The Philosophy of Nikon Df

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
Mr Gadget
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It really is quite simple...
In reply to Richard Murdey, 6 months ago

The Df is what it is...

If it works for you, buy it.

If it doesn't work for you, don't buy it.

Pretty simple, at least to me.

This whole topic has been ground to death.

BTW: I was among the group that was disappointed with how the Df was executed and priced, once it was clear what it did and didn't do, I went on with my life.

It's just a camera.

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Simon Garrett
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Re: You must have known...
In reply to tissunique, 6 months ago

tissunique wrote:

So Simon, you're a camera collector I see. What are you getting next...?

?? I'm not a collector.  Currently I have an old film Nikon (bought 25 years ago).  I bought a D80, sold it when I got a D300, and sold that when I got a D800.  Not planning anything else in the near future.

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Simon Garrett
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Re: It really is quite simple...
In reply to Mr Gadget, 6 months ago

Mr Gadget wrote:

If it works for you, buy it.

If it doesn't work for you, don't buy it.

Quite.

This whole topic has been ground to death.

Certainly has, but we (you and I and all others posting here) are adding to the grinding!  I guess we find it fun...

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sgoldswo
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Re: You must have known...
In reply to tissunique, 6 months ago

tissunique wrote:

So Simon, you're a camera collector I see. What are you getting next...?

A new mortgage to pay for them all...

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sgoldswo
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to tissunique, 6 months ago

tissunique wrote:

Eastvillager, I agree. I've heard it said that the DF is a D4 at half the price. What absolute nonsense. And so untrue. In fact the DF is more expensive than the D4 and I'll explain why:
It lacks several features. It is not a 'pro' camera in the strict sense. It doesn't offer video. It's way smaller and of far lesser build quality. It is far less capable. It is far slower. And I could go on. When you add up all the minuses it's actually way more expensive than a D4 and just about every other full-frame camera out there. That's how silly it is. Now if it was 40% cheaper I would buy one but why should I when there's the D800 and D610 available from Nikon - both offering much more.

But what if I don't care about continuous shooting speed, don't want video, want a smaller full frame camera and the build is far better than my D600 (it is) and virtually on a par with my D800E (it is)?

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eastvillager
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to sgoldswo, 6 months ago

Why would you want a DF if you have a D800E? To collect cameras?  At the price of the DF it's not exactly the kind of camera you buy on a whim. The D800 are solid beasts with the wonderful Nikon IQ.

sgoldswo wrote:

tissunique wrote:

Eastvillager, I agree. I've heard it said that the DF is a D4 at half the price. What absolute nonsense. And so untrue. In fact the DF is more expensive than the D4 and I'll explain why:
It lacks several features. It is not a 'pro' camera in the strict sense. It doesn't offer video. It's way smaller and of far lesser build quality. It is far less capable. It is far slower. And I could go on. When you add up all the minuses it's actually way more expensive than a D4 and just about every other full-frame camera out there. That's how silly it is. Now if it was 40% cheaper I would buy one but why should I when there's the D800 and D610 available from Nikon - both offering much more.

But what if I don't care about continuous shooting speed, don't want video, want a smaller full frame camera and the build is far better than my D600 (it is) and virtually on a par with my D800E (it is)?

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gotompoes
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to Rick_Hunter, 6 months ago

Rick_Hunter wrote:

The Df philosophy? Quick & easy: "Oh, look, retro is the new cool now! Let's take a D600, remove video, popup flash, 2nd card slot, AF assist light, let's swap the sensor with the D4's, stick everything into a (not-so-well-built) retro body full of clicky dials, and let's ask the same money as a D800/D800E"

Nothing more than that, really. This is the marketing philosophy behind it in a nutshell.

Not so well built ???
As a Leica user i can only say that the DF has an excellent build quality at the same level as an E M1.
Did you use a DF ???

