Question re Nikon 100-400 mm Z mount Lens

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BillW

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Thom Hogan has a post on his website today talking about the shutter alternatives available on Z bodies (at least prior to the Z9). He notes that certain Z mount lenses force the camera to use electronic front curtain shutter (EFCS). One issue with EFCS is that you are limited to shutter speeds of 1/2000th or slower. Thom says that the upcoming 100-400 mm S lens will cause a Z body to default to EFCS and will not allow it to be changed. So the 100-400 mm lens could not be used at shutter speeds faster than 1/2000th. If true (and I have no reason to doubt Thom), that seems a terrible design choice for a lens that many would buy for sports, wildlife and other action. Perhaps it could be changed in camera firmware or lens firmware. And I hope this will not be an issue with the Z9 and the 100-400 mm lens.

Here is a link to Thom’s post:


[Added 12/1/21: Note Thom has revised the post on Z camera shutter options. Looks like no significant issue here. May be limited to selecting Auto or EFCS as a shutter type. But Auto switches from EFCS to Manual at 1/250th and allows all the shutter speeds the camera is capable of. So not limited to 1/2000th and slower. More discussion below, but wanted to make sure anyone starting to look at this thread is not concerned.]
 
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Steve

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The Z9 doesn't have a mechanical shutter so it's always going to be an eshutter. There are also videos of the 100-400 shooting at much higher shutter speeds than 1/2000 on the Z9.

Feels like something Thom needs to clarify.
Yeah, something seems off there. I'll do some testing for sure when mine comes in on both the Z9 and the Z6/7ii.
 

Hut2

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I'm definitely less confused by the Z9 and more confused after reading that.
What good is efcs is if it limits shutter speed like that?
 

abc123brian

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I saw a post regarding the same with the Z 105mm MC, but don’t have one to test. Maybe someone here who does can test.
 

BillW

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I'm definitely less confused by the Z9 and more confused after reading that.
What good is efcs is if it limits shutter speed like that?
EFCS is good for slower shutter speeds, as it minimizes shutter shock. I would tend to use it for landscape work. It’s not a problem unless you can’t turn it off when you want a shutter speed faster than 1/2000th.
 

Hut2

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EFCS is good for slower shutter speeds, as it minimizes shutter shock. I would tend to use it for landscape work. It’s not a problem unless you can’t turn it off when you want a shutter speed faster than 1/2000th.
What would be the advantage over electronic silent mode in landscape work?
 

BillW

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What would be the advantage over electronic silent mode in landscape work?
Not entirely sure, as I have not worried about silent mode for landscape work. The Zs are already pretty quiet, especially compared to my D850.

Based on a quick look at the ZII manual and Thom Hogan's e-book on the ZIIs: I think silent mode does affect other settings -- can't use a flash (but likely wouldn't for landscapes); long exposure NR can't be used; the shutter is rolling at slower speeds than the mechanical shutter (again, might not matter to most landscape work). May affect certain other settings.
 

BillW

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Page 398 of the Nikon Reference Manual for the ZIIs, version 4, discusses the choice of shutter type under Custom Setting D5. It notes after the menu choices:

"[Mechanical shutter] is not available with some lenses."

"The fastest shutter speed available when [Electronic front-curtain
shutter] is selected is 1/2000 s."

I did not find, with a quick search of the reference manual, any list of lenses that can't use the mechanical shutter.

Here's a link to the manual. Don't think it will take you to the exact page.

 

BillW

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I saw a post regarding the same with the Z 105mm MC, but don’t have one to test. Maybe someone here who does can test.
I just put my Z 105 mm MC on my Z7II. When I do that, custom setting D5 allows a choice of Auto or EFCS. You can’t select mechanical, as it is greyed out.

Auto is supposed to be EFCS at shutter speeds slower than 1/250th and mechanical at faster shutter speeds.

When I selected Auto, I could set shutter speeds faster than 1/2000th of a second (I assume these are mechanical shutter speeds on the Z7II). (Note, my Z7II is set to manual with auto ISO.)

If that is the only restriction, I’d be happy. I choose Auto anyway and I am not limited to EFCS, although I can choose EFCS if I want to.

