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03-09-2021, 07:16 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Nikon Z6 for legacy glass?

I've watched one too many videos on the Z6, and now I'm pretty intrigued to buy one as a nice body for working with my large collection of m42 and manual focus FF K mount lenses. I'm curious if anyone has tried one with old glass, if it was a good experience or not. I really like focus peaking on my K3 in LV mode, can imagine I'd get up to some good work with the Z system.

03-09-2021, 09:58 AM - 4 Likes   #2
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I just bought the Nikon Z6 a few days ago and I can tell you overall the shooting experience as a whole is truly excellent. The ergonomics are very good, overall EVF is large and bright, and the SOOC quality is very respectable.
Specific to MF or adapted glass your experience will vary wildly depending on your preferred shooting style and workflow:

If you use a dummy adapter with no electronics:
- Focus peaking is easy to setup, with 3 different sensitivity levels and 3 different banding colors.
- You can zoom in the liveview by pressing the +/- buttons on the bottom right or set a custom button (50% scale, 100% scale, 200% scale). BUT doing so will drop the framerate of the EVF and back LCD frame rate down to something like 5-10 frames a second. My opinion is that this feature should be best used only once in a relatively static scene to determine critical focus, such as studio or astro.
- IMO point 2, the EVF is already bright and large so its not really necessary to use the zoom function unless you want absolutely the best results.
- There are no magnifying eyecups or LCD loupes currently available to my knowledge that can be used as a workaround to not using the on camera live view zoom

If you use a smart to dumb adapter, your best option now is to get the Techart or Megadap Leica M to Z and then attach a dummy m42 or K mount to L mount:
- You'll get full autofocus
- AF performance is good in the center 60% of the width, and around 75% of the vertical space. AF works outside this region too, but is less reliable.
- AF is slow, expect 1-2 seconds for infinity to CFD focus.
- You might brick your adapter if you dismount the adapter before turning off your camera
- The Megadap provides an additional 2mm helicoid focus throw compared to the Techart, whilst the Techart is rated for heavier lenses

If you want to use a fully smart adapter, you'll have to wait until the MonsterAdapter Pentax K to Sony E adapter comes out, then mount it onto the Techart Sony E to Z adapter. I already own the Techart Sony E to Z, and what I can tell you is:
- Sony + Tamron lenses work very well
- AF is as fast as the lens motor allows
- AF can become very erratic and jumpy when going outside the center 60% width and 75% vertical space
- Near plug and play levels of usability
- MonsterAdapter is not out yet
- Two layers of lens program translation might be dangerous to any part of the chain

Hope this helps
03-09-2021, 10:04 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by someasiancameraguy Quote
...scads of useful information...
Thanks for all this!
03-09-2021, 11:24 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by someasiancameraguy Quote
I just bought the Nikon Z6 a few days ago and I can tell you overall the shooting experience as a whole is truly excellent. The ergonomics are very good, overall EVF is large and bright, and the SOOC quality is very respectable.
Specific to MF or adapted glass your experience will vary wildly depending on your preferred shooting style and workflow:

If you use a dummy adapter with no electronics:
- Focus peaking is easy to setup, with 3 different sensitivity levels and 3 different banding colors.
- You can zoom in the liveview by pressing the +/- buttons on the bottom right or set a custom button (50% scale, 100% scale, 200% scale). BUT doing so will drop the framerate of the EVF and back LCD frame rate down to something like 5-10 frames a second. My opinion is that this feature should be best used only once in a relatively static scene to determine critical focus, such as studio or astro.
- IMO point 2, the EVF is already bright and large so its not really necessary to use the zoom function unless you want absolutely the best results.
- There are no magnifying eyecups or LCD loupes currently available to my knowledge that can be used as a workaround to not using the on camera live view zoom

If you use a smart to dumb adapter, your best option now is to get the Techart or Megadap Leica M to Z and then attach a dummy m42 or K mount to L mount:
- You'll get full autofocus
- AF performance is good in the center 60% of the width, and around 75% of the vertical space. AF works outside this region too, but is less reliable.
- AF is slow, expect 1-2 seconds for infinity to CFD focus.
- You might brick your adapter if you dismount the adapter before turning off your camera
- The Megadap provides an additional 2mm helicoid focus throw compared to the Techart, whilst the Techart is rated for heavier lenses

