The Philosophy of Nikon Df

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
brightcolours
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Re: You don't have to use the manual controls.
In reply to enkindler, 8 months ago

enkindler wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

enkindler wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

sandy b wrote:

For the most part with two control wheels, you can use it like any other Nikon.

But the only point of the camera is the old dials. Not high resolution (D800), not sports performance (D4), not affordability (D610).

You forgot the reason many of the sacrifices were made (Battery size, card slot, focus system). It is the lightest and smallest full-frame DSLR on the market.

It is just about the same size and weight as the Canon EOS 6D (really).

http://camerasize.com/compare/#495,380

Not sure what is so special about that? They should have made the Df a lot smaller to have a value size wise, the same size as the FM's and Nikkormats. Then it woud be a plus. And a control philosophy which is consistent and sensible...

I have nothing against Nikon trying something different, but they should have done it well. I do like my pre-Ai Nikkors on my Nikkormat FTn and my 6D.

You may not see the value in that but others do.

A DSLR will never be the size of a 35mm film body, a sensor, heat spreader and LCD will always be thicker than a pressure plate. The only way to be thinner is to dump the F mount.

The 6D only has an 11 point AF system, shoots less FPS, does not have 100% frame coverage and is useless to those with an investment in Nikon glass.

I mentioned the 6D for its identical size and weight. Not because it is identical in features. The less AF point si not a reason for it to be more compact, anyway it has an unusually sensitive center focus point which uses a lot of AF sensor real estate. It does include GPS (not my thing) and WiFi (for for instance remote live view).

Why does it get a pass on your "incrementally worse in some arbitrarily picked metrics" The "only point" of the Df was not the dials, and you brushed off evidence that was only a part of their design decisions.

Just going by the Nikon press blurb.

The DF has a higher frame rate and is lighter than the D800, has better high ISO than the D800 and D610. It is lighter and cheaper and quieter than the D4. And to top that off it is the smallest and lightest full frame DSLR on the market and the smallest and lightest Nikon by a large measure.

It still is the same size and weight as the 6D. Which is also an FF DSLR. 5 grams difference... ok.

The Df's controls are far more usable than the Canon design decisions have ever produced.

That of course is very debatable.

But really all modern cameras are great... Improvements are slight between almost all models for most photos. I found a use for the Df and I am very happy with it. But cameras are just tools, nothing more.

That said size and weight were apparently the main driver on this camera. The D4/D800 AF would have made it taller,

Why? The D7200 has the same 51 point AF sensor, yet the same space under the mirror box as the Df. This is just a baseless point.

as for the price it is cheaper than the D700 was adjusted for inflation.

It is a lot more expensive than the D610 it is based on.

That said I have no real desire to convince people it is an awesome camera so have the last word while I go out and enjoy mine.

Enjoy your camera.

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dgrPhotos
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to Richard Murdey, 8 months ago

Why can't people like the Df for it's (subjective) good looks with a great sensor? Why does it bother some that people actually bought the Df.  Maybe we want something smaller and lighter than the D600/D800.  Maybe we would trade the resolution for the low-light capabilities.  It shouldn't be difficult to understand, reading a magazine regarding the Df shouldn't upset people.  It's just a camera......shut up and shoot!

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Matt
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Re: You don't have to use the manual controls.
In reply to brightcolours, 8 months ago

brightcolours wrote:

sandy b wrote:

For the most part with two control wheels, you can use it like any other Nikon.

But the only point of the camera is the old dials. Not high resolution (D800), not sports performance (D4), not affordability (D610).

not really!

The other point is the un ergonomic shape

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Shotcents
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Re: You don't have to use the manual controls.
In reply to Matt, 8 months ago

Matt wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

sandy b wrote:

For the most part with two control wheels, you can use it like any other Nikon.

But the only point of the camera is the old dials. Not high resolution (D800), not sports performance (D4), not affordability (D610).

not really!

The other point is the un ergonomic shape

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And you've used you Df for how long exactly?

My Df has relegated by D800 is stand-by usage only, as the Df is just a lot easier to handle, smaller, lighter with incredible IQ and low light ability.

Robert

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lolopasstrail
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Re: D is for Digital, F is for film.
In reply to Robin Casady, 8 months ago

I really like the experience of shooting with my Df, overpriced though it was.  It certainly seems more an intuitive extension than my D800e ever has.  I ended up liking it much better than I thought I would.

