Where Nikon Went Wrong with the Zf

I have to admit that the announcement of the Nikon Zf has given me G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). The camera looks stunning! And it seems to be nicely equipped, spec-wise.

There are some who will say that the 24mp sensor is unimpressive—and, yes, it’s not—but it’s all that most will ever need. Some cars have a powerful turbocharged V8, but do you really need it? It might be a whole lot of fun on occasion, but not likely a necessity, unless you’re towing something heavy or maybe on a raceway. That fuel-efficient V4 is a lot more practical, and probably plenty for your purposes. Similarly, the 24mp sensor in the Zf is more than enough resolution, unless you plan to crop deeply or print posters. On Fujifilm, I actually prefer the 26mp X-Trans IV sensor to the 40mp high-resolution X-Trans V sensor, just because more resolution is more cumbersome and can create storage issues, and I simply don’t need that much resolution. I think, for most people and purposes, the 20mp to 30mp range is ideal, and 24mp to 26mp seems like a sweet spot. More than that is overkill for the majority of photographers.

The problem, though, with the Zf is fundamental: there’s no aperture ring on Nikkor Z lenses. Because the lenses don’t have an aperture ring, Nikon was forced to include PASM. Just like the Zfc, the Zf has a shooting mode (a.k.a. PASM) switch, which enables and disables the knobs on top of the camera. For example, if the switch is set to A, the shutter knob doesn’t do anything, and is there only for looks. Of course it makes sense that it does this, but if designed correctly, the step of moving the switch to the correct position in order to activate the knob so that the shutter speed can be adjusted is unnecessary. Also, it’s unintuitive. No aperture control on the lens means that it can’t be set when the camera is powered off. Oftentimes, when I am photographing a scene, as soon as I see what it is that I’m going to capture, I have an idea what I want the aperture to be, and I’ll set it even before I power on the camera. Can’t do that on the Zf or Zfc. Just like the Zfc, the Zf makes the most sense when used in Manual mode, and especially when paired with a third-party lens with an aperture ring.

If you want the full Fujifilm experience, you’d better get a Fujifilm, as the Zf won’t deliver that. The Zfc couldn’t match it, and the Zf won’t be able to, either. That doesn’t mean the Zf isn’t an excellent camera, because I’m certain that it is very good, maybe one of Nikon’s best ever (I’m saying this having never used it personally). I would certainly love one myself, just because I’m a sucker for beautifully designed digital cameras that look and handle retro-like. I think the Fujifilm X-T5 and Nikon Zf will be compared very closely by reviewers and YouTubers, and, in my opinion, the X-T5 wins for several reasons, including size, weight, price, JPEG output/Film Simulation Recipes, and user experience (no PASM); however, the Zf will have strengths that beat Fujifilm, so it depends on what’s most important to the user as to which one wins, as I think they’re very comparable. If you’re in the Fujifilm system, you’re not likely to jump ship for the Zf, but if you’re in the Nikon system, the Zf will be quite tempting, and maybe it will convince you to stay with Nikon instead of switching over to Fujifilm, if you were considering that.

I want the Nikon Zf, but $2,000 could fund a nice weekend getaway somewhere. I think experiences matter much more than gear, and oftentimes it’s better to invest in using what you have in an epic way than to buy something new and miss out on the adventure. G.A.S. is an unfortunate problem, especially when combined with F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out); however, the best way to overcome it is to accept that what you have is plenty good enough—simply use it to the best of your ability whenever the opportunities come, and see what happens.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-T5 in black:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Fujifilm X-T5 in silver:  Amazon  B&H  Moment
Nikon Zf:  Amazon   B&H
Nikon Zfc:  Amazon   B&H


  1. Dave P. · September 20

    Great points, Ritchie.

    The PASM modes (combined with no physical aperture ring on the Z lenses) puts a damper on the shooting experience. I’ve got the Z fc and, while it’s a great camera (the Z lenses are nice glass, too), it’s not nearly the same as the Fujifilm shooting experience.

    What I’m even more upset about is that it doesn’t appear they are releasing a silver version! I get that some people prefer black, but silver screams retro, and a lot of folks (like me) prefer it.

