Z 400pf coming soon!

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ChrisM

Active member
I guess I need some enlightenment. Why does Nikon need a mirrorless D500 replacement? The D850 in crop mode shoots just as well as the D500. Doesn’t that hold true for the Z9 as well? Now don’t get me wrong, I love shooting my D500 and I would probably buy a mirrorless D500 (Z?) once that arrives but I have always wondered why a complete line of new lenses had to be developed simply because Nikon developed cameras with crop sensors. And now they are developing a Z line of crop sensor lenses all over again.
This has been debated endlessly. The three simple reasons for a crop Z900 mirrorless camera are cost savings, weight savings and size savings.
 

vulpess

Member
Completely agree with Chris. If Nikon would release a Z900 for around 2-2.5k, I would preorder instantly and I’ve never bought a camera close to release before! Z9 for 5k? Not for me!
 

Anjin San

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I’m often shooting in lower light so the larger Aperture would be helpful, but i feel like I’d need a full stop, or something else unique to make it worthwhile. I really don’t like being at F/8 with the TC.
Me too…but a stop is fixable with a little ISO and that increases noise but we have PP ways to fix that and better low light sensors than in early days…so that needs to get weighed into the whole cost/weight/GAS/IQ/flexibility equation we all do…as well as what one considers often and/or is waiting another 15 minutes for a little more light a big deal or is it a fleeting opportunity and we could go on and on I reckon. We all have different answers to that equation above and probably more or less or different factors in it…and I’m not going to talk down anybodies decisions or gear choices.…we are just talking about pros and cons of the 400PF in this case. If I had enough money to do so…although actually I probably do except for being cheap and using that bang for the buck equation thing…I would have 2 or 3 high end bodies, all the Z glass, and a couple of sherpas to schlep them behind me…and one of those pith helmets as the expedition leader of course and a guide out front to make sure no spider webs were there for my bride or me to run into. I would probably have multiple brands and more sherpas as well so I could compare them…except I’m not smart enough to easily and quickly transition from how one brand works to how the other brand worked and I would miss opportunities.
 

Anjin San

Well-known member
Supporting Member
This has been debated endlessly. The three simple reasons for a crop Z900 mirrorless camera are cost savings, weight savings and size savings.
The Z7II is essentially the same size and weight as my D7500 and IIRC the D500 is a bit heavier. Not sure there would be much real cost saving between a fully featured crop sensor Z and an equivalently featured FF model. Keeping the Z50 and Zfc as light weight travel kit and a lower cost option seems good…as they are smaller and lighter…but Nikon at least doesn’t anticipate more market share but is aiming at higher end models with a higher profit per unit….and in that vein with thousands of DSLR shooters to convert to MILC perhaps abandoning consumer models since phones already pretty much won that market anyway isn’t a bad idea. If they can out a FF sensor in a DX DSLR size body and it’s got a DX mode for the pseudo lens reach vs cropping in post…maybe in their mind there isn’t much of a high end crop sensor market in view of their aiming for higher profit models. I’m sure they have lots of smart MBAs and engineers and accountants figuring things out. Clearly they *could* have already introduced the mirrorless D500…but they haven’t and whether they will or not will continuously be debated until they do or say they aren’t.
 

