Df: yet another review from a pro

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dv312
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Df: yet another review from a pro
11 months ago
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Nikon Df
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InTheMist
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Re: Df: yet another review from a pro
In reply to dv312, 11 months ago

Thanks for sharing that.  Very nice still lifes there - and lens porn!

It's one of the best reviews so far.

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sgoldswo
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Re: Df: yet another review from a pro
In reply to dv312, 11 months ago

dv312 wrote:

http://aboutphotography-tomgrill.blogspot.com/2013/12/nikon-df-hands-on-review.html

cheers

A really good review in that it encompasses the "what" when the specs and price were announced and the "Holy cr@p this is great" in personal use. Entirely agree this isn't a full time all purpose professional camera, but it's a lot of fun. The only thing I would query is the prediction regarding how many they will sell. I have a feeling that it will sell really well...

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Fogsville
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Re: Df: yet another review from a pro
In reply to dv312, 11 months ago

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't understand this statement "I, for one, happen to like using dials as opposed to digital screens" in respect to using a D4 versus a Df.  Once I set up my D3s (or D800E), I rarely if ever go into the display screen.  Everything is there on the body, it's just not in an analog style dial version.  And if one does have to go into the display menu, then you'd also have to go into it with the Df, too. The retro style dials are simply substitutes for the command dials and buttons on a camera body; and the info will be displayed in the viewfinder of both cameras.  But all the rest is in the display menu of both cameras (and of course the D600/610 has the additional benefit of U1 and U2.)

"Time to dust off that old glass and put it to use again" ..... I did that the day I bought my D3s. I'm not sure why the Df means one all of a sudden one wants to use manual Nikkors (aside from the ability to set aside the indexing tab on the mount; although you can get non-AI lenses AI'd, we used to do it all the time when Nikon film SLRs stopped accepting non-AI lenses for indexed auto metering.)  Nothing stops anybody from using manual Nikkors on the current DSLRs, at least nothing ever stopped me.

What I do find interesting (from a "photography sociological" perspective) is this whole idea of returning to 'retro' (although not quite; the Df is still a 'dual concept' camera), and what that actually means. It would make an interesting thesis for a sociology student in a lot of ways.  Is it truly about some 'native instinct' to want to use dials you can see (like an analog watch versus a digital watch where the analog watch has printed numbers that gives you a kind of spatial relationship of time), or is it the connotation that 'nostalgia' is comforting (since one doesn't know what comes next in life, there's often an emotional tendency to 'return' to a 'better' and safer place) ... like the reviewer implies when he says: "while 50's and 60's music blares from an old AM radio."  Nobody truly wants to listen to the poor quality of AM radio.  But it does make us feel good to think about it.

I like the Df for its smaller form factor and the fact that it's not a 'plastic blob' design (I think it's kind of good looking overall.)  And having a D4 sensor in a more compact body is desirable to me for various personal reasons.  But I still feel something is lacking with the execution of the camera.  It's kind of like a work in progress or something.  I'm still thinking about one, but I'm definitely on the fence.

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user_name
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Re: Df: yet another review from a pro
In reply to Fogsville, 11 months ago

Fogsville wrote:

What I do find interesting (from a "photography sociological" perspective) is this whole idea of returning to 'retro' (although not quite; the Df is still a 'dual concept' camera), and what that actually means. It would make an interesting thesis for a sociology student in a lot of ways. Is it truly about some 'native instinct' to want to use dials you can see (like an analog watch versus a digital watch where the analog watch has printed numbers that gives you a kind of spatial relationship of time), or is it the connotation that 'nostalgia' is comforting (since one doesn't know what comes next in life, there's often an emotional tendency to 'return' to a 'better' and safer place) ... like the reviewer implies when he says: "while 50's and 60's music blares from an old AM radio." Nobody truly wants to listen to the poor quality of AM radio. But it does make us feel good to think about it.

The difference between an analog watch and a digital watch is not a good analogy if you are referring to the way the brain interprets the information.