But one of its best features it that it drives ordinary people nuts.  They feel compelled to start forum threads with no new input or added value, other than to start bashing it.  Add to that it drives ordinary people with ordinary opinions who happen to have websites and review cameras in order to make clickthrough pennies even crazier.  The first angry group constantly quotes the second angry group, as though the latters' opinion is any more valid than that of any one else in the world.   They all feed on themselves, like Donald Duck throwing a fit.  They throw themselves to the floor  and start gnawing on the carpet.

These people are irrationally driven to distraction.  Got to love it.  At least for a minute or two.  Then it's time to go out and take more pictures with that peachy Df.

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nunatak
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Re: D is for Digital, F is for film.
In reply to Robin Casady, 8 months ago

Robin Casady wrote:

nunatak wrote:

Robin Casady wrote:

Not going to happen. Nikon has patents for a lot of things that wont ever see the light of day. In the 90's it might have made sense. Now, not so much.

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Robin Casady

your entitled to your opinions, however your "engineering nightmare" was a strawman.

a D-filmback would be an innovative way to get film shooters back into buying new Nikon glass and accessories. have a little faith.

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design guy

That is like designing a car to appeal to covered wagon drivers. Film shooters are not a big enough demographic to be worth the effort.

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Robin Casady

i agree that there may not ever again be a big enough demographic to build another dedicated F series film camera,  in some parts of the world there's still incentive to build a film back accessory. the way i see it, once the engineering has been done and the back is modular, nikon can also start selling modular backs with new sensor components.

t'would be the most economic way of keeping their promise. JMO.

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Matt
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Re: You don't have to use the manual controls.
In reply to Shotcents, 8 months ago

Shotcents wrote:

Matt wrote:

brightcolours wrote:

sandy b wrote:

For the most part with two control wheels, you can use it like any other Nikon.

But the only point of the camera is the old dials. Not high resolution (D800), not sports performance (D4), not affordability (D610).

not really!

The other point is the un ergonomic shape

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And you've used you Df for how long exactly?

My Df has relegated by D800 is stand-by usage only, as the Df is just a lot easier to handle, smaller, lighter with incredible IQ and low light ability.

Robert

I dont think I need a "look at me, I must be a great photographer with all that retro crap" camera. Thank you very much

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unknown member
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Philosophy is Overrated?
In reply to Richard Murdey, 8 months ago

Richard Murdey wrote:

In Japan, the Asahi Camera magazine come out last month with a special issue dedicated to the Df, called "The Philosophy of Nikon Df " (Nikon Df の哲学).

I get the sense that "The Philosophy of Nikon Df" is a lack of philosophy?  Or perhaps that philosophy is overrated?

In his little Df puff promo, Joe McNally hit the nail on the head when he said that a camera "user interface" needs to be a set of shutter speeds waiting for f/stops.  Two dials.  That is a philosophy, but it's not the Df's!

Two ways to set shutter and aperture, redundant soft-and-hard dials that can contradict each other?  That is not a philosophy--that's a resistance to philosophy.

To me, that's the big head-scratcher about the Df (beyond the "pure" ad campaign for a camera with a split personality and redundant controls): was the lack of a camera body with redundant soft-and-hard dials the most pressing issue on the 2013 Nikon to-do list? The biggest problem they needed to solve?

More important than improving autofocus precision? More important than improving workflow (how many years old is CaptureNX2; how many Nikon bodies can do anything wirelessly without a goofy dongle)? More important than a DX body with a decent buffer? More important than DX lenses that aren't 18-to-something zooms? More important than adding TTL radio syncing to CLS? Four years of R&D for . . . redundant dials?

Eh, maybe I'm missing the point.

Anyway, I get that Nikon does labors of photographic love--it's not all hard-edged logic and business case analyses. That's why we still have brand new F6s. But I can see room for a lot of photographic love in the solutions to those other problems.

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Dennis Watts
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Re: Poor focus Screen.
In reply to sandy b, 8 months ago

The D700 with grip shot at 8fps, and my point was this camera has all the right stuff to do a lot more. I read "some where" that the shutter was designed to get over 1,000 shots on the small battery? I hope that's not true...after all I can by an extra battery. and no not every camera should shoot 7-8 fps only the one that has the chip and processor from a 11fps D4.

As for the focus screen, it is not designed for the manual focus lenses that this camera is intended to use. And that is well documented. No usable peeking no prism, is it too much to ask for the AF point to change color when its in focus?

