Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
fwellers
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Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
4 months ago

Hello,

After owning and enjoying my D700 for about 4 years or more, I find myself wanting to upgrade to some newer technology, to take advantage of better DR, Better IQ ( colors, tones, etc.. ), better ISO and a smaller package.

I'm an amateur who rarely uses autofocus. As a matter of fact, for the past 6 months the only lens's I've used are a 50 1.2ais, and a 105 2.5ais.

There are times when I am asked to shoot at a family function or something and then I will reluctantly use one of my 2.8 zooms and a 501.4g.

I was and am thinking seriously of the DF, because I've heard of the fabulous IQ, plus it's the lightest smallest Nikon FF. I feel my style of shooting, which is almost entirely manual,  would be suited to the DF just fine. For the most part, I would leave the shutter in 1/3 and used the thumbwheels as I do now, and just adjust the ISO as needed.

I've been working off the possibly wrong assumption that the D600 is inferior in build and in IQ.

Recently, with all the threads about the 610 everywhere it seems that the IQ on it may even be better than the DF at ISOs  below 6400.

If that is the case, I may need to rethink, because then, to get the DF, I would truly be paying a $1000 premium for mostly just the style of the  body and better files at very high ISO's ( which I don't use ). I always try to maintain the lowest ISO, because I believe even if the pic looks clean, DR , tones and colors may suffer at any ISO above 100 or 200.

The D800 is out for me, because I just don't want that may MP.

I guess the biggest question I want to answer, and I'm hoping someone has some empirical or anecdotal knowledge of, is whether at normal ISO's (6400 and below ) , which camera has better IQ attributes ( DR, tonal gradation, color depth, clean files, sharpness etc... )

Also, can my AIS lenses even take advantage of 24mp of the D610 ?

The D610 is a lot cheaper, has a more ergonomic design due to the size of the grip.  I also like the U1,U2 dial.

The DF looks cooler, is smaller, has a slightly better build and possibly better iq.  I also like the AF-On dial.

So mainly I am interested in any IQ differences between them. Are the differences just pixel peeper diffs, or do they make  a difference ?

Thank you in Advance,

Floyd

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Peace,
Floyd

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Luke Kaven
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

fwellers wrote:

[...]

I'm an amateur who rarely uses autofocus. As a matter of fact, for the past 6 months the only lens's I've used are a 50 1.2ais, and a 105 2.5ais.

Good for you!  The odds are very small that your subject will "just happen" to coincide with one of the autofocus points.  Subjects go wherever they suit the artistic purpose.  Autofocus is a distraction for anything but action photography.

[...]

Recently, with all the threads about the 610 everywhere it seems that the IQ on it may even be better than the DF at ISOs below 6400.

They are actually different animals with a different look and character.  The Df has a sensor that is enhanced (full well capacity 120k e-, multiplexed readout circuits) to provide much better performance at base ISO than any of its predecessors (D3/D700, D3s).  It has good DR at base ISO and clean blacks.

The D4/Df makes an excellent all-around camera.

The D610/D800 has emergent thermal noise at high gain settings, even at handheld shutter speeds.  You can mitigate this, but you have to be willing to do things like dark frame subtractions, and that takes extra time.  But, the D610/D800 has some beautiful colors.

If that is the case, I may need to rethink, because then, to get the DF, I would truly be paying a $1000 premium for mostly just the style of the body and better files at very high ISO's ( which I don't use ). I always try to maintain the lowest ISO, because I believe even if the pic looks clean, DR , tones and colors may suffer at any ISO above 100 or 200.

The D800 is out for me, because I just don't want that may MP.