    I’ll have to stick to my (silver) X100T for that true retro vibe.

    Appreciate the article.

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 20

      I was surprised by that, too. I prefer silver myself. The “sunset orange” version is intriguing, though…

    • Chris Webb · September 21

      The DP Review review, so to speak, suggested it might be difficult to get the silver to match on different materials. I’ve seen other cameras with the same problem.

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

        Maybe so. I don’t notice Fujifilm with this issue. The silver Zfc looks quite nice, too. I think they should have figured it out, because silver would have sold a lot of copies, but that’s just my opinion.

  2. Zakaria · September 20

    I know this is a fujifilm site but that is not mean bashing a beautiful camera just for it lacks the aperture ring

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 20

      I’m not bashing the camera, but Nikon’s lack of aperture rings on their lenses, which ultimately made the camera less than what it could and should be. It is what it is, and it is the truth. I understand that aperture rings aren’t important to everyone, and that’s great, but it is important to myself and probably the majority of those who frequent this website.

      • eV · September 21

        I’m not considering many third party lenses for fuji cameras because they lack the aperture ring. I bought the new 27mm, selling the first version, for the same reason.

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

        I love the 27mm pancake v2. My favorite lens. Couldn’t imagine using it without an aperture ring like on v1.

      • davepatphoto · September 21

        I don’t feel like you bashed the camera at all—you actually gave it a lot of praise. I chose the Z fc as I enjoy the shooting experience—but I also shoot with an X100T (and previously with the X-T3 and X-Pro3–kicking myself for selling them!); I can say unhesitatingly the Nikon is nowhere near as enjoyable as Fujifilm. But that doesn’t mean the Z fc is a bad camera.

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

        Exactly! Maybe I didn’t say that as clearly as you just did, but I like the Zfc, and I’m 100% sure that I’d like the Zf, too (I’d love one… it’s taking a lot for me not to preorder it 🤣), but it’s just not the same experience as with Fujifilm. It’s not quite as enjoyable (yet still enjoyable). Thanks for this comment!

  3. tabfor · September 20

    I have two Fujifilm lenses without physical aperture rings and do not use PASM. I just turn a wheel looking in the vizor instead ring on the lens.

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 20

      I have a couple of lenses like that, too. I dislike the shooting experience, especially since my habit is to set the aperture before even powering on the camera. I also have a tendency to grab the lens and twist before remembering that there’s no aperture ring, and then feeling really stupid about myself. 🤣

  4. Lenny DiBrango · September 20

    I was tempted by this camera until I found out it has one SD slot and one micro SD slot. They couldn’t fit two sd slots like on the Fuji x cameras?

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

      It’s an odd arrangement, for sure.

    • Julien TH · September 21

      In a YouTube review, the Nikon rep said they couldn’t fit 2 regular SD slots because of the full-frame sensor and the tiny grip that is essential to the retro look of the camera.
      Well… I’ll take a bigger, more convenient grip any day! And a grip accessory will also make the camera even taller…

      The Zf has a number of things going for it: I think it looks better than the Fuji cameras (though it needs a silver version), being full-frame it will take full advantage of quirky vintage lenses (e.g. swirly bokeh), some great autofocus and stabilisation features that I’d love to see Fuji integrate into their own offerings…
      But overall I think the Fuji experience is the right fit for me. Smaller, lighter and cheaper overall. And I like to shoot manual, my hand is on the lens already so it feels right to have an aperture ring. I even shoot manual with the XF 33mm f1.4, though the linear motor is not the best for that.

      • Barry Studd · September 22

        Although one of the slots is mini sd you still have a backup, so I don’t see it as a problem? Although I’m Fuji through and through and have been since 2001. I still like the new Nikon It’s beautiful and reminds me of my FM2 days.

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 22

        It’s definitely a beautiful camera!

        I think the problems (and not big problems) are that MicroSD needs an adapter if you are transferring to a computer, it tends (from my experience… maybe I’m just behind the times on this…) to have slower read and write speeds, and MicroSD tends to have more write errors than regular SD Cards. This is my experience, but I say this not having a ton of experience with MicroSD. I personally would prefer two SD Cards slots over one SD Card and one MicroSD, but that arrangement might be preferable over just one SD Card slot (although my two favorite cameras only have one…).