To read an analog dial or gauge really only requires one side of the brain, whereas a numeric readout of the same data requires both sides of the brain communicating across the corpus colosseum, which requires significantly more processing time for the brain.

You might make a good case with the old tubes versus transistors debate with regard to the modern DSLR versus the retro styled cameras, but even that may be a poor analogy.

I think it is Nikon's marketing at work - partly just a social fad, of which there are many examples, and partly reaching out to baby boomers with much more disposable income.

In the case of the social fad, younger buyers are buying "cool".  For the older crowd it is a case of reconnecting with pleasant past experiences when they were young and the Df viscerally represents that.

It doesn't hurt that inside that retro-styled body is stuffed excellent high performing technology, which extends the Df's appeal to yet a third market - those that really don't care about the skin deep qualities, but rather the performance.

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Shotcents
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Re: Df: yet another review from a pro
In reply to dv312, 11 months ago

Thanks for the link.

Yet another pro who points out that the Df is the best low light camera, edging out his D4 and D800.

But I think his review is more interested in the handling and general experience one might have using the Df. To some degree this lies outside the basic specs of the camera.

Robert

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WarrenInOntario
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Re: Df: yet another review from a pro
In reply to dv312, 11 months ago

Thanks for tipping us off to this excellent review. It was really well done with great images and best of all fully supports my purchasing decision. What's not to like - thanks again!!

Warren

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toomanycanons
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Re: Df: yet another review from a pro
In reply to dv312, 11 months ago

dv312 wrote:

http://aboutphotography-tomgrill.blogspot.com/2013/12/nikon-df-hands-on-review.html

cheers

I checked out the shots of that table full of older cameras shot at various ISOs. To my eye the 12,800 looked just about as good as the 100 (which I expected). Yet he writes:

"Normally, I do not include an ISO as high as 12800 because I have always found it to be an unusable file. This camera can, however, present a usable file at that high an ISO. However, it will take considerable post processing to massage the image into a usable form."  Like he PP'd the 12,800 to look that good.

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SamG10
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Re: Df: yet another review from a pro
In reply to toomanycanons, 11 months ago

toomanycanons wrote:

dv312 wrote:

http://aboutphotography-tomgrill.blogspot.com/2013/12/nikon-df-hands-on-review.html

cheers

I checked out the shots of that table full of older cameras shot at various ISOs. To my eye the 12,800 looked just about as good as the 100 (which I expected). Yet he writes:

"Normally, I do not include an ISO as high as 12800 because I have always found it to be an unusable file. This camera can, however, present a usable file at that high an ISO. However, it will take considerable post processing to massage the image into a usable form." Like he PP'd the 12,800 to look that good.

I understand his comment to mean that an image taken at 12800 could look good but with considerable PP but this might not be possible with an image at the same ISO taken by another camera.

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ravduc
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Re: Df: yet another review from a pro
In reply to user_name, 11 months ago

Good review and I agree with his accessment of this camera. The DF is marketed towards guys like me who have used many 35mm film cameras with analog dials. I think that Nikon implied this in their marketing campaign. The Fusion part of the camera with digital is a brilliant move on the part of Nikon. For me it's be best of both worlds. For other's it will be the worst of both worlds. The more I handle the DF the more I like the way it feels and makes me feel. This is hard to explain to someone who has only used digital cameras.

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user_name
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Re: Df: yet another review from a pro
In reply to ravduc, 11 months ago

That may be the thing.

When I was a kid I have used some of my dad's cameras, including a rangefinder, and eventually bought a Nikon N90s as my first film camera in the 1990s.

I did not really get into photography until about 2000, which was a new Nikon D2H.  At that point I have been using DSLRs exclusively, so I have been baptized with that interface.

I like dials and knobs,  We have millions of years of evolution with our fingers and opposing thumb and I have a primal disgust with UP/DN buttons to control things that are much simpler to control with an analog knob.

Yet, my first reaction to the Df was a little put off with the dials and the extra effort required to manipulate locking dials.  I can do the same things with my D800 up to my eye and my fingers on the command wheels.

The Df requires a little more fumbling to push down the lock and then turn the knob.

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