Think of it this way I can buy a Nikon Refub D7000 for $779, with the same auto focus as the DF. It can't shoot at ISO 25k. But below ISO 3,200, with the right lens and technique the images will be indistinguishable. So for $2,800 you get a great sensor, interesting looks and nothing else.

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Tony Beach
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Re: D is for Digital, F is for film.
In reply to nunatak, 8 months ago

nunatak wrote:

D is for Digital, F is for film.

Are you being whimsical?  There is no film in sight with this camera, so F is probably for F-mount.

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Josh152
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Re: D is for Digital, F is for film.
In reply to Tony Beach, 8 months ago

Tony Beach wrote:

nunatak wrote:

D is for Digital, F is for film.

Are you being whimsical? There is no film in sight with this camera, so F is probably for F-mount.

Didn't Nikon say it Df stood for Digital fusion?

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Josh152
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Re: Philosophy is Overrated?
In reply to MarkJH, 8 months ago

MarkJH wrote:

Richard Murdey wrote:

In Japan, the Asahi Camera magazine come out last month with a special issue dedicated to the Df, called "The Philosophy of Nikon Df " (Nikon Df の哲学).

I get the sense that "The Philosophy of Nikon Df" is a lack of philosophy? Or perhaps that philosophy is overrated?

In his little Df puff promo, Joe McNally hit the nail on the head when he said that a camera "user interface" needs to be a set of shutter speeds waiting for f/stops. Two dials. That is a philosophy, but it's not the Df's!

Two ways to set shutter and aperture, redundant soft-and-hard dials that can contradict each other? That is not a philosophy--that's a resistance to philosophy.

To me, that's the big head-scratcher about the Df (beyond the "pure" ad campaign for a camera with a split personality and redundant controls): was the lack of a camera body with redundant soft-and-hard dials the most pressing issue on the 2013 Nikon to-do list? The biggest problem they needed to solve?

More important than improving autofocus precision? More important than improving workflow (how many years old is CaptureNX2; how many Nikon bodies can do anything wirelessly without a goofy dongle)? More important than a DX body with a decent buffer? More important than DX lenses that aren't 18-to-something zooms? More important than adding TTL radio syncing to CLS? Four years of R&D for . . . redundant dials?

Eh, maybe I'm missing the point.

Anyway, I get that Nikon does labors of photographic love--it's not all hard-edged logic and business case analyses. That's why we still have brand new F6s. But I can see room for a lot of photographic love in the solutions to those other problems.

I think Nikon was afraid of limiting the market for the camera too much so instead of just making the camera be all manual using the top dials and an aperture ringed lens only they made it work just like normal DSLR and compatible with G lenses too so that those who aren't into that sort of thing but still want the retro "real camera" look can still get in on it.  It also makes it an easier sell to the few that want one just for the D4 sensor and don't care about the retro looks or dials.

That said the Df is mostly a camera for people who are nostalgic for and/or romanticize the film days and want to (re)capture that feeling but  don't want to mess with film or for people of the "look at me I'm using a REAL camera unlike all those posers!" mentality who with the Df can still feel superior without actually having to resort to using film or spend enough for a pretty good used car on a Leica.  Contrary to what the promo videos implied the Df isn't really for people who were actually looking for a simplified, stripped down, all manual camera because they like the experience of shooting with one.

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sgoldswo
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Re: Philosophy is Overrated?
In reply to Josh152, 8 months ago

Josh152 wrote:

MarkJH wrote:

Richard Murdey wrote:

In Japan, the Asahi Camera magazine come out last month with a special issue dedicated to the Df, called "The Philosophy of Nikon Df " (Nikon Df の哲学).

I get the sense that "The Philosophy of Nikon Df" is a lack of philosophy? Or perhaps that philosophy is overrated?

In his little Df puff promo, Joe McNally hit the nail on the head when he said that a camera "user interface" needs to be a set of shutter speeds waiting for f/stops. Two dials. That is a philosophy, but it's not the Df's!

Two ways to set shutter and aperture, redundant soft-and-hard dials that can contradict each other? That is not a philosophy--that's a resistance to philosophy.

To me, that's the big head-scratcher about the Df (beyond the "pure" ad campaign for a camera with a split personality and redundant controls): was the lack of a camera body with redundant soft-and-hard dials the most pressing issue on the 2013 Nikon to-do list? The biggest problem they needed to solve?

More important than improving autofocus precision? More important than improving workflow (how many years old is CaptureNX2; how many Nikon bodies can do anything wirelessly without a goofy dongle)? More important than a DX body with a decent buffer? More important than DX lenses that aren't 18-to-something zooms? More important than adding TTL radio syncing to CLS? Four years of R&D for . . . redundant dials?