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 22

        Thanks for the input! I love using vintage lenses on my Fujifilm cameras… it seems to pair especially well. If you want to try something really crazy, adapt some Pentax-110 lenses! 😮😀


    • Ricardo · 12 Days Ago

      Space. But I can say I rather prefer they did that as you can treat the micro sd slot as your “camera’s built in storage” to avoid going out by accident without a card. I rather have had them do this than just one slot.

  5. Don · September 21

    First. Curiously, what are the Zfs strengths that beat Fujifilm? Anyway, it seems quite obvious that Nikon has just payed homage to Fujifilm in their design realm including functionality. I use the Fujifilm ecosystem, but I try not to live in an exclusive Fujifilm world. Isn’t it interesting that regardless of what we read in sales reports between the various manufacturers that Fujifilm can’t keep up with orders. The mark of success I think and possibly some fudged sales numbers. Right. I’m seeing others playing catch up to Fujifilm at this point. It’ll be interesting to see if the others evolve or adopt more Fujifilm mojo. By the way, have you noticed the Zf uses one and a quarter card slot? A micro card? What’s that about? Maybe it’s good I don’t know.

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

      I’ve never used the Zf, but I’m sure there has to be something that beats Fuji. Dynamic Range maybe? Continuous subject tracking autofocus? I have no idea, but there has to be something. The micro-SD card slot is a bit odd.

  6. nathanielsy · September 21

    Yes. No jumping ship for FUJI users! Hmph! Wait… But… But… That Brass Petina Look over time though;😅😅😅😅😅: https://youtu.be/52e5euZw5oo?si=okjjON227oHNqvbS at 15:00.

    Fuji better strategically price the XPro4 right because if there are quite a number of hobbyists who really don’t have much care about the film sims since they can emulate them in Lightroom or Capture One among others anyway, OR those who won’t care how intuitive the film-like experience they can get from Fuji cameras, definitely they’ll give Nikon a run for their money on this one. Just look at the price? Is Fuji really going to kid around to still retain their usual XPro prices when newly released? US$1799? Or if they would still incorporate duratech or some other coating, maybe brass, would it still be US$1999? APSC whether or not they’ve leveled-up their sensor tech by leaps and bounds? 🙁🙁🙁

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

      You can do something like that with an X-E1, too:


      I know there are some who haven’t yet discovered the joys of Film Simulation Recipes, and they’re not using their gear to it’s full potential (😀), so maybe they’d be more quick to switch… but… the Nikon Zf is still more expensive than the X-T5 (among other things, like size and weight), and it doesn’t seem to offer any specific advantage, other than it’s “full-frame”, which is often overstated as an advantage (for example, Fujifilm has excellent dynamic range… I’m sure the Zf will have slightly more, but does it make any practical difference?). I’m sure the next X-Pro will come under the price of the Zf, and I personally like the rangefinder design more than the SLR because, with the SLR styling, I always leave smudge marks on the rear screen from my nose. 🤣

    • Chris Webb · September 21

      I’ve got an X-Pro 1 which I bought after using an X-T1 & X-T2 for over a year. I thought the X-Pro would be pretty much like using the X-T1 just with the viewfinder in a different place. On paper the specs are very similar but I soon found out it’s a radically different user experience. Therefore I would say that “viewfinder style” cameras and “SLR style” cameras don’t compete with each other, however similar they may appear to be.

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

        Different experience, for sure! My preference is the viewfinder style, but it’s not for everyone. Would be interesting if Nikon made a rangefinder style camera….

      • Nathaniel Sy · September 22

        Hi Chris. I actually like the rangefinder style as well as I’ve got the X100v. I beg to differ as many, if not most, would weigh things thoroughly where their US$2000 be spent on. At least they’ll ponder long enough about it. Is full frame overrated in certain aspects especially image quality? Yes. But as much as clinical images are not my priority, perhaps majority still do buy cameras because of it. So with FF supposedly having better dynamic range and with Nikon’s “colored clinical” images I believe more preferred than, say, Sony’s (at least I prefer their colors than Canon’s or Sony’s having used the D700/D800 then), the Zf is indeed tempting. It’s, of course, the cost of their higher-tier lenses that prevents me from possibly migrating back to Nikon.

