Nikon Z7ii for travel?
I am an old perrenial amateur, not rich, who has owned all of the Nikon D8XX series and currently, two D850 (my all time favorite, purchased used). When my wife and I travel to Colombia to visit her family and people I have met in Medellín, Envigado, etc. we go on bus tours together and I take photos of family and simple landscapes to save the moment for us. I shoot RAW and edit in LR CLassic, nothing technical, no BIF, no sports.
I am thinking of trading in one used D850 and a lens to purchase a used mirrorless camera, maybe a Nikon Z7ii mostly because of the similar menus, megapixel count, in hopes my images might look like my D850 shots. The reduced size/weight, also interest me.
I just purchased a used Z 85mm f/1.8S at a store, with a limited time to return it as I am on the fence about buying another camera. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. (I have used an 85mm f/1.8G or 60mmm F/2.8 G /D8XX on some of our previous trips) not interested in zoom lenses. My dilemma is the camera choice purchase rather than lenses.
I use my Z6ii as a companion camera to my Z9. The lenses in the Z series have been especially great. The 85 F1.8 "works" exceptionally well. It is ideal for travel and portraits in particular. I find the 24-70 F4 is an excellent lens for travel but the 24-120 F4 would be my first choice for the scenario you describe.
I have no hesitation in recommending the Z7ii for travel. The compact body is easy to live with and if you are not aiming at BIF it is a great camera. The simplicity of operation and versatility of the camera is not to be underestimated.
The Z series will extend your photographic options and provide better results than the D850 because the clarity of the Z lenses is such a key factor. It took me a while to decide that the it's not just the edge to edge sharpness that counts it is the reduced chromatic aberration that counts.
@griffallo Thank you, good to hear the opinion of someone who has actually used and compared results. I paid $450 for the Z 85m f/1.8S Last week I took a few shots with a used Z7 ii; the sales person mounted a Z 14-30mm and then a 24-70mm f/4; at home using LR Classic, I tried to apply the Adobe lens profile in LR, in the box that reads "make" the words "built-in" appeared.
Yes it would. Adobe regards the lens correction profiles it has "built in" as the default setting. I don't think you can turn it off in Adobe LR or PS.
I enjoy the Z6ii but I especially like it because I accept that it is NOT a sports, bird photography camera. Having the Z9 completes the set for me. There are times when the Z6ii is my choice. I like the form factor, size etc. I had both cameras with me yesterday on a field excursion. The Z9 had my F-mount 500mm F4 with a 1.4 Tc on it, the Z6ii had the Z mount 105mm F2.8 on it. Both have a feature set which is optimised for specific uses. The Z9 may have a much wider set of features, but the Z6 size body is so well thought out it eventually makes itself invaluable. The Z6ii was perfect for the macro shots. There is no way I could have carried 2 Z9 size cameras. The big take away however is that the image quality from the Z6ii is a delight. If you take into account that the Z7ii is higher resolution, it is the obvious choice.
At the store, there are several used Z6ii bodies but only one Z7ii. I will take my lens and a few SD cards to the store to try/compare both cameras. The used Z7ii is selling for $700 less than than this week's sale price of a new one.
Not sure if this helps, but I've owned a Z7ii for a couple of years now. Just finished swapping out my F mount lenses for the compareable Z mount ones.
What I like about the Z7ii is the pixel count. I'm not a pro and often I take the "one last photo" by zooming out. Later I find the composition could be even better if I would adjust just a bit - making that last photo the one that I end up using.
Last year we went to Costa Rica and even with a Sigma 150-600mm F mount lens I often didn't have enough reach for the birds (usually) I was trying to capture. The pixel count again came to the rescue.
Not sure I'll get on board with the likely 60MP count cameras as the 45MP of the Z7ii works for me. It would be nice for the more advanced auto focus of the Z8/9, but the Z7ii does very well for what I need.
(The last lens I replaced was the Sigma. Loved that lens. However, the Z 180-600 is already proving to be a better lens. Not sure it is worth 2x the price, but oh well, I just won't upgrade for the next decade.)
If you don't do action, or only in some rare occasions, Z7II+Z24-120 F/4 may be the only combo you'll ever need.
Nothing can be compared with that couple at this right time to my sense.
I very much appreciate everyone's personal observations and sensible travel lens recommendations; the used Z7ii that I tried has 43k activations is selling for $300-350 less than the online used photo gear stores.
