And their menu system was quite a nightmare to navigate. I'd suppose now it's improved, the Sony I used was the A6000.

The repetitiveness with Fuji film sims is one issue I agree with, and on top of that, after adjusting my eye to Nikon's colors, now I see Fuji's somewhat more flat, for lack of a better term.

I tried some recipes from nikonpc, there are some good in there.
I now settled on one creative picture control (sepia), but with a low opacity, and so far I'm enjoying a lot.



May 10, 2024 at 11:56 AM
pdesopo
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


newyork wrote:
That adapter is only like $60? Do have that right? Is the $300 CV adapter not worth the extra coin?


The adapter I'm using is actually even cheaper, only $27
https://www.kentfaith.com/KF06.388_leica-m-lenses-to-nikon-z-mount-camera-adapter

I think the more expensive adapters either have electronic contacts, which can be useful for someone, or possibly better build? I'm not sure, I haven't checked them out except for the TTArtisan 6bit which I'm considering buying it due to the focus confirmation.

But the dummy adapter I'm using is good enough. Funny thing, the same $27 K&F is sold on Amazon for about $60.

If I ever will have issue with it, I might give this one a try ($152):
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1782090-REG/rayqual_lm_nz_lens_mount_adapter_for.html





May 10, 2024 at 12:00 PM
alskouba
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Thanks for sharing! It seems most of the Zf users are coming from other brands. I used Canon for a decade or so and when Sony started to dominate the mirrorless market I switched. Sony where great and technological marvel but they where so uninspiring and they never got my creative juice going. Tried Fuji witch was much better in that regard but still felt like a compromise because of the Apsc mount.

The Zf seemed to be the full frame Fuji that I was looking for. And it was actually so much more than that! Not only the body is a joy to use it feels like a top quality camera.

But what got me hooked was the S line glass. Every time I use one of the S line I am exited to see the images on the computer as the colors/rendering/pop is simply amazing. Something I did not have with any GM lens or Fuji lenses. I really enjoy the 1.8S series lenses that seems to be unique to the Z mount. They are affordable and truly amazing optically and still a decent size for the Zf.

The other factor that helped me switch is the adaptabillity of the Z mount. You can virtually adapt any lens from any mount and retain autofocus. Altough I dont use that feature much it's appeasing to know you can if you wanted to.

Edited on May 10, 2024 at 08:03 PM · View previous versions



May 10, 2024 at 12:15 PM
newyork
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Thatís worth buying just so you can choose M glass or not. Looks quality.

pdesopo wrote:
The adapter I'm using is actually even cheaper, only $27
https://www.kentfaith.com/KF06.388_leica-m-lenses-to-nikon-z-mount-camera-adapter

I think the more expensive adapters either have electronic contacts, which can be useful for someone, or possibly better build? I'm not sure, I haven't checked them out except for the TTArtisan 6bit which I'm considering buying it due to the focus confirmation.

But the dummy adapter I'm using is good enough. Funny thing, the same $27 K&F is sold on Amazon for about $60.

If I ever will have issue with it, I might give this one a try ($152):
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1782090-REG/rayqual_lm_nz_lens_mount_adapter_for.html





May 10, 2024 at 12:17 PM
pdesopo
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Now you made me curious.
I used modern AF lenses rarely over the years, most of the time only manual lenses.
Although now the manual focus experience is perfect for me, your enthusiasm about the S line sparked my interest. It's hard to imagine I'd switch, but I'm very curious to see how they render. Thanks for pointing that out.



May 10, 2024 at 04:41 PM
Gunigaon
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


I feel Sony lenses work very well on ZF and Sony has a huge line up of glass to choose from. Many of their lenses have an aperture ring also, and they are generally smaller than typical S line primes, for example, compare 20 1.8 G with Z 20/1.8

On adapter side, Megadap is expensive but works like a charm. More importantly, it's beautiful when mounted on ZF, almost line one of those custom made accessories. It gives a classic retro touch to the body-lens because of that silver ring like feel.



pdesopo wrote:
Now you made me curious.
I used modern AF lenses rarely over the years, most of the time only manual lenses.
Although now the manual focus experience is perfect for me, your enthusiasm about the S line sparked my interest. It's hard to imagine I'd switch, but I'm very curious to see how they render. Thanks for pointing that out.




