Zfc does not work for swimming action photography

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NikonMan09 Contributing Member • Posts: 726
Zfc does not work for swimming action photography

This past Sunday I participated in a masters swimming competition, and I thought I would give the Zfc another try at photographing the sport of swimming. I used the 70-300 F4.5-5.6 AF-P and the 80-400 F4.5-5.6 G lenses with the FTZII adapter. With either lens (which focus faster than the Z 50-250 lens) I had trouble getting the shot right because of camera lagginess. Here are two examples of shots I missed with the Zfc:

Now, after seeing that this was the common result I was getting with the Zfc, I switched to my D7500, sticking with the 80-400 G lens, and the difference in successful captures was incredible. The D7500 rarely missed. I used AF-C, 9-point dynamic with the D7500 and the equivalent with the Zfc.

Here are shots of the same two swimmers, later in the same event (a 1500m freestyle), successfully captured with the D7500:

And, finally, my favorite picture from this meet:

Overall, I conclude that the Zfc (and I would assume also the Z50) does not work well for this type of photography, and until Nikon issues a DX-format Z camera that is no different than a D7500 or better DSLR in lagginess, I will stick with Nikon DSLR's for my personal photographic interests. The DSLR's work; even a D90 provided me excellent results for swimming photography.

One other disturbing observation. Before this meet I played with my telephoto lenses on the Zfc, and I noticed to my horror that the optically great Z 50-250 lens has a slow AF--a decisively slower AF that the virtually instantaneous 70-300 F4.5-5.6 AF-P or the 80-400 G. I was hoping that AF-P quickness would be on all new Nikon lenses going forward. . . This also makes me concerned that the 200-600 lens everybody is awaiting, which is not to be an S-specification per the roadmap, may come with a slow AF, which would be really disappointing in light of what AF-P technology has shown.


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Shot Minolta SLR/DSLR and Sony DSLR 1978-2008. Switched to Nikon in 2009.

 NikonMan09's gear list:NikonMan09's gear list
Nikon D7200 Nikon D7500 Nikon Z fc Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +14 more
Nikon D7500 Nikon D90 Nikon Z fc
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