Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal

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Dallas Dahms
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Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
2 months ago

This is now open for all to read on Fotozones.

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Shotcents
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to Dallas Dahms, 2 months ago

Yup....but this won't help this forum with all of his positive comments about the Df.

For those of us who shoot, his blog goes into some solid detail on lenses he's trying with it, so worth slogging through.

Robert

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Peter Mueller
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to Dallas Dahms, 2 months ago

This is very nice, especially because Bjørn, for whom I have nothing but the highest respect, has disappeared behind a pay-wall recently. As the winner of the first "Chairman's Challenge" I used to be a "gold member" of nikongear.com, but when they went commercial this was in no way honored. Quite unfortunately, I should like to add, as I had always liked that board. I will read Bjørn's Df journal with interest as long as it still is available to the non-paying audience.

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user_name
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to Dallas Dahms, 2 months ago

Dallas Dahms wrote:

This is now open for all to read on Fotozones.

Link

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Talk to me about safaris in Southern Africa.

Thanks for the link.

From his blog, "However, the overall design of Nikon Df indicates it is made to cater for manual lenses, new or old."

This is where I have to respectfully disagree after trying one myself multiple times.  The Dƒ offers essentially nothing to cater to manual lenses except a little mechanical lever to accept pre-AI lenses.

Apart from that the only aid available to the shooter is the same green dot I have in my D800.

Well, let's say the Dƒ looks sort of like the part of a manual camera sporting those nice dials, but I can't focus a manual lens any easier on the Dƒ than I can on a D800.

Topping that I did not really understand how poorly that focusing issue was until I received a Nikon FM3a to play with.  Once you shoot the FM3a you quickly realize how badly you want a DM3a.  Well, at least a few of us do and my eyes are not what they used to be with presbyopia setting in, but I find the K3 screen goes a long way toward making manual focusing easy, quick, and fun.

But wait!  There is a good reason the Dƒ is not a digital FM3a.  It isn't because the Dƒ is porkier or lacks a focus screen.  The real issue is that Nikon has absolutely nothing to gain by selling a manual camera.

Why? Because Nikon really doesn't have any manual lenses to sell you except a few leftover AI-S lenses and where is the profit in that?  If Nikon made a real DM3a how would they sell all those new awesome Nikon lenses with the nanocoating?  They are all autofocus lenses.  Nikon makes zilch when you buy a Zeiss lens or even a used AI-S lens.

I think there are a few people that like to believe that the Dƒ is God's gift to manual photography, but it isn't and it was never intended to be by marketing design.

By all other accounts the Dƒ is an awesome camera, albeit a bit pricey, but to call it a camera that is oriented towards manual lenses is simply a long stretch of marketing hype.

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michaeladawson
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A diamond in the rough
In reply to user_name, 2 months ago

user_name wrote:

Dallas Dahms wrote:

This is now open for all to read on Fotozones.

Link

-- hide signature --

Talk to me about safaris in Southern Africa.

Thanks for the link.

From his blog, "However, the overall design of Nikon Df indicates it is made to cater for manual lenses, new or old."

This is where I have to respectfully disagree after trying one myself multiple times. The Dƒ offers essentially nothing to cater to manual lenses except a little mechanical lever to accept pre-AI lenses.

Apart from that the only aid available to the shooter is the same green dot I have in my D800.

Well, let's say the Dƒ looks sort of like the part of a manual camera sporting those nice dials, but I can't focus a manual lens any easier on the Dƒ than I can on a D800.

Topping that I did not really understand how poorly that focusing issue was until I received a Nikon FM3a to play with. Once you shoot the FM3a you quickly realize how badly you want a DM3a. Well, at least a few of us do and my eyes are not what they used to be with presbyopia setting in, but I find the K3 screen goes a long way toward making manual focusing easy, quick, and fun.

But wait! There is a good reason the Dƒ is not a digital FM3a. It isn't because the Dƒ is porkier or lacks a focus screen. The real issue is that Nikon has absolutely nothing to gain by selling a manual camera.

Why? Because Nikon really doesn't have any manual lenses to sell you except a few leftover AI-S lenses and where is the profit in that? If Nikon made a real DM3a how would they sell all those new awesome Nikon lenses with the nanocoating? They are all autofocus lenses. Nikon makes zilch when you buy a Zeiss lens or even a used AI-S lens.

I think there are a few people that like to believe that the Dƒ is God's gift to manual photography, but it isn't and it was never intended to be by marketing design.

By all other accounts the Dƒ is an awesome camera, albeit a bit pricey, but to call it a camera that is oriented towards manual lenses is simply a long stretch of marketing hype.

Thank you for this response.  One of the most intelligent replies I have ever read on this forum.

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Mike Dawson

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benjaminblack
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to user_name, 2 months ago

user_name wrote:

Dallas Dahms wrote:

This is now open for all to read on Fotozones.

Link

-- hide signature --

Talk to me about safaris in Southern Africa.

Thanks for the link.

From his blog, "However, the overall design of Nikon Df indicates it is made to cater for manual lenses, new or old."