May 11, 2024 at 11:45 PM
pdesopo
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Gunigaon wrote:
I feel Sony lenses work very well on ZF and Sony has a huge line up of glass to choose from. Many of their lenses have an aperture ring also, and they are generally smaller than typical S line primes, for example, compare 20 1.8 G with Z 20/1.8

On adapter side, Megadap is expensive but works like a charm. More importantly, it's beautiful when mounted on ZF, almost line one of those custom made accessories. It gives a classic retro touch to the body-lens because of that silver ring like feel.


Interesting. What Megadap adapater are you referring specifically? Sony or Leica M to z?

I looked up the Leica M, and it seems they removed it from their website, I can only find used ones on eBay.
Is it this one? https://photographylife.com/reviews/megadap-mtz11-leica-m-to-nikon-z-autofocus-adapter



May 12, 2024 at 02:29 PM
 


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ArizonaImage
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?



I shot with the Zf and 50mm 1.2 S and boy that lens sure makes you wish you had a nice grip on the Zf.



May 12, 2024 at 04:01 PM
AdaptedLenses
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Since you like Film Sims and SOOC Jpeg, check nikonpc.com.

pdesopo wrote:
Hi there,

I wanted to share this write-up of mine about the Nikon Zf, which I've been using for the past few months:
I've been a Fuji shooter for about seven years. Last year, tired of waiting for the X-Pro 4, I decided to give the Zf a try.

Here are my conclusions:
https://www.pierodesopo.com/why-the-nikon-zf-is-the-perfect-street-photography-camera/




May 12, 2024 at 07:57 PM
pdesopo
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


AdaptedLenses wrote:
Since you like Film Sims and SOOC Jpeg, check nikonpc.com.



Thanks, I do know nikonpc, there are some nice recipes there, but I hope more people will check it out. It's a great resource.
As I wrote on my review, I'm not using SOOC anymore. The RAW workflow on the Nikon is just too good to give up.

Now I'm using only two customized picture control, one for color, and one for B&W.
And if needed, it really takes only a few minor adjustments to get the image properly balanced.



May 13, 2024 at 12:07 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


I rented the Zf and found it wasnít for me. I donít know why they didnít add a decent grip, but then a lot of the Fuji cameras suffer from the same problem.


May 13, 2024 at 12:18 PM
pdesopo
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


johnvanr wrote:
I rented the Zf and found it wasnít for me. I donít know why they didnít add a decent grip, but then a lot of the Fuji cameras suffer from the same problem.


I can understand that.
I know the solution for some has been adding a third-party grip. Have you tried that?



May 13, 2024 at 12:23 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


pdesopo wrote:
I can understand that.
I know the solution for some has been adding a third-party grip. Have you tried that?


No, I also found the Zf too large and heavy for my use case and thought Nikon made a mistake not rolling out lenses with an aperture ring and depth-of-field scale.



May 13, 2024 at 12:32 PM
pdesopo
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


johnvanr wrote:
No, I also found the Zf too large and heavy for my use case and thought Nikon made a mistake not rolling out lenses with an aperture ring and depth-of-field scale.


Yeah, then no, definitely not for you
Out of curiosity, what camera do you use?



May 13, 2024 at 12:34 PM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Seems odd to pronounce the ZF camera the best street cam with zero Leica experience

It's also very odd to do your direct comparison to Fuji with a stacked sensor camera vs one of the 40mp non-stacked current gen models, at least from a price standpoint.

I can't take the "dimensionality" discussion seriously with comparison photos that are not exposed the same nor the same white balance.

I'm glad you like your ZF.

Edited on May 13, 2024 at 12:39 PM · View previous versions



May 13, 2024 at 12:36 PM
scalanc2
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


johnvanr wrote:
I rented the Zf and found it wasnít for me. I donít know why they didnít add a decent grip, but then a lot of the Fuji cameras suffer from the same problem.


Problem?
Funny!
To me the problems are grips.



May 13, 2024 at 12:36 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


pdesopo wrote:
Yeah, then no, definitely not for you
Out of curiosity, what camera do you use?


Loaded question, but for street mostly the Leica M11 (with thumb grip!). I also have some other smaller cameras, but theyíre not FF.



May 13, 2024 at 12:40 PM
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