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Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?

  
 
johnvanr
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


scalanc2 wrote:
Problem?
Funny!
To me the problems are grips.


To each his own…



May 13, 2024 at 12:40 PM
pdesopo
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


RoamingScott wrote:
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 even exposed the same.

I'm glad you like your ZF.


Well, I pronounced it the best street camera in my experience
I come from Fuji, (and Sony and Canon before that), my experience can only relate to that.
In fact, I'm talking about street photography camera in that class.
I think a lot of street shooters can relate, considering most of them shoot Fuji, and not many can afford Leica. Or, at least, that's what I figured

Not sure to understand your point about the 40mp non-stacked sensor: what camera are you referring to?

As for the test, as I stated, it is not a scientific test by any means.



May 13, 2024 at 12:44 PM
1bwana1
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Perfect? No, at least for me. Too big, too heavy, lacks ergonomically until a good collection of tiny AF/MF native glass with aperture rings, and depth of field scales on them.

I was just in NY City shooting street and two of the group had Zf cameras. They shot standard Nikon AF zoom lenses. That made for a rather large kit for street. But for them that was not an issue. They loved the camera, and got great results. So, maybe perfect for them



May 13, 2024 at 12:55 PM
RoamingScott
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


pdesopo wrote:
Not sure to understand your point about the 40mp non-stacked sensor: what camera are you referring to?

As for the test, as I stated, it is not a scientific test by any means.


Fuji's 5th generation cameras have standardized on the 40mp non-stacked sensor. X-T5, X-H2, X100VI, and all upcoming models. These are what you should compare to the ZF, not the niche stacked sensor X-H2S.

It seems odd you wouldn't know this if you come from a Fuji background.



May 13, 2024 at 01:01 PM
pdesopo
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


RoamingScott wrote:
Fuji's 5th generation cameras have standardized on the 40mp non-stacked sensor. X-T5, X-H2, X100VI, and all upcoming models. These are what you should compare to the ZF, not the niche stacked sensor X-H2S.

It seems odd you wouldn't know this if you come from a Fuji background.


I was confused, as I thought you were referring to a specific model from my write-up.
I'm still confused, though, you mentioned from a price standpoint. What exactly do you mean?



May 13, 2024 at 01:05 PM
RoamingScott
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


pdesopo wrote:
I was confused, as I thought you were referring to a specific model from my write-up.
I'm still confused, though, you mentioned from a price standpoint. What exactly do you mean?


To put this in number, we’re comparing a $2,619.74 system (Nikon Zf + lens&adapter) to a $3,598.00 system (Fuji X-H2s + lens).

The X-H2S is $800 more than the X-T5, which is a camera better suited as an apples to apples comparison to the ZF.

The X-T5 with its 40mp sensor also takes photos that have a not-insignificant improvement in contrast compared to the X-H2S.

Just pointing out a few things I noticed with your findings, which unfortunately seem to fall victim to recency bias.



May 13, 2024 at 01:07 PM
oguruma
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Honestly, I still prefer the Fuji X-Mount as a travel and street photography system, as well as for a system that offers a more analog-like interface.

1) The lack of aperture rings on any Z-Mount lenses (save for the Voigtlanders) really leaves the Zf's analog-like interface feeling half-baked. The fact that on the Nikon Z-lenses you're not actually moving the elements with the manual focus ring also kind of takes away from the experience as far as manual focusing goes.

2) Film simulations, for travel photography especially, are pretty awesome. When I used the X-Mount for travel, I would typically just upload film-simulated images as soon as I got back to the hotel room, since I wanted to share my favorites without having to spend time editing while I was traveling.

3) Having to put the Zf into Manual/Aperture Priority/Shutter Priority really undermines the benefit of having the analog ISO/Shutter dial. With the X-Mounts, there is no need to need for a metering mode dial, because you can effectively switch between Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual by controlling whether or not the Shutter Dial or the Aperture Ring are in the "A" setting. For example, for manual metering, simply set the aperture and the shutter to whatever you want. For Aperture Priority, you just put the shutter dial in "A", and for Shutter priority you just have to place the aperture ring to "A." There's no need for an MASP selector like on the Zf.

4) The Z-Mount lenses are way too damn big, and with the exception of the 28/40mm "SE" lenses, really don't match the aesthetic of the camera body. X-Mount has a plethora of compact primes to choose from, and they all match the aesthetic of the camera bodies nicely.

5) I never had any of my X-Mount cameras overheat, but my dad's Zf has overheated multiple times while taking stills, YMMV.


