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Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?

  
 
1bwana1
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p.9 #1 · p.9 #1 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


JustShootMe wrote:
True and the Leica M’s will never be considered anything more than a luxury item these days , nobody buys another camera because they really wanted a Leica. They buy other cameras because they far surpass what the Leica can do , and the ease at which they can accomplish those tasks. I’ve owned 3 M’s , just not for me , I think they are fun to use but it wouldn’t be my choice for anything but casual family snaps, vacation photos , maybe some street. The Porsche and the Ford do exactly the same thing , the experience
...Show more


I think that we are in agreement that the Leica is a luxury item. I would never have an M as my only camera, you are correct it is limiting in too many ways. So, I keep and A1 for my AF system. But when I am in the mood to shoot my M (which is most often these days) no other camera offers even close to the same experience that I enjoy so much. However, I have no interest in owning any of the Leica AF cameras. Simply not competitive I agree. That same discussion is true between a Porsche and my Ford SUV. They do different things for me. A Ford cannot do what a Porsche can do either. I have owned plenty of both and they don't offer anywhere near the same experience.

There are a number of people even here on this thread who would love to have a Leica M but can't justify the costs. They often look for less expensive ways to achieve close to the Leica experience. Where do you think the term "poor man's Leica" comes from?

We are blessed when we are in a position to have such options.





May 22, 2024 at 07:01 PM
JustShootMe
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p.9 #2 · p.9 #2 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


1bwana1 wrote:
I think that we are in agreement that the Leica is a luxury item. I would never have an M as my only camera, you are correct it is limiting in too many ways. So, I keep and A1 for my AF system. But when I am in the mood to shoot my M (which is most often these days) no other camera offers even close to the same experience that I enjoy so much. However, I have no interest in owning any of the Leica AF cameras. Simply not competitive I agree. That same discussion is true between
...Show more

There is no poor man’s Leica , nobody else has a rangefinder which is the only thing that makes the Leica different.



May 22, 2024 at 07:03 PM
coralnut
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p.9 #3 · p.9 #3 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


> The "poor man" (not my words) will try and rationalize that the difference isn't worth the money.

The funny thing is that there are also people with millions who don't think the difference is worth the money. Are they 'rationalizing' too?



May 22, 2024 at 08:23 PM
1bwana1
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p.9 #4 · p.9 #4 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?




coralnut wrote:
> The "poor man" (not my words) will try and rationalize that the difference isn't worth the money.

The funny thing is that there are also people with millions who don't think the difference is worth the money. Are they 'rationalizing' too?


Of course there are, and no they are not rationalizing. They are buying whatever they want. Very different set of circumstances.



May 22, 2024 at 10:27 PM
coralnut
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p.9 #5 · p.9 #5 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


That's my point. It's not fair for someone to say that the 'poor' are rationalizing but the 'rich' are not when both of them make the same decision -- that the difference is not worth the money to them. In both cases the 'poor' and the 'rich' are using their money to buy what they want. The problem is that there are some camera snobs out there who think that because they think the difference is worth the money, they put down others who don't agree with them. They do this as if poverty is the only reason for anyone not to be a Leica owner, and as if anyone who has the money should always be a Leica owner. I think those are the people who tend to wear cameras as jewelry in an effort to validate their self worth. To be honest, the 'Leicaman' stereotype has been one of the reasons that I'm not an owner. Well, that and I don't like to have my film scratched.

I realize those were not your words, so these comments are not directed at you.

edit: fixed a typo

Edited on May 23, 2024 at 07:56 AM · View previous versions



May 22, 2024 at 11:52 PM
KLaban
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p.9 #6 · p.9 #6 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


You can be sure a thread is doomed when the car analogies appear!


May 23, 2024 at 02:11 AM
oguruma
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p.9 #7 · p.9 #7 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


JustShootMe wrote:
There is no poor man’s Leica , nobody else has a rangefinder which is the only thing that makes the Leica different.


That's not true. The Leica seems to imbue a sense of incessant smugness and pretension in its user the way no other camera can.



May 23, 2024 at 11:41 AM
sjms
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p.9 #8 · p.9 #8 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


i have shot with Leica in the past (used my friends M3 back long ago when i was young). what you need to tell me is just what is "the Leica experience"?

Edited on May 24, 2024 at 10:13 AM · View previous versions



May 24, 2024 at 10:03 AM
chez
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p.9 #9 · p.9 #9 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?




sjms wrote:
i have shot with Leica in the past (used my friends M3). what you need to tell me is just what is "the Leica experience"?


