Reaction of subject to the Df?

Started Dec 11, 2013 | Discussions
Dheorl
Senior MemberPosts: 2,637Gear list
Like?
Reaction of subject to the Df?
Dec 11, 2013

Hello everyone,

I've been wondering about the potential merits of the Df with regards to shooting portraits, events, and street photography, particularly with regard to the way a subject might react compared to a more bulky modern styled DSLR.

For those of you who have shot people with the Df, have you noticed any difference in their reaction and behaviour compared to using a more normal FF DSLR?

Cheers

Nikon Df
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
dread_tai
Regular MemberPosts: 335Gear list
Like?
*yawn*
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 11, 2013

i have been reading about this "topic" on a number of other "DF" threads..........ad nauseum.

tho i'm no DF owner/user, i will relate what's already been discussed elsewhere.

simply, there are those who claim it's a minimal difference.

there are those who say it absolutely does make a difference.

and not surprisingly, it's not difficult to figure out "who" is saying "what".

with no dog in this fight, i subscribe to the notion u can place a 70-200mm on either body, and people WILL take notice. conversely, i doubt many people would care less about a 35 prime on either one.

much ado about nothing. some people don't care about being photographed, and others do. i have seen downright UGLY reactions by some people who had a CAMERA PHONE pointed at them.

go figure.

 dread_tai's gear list:dread_tai's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D800E Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
user_name
Senior MemberPosts: 2,810Gear list
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 11, 2013

Have not shot with it, but it makes perfect sense that the smaller the equipment the less attention it draws.

Just watch how much attention people pay to the news media when they show up with all that gear.

Personally, I rather not draw attention for two reasons.  One, I prefer candid shooting and not disturbing the shooting environment.  Second, I don't want to be a target for theft or mugging.

 user_name's gear list:user_name's gear list
Leica M8 Nikon D700 Nikon D800
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
NTNphoto
Regular MemberPosts: 185Gear list
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 11, 2013

I agree with the sentiment that the lens on the front of the camera has more to do with getting noticed than the body does. A D4 body may attract some attention due to size but a smallish prime on the front of a Df or D800 most folks would probably have similar reactions to them I would think.

 NTNphoto's gear list:NTNphoto's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JWReagan
Regular MemberPosts: 177Gear list
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 11, 2013

I doubt it makes any difference at all. For me, people either don't want their picture taken or they don't mind. I find that only other gear junkies notice a difference in SLR's, maybe if we were talking about the difference between a point and shoot and a D800 it would be different. From 5-10 feet I doubt any non enthusiasts would notice the size difference between a Df and D4. Maybe someone has had a person say "please don't take my picture with a big camera", but I doubt it.

 JWReagan's gear list:JWReagan's gear list
Nikon D300S Nikon D5100 Nikon D600 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
sgoldswo
Senior MemberPosts: 3,975Gear list
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 11, 2013

Dheorl wrote:

Hello everyone,

I've been wondering about the potential merits of the Df with regards to shooting portraits, events, and street photography, particularly with regard to the way a subject might react compared to a more bulky modern styled DSLR.

For those of you who have shot people with the Df, have you noticed any difference in their reaction and behaviour compared to using a more normal FF DSLR?

Cheers

Yes. The reactions to the Df are quite a bit more positive (I have a silver body). People notice you but they either think you are shooting film with an old camera or they know what the Df is and come over because they want to talk to you or play with it. I absolute agree that a large lens gets negative reactions whatever the camera its mounted on, but equally I think that some of the negativity I experience when shooting with the D800E (regardless of what lens is on the front) is because its perceived to be a big DSLR, whereas the smaller cameras I use (Fuji, Olympus, Contax, FM3a) don't get that kind of reaction. The Df gets more of a positive reaction, like the mirrorless or film cameras.

EDIT: I should make it clear, the above applies to street photography and candids. For events I suspect I would prefer my D800E, regardless of the reactions!

 sgoldswo's gear list:sgoldswo's gear list
Leica M Typ 240 Olympus E-M1 Nikon Df Nikon D810 Nikon D750
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Truman Prevatt
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,859Gear list
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 11, 2013

You want the ultimate street camera - get a Leica.  After all that was the camera that defined the discipline.  It is still the best.  In some respects it is the size of the lens pointed at people that is the issue.  The SLR lenses are bigger and more intrusive than the Leica lenses.