I guess the biggest question I want to answer, and I'm hoping someone has some empirical or anecdotal knowledge of, is whether at normal ISO's (6400 and below ) , which camera has better IQ attributes ( DR, tonal gradation, color depth, clean files, sharpness etc... )

Yes, the 24MP sensor is noticeably enhanced over the 16MP sensor, even at reduced print sizes.  There is detail retained even after downsampling.  At the 16MP level, things like skin and hair are much improved over 12MP.  At the 24MP level, hair, skin, foliage, and other fine detail really start to pop.  Local contrast enhancement tools can really pick that up.  You can do very nice fashion work with 24MP.

At base ISO, the D610 is a superior sensor.  The colors are better by a bit.  There's another stop or so of dynamic range over the Df.  And you can really lift shadows a long long way.

Also, can my AIS lenses even take advantage of 24mp of the D610 ?

Definitely, the better AI lenses will show up a bit better.  Those lenses transmit a lot of fine detail, but somewhat less in proportion than their modern equivalents.  My 28/2AI will pick up single pixel details on a D800.  But then, almost any lens is improved by more resolution.

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Ajaykdelhi
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

I somehow prefer Df more retro greater IQ and great pictures

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fwellers
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to Luke Kaven, 4 months ago

Thank you Luke,

I haven't read those kinds of tech details about the sensors before. It sounded though, like you said the following three things:

- Df sensor was enhanced to provide better performamce at base ISO.

- D600 has thermal noise that needs some special mitigation ??

- D600 has better IQ at base ISO. ( better colors and DR )

Can you please make it more clear for me ?  At what point along the ISO scale ( at normal shutter speeds ) does the DF take over as far as having the better IQ ?

Thanks !

Floyd

Luke Kaven wrote:

fwellers wrote:

[...]

I'm an amateur who rarely uses autofocus. As a matter of fact, for the past 6 months the only lens's I've used are a 50 1.2ais, and a 105 2.5ais.

Good for you! The odds are very small that your subject will "just happen" to coincide with one of the autofocus points. Subjects go wherever they suit the artistic purpose. Autofocus is a distraction for anything but action photography.

[...]

Recently, with all the threads about the 610 everywhere it seems that the IQ on it may even be better than the DF at ISOs below 6400.

They are actually different animals with a different look and character. The Df has a sensor that is enhanced (full well capacity 120k e-, multiplexed readout circuits) to provide much better performance at base ISO than any of its predecessors (D3/D700, D3s). It has good DR at base ISO and clean blacks.

The D4/Df makes an excellent all-around camera.

The D610/D800 has emergent thermal noise at high gain settings, even at handheld shutter speeds. You can mitigate this, but you have to be willing to do things like dark frame subtractions, and that takes extra time. But, the D610/D800 has some beautiful colors.

If that is the case, I may need to rethink, because then, to get the DF, I would truly be paying a $1000 premium for mostly just the style of the body and better files at very high ISO's ( which I don't use ). I always try to maintain the lowest ISO, because I believe even if the pic looks clean, DR , tones and colors may suffer at any ISO above 100 or 200.

The D800 is out for me, because I just don't want that may MP.

I guess the biggest question I want to answer, and I'm hoping someone has some empirical or anecdotal knowledge of, is whether at normal ISO's (6400 and below ) , which camera has better IQ attributes ( DR, tonal gradation, color depth, clean files, sharpness etc... )

Yes, the 24MP sensor is noticeably enhanced over the 16MP sensor, even at reduced print sizes. There is detail retained even after downsampling. At the 16MP level, things like skin and hair are much improved over 12MP. At the 24MP level, hair, skin, foliage, and other fine detail really start to pop. Local contrast enhancement tools can really pick that up. You can do very nice fashion work with 24MP.

At base ISO, the D610 is a superior sensor. The colors are better by a bit. There's another stop or so of dynamic range over the Df. And you can really lift shadows a long long way.

Also, can my AIS lenses even take advantage of 24mp of the D610 ?

Definitely, the better AI lenses will show up a bit better. Those lenses transmit a lot of fine detail, but somewhat less in proportion than their modern equivalents. My 28/2AI will pick up single pixel details on a D800. But then, almost any lens is improved by more resolution.