If you need to ask…well then the camera is just not for you. 😁



May 24, 2024 at 10:13 AM
sjms
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p.9 #10 · p.9 #10 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


hmmm. you know what that sounds like.

the only time i hear that statement is in expensive item commercials/ads. i have a low tolerance for words that mean nothing.



May 24, 2024 at 10:16 AM
 


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elkhornsun
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p.9 #11 · p.9 #11 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Even Cartier-bresson stopped using his Leica cameras as his eyesight started to deteriorate. I sold my M4 cameras and Leica lenses when I moved into digital. Not needing a darkroom and gaining autofocus were two compelling reasons to move to Nikon. Nikon was also the only real choice for underwater photography and underwater speedlights. But 100% of the appeal of the Leica cameras was the Leica lenses. That was 30+ years ago and a great deal has changed.

For a street setup my first choice would be the Sony s7c and a couple of Sony lenses, the incomparable 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS and the Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM. The Sony 24-105mm f/4 lens would also be worth adding.

I do own the Nikon 105mm macro and that on the Zf might be workable although it is 34% larger than the Sony a7c camera.



May 24, 2024 at 06:53 PM
elkhornsun
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p.9 #12 · p.9 #12 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Oddly enough there are many people selling their Zf cameras so there is some shortcoming they they discovered with the actual use of the camera.


May 24, 2024 at 06:59 PM
newyork
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p.9 #13 · p.9 #13 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


Those lenses seem big for street. I’m one to talk since I’m using the z8 and 24120/50 1.8/851.8105 macro. But I desperately want a much smaller rig for street and edc.



elkhornsun wrote:
Even Cartier-bresson stopped using his Leica cameras as his eyesight started to deteriorate. I sold my M4 cameras and Leica lenses when I moved into digital. Not needing a darkroom and gaining autofocus were two compelling reasons to move to Nikon. Nikon was also the only real choice for underwater photography and underwater speedlights. But 100% of the appeal of the Leica cameras was the Leica lenses. That was 30+ years ago and a great deal has changed.

For a street setup my first choice would be the Sony s7c and a couple of Sony lenses, the incomparable 100mm f/2.8
...Show more



May 24, 2024 at 07:00 PM
1bwana1
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p.9 #14 · p.9 #14 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


sjms wrote:
i have shot with Leica in the past (used my friends M3 back long ago when i was young). what you need to tell me is just what is "the Leica experience"?


For sure the Leica experience is not for everone. Perhaps not even most. For me it is embodied in the M cameras and is meaningful. It starts with the form factor, which is compact and easy to integrate into my daily activities. It continues with the build quality and materials used. The lenses are like fine mechanical watches. Solid, precise, opticaly excellent and interesting. Being entirely manual in operation, completely optical through the range finer, direct manual mechanical focus, with rock solid controls, I find gives me an intimate and personal shooting experience. My primary interaction being to control composition, exposure, and focus through mechanical controls rather than trying to outsmart computer algorithms in typical digital camera systems. This does positively influence the images I make, and the enjoyment I get when making them.

As I have said, it is personal and not fir everyone. These words are certainly not meaningless for me, and I hope others.



May 24, 2024 at 10:14 PM
sjms
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p.9 #15 · p.9 #15 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


it is definitely different strokes for different folks. Oh, the things dreams are made of!


May 25, 2024 at 04:14 AM
chatcher
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p.9 #16 · p.9 #16 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


elkhornsun wrote:
Oddly enough there are many people selling their Zf cameras so there is some shortcoming they they discovered with the actual use of the camera.


It wasn’t the Goldilocks “just right” camera for me. Nor have I found one… yet. I shoot for enjoyment, and I can be irrationally picky - the Zfc was too light and plasticky, so I welcomed the Zf, which was much more solid and heavy (not to mention FF, IBIS, “standard” battery). But I found it a little heavy and chunky for its ergonomics. I currently use a Z9, which is much heavier and bulkier, but fits and suits me better. Not what many would call a street camera, but after buying and using Zfc, Z5, Z7ii, Z8, and Zf, I prefer its flaws to the others.