I hope this is what the 100-400 does. Probably not an issue on the Z9 either way, but many of us might use the 100-400 on a Z6/Z6II/Z7/Z7II.
 

Hut2

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Page 398 of the Nikon Reference Manual for the ZIIs, version 4, discusses the choice of shutter type under Custom Setting D5. It notes after the menu choices:

"[Mechanical shutter] is not available with some lenses."

"The fastest shutter speed available when [Electronic front-curtain
shutter] is selected is 1/2000 s."

I did not find, with a quick search of the reference manual, any list of lenses that can't use the mechanical shutter.

Here's a link to the manual. Don't think it will take you to the exact page.

Interesting
 

BillW

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Interesting
Based on what I just found trying the 105MC on my Z7II (see post above), I wonder if all it means is that you cannot select a mechanical shutter under custom setting D5, but that you can select Auto. If that means Auto gives you EFCS at speeds slower than 1/250th and a mechanical shutter for faster speeds and is not limited to 1/2000th, then there isn’t much of an issue. I hope that it all this means for the 100-400 on the Zs. (And regardless, I think it should not be an issue with a Z9.)
 

abc123brian

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Based on what I just found trying the 105MC on my Z7II (see post above), I wonder if all it means is that you cannot select a mechanical shutter under custom setting D5, but that you can select Auto. If that means Auto gives you EFCS at speeds slower than 1/250th and a mechanical shutter for faster speeds and is not limited to 1/2000th, then there isn’t much of an issue. I hope that it all this means for the 100-400 on the Zs. (And regardless, I think it should not be an issue with a Z9.)
Hopefully that is it. Thank you for checking the 105mm MC
 

BLev65

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The original premise, I think, is misleading. I'm not implying that it is purposefully misleading, just that it is based solely on EFCS. EFCS is limited to 1/2000 second. As I understand it, by selecting auto, the camera chooses EFCS until you hit 1/2000 second. If a faster shutter speed is required, then the camera defaults to traditional mechanical shutter. I have my cameras set to Auto, and I have many photos with my 70-200S and 500mm lens, where the shutter is faster than 1/2000.
I sincerely doubt that Nikon would make the sports capable flagship Z9 without the capacity to produce a shutter speed faster than 1/2000. This would be a non-starter from an engineering/design space. Because the Z9 is electronic shutter only, there must be something different about the sensor that allows it to capture subjects at a faster speed.

regards,
bruce
 

BillW

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The original premise, I think, is misleading. I'm not implying that it is purposefully misleading, just that it is based solely on EFCS. EFCS is limited to 1/2000 second. As I understand it, by selecting auto, the camera chooses EFCS until you hit 1/2000 second. If a faster shutter speed is required, then the camera defaults to traditional mechanical shutter. I have my cameras set to Auto, and I have many photos with my 70-200S and 500mm lens, where the shutter is faster than 1/2000.
I sincerely doubt that Nikon would make the sports capable flagship Z9 without the capacity to produce a shutter speed faster than 1/2000. This would be a non-starter from an engineering/design space. Because the Z9 is electronic shutter only, there must be something different about the sensor that allows it to capture subjects at a faster speed.

regards,
bruce
Thom’s books on the ZIs and ZIIs say that Auto switches from EFCS to mechanical at 1/250th. With no limit to 1/2000th, so shutter speeds can be faster.

I read Thom’s post today to mean that certain lenses were stuck in EFCS on Z bodies (other than the Z9). Not a design choice that would make sense.
 

BLev65

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Thom’s books on the ZIs and ZIIs say that Auto switches from EFCS to mechanical at 1/250th. With no limit to 1/2000th, so shutter speeds can be faster.

I read Thom’s post today to mean that certain lenses were stuck in EFCS on Z bodies (other than the Z9). Not a design choice that would make sense.
This does not make any sense at all. I can shoot faster than 1/2000 second with my 70-200S. After seeing your post, I tested it with my Z6II and 70-200S and shot an image at 1/8000 second and f/7.1. I'd be shocked if the 100-400S was not designed with the same capabilities of the 70-200S.
regards,
bruce
 

BillW

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This does not make any sense at all. I can shoot faster than 1/2000 second with my 70-200S. After seeing your post, I tested it with my Z6II and 70-200S and shot an image at 1/8000 second and f/7.1. I'd be shocked if the 100-400S was not designed with the same capabilities of the 70-200S.
regards,
bruce
I agree it does not make sense and I have also shot faster than 1/2000 with the 70-200 S lens on my Z7II.