        I would still contend that Fuji should lower their X-Prox price point should they still be releasing one. One solution, as I’ve been kind of kidding around about it but at the same time quite serious, is to cripple it:
        • No LCDs (Checking of images on the viewfinder).
        • No Video capabilities whatsoever
        • Use the old batteries if necessary since the first two above may already prevent quick battery drainage.
        • And if it would help further lower the cost since it’s not rangefinder-esque anyway (from online rants and complaints), take off the OVF. Or retain the OVF but no EVF (if this would be possible).
        • Put brass on top for the black version. X100v aluminum plate on the silver.
        • Weather Sealed.
        • Since it’s crippled, make it more affordable: US$1399 – US$1499. Make it as niche as it could be for us who just wants a digital photograper-centric only camera.

        Honestly, when I mentioned the crippling specs to a certain forum, while the reaction wasn’t really hostile, they stressed that the XPro series should remain as very high-tier model with the idea that the price should be maintained to preserve its value (At least that’s the impression I’m getting). Don’t we want a camera for purists or at least one for a DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHER purist (e.g., settling with an EVF in case) at a very attractive price? I would. So that’s what I think for the XPro line. And make the price gap substantial enough between full frame bodies and apsc bodies such that when compared (Zf = US$1999 VS XPro4 = US$1399/US$1499), it will really be a no brainer.

        I’m not sure but I read somewhere that Panasonic’s G9ii’s pre-order sales are underwhelming ( https://youtu.be/Bf5WzrsTmqE?si=U4NS_6gKE-8UC2Sv | https://www.43rumors.com/bad-surprise-panasonic-g9ii-preorder-numbers-are-extremely-low-what-could-save-micro-four-thirds/?fbclid=IwAR3lBCopkUWDC7zJ17fSt6Cz9C3XPO9RybgQr8aBvo1PtCnXdQpn9-NBjUo ). Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. Even with its features especially its fantastic IBIS, at the price of US$1899, unless one is heavily invested in the system, it would be a hard sell because XT5, XH2 and Zf specs are mostly on par but with bigger sensors.

        Anyway, for certain the inflation will just make my ideas, an impossibility as business is business. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Việt Dũng · September 21

    It would be great if Nikon could add more members to their Z-SE lenses system soon. That will make this Zf more valuable.

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

      I have the Nikkor 28mm f/2.8, and it’s pretty underwhelming, a rather mediocre lens. Whatever glass they release needs to be better than that one. They should offer a few primes with an aperture ring, in my opinion.

      • Max R · September 25

        Well Alik Griffin tested the 28mm f2.8 and the 40mm f2 and really really liked them for street photography.

        I recently switched from X-S10 to a Z5 and got these 2 lenses and its just a joy on the street. And when you are out of the Fujifilm cosmos you suddenly notice that also other manufactures offer the same jpeg configuration possibilitys as Fujifilm does. Fujifilm just does better marketing on it.

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 25

        I like Alik Griffin. The Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 is one of the most boring, uninspiring lenses I’ve ever used by any camera brand in the last 25 years. Very mediocre. I enjoyed my Zfc much more when I replaced it (with a third-party option). I have zero experience with the 40mm f/2.

  8. Doug H · September 21

    Hi Ritchie. Good observation on the lack of aperture rings. As well, I’m disappointed that the ZF doesn’t have a joystick and a three-way articulating screen like my X-T5. However, I’m curious about the new monochrome modes. I’ve always liked the monochrome output from the Z7ii. What Fuji film simulation do you think comes closest to the new Deep Tone Monochrome picture control based on what you’ve seen of it so far?

  9. Barry Studd · September 21

    Been shooting Fuji, since the Fuji S1 promore than 20 years ago. Prior to that in film day’s it was Nikon FM2s and FE 2 and I loved them. For this reason I love the look of the new Nikon ZF it’s beautiful!

    • davepatphoto · September 21

      Agreed. I have a Nikon Z fc and the original Nikon FM; from a few feet away, the fc is the spitting image of the FM.

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

      It’s a beautiful camera, no doubt about it!