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jenella
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this is why I now use D610 as backup to my D4 & passed on the DF
In reply to tissunique, 6 months ago

This forum loves to beat me up on my opinion of my experience. WHAT A WASTE OF A STELLAR SENSOR. The handling is very awkward and DF falls short and into the Novelty camera category. But what do I know, I only shoot daily with a D4 and D700, D610

The Clumsy ISO cluster Fu*k is a deal breaker alone...dont believe me?? Hes a quote from your beloved Thom Hogan on the DF :

ISO value. Nikon got this wrong. First, it's another locking dial, but with the unlock button being off to the side of the dial. That makes it a two-fingered operation. With my eye at the viewfinder the natural thing is to use my thumb to unlock the dial and my index finger to twirl it. When I do that, the knuckle of my thumb hits my glasses. Note that there's also no Auto position on the dial. So what happens if you set ISO 1600 on the dial and then turn on Auto ISO in the menu system and set a maximum sensitivity of 1000? You get one of those displays of what I call "you're an idiot messages": "The maximum value for auto ISO sensitivity will be set to the value selected for ISO sensitivity." This message is just wrong. Dead wrong.

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sgoldswo
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Re: this is why I now use D610 as backup to my D4 & passed on the DF
In reply to jenella, 6 months ago

jenella wrote:

The handling is very awkward

for you it is - not for everyone.

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sgoldswo
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to eastvillager, 6 months ago

eastvillager wrote:

Why would you want a DF if you have a D800E? To collect cameras? At the price of the DF it's not exactly the kind of camera you buy on a whim. The D800 are solid beasts with the wonderful Nikon IQ.

sgoldswo wrote:

tissunique wrote:

Eastvillager, I agree. I've heard it said that the DF is a D4 at half the price. What absolute nonsense. And so untrue. In fact the DF is more expensive than the D4 and I'll explain why:
It lacks several features. It is not a 'pro' camera in the strict sense. It doesn't offer video. It's way smaller and of far lesser build quality. It is far less capable. It is far slower. And I could go on. When you add up all the minuses it's actually way more expensive than a D4 and just about every other full-frame camera out there. That's how silly it is. Now if it was 40% cheaper I would buy one but why should I when there's the D800 and D610 available from Nikon - both offering much more.

But what if I don't care about continuous shooting speed, don't want video, want a smaller full frame camera and the build is far better than my D600 (it is) and virtually on a par with my D800E (it is)?

Because i use them for different purposes? Because the D800E is good, but not great at higher ISOs? Because a lot of the time I want to use a smaller, lighter camera that has a good range of lenses. Put it this way, the D800E sucks for street and candid shooting.

If you think I'm a "camera collector"  (whatever that is) take a look at the flickr feed in my footer. You'll see I use all the cameras I own regularly. For posterity, here's one with the D800E:

and here's one with the Df.

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AWG_Pics
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Df appeal to some people's human nature
In reply to Richard Murdey, 6 months ago

There is a fascinating book by Timothy Wilson "Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious" wherein he makes the point that coupled with all our other traits that seem to make us human and interested in photography and imagery is a deeply ingrained desire to 'fiddle aroud with things'. If true, then the Df certainly is a stroke of genius by nikon. For me it rings no bells at all, since I seem tobe able to scratch my fiddling itch with conventional digital cameras and PP work. I suspect the Df really hits the fiddling bullseye with some people with the digital fusion dials and knobs coupled with a very good sensor.

I offer this as a potential explanation as to why some people react so viscerally to the Df. Lots of things to fiddle with can be either huge fun, while getting great images. Or it can seem a huge distraction while trying to get great images.

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jjnik
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to sgoldswo, 6 months ago

sgoldswo wrote:

tissunique wrote:

Eastvillager, I agree. I've heard it said that the DF is a D4 at half the price. What absolute nonsense. And so untrue. In fact the DF is more expensive than the D4 and I'll explain why:
It lacks several features. It is not a 'pro' camera in the strict sense. It doesn't offer video. It's way smaller and of far lesser build quality. It is far less capable. It is far slower. And I could go on. When you add up all the minuses it's actually way more expensive than a D4 and just about every other full-frame camera out there. That's how silly it is. Now if it was 40% cheaper I would buy one but why should I when there's the D800 and D610 available from Nikon - both offering much more.