I was a big fan of the Leica M6. When the M8 came out in 2006, I bought it, along with 35, 50, & 90 Summicrons (I bought a new old stock LHSA M6 collector set just to get the lenses). The M8 had a crop sensor and was thicker and bulkier than the M6. It never had the same feel for me as an M6, but it worked. In 2008, the Nikon D700 was released and I sold my Leica gear to buy one. Luckily the old M6 set more than held its value and I didn’t lose any money overall. The D700 was bigger, heavier, bulkier, noisier, and less refined than the Leica. But for me it was a more enjoyable camera.

I’m looking forward to the Z6iii, or whatever comes next. I’m sure it won’t be perfect.



May 25, 2024 at 08:01 AM
taildraggin
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p.9 #17 · p.9 #17 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


1bwana1 wrote:
For sure the Leica experience is not for everone. Perhaps not even most. For me it is embodied in the M cameras and is meaningful. It starts with the form factor, which is compact and easy to integrate into my daily activities. It continues with the build quality and materials used. The lenses are like fine mechanical watches. Solid, precise, opticaly excellent and interesting. Being entirely manual in operation, completely optical through the range finer, direct manual mechanical focus, with rock solid controls, I find gives me an intimate and personal shooting experience. My primary interaction being to control composition,
...Show more

Your words are NOT meaningless to us! You have revealed to the nikon community, the beauty and perfection of the leica. I praise you for your taste and connoisseurship. It really does uplift and set you apart.



May 25, 2024 at 08:28 AM
scalanc2
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p.9 #18 · p.9 #18 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


For sure the M6 was the last “real Leica” camera to me.
After that I just see attempts to renew the appeal of that line.
For some people it works, anyhow.



May 25, 2024 at 08:31 AM
coralnut
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p.9 #19 · p.9 #19 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


elkhornsun wrote:
Oddly enough there are many people selling their Zf cameras so there is some shortcoming they they discovered with the actual use of the camera.


I've noticed that as well -- there are LOTS of Zf cameras that make it to the Buy & Sell pages. That doesn't necessarily mean that the cameras are bad or have an inherent shortcoming. It could just be that people here like to buy new gear, give it a test run, and flip it.

I remember getting the "something must be wrong with it" misconception when I saw everyone flipping the Loxia 21mm lenses. I don't think they were bad or had any inherent shortcomings -- I think that their reputation just led everyone to give them a test run to see what they were missing. Then a lot of them ended up getting flipped.



May 25, 2024 at 08:49 AM
coralnut
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p.9 #20 · p.9 #20 · Nikon Zf, the perfect street photography camera?


1B1 and I have discussed this before -- I think that there are two parts to the 'Leica experience'. One of them is owning a traditional MF Leica camera and enjoying it for all of the beauty and quality in it's industrial design. Another part of the experience is the actual shooting experience which traditionally involves a rangefinder, MF and manual exposure. In some respects it's about embracing the traditional methods of photography before they were corrupted by automation.

Of course, that's not to say that you can't experience much of that same satisfaction by owning a different brand of camera. It's entirely possible to use a small, lightweight manual body like an FM in the same way that people use Leicas and have a similar photographic experience. The only part that's missing with that approach is the actual ownership of the Leica body and lenses.

Being an old fart, I learned photography in the era when everything was fully manual and when all of photography shared many aspects of the Leica Experience. Today much of what people consider the Leica Experience involves the preservation of traditional approaches to photography. I've never fully embraced automation though I use it when I need to use it. I don't like AF, I don't even like auto-exposure, as I feel that automation removes me from the methodical composition that comprised much of photographic experience that I learned in the beginning. I still like to do the focusing, exposure triangle calculations, and the flash calculations in my head. Learning to do things that way is a large part of the photographic aspect of the Leica experience -- but there's a big part of the experience that is left out -- owning the gear with the red dot. To many Leica owners the brand of camera matters (for more than one reason).

I've never been a big fan of rangefinders, I've always preferred an OVF and TTL view finding. But I don't think that TTL necessarily takes away from 'the experience.' It might surprise many to hear that I continue the old-fashioned photographic techniques using a modern full-frame Nikon D8x0 camera with all of the automatic features turned off, which I think of as being very similar to the photographic essentials of Leica photography experience, with only a hardware substitution. When I'm doing things that way, with all of the modern automation turned off, the camera ends up being a film holder (OK, a sensor holder), just like in the old days.

In the end I don't think that it's an absolute necessity to be a Leica owner to enjoy what I consider to be the most important aspects of the Leica Experience (aka traditional experience) in photography. Of course, that's not true for anyone who considers pride of ownership in a specific brand of camera to be a defining criterion in 'the experience.'



May 25, 2024 at 09:15 AM
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