If you want to use a fully smart adapter, you'll have to wait until the MonsterAdapter Pentax K to Sony E adapter comes out, then mount it onto the Techart Sony E to Z adapter. I already own the Techart Sony E to Z, and what I can tell you is:
- Sony + Tamron lenses work very well
- AF is as fast as the lens motor allows
- AF can become very erratic and jumpy when going outside the center 60% width and 75% vertical space
- Near plug and play levels of usability
- MonsterAdapter is not out yet
- Two layers of lens program translation might be dangerous to any part of the chain

Hope this helps
That is most wonderfully excellent, thanks for that! I work with a lot of old film bodies, so "no brains" adapter is luxury to me. This is great, I'm interested to hear your thoughts about it over time! All I'm really looking for is:

* an EVF with good focus peaking
* a body with nice ergonomics and good build - I feel like the Z6 is great in this department


Sounds like a good fit!

03-09-2021, 11:51 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
That is most wonderfully excellent, thanks for that! I work with a lot of old film bodies, so "no brains" adapter is luxury to me. This is great, I'm interested to hear your thoughts about it over time! All I'm really looking for is:

* an EVF with good focus peaking
* a body with nice ergonomics and good build - I feel like the Z6 is great in this department

Sounds like a good fit!
You'll love the Z6 then. Might also want to consider the Z5.
03-09-2021, 01:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by someasiancameraguy Quote
You'll love the Z6 then. Might also want to consider the Z5.
I was really interested in the Z5 as well, but around here the Z6 (not Z6II) and Z5 are $2,000 CAD and $1,800 CAD. The extra FPS are very useful in my eyes. I do a fair bit of action photography with some dogs where I'll set up focus and get photos as they run through an area. An upgrade from the FPS of my K3 for this kinda thing would be awesome.

Edit: with that logic, the Z6II is even better, but holy smokes the price jumps up.
03-09-2021, 03:16 PM   #7
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Please keep in mind if you opt for a Z 6 first gen, you'll need an XQD or CFExpress type b card to record images with. Those can be a bit pricey. Plus of course a reader unless you load the images through the usb cable. Just things to keep in mind for cost reasons.

Z 5 and Z6 2nd gen include a UHS II SD card slot too. I'm seeing used Z6 bodies for just under 1000 USD and used Z5 bodies for just over 1000 USD right now.

Rarely do I see a used Z6 II body but when I do they are around 1700-1800 and bought QUICKLY.

FYI
03-09-2021, 03:30 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
Please keep in mind if you opt for a Z 6 first gen, you'll need an XQD or CFExpress type b card to record images with. Those can be a bit pricey. Plus of course a reader unless you load the images through the usb cable. Just things to keep in mind for cost reasons.

Z 5 and Z6 2nd gen include a UHS II SD card slot too. I'm seeing used Z6 bodies for just under 1000 USD and used Z5 bodies for just over 1000 USD right now.

Rarely do I see a used Z6 II body but when I do they are around 1700-1800 and bought QUICKLY.

FYI
That’s a good point for sure! The used market around here is much better for sellers than buyers, but keeping my eyes out.

Even with an expensive card the z6 is still way less than the z6ii around here. The Canadian camera market sadly doesn’t get the us deals a lot of the time.

03-10-2021, 06:50 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
That’s a good point for sure! The used market around here is much better for sellers than buyers, but keeping my eyes out.

Even with an expensive card the z6 is still way less than the z6ii around here. The Canadian camera market sadly doesn’t get the us deals a lot of the time.
The card reader isn't an absolute must, you can just tether usb to the camera and download the images off camera that way if your workflow doesn't require super fast turnarounds.

Also with today's announcement of the Z9, you can expect prices to stabilize across the Nikon brand, since a super professional grade camera will stop brand attrition.
03-10-2021, 07:00 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
That’s a good point for sure! The used market around here is much better for sellers than buyers, but keeping my eyes out.

Even with an expensive card the z6 is still way less than the z6ii around here. The Canadian camera market sadly doesn’t get the us deals a lot of the time.
Keep in mind to with the Z5 if you don't need high resolution images of fast action it can do 30FPS at 8megapixel (4k) in AF-C as well in a pinch using AF-C continuous shots in video mode (it's stills) This is easy to use because it's just a flip of the still video lever and your in 8mp super fast shot mode if needed because it remembers video settings. I own a Z5. AF is the same as the Z6 outside the framerate of I think 12 on the Z6 vs 4.5 on the 5. Also the Z5 has better DR at low iso vs better High ISO on the BSI sensor on the 6, so keep that in mind as well based on your needs. The buffer is basically limitless at 4.5 fps as well and it uses less expensive UHS I/II cards so no new readers etc. Snapbridge does work well for transfer but large files can take some time. It will send 2mp images by default which are very fast to transfer. Those can be done in real time as well if you like to your device.