    • Chris Webb · September 21

      I used FM2s, an FE2 and an F3 for over a decade and while I like the ZF’s aesthetics I wouldn’t consider buying one for the reasons Ritchie and others commenting here have stated – aperture ring, lens range etc.

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

        It’s such a beautiful camera, no doubt.

  10. Ralph Leroy La Forge · September 21

    Exactly what I would have expected Fuji to say – come on guys – this “appraisal” should never have been written and published. And I am a Fuji photographer and Nikon NPS!!

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

      I’m not associated with Fujifilm in any way… I don’t even have a contact at the company. This is my personal website and my personal opinions, and I’m allowed to say whatever I want. If you don’t like my opinions, you are more than welcome to not read them. Again, Fuji X Weekly is not Fujifilm, and this is not their words or (as far as I’m aware) their opinions. My opinions are not their opinions, and should never be confused as such. I’m just a guy with a dozen or so cameras (including Fujifilm, Nikon, Ricoh, and others) and a blog where I talk about them. Nobody says that you have to visit this website, it’s only if you appreciate what I publish. If don’t appreciate it, that doesn’t bother me in the slightest, as everyone has their own opinions. You can’t please everyone, nor should one try.

    • Doug H · September 21

      I’ve shot with both Fuji and Nikon for years and appreciate the strengths of both systems but I’m puzzled by your reactionary comment. On what basis on you claiming that “this ‘appraisal’ should never have been written and published”?

      • Ritchie Roesch · September 21

        I think he thought that the Fujifilm corporation wrote this article, and not just “some guy”…. I’m certainly not defending the odd comment, just that’s the only explanation that makes any sense to me.

    • Doug H · September 21

      Just as an FYI, I’ve actually spent a lot of time with the Fuji reps over the last seven years and I’ve never heard them criticize another brand’s cameras so it’s important that we hear from other voices about both the comparative strengths and limitations.

  11. Terry · September 23

    It looks like a great first attempt by Nikon FF and I’m sure their next retro release will have improvements. Im sure Fuji retro style has influence Nikon into market for photographers. Some fuji fans have moved to Lecia cameras for FF and some will purchase this Nikon as well. Nikon has seen there is a market with affordable FF retro style cameras. Even canon are rumoured to be thinking of retro style A1 FF camera release. So the options for retro style cameras is increasing for photographers but market profits are going to shrink for companies. Fuji, Leica and Olympus have been battling for profit in retro style. So with ASP-C and FF retro style cameras been released, I think their is a gap that could be filled with Fuji before other brands. My dream, Fuji to produce a FF Xpro, the range finder style camera. I think the market is crying out for it. A new lease of life for XPro line of cameras with two new lens on release. 23mm & 35mm to start and then produce more. Fuji already do APS-C and medium format so why not FF. I might be a bit bias because Xpro 2 is my favourite Fuji between xt-4 & 100V.

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 25

      I think because Fujifilm does APS-C and Medium Format, they will not do Full Frame. It is a crowded market, so it makes the most sense to focus on being the biggest in those two markets, and try to compete with full-frame from both below and above. If Fujifilm were to enter the full-frame market, don’t be surprised if it is first with a fixed-lens camera similar to the X100. In that case, they don’t have develop a new mount and new lens lineup in a market that they might really struggle in.

  12. Architect1776 · September 23

    The Zf praises remind me of the Emporer’s new clothes story.
    Reviewers afraid to say that it is really pretty poor for the money.
    Poor AF that Nikon is known for, slow FPS for a supposed pro camera, micro SD for second card, LOL. No joystick and on and on. A huge step backwards compared to other Nikon and competitors products. Even the Canon R8 beats it with only one SD card.

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 25

      I can definitely see that. It’s a beautiful camera, but is it really deserving of all the over-the-top praise I’ve seen various places? Probably not.

    • Ricardo · 12 Days Ago

      “Poor AF that Nikon is known for”-> What? I don’t know where this is coming from. Particularly for this camera model.

      “slow FPS for a supposed pro camera” -> sure seems to be enough for street photography. This isn’t a sports camera.