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Peace,
Floyd

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Raul
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-Df-versus-Nikon-D610-versus-Nikon-D4___925_915_767

regards

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fwellers
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to Raul, 4 months ago

Thanks Raul,

So according to DxO, the differences in them are really so minor that it doesn't really matter.

Assuming the mapping of colors and whatever Digital to Analog conversions happen that turns the signal into an image is the same , then it seems like it would be very difficult to say that one is better than the other. that is how close they are.

Is this correct ?

Thanks,

floyd

Raul wrote:

http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-Df-versus-Nikon-D610-versus-Nikon-D4___925_915_767

regards

-- hide signature --

"There is not a thin line between love and hate. There is - in fact - a Great Wall of China with armed sentries posted every 20 feet between love and hate." (House)

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Peace,
Floyd

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Luke Kaven
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

fwellers wrote:

Thank you Luke,

I haven't read those kinds of tech details about the sensors before. It sounded though, like you said the following three things:

- Df sensor was enhanced to provide better performamce at base ISO.

- D600 has thermal noise that needs some special mitigation ??

- D600 has better IQ at base ISO. ( better colors and DR )

Can you please make it more clear for me ? At what point along the ISO scale ( at normal shutter speeds ) does the DF take over as far as having the better IQ ?

Thanks !

So.  The D4/Df does amplification and A-D conversion on the sensor using 24 channels.  The D600/D800 does amplification and A-D conversion on the sensor, but using a channel for every column.  [This is done to facilitate a slow readout.]  In other words, the D600/D800 has a lot more active electronics on the sensor.  The D800 obviously has more of everything, including heat.  The D600 is a bit better.

On my D800, if I shoot at ISO12800 at 1/80th, there is a bluish-magenta cast over the frame with local hotspots.  You can't color balance this out.  If I've been using live view, the effects are even more severe.

Everything below that is a matter of degree.  At base ISO, it's negligible.  I'd say up to ISO 1600 is pretty safe at handheld shutter speeds, and even a bit beyond.

I maintain that dark-frame subtraction should be a full-time option for this camera, as it is for some of the newer MFD cameras that use the same technology.

But you know the higher resolution cameras, even in very low light, can yield some surprising detail in the better-lighted parts of the scene.  There are times when I reach for the D800 as a low light camera.  But I have to be ready to do the dark-frame subtraction in post.  And this is something you don't want to be doing on every image.

The nice thing about the D4/Df is that it obliges every situation with no questions asked.  And it really is very nice indeed at base ISO as well, quite a bit better than its predecessors.

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Luke Kaven
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

fwellers wrote:

Thanks Raul,

So according to DxO, the differences in them are really so minor that it doesn't really matter.

Assuming the mapping of colors and whatever Digital to Analog conversions happen that turns the signal into an image is the same , then it seems like it would be very difficult to say that one is better than the other. that is how close they are.

Is this correct ?

There is a real sense in which they are different animals each with their own signature look.  In the lab, they are close together.  In practice, you will come to know them as individuals.  Both are superb.  At base ISO, though, I'd give the edge to the D610.

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low3llSD
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

do you use the AEL button often?

just reprogram the AEL on the 610 to AFON on the 610 and youre set.

with that said, i like the Df, even with the extra 1k leaving my pocket.  images are really creamy and i like to shoot with primes.

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Jack Hogan
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to Luke Kaven, 4 months ago

Luke Kaven wrote:

On my D800, if I shoot at ISO12800 at 1/80th, there is a bluish-magenta cast over the frame with local hotspots. You can't color balance this out. If I've been using live view, the effects are even more severe.

Everything below that is a matter of degree. At base ISO, it's negligible. I'd say up to ISO 1600 is pretty safe at handheld shutter speeds, and even a bit beyond.

