We have two copies of the Nikon Z8 in-hand at Photography Life, and Libor has already taken his copy for a spin. Today we wanted to share with you some of the sample images he’s taken, including full-resolution original raw files available for download – a first for Photography Life! To make it easy to judge the image quality, the photos were taken at a variety of ISO values and under different lighting conditions. Libor has also launched an “Ask Me Anything” thread on our forum where there’s an ongoing discussion about his experiences with the Z8 so far.
Two disclaimers before we share the images:
- Libor Vaicenbacher retains full copyright over the following photos. You are welcome to download the original raw images for personal use, but you may not republish the raw files elsewhere online or use the images in any commercial capacity.
- The RAW files below will not load unless you download them directly via this webpage on Photography Life. If you cut and paste the download links onto other websites, anyone who clicks it will get a 405 error message. This is done to minimize our hosting costs, which are extensive for such large files. If you want to discuss these sample photos on other websites, the easiest way is to link to this article’s URL and specify which Photo # you are referring to.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask Libor in his thread on our forum or leave a comment for me below! If he was able to take these photos in under a week, I can’t wait to see what he does while testing the camera during the upcoming months.
Those are awesome, almost as good as Ektar in 120. Nice shots!
Ellaphotosumm onninonnu mechamanu
What software was used ?to read the Z8 raw files? Neither DxO or On1 can read them accurately at this time. Thanks.
I’m using Nikon NX Studio for now. Also, it is already possible to use the current version of Capture One 23.
Looks almost as good as my R7.
c’mon don’t be shy, drop some of your RAW images here
I can’t wait til I get my hands on mine when I eventually order it. Hope you guys get to review one soon.
Nice samples! I was lucky to get my Z8 yesterday. Combined with z 400mm f4.5 I hope to be able to get better shots of the swifts that fly around my home.
Any recommendations on settings?
Your question came at the right time. An article discussing in detail the AF settings for the Z9 is already waiting in the queue for publication. Everything about the Z9 will be applicable to the Z8 as well, as these cameras are virtually identical in this regard. In the meantime, you can check out what we’ve published so far about the Z9. I also cover the AF settings there.
Thanks. I will check it out. But so far using 3D or WA in combination with animal tracking work very well for me.
That, in a nutshell, is what I’d recommend. Perhaps I’ll just add, keep one button for Dynamic AF-Area when auto-detection fails.
Thank you very much for these pictures. To my eyes, the depth of color is not as good as D850. I suspect DXO will prove this.
It depends on the software you’re viewing the photos in. All photos are taken in picture control set to Neutral. Therefore, in a browser that supports picture control (e.g. Nikon NX Studio) the colours may appear washed out, bland and lacking in contrast.
Really cool shots. Will order a Z8 when I get back from my pending vacation to Italy and UK. Was thinking about selling my 500mm PF and buying the 400mm f4.5 due to arthritis in my wrists. . . but not sure now. The 500mm is reputedly sharper in the centre even without adding a 1.4TC to the 400, so will probably stick with the 500. I expect it will be better balanced with a slightly heavier body.
That is very interesting! I didn’t realize that might be the case. Can you link to a test about it? The 500 is still pretty light though with heavier gear I sometimes find using weightlifting gloves helps with wrists.
I had both but sold the 500 pf. AF on z 400 f4.5 was definitely better in my experience. Optical hard to see any difference in real life shots.
I own both 500 PF and 400/4.5. Both lenses have bit of copy to copy variation and took a while to find a very sharp copy. 500 PF is very slightly shaper than 400/4.5 under lab condition. This is consistent with MTF also. In the field, AF on 400/4.5 is much faster than 500 PF especially when it comes to initial focus acquisition speed.
I agree with Peter’s assessment. I would also prefer the 400/4.5 to the 500/5.6. Optically, both lenses are great, but the 400mm has the edge in AF speed. The weight of the two lenses is very similar. The 400mm with TC1.4x is only about 5g heavier than the bare 500mm. If you add the weight of the FTZ adapter, the 500mm becomes heavier again. Speaking of the FTZ adapter. I’ve had several occasions where I almost put an F lens into a Z body without one. Of course, you run the risk of damaging the curtain or even the sensor. If you’re distracted like me, I recommend using Z-mount lenses. It’s a safe bet.
Wonderful images from Libor and fantastic to have the RAW files to play around, although I feel like there is very little to be added.
Nevertheless, I am wondering would you consider this type of editing over-the-top for wildlife?
(p.s. given the copyright restrictions for the raw files the link above will be deleted in due time and is only shared on this website)
Personally I find it a bit much for my taste, but that’s what it is: my taste.
I was able to check out the photo before the link above stopped working, and I’m a fan of your edit! It wasn’t over-the-top to me, although I would have shifted the white balance to be a bit more neutral.
If you want to repost the link, feel free – it’s just a personal Dropbox link and isn’t anything commercial.
I also like your edits, definitely gives it a very different feel. Thanks for sharing.
I didn’t make it in time. Could you please post a new link? I’d be happy to look at your edits and comment on them. Thank you very much.
Yes sure and thank you, I will repost today.
Love the look of these images! I love my Z 400mm F4.5, yet surprised how good this 500mm non-Z lens looks. I’m a sucker for fast focusing so I decided to go for the Z lens (where I also have thoption of a 1.4x converter). I pre-ordered the Z8 but was not lucky enough to get one from the first batch. I reckon I may have to wait months before I get mine.
Thanks for all your hard work y’all!
Thank you for your kind comment, John. I’m sure you were right to go with the 400mm. The 500mm is a great lens, but given the choice, the 400mm is the better option for a Z camera.