      “micro SD for second card, LOL.”-> actually makes sense. You a buy a micro sd as backup for a built in memory concept if you will, keep using your regular SD card.

      I really don’t understand these critiques.

      • Ritchie Roesch · 12 Days Ago

        I cannot answer anything about “poor AF” or “slow FPS” but regarding the Micro-SD:

        It’s better than just one card slot, but not as good as two regular-size SD Card slots. It’s definitely not ideal, but more like a serviceable situation. My guess is that Nikon’s initial plan was for just one card slot, but somewhere along the way it became obvious to them that they needed two, but it was too far along in development to implement two regular slots, so the Micro-SD was their compromise solution. I cannot image that this was the intended setup from the beginning. So the Micro-SD Card slot to me seems like a very legitimate critique. Is it a big deal? Probably not. But it is noteworthy enough, for sure, in my opinion.

      • Ricardo · 12 Days Ago

        @Ricthie – the point I am trying to make here is that it’s better to have a 2nd micro SD slot you can use as your “built in RAM” rather than have a single card slot. Keep in mind this is a FF camera with state of the art (on paper at least) IBIS, so it may very well have had issues of space.

        To say that Nikon changed their mind mid-design is very speculative to say the least, though certainly not impossible.

        As for the “Poor AF that Nikon is known for” I find that statement entirely ludicrous.

      • Ritchie Roesch · 12 Days Ago

        It is speculative, but I can’t imagine that this was the idea from the get-go. If it was, the designers had a little too much of Grandpa’s cough medicine prior to putting pen on paper. Logically, it makes the most sense that they figured out along the way that less people would buy it with only one card slot (it was too premium for just one… maybe the initial plan was that it would cost a little less?), so they added another in the limited space available, which only allowed for Micro-SD. It was the best they could do under the circumstances, which was a serviceable compromise that’s good-enough for most. Logically, that explains it. If that’s not the story, I would question Nikon a lot more.

        If Fujifilm ever pulled something like this, I’d say the same thing about them. I hope they don’t, but they’ve certainly done other things that don’t give me 100% confidence that they never will. 🤣

        I can’t talk about the autofocus. On my Zfc, I found shooting all-manual—including manual focus with a third-party lens—is what makes the most sense on that camera. So I don’t have any insight one way or the other in that regard.

  13. nathanielsy · September 23

    Some did mention that what the Zf definitely lacked are those film simulations and then I found this: https://youtu.be/T0NBF3ccUNU?si=7kX2IwJksL6CWFfs . Now I’m not sure if it’s close enough. But like, perhaps, the OG X100 and XPro1 then, it could be promising. It’s also available supposedly in-camera on the Zf: https://youtu.be/IFoekNLbgSg?si=3w1kW94WIBsdZPxl (at 1:12). Hey Ritchie, something for you to probably work on. 🙂
    It’s highly unlikely I’ll migrate to it but it’s still a very beautiful camera nonetheless.

    • Ritchie Roesch · September 25

      I made some Recipes for Nikon Z using the Creative Picture Controls:




      The problems are 1) Nikon’s approach is more about emotion/feeling than analog-aesthetics and 2) the JPEG output is not as good as Fujifilm’s and feels a decade behind (in my opinion using the Zfc).

      They do have that software where you can customize the Picture Control, but that requires downloading a program onto your computer (and learn how to use it), manipulate the parameters (but how will you know if it’s “right” until you try it?), then save a file, which must be transferred to an SD Card and put into the camera, then go through the process of loading/saving to the camera. Too many steps. It’s easier to update the firmware than add a custom picture control via a their software. I think that’s why it’s never caught on in the Nikon world.

      I appreciate the input!

      • Roman Verton · October 1

        Nikon has its own software NX Studio, that features the same settings that your Nikon camera has. It’s like X-Raw Studio for Fuji, but you do not need to connect a camera to get the same results. So, you may check your looks using raw files in this app. Nikon Picture Control Utility you are talking about is just a supporting app if you do not want to set controls in camera.

        Nikon is wrong not to market its picture controls as Fuji does. They are flexible and can give great results. For example, you may check them here: https://nikonpc.com. I like mid-range sharpening feature and custom curves that give you a way more control compared to two point shadows and highlights option in Fuji cameras.