Luke, what happens if you stop at ISO1600 (exposure at 1/80th as you would have it) and compensate for the lower brightness during conversion?  Any ISO past 1600 is done digitally in-camera by the D800/D610 anyways, so unless you need a bright image SOC you might as well see if that gets rid of the cast.

Jack

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Jack Hogan
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

fwellers wrote:

Can you please make it more clear for me ? At what point along the ISO scale ( at normal shutter speeds ) does the DF take over as far as having the better IQ ?

ISO1600 and above it's (a bit) better than the D610.  And it's designed to hit higher ISOs.

So in my mind: landscapes and studio = D610.  Concerts and low-light work = Df.

But you can't go wrong, they are both outstanding cameras.

Jack

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Luke Kaven
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to Jack Hogan, 4 months ago

Jack Hogan wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

On my D800, if I shoot at ISO12800 at 1/80th, there is a bluish-magenta cast over the frame with local hotspots. You can't color balance this out. If I've been using live view, the effects are even more severe.

Everything below that is a matter of degree. At base ISO, it's negligible. I'd say up to ISO 1600 is pretty safe at handheld shutter speeds, and even a bit beyond.

Luke, what happens if you stop at ISO1600 (exposure at 1/80th as you would have it) and compensate for the lower brightness during conversion? Any ISO past 1600 is done digitally in-camera by the D800/D610 anyways, so unless you need a bright image SOC you might as well see if that gets rid of the cast.

Hi Jack,

As you say, since all gain past ISO 1600 is done with digital multiplication, there is no penalty for capping your ISO setting at 1600 and then determining later, perhaps much much later, whether or not you want to apply additional gain.  The only penalty would be that your image review would be somewhat difficult to read.  And so be it.  Sometimes I think the "underexposed" version of the image is pleasing anyway.

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Cliff Fujii
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

If you want to operate at high ISO, the Df has the better sensor.  The Df also has an AF ON button.  If you were to see an X-Ray view of the DF, you'll see that it has more magnesium than the D600/D610.  At lower ISOs, the Df outperformed the D4.  Both the Df and D4 have Nikon designed sensors.  I even have non-AIS lenses that I can use with the Df.  I used to have a D600 (no spot issues) but I sold it for a Df.  I could tell right away that the IQ on the Df looked better than the D600.  Of course the D600 has more MPx than the Df but if I want more details, I'll go to my D800.

This is a snap I took at Disneyland.  My Minolta Flashmeter VI measured the scene at EV2.  The Df auto-focus worked quickly and the image didn't have the splotchy grain that the D600 had.

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Jack Hogan
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to Luke Kaven, 4 months ago

Luke Kaven wrote:

Jack Hogan wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

On my D800, if I shoot at ISO12800 at 1/80th, there is a bluish-magenta cast over the frame with local hotspots. You can't color balance this out. If I've been using live view, the effects are even more severe.

Everything below that is a matter of degree. At base ISO, it's negligible. I'd say up to ISO 1600 is pretty safe at handheld shutter speeds, and even a bit beyond.

Luke, what happens if you stop at ISO1600 (exposure at 1/80th as you would have it) and compensate for the lower brightness during conversion? Any ISO past 1600 is done digitally in-camera by the D800/D610 anyways, so unless you need a bright image SOC you might as well see if that gets rid of the cast.

Hi Jack,

As you say, since all gain past ISO 1600 is done with digital multiplication, there is no penalty for capping your ISO setting at 1600 and then determining later, perhaps much much later, whether or not you want to apply additional gain. The only penalty would be that your image review would be somewhat difficult to read. And so be it. Sometimes I think the "underexposed" version of the image is pleasing anyway.

Right.  Have you tried to see what happens to your color cast if you stop at ISO1600 instead of heading to 12800?  I am curious, but in theory nothing since multiplication is not too energy consuming/heat generating when taking average photographs.