abc123brian

Well-known member
Me too…but a stop is fixable with a little ISO and that increases noise but we have PP ways to fix that and better low light sensors than in early days…so that needs to get weighed into the whole cost/weight/GAS/IQ/flexibility equation we all do…as well as what one considers often and/or is waiting another 15 minutes for a little more light a big deal or is it a fleeting opportunity and we could go on and on I reckon. We all have different answers to that equation above and probably more or less or different factors in it…and I’m not going to talk down anybodies decisions or gear choices.…we are just talking about pros and cons of the 400PF in this case. If I had enough money to do so…although actually I probably do except for being cheap and using that bang for the buck equation thing…I would have 2 or 3 high end bodies, all the Z glass, and a couple of sherpas to schlep them behind me…and one of those pith helmets as the expedition leader of course and a guide out front to make sure no spider webs were there for my bride or me to run into. I would probably have multiple brands and more sherpas as well so I could compare them…except I’m not smart enough to easily and quickly transition from how one brand works to how the other brand worked and I would miss opportunities.
Yeah, the thing is I actually need the 400mm F/2.8 to solve my problem, but then I have a larger, heavier, and significantly more expensive lens. The tree canopy can be really thick blocking out most of the light. At 5.6, it can be a struggle to get down to iso 6400. I have a few shots between ISO 8000 and 12800 that have been able to be cleaned up, but If I had an F/4 lens, I‘d be between 3200-6400. The F/2.8 lens would be between 1600 and 3200. The two drawbacks there are I don’t want to pay for it and I don’t want to carry it.
 

vulpess

Member
The Z7II is essentially the same size and weight as my D7500 and IIRC the D500 is a bit heavier. Not sure there would be much real cost saving between a fully featured crop sensor Z and an equivalently featured FF model.
Weight savings compared to the Z9, not the Z6/7. The D500 is also not lighter than a D850 (it's even larger/heavier than a FX D750) but smaller and lighter than the D5.

It might be true that the market for a high-end APS-C is not there, however, I hope they give it a shot :)
 

Anjin San

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Yeah, the thing is I actually need the 400mm F/2.8 to solve my problem, but then I have a larger, heavier, and significantly more expensive lens. The tree canopy can be really thick blocking out most of the light. At 5.6, it can be a struggle to get down to iso 6400. I have a few shots between ISO 8000 and 12800 that have been able to be cleaned up, but If I had an F/4 lens, I‘d be between 3200-6400. The F/2.8 lens would be between 1600 and 3200. The two drawbacks there are I don’t want to pay for it and I don’t want to carry it.
Yep…it solves a problem for you…so get one. I’m sure that it will be a really nice lens just like the other PFs are…but will it be a 2.8 like the really big and expensive one is…or 4.5 or 5.6 or whatever? I didn’t think we had seen the actual specs or cost yet…but maybe I missed them earlier…my comments were based on what I need or am willing to spend in weight or dollars. I keep trying to convince my bride to Sherpa for me and I could…maybe…convince myself to spend the dollars…but she has steadfastly and repeatedly refused to cooperate.
 

abc123brian

Well-known member
Yep…it solves a problem for you…so get one. I’m sure that it will be a really nice lens just like the other PFs are…but will it be a 2.8 like the really big and expensive one is…or 4.5 or 5.6 or whatever? I didn’t think we had seen the actual specs or cost yet…but maybe I missed them earlier…my comments were based on what I need or am willing to spend in weight or dollars. I keep trying to convince my bride to Sherpa for me and I could…maybe…convince myself to spend the dollars…but she has steadfastly and repeatedly refused to cooperate.
We don’t know, but rumors are pointing to a F/4.5 which ups all my figures by 1/3 stop. That makes it less desirable d would mean carrying an extra lens so will need to wait and see.
 

Whiskeyman

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Yeah, the thing is I actually need the 400mm F/2.8 to solve my problem, but then I have a larger, heavier, and significantly more expensive lens. The tree canopy can be really thick blocking out most of the light. At 5.6, it can be a struggle to get down to iso 6400. I have a few shots between ISO 8000 and 12800 that have been able to be cleaned up, but If I had an F/4 lens, I‘d be between 3200-6400. The F/2.8 lens would be between 1600 and 3200. The two drawbacks there are I don’t want to pay for it and I don’t want to carry it.
"Houston, we have a problem." :unsure:
 

Whiskeyman

Well-known member
Supporting Member
…but she has steadfastly and repeatedly refused to cooperate.
Be very wary of when she quickly approves. Earlier this year, my wife immediately said "Yes!" when I talked to her about buying a 600mm f/4 lens. A week later, she asked me about buying a new sewing machine. I, of course, said yes, and swallowed hard when she informed me that it was $9k.

