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  • Andrew JK Tan

Nikon Z6 - First Impressions with the Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8S

I am going to share on how I am using the new Nikon Z6 & also my first impressions of the Nikkor Z 50mm F/1.8S

All the images share were JPEGS and were NOT Post processed in any way. They were not cropped, edited or sharpened at all.

Details of how I setup my Nikon Z6 for this session

- AUTO ISO , maximum ISO set to ISO25,600

- Picture Control : STD

- MANUAL Shooting Mode

- Lens Control Ring set for Exposure Compensation

- AF-S

- AF Area Mode : Single-Point AF


- EVF Brightness set to -4

- MONITOR Brightness set to -2

- White Balance : AUTO

The first thing I did was to "correlate" the brightness of the EVF, MONITOR & the actual scene being captured. The EVF when set to AUTO resulted in an EVF that was too bright. I found that with a setting of -4 and the MONITOR brightness at -2, the recorded shot best reflected the actual scene. I am going to try this setup for a while and see if it is the most appropriate settings for all conditions.

Nikkor Z 50mm F1.8S Insights

I tested the new Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8S by shooting WIDE OPEN i.e. at f1.8 , the following are my intitial impressions.

EDGE Performance at f1.8

NO Post Processing

Shot at f1.8

The Vignetting / shadows was NOT from the Z6/50mm combination , it was from the spotlight setup

The following Macbook Pro screenshots show the centre , right edge and bottom edge (in sequence) at 400% magnification of the image above.

The screenshots were NOT Post Processed in any way.

This simple qualitative exercise shows that the Nikkor Z 50mm at f1.8 performs EXTREMELY WELL even at the edges.

NO Post Processing

Shot at f1.8

NO Post Processing

Macbook Pro Screenshot at 100% shows the very shallow Depth Of Field (DOF) at f1.8 , only the eyes are sharply in focus.

NO Post Processing

The very nice soft bokeh at f1.8

Love the color rendition of Z6-Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8 combo

Following images - NO Post Processing

NO cropping or sharpening

Love the color rendition of Z6-Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8 combo

The Bokeh & softness rendered at f1.8 was very pleasing and natural looking. Provides fantastic separation for the subject from the background.

NO Post Processing

Lovely contrast, great details , tonal range rendition at f1.8

NO Post Processing

Lovely contrast, great details , tonal range rendition at f1.8

The black / dark bands are NOT Banding effects but shadow areas in the actual scene.

Final Insights from this simple & short hands-on session

1. Definitely more to test but there was nothing really to complain about the Nikkor Z 50mm performance at f1.8 (wide open). Qualitatively No significant softness observed when compared to the centre. My initial impressions a FABULOUS Lens.

2. Images captured had excellent contrast rendered. Background Softness (Bokeh) was nicely presented.


4. The Z6 was so easy to use and with the Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8S lens , the combo produced very realistic & appealing colors which had sufficient "pop". Sharpness & Details at the edges were excellent and comparable to the centre which was a superb performance. The Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8S definitely is a lens that can be used at f1.8 which was GREAT !

5. Love using the lens control ring to control EV Compensation which was so intuitive & natural and with the EVF Live Preview it was so easy to get the exposure required in every shot.

6. f1.8 works great with almost unnoticeable loss in details if any at the edges and the background softness rendered was superb.

7. Let me repeat again that when the EVF brightness was set appropriately (in my case -4) , it was so EASY to get the preferred exposure each time , it was definitely EASIER then with a DSLR , overall a much more enjoyable photography experience.

Watch out for more Z6 blogs as I continue to test it with different and much more challenging subjects & conditions.

Till the next blog.



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