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Birna's Z6 Conversion Is Finally Here !

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#1 Andrea B.

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 16:17

:lol: :lol: :lol:

She's been so eager to get her hands on that converted Nikon Z6. And we were beginning to think it would never arrive. Traveling clear across the US by horse and buggy takes days and days. I tracked the Z6 through *9* different stops. Perhaps next time I will spend the extra $ for an air shipment. That might also be easier on the packaging. The Z6 was very well packed, but did have a slightly smushed corner on the outer box. When getting moved 10 times from one UPS van to another, there are bound to be some bumps. :rolleyes:

I spread my US camera conversions around through my three recommended providers: Life Pixel, Kolari Vision and MaxMax. This Z6 conversion was from Life Pixel because on the day I was shopping for Birna, Life Pixel had the best deal on a brand new Z6 ordered directly from them. Given that I didn't have to first order the Z6 and then ship it to LP, I saved two shipping charges. (And I also saved two New Jersey state tax charges. YMMV on that.)

I agreed with Birna that the Z6 was the best choice between the two new Nikon mirrorless bodies because the Z6 has somewhat better high ISO capability and about the same dynamic range as the Z7. And the Z6 is a lot less expensive than the Z7 !! The 24MP (Z6) versus 48MP (Z7) is a non-issue for me because we hardly make use of the megapixels we do have in any of our cams when posting photos online at reduced sizes and quality. :)

I'm going to make a test photo to check that the Z6 conversion is working well and that there is no dust/dirt stuck under the sensor.* Then the Z6 will zoom its way to Norway -- ideally in time to catch the Tussilago before they are finished blooming.

*Dust stuck under the sensor is quite rare from the Big 3 these days. But it can inadvertently happen even in the best of conversion shops so one should always check for that right away upon receipt of a newly converted camera.

Mirrorless = Short FFD
That is what is really important for us UV shooters -- so we can make use of all our cool UV-capable lenses found on Ebay over the years. (My collection is still increasing!) I was really happy to see Canon and Nikon join Sony, Panasonic and Olympus in the mirrorless arena. I would say that Nikon and Sony are still getting the most out of a sensor in terms of photo "quality" if you get down in the dirt and pixel peep. But, again, there is no need to chase pixels in UV work. We would do better to chase UV light. B) A good UV or UV-LED flash or torch will help get the best out of any camera/sensor used for reflected UV photography.
Here's a brief FFD review for mirrorless bodies.
  • Canon RF :: 20 mm
  • Micro 4/3 :: 19.25 mm (Panasonic, Olympus)
  • Nikon Z :: 16 mm
  • Sony E :: 18 mm
.
4 Quick Observations with the Z6 + Coastal 60/4.0 + Baader UV-Pass Filter in Strong Sunlight

Nikon FTZ Z-mount to F-mount Adapter: That FTZ adapter is rock solid. This is very important because you do not want to have any strong "pull" on a small mirrorless body. The FTZ adapter also has a tripod mount point to further ease the strain on the body. Make sure any adapter you use with a small mirrorless body (or a small DSLR body) is sturdy and fits perfectly.

Focus Peaking: Yes, the Z6 focus peaking under the Baader UV-Pass Filter does seem to work for landscape distances. I didn't always see it kick in for close work. (Doesn't always kick in on my Sony AR7 conversion for close work either.) EDIT: My bad. I needed to set the focus peaking level, duh !! When set to 2 or 3 with color yellow, the Z6 focus peaking worked every time for close work. Like nose in the flower close work.

LCD and Viewfinder: Yes, at f/4 in the strong sunlight I could focus using either the LCD or the Viewfinder. Nice!

In-camera White Balance: No, the Z6 is a Nikon and Nikons do not make white balance settings through dark filters. We are used to this. :rolleyes: But the solution is easy. Make some white balance presets in your chosen converter by photographing virgin white PTFE or Spectralon. This is good practice for any reflected UV work.

I'm going to leave a proper review up to Birna. We will be lookiing forward to her work with this conversion.

As for me, I am still debating whether I want to convert a Z6 or my old D810. Or maybe a D4S or a D850. Then there's that Pentax K-1 which is so tempting. Oh well. :wacko: :lol:




Somewhere on UVP there is another Z conversion (which I've lost track of during my recent absences from UVP). Haven't seen anything about conversions of the new Canon R yet.

But it's always nice to see that we have a wide variety of conversions in use on UVP. ;)
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#2 Andrea B.

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 17:36

Small sample.
No edits.

I flipped the Z6 Picture Control to Monochrome so that color would not interfere with proper exposure under the BaaderU.

Very windy! So I had to use a quite high ISO 3200 to get down to 1/6" at f/8. The focus peaking was hugely helpful. Hurray for mirrorless !!

And I'm still being amazed that I could use the EVF to focus at f/8 under a Baader-U. Using the LCD was even easier. (You might still sometimes need an LCD shade in strong light.)

Used touch screen for the shutter release. Another wonderment. No, there seemed to be no danger of jostling the camera (on tripod) by a screen touch shutter release.

No edits. Just enjoying EVF + focus peaking capability.
Attached Image: DSC_0036.jpg
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#3 Andrea B.

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 17:51

Here is the photo cleaned up a bit -- except for the usual circular color aberrations from the dichroic BaaderU.
(I really need to stop testing with that filter. I suppose I continue to use it because I know it well and know what to expect.)

The Z6 shadows open up nicely. There is noise, of course, at ISO 3200. This is why we usually use our UV-LEDs or UV-flash, yes? Gotta keep that ISO as low as possible.

Attached Image: DSC_0036pn2Shrp.jpg




Completely Off Topic: That photo does not look sharp here like it does on my monitor. Strange.
Is this screen shot sharper to you on one side than another?

Attached Image: Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 1.57.34 PM.jpg

I took a screen shot of the photo as displayed in Photo Mechanic (left) and on UVP (right).

.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#4 ins13

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 21:10

the picture on the left seems a little sharper
Eka

#5 Andrea B.

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 20:03

Follow up to my original small test effort above.

Birna has reported that the PDAF banding from the converted Z6 is much worse than what is seen above. This is due to my use of a high ISO 3200. So please see the following link for some information on this Z6/Z7 banding problem.

http://www.ultraviol...n-the-bad-news/
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.