Looking on the bright side, it's an older model which was priced at $16k last year. So, I'm happy I didn't try to buy my 600mm lens last year! :D
 
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[email protected]

Member
Supporting Member
Curious why no Z 500PF? I'm a wildlife photographer and there is a big difference in many circumstances between a 400mm lens and a 500mm or 600.mm. Currently I have a Z9 and the 800PF which I couldn't be happier with. I still have my F lenses, the 600mm f4 and the 500 PF which work flawlessly with the adapter and my D850 with f wide angle primes has become my go to landscape setup. Using both Z and DSLR works well for me.
 

cchuck

Member
Supporting Member
Z7 II and Z9 is close to replacing the D850/D6. Nikon needs D500 (Z9 w/ DX sensor) badly.
I agree, Rich, on Nikon's need for a mirrorless D500. I expect the Canon R7 to be very popular with its 1.6 crop and 33 MP resolution.
 

RichF

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I agree, Rich, on Nikon's need for a mirrorless D500. I expect the Canon R7 to be very popular with its 1.6 crop and 33 MP resolution.
what DX camera(s) should Nikon offer?

z9 w/ DX sensory, 4K but no 8k Video, raw at 30-45 FPS, Z9 AF.

Z5II or perhaps Z6 II w/ DX sensory. Good solid DX camera, no stellar AF.
 

RichF

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I guess I need some enlightenment. Why does Nikon need a mirrorless D500 replacement? The D850 in crop mode shoots just as well as the D500. Doesn’t that hold true for the Z9 as well? Now don’t get me wrong, I love shooting my D500 and I would probably buy a mirrorless D500 (Z?) once that arrives but I have always wondered why a complete line of new lenses had to be developed simply because Nikon developed cameras with crop sensors. And now they are developing a Z line of crop sensor lenses all over again.
yes you can shoot the z9 in crop mode and get a DX image.

But a true DX camera could potentially have higher FPS since less data is being moved. Also would lose 8K and hopefully would cost less, a lot less (say 40-60% of Z9 - much small sensor area, less buffer memory, ...) If Nikon wanted to, they could hit a price point below $3000 perhaps as low as $2800
 

ajm057

Active member
Becky on the Greys of Westminster said the images of birds at a greater distance weren't sharp on her 800 PF.
I own the 800 PF, have used it a lot and do not agree with this observation. It certainly has not been my finding. Nor the finding of pros who have tested it.
I believe you have misquoted Becky.
What she said when shooting it on her Z6 was "either the resolution on here Z6 is not high enough at 150% crop so the images look sharp OR that images of very tiny birds at long distance look soft". Shooting f/8 on a warm day and an undisclosed shutter speed the results will always be an issues.
Kon shooting with the lens wide open on the Z9 at 1/1000 and ISO 400 had no such issues.
So there are a number of potential reasons Becky may have not achieved as sharp results as KON -- AF not on subject, shutter speed too low, heat/haze, Z6 needed to be AF-fine tuned (but this would not address the fact is was in focus at shorter distance).

An album of some of the initial test shots I took near my home can be viewed via this link or in low res below - Shots taken with Nikon Nikkor Z 800mm f/6.3 PF VR - some with TC14 and TC20.

20220513 172305 _Z904324 NIKON Z 9 NIKKOR Z 800mm f-6.3 VR S 800 mm ¹⁄₂₀₀₀ sec at ƒ - 7.1 0 EV...jpg
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5.3m
 

fcotterill

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Yes, of course, me included. My thinking here is based on some recent experience in wildlife photography workshops (in Texas). Some of the participants new to bird photography asked about "a starter mirrorless outfit that's good for bird photography," and I had to conclude that Nikon is not yet able to offer a basic kit that matches the appeal of either Sony
( A7 IV or A9 II) and the 200-600, or Canon (R5 and the 100-500). The Z9 is terrific but it's a heavy, high-priced pro-level camera, and Nikon's current cheaper models don't track birds nearly as well as their competitors. The 100-400 is good but really too short for small birds, and the 500mm pf is fantastic but is expensive and of a fixed focal length. Nikon really needs to come out with a less expensive camera model with its state-of-the-art autofocus features, plus the apparently long-postponed 200-600mm.

