Category Archives: Gear

First Impressions: Nikon Z fc

The Retro-Styled DX Mirrorless Nikon Camera

I just received the new Nikon Z fc camera kit with 16-50mm DX lens. You might be asking why I would purchase this camera, seeing as how I already have a Nikon Z 7 ii. The answer comes down to size and weight.

The Nikon Z fc, with my hedgehog, Lemmy (350g) for scale

The Nikon Z fc is a 20-megapixel, DX (APS-C) format mirrorless camera. While much has been hyped about it’s retro look (it does look a lot like my 1978 Nikon EL2), that’s only part of its charm. With the kit lens, the Nikon Z fc weighs in at around 576g. That’s less than half the weight of my Nikon Z 7 ii + 24-70 f/4 combo. This camera can easily fit into a jacket pocket.

The top controls include dials for ISO and Shutter Speed. Aperture is set via the front command dial, or you can configure the lens function ring to change aperture. There’s a tiny LCD panel on the top of the camera that displays the aperture (f-stop) value. There’s also an exposure compensation dial that ranges from ±3 EV in 1/3 stop increments.

The Nikon Z fc has a range of user-customizable options, including the i-Menu, and user-assignable functions for the front Fn1 button and the movie record button. There are fewer custom function buttons than what you’ll get on the larger Z6 and Z7 cameras, and there’s no Sub-Selector joystick.

Probably the biggest difference between the Z fc and other Nikon mirrorless cameras is the way the rear LCD is mounted. The rear LCD panel flips out from the side, rather than the top or bottom. This mounting arrangement allows you to use the LCD from the front of the camera (selfie mode), or rotate it to be completely covered and protected.

I’ll be putting the Nikon Z fc through its paces, but for now I’m pleased with its build quality and overall design.

Check Pricing and Configurations for the Nikon Z fc Mirrorless Digital Camera

Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 Shootout

Comparing the Nikon 14-24/2.8S with the legendary 14-24/2.8G

When Nikon introduced the AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED zoom Nikkor in late 2007, it was quickly hailed as a “legendary” lens. In fact, some reviewers said that its performance at 24mm was better than many 24mm prime lenses. In fact, even Canon users hailed this lens and would frequently use it on their cameras via a mount adapter. I purchased this lens and found it to be stellar on my full-frame Nikon DSLR bodies.

Fast-forward to 2020, and Nikon has just released a new 14-24mm f/2.8 lens; this one is designed to work natively on Nikon’s mirrorless Z-mount bodies. Earlier, I reviewed this lens and found it to be simply outstanding. I also made comparison shots with both the 14-24mm f/2.8G and the 14-24mm f/2.8S lenses. You can check out my evaluation video to see how these two lenses compare in terms of sharpness, contrast, and flare resistance. Thanks again to B&H Photo for providing a test copy of the new 14-24mm f/2.8S. Check availability & Pricing

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Lens Tests

Comparing the 50mm f/1.8G with the 50mm f/1.8S on the Nikon Z7

Almost every photographer has at one point owned a 50mm prime lens. That’s because the “nifty fifty” lenses are inexpensive, fast, and well-corrected. You can use a 50mm prime in a variety of situations, especially for portrait work where you want nice out of focus backgrounds.

Comparing the Nikon 50mm f/1.8S and 50mm f/1.8G lenses on a Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera.

I recently purchased the Nikon 50mm f/1.8S Nikkor for Z-mount, and I wanted to compare it to my trusty 50mm f/1.8G for F-mount. I tested both lenses wide-open on my Nikon Z7 by using the Nikon FTZ adapter with the 50mm f/1.8G lens. My experience with the 50mm f/1.8G was that it was a decent performer, but it was sharpest when stopped down to around f/2.8 or more.

Continue reading Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Lens Tests

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8S Lens Hands-on Review

The ultimate super-wide zoom lens for Nikon mirrorless cameras

I recently got my hands on the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8S super-wide zoom lens for FX format Nikon Z mount mirrorless cameras, and I’ve spent the last few weeks putting it through its paces. This pro-level lens features a constant f/2.8 aperture, and is an entirely updated design from it’s F-mount predecessor.

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8S Nikkor Z for mirrorless Nikon cameras.

First impressions & Design

See my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8S unboxing video here

The first thing you’ll notice about this lens is that it’s extremely well-built. The focus and zoom rings are silky smooth. The 14-24mm f/2.8S features an illuminated LCD panel that can be configured to display aperture, focus distance (and hyperfocal distance), or focal length. There is also the traditional A/M switch for quickly switching from autofocus to manual focus, and a Lens Function (L-Fn) button which can be customized in your camera to provide additional functionality, such as AF-ON or auto exposure lock (and much more). This lens also includes a multi-function control ring that can be configured to control aperture, exposure compensation, or ISO setting using custom menu f2 in the Nikon Z6 & Z7 cameras.

Continue reading Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8S Lens Hands-on Review

Nikon D6 DSLR & 120-300mm lens

New Nikon Flagship DSLR Announced

The Nikon D6 flagship DSLR (Image courtesy Nikon)

Nikon has announced the development of their newest flagship DSLR, the Nikon D6. Given the timing of this announcement, and that 2019 marks the 20th year of Nikon single-digit “D” digital cameras (the D1 was released in 1999), I would speculate that we’ll see the D6 available sometime later this fall.

Shop Nikon gear at B&H Photo

The flagship D-series Nikon DSLRs are geared towards professional sports/action photographers who need the best autofocus, fastest frame rates, and superior low-light performance. These cameras offer superior weather sealing, long battery life, and an integrated vertical grip, ideal for using larger telephoto lenses.

Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8 FL ED SR VR Nikkor

Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR zoom Nikkor (Image courtesy Nikon)

Also announced today was a new fast telephoto zoom lens for sports photographers. The Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR lens will use Nikon’s electronic aperture control for more reliable exposure control, and will incorporate fluorite (FL) elements as well as Nikon’s extra low-dispersion (ED) glass elements. This pro lens will be ideal for sports photographers who work from fixed locations, where having a zoom lens becomes extremely valuable. What’s interesting here is the as of yet undisclosed “SR” designation. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what that one means!