On the other hand I have been taking shots on the street with an SLR (along with a Leica ) since 1970.  The Leica is better.  However, more has to do with the skill of the photographer than the camera used.  I use the D800E now and I can get good shots with it.  The key is if you are on the street you have to be invisible to the subjects.  You have to be stealth and you have to be quick.  Once they see you - you are toast.  That is of course unless you talk with them and work with them.

On the other hand the Df might be a little better than the D800.  However, you put a 24-70 zoom on it that looks like an elephant leg - it won't matter Df or D800.

For the street stick to primes - small primes a 50 ADF f1.4 works fine.  Have most setting set and precompose - this is knowing just by looking (without the camera to your eye) is essential.  Move in,  put the camera to your eye focus (very quickly ) and fire.  Then move on.  If you take too long screwing with focus or messing with aperture, turing dials, etc, with a lens pointed a someone it doesn't matter which camera you have - it will most likely be a bad shot.

Dheorl wrote:

Hello everyone,

I've been wondering about the potential merits of the Df with regards to shooting portraits, events, and street photography, particularly with regard to the way a subject might react compared to a more bulky modern styled DSLR.

For those of you who have shot people with the Df, have you noticed any difference in their reaction and behaviour compared to using a more normal FF DSLR?

Cheers

-- hide signature --

Truman
www.pbase.com/tprevatt

 Truman Prevatt's gear list:Truman Prevatt's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jenella
Senior MemberPosts: 1,000Gear list
Like?
dude...the df will make them run for the hills..
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 12, 2013

..its an alien predator with VERY awkward dials and controls...it will eat you!

-- hide signature --

"if it ain't broke" Get a new one anyway!

 jenella's gear list:jenella's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Nikon D700 Nikon D7000 Nikon D4 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
sgoldswo
Senior MemberPosts: 3,975Gear list
Like?
Is it? I must have missed that part...
In reply to jenella, Dec 12, 2013

jenella wrote:

..its an alien predator with VERY awkward dials and controls...it will eat you!

-- hide signature --

"if it ain't broke" Get a new one anyway!

 sgoldswo's gear list:sgoldswo's gear list
Leica M Typ 240 Olympus E-M1 Nikon Df Nikon D810 Nikon D750
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kelvin2345
Regular MemberPosts: 105
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 12, 2013

Maybe I will answer your question in a pedestrian perspective. I feel annoyed no matter if it is a d800, d4, Df, leica, film, iPhone pointing at me. I am just not ready to have my privacy snatched when I am walking down the street on a sunday morning with my wife.

But I usually won't stop the person taking the picture, as I know how it feels like to have to use street person as a subject to test out their toys. Many call this "street photography".
--
kleungphoto.blogspot.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
NTNphoto
Regular MemberPosts: 185Gear list
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to kelvin2345, Dec 12, 2013

Maybe I will answer your question in a pedestrian perspective. I feel annoyed no matter if it is a d800, d4, Df, leica, film, iPhone pointing at me. I am just not ready to have my privacy snatched when I am walking down the street on a sunday morning with my wife.

But I usually won't stop the person taking the picture, as I know how it feels like to have to use street person as a subject to test out their toys. Many call this "street photography".
--
kleungphoto.blogspot.com

Yeah I'm personally not much of a street shooter myself. I get the appeal and when it's really well done it's great, but I personally don't much care for doing it myself. I do like a lower profile camera for wedding receptions and gatherings of friends and such and travel as well just for more ease of use.

 NTNphoto's gear list:NTNphoto's gear list
Sony Alpha 7 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Alpha Tech
Regular MemberPosts: 406Gear list
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Truman Prevatt, Dec 12, 2013

Truman Prevatt wrote:

You want the ultimate street camera - get a Leica. After all that was the camera that defined the discipline. It is still the best. In some respects it is the size of the lens pointed at people that is the issue. The SLR lenses are bigger and more intrusive than the Leica lenses.

The ultimate street camera is actually the V2. It has the fastest AF of any camera made. Some of its lenses are smaller than Leica lenses. You can buy an entire collection of good glass for moderate cost with a very unobtrusive camera. Nikon has a great promotional video about the V2 and street shooting.