If the color cast is due to heat buildup, my guess is that the culprit would be having the sensor on for a long period of time (more than a few tens of seconds) - as opposed to the ISO setting.  So filming, prolonged LiveView or astrophotography may suffer, but not typical OVF photography.

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Luke Kaven
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to Jack Hogan, 4 months ago

Jack Hogan wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

Jack Hogan wrote:

Luke Kaven wrote:

On my D800, if I shoot at ISO12800 at 1/80th, there is a bluish-magenta cast over the frame with local hotspots. You can't color balance this out. If I've been using live view, the effects are even more severe.

Everything below that is a matter of degree. At base ISO, it's negligible. I'd say up to ISO 1600 is pretty safe at handheld shutter speeds, and even a bit beyond.

Luke, what happens if you stop at ISO1600 (exposure at 1/80th as you would have it) and compensate for the lower brightness during conversion? Any ISO past 1600 is done digitally in-camera by the D800/D610 anyways, so unless you need a bright image SOC you might as well see if that gets rid of the cast.

Hi Jack,

As you say, since all gain past ISO 1600 is done with digital multiplication, there is no penalty for capping your ISO setting at 1600 and then determining later, perhaps much much later, whether or not you want to apply additional gain. The only penalty would be that your image review would be somewhat difficult to read. And so be it. Sometimes I think the "underexposed" version of the image is pleasing anyway.

Right. Have you tried to see what happens to your color cast if you stop at ISO1600 instead of heading to 12800? I am curious, but in theory nothing since multiplication is not too energy consuming/heat generating when taking average photographs.

If the color cast is due to heat buildup, my guess is that the culprit would be having the sensor on for a long period of time (more than a few tens of seconds) - as opposed to the ISO setting. So filming, prolonged LiveView or astrophotography may suffer, but not typical OVF photography.

I'm saying that ISO 1600 plus 3 stops of digital multiplication in post is exactly the same as setting the camera to ISO 12800 as far as thermal noise is concerned.

Unfortunately, it seems that heat buildup is nearly instantaneous.  I remember I was taking night shots handheld on the Brooklyn promenade one night.  I took around 5 shots in a half hour.  1/80th as I mentioned.  Lots of thermal noise pollution.

Then I tried running live view for one minute, and took another picture.  That was approximately twice as bad.  But after another minute or two, it was back to the previous levels.

I do agree with you in part that the amplification phase per se is not especially to blame.  It isn't purely "amp glow" that we're seeing.  Merely the act of using the sensor is enough.

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FujLiver
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Df opera
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

fwellers wrote:

Hello,

After owning and enjoying my D700 for about 4 years or more, I find myself wanting to upgrade to some newer technology, to take advantage of better DR, Better IQ ( colors, tones, etc.. ), better ISO and a smaller package.

I'm an amateur who rarely uses autofocus. As a matter of fact, for the past 6 months the only lens's I've used are a 50 1.2ais, and a 105 2.5ais.

There are times when I am asked to shoot at a family function or something and then I will reluctantly use one of my 2.8 zooms and a 501.4g.

I was and am thinking seriously of the DF, because I've heard of the fabulous IQ, plus it's the lightest smallest Nikon FF. I feel my style of shooting, which is almost entirely manual, would be suited to the DF just fine. For the most part, I would leave the shutter in 1/3 and used the thumbwheels as I do now, and just adjust the ISO as needed.

I've been working off the possibly wrong assumption that the D600 is inferior in build and in IQ.

Recently, with all the threads about the 610 everywhere it seems that the IQ on it may even be better than the DF at ISOs below 6400.

If that is the case, I may need to rethink, because then, to get the DF, I would truly be paying a $1000 premium for mostly just the style of the body and better files at very high ISO's ( which I don't use ). I always try to maintain the lowest ISO, because I believe even if the pic looks clean, DR , tones and colors may suffer at any ISO above 100 or 200.

The D800 is out for me, because I just don't want that may MP.