Although the new Z-mount lenses are optically better than their F-mount predecessors, if you're not planning on making wall-sized prints and don’t need the highest possible quality, you may want to ask yourself if the effort is worth going through on a tight deadline. It’s also worth considering if the increased optical quality is really important to your audience. I can’t speak for other people, but based on my experience, it won’t matter for most people.
The job of a photographer is to make the most compelling image possible -- and if you’ve done that -- no one but a pixel peeper is going to criticize your pictures because they’re not “sharp enough.” I don’t know about any of you, but I’ve yet to find a pixel peeper who can consistently produce compelling pictures.
If you’ve made a really nice picture, no one’s going to come back and say “that sucks” because you didn’t use a “sharper, “better” or “newer” lens. From an aesthetic standpoint, a picture isn’t made better because of the camera and lens that was used. A GREAT picture made with a crappy camera and lens is STILL a great picture, but a CRAPPY picture made with a GREAT camera and lens is STILL a crappy picture.
For example, take the world’s most well-known picture, “Afghan Girl” made by National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry. It was made with a very modest camera and lens combination: Nikon FM2 with 105mm f/2.5 AIS lens. The year the picture was taken -- 1984 – the premium combination would have would have been an F3HP and 105mm f/1.8 AIS. Although the f/1.8 lens is “sharper” it’s clear that the impact of the portrait is in no way diminished because McCurry didn’t use the premium lens.
In other words, if you were really impressed with a picture, would you like it any less if you found out it was made with a mediocre camera and lens?
Cameras and lenses don’t take pictures. People do.
I can understand wanting to save weight, but looking at the numbers for the camera and lens combinations that have been mentioned, I could argue that it hardly seems worth the trouble.
Here are the numbers:
D850 (35.0 oz. / 990g) + 85mm f/1.8g (12.4 oz. / 351g) = 47.4 oz. / 1341g
Z7 ii (24.5 oz. / 694g) + 85mm f/1.8S (16.5 oz. / 466g) = 41 oz. / 1160g
In terms of weight, going with the equivalent Z-mount system is only saving you 6.4 oz or 181g That's less than half a pound (0.4 lbs. to be exact) or less than a quarter of a Kilo. That can make a difference for some people, but it depends on how much vehicle hopping and walking they're doing, and the weight/size of other items they may need to carry.
IMHO, moving to mirrorless would make more sense if you were able to save more in the neighborhood of a pound or more.
Obviously, if you're planning on sticking with the Nikon brand, you'll eventually have to make the switch, but these may be some additional things to factor into your final decision.
Not much of a weight difference and I cannot justify my trade-in loss and expense as a hobbyist.
Thank all of you for your indepth advice. I hope others people with similar questions can get some sense of direction from all of the responses.
@kwongphotographyhotmail-com I am sticking with Nikon, I have for since the 1970's. Thank you for the historical background of "Afgan Girl" - very interesting and I undertand your point about such lasting images, are not solely the result of the sharpest lens, the latest gear.
@polizonte I hope the information and point of view I provided was helpful.
While I did provide several pieces of factual information, you should definitely NOT take my opinion as the definitive answer to your purchasing decisions. I just thought I should point out a few things that hadn't been mentioned.
Ultimately, only you can decide whether the expense and effort of changing systems will provide meaningful benefits. That said, I can tell you from experience that sometimes weight savings can be well worth it. I recently purchased a used 600mm f/4.0 G VR. I really wish I'd been able to purchase the newer "E" version as it's 25% lighter -- 11.2 lbs. vs. 8.4 lbs. The cost at the time was 50% more but in the long run it would have been worth expense. 2.8 pounds doesn't seem like a lot, but it makes a HUGE difference when you're on long hikes or maneuvering a lens to follow birds in flight or other wildlife. So while my bank account was spared a significant burden my body is paying the difference. I can also say that I occasionally miss pictures because it can be difficult to pivot the lens fast enough to capture the action or keep it steady.
On another note, if you really want to save weight you could also consider trading in BOTH of your D850 bodies for Z-series cameras. The weight savings would be well over a pound between the two bodies (~10 oz. per body), although your TOTAL weight savings would be dependent on which lenses you choose to use with them. As mentioned above, the reason the total weight savings for the Z7 ii and 85 f/1.8S isn't more is that the Z-mount lens weighs more than its F-mount predecessor. From what I've seen so far, the weight savings between the two systems is fairly small if you're using the FX bodies because many of the Z-mount lenses are heavier than their F-mount counterparts.