This is one in a series of posts on the Nikon Z7. You should be able to find all the posts about that camera in the Category List on the right sidebar, below the Articles widget. There’s a drop-down menu there that you can use to get to all the posts in this series; just look for “Nikon Z6/7”.
I received a lot of grief for my previous post on Z7 shutter shock because of the light tripod I chose and the portrait orientation I used to demonstrate the effect. It reminded me of the bad old a7R days, when there was a continual chorus of folk saying that with a decent tripod and “good technique” — whatever that means in this case — shutter shock was never a problem.
I put a Zeiss 135 mm f/2 Apo-Sonnar ZF.2 on a FTZ adapter and attached it to the Z7. I set the aperture to f/5.6, and the shutter speed to 1/60. In the past, with the support arrangement you see below on other MILCs, that shutter speed is lower than the worst-case shutter speed.
For camera support, I stacked the deck in the other direction:
- Nice heavy set of RRS legs, and we’re only using two sections.
- No column extension
- Landscape orientation
- Good solid Arca Swiss C1 head.
- Vinyl tile over 8 inches of concrete on grade.
- 1 mile from the nearest road.
I focused and made 32 exposures 3 seconds apart using the built-in intervalometer with the mechanical shutter, with EFCS, and with the electronic shutter (ES) with IBIS set off in all cases. I developed the images in dcraw and computed the MTF50 values in cycles per pixel for the horizontal slanted edges. Then I computed the average and standard deviation for all three shutter modes. Here are the averages (aka mu values), and the average plus one standard deviation (mu + sigma) and the average minus one standard deviation (mu – sigma) values.
The mechanical shutter did a bit better than with the light tripod when compared to EFCS and ES, but it’s still quite a bit worse than those modes.
The lesson is the same as before:
Don’t use the Z7 mechanical shutter unless you want shutter speeds faster than 1/2000, or you’re concerned about the bokeh effects of EFCS.