I guess the biggest question I want to answer, and I'm hoping someone has some empirical or anecdotal knowledge of, is whether at normal ISO's (6400 and below ) , which camera has better IQ attributes ( DR, tonal gradation, color depth, clean files, sharpness etc... )

Also, can my AIS lenses even take advantage of 24mp of the D610 ?

The D610 is a lot cheaper, has a more ergonomic design due to the size of the grip. I also like the U1,U2 dial.

The DF looks cooler, is smaller, has a slightly better build and possibly better iq. I also like the AF-On dial.

So mainly I am interested in any IQ differences between them. Are the differences just pixel peeper diffs, or do they make a difference ?

Thank you in Advance,

Floyd

-- hide signature --

Peace,
Floyd

I have used the D600, not the D610 but now have the Df

The salient advantages of the Df IMHO:

1. Look cool (as you said). Does not seem to disturb subjects as much

2. Small weight and size difference is more significant than on paper

3. Dials are fabulous. Apart from aperture you can see and set all crucial settings with the camera off or on, and glance to see them

4. Ergonomics very well thought out.

5. Low light performance is state of the art

Main disadvantage:

a. Grip is fine for lenses up to 600g but not great to hold for long periods after this in your hand (I tend to carry cameras in the my right hand, I don't use a neck strap, with the Df and heavy zoom I tend to hold the lens)

I have a few zooms for certain requirements but usually use primes. I have the new Sigma 24-105mm - awesome IQ & build and looks very cool on the Df but quite heavy and therefore not a great travel lens and Tamron 70-300mm SP VR for very occasional long zoom

The "dream team" of primes, especially picking one per day for walkabout, are the new f1.8G series, particularly the 28mm, 35mm FX, 50mm and 85mm and also worth mentioning is the super sharp 60mm f2.8G.

For f1.4G DOF the new Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art and perhaps the yet-to-be-released 50mm f1.4G are highly recommended. I know its not a "serious" requirement but Sigma Art series look seriously good on the Df.

Lastly, if you want to be cheap. The last generation "D" primes look very good on the Df, are not bad (in the centre anyhow) and can be picked up cheap as chips second hand. So you could build a formidable "D" series prime collection with the Df for very little cash and have all the advantages of one of the best FF sensors out there

just my 2 cents

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sgoldswo
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In reply to FujLiver, 4 months ago

FujLiver wrote:

fwellers wrote:

Hello,

After owning and enjoying my D700 for about 4 years or more, I find myself wanting to upgrade to some newer technology, to take advantage of better DR, Better IQ ( colors, tones, etc.. ), better ISO and a smaller package.

I'm an amateur who rarely uses autofocus. As a matter of fact, for the past 6 months the only lens's I've used are a 50 1.2ais, and a 105 2.5ais.

There are times when I am asked to shoot at a family function or something and then I will reluctantly use one of my 2.8 zooms and a 501.4g.

I was and am thinking seriously of the DF, because I've heard of the fabulous IQ, plus it's the lightest smallest Nikon FF. I feel my style of shooting, which is almost entirely manual, would be suited to the DF just fine. For the most part, I would leave the shutter in 1/3 and used the thumbwheels as I do now, and just adjust the ISO as needed.

I've been working off the possibly wrong assumption that the D600 is inferior in build and in IQ.

Recently, with all the threads about the 610 everywhere it seems that the IQ on it may even be better than the DF at ISOs below 6400.

If that is the case, I may need to rethink, because then, to get the DF, I would truly be paying a $1000 premium for mostly just the style of the body and better files at very high ISO's ( which I don't use ). I always try to maintain the lowest ISO, because I believe even if the pic looks clean, DR , tones and colors may suffer at any ISO above 100 or 200.

The D800 is out for me, because I just don't want that may MP.

I guess the biggest question I want to answer, and I'm hoping someone has some empirical or anecdotal knowledge of, is whether at normal ISO's (6400 and below ) , which camera has better IQ attributes ( DR, tonal gradation, color depth, clean files, sharpness etc... )

Also, can my AIS lenses even take advantage of 24mp of the D610 ?

