A Taste of the Nikon Z7 with the Noct Nikkor 58 f/1.2 By Rai

A Taste of the Nikon Z7 with the Noct Nikkor 58 f/1.2

By Rai

Hi Steve!

Further to my post about the Noct-Nikkor on the Canon EOS-R (see that post here) , I have now managed to get hold of the Nikon Z7 and made some test shots with the said Noct for you guys to check out.

I have run into a couple of minor annoyances right off the bat, partly due to not reading the manual and partly due to my ignorance.  First one being, I was unaware that the new memory card type needed for the Z7 is not the same size and shape as a standard SD card, blindly assuming although the speed is faster, the slot would still be backward compatible and my standard cards would fit – Wrong! So I had to quickly rush and buy a memory card which cost £200 GBP for a 64Gb. OUCH! I think this is a totally unnecessary move by Nikon.

The camera feels solid in hand and feels a tad more like a Sony than the EOS-R. Buttons need getting used to a little and I feel the ISO button on top is too close to the Rec button, apart from that there is nothing that you cannot get used to.

So Battery charged and £200 correct memory card inserted, off the woods before the sun sets. Here is where some of the other minor issues materialised with regards to shooting manual lens…

I could not get rid of the annoying focus indicator which was presented as small red square at the centre of the frame. Had a brief look at the menus but found it not as straight forward as Sony or Canon, so used the trackpad to move it to the bottom corner!

When zooming in to get some exact focussing, there does not seem to be a way of jumping out of the zoom without taking a shot. Each time I pressed the magnifying glass button, the view would zoom in at higher increments until I could not zoom in any longer, but the continuous pressing did not zoom back out to normal size view. Also while EVF is magnified, I noticed slight jerkiness when moving frame.

I noticed while shooting that the monitor was very dark, yet the EVF (great resolution – equal to EOS-R) was at the “correct” brightness, but every so often the EVF seemed to adjust the lighting a little.  I carried on shooting assuming the default monitor brightness is the issue here.

Few shots taken, images transferred into Lightroom via Nikon app – I have no reader. To my slight horror, most images where shot VERY dark! The images you see here were all almost totally dark and restored/recovered in Lightroom.  It seems that the EVF is defaulted to a setup so you can see even in very dim conditions and will self adjust even if you want to take darker shots, and while I have been assuming I was getting a WYSIWYG  in fact the dark images I was seeing on the Monitor were actually how the images WERE being shot.

Once images restored to my liking, I find the IQ great when paired with this lens and for my style of shooting, and to my eyes better than with the EOS-R. Maybe it’s due to the lens being native Nikon that it looks better than on the Canon. Also I prefer the colours a little more than that of the EOS-R. The ISO and shadow recovery also seemed to prove itself greatly – No banding etc.

Again, the things I have had issues with are all fixable  within the menu system (I hope), I just did not like how the camera has been defaulted with some settings. If I can find solutions within the settings and if I do not come across any other niggles, I will keep this and send back the EOS-R, purely for image quality.

I will be posting more combos hopefully on my Flickr at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ as soon as adapters arrive.

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11 Comments

  1. Have any of you guys so quick to jump down his throat actually looked at the photos he has taken?? Sheesh!
    Nice work Bro.

  2. Do you shoot in Manual Mode because you think it sounds more creative?
    Never heard about histogram?
    This is a very basic mistake: You cannot get the right exposure just by judging the image in viewfinder or on screen!
    Histogram is part of the solution. Knowing your camera and its file treatment will complete the job.

  3. How is anyone meant to take you seriously when you start by saying you thought your SD cards would work in a QXD slot? This card a lot issue has been done to death for months, where have you been? And in terms of blaming Nikon, equipping a camera with a more robust, faster and higher capacity card is a good thing.

    • Hi Richard, Not sure if I have stated anywhere in post the need to be “taken seriously”. I was simply showing examples of the camera and lens combo. Unfortunately, I do not spend my days searching the internet for differences between memory cards, a simple error on my part. Same with not looking through the menu system first before taking it out for a test run. Let me assure all the people here that seem very distressed and shocked at my ignorance in using the camea, that I now know how to use it. So guys, sleep easy, take a chill pill, no harm done in the grand scheme of things – honest and wish you all the best. We are only taking pictures after all.

  4. Most of the issues you discuss are easily remedied:

    When zooming in to get some exact focussing, there does not seem to be a way of jumping out of the zoom without taking a shot. Each time I pressed the magnifying glass button, the view would zoom in at higher increments until I could not zoom in any longer, but the continuous pressing did not zoom back out to normal size view. Also while EVF is magnified, I noticed slight jerkiness when moving frame.

    >>>>>>>>> There is a button under the magnifying glass button. It has a minus sign inside the magnifying glass. This zooms out.

    I noticed while shooting that the monitor was very dark, yet the EVF (great resolution – equal to EOS-R) was at the “correct” brightness, but every so often the EVF seemed to adjust the lighting a little. I carried on shooting assuming the default monitor brightness is the issue here.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>> One of the benefits of an EVF is live histogram. Maybe you should try it. Press the DISP button next to the viewfinder until the histogram appears.

    Few shots taken, images transferred into Lightroom via Nikon app – I have no reader.

    >>> There’s no need to use a Nikon app. Hook up your camera to your computer with the supplied USB cable. In lightroom’s import screen it will show Z7 as a device. [Side note, super pleased with the speed of using this, I might just forego a card reader.]

    To my slight horror, most images where shot VERY dark! The images you see here were all almost totally dark and restored/recovered in Lightroom.

    >>>>>>>>>>> This is simply no way to shoot. You need to expose your images correctly. You can’t get good results by having an image woefully underexposed and then pushing it in LR.

    You would be well served to learn the camera before venturing out. All the best.

  5. Thanks to Steve Huff and my favorite blog! Testing is hard work. Pure scientific tests are useless. Images are reqd.! Steve Thank You!
    Here another fine new camera, with greater power of digital files!
    The flaw is the “new” SD card! One could buy a digital Bridge camera with fixed lens,
    for less! The images here are nothing special, the price of internet and monitor viewing.. Steve showed “low” light images with that special 50mm f1.2.
    Color hard to see or judge, but high ISO really works.
    In my photography, i am having difficulty in sending large files, unless linked to “clouds” and snoopy eyes.
    In my photography I almost never print larger than 8×12″.
    In pro work (retired) I did a few murals in time of film.
    Medium format was easy to print 6 feet x 9 feet.
    One 35mm frame printed in sections was 9 feet high by 27
    feet. So truthfully we have not gone that far..
    Yes sharper and clearer but images (not photographs) look over sharp and awful..
    One sees the Millenniums returning to LP’s, analog cameras all the time..
    The beauty of digital is speed, of taking, processing, NOT editing.
    Why do assignments NEED to be ready yesterday?

  6. Wow absolutely love the richness and colours of these Photos!!

    I’m trying to decide between the canon and the nikon mirrorless cameras atm and you’ve definitely helped me in that respect.

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