A beautiful camera and looks great to work with from the standpoint of settings and controls. A pleasure to use I'm sure, and with the D4 sensor images should be stunning.
That said, the one thing that would have put this over the top for me is attention to viewfinder performance in manual focus. I would have liked to see finder optics and screens designed to take advantage of f/1.4 lenses rather than throwing away everything above f/2.5 or so. A retro design without retro performance in pure photography mode means it's #3 on my shopping list instead of #1. I'm unlikely to make it beyond #2, unfortunately. (1: D400. 2: D800 or successor. 3: Df.)
Perhaps the Df2x will bring the D800 and manual focus together as one.
leschnyhan: As a photography instructor, I'd like all my students to start with a film SLR with basic manual controls. However, since I teach in some programs that don't have darkroom facilities, I often end up teaching intro DSLR classes to people who don't have any experience with a simple film SLR. The Nikon DF, together with an older Nikon lens with an aperture ring, would be an ideal kit for a student learning to use manual exposure--not too many bells and whistles to complicate things, and (maybe?) fewer automatic features like scene modes (which become a crutch and don't help people to understand exposure). It looks fairly sturdy, too, which means it might be a good camera for school photography departments or rental facilities (where equipment is often handled roughly). Unfortunately, I think it will come with a price tag that will put it out of reach for many beginning students who want to own (rather than borrow) a camera.
I'm sorry, but this seems like a complete waste of time and money for someone starting in photography today. With some well-thought out exercises you give them, they can get feedback in a few hours that would have taken months with film.
If it's fine art students that want to understand this historic method, and perhaps do some exploration with it, fine. Otherwise, the only thing they'll learn that they couldn't learn faster starting with digital is to understand all the nostalgia the old film-shooting codgers like me discuss when they get together (I've been shooting with Nikon SLRs since 1963).
ethanolson: May I point out that everyone has missed the boat here. Yes, it works with FF but on an APS-C crop sensor it's coming in at 87mm equivalent... a perfect portrait lens. Also, with coma correction and a 9-bladed aperture it pretty much makes perfect sense in that scenario. Until now, Nikon hasn't had a good answer for portrait on crop sensors.
I have three DX lenses: 12-24, 17-55 and 16-85. Replacing those plus the camera is about half the total, and I don't have an action camera unless I spend a lot more. It's the FX lenses I'd have to replace that will cost the other 2/3. 300 f/4 to 500 f/4, $8,400. 85 1.8 to 135 1.8, $1300. 50 f/1.4 to 85 f/1.4, $1600. 60 f/2.8 to 105 f/2.8, $900. The weight is more than double on all but the 17-55 replacement. My tripod and ball head would also require a major upgrade.
Not gonna happen.
Thanatham Piriyakarnjanakul: Sadly it's not 77mm filter thread!!
It may be a bit inconvenient to use a 77mm step-up with the hood - we'll see. I would need a CP filter often for the uses I anticipate for this lens. It was nice in the days when just a 52 and a 72 were enough to cover all the Nikkors in my bag from 18 to 200mm, including a 28 PC and 35mm f/1.4. The new range is all over the place.
Does this free up Mr. Sato to work on the 24mm f/1.4 and 16 mm f/2 DX primes? Somebody needs to.
@clueless - It would cost me about $15k to switch to FX, and it would take a hand truck to carry the gear. Sorry, I like my compact and lightweight system, and this lens will be great for it. I do wish they would bring out a couple of wide primes though - that monster 24mm makes no sense on DX.
falconeyes: Well, the Nikon 1.4/58 has 9 elements (2 asph), the Zeiss 1.4/55 has 12 elements (1 asph, 6 ED). The published ZEISS optical MTF figures quote MTF for 40 lp/mm to stay at or above 50% across the entire image field and for *ALL* apertures (before diffraction hits), right into the corners. That's quite stunning and probably not matched by the Nikon.
OTOH, the Nikon has AF, is cheaper and may still be good enough to bring true medium format quality to the D800E. Will be interesting to watch :)
Looked up MTF figures on Nikon USA website: I was correct, it cannot compete with the ZEISS. Nikon publishes MTF at less challenging 30 lp/mm to be down to 25% in the corners. So wide open, the Zeiss seems to be *much* better in the corners.
The main difference is: the Nikon still is a rather traditional symmetrical design while the ZEISS is a rather challenging retrofocus design.
For what I will use the lens for, live view will work just fine.
vincent__l: It's about time Nikon. The DPR forums are constantly saturated with people screaming for an f1/4 standard lens for close to $2k and you finally delivered. Good call on ignoring the very small minority of whiners who think an updated 24-70 f/2.8 is necessary.
We DX shooters have been asking for a great portrait lens for some time. We didn't necessarily want to pay this much for it, but we did get what we asked for. You forget Nikon is designing this for three formats - this is portraits on DX and a great event lens on Nikon 1. I for one appreciate the effort.
bossa: The night shot on the official samples page doesn't show point sources for the street lights. They are all triangles and sheared. There's also lots of blue fringing around lots of the lights (purple fringing).
Looking at the portraits the lens doesn't seem as contrasty or sharp at f/2 as one would like. My DA*55 seems better.
I'll take a look at one when they are available though as I love my 35/1.4 G despite what people say about it.
While the night shot does show a fair amount of coma in the blown-out highlights around the edges in the full-resolution view, it's nothing compared to the coma in the 50mm lenses. It does leave room for the Zeiss to show off, though. I'll be very interested in the comparisons of these two.
