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adamhanlon

Nikon Z firmware updates

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Hi all,

Apparently the latest firmware update significantly improved the autofocus of the Nikon Z series cameras. 

https://petapixel.com/2020/02/26/nikon-firmware-3-0-field-test-nikons-autofocus-just-got-way-better/

If the update is as good as the review suggests (and it works underwater), this may make the Z series much more attractive for underwater use...

Adam

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The Z cameras are definitely worthy of consideration at this point in time. Combined with a WACP and possibly a Ninja V, it could make for a flexible yet quite capable system. 

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11 hours ago, Akoni said:

The Z cameras are definitely worthy of consideration at this point in time. Combined with a WACP

Problem with that: to the best of my knowledge there are no suitable zoom lenses for use with Z and WACP. The old 28-70 used on the F-mount cameras has screw drive autofocus, meaning that there's no AF on the FTZ. And the Z 24-70/4 doesn't work well.

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Other than that (above), I plan to use a Z6 on a trip to the Maldives in about three months. I'm glad for the now easier way to engage subject tracking.

Also, I like the idea that when prices have come down I can get a used Z7 and put it in the same housing, should I feel the need for higher resolution.

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40 minutes ago, horvendile said:

Problem with that: to the best of my knowledge there are no suitable zoom lenses for use with Z and WACP. The old 28-70 used on the F-mount cameras has screw drive autofocus, meaning that there's no AF on the FTZ. And the Z 24-70/4 doesn't work wel

Apparently, the Techart Sony E to Nikon Z adapter combined with the Sony 28-70 f/3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens may work well enough. According to Nauticam’s port chart, they are producing a zoom gear for that lens/adapter combo on Z bodies for use with the WACP. I am hoping to dry-test this combo soon.

 The D780 may be a nice option as well, certainly for stills, if Nauticam develop a housing for it.

Some while ago, there was a leaked Z lens roadmap that had a Nikon 28-70 Z lens on it. I don’t recall the details but at the time it struck me as a kit-ish variable aperture lens that would be perfect with the WACP.

Canon does not have a suitable RF lens either and their EF 28-70 3.5/4.5 was discontinued long ago. I suppose a 1DXiii is also on my short list but OUCH on my toy$ account.

Much to consider. 
 

ps. what housing do you have for the Z6?

Edited by Akoni

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4 hours ago, Akoni said:

 

Apparently, the Techart Sony E to Nikon Z adapter combined with the Sony 28-70 f/3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens may work well enough. According to Nauticam’s port chart, they are producing a zoom gear for that lens/adapter combo on Z bodies for use with the WACP. 

(...)

ps. what housing do you have for the Z6?

Oh! That's interesting. Though only theoretically for me, since I don't have a Nauticam housing.

I very recently bought a used Sea&Sea housing. I had planned for Nauticam - actually maybe not even for the Z6 - but this sort of turned up, I trusted the seller and the price was very good. So I changed plans. Though I have yet to test it, because I don't dare until I have a vacuum system installed and I have some trouble with that.

With the risk of going off topic, if I were to buy new gear, for me combining a Nikon Z50 + 16-50 in a Nautical housing with the new WWL-C would look very attractive.

Edited by horvendile

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Just finished up spending several days with the Nikon Z6 and Ikelite housing with the compact 8 inch dome port. The lenses I tested were the native Z 14-30mm rectilinear zoom and the 8-15mm Fisheye with the FTZ lens mount adapter. My test camera had the version 2.0 softwear not the new V. 3.0 which Adam addresses with this post. I found the version 2.0 to be an improvement over the v. 1.0 I first tested in late 2018 using the just released Z7. I shot the v. 2.0 in AF-S rather than to use the hit and miss tracking which appears to have been resolved with the V. 3.0 update. 

The Z6 is an excellent camera with superb build and image quality. The native 14-30mm is quite good for underwater use since most will be using higher F/stops in the F/11 to F/22 range. 

The 8-15mm Fisheye zooms gives the same performance on the Z6 with the adapter as the Canon 8-15 Fisheye does on the Sony A7 III with an adapter.

My full review will be posting soon in issue #113 of uwpmag.com.

Attached image, 

Large Mouth Bass, Ginnie Springs, Florida, Nikon Z6, Z 14-30mm F/4 S, at 17.5mm, ISO-640, F/13, 1/125th sec, Ikelite housing, 8 inch compact dome port, Two Ikelite DS-161 flash’s.

untitled-0792.jpg

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I guess I will know soon, but did you try the 14-30 with the Sea&Sea correction lens? That's my plan.

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That would be an article for another day but it does work with the Z 14-30 lens in the Ikelite housing with the 8 inch compact port if that is your question.

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9 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

That would be an article for another day but it does work with the Z 14-30 lens in the Ikelite housing with the 8 inch compact port if that is your question.

Not really - I've already decided to use it with the Zen 230 mm port, so it's not really to help me decide, I'm just curious about what someone much more experienced would say.

Now off to... nope, the new issue isn't up yet. No problem, I'm not in a hurry.

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Hi @Phil Rudin,

Do you have any examples images of the 14-30mm at higher apertures? 

The corners and a large proportion of the frame in the image you posted is very soft.

I would expect much better performance at f/13. Perhaps the 8" dome is the issue? 

Adam

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untitled-0756.thumb.jpg.f0af4f52e43b82a6204dd19d67190b26.jpguntitled-0860.thumb.jpg.23d5c5c69f2e38ff939430285b56b6f4.jpgHi Adam,

The dome port used is the Ikelite Compact 8 inch dome with the 50mmport extension which is the Ikelite recommendation from the port chart.  The dome port is the acrylic "Dry Lock" and it masters about six inches across and cost $350.00. 

The first image shooting up is at 17mm, ISO-640,  F/18, 1/200th sec. This image also uses the S&S M82 internal correction lens which could be affecting the image with the smaller dome port. Second image is  at 14mm, ISO-640, F/10, !/80th sec. Both images are full frame no crop.

 

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Also Adam, 

Just out of curiosity I am interested to know why a firmware update which still does not raise the Z-cameras to the level of the current Sony tracking, eye AF,  is in your words,  "may make the Z series much more attractive for underwater use" 

I think theNikon  Z6/Z7 are excellent cameras however they have few native lenses including NO Fisheye, (14-30 zoom and the coming 20mm).

In November 2019 you rejected all Sony FF cameras for in your words, "The lack of a native fisheye makes it hard to justify the Sony full frame mirrorless cameras for underwater use when pretty much every other manufacturer offers one".

I don't understand why the lack of a native fisheye would not apply to all camera brands.

 

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