Tag Archives: gear

The Image Doctors #163

The pros and cons of super-zoom lenses

This week, Jason is back from his workshop photographing White Sands National Park, and we’ll discuss using super-zoom lenses. Newer super-zooms, like the Tamron 28-200mm (Sony E-mount) Nikon’s 24-200mm (Z-mount), and the Canon 24-240mm (RF-mount) are quite good compared to their predecessors, but you still need to know their limitations, and how you can get the most out of your images captured with them.

The Image Doctors #135

Choosing a Telephoto Lens

This week, Nikon announced the new 800mm f/6.3S Phase Fresnel lens, which weighs in at a stunningly svelte 5.2 lbs. Although good telephoto lenses tend to be expensive, there are some good options out there that won’t completely break your bank. This week, we’ll discuss current options for long (400mm+) telephoto lenses and their pros and cons.

The Image Doctors #124

Customizing Your Camera Functions & Controls

Today’s digital cameras, especially mirrorless ones, offer a tremendous amount of customization. This week, we’ll take a look at why you should customize your camera functions & buttons, and share our most frequently used settings.

Join us for a virtual holiday party!

We’ll be live online December 26th for a virtual holiday party. Free tickets are available here. Join us to share some holiday cheer!

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 Z 24-200mm Lens Review

The all-purpose zoom lens that’s perfect for travel and walkabout photography

The Nikon 24-200mm f/4-6.3 lens (left) isn’t much bigger than the 24-70mm f/4, but packs an 8.3x zoom range that is perfect for general-purpose and travel photography.

Earlier this year, Nikon announced the 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR zoom Nikkor for full-frame (FX) Z-mount mirrorless cameras. Despite its variable aperture design, I was intrigued by the idea of having a native Z-mount lens for travel and general purpose photography. During my international photo tours, I typically used my 24-120mm f/4 VR zoom Nikkor as my primary lens.

When I moved to the Nikon Z mirrorless camera system last year, one of the challenges I faced was coming up with an appropriate travel kit. When I’m traveling, especially internationally, the size and weight of my kit are more important than superior optical quality. The Nikon 24-70mm f/4 S lens, which is the Nikon Z “kit” lens, is very good but has a limited zoom range, meaning I’d need to add a longer telephoto zoom to my bag.

I considered using my 24-120mm f/4 with the FTZ lens mount adapter, but I found that it was a little clumsy to use and frankly, quite heavy. That left me with the following travel kit:

This kit worked well on my photo tour of Scotland in the fall of 2019, but it was still a bit cumbersome compared to having a good all-purpose zoom lens. With the addition of the 24-200mm to the Nikon Z lineup, I could theoretically have a two-lens kit, with the 24-200mm being my go-to lens in most situations. This change would save me nearly a kilogram of weight from my bag!

Continue reading Nikon Z 24-200mm Lens Review