I picked up the Z5 for USD $1200 which felt like a steal for what it is.
03-10-2021, 07:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeeRunge Quote
Keep in mind to with the Z5 if you don't need high resolution images of fast action it can do 30FPS at 8megapixel (4k) in AF-C as well in a pinch using AF-C continuous shots in video mode (it's stills) This is easy to use because it's just a flip of the still video lever and your in 8mp super fast shot mode if needed because it remembers video settings. I own a Z5. AF is the same as the Z6 outside the framerate of I think 12 on the Z6 vs 4.5 on the 5. Also the Z5 has better DR at low iso vs better High ISO on the BSI sensor on the 6, so keep that in mind as well based on your needs. The buffer is basically limitless at 4.5 fps as well and it uses less expensive UHS I/II cards so no new readers etc.

I picked up the Z5 for USD $1200 which felt like a steal for what it is.
Darn it, now I'm back on the Z5 train.

Edit: these are great points, thanks for this. Really cool trick to have in the bag.


Budget is pretty real these days, not having to buy the more expensive cards would be great.



Those are great points. Honestly better DR at low ISO is what I'm more interested in, astro and night photography will be a big use of the camera.

Last edited by bobbotron; 03-10-2021 at 07:11 AM.
03-10-2021, 07:10 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
Darn it, now I'm back on the Z5 train.

Those are great points. Honestly better DR at low ISO is what I'm more interested in, astro and night photography will be a big use of the camera.
DR is identical to that of the D750 (similar/same sensor) which is identical to the K-1. So it's a decent performer.


Can dial in any number of bodies and see for yourself here

I'm more considering a Z 6 II because I want the top plate, video features, and the improved AF. But the Z5 looks like a really strong performer otherwise. Esp if you're shooting still stills at low ISO.

Last edited by mee; 03-10-2021 at 07:19 AM.
03-10-2021, 07:19 AM - 1 Like   #13
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That's a great site! Nice to compare it to my existing K3, that's cool.

K3 vs K1 vs Z5 vs Z6II

Photographic Dynamic Range versus ISO Setting
03-10-2021, 07:20 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobbotron Quote
Darn it, now I'm back on the Z5 train.

Those are great points. Honestly better DR at low ISO is what I'm more interested in, astro and night photography will be a big use of the camera.
I had this same torn decision process between the 5/6 and 6ii. Ultimately I'm glad I went with the 5 as I didn't need burst most of the time and I'm fine with an 8mp of my dogs as I won't be printing those huge. 4.5 works most of the time too.

There's a thread of Z6/ii somewhere here where you can see my indecision. I had a Z6ii on order actually then went with the 5. The Z6ii is just now being restocked so the demand was either high or they couldn't make them.

The Sensor is pretty similar to the D750 in the 5 but the jpeg engine is better.

The low light AF is something you're going to see brought up as well. In my experience, it's better than my D750 if I have a bright lens on like an F1.8 but worse if I put something on like an F 6.3 in dim light. Not a deal-breaker at all for me personally but I can see how it would be annoying with a kit lens that's F4-6.3 only and trying to use it in a really badly lit indoor area like candlelight or theatre or something like that. I don't use those types of lenses in low light though.

But that's something to consider for your needs. I'm happy I saved the money and got the 5 personally.
03-10-2021, 08:59 AM - 3 Likes   #15
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Happy Z5 owner here too. Got mine used a few months ago with 24-50 kit lens, FTZ adapter, two extra third party batteries and a small Nissin flash. Also bought a PK to Z adapter and three M42 to Z adapters.
Also found two used af (F-mount) lenses.. 70-300 AF-P and AF-S 105/1.4 E . All those lenses are sharp as heck .

I too was a bit torn between Z5 and 6 but absolutely no regrets. FPS is enough, buffer is good and files are great! Not even missing the top lcd. I keep the rear screen off and if I need to see my settings I´ll press the DISP button, half press the shutter and screen goes black again.

I´ve set one user mode for old manual lenses, M-mode with a few tweaks to controls. AF-ON to 100% magnification, Fn2 to 200% and Rec button to non-cpu lens data for ibis focal length.

I'm pretty sure Z6 won't get any updates anymore.. Z5 probably will.
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