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Hands-on with new Nikon FTZ II adapter

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Hands-on with new Nikon FTZ II adapter

Alongside the Z9, and a bunch of other things, Nikon announced a new version of the FTZ adapter, named – appropriately enough – the FTZ II. The new adapter offers no additional functionality compared to the original, and if you’re planning on rocking a Z5, Z6 or Z7-series camera for a while, there’s probably no reason to upgrade. But if you’ve got your eye on a Z9, the FTZ II is the adapter you’ll want to grab. Click through for more information.

Hands-on with new Nikon FTZ II adapter

The purpose of the FTZ II, just like the original FTZ, is to allow Nikon’s D/SLR-mount lenses to be used on Z-mount mirrorless cameras. Support isn’t universal, but Nikon claims that around 360 F-mount lenses can be mounted, of which 90 retain full AF, AE and VR (where applicable) compatibility. The FTZ II does not feature a built-in autofocus motor, so older AF lenses, like the AF-D DC 135mm F2 shown here, will fit and work perfectly, but in manual focus mode only.

Hands-on with new Nikon FTZ II adapter

Simply put, the FTZ II (R) is a slimmed-down version of the original FTZ (L). Weighing in at 125 g / 4.4 oz, the FTZ II is 10 g / 0.4 oz lighter than the original, and lacks the obvious bulge on the underside. As such, it also lacks the FTZ’s Integrated 1/4″-20 mount for a tripod plate.

Hands-on with new Nikon FTZ II adapter

The FTZ II adds 30mm (~1.2 in) to the overall length of an adapted lens. With a physically large Nikkor lens like a fast tele sports prime, you’ll barely notice the extra length but shorter lenses, like a classic AF-S 50mm F1.8, will suddenly feel a whole lot bigger when used on a Nikon Z camera via the adapter.

Hands-on with new Nikon FTZ II adapter

Considering its purpose was to bring things together, the original FTZ adapter was a bit divisive. Some people really didn’t like its size, while others appreciated the inbuilt thread for a tripod mount. A lot of people were annoyed that it didn’t feature an inbuilt AF motor for AF-D lens support, but the FTZ II doesn’t change that, and sadly, it seems that Nikon isn’t interested in adding it.

The truth is that the original FTZ just works better for some lenses than others. The FTZ II is simpler and smaller, which some photographers will inherently prefer, and for Z9 owners in particular, it’s a much better option.

Hands-on with new Nikon FTZ II adapter

And here’s why – notice how my fingers can grab the vertical grip of the Z9, with the FTZ II attached? I can’t do that with the original FTZ. The older adapter will work just fine on the Z9, and doesn’t foul any part of the larger camera body, but the protruding base closes the gap between lens and grip so much that with the camera held vertically, you’ll get your fingers pinched.

Hands-on with new Nikon FTZ II adapter

And that’s it – that’s the most compelling reason to buy an FTZ II in preference to the original. For users of Nikon’s smaller mirrorless bodies, the original FTZ offers exactly the same functionality, and it’s exactly the same price. That said, if you’re buying new, and you have the choice, we’d probably still opt for the FTZ II for the sake of its slightly smaller size and lower weight.


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