But what if I don't care about continuous shooting speed, don't want video, want a smaller full frame camera and the build is far better than my D600 (it is) and virtually on a par with my D800E (it is)

Actually, the Df adds a metal bottom plate to the D600 build quality but it still isn't on par with the D800E:

D600 - alloy top/rear but with plastic bottom and plastic subframe, including the area that the lens mount screws into.

Df - alloy top/bottom/rear but with plastic subframe, including the area that the lens mount screws into.

D800/D800E - alloy top/bottom/rear and alloy subframe, including the area that the lens mount screws into.

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jjnik
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to sgoldswo, 6 months ago

sgoldswo wrote:

Because i use them for different purposes? Because the D800E is good, but not great at higher ISOs? Because a lot of the time I want to use a smaller, lighter camera that has a good range of lenses. Put it this way, the D800E sucks for street and candid shooting.

Just curious - why would you say it sucks?  Unless you're mainly shooting at high ISO's, this seems like a silly statement to make?

At lower ISO's (below ISO 800 and esp. at base ISO), the D800 has no match for overall IQ - resolution (and croppability), DR, and color, etc..  Now if you qualified your statement as for available light NIGHT street and candid, the D800E is not the best choice, I'd agree (but it would still be wrong to say it sucks!).

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sgoldswo
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to jjnik, 6 months ago

jjnik wrote:

sgoldswo wrote:

Because i use them for different purposes? Because the D800E is good, but not great at higher ISOs? Because a lot of the time I want to use a smaller, lighter camera that has a good range of lenses. Put it this way, the D800E sucks for street and candid shooting.

Just curious - why would you say it sucks? Unless you're mainly shooting at high ISO's, this seems like a silly statement to make?

At lower ISO's (below ISO 800 and esp. at base ISO), the D800 has no match for overall IQ - resolution (and croppability), DR, and color, etc.. Now if you qualified your statement as for available light NIGHT street and candid, the D800E is not the best choice, I'd agree (but it would still be wrong to say it sucks!).

Street shooting is very rarely about image quality, its about the immediacy of the result, blending in, not being a guy with a DSLR with a big lens on it and getting close in to subjects. My experience is that larger, conventional looking DSLRs gets more of a negative reaction than something like a Fuji X, Olympus M43s, a Leica or indeed the Df.

I have no doubt that people do shoot street with conventional DSLRs. I know I get better results with a smaller, lighter camera. If that smaller, lighter camera is a DSLR, more's the better!

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brianric
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to nikonuserinfo, 6 months ago

nikonuserinfo wrote:

D4 sensor isn't anything special among these great generation of Nikon (Sony) sensors. It's a perfect compromise for file size and speed of the D4. That they put that sensor in Df is partly marketing (to suggest that you buy a D4 for half of the price, which is a joke ogf course) but most of all to maximize rendability of the development cost of D4 sensor. Both D610 and D800 sensors are significantly better at low iso.

Some of us bought the Df because of the Df sensor, considering 50% of the time I'm shooting at ISO 5000 or higher, and yes, I have a D800 & D800E, and use that when shooting below ISO 3200.

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jjnik
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to sgoldswo, 6 months ago

sgoldswo wrote:

jjnik wrote:

sgoldswo wrote:

Because i use them for different purposes? Because the D800E is good, but not great at higher ISOs? Because a lot of the time I want to use a smaller, lighter camera that has a good range of lenses. Put it this way, the D800E sucks for street and candid shooting.

Just curious - why would you say it sucks? Unless you're mainly shooting at high ISO's, this seems like a silly statement to make?

At lower ISO's (below ISO 800 and esp. at base ISO), the D800 has no match for overall IQ - resolution (and croppability), DR, and color, etc.. Now if you qualified your statement as for available light NIGHT street and candid, the D800E is not the best choice, I'd agree (but it would still be wrong to say it sucks!).

Street shooting is very rarely about image quality, its about the immediacy of the result, blending in, not being a guy with a DSLR with a big lens on it and getting close in to subjects. My experience is that larger, conventional looking DSLRs gets more of a negative reaction than something like a Fuji X, Olympus M43s, a Leica or indeed the Df.

