Rebuzz, Rebuzz

Reminder: “buzz, buzz” was a shorthand I developed over a decade ago to remind people of Nikon’s lack of DX lenses. As I wrote at the time, I was going to be like a gnat flying around Nikon marketing’s head and unavoidable until they did something about it. Well, they didn’t do anything about it. So here we are in another decade and the gnat is still there. Buzz, buzz.

Nikon could have made the Zfc a full frame camera. I suspect they might eventually figure it out that they still should (calling it a Zf). The reason has to do with lenses (buzz, buzz). 

Here’s the current lens lineup that makes much sense with the Zfc (all effective focal lengths to push the point):

  • 42mm f/2.8
  • 60mm f/2
  • 75mm f/2.8 macro
  • 24-75mm f/3.5-6.3 VR
  • 28-210mm f/3.5-6.3 VR
  • 36-105mm f/4
  • 75-375mm f/4.5-6.3 VR

I suppose to be absolutely honest about what we’re getting, we should up those apertures by a stop, as the DX sensor is about a stop less capable than the FX sensor. 

But, yuck (buzz, buzz). No reasonable wide angle other than from the kit zoom. No wide angle zoom. Only some of the zooms have VR.

If Nikon really wants to sell Zfc bodies, it needs a 14mm (21mm effective), 16mm (24mm), 18mm (27mm), and 23mm (34.5mm) set of compact primes. 

The problem with “retro” is that to do it really right you need to get all of the advantages of nostalgia coupled with all the advantages of modern tech. The lack of sensor-based stabilization in the Zfc is a problem in that respect. The lack of lenses is another problem. 

This brings up my issue with where Nikon is: being last to mirrorless was always going to expose gaps that needed filling. The Zfc doesn’t effectively fill any of those gaps, it creates new ones, thus compounding Nikon’s problem. This is the reason why I wrote that I would have said “no” to the Zfc idea if I were in Nikon’s top management: it doesn’t really help them out of the problem they’re in, thus it becomes a distraction. 

Do me a favor: peruse all of Nikon’s marketing and promotion about the Zfc. Do you see anything that tells you why you should buy a Z50 versus why you should buy a Zfc and vice versa? Nope. Nikon’s own marketing department can’t tell you why this camera was necessary given that they already had a camera in that space. So now Nikon is stuck with marketing against itself, but failing to do that. 

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