shooting from the driver's seat

Couple days ago (thursday?) I had to go into the city to pick up an air compressor. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a big shop tool. Powers other kinds of tools, like nail guns and die grinders and pretty much everything else. Nice to have around the shop. Anyway, I looked at the route and instead of taking me across the bay bridge, like I’m used to, it said that it was 10 minutes faster to go through marin, to 101, and then south over the Golden Gate. So that’s what I did.

Now normally, I would look at a set of directions like that and say, oh, it’s probably not worth saving ten minutes, or, surely it can’t be that much better, but this time, I’d just gotten a rented camera in the mail. I’m trying out the Nikon Z8 over the weekend, and so a creative ‘shortcut’ was just what the doctor ordered.

The z8 is a remarkable camera. The autofocus system is incredible, but also incredibly complex. I never really got into all the focus tracking continuous blah blah, even back when I shot an F5, so this thing might as well be an alien space ship from that perspective. When I put it in single point servo mode, though, it’s incredibly fast and accurate.

These pictures were all shot with that camera and the 40mm f/2 nikkor. This sample I like a bit better than the one that I rented with the Z7 when I tried that camera. From a moving car, sometimes things are a little blurry. I’ve always liked shooting from the car, driving or not, and this camera does it really well.

Everything about it is fast as fuck. turns on fast (looking at you, Leica), switches between back lcd and viewfinder fast, shoots 20 dang frames a second if you’re into that sort of thing. The exposure meter hysteresis, the time it takes to react to big swings in light values, is also super fast. This is important when the camera is in your lap, and you try to quick-draw to get a picture of something you’re passing on the road.

After this little jaunt, I put on an adapter that lets me use the camera with my m-mount lenses, and it’s actually also really good with those, just like, manually focusing. I wish there was some kind of focus confirmation, instead of just the edge detection it has. Maybe there is and I haven’t found that setting yet! who knows.

Anyway, yeah. more as it develops… probably back to leicaposting soon.

Posted by Matt on 2023-07-29T21:16:02Z GMT