I have officially become a Nikonian

March 31, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

So I got the Nikon 180-600mm lens before finding a well prices Sony A1. The decision is make. All my Sony gear have now been sold. All my Nikon gear have been acquired. I guess I have officially become a Nikonian. However, I must admit, it was a really hard transition.

  1. I did not realize how attached I was to my Sony system. For reference, I am not a very sentimental person, but I was almost in tear when I shipped my Sony equipment off. It felt like I was saying good bye to be close friend. After all, my Sony gear traveled all over with me, to England, Israel, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, to name a few places, and of course to many placed in the USA.

  2. Learning the different vocabulary for familiar features has been a chore.

  3. Setting up the Nikon has been a nightmare. Perhaps it is just me, but the implementation of their memory bank system seem ill advised. These memory banks (or custom settings - C1, C2, C3 on the Sony's mode dial) never save a certain set point. They remain live and stay changed according to any and all changes that you make when you shoot. They really should not be referred to as a bank because you cannot bank on them. Perhaps the better name for them is a bookmark, bookmarking where you were last at or how things were last set when you used it. So Nikon users have to save the reference point settings (to be able to bank on them) to memory cards. But then when you format your memory card your settings are gone. To add to the confusion, there are two different kinds of memory banks. I have no idea why this is the case. To change from one bank to another requires multiple menu steps. In Sony land, custom settings are true banks to which you can save all your settings in one bank versus the different types of banks with Nikon. Furthermore, to change from one bank or custom setting to another on the Sony takes all but one turn of a dial and you are set.

There were also some nice surprises in Nikon land. For years I wished that my Sony would allow me to record short audio files and attached it to the relevant image. For example, I would have loved to be able to record a note stating that this image is the start of a series of seven images which are part of a panorama image, or that the next five images are part of a focus stack. The Nikon Z8 has this feature, a dream come true. Other than the memory bank issue and having to learn different names for what features are called, I managed to drive the menu system well.

          Coming from my Sony A7R IV, I like blackout free shooting a lot. It means that one can adjust to birds' flight paths easier and follow them in the viewfinder better. It is just more pleasant to use. Because of the rolling shutter effect of my Sony I always used the mechanical shutter. Boy, do I like silent shoot with the Z8! A nice touch of Nikon is giving you a soft cloth "housing" for each lens, making them a bit more protected inside my backpack.

          It is still early days but for now I am satisfied with the switch. All in all, it was cheaper than buying the Sony A1. Next week we will leave all this gear talk behind us and get back to some actual photography.

          P.S. It really bothers me that Canon, Nikon, and Sony all do not use the Arca Swiss dove tail system for their lens feet. WHY???? This causes additional expense and hassle. Almost every reviewer under the sun complains about this, and have been for a number of years now, and yet, here we are having to waste money on buying something that can easily be incorporated into the product. After all, Sigma and Tamron's lens feet are Acra Swiss compatible.


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