I hope this isn't considered camera boosting or bashing; I am just commenting on the current state of what's available from each company.

This has been debated endlessly. The three simple reasons for a crop Z900 mirrorless camera are cost savings, weight savings and size savings.
Perhaps the rumoured/hoped for Z90 will materialize, particularly as Fuji has theirs pending with a stacked sensor etc. So 600 crop factor of the 400 PF on DX, 840 with ZTC14.

My suspicion is it will be an f4. Its not too crazy to think the initial listing of f4.5 is really a t stop. I dont put a lot of weight in measuring shadow next to other lenses the 800mm also changed in size relative to the shadow. Its already reported at 1250g
The final 800 PF grew in size from the roadmapped shadow. A 400 f4 PF is technically feasible for Nikon to manufacture, assuming they choose an optical formula similar to that in the 800 PF: narrowed PhaseFresnel element positioned behind the wide objectives (126mm).

Fyi see Previous discussion Dec 2021 on the potentials and possible dimensions of the glimpsed 800 PF and some about this 400 PF.
 

sid_19911991

Well-known member
I own the 800 PF, have used it a lot and do not agree with this observation. It certainly has not been my finding. Nor the finding of pros who have tested it.
I believe you have misquoted Becky.
What she said when shooting it on her Z6 was "either the resolution on here Z6 is not high enough at 150% crop so the images look sharp OR that images of very tiny birds at long distance look soft". Shooting f/8 on a warm day and an undisclosed shutter speed the results will always be an issues.
Kon shooting with the lens wide open on the Z9 at 1/1000 and ISO 400 had no such issues.
So there are a number of potential reasons Becky may have not achieved as sharp results as KON -- AF not on subject, shutter speed too low, heat/haze, Z6 needed to be AF-fine tuned (but this would not address the fact is was in focus at shorter distance).

An album of some of the initial test shots I took near my home can be viewed via this link or in low res below - Shots taken with Nikon Nikkor Z 800mm f/6.3 PF VR - some with TC14 and TC20.

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That's exactly my point. PF lenses tend to output relatively softer images for subjects at a greater than an ideal distance. It tends to get affected by external factors more. That's why it is so much cheaper than a prime lens of even a small focal length. I obviously don't have any data supporting it, but that's been my experience. Very sharp at close range, but a lot softer a greater distance. The drop off in sharpness is disproportional.
 

sid_19911991

Well-known member
I'm a little surprised by the enthusiasm for the 200-600, given my own experience with the 200-500. I purchased and sold that lens *twice*, because it was too heavy and too clumsy for what it did, and spent 90%+ of its time at max anyway - 500mm. Which made the 500PF a far better choice for me. I understand the Sony enthusiasm for their 200-600 a little more, since the long lens choices in that ecosystem are relatively more limited (not bashing, just observing). The 200-600 may turn out be a stellar lens, but to me the preferred kit would be the 100-400 and the 500PF (with TC) (or 800PF, which I haven't tried). Especially given the remarkable results people are getting with the 100-400 +TC1.4. I'm not a candidate for the 400PF (unless there's something really remarkable about it like a built in TC) since I already have the 500PF, but it might be a great for someone who doesn't already have the 500.

200-500 & 200-600 lenses are perfect for composing. No prime can match that.
 

Lance B

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I am not so sure distance is necessarily an issue for PF lenses. This is a shot from about 750mts away using the Z7 + 500 f5.6 PF, 1/500s f/5.6 at 500.0mm iso64

original.jpg


100% crop

original.jpg


I think heat haze issues may be an effect that people are seeing when they get a soft image.
 