Clueless Wanderer: Nobody should have duct tape in their bag. When you try to remove it, it either damages what is was sticking to or leaves a horrible goo behind. Considerate photographers use gaffer tape. Its very strong but not as aggressive as Duct tape..
And is MUCH tackier in spite of being less damaging to surfaces. Once I got the real thing, never going back.
samhain: Nice camera, great ergonomics. Too bad it's not a FF. aps-c dslr's are so 2009.:)
APS-C is just a different tradeoff point in the resolution/low-light/size-weight-bulk-price/system flexibility tradeoff we all make in different ways depending on what and how we shoot. Pentax has the best enthusiast lens range of any APS-C DSLR right now, though it has significant gaps in wide and normal fast primes, and a lot of clutter and duplication in what look like full-frame leftovers. With its 50-135 f/2.8 zoom, however, it is the only one without a big hole in this very important enthusiast/pro zoom range.
Nice job, Pentax. An interesting release.
With a compact 50-135 f/2.8 zoom, and some f/4 zooms with very useful ranges for APS-C, Pentax is showing a commitment to APS-C not yet shown by Nikon or Canon. However, they're using a pretty dismal legacy lens to cover the key 24mm prime slot, and have nothing at 16 or 18mm f/2, and no modern 35mm f/1.4 normal (though the f/2 looks capable if it holds up at 24 mp). If I'm going to switch instead of waiting for the next Nikon APS-C and the lenses that may (or may not) come with it, I'd be looking for a new 24mm f/1.4 at least, and a 16 or 18mm f/2. The rest of the range looks pretty useful.
Even though I have a number of Nikon lenses, it would be cheaper for me to switch from Nikon APS-C to Pentax K than to Nikon full frame. Full frame doesn't cut it for a birder on a budget. If Nikon isn't forthcoming with the lenses to support APS-C with their next action-oriented camera, I'll have some decisions to make.
Kudos to Zeiss for bringing this to market.
It's enough to tempt a person to switch to full frame, beef up that support system and work on the shot discipline, and to look for opportunities to shoot with a normal focal length lens, of all things.
budi0251: let's start with the first and foremost important item you MUST have in your "camera" bag; the "CAMERA" itself, it's a camera bag for pete's sake.
Camera is listed, but I'd never keep mine in my camera bag. How can you take pictures if your camera is in a bag?
samhain: The EVF is terrible, atleast on the Panasonic model I played with.
At 200k dots, wouldn't expect much.
Daniel from Bavaria: Finally!Ok, a bit on the expensive side, but if it is near to perfect I am fine with it.
And yes, I know several people not buying into the Fuji System because that lens was missing - some of them are lost now.
For this kind of system and the adressed clients, the 35mm equiv. is the most important lens, if not the only one which counts.
Now bring fast and in sufficient quantity into the shops and everything is fine.
P.S. And please do it right with the apperture-ring, so that we can avoid discussions as we had them on the 14mm lens (too loose etc.)
Yeah, when I can get an equivalent for my D300 for only $2,000, that weighs 1.4 pounds, and uses 77mm filters, why would I look to Fujifilm for an APS-C system with a 35-equivalent f/1.4 given the excessive price of this Fujifilm lens?
tkbslc: If they are marketing the 50mm as a portrait prime, then they should have made it a 65. 75mm equivalent is leaning toward the lame side for portraiture. They could have even made it an f2.4 at 65mm and It would still be more desirable.
I agree that 50mm is pushing it for portraits in APS-C. Image area for a 50mm lens (75mm equivalent) is about 1.5 times that of a 65mm lens (not quite 100mm equivalent), quite a big difference in practical use. It's a combination of a comfortable and flexible working distance from the subject to get the angle and framing you want, and a flattering and pleasing perspective on the face that doesn't caricature features. Those who shoot portraits a lot develop their own preferences for focal length based on those factors primarily. Those who say it's not important probably haven't worked hard to get a particular look, or to get the best look from a particular face, or are comfortable with heavy cropping. I tend to prefer the 85-90mm equivalent focal length, a 60mm lens or so for APS-C. The 50mm end of the range can be nice for shooting couples, in which you're farther away, and the facial perspective is similar to that of an individual portrait shot with a longer lens.
sdribetahi: I thought it would be impossible to top the level of nerdiness seen in photog's that wear a camera with a neck strap or use a vest, but I stand corrected.
Nerdy like Alfred Eisenstaedt, for example.
Der Steppenwolf: This lens is is just another crap along with 16-85, 18-70, 18-55 (2 of those!!!) 18-135 and 18-200 and 18-300. All slow, plasticky with so so optical quality, what the hell happened to Nikon ?Who there thinks that we need slow zoom number 8 on a DX system ?Are you on drugs Nikon ?
To white shadow: when Zeiss makes DX lenses, I probably will, since Nikon diligently avoids making wide DX primes. I presume they do this to encourage people to go mirrorless rather than staying with DX DSLRs for anything other than birds, cars and sports. They could actually have a complete photographic system built around this capable size sensor, with just a three or four additional lenses.
William5719: A 3.0 inch LCD screen when Nikon is using 3.2's now? Only one cardslot? No 100% viewfinder? Less than half the AF points of the D7100? Another featureless camera from Canon. There better be more in the production cameras or this will end up being a bigger joke than the 6D. Canon seems to be saving money by using old technology to pay for the implementation of better video. That's a mistake. It doesn't help anyone if Canon stops competing in the DSLR market.
Nikon has a 3-inch screen on the 5200, which has an articulated screen, so the competitive features are matched on the competitive models.