Nikon Questions on going Nikon with z5

wt21

Hall of Famer
So I’m thinking of a return to full frame, this time with Nikon and especially the Nikon Z5. Which seems to be in my budget range. My question for folks here, is do you have some sense for a good price for a z5 used?

also I could use some lens recommendations. What I’d really like is a 24 to 105 kit and also a compact 1.8 35. Are there such native lenses for the z? Though maybe I could get by on the 24-70/4 but I’m still not sure on a compact 35
 
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gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Real Name
Andrew
The Z5 is capable, but I’d spend a little more and get a used Z6.

for a normal lens, you’ll probably not get too much “compact” in FX. Nikon has a 28/2 and 40/2 “pancake” type lens on the roadmap, but no release dates for it yet.

there are compact-ish zooms, but they are not fast.

if you truly want compact, I’d look else where, either in Sony or Fuji(although you are not in FX territory with that option).
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Done Sony and Fuji. No interest. Might go canon but prefer the Nikon body

why the z6? LCD is nice but it takes the more expensive card type and then I have to get new card adapters.
 

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Location
Los Angeles
Real Name
John
Adorama has Z5 refurbs for $899 or $1099 with 24-50.
Not many used Z5s. There's one at FM for $925.

No native choices yet for either.
The 24-70F4 is nice. Mine arrived today.
I have a 35mm F1.8G I use with the FTZ. It's not compact but it's not heavy.
Very good results imo. Same with the 85G.
I really like my Z5 and patiently await the 28 and 40.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
You may have to wait a little longer. There's no native, and certainly no compact, 24-105mm out for the system, but a rather high spec'd one is on the roadmap, alongside the compact primes. There's no telling whether those primes will be f/2, by the way - that's just wishful thinking as far as I know (I've seen *concepts* with those specs, not more).

My take on your questions: Any of the three available "budget" zooms is worth it to some degree, though I personally don't really get the Z 24-50mm - it's compact, yes, but otherwise it's a bag of compromises (build, speed). The Z 24-70mm f/4 S is a great lens and can be had cheaply enough used. I personally also like the Z 24-200mm - for what it is, a pretty compact superzoom with good optics. Others are less enthusiastic about it, I know, but again, it depends on your expectations. My pick for first zoom would be the Z 24-70mm f/4 S, no question about that. But I will get the Z 24-105mm S (probably f/2.8-4) once it comes out.

Nikon's F mount G and E line lenses work really well on the FTZ adapter - however, if you don't already have a stack of them, I'd really rather go native (i.e. Z mount). The compact primes are expected to come out this year (or at least be announced). I own four of the Z primes, the Z 20mm f/1.8 S (fabulous), the Z 35mm f/1.8 S (very nice - my go-to lens), the Z 50mm f/1.8 S (the best 50mm f/1.8 I've ever owned and shot - including the famed Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 FE I also own) and the Z 85mm f/1.8 S (fantastic). I've owned the 35mm f/1.8G, 50mm f/1.8G and still own the 85mm f/1.8G - all good lenses, but the Z mount lenses are clearly superior, though bigger before you factor in the FTZ adapter. The 35mm f/1.8G and 85mm f/1.8G John mentions are very nice lenses, though - the 50mm f/1.8G is okay (and good for its price). So, again, if you already own them, you shouldn't feel forced to go native. I'm glad I did, though - and even the 85mm f/1.8G, one of my all-time favourite AF primes, is scheduled to go because I no longer use it, and the same goes for the Sony Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 FE.

On the question of the body, well, the Z5 utilises older sensor technology - but it's the one out of the D750, which is just fine. AF, EVF, size, handling - almost everything is more or less identical to the Z6 (minus the top display and the position of the mode dial), but, something that's important for people switching, you get to use your SD cards. Another interesting feature is charging while using the camera - the Z5 can be run from external power, the Z6 can't. And if you care about a built-in flash, the Z5 has one. I bought the Z6 when it first came out; I might have opted for the Z5 if it had been available then. However, I still prefer my Z6 for a couple of reasons; one is sealing (apparently, the built-in flash somewhat compromises that), the other is actually the new sensor with its even better low light capabilities and even smoother files. I have actually kept my D750 around (that's the main reason I haven't sold off the 85mm f/1.8G - it's a joy to shoot on that body) - the Z6 delivers slightly(!) better images throughout its ISO range, but in all honesty, if you don't scrutinise them side-by-side, you'll never notice the differences until you reach ISO 6400, and even then it's minimal. At the pixel level, there's a consistent, but subtle advantage, too. But I wouldn't buy it for that. So, technologically, the Z5 is fine.