DavidT

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I always seem to be the minority on the crop sensor camera desire. I had a D500 and while I liked the extra speed over the D850 and the focus points being more towards the edge I sold it as I much preferred the D850 image quality.

I am more interested in going bigger on the sensor size with more resolution than smaller. If I was going smaller than FF I’d be going to an OMD body and getting the full advantage of going smaller.

We will see what Nikon will do since Canon just came out with some crop bodies but the cost and weight savings of a crop sensor isn’t what it used to be.

My next purchase will be medium format for landscape and city scape work, likely Hasselblad.
 

EricBowles

Moderator
Supporting Member
The new Z 400mm f/4.5 looks pretty good for me, and will probably replace the 500 PF and more. I'll probably drop the 200-400 f/4 and maybe the 300 f/4.

I like the small size for 400mm, and the aperture is close to the f/4 I prefer. It's nice paired with the 800 PF. The Z 1.4 TC will nicely fill the gap with a 560mm f/6.3 option. On the wide end, the Z 70-200 f/2.8 is terrific and pairs well with the 1.4 TC. Overall, this makes a streamlined kit with smaller size, lighter weight, and improved optics. I still have the 600 f/4 VR and will be keeping it for the time being as the fast aperture and excellent optics are still useful.
 

ajm057

Active member
The new Z 400mm f/4.5 looks pretty good for me, and will probably replace the 500 PF and more. I'll probably drop the 200-400 f/4 and maybe the 300 f/4.

I like the small size for 400mm, and the aperture is close to the f/4 I prefer. It's nice paired with the 800 PF. The Z 1.4 TC will nicely fill the gap with a 560mm f/6.3 option. On the wide end, the Z 70-200 f/2.8 is terrific and pairs well with the 1.4 TC. Overall, this makes a streamlined kit with smaller size, lighter weight, and improved optics. I still have the 600 f/4 VR and will be keeping it for the time being as the fast aperture and excellent optics are still useful.
While I have and use the large primes and wil be taking them on safari - I still luv the convenience of the 500/pf. I will be selling off the 300pf but not the 500pf.
And since the Z 100-400 is f/5.6 at 400mm AND awesome there is not enough advantage for me to also have a 400/4.5 pf just because it is a Z mount. I need focal length hence why I jumped at the 800/6.3PF at its comparatively low price. My guess is folk are under valuing the price of Z 400/4.5PF. My guess is it will be between 3-4k not in the 2-3k range that many are suggesting. While I hope not, it certainly would not be a surprise give the quality of the lens (as seen now on many vids).
 

EricBowles

Moderator
Supporting Member
While I have and use the large primes and will be taking them on safari - I still luv the convenience of the 500/pf. I will be selling off the 300pf but not the 500pf.
And since the Z 100-400 is f/5.6 at 400mm AND awesome there is not enough advantage for me to also have a 400/4.5 pf just because it is a Z mount. I need focal length hence why I jumped at the 800/6.3PF at its comparatively low price. My guess is folk are under valuing the price of Z 400/4.5PF. My guess is it will be between 3-4k not in the 2-3k range that many are suggesting. While I hope not, it certainly would not be a surprise give the quality of the lens (as seen now on many vids).
The 500mm PF is $3299 in the US, and the 300 PF is $1999. While optimistically they could split the difference and come in at $2649 (based on four year old F-mount lenses), I expect to see this lens around $3000-3500. That's a good price, but the one wild card is the exchange rates. The US dollar is at 134 yen - and Nikon's financial forecast was around 120. Either way, demand will be high.
 

Charlie Lasswell

Well-known member
Just a curious observation regarding an official announcement:

On Wednesday, March 30th, the teaser videos for the 800mm PF were released. They were much like the videos that were released yesterday for the 400mm f4.5.

Exactly one week later, April 6, Nikon made the official announcement for the 800mm. If history repeats itself, that would imply that we can expect an official announcement on the 400mm f4.5 this coming Wednesday.
 
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