Edited on May 13, 2024 at 01:34 PM · View previous versions



May 13, 2024 at 01:24 PM
pdesopo
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


RoamingScott wrote:
To put this in number, we’re comparing a $2,619.74 system (Nikon Zf + lens&adapter) to a $3,598.00 system (Fuji X-H2s + lens).

The X-H2S is $800 more than the X-T5, which is a camera better suited as an apples to apples comparison to the ZF.


I see, but the X-T5 costs $1,699.00, which is cheaper than the Zf. I get that the discrepancy with the X-H2s is even more, but then, people would have probably objected that I was comparing a cheaper camera to a more expensive one.
Of course, all this assuming I could have done such a test (which, unfortunately, is not the case).

If anything, one would think that a more expensive one would deliver better results. Then it gets complicated, because the higher cost of the X-H2s might not be exactly justified by the stills quality, considering it is a camera mostly oriented to video shooters (and I understand, 24-mp FF -> 40-mp aps-c, although one needs to take into account lens choices)

But I still find the comparison relevant. We're not talking about a point and shoot camera, but a flagship.

That said, I think it's a matter of perception. The colors the Zf renders are, to me, way more pleasing than Fuji, and I'm aware of what the X-T5 can deliver. With this, I'm not bashing Fuji colors by any means, it's just that I find Nikon's more natural, and deeper for lack of a better term.

I think Fuji might have invested too much on the film sim thing (somewhat understandably), but, and I'm repeating myself, I found old Fuji cameras capable of rendering more unique colors than modern versions. That's just me 🤷‍♀️

RoamingScott wrote:
Just pointing out a few things I noticed with your findings, which unfortunately seem to fall victim to recency bias.


I can assure you, that is not the case. I was very cautious during my first review of the Zf back in November.
If you mean personal preferences, then, yes.



May 13, 2024 at 01:30 PM
RoamingScott
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


pdesopo wrote:
I see, but the X-T5 costs $1,699.00, which is cheaper than the Zf. I get that the discrepancy with the X-H2s is even more, but then, people would have probably objected that I was comparing a cheaper camera to a more expensive one.
Of course, all this assuming I could have done such a test (which, unfortunately, is not the case).

If anything, one would think that a more expensive one would deliver better results. Then it gets complicated, because the higher cost of the X-H2s might not be exactly justified by the stills quality, considering it is a camera mostly
...Show more

Well, this post cleared up any remaining misconceptions anyone might have had about your applied technical prowess in terms of an objective comparison.



May 13, 2024 at 01:37 PM
pdesopo
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


RoamingScott wrote:
Well, this post cleared up any remaining misconceptions anyone might have had about your applied technical prowess in terms of an objective comparison.


Obviously, there's some confusion here. I never stated to be a technical person or that I was doing a scientific test.
I leave the technicality to others, I prefer to focus on the fun part



May 13, 2024 at 01:48 PM
 


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johnvanr
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


pdesopo wrote:
Obviously, there's some confusion here. I never stated to be a technical person or that I was doing a scientific test.
I leave the technicality to others, I prefer to focus on the fun part


This discussion with RoamingScott has more to do with how you put together your blog post than with anything else. If you had added a bunch of disclaimers about your approach, the post would at least have been internally consistent. Now you made a few strong statements that some take at face value.



May 13, 2024 at 01:56 PM
pdesopo
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


johnvanr wrote:
This discussion with RoamingScott has more to do with how you put together your blog post than with anything else. If you had added a bunch of disclaimers about your approach, the post would at least have been internally consistent. Now you made a few strong statements that some take at face value.


Not sure what else I could have added:

"I decided to take the two camera out for a test, and see how they would compare in similar conditions. This isn’t a scientific test by any means, I just did it for fun."




May 13, 2024 at 01:57 PM
johnvanr
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


pdesopo wrote:
Not sure what else I could have added:

"I decided to take the two camera out for a test, and see how they would compare in similar conditions. This isn’t a scientific test by any means, I just did it for fun."



Yeah, but you start the post with saying the Zf is the best street camera, which you later say is an overstatement but still, it’s a claim you cannot make or back up.

Then you compare apples and oranges. Even if it’s just for fun, it still doesn’t mean the comparison makes sense.

You present all that as a serious looking article, complete with a table of contents, when in reality it’s a quick write up of your personal impressions and nothing more.

Personally, I just ignored the comparison discussion in your article, but that’s me.



May 13, 2024 at 02:09 PM
pdesopo
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


johnvanr wrote:
Yeah, but you start the post with saying the Zf is the best street camera, which you later say is an overstatement but still, it’s a claim you cannot make or back up.

Then you compare apples and oranges. Even if it’s just for fun, it still doesn’t mean the comparison makes sense.

You present all that as a serious looking article, complete with a table of contents, when in reality it’s a quick write up of your personal impressions and nothing more.