This is where I have to respectfully disagree after trying one myself multiple times. The Dƒ offers essentially nothing to cater to manual lenses except a little mechanical lever to accept pre-AI lenses.

Apart from that the only aid available to the shooter is the same green dot I have in my D800.

Well, let's say the Dƒ looks sort of like the part of a manual camera sporting those nice dials, but I can't focus a manual lens any easier on the Dƒ than I can on a D800.

Topping that I did not really understand how poorly that focusing issue was until I received a Nikon FM3a to play with. Once you shoot the FM3a you quickly realize how badly you want a DM3a. Well, at least a few of us do and my eyes are not what they used to be with presbyopia setting in, but I find the K3 screen goes a long way toward making manual focusing easy, quick, and fun.

But wait! There is a good reason the Dƒ is not a digital FM3a. It isn't because the Dƒ is porkier or lacks a focus screen. The real issue is that Nikon has absolutely nothing to gain by selling a manual camera.

Why? Because Nikon really doesn't have any manual lenses to sell you except a few leftover AI-S lenses and where is the profit in that? If Nikon made a real DM3a how would they sell all those new awesome Nikon lenses with the nanocoating? They are all autofocus lenses. Nikon makes zilch when you buy a Zeiss lens or even a used AI-S lens.

I think there are a few people that like to believe that the Dƒ is God's gift to manual photography, but it isn't and it was never intended to be by marketing design.

By all other accounts the Dƒ is an awesome camera, albeit a bit pricey, but to call it a camera that is oriented towards manual lenses is simply a long stretch of marketing hype.

I pray with my whole my heart that the little metal tab on the Df finds it way to all future Nikon bodies. Wouldn't that be brilliant? Because a lot of the old non-Ai lenses are pretty amazing and super cheap on eBay. I know it's not going to happen, but it would be epic for Nikon to say "you can shoot any lens manufactured between 1959-2014 on any Nikon body."

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Dallas Dahms
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to Peter Mueller, 2 months ago

Peter Mueller wrote:

This is very nice, especially because Bjørn, for whom I have nothing but the highest respect, has disappeared behind a pay-wall recently. As the winner of the first "Chairman's Challenge" I used to be a "gold member" of nikongear.com, but when they went commercial this was in no way honored. Quite unfortunately, I should like to add, as I had always liked that board. I will read Bjørn's Df journal with interest as long as it still is available to the non-paying audience.

Peter, thank you for your comments. I have made changes to the way the paywall works in recent years and members with high post counts (+500) have the same access and privileges as those who buy a subscription.

With the incorporation of Nikongear into the new Fotozones site the only time I expect to put forum content behind a paywall for visibility's sake is if we are under a lot of traffic. They also protect us from trolls in certain parts of the site.

Unfortunately dedicated servers don't come cheap and with this being my full time job now I have to put food on the table somehow. Your old NG login will work on Fotozones, so please pop in and say hello.

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Fogsville
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to benjaminblack, 2 months ago

benjaminblack wrote:

I pray with my whole my heart that the little metal tab on the Df finds it way to all future Nikon bodies. Wouldn't that be brilliant? Because a lot of the old non-Ai lenses are pretty amazing and super cheap on eBay. I know it's not going to happen, but it would be epic for Nikon to say "you can shoot any lens manufactured between 1959-2014 on any Nikon body."

I've had many non-AI lenses converted.  Considering how inexpensive non-AI lenses can be, it doesn't add a lot of expense ($25.)  But if one is a 'preservationist' or collector, then I can see why not wanting to convert them might be an issue.  John White at aiconversions.com does a good job.

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mootaineer
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to user_name, 2 months ago

+1

I used to follow Bjorn in the past and still occasionally rely on his lens ratings.

Although I don't own a D800 to compare it with, "only" a D700, don't see how the finder is any more useful with manual lenses than the one on the D700.

On my first trip with the Df (which happened to be Greece), although I enjoyed the capabilities of the D4-ish sensor, focus was a bit of an issue in the dark. Regardless of whether I use pre-AI or G lenses, I would have appreciated a split-prism (or similar) focusing screen to visually (rather than electronically) confirm focus.

I guess that's why (for a while now) I've been wanting the benefits of focus peaking with a CSC. I almost purchased a Sony A7/R before I got the Df...but their lens range is still too narrow and the camera body itself simply isn't as responsive as most DSLRs.

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Joe

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harveysteeves
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to user_name, 2 months ago

totally agree.  The viewfinder is not much better than other FX bodies.  Pure photography my posterior, more like pure marketing.

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MPA1
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to harveysteeves, 2 months ago

harveysteeves wrote:

totally agree. The viewfinder is not much better than other FX bodies. Pure photography my posterior, more like pure marketing.

I have a split prism screen that fits in my D3s - not that I use manual focus, but I picked it up somewhere and tried it out.

Works just like my old MF cameras in the 1980's.

I presume Nikon helpfully failed to make the screen replaceable in the Df, since no one seems to be replacing it?

