By CHRIS OGONEK
Featuring NIKON AMBASSADOR TAMARA LACKEY
As a Nikon representative, I get asked a lot, “why should I shoot mirrorless?” with the majority of users already expecting the usual answers of:
“Without the mirror box, the body is so much smaller and lighter”
“Getting instant feedback about the colors and exposure through the Electronic Viewfinder leads to a much easier shooting experience”
“The autofocus technology when shooting video is generally smoother and easier to use than with a DSLR”
And while all of that is true when shooting mirrorless, the major benefit that I’m seeing with the Nikon Z Series comes down to the lenses and the fact that I am getting image quality like I have never seen before.
Now if you’re reading this and you’ve never shot with a NIKKOR Z lens before, please don’t think that I’m saying that all of your amazing F mount DSLR lenses should be thrown out and that they’re useless…that’s the furthest thing from the truth, as not only are they some of the best lenses ever made for a DSLR, but also the Nikon Mount Adapter FTZ makes using older F mount glass so seamless that you don’t even realize it’s there.
The new Z mount allows Nikon’s engineers the ability to unleash new lens designs that haven’t been possible until now.
Let’s talk numbers for a minute:
This may just sound just like marketing-talk, so let’s look at some of the real-life benefits that a photographer will see when shooting with a new NIKKOR Z lens:
If I had to boil the benefits of the Z lenses down into one sentence, I would say, ‘lenses that are providing the image quality expected of ultra-fast and exotic lenses, all while being smaller and easier to carry around.’
One great example of a Z lens far exceeding expectation is the NIKKOR Z 24- 70mm f/4 S lens. This is the kit lens for both the Z 7 and the Z 6, and it should change how people view the quality that they get from a kit lens. Part of the problem is the fact that photographers have been told for years that if you aren’t using an f/2.8 zoom lens, you won’t be getting top-notch image quality, but thanks to the new Z mount this notion is nowhere near true.
© Chris Ogonek Having a mirrorless body that is small is great but having an equally small and compact walk-around lens is even better. Thanks to the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S, you get the image quality expected of much higher-end lenses, while still keeping a small form factor.
Not that I recommend pixel peeping at 100% every single picture you take, but even if you’re incredibly critical of your images, the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S easily stands up to the scrutiny, whether you’re shooting portraits wide-open, shooting detail shots or it’s being used as a small and compact travel lens. There are a lot of reasons to go out and try a Nikon mirrorless camera but the thing that I’m constantly amazed at is how much of an increase in quality I’m seeing due to the NIKKOR Z lenses. For me, that’s why I keep going back to my Nikon Z.
*As of January 1, 2020