The D610 is a lot cheaper, has a more ergonomic design due to the size of the grip. I also like the U1,U2 dial.

The DF looks cooler, is smaller, has a slightly better build and possibly better iq. I also like the AF-On dial.

So mainly I am interested in any IQ differences between them. Are the differences just pixel peeper diffs, or do they make a difference ?

Thank you in Advance,

Floyd

-- hide signature --

Peace,
Floyd

I have used the D600, not the D610 but now have the Df

The salient advantages of the Df IMHO:

1. Look cool (as you said). Does not seem to disturb subjects as much

2. Small weight and size difference is more significant than on paper

3. Dials are fabulous. Apart from aperture you can see and set all crucial settings with the camera off or on, and glance to see them

4. Ergonomics very well thought out.

5. Low light performance is state of the art

Main disadvantage:

a. Grip is fine for lenses up to 600g but not great to hold for long periods after this in your hand (I tend to carry cameras in the my right hand, I don't use a neck strap, with the Df and heavy zoom I tend to hold the lens)

I have a few zooms for certain requirements but usually use primes. I have the new Sigma 24-105mm - awesome IQ & build and looks very cool on the Df but quite heavy and therefore not a great travel lens and Tamron 70-300mm SP VR for very occasional long zoom

The "dream team" of primes, especially picking one per day for walkabout, are the new f1.8G series, particularly the 28mm, 35mm FX, 50mm and 85mm and also worth mentioning is the super sharp 60mm f2.8G.

For f1.4G DOF the new Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art and perhaps the yet-to-be-released 50mm f1.4G are highly recommended. I know its not a "serious" requirement but Sigma Art series look seriously good on the Df.

Lastly, if you want to be cheap. The last generation "D" primes look very good on the Df, are not bad (in the centre anyhow) and can be picked up cheap as chips second hand. So you could build a formidable "D" series prime collection with the Df for very little cash and have all the advantages of one of the best FF sensors out there

just my 2 cents

Agree with all of this but would just note that the results from the (in my view wrongly) much derided 58mm F1.4G are things of beauty when paired with the Df sensor. If the character of the Sigma 50mm is anything like the 35, you'll be better off with the sigma for absolute sharpness but with the Nikon if you are shooting people. Aesthetically the 58 is probably my favourite lens (and it works well with the D800E too...).

Also, the 58mm is a light lens, which, with my back, earns it a couple of points.

 sgoldswo's gear list:sgoldswo's gear list
Leica M Typ 240 Olympus E-M1 Nikon Df Nikon D810
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Jogger
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,396Gear list
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D700 owner, went with Df
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

fwellers wrote:

Hello,

After owning and enjoying my D700 for about 4 years or more, I find myself wanting to upgrade to some newer technology, to take advantage of better DR, Better IQ ( colors, tones, etc.. ), better ISO and a smaller package.

Ive been shooting a D700 since 2008 and recently added the Df to use as a second caemra during event work. I plan to use them together. The D700 still holds its own, 6 years later.

I'm an amateur who rarely uses autofocus. As a matter of fact, for the past 6 months the only lens's I've used are a 50 1.2ais, and a 105 2.5ais.

There are times when I am asked to shoot at a family function or something and then I will reluctantly use one of my 2.8 zooms and a 501.4g.

I was and am thinking seriously of the DF, because I've heard of the fabulous IQ, plus it's the lightest smallest Nikon FF. I feel my style of shooting, which is almost entirely manual, would be suited to the DF just fine. For the most part, I would leave the shutter in 1/3 and used the thumbwheels as I do now, and just adjust the ISO as needed.

Yes, I only use my Df with my Zeiss ZF.2 primes. I will throw my 50/1.4G on it to travel light. But, the Df is perfect for lightwieght primes.