Nikon V2 Street Shooting Promo

 Alpha Tech's gear list:Alpha Tech's gear list
Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Rexgig0
Senior MemberPosts: 1,955Gear list
Like?
I think the lens is more important.
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 12, 2013

I do not yet own Df, but do have FM3A film SLRs, as well as modern SLR and DSLR cameras. People seem to take little notice of an FM3A with a small-ish prime. I have not used a big lens on an FM3A, so cannot speak from experience on that combination. Moreover, an FM3A is a bit smaller than a Df.

A "modern" SLR, digital or not, seems to be much more noticeable to people, but if the lens is small, especially something as small as my Canon 40mm 2.8 STM "pancake," I observe little discomfort. A lens as long as a 100mm 2.8 macro, or 135mm 2.8, starts to bother people. A large-diameter lens tends to have the same effect.

A large pro body, such as a Canon 1D-series, really gets peoples' attention, even wth a small prime attached!

I look forward to trying my Voigtlander 90mm SL II on the street, on both an FM3A and F6, as it is a short telephoto without outwardly appearing to be a telephoto. To be clear, however, I am not a confrontational, "in your face" type of photographer, and what I do may not be considered real "street" photography.

-- hide signature --

I wear a badge and pistol, and, primarily with 7D cameras, with 10-22mm and 100mm Macro L lenses, shoot evidentiary images at night, which incorporates elements of portrait, macro, still life, landscape, architecture, PJ, and occasional action. During personal time, I enjoy using both Canons and Nikons.

 Rexgig0's gear list:Rexgig0's gear list
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED +26 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
toomanycanons
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,739
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 12, 2013

Dheorl wrote:

Hello everyone,

I've been wondering about the potential merits of the Df with regards to shooting portraits, events, and street photography, particularly with regard to the way a subject might react compared to a more bulky modern styled DSLR.

For those of you who have shot people with the Df, have you noticed any difference in their reaction and behaviour compared to using a more normal FF DSLR?

Cheers

Probably like the reactions I get from non-photographers when I have my D5200--"Wow, that's a really nice camera!"

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dv312
Senior MemberPosts: 1,865Gear list
Like?
Film camera?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 12, 2013

2 people I ran into have asked me whether or not the Df is a film camera

They couldn't believe it's digital until I showed them the LCD

They both think it's a cool camera

Cheers l-)

 dv312's gear list:dv312's gear list
Olympus PEN E-P5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Clueless Wanderer
Senior MemberPosts: 1,139Gear list
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 12, 2013

Dheorl wrote:

Hello everyone,

I've been wondering about the potential merits of the Df with regards to shooting portraits, events, and street photography, particularly with regard to the way a subject might react compared to a more bulky modern styled DSLR.

For those of you who have shot people with the Df, have you noticed any difference in their reaction and behaviour compared to using a more normal FF DSLR?

Cheers

I would say it is mainly about the size of the lens. I find not using a lens hood has less eyes on me than if I had the hood on.
On the streets, i feel people (non photographers) who give aggro to a DSLR user are doing so because they think you are a pro and your going to circulate an image of them around the globe and they feel threatened ..Or some will go out of their way in hope that is exactly what you are going to do (send an image of them around the globe)
I think The DF could give you an edge in the context that people may see you as a camera geek/collector who's passion is old vintage camera's and no threat to them..

-- hide signature --
 Clueless Wanderer's gear list:Clueless Wanderer's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +21 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
le_alain
Senior MemberPosts: 1,011Gear list
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Clueless Wanderer, Dec 12, 2013

And customers who thinks you are not serious if you don't show big pro intrusive gear .....

 le_alain's gear list:le_alain's gear list
Fujifilm X20
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Zenist
Regular MemberPosts: 340
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 12, 2013

I think people would consider you as a hobbyist shooting a film camera instead of a pro shooting for agencies.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
unknown member
(unknown member)
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to Dheorl, Dec 12, 2013

Dheorl wrote:

Hello everyone,

I've been wondering about the potential merits of the Df with regards to shooting portraits, events, and street photography, particularly with regard to the way a subject might react compared to a more bulky modern styled DSLR.

For those of you who have shot people with the Df, have you noticed any difference in their reaction and behaviour compared to using a more normal FF DSLR?