        So, you may reproduce analog-aesthetics as well. I still use my raw files left from Nikon D7500 and D780 and NX Studio app to experiment with picture controls.

      • Ritchie Roesch · October 2

        I don’t use X RAW Studio, involve a computer in my workflow, or take the RAWs off of the SD Card. I might as well edit the RAWs with Lightroom if I’m going to do all that, which is something I dislike. That’s just me. Each person is different.

        You can indeed produce analog aesthetics with Nikon, but Nikon’s approach isn’t necessarily analog-like. It’s more about mood and emotion, which is fine (nothing wrong with that), but it’s definitely different than Fuji’s. The JPEGs from Fujifilm, especially the latest sensors, is on a whole other level, and the JPEGs from my Zfc seem to be a noticeable step behind (maybe it’s just the Zfc?). That’s my opinion and experience, anyway. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  14. Earl Goodson · October 1

    I admit I’m pretty tempted by the Nikon Zf. You make a good point re. the aperture ring; that’s a solid part of the Fuji experience that would be missing with most Z lenses. The X-mount is finally getting interesting when it comes to 3rd party lenses, too. After being a Fuji user for 7 years it seems like a bad time to jump ship lol.

    …But then there are tiny adapter to add Sony FE lenses to the Z mount, which is kind of awesome…Some of which have aperture rings.

    Oh my!

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 2

      You’d want to use something other than Nikkor Z lenses, I think. Not sure what the advantage of the Zf would be (over a camera like the X-T5 or even X-T4, for example), or how Sony FE lenses would be preferable over Fujinon. But if you’re going to do it, I suppose that would be the way. Thanks for the input!

  15. nathanielsy · October 1

    For those who’s thinking about the aperture ring necessity for the ultimate… well…near-analog photography experience with the Zf, here’s a temporary solution: https://artralab.com/products/presaleartralab-nonikkor-mc-35mm-f1-4-full-frame-1960s?sscid=91k7_133be5&&sscid=a1k7_w8mz&

    And here’s a Youtube review about it by Red35: https://youtu.be/rHto8LmUSVA?si=lkgfgP-ks1haPke2

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 2

      That lens will also be available for Fujifilm X. It’s definitely interesting, and tempting. It’s seems kind of steeply priced for what it is, though. Thanks for sharing!

  16. nathanielsy · October 2

    Yeah Ritchie. Very interesting. Because the aesthetic prompts people like me to pick the cam and shoot. Hoping the price would be manageable. If only they could just weather seal it. Highly unlikely. Appears that the IQ’s very decent.

  17. Ricardo · October 17

    On first pass I would agree. But someone in Fred Miranda pointed out something that I actually consider brilliant:

    Yes, when switching from S to A priority the shutter dial is unused. BUT, you can now swtich back to S quickly and the shutter dial will be at the speed you wanted before.

    On the Fuji I am forced to change the shutter speed dial quick to an A to get Aperture priority, but I need to also change it back to whatever speed I wanted making it more time consuming actually.

    I shoot a lot of street life in A during the day and in S at night. Ironically Nikon’s approach seems to speed up things here.

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 18

      I suppose that makes sense, but since Nikkor lenses don’t have an aperture ring, I’d either find myself using “S” most of the time, or using third-party lenses and shooting full-manual, which is how I think the camera makes the most sense (third-party and full-manual). At least that’s how I found myself using the Zfc. I appreciate the input!

  18. Pierre · October 18

    I got to handle the Zf last Sunday at a Salon of Photography. That thing is quite a brick. The autofocus has caught up with Sony and Canon finally, certainly better than the X-T5 in that regard. It singled out heads from very far and followed them easily. The small f-stop screen is weird and I would certainly prefer real aperture rings. I like their PASM concept. As Ricardo wrote you can set up the dial to your favorite shutter speed and leave it there, then just flip the switch to S when needed. It doesn’t have a C1, C2 and C3 dial and I didn’t find any way to save such custom profiles anywhere in the menu.
    I sold my X-T5 a few months ago after a trip because I was not satisfied with the autofocus. Now hesitating between a Sony a7cii and the Zf. There are many lenses with real aperture rings for e-mount.
    Alex Deni Veres is making film simulations for Sony cameras using picture profiles. They are more messy to implement than your Fuji simulations but they still look great.