Here are the words from Thom’s post that caused my concern. Maybe I am reading them too literally.

“Here's where the dilemma comes into play: a number of Z-mount lenses set EFCS (#3) by default and won't let you change from that. If you were previously set to #3, all you see is the grayed out E and you might think that you're in some kind of "all electronic" shutter mode (you're not, you're in EFCS). All three DX lenses lock you out of changing Shutter Type. The upcoming 100-400mm lens does it, too. Indeed, many of the lenses with built-in VR do this. I believe the reason for this has to do with the timing interaction of the VR mechanism and the image sensor. But in no case is this "all electronic" as some people are complaining. Again, there is the limitation of 1/2000 shutter speed to worry about, though.”
 

BLev65

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I just re-read Thom's post, and I would be shocked if this was not some pre-production issue... I would like to see the documentation that desribes the limits of the 100-400mm lens w/ cameras that have a mechanical shutter. If VR is the barrier, why didn't Nikon place this restriction on the 70-200S. I guess time will tell, as my 100-400 should deliver in the near future.

regards,
bruce
 

BillW

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Thom changed the wording of his post as noted below. I think this means that the limitation is you can’t set mechanical shutter. But I think it means you can do Auto, similar to what I saw in my Z 105 MC as noted above. So not really a problem, unless there is a reason to want mechanical shutter at slower shutter speeds where Auto uses EFCS.

“Here's where the dilemma comes into play: a number of Z-mount lenses don't allow Mechanical (M). If you were previously set to #3, all you see is the grayed out E and you might think that you're in some kind of "all electronic" shutter mode (you're not, you're in EFCS). All three DX lenses lock you out of changing Shutter Type to Mechanical. The upcoming 100-400mm lens does it, too. Indeed, many of the lenses with built-in VR do this. I believe the reason for this has to do with the timing interaction of the VR mechanism and the image sensor. But in no case is this "all electronic" as some people are complaining. Again, there is the limitation of 1/2000 shutter speed to worry about, though, if you set EFCS.”
 

abc123brian

Well-known member
Thom changed the wording of his post as noted below. I think this means that the limitation is you can’t set mechanical shutter. But I think it means you can do Auto, similar to what I saw in my Z 105 MC as noted above. So not really a problem, unless there is a reason to want mechanical shutter at slower shutter speeds where Auto uses EFCS.

“Here's where the dilemma comes into play: a number of Z-mount lenses don't allow Mechanical (M). If you were previously set to #3, all you see is the grayed out E and you might think that you're in some kind of "all electronic" shutter mode (you're not, you're in EFCS). All three DX lenses lock you out of changing Shutter Type to Mechanical. The upcoming 100-400mm lens does it, too. Indeed, many of the lenses with built-in VR do this. I believe the reason for this has to do with the timing interaction of the VR mechanism and the image sensor. But in no case is this "all electronic" as some people are complaining. Again, there is the limitation of 1/2000 shutter speed to worry about, though, if you set EFCS.”
That is a lot more clear so doesn’t seem like there will be any issues. Glad he updated it.
 

Roy

Active member
Thom Hogan has a post on his website today talking about the shutter alternatives available on Z bodies (at least prior to the Z9). He notes that certain Z mount lenses force the camera to use electronic front curtain shutter (EFCS). One issue with EFCS is that you are limited to shutter speeds of 1/2000th or slower. Thom says that the upcoming 100-400 mm S lens will cause a Z body to default to EFCS and will not allow it to be changed. So the 100-400 mm lens could not be used at shutter speeds faster than 1/2000th. If true (and I have no reason to doubt Thom), that seems a terrible design choice for a lens that many would buy for sports, wildlife and other action. Perhaps it could be changed in camera firmware or lens firmware. And I hope this will not be an issue with the Z9 and the 100-400 mm lens.

Here is a link to Thom’s post:

Maybe the Z9 will do better.
I'm waiting for the 200-600mm Z lens.
I had the 80-400mm G lens the 100-400mm Z lens is based on and didn't like it much.🦘
 
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