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Nikon Z7: the Emphasis on Lens Design for Video

Get Nikon Z at B&H Photo.

Nikon is playing it smart: not only do the new Nikkor Z S lenses far higher optical performance along with the most impressive lens ever produced for full-frame mirrorless, the Nikkor Z S lenses are expressly optimized for video usage in terms of sounds and haptics.

How good the lenses are for video is a question video pros will have to weigh in on, but clearly.

Lens operability improved to ensure high-quality movie recording

In 2008, Nikon introduced the world’s first camera with a movie recording function in the single-lens-reflex/single-lens camera category. Since then, it has become easier to record movies with high-quality, cinematic background bokeh, and D-SLR cameras have become popular tools for a wide range of filmmaking applications.

The Z mount system was developed with consideration for the increasing importance of movies, and is designed to ensure lens operability in movie recording. Whereas a still image is completed the moment the shutter-release button is pressed, continuity is important in movie recording. Sometimes it may be necessary to adjust aperture and exposure settings, shift the focus plane, and zoom in and out. And it’s important to be able to make the relevant adjustments to camera settings and control changes smoothly, while maintaining continuity.

Every NIKKOR Z lens incorporates a new control ring, to which certain focus and exposure-related functions can be assigned. When aperture is assigned, it can be adjusted by rotating the ring, in addition to using the command dial on the body. The control ring rotates very smoothly, without the click response of the command dial, allowing adjustment without a loss of continuity.

When focus control is assigned to the control ring, focusing speed can be adjusted according to the rotation speed of the ring. Rotating the ring slowly allows precise focusing, while rotating it quickly enables larger changes in focus with only a slight movement. Operation of the ring is extremely quiet, to prevent unwanted sound from being picked up in the recording, and it has an appropriate torque to ensure smooth rotation.

Lenses designed for still shooting sometimes exhibit phenomena such as focus breathing (shifting of the angle of view when adjusting focus) that are undesirable in movie recording, but they have been remarkably improved with NIKKOR Z lenses.

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