OK - thanks. I get that reaction difference with the smaller cameras you mention, but the Df is not exactly a small camera like those and, with the same small lens mounted, I have a hard time believing a subject would perceive it to be that much different/noticeably smaller than a D800 in the hands of the photographer pointing it at them?

I have no doubt that people do shoot street with DSLRs.

I suspect more than with the other cameras you mention. Anytime, I walk around NYC, I see a huge amount of DSLR's being used...

I know I get better results with a smaller, lighter camera. If that smaller, lighter camera is a DSLR, more's the better!

Sounds like the Df is at least a step in the right direction for your use then.

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Scott McMorrow
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to Liviu Namolovan, 6 months ago

Liviu Namolovan wrote:

Of course the D4 sensor does not cost more than the D800 sensor or a D600/610 sensor.

You would know this how?  Given that the sensor is essentially the same size as the D800 sensor, the main determinant of cost would be wafer size, yield, and development cost amortized across the sales volume. The best any of us can do is to guess.

Both sensors are probably running on 200mm wafer lines, so there no inherent cost advantage there.

Given the volume of D800/D600/D610 sensors produced, and sharing of that line with other similar sensors at Sony, it is reasonable to expect that the process is yielding much better than the D4 sensor, which is produced at another fab with lower production volume.
Given the shared R&D for the Exmor sensors between Sony and Nikon, it is probable that development costs for these sensors are much lower than that of the D4 sensor, which is a custom Nikon design.

It is likely then that the D4 sensor is more expensive than the D800 or D600 sensors.  How much more expensive, who knows?

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eastvillager
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to sgoldswo, 6 months ago

Sir you have 21 cameras listed on your gear page. A half dozen are the newest and most expensive cameras around. You collect cameras. Obviously you enjoy photography but by the look of your flickr portfolio you could really get by with one of any of them. I wish I had money to burn like you.

sgoldswo wrote:

eastvillager wrote:

Why would you want a DF if you have a D800E? To collect cameras? At the price of the DF it's not exactly the kind of camera you buy on a whim. The D800 are solid beasts with the wonderful Nikon IQ.

sgoldswo wrote:

tissunique wrote:

Eastvillager, I agree. I've heard it said that the DF is a D4 at half the price. What absolute nonsense. And so untrue. In fact the DF is more expensive than the D4 and I'll explain why:
It lacks several features. It is not a 'pro' camera in the strict sense. It doesn't offer video. It's way smaller and of far lesser build quality. It is far less capable. It is far slower. And I could go on. When you add up all the minuses it's actually way more expensive than a D4 and just about every other full-frame camera out there. That's how silly it is. Now if it was 40% cheaper I would buy one but why should I when there's the D800 and D610 available from Nikon - both offering much more.

But what if I don't care about continuous shooting speed, don't want video, want a smaller full frame camera and the build is far better than my D600 (it is) and virtually on a par with my D800E (it is)?

Because i use them for different purposes? Because the D800E is good, but not great at higher ISOs? Because a lot of the time I want to use a smaller, lighter camera that has a good range of lenses. Put it this way, the D800E sucks for street and candid shooting.

If you think I'm a "camera collector" (whatever that is) take a look at the flickr feed in my footer. You'll see I use all the cameras I own regularly. For posterity, here's one with the D800E:

and here's one with the Df.

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sebastian huvenaars
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Will today's retro ever become retro in the future?
In reply to Richard Murdey, 6 months ago

The D800 will be retro in 2030, buy it now and tell your kids how hip you were back in the days

Or don't give a peep about "hip" and just buy the D4, D800 (or D610 for that matter) for them being very good cameras for this day and age...

5 years from now, the Df is an old camera mimicking ones that are even older (but did make sense in their time)

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ravduc
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Re: You must have known...
In reply to VBLondon, 6 months ago

You have just hit the nail on it's head. My fealings as well. Kai and Ming made unwarranted comments about DF buyers and users. Proper reviewers review cameras and not the users. Many in this forum are doing exactly the same.

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