I've been working off the possibly wrong assumption that the D600 is inferior in build and in IQ.

This is really an appearance/feel perception; its just as well built. The Df just feels better built, imo.

Recently, with all the threads about the 610 everywhere it seems that the IQ on it may even be better than the DF at ISOs below 6400.

I would say ISO400-800 or so based on DxOMark. It certainly has more resolution and DR at base iso. If you are shooting at base ISO most of the time, the sensor from the D600 is the better choice. The Df has more latitude across the range of ISO, and esp. at higher ISOs.

If that is the case, I may need to rethink, because then, to get the DF, I would truly be paying a $1000 premium for mostly just the style of the body and better files at very high ISO's ( which I don't use ). I always try to maintain the lowest ISO, because I believe even if the pic looks clean, DR , tones and colors may suffer at any ISO above 100 or 200.

Yes. You are def. paying a premium for the body style and better high ISO.. but, the high ISO from the D600 is no slouch either.

The D800 is out for me, because I just don't want that may MP.

Same here.

I guess the biggest question I want to answer, and I'm hoping someone has some empirical or anecdotal knowledge of, is whether at normal ISO's (6400 and below ) , which camera has better IQ attributes ( DR, tonal gradation, color depth, clean files, sharpness etc... )

Also, can my AIS lenses even take advantage of 24mp of the D610 ?

The D610 is a lot cheaper, has a more ergonomic design due to the size of the grip. I also like the U1,U2 dial.

The DF looks cooler, is smaller, has a slightly better build and possibly better iq. I also like the AF-On dial.

So mainly I am interested in any IQ differences between them. Are the differences just pixel peeper diffs, or do they make a difference ?

Thank you in Advance,

Floyd

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Peace,
Floyd

 Jogger's gear list:Jogger's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Nikon D700 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +4 more
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BasiliskPhoto
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to fwellers, 4 months ago

I have a few AI/S lenses, and they certainly seem to give pixel level sharpness wide open on the D600 at 24MP. I am not that bothered if they are completely sharp across the frame wide open - if I want sharp corners, I can always stop down a bit. I am sure modern lenses have higher resolutions in some theoretical situations, but from a practical point of view, I don't think sharpness and resolution is a serious problem with one of the good AI/S lenses at 24MP (though there are some lenses which supposedly don't hold up quite as well)

One might assume, looking at the Df that it is a camera designed for use with classic manual lenses - they certainly look good when attached - but I think it is a bit skin deep. I have seen no evidence that the camera provides any benefit over the D600 for shooting MF lenses. No clever focus assistance or easily replaceable focus screen. If you are shooting f1.2 you will experience exactly the same challenges on each body. The only "benefit" of the Df is that the slightly lower resolution might be a bit more forgiving of missed focus. I usually switch to live view and use a loupe in critical low DOF situations. Clumsy but effective.

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fwellers
Regular MemberPosts: 206
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Re: Trying to decide between DF and D610, IQ differences
In reply to BasiliskPhoto, 4 months ago

I really appreciate all the input. Want more. <grin>.

Still haven't decided.

@Fujliver - I am always concerned with weight, not wanting to carry around a lot of heft on my shoulder, but I don't really think that 50grams weight will be a noticable difference between the two.

I tried to manual focus the df with my 501.2 ais and with their 501.8 in the store. It seemed just as easy or easier than with my D700. Didn't try the D610 yet though.

I like some things about the DF body, like the AF-On button but like other things on the D610 like the U1/U2 buttons

I think it will come down to IQ and resolution.

If the DF can't provide better much  IQ below 3200 or 6400 ( I rarely ever go above those ), then I don't think I can justify the extra $$.

But I am a little concerned whether the 24mp will be a pain to work with, larger files, more processing time, less forgiving of errors, maybe more noise due to pixel density.

Sh$%T I just don't know. I need more input. :-))

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Peace,
Floyd

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