Eh, maybe I'm missing the point.

Anyway, I get that Nikon does labors of photographic love--it's not all hard-edged logic and business case analyses. That's why we still have brand new F6s. But I can see room for a lot of photographic love in the solutions to those other problems.

I think Nikon was afraid of limiting the market for the camera too much so instead of just making the camera be all manual using the top dials and an aperture ringed lens only they made it work just like normal DSLR and compatible with G lenses too so that those who aren't into that sort of thing but still want the retro "real camera" look can still get in on it. It also makes it an easier sell to the few that want one just for the D4 sensor and don't care about the retro looks or dials.

That said the Df is mostly a camera for people who are nostalgic for and/or romanticize the film days and want to (re)capture that feeling but don't want to mess with film or for people of the "look at me I'm using a REAL camera unlike all those posers!" mentality who with the Df can still feel superior without actually having to resort to using film or spend enough for a pretty good used car on a Leica. Contrary to what the promo videos implied the Df isn't really for people who were actually looking for a simplified, stripped down, all manual camera because they like the experience of shooting with one.

I also shoot a Leica M240 and an FM3a and I really enjoy shooting with the Df. One of its strengths is its flexibility. It's equally at home with a 28mm F2 AIS or a 28mm F1,8G. I should also point out that I'm in my 30s too...

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kevingm
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to Liviu Namolovan, 8 months ago

Liviu Namolovan wrote:

+1. And did I mention another +1 for your taking on Df's price? Of course the D4 sensor does not cost more than the D800 sensor or a D600/610 sensor. I'm still amazed that there are people thinking "look: D4 sensor at half the price of a D4!".

I think that I can explain why people think, "look: D4 sensor at half the price of a D4!" It's because it's the D4 sensor, and it's half the price of the D4.

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kevingm
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Re: Philosophy is Overrated?
In reply to Josh152, 8 months ago

That said the Df is mostly a camera for people who are nostalgic for and/or romanticize the film days and want to (re)capture that feeling but don't want to mess with film or for people of the "look at me I'm using a REAL camera unlike all those posers!" mentality who with the Df can still feel superior without actually having to resort to using film or spend enough for a pretty good used car on a Leica.

It's great that you have figured out the reason the people who have bought a Df have one. I have that same skill. The people who bought the camera that you have did so mostly to feel superior to other camera owners. I don't have a Df, although I'm considering it. Since I have a 4x5, I already have the retro and nostalgic and romanticizing taken care of. I'm thinking of the Df mainly for the great sensor at half the price of the only other camera that has that sensor. I've got a D700, and I have no problem using it. I had 35mm cameras with dials, and didn't have any problem with those, either. I actually don't have a problem with you using the camera you like. It seems a little strange for people to insult other people for deciding that they prefer using different cameras.

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raztec
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Re: The Brilliancy of the Nikon Df
In reply to eNo, 8 months ago

eNo wrote:

The keenest observation about the Df is how aptly it fulfills the poser mentality that infuses forums like this one and all but obscures clear-eyed considerations about what photography is about. In that sense, Nikon is tapping into a real market, namely that which is sustained by utter boredom-driven search for the next latest-and-greatest gadget.

Tip: gadgets don't capture life. Hearts and vision do.
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Very well said. I just started visiting the Nikon FX forum recently and have concluded that the most frequent posters are the ones who are sorely lack any photography skills.

It seems like Nikon have recognized that a good portion of their users have bought into the Nikon name, and really nothing else. They try to make up with equipment what they don't have in vision. The Df is the quintessential camera for them.

But I reckon this isn't exclusive to Nikon. Though the Df saga shows how vapid its supporters can be.

Raz

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DesertLefty
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Re: The Philosophy of Nikon Df
In reply to Richard Murdey, 8 months ago

Richard Murdey wrote:

It's in magazine format being sold on the magazine rack in [Japanese] bookstores, next to the regular issue of Asahi Camera magazine. And I've browsed through it. Trust me on this one: it's not an owner's manual, "owner's bible" is misleading: the best way I can think of describing the contents is "commemorative program". You might buy it if you owned the Df and wanted to read feel-good trivia about what an amazing camera it is. Or daydream about the amazing photos you will one day take with it. Need help setting up custom color profiles? Prepare to be disappointed.