    • Ritchie Roesch · October 18

      The issue of this PASM concept, as you point out, is that the Nikkor lenses don’t have an aperture ring. So if you are using “A” it is a more frustrating experience, which, for me, would mean avoiding “A” and using “S” more than I otherwise would, which in turn would make this workaround less ideal than it initially sounds. The camera (to me) makes the most sense with third-party lenses and in full-manual. That’s how I much preferred to use the Zfc, anyway.

      Interestingly enough, I have never found the X-T5 autofocus lacking, or even the X-E4, or X100V, or X-T30, or X-H1. The older models hunt in dim light, but even then there are workarounds. A lot of people complain about Fujifilm’s autofocus, but I guess I’m just using my cameras “wrong” because I’ve never experienced this problem, and I’ve never understood it. 🤣

      I just looked up those Sony film sims (why is it called that? Sony doesn’t call their profiles film simulations….), and from what I can tell he is charging money for them. I guess good for him, but Fuji X Weekly is free 😀 😀 😀 !!

      Thanks for the comment!

  19. Watchman · 13 Days Ago

    As an enthusiast, I am just falling in love with my Nikon Df day by day again. The sensor is just kind miracle, I am done in Lightroom with just few tweaks where I do need several tweaks with my fuji files (X-System user from day-1 of availability). So this color renditions, the levels of color graduations, the kind how “green” is captured… and the Df just snapped any vintage and modern Nikon-lens i screwed on it, much better than my D810 does. So if I need to reduce to 1-camera, my choice is Nikon-Df. Its true an aperture ring is important if you came from film.

  20. Ricardo · 12 Days Ago

    I really think this camera needs to be explored from the philosophy of what it proposes. Sure, you don’t have an aperture ring on the lens but:

    – That means you don’t accidentally change the lens aperture. I can’t count the number of times I have changed my lens aperture ring on my Fuji accidentally particularly when changing lenses.
    – It also means you can switch from A priority to Shutter priority and back *fast* with the last setting you had. On my Fuji I have to change the shutter from A to the desired shutter, even if it was what I already wanted for street work. On this Nikon you just flip the switch and done- instant.

    Instead of trying to judge the camera usability by the familiarity of how Fuji does it, we should look at it more at what new good things (and bad) these new workflows/UI of the Zf enable on their own right.

    Yeah, it’s not a Fuji exact approach, doesn’t mean it’s all bad.

    • Ritchie Roesch · 12 Days Ago

      I see it like this:

      I believe that, deep down, everyone kind of realizes that Nikon’s implementation of the exposure triangle controls is a bit awkward and less-than-ideal. And to a degree I “get” that they “had to” do it that way. But because so many had an orgasmic response to a full-frame retro-looking camera (and no doubt it is a beautiful camera), excuses were made for its shortcomings and oddities. Every cloud has a silver lining, and it’s great to point those out, but the fact you’re going to get wet shouldn’t be ignored in pointing out the silver lining. It is what it is, and it’s ok-ish and can even have some benefits if you look hard enough for them, but it is still an awkward and less-than-ideal setup. That’s my strong opinion about it, having owned a Zfc (but not the Zf).

      • Ricardo · 12 Days Ago

        I a not trying to point out any “silver linings.” The Zf isn’t perfect just like Fuji isn’t perfect either. I find it harder to believe that Nikon simply designed it that way without any thought considering the vast experience they also have designing cameras.

        The reason it looks so awkward is because it’s being looked from a very Fuji-centric way of doing things. IMHO.

      • Ritchie Roesch · 12 Days Ago

        I don’t think it’s awkward only from a Fuji-centric perspective, but also from a traditional controls perspective. If you come from a manual film camera, like the Nikon FM2 that it was more-or-less modeled after, it will be a bit awkward. If you come from a modern PASM-control background, it will seem familiar, but also not familiar, because it’s different. Nikon is the only example I can think of that does this, and only on the Zf, Zfc, and Df. I can imagine the group that this setup isn’t at least a tad unusual for is pretty small overall.

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