Recently I had a question about using the wildly popular 500mm F5.6 with a 1.4x converter. Cree and I just can’t get enough time with the 500mm F5.6 PF. This is one of Nikon’s best ideas, a walk around razor sharp wildlife lens. This lens weighs only 3 pounds, two pounds lighter than the 200-500mm, and is incredibly sharp, even wide open. We put this on our D850/w grip and we get 9FPS at 45MP…one of our favorites. And we have been shooting this lens on our Z6II using the FTZ adapter. I’m happy to report the Z6II is very fast on autofocus with adapter, quicker for sure than my Z6.
One important point. To get the best results using our D850 and 500mm 5.6 we needed to calibrate the lens. I wound up using a calibration setting of +12, it made a big difference in getting tack sharp images. The good news with mirrorless is you don’t need to calibrate the lens since the focus is directly on the sensor. This is great news….just attach the lens to your Z and you will get the best acuity possible.
But what about using the 1.4x TCIII with the 500mm 5.6? It works, and the images are very sharp. With converter you are at 700mm F8…a walk around 700mm?! Oh yeah! But there are a few things to know. First, autofocus is very slow, especially in low light. I had to manual focus this morning in our bird blinds, the light was very low. Next, best to use a tripod. Remember, you are shooting at 700mm even if it feels like a 70-200mm. But you can get very sharp images using this combo, just have solid technique. Cree found the snipe at the top of this post on a walk along the Cache La Poudre River, put the converter on, and shot at 700mm resting on a fence post. Get outside and explore with camera in hand!