If I had to buy a new body today, I'd go for the Z6 II - it's the Z5's and Z6's advantages combined (minus the flash - but I've literally never used that on the D750, so ...). If money was of the issue, I'd rather pick up a Z6 used than a Z5 - I suspect they can be had at similar prices, but factor in the XQD card. But if you happen to prefer the Z5: It's a great choice.

It pays to really compare your options, however - if you have to buy lenses anyway, you're certainly better off with the Z mount ones than older designs; if you can adapt existing ones, that's fine, but I wouldn't *buy* stuff for that (except if it's missing from the Z line-up and you really need it - I got a 70-300mm f/4,5-5.6G for that reason and really enjoy it). That's especially true for 24-105mm or 24-120mm options - you can't beat the native zooms for quality, and you'll end up with a very bulky package on the FTZ adapter. If I imagine using my formerly enjoyed Sigma 24-105mm f/4 Art on the FTZ, well ... it really doesn't appeal. The lens felt big and heavy on the D750 (optically nice, though) - and Nikon's 24-120mm f/4G is not much smaller and lighter. And the pleasantly compact G primes don't offer a size or weight advantage over the Z mount ones when you have to use the FTZ adapter, either. But again, if you already *have* them, they're completely fine!

Just note that for what they are, the Z mount primes aren't actually that expensive (or big). I've never had a set of primes that was so consistently strong and enjoyable - not even the Sigma Art primes (which I sold because they were just too heavy and saw little use) were so good as a set, though the 50mm f/1.4 Art is still legendary. But even in that specific case, I prefer the Z 50mm f/1.8 S because it's not only optically very good, it also renders in a much nicer way, with better colours, transitions and depth to the image, as well as more pleasing bokeh to boot. The 50mm f/1.4 Art, good as it was, always seemed a bit lifeless to me - not so with the Z 50mm f/1.8 S.

Funny detail: The Z 35mm f/1.8 S is actually the "weakest" of the bunch - but even that lens stands heads and shoulders above its already very good predecessor, the 35mm f/1.8G, with better sharpness, less aberrations (CA, distortion, vignetting) and a more natural rendering. And just for the record: I truely *loved* the 35mm f/1.8G when it had it - I regularily picked it over the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art because in many situations, the tangible differences in IQ didn't make up for the difference in weight!

M.
 

gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Real Name
Andrew
The Z6 is just a better overall well rounded camera. Getting one used of you look around will be about the same as a Z5.

the memory cards are not really that bad, and you can always transfer via cable from the cavers if you don’t want to but a card reader. Although, I got a XQD card reader back when I got a Nikon D500 for $30. Of you don’t need to be saving 100 burst files, and XQD card will do. You won’t need to get the highest rated speed ones.

card readers are been 20-25, 32gb cards can be found for around 90.
 

mnhoj

gee aahrr
Location
Los Angeles
Real Name
John
The difference in market price between the Z5 and Z6 is very close even with the added $ of XQD and readers. I chose the Z5 for it's dual slots and that the other differences didn't weigh against my shooting needs.

I just received the 24-70F4 and I think it's going to do very well for me. The 50S as others have mentioned is very good.
I think Nikon planned well with their F1.8S line in regards to price, performance and size.
I should eventually have the 35/85.
In the meantime I want to play a bit with a few DSLRs. By the time that wears off upgrades should be pretty painless.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
@MoonMind do you have a link? I can't seem to find it.
I had difficulties with rediscovering it, too. It's in the Z 24-200mm review (towards the end, Final Words):


Nikon's going to try to stuff another mid-range zoom into the mix in 2021, the 24-105mm (I think f/2.8-4, which seems cruel, as the basic specs will almost certainly make it difficult to compare to the other four [f/2.8, f/4, and two f/4-6.3]; not that Sony's any better with f/2.8, f/4, f/4, f/3.5-5.6, f/4-5.6, and f/3.5-5.6 in the wide-to-tele range). I'm still of the opinion that the Nikon 24-70mm f/4 S is excellent, particularly when bought at a camera+kit lens price, and the 24-70mm f/2.8 S is phenomenal, if you can afford it. The 24-200mm isn't going to knock either of those off the podium. For the moment, it's a respectable third.

Note the "I think" ... I didn't remember it that way, but given the size of the projected lens in the Lens Roadmap, I still believe it's plausible. But I feel it's still an unproven claim, sorry about that. However, Thom is often in the know very early on ...

M.
 

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