With Nikon’s mirrorless “Z series”, you can fully enjoy MF lenses from other mounts!

Nikon’s mirrorless camera “Z series” has a large aperture and short flange back Z mount, which greatly improves the optical performance of the lens and enables higher image quality shooting than before. In addition, because of the short flange back, you can attach lenses of various mounts via a third-party mount adapter, which is a must-see feature. In this article, I will give you basic information on how to enjoy other mount MF lenses in the “Z series”.
“Z mount” with the shortest flange back among full-size mirrorless cameras
The mirrorless camera is designed to have a shorter flange back (distance from the lens mount surface to the image pickup surface) than a single-lens reflex camera equipped with a mirror structure and an optical viewfinder.

Comparison of flange back of mirrorless (left) and single-lens reflex camera (right)
Nikon Z mount 16mm F mount 46.5mm
Canon RF mount 20mm EF mount 44mm
Sony E mount 18mm A mount 44.5mm

The advantage of the short flange back is that it increases the degree of freedom in the optical design of the lens. Specifically, it will be easier to design wide-angle lenses, and it will be possible to commercialize smaller, higher-quality lenses. Even if you look at the high performance of recent mirrorless lenses, you can see that the short flange back has a tremendous effect.

In addition, the mirrorless with a short flange back is also advantageous for mounting lenses of other mounts via the mount adapter. In that respect, Nikon’s “Z series” is the one that I would like to pay particular attention to among the many mirrorless cameras. The Z mount has a flange back of 16 mm, which is the shortest among full-frame mirrorless cameras, and it is possible to attach a wide range of mount lenses such as those for single-lens reflex cameras and rangefinders. Many mount adapters have been commercialized by third parties, and it is the easiest mirrorless camera to use when you want to enjoy lenses of other mounts using the mount adapter.

Furthermore, the “Z series” has a thin cover glass for the image sensor, and it is said that even when using a lens with another mount, it is possible to take high-quality images up to the periphery (it is said). It is also designed to bring out the descriptive power of the lens.
Simple mount adapters are relatively cheap. The EVF of the “Z series” has excellent compatibility with MF shooting.
Recent mount adapters are becoming more sophisticated, and some are equipped with electronic contacts, record lens information in Exif of images, and support AF operations. It is interesting to use such a high-performance mount adapter, but this time, I would like to propose a simple mount adapter for MF lenses that does not have additional functions in combination with the “Z series”.

First of all, simple mount adapters are cheaper than high-performance ones. Most high-performance mount adapters cost around 30,000 to 50,000 yen, while mount adapters for MF lenses vary depending on the mount of the lens to be attached and the accuracy of the mount adapter, but cheaper ones start at 3,000. You can get a high-quality lens for about 5,000 yen at a price in the 10,000 yen range. You need to be careful about whether infinity comes out properly, but cheap ones are quite cheap.

Furthermore, this is especially important, but the electronic viewfinder (EVF) of the “Z series” is very easy to see, and it goes well with MF shooting. The surroundings are bright and clear, so it’s easy to focus with the MF, and it’s perfect for looking into the viewfinder and enjoying the fun of focusing with the MF.
Settings for using lenses of other mounts with the “Z series”
The “Z series” does not have a setting equivalent to the so-called “lensless release” that switches the release on and off when the lens is not attached, and the lens of another mount is attached via the mount adapter (camera). However, even if the lens cannot be recognized), the shutter can be released as it is. As with other SLR cameras, if the mount adapter has no electronic contacts, the lens information will not be transmitted to the camera, so the aperture value will not be displayed on the camera’s monitor screen, but modes such as M (manual) and A (aperture priority auto) will not be displayed. Can be taken with. Auto sensitivity and exposure compensation are also available. As long as you shoot with an MF lens that has an aperture ring, you can release the shutter without any problems other than not being able to check the aperture value on the screen.

However, don’t forget to register “Manual lens information setting” in the setup menu before using it. This setting allows you to properly use some camera functions such as in-body image stabilization by inputting the lens focal length and open aperture value in advance when using a non-CPU lens. The lens focal length and open aperture value will also be recorded in Exif. It is also effective for lenses of other mounts, so be sure to register the information and call it when you use it.

In addition, when using a lens of another mount in the “Z series”, the image quality adjustment function “Active D-Lighting” that suppresses overexposure and crushing of black to achieve a finish close to the apparent contrast is obtained by combining the lens and body. Until you can grasp the tendency of the image quality to be obtained, it is better to turn it off for the time being. I also want to turn off lens-related correction functions such as “Vignette Control” and “Automatic Distortion Correction” that are effective for Nikon genuine electronic contact-equipped lenses.

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