D7500, D7200, D750, D500, D3400, D800, D810, D850, D5600, DF, and Z7. Those are the Nikon camera bodies I’ve used with the Nikon 300mm f/4 phase fresnel lens over the years, looking for one that could get consistently critically accurate focus with the lens and TC-14e III.
The D7200 was fair but off a frustrating number of times. The Z7 was good with static subject matter after its first major firmware update, but couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with BIF. The most consistent was the one with the simplest and oldest AF system, the entry-level D3400. Had its image processor been as good, I would have been happy.
OTOH, mounted on a Commlite Pro AF adapter connected to a Sony a6400, the lens and TC never missed. But the adapter was not reliable. I kinda figured that maybe a mirrorless APS-C camera would be the answer, but Nikon didn’t offer one at the time I gave up on the brand.
Wanting an inexpensive, lightweight APS-C shooter to tide me over until the CL replacement hits the market, I took a chance on the Z50. The light weight and fairly robust construction got me to wondering how the 300PF might fare on it. A big price drop on the lens was all the encouragement I needed to explore that possibility.
At less than 1.6kg for camera, FTZ, TC, and lens, it’s one of the lightest options for getting a ~600mm AOV. And if the 100+ shots I made with the combo today are any indication, it could be that I’ve finally found the right camera for this superb lens.