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by Karl Egressy on Sun May 17, 2020 9:43 am
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I was wondering if anybody had a chance to compare Nikon D500, D850 to Sony a9 in BIF shooting.
I sold my Fujifilm camera and am selling my Nikon Z50 as none of them came even close to my Nikon D500 and D850 in terms of BIF.
I might pick up a used a9 and try to use it with a smart adapter and Nikon lens for now and buy the Sony 200-600 later.
Thanks.
 

by pdschu on Sun May 17, 2020 1:29 pm
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Mark Smith

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and other of his videos.
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by Scott Fairbairn on Sun May 17, 2020 4:53 pm
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I have the A9 and D500. I find the AF on the A9 to be better across the board compared to the D500. But I do love that 500 PF.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Mon May 18, 2020 5:44 am
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The a9 is superior in virtually every way to a D500 but for what you are proposing it is not. You will never achieve the AF performance required for flight on a Nikon lens with an adapter. Nikon lenses just do not adapt well with a Smart adapter. It's fine for still subjects but not fast moving eratic subjects. you need a native Sony lens for that. The other thing that could be a problem for you is that the a9 is full frame while the D500 is APS-C...
 

by amp5213 on Mon May 18, 2020 11:10 am
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I have been shooting Nikon for many years.  I have the D5 and had the D500.  I picked up a used sony a9 for like $2500 and the sony 200-600mm and have been blown away by the autofocus capabilities and the sharpness of the lens.  I had a Nikon Z6 on which I was using  the FTZ adapter and the 500pf and was virtually useless for BIF compared to the Sony combo. I think EJ is right that trying to adapt the Nikon lens to a sony body would not be a good idea for BIF.
 

by Karl Egressy on Mon May 18, 2020 7:58 pm
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Thank you all the info and advices.
If Nikon won't come out with a reasonable, similar to Sony a9 camera in a 6-12 month time, then I will consider that Art had done, buy a used Sony a9 and maybe a used or a new 200-600 lens. I would also sell the D500 and keep the D850 only with the 500 f 5.6 PF lens.
 

by KK Hui on Tue May 19, 2020 12:44 am
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I currently shoot BIF with Nikon D500 plus the first generation AF-S 500/4D ED + TC14E II.
By courtesy of Sony Hong Kong I was able to test drive myself the a9 and FE200-600/5.6-6.3G OSS + 1.4x TC for a period of three weeks.
In the end I didn't switch despite the 'better' AF on a9!

I’m picky on file image quality hence I always try to keep the ISO setting as low as possible when shooting. I hate the look of noisy files using very high ISO settings. Photography is all about having light; there is no free lunch! You find yourself needing a shutter speed of 1/2000 or above shooting actions. With this combo I have no choice but to go for very high ISO even for a bright day.

I like the a9 auto focus implementation. AF is stickier on subjects you follow and AF tracks wonderfully.
I use EVF on both my Fujifilm X-T1 & X-T20 and Canon EOS RP so I’ve my share of experience using EVF in mirrorless bodies. For fast action, BIF included, I still prefer optical VF. The thing I missed most shooting the a9 is the Optical VF. The a9’s EVF is good without black-out at high speed shootings but it can't beat the good old optical viewfinder which is clear and bright all the time.

Yes, battery drain is another major concern speaking from my first field outing on the a9.
Overall, I am finding the image from the a9 very sharp and detailed in real world situations. This camera produces great looking image.

A collection of shots from the test run can be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/169408738@N08/albums/72157713487972848
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by Karl Egressy on Tue May 19, 2020 6:05 am
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Thanks KK. You have beautiful images in your collection, not only the BIF shots but Landbirds and songbirds as well.
What I do lately most of the time is, I set the shutter speed to 1/3200s and the aperture to F7.1 and lock them on the D850 so it won't accidentally be moved when it is hanging on my side. I change ISO on the continuous basis to adjust to the changing light. However, I very rarely do BIF when it is overcast so I have plenty of light.
 

by George DeCamp on Wed May 27, 2020 10:57 am
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
The a9 is superior in virtually every way to a D500 but for what you are proposing it is not.  You will never achieve the AF performance required for flight on a Nikon lens with an adapter.  Nikon lenses just do not adapt well with a Smart adapter.  It's fine for still subjects but not fast moving eratic subjects.  you need a native Sony lens for that.  The other thing that could be a problem for you is that the a9 is full frame while the D500 is APS-C...



E.J.

I was wondering if you have ever compared the mirrorless Nikon camera with a non Z mount Nikon lens and adapter, does it take a hit on AF speed with the adapter?

Thank You!
 

by E.J. Peiker on Wed May 27, 2020 4:14 pm
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George DeCamp wrote:
E.J. Peiker wrote:
The a9 is superior in virtually every way to a D500 but for what you are proposing it is not.  You will never achieve the AF performance required for flight on a Nikon lens with an adapter.  Nikon lenses just do not adapt well with a Smart adapter.  It's fine for still subjects but not fast moving eratic subjects.  you need a native Sony lens for that.  The other thing that could be a problem for you is that the a9 is full frame while the D500 is APS-C...



E.J.

I was wondering if you have ever compared the mirrorless Nikon camera with a non Z mount Nikon lens and adapter, does it take a hit on AF speed with the adapter?

Thank You!


Yes absolutely it does.  It is probably good enough for very predictable movement like mammals and large predictable flyers but not good enough for fast flyers or erratic flyers.  My experience is with the 500PF mounted via the FTZ adapter to a Z7. 
 

by George DeCamp on Wed May 27, 2020 5:21 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
George DeCamp wrote:
E.J. Peiker wrote:
The a9 is superior in virtually every way to a D500 but for what you are proposing it is not.  You will never achieve the AF performance required for flight on a Nikon lens with an adapter.  Nikon lenses just do not adapt well with a Smart adapter.  It's fine for still subjects but not fast moving eratic subjects.  you need a native Sony lens for that.  The other thing that could be a problem for you is that the a9 is full frame while the D500 is APS-C...



E.J.

I was wondering if you have ever compared the mirrorless Nikon camera with a non Z mount Nikon lens and adapter, does it take a hit on AF speed with the adapter?

Thank You!


Yes absolutely it does.  It is probably good enough for very predictable movement like mammals and large predictable flyers but not good enough for fast flyers or erratic flyers.  My experience is with the 500PF mounted via the FTZ adapter to a Z7. 



OK I kinda figured it would. I am really looking forward to the Z8 or whatever it will be called but not at the expense of slowing my AF. I like the 500pf so if it will slow it down I'll have to pass on that one or not use it for my bird stuff. I'll get the new D860 or whatever it will be called when that comes. Oh well....

Thank you!
 

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