Cheers

I got out yesterday for the first time with my black Df to shoot some SP, my usual camera would be either a D800E or an RX1 depending on where I'm shooting, Yesterday I noticed no difference in getting seen by my subjects prior to or while taking a shot than I did with either the D800E or RX1 or for that matter when I used to use an Leica M9 or X100/s, truth is that a lot of SP you see is of peoples backs or taken from the hip or from across the street with a long lens or cropped and in those cases the size of the camera matters very little.

personally I don't care if I'm seen after the fact and in most cases I totally expect it, if I can see a persons face then they can see my camera.

also much depends on where you are shooting, in large cities and tourist traps every one and their ugly cousin has a camera but in poorer cities and towns even carrying is more noticeable.

Size of the camera and lens is only one factor that you'll get you notices and it isn't the biggest either, it's all down to how you approach your subject and act.

You could make an argument that a small camera like say the Fuji X100 or Leica M could be perceived as being sneaky when shooting SP and thus more likely to cause confrontation where as a big DSLR could be perceived as not trying to hide what they are doing.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Truman Prevatt
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,859Gear list
Like?
Re: Reaction of subject to the Df?
In reply to LWS2013, Dec 12, 2013

In over 40 years of shooting on the street - I've had very few issues with people.  I've used a Leica and an SLR.  I've even used a Mamiya 645.  I must say the 645 was no more intrusive than the SLR except the sound of the mirror slap but that is after the fact.  A long time friend even uses his Hassey with a waist finder.

It gets down to how quick you are and how well you can move around without being noticed.  If you approach someone looking straight at them - even if the camera to your side - you broadcast intent to do something.  Many time a photographer will get noticed because of this - even before anyone sees the camera.  If you take any amount of time to compose, zoom, focus, mess with exposure - you will be noticed most likely.  The great ones like Cartier-Bresson and Smith would do everything prior to putting the camera to their eye - exposure set, compose without the camera, pre-foucs.  At that point you can take the shot in a fraction of a second and you are done. By the time someone hears the shutter click - the image is already captured.  However, it is difficult to be invisible touting around a large lens - particularly a large diameter lens.  Primes work better than zooms not only because they are smaller but because you compose better before you put it to your eye and hence take the shot faster. The only exception I have found is the old Nikon 35-70 ADF f2.8 which is moderately small (about the same size of the 85 AFD f2.8) and the zoom is a push pull which is much quicker if you do zoom.  However, Cartier-Bresson would not crop or allow his images to be cropped - and he produced amazing art on the street.  The key is not a zoom, it is precomposing in your minds eye - having the skill to do that and the trust in your skill to trust you can.

Most times if you are noticed a smile and and quick nod is all that is needed as you keep moving.  If you try to slink away like you have done something you should not have done, or avoid eye contact after they notice you - it will leave a bad impression.  If you are friendly - there won't be a problem 99% of the time. Often times I will move through an area without any camera and then come back to find the best locations, angles, lighting, and interest and then come back with the camera already knowing what I am looking for so I can capture it quickly when I see it.

Today, some people tend to be hyper-conscience concerning their "right to privacy."  You need to respect that by being as subtle and unobtrusive as possible. If you appear to be "hunting" or "tracking" someone to get a picture - you could cause concern.  If you simply appear to be a stranger passing on the street - you probably won't.  Most of all you need to be confident.  If you are not confident and if you could easily appear uneasy in what you are doing and you will stand out like a sore thumb.

Simply be armed with the knowledge that there is no perception of privacy in public places.  You have a prefect right to be there in the US at least and taking images - unless you are doing it for criminal intent.  However, if you are uncomfortable taking pictures on the street - you will stand out like a sore thumb.

LWS2013 wrote:

also much depends on where you are shooting, in large cities and tourist traps every one and their ugly cousin has a camera but in poorer cities and towns even carrying is more noticeable.

Size of the camera and lens is only one factor that you'll get you notices and it isn't the biggest either, it's all down to how you approach your subject and act.

You could make an argument that a small camera like say the Fuji X100 or Leica M could be perceived as being sneaky when shooting SP and thus more likely to cause confrontation where as a big DSLR could be perceived as not trying to hide what they are doing.

-- hide signature --

Truman
www.pbase.com/tprevatt

 Truman Prevatt's gear list:Truman Prevatt's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D Nikon AF Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC Nikon AF Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF +7 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads