Lens Selection and Z9

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    Topic: Lens Selection and Z9 Read 207 Times
  • Jeff Burns
    Jeff Burns
    Silver Member
    Posts: 3
    Cameras, Lenses and Shooting Gear
    on: November 21, 2021 at 2:06 pm
    I have preordered a Nikon Z9 and can use help sorting out the options for lenses. Since this is a complete system change I am starting from scratch.
    The past is not always prologue but it is a good place to start. I am moving from an APSC system I purchased six and a half years ago. Lenses for this system include an 18-135mm F/3.5-5.6, 50mm F/1.8, and a 200mm F/2.8. The zoom is a collection of compromises but it is a good all around lens. I often wish it was faster, and occasionally wish for better quality. The 50 mm is a cheap plastic lens but it is very useful. On APSC it is a good portrait length. The fast aperture is helpful for low light, and with some cheap close-up lenses it is not bad for macro. The 200 mm has noticeably higher quality than the other lenses. For both portraiture and wildlife I find I am at F/2.8 often. It has also been my best lens for macro work.
    I want a wider angle lens. Over the years I’ve used panorama stitching extensively and recently have been enjoying the wide angle lens in my iPhone (13 mm full frame equivalent). I’ve also used the 14 mm Nikkor on full frame and and found it very useful.
    My current home has abundant wildlife and 200mm is not long enough for good photographs.
    This is the system I have in mind:
    • Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S
    • Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S
    • Nikon NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S
    Advantages of this combination:
    • Wide focal length range
    • Fast at wide angle for astro and night photography
    • 24-120mm makes a good one lens kit
    • 24-120 and 100-400 share 77mm filter size
    • Both 24-120 and 100-400 have good magnification for macro
    • All native Z mount
    • Consistant ergonomics (all have the extra control ring)
    Negatives of this combination:
    • Cost. I will probably have to delay purchase of one lens.
    • Slow max aperture limiting low light, wildlife, and portraiture.
    The best way to round out this system would be to add a fast prime or two (35mm and 85mm) and a fast telephoto. Unfortunately, it will take some time before I have the budget for more lenses. The question then is what are the best compromises?
    My first thought is to skip the 14-24mm for now. The 24-120mm is 3 mm wider than my current kit, and I can still stitch. On the long end there are some F mount options that will be cheaper even after purchasing the FTZ adapter.
    The Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR has decent reviews. This would be over a $1000 savings. The Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports is also less expensive and offers extreme versatility, but reviews are more mixed.
    Any ideas are welcome.
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