I actually think that the primary marketing target for the Df is the aging Japanese businessman who is nostalgic for the Nikon's of his youth. For somebody like that, style *is* more important than function. High price? No problem! Everything in Japan is more expensive. Plus, this is going to be his "last camera". So, splurging is OK. This glossy magazine, on sale only in Japan, fits in perfectly with this idea. I bet they're going to sell a lot of Df's in Japan.

Of course, there is a segment in other markets that also finds it attractive - either for the retro design, the manual controls, or the D4 sensor. At this point, there can be no doubt that some people really, really like this camera. So, no matter how silly you might find the controls or how weak you find the feature set, I think we have to concede that the Nikon Df is going to be a marketplace success - at least in the short run. It won't be the camera for everyone, but it will sell well enough for Nikon to turn a nice profit on the project.

P.S. Thanks to the OP for posting this news item. This isn't something that we could have found otherwise.

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Josh152
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Re: Philosophy is Overrated?
In reply to kevingm, 8 months ago

kevingm wrote:

That said the Df is mostly a camera for people who are nostalgic for and/or romanticize the film days and want to (re)capture that feeling but don't want to mess with film or for people of the "look at me I'm using a REAL camera unlike all those posers!" mentality who with the Df can still feel superior without actually having to resort to using film or spend enough for a pretty good used car on a Leica.

It's great that you have figured out the reason the people who have bought a Df have one. I have that same skill. The people who bought the camera that you have did so mostly to feel superior to other camera owners. I don't have a Df, although I'm considering it. Since I have a 4x5, I already have the retro and nostalgic and romanticizing taken care of. I'm thinking of the Df mainly for the great sensor at half the price of the only other camera that has that sensor. I've got a D700, and I have no problem using it. I had 35mm cameras with dials, and didn't have any problem with those, either. I actually don't have a problem with you using the camera you like. It seems a little strange for people to insult other people for deciding that they prefer using different cameras.

LOL I was describing the market the Df was meant for not personally insulting anyone grow up.

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philharris
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Re: Philosophy is Overrated?
In reply to Josh152, 8 months ago

Josh152 wrote:

kevingm wrote:

That said the Df is mostly a camera for people who are nostalgic for and/or romanticize the film days and want to (re)capture that feeling but don't want to mess with film or for people of the "look at me I'm using a REAL camera unlike all those posers!" mentality who with the Df can still feel superior without actually having to resort to using film or spend enough for a pretty good used car on a Leica.

It's great that you have figured out the reason the people who have bought a Df have one. I have that same skill. The people who bought the camera that you have did so mostly to feel superior to other camera owners. I don't have a Df, although I'm considering it. Since I have a 4x5, I already have the retro and nostalgic and romanticizing taken care of. I'm thinking of the Df mainly for the great sensor at half the price of the only other camera that has that sensor. I've got a D700, and I have no problem using it. I had 35mm cameras with dials, and didn't have any problem with those, either. I actually don't have a problem with you using the camera you like. It seems a little strange for people to insult other people for deciding that they prefer using different cameras.

LOL I was describing the market the Df was meant for not personally insulting anyone grow up.

Josh, if you can't understand how someone could feel insulted by what you wrote, then I would suggest you are the one with some growing up to do.

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lolopasstrail
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Re: D is for Digital, F is for film.
In reply to lolopasstrail, 8 months ago

lolopasstrail wrote:

I really like the experience of shooting with my Df, overpriced though it was. ...

But one of its best features it that it drives ordinary people nuts.

We're now starting to see an even funnier phenomenon.  Since their attempts to bash the camera have failed, and reports are coming in of people liking the Df very very much, instead of backing off the detractors have doubled down.

They now feel fit to psychoanalyze all customers of the Df.  The buyers of the Df are all this, or all that, and in any event more ignorant and less wise than I am.  We see it not only in forum posters, but in some famous bloggers, including a famous Nikon blogger just yesterday.

Df users who like their cameras and decided to keep them instead of returning them or selling them, are victims of their own self delusion because since they paid so much money they are now mindlessly enslaved by that expenditure and feel compelled to justify it.  Df users are unique in this, whereas if you use other model cameras you just like them because you are cleverer than those Df robots.

It's getting silly.  As more and more people enjoy the Df, instead of just admitting they were mistaken, they get more and more tied up with their previous statements, and for some strange reason get angry at foolish Df users.

From a distance, they seem to be somehow wrapped up in their own dogma.  I mean, why do they even care about some model they don't care about, why the sudden concern about the sanity of people who buy different consumer luxury toy models than they do?  It's....   odd.

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