Personally, I just ignored the comparison discussion in your article, but that’s me.


When did I later say is an overstatement?

So, the issue from your perspective is that it's not clear enough that is just my point of view based solely on my experience?





May 13, 2024 at 02:15 PM
johnvanr
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


pdesopo wrote:
When did I later say is an overstatement?

So, the issue from your perspective is that it's not clear enough that is just my point of view based solely on my experience?



“Did Nikon create the perfect camera, especially in the context of a retro-like experience? Of course no, but it’s one of the closest product to it on the market. There’s no perfect camera, period.”

It’s clear to me that it’s your personal opinion, because it’s clear to me that you’re not a professional writer.



May 13, 2024 at 02:23 PM
pdesopo
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


johnvanr wrote:
“Did Nikon create the perfect camera, especially in the context of a retro-like experience? Of course no, but it’s one of the closest product to it on the market. There’s no perfect camera, period.”

It’s clear to me that it’s your personal opinion, because it’s clear to me that you’re not a professional writer.


You're right, I'm not a professional writer at all. I only thought I'd share my thoughts as a street photographer.

But I do think it's quite obvious, something I reiterate during the piece, that it's a personal take on a gear, no more, no less.

I understand touching on technical aspects without "profound" technical knowledge may annoy some types of people, even if it's clearly done and stated that's from a non-technical standpoint. At that point, I think the reader can ignore that part. But, hey, point taken.

That said, everything that has to do with imaged is based on pure perception, hence is always tied to the individuals themselves.
Which is why we pick one camera over another, and that's the perfect camera for us.



May 13, 2024 at 02:46 PM
pdesopo
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


@johnvanr

Thanks for your feedback, I updated the article and added some caveats at the very top.

I hope that helps dissipate any misunderstanding and helps for a more clear introduction.





May 13, 2024 at 03:50 PM
Jepser
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


oguruma wrote:
Honestly, I still prefer the Fuji X-Mount as a travel and street photography system, as well as for a system that offers a more analog-like interface.

1) The lack of aperture rings on any Z-Mount lenses (save for the Voigtlanders) really leaves the Zf's analog-like interface feeling half-baked. The fact that on the Nikon Z-lenses you're not actually moving the elements with the manual focus ring also kind of takes away from the experience as far as manual focusing goes.

2) Film simulations, for travel photography especially, are pretty awesome. When I used the X-Mount for travel, I would typically just
...Show more

1) Just get Voigtländer lenses.
2) SOOC Jpegs are so good, no need fot post.
3) No big deal, easy to get used to. Specislly if you had a F4
4) Just buy Voigtländer lenses
5) how?



May 13, 2024 at 05:07 PM
oguruma
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Jepser wrote:
1) Just get Voigtländer lenses.
2) SOOC Jpegs are so good, no need fot post.
3) No big deal, easy to get used to. Specislly if you had a F4
4) Just buy Voigtländer lenses
5) how?


While I having nothing against the Voigtlander lenses for what they are, they don't offer auto-focus or the same variety of aperture/focal lengths that the Fuji X-Mount lenses do, and even if those options were available, I find the Fuji would still be more pleasant to use due to the lack of a need for an MASP selector.

Sure, the jpegs that come from the Zf (and most of the Z cameras, honestly) are great, but the film simulations offer something special that the Nikons don't, though that might not be important to everybody.





May 13, 2024 at 05:24 PM
tzhang4284
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


I recently purchased a Nikon ZF as a complement to my Leica M kit and overall have enjoyed using it as a hybrid photo / video camera. I do think for stills only, I would probably grab the Leica or Fuji X100VI before this. Much better size, image quality, and comfort.

The biggest painpoints i found with this camera is on size/weight/ergonomics and lens selection. On size and weight, I do wish Nikon used lighter weight materials even if it seemed less premium. On ergonomics, it was very uncomfortable for me until I added a soft shutter release that just moved the positions enough. Also, the lack of aperture rings on Nikon AF lenses really kills ergonomics for this camera compared to MF lenses with aperture rings. Lastly, the native small lens selection is pretty mediocre - the 26mm, 28mm, and 40mm are all kinda meh - I think Sony has better small lenses and I think their lens selection there is also weak.

On positives worth calling out, I do think the MF experience with eye AF confirm is hugely better vs focus peaking or magnification. The color science is also pretty good - I think Fuji and Leica are still better and more engaging but Nikon colors are quite good and competitive.

Overall, I hope Nikon takes the strong sales of the ZF to build out a better ecosystem around it. Namely, add aperture rings to their AF lenses and build premium small lenses that are not just ok at best.



May 13, 2024 at 06:19 PM
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