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ravduc
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to harveysteeves, 2 months ago

I don't think that it's only 'pure marketing'. I think that it's an oversimplification to even claim that so adamantly. I enjoy using the camera with older non ai lenses and using the analog dials. The more traditionnal handling and the analog dials appeal to a certain segment of photographers. As for manual focusing I haven't really had any problems but haven't compared the focusing screen to any other Nikon camera. All I can say is that the camera handles really well with older manual lenses, maybe because they tend to be smaller and a bit heftier in built.

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ravduc
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In reply to Dallas Dahms, 2 months ago

Dallas, I signed into Photozones but for some reason do not have access to any of the jpg images posted by responders in the forum. Is there a reason for this. The system tells me that I do not have authorisation to do so. I haven't tried leaving any comments, so I am not sure that this would work.

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user_name
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Re: A diamond in the rough
In reply to michaeladawson, 2 months ago

michaeladawson wrote:

user_name wrote:

Dallas Dahms wrote:

This is now open for all to read on Fotozones.

Link

-- hide signature --

Talk to me about safaris in Southern Africa.

Thanks for the link.

From his blog, "However, the overall design of Nikon Df indicates it is made to cater for manual lenses, new or old."

This is where I have to respectfully disagree after trying one myself multiple times. The Dƒ offers essentially nothing to cater to manual lenses except a little mechanical lever to accept pre-AI lenses.

Apart from that the only aid available to the shooter is the same green dot I have in my D800.

Well, let's say the Dƒ looks sort of like the part of a manual camera sporting those nice dials, but I can't focus a manual lens any easier on the Dƒ than I can on a D800.

Topping that I did not really understand how poorly that focusing issue was until I received a Nikon FM3a to play with. Once you shoot the FM3a you quickly realize how badly you want a DM3a. Well, at least a few of us do and my eyes are not what they used to be with presbyopia setting in, but I find the K3 screen goes a long way toward making manual focusing easy, quick, and fun.

But wait! There is a good reason the Dƒ is not a digital FM3a. It isn't because the Dƒ is porkier or lacks a focus screen. The real issue is that Nikon has absolutely nothing to gain by selling a manual camera.

Why? Because Nikon really doesn't have any manual lenses to sell you except a few leftover AI-S lenses and where is the profit in that? If Nikon made a real DM3a how would they sell all those new awesome Nikon lenses with the nanocoating? They are all autofocus lenses. Nikon makes zilch when you buy a Zeiss lens or even a used AI-S lens.

I think there are a few people that like to believe that the Dƒ is God's gift to manual photography, but it isn't and it was never intended to be by marketing design.

By all other accounts the Dƒ is an awesome camera, albeit a bit pricey, but to call it a camera that is oriented towards manual lenses is simply a long stretch of marketing hype.

Thank you for this response. One of the most intelligent replies I have ever read on this forum.

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Mike Dawson

Thanks, Mike.  I guess I had more wine than I thought last night.  

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nplanet
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to user_name, 2 months ago

I agree, they had to make the Df with a focusing screen. Maybe the next version?

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user_name
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to nplanet, 2 months ago

nplanet wrote:

I agree, they had to make the Df with a focusing screen. Maybe the next version?

I doubt it.  Like I said, there is no monetary advantage for Nikon to sell you a focusing screen.  It raises the risk of customer induced damage and Nikon's lens lineup is almost solely autofocus.

Nikon wants to sell you lenses.

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zhemgang
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to user_name, 2 months ago

I would just like some reviewer to actually asses the ease or not of using manual focus lenses. To me that seems the purpose and marker for the camera,  and sadly the market would be me. Bjorn alludes to mania focus magic but never says why. in the start is was a snap to focus, but no one ever repeated that. i guess wait until version II if nikon wants to sell me one.

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Dallas Dahms
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In reply to ravduc, 2 months ago

ravduc wrote:

Dallas, I signed into Photozones but for some reason do not have access to any of the jpg images posted by responders in the forum. Is there a reason for this. The system tells me that I do not have authorisation to do so. I haven't tried leaving any comments, so I am not sure that this would work.

ravduc, thanks for alerting me to that. It was a permissions issue which I have now corrected, so visitors and non-subscribing members should be able to see the image attachments. The Fotozones site is open for all but the imported Nikongear content in certain places can be read by non-subscribers, but only subscribers can create threads and reply to threads in those places.

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inasir1971
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to MPA1, 2 months ago

MPA1 wrote:

harveysteeves wrote:

totally agree. The viewfinder is not much better than other FX bodies. Pure photography my posterior, more like pure marketing.

I have a split prism screen that fits in my D3s - not that I use manual focus, but I picked it up somewhere and tried it out.

Works just like my old MF cameras in the 1980's.

I presume Nikon helpfully failed to make the screen replaceable in the Df, since no one seems to be replacing it?

The screen can be replaced - I replaced mine with one from focusingscreens.com as have some others on the forum.

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mootaineer
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Re: Bjørn Rørslett's Df testing journal
In reply to inasir1971, 2 months ago

I've been thinking about replacing mine. How do you find it? Does it affect the metering or AF?
Which one did you go for?

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Joe

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