great review but missing some obvious big names for whatever reason
eaa: Min. aperture F16?That is not normal for an FF lens, where F22 or 32 are the norm.Why a min aperture even below the diffraction limit?Must be a typo (like the initially wrong weight (85 gr), now corrected to 470 gr.
for the cameras that this lens will like benefit most (24 mpx +) f/16 is well into difraction
mikdes26: I just wonder why they haven't stabilized these. I have a slight hand tremor and need IS in all focal lengths. I chose the slower Canon 35mm f/2 IS over the Sigma 35mm in large part due to this (plus it was less money and receives great reviews). I love it. Any chance they'll go this direction with the next generation?
less to break long term !
sunhorse: I do not understand the people who hate a camera they've never handled or used, and will never buy.
Happy Holidays everyone!
it's not hate - it's disappointment that the Df is not REALLY what the "tease" set it up to be
Richard Murdey: Just back from the local Bic Camera store for a quick hands on. The dpreview crew were spot on with their criticism of the design and (perceived) build quality.
Where my D200 feels like a solid metal bar, the Df feels tinny and strangely delicate. It is surprisingly light, which is arguably a good thing - but it does not feel "solid". And the top plate dials! At least the shutter speed dial rotates unlocked through the manual settings, but the ISO and even the EV is locked at all settings: every change requires a press-and-turn routine... or for the PASM dial, lift-and-turn. I found it drove the picture taking process to a screeching halt: You are basically locked out of the camera whenever you want to do anything more than adjust aperture/shutter speed.
Finally: as I suspected and dpreview already noted: its too big, its unbalanced and the grip / shutter button is simply the wrong choice for a camera of these dimensions. What works for an small MF dSLR doesn't work on a FX dSLR.
spot on assessment
MarkByland: Interesting review. I have questions about the low light AF performance of this versus the D600/610. With the same AF engine, why the difference in performance? Seems the 600/610 rated satisfactorily. Why the lack of similar performance in the Df? Were all AF modes tested? Phase detect, etc? Do they perform differently with older lenses under varied circumstances?
I'm not willing to fault this camera based upon retro appearance merit, alone. I understand its place in the market. I think the retro movement is capturing what got skipped over by all-things-plastic at the onslaught of digital. I also think full backwards compatibility with all F mount lenses is a major feat to have accomplished. The fold-away aperture control tab is top notch engineering, IMO. If some one were looking for the finest thing to hang their collection of Nikkor glass off the front of, they've found their calling.
except it's only awkwardly compatible w manual lenses just like all the modern Nikon digital bodies - no true optical focusing aid, and no auto indexing when you mount AI-s lenses ... I don't understand why the position of the "tab" can't reveal the max aperture of the (manual) leans attached (so you have to menu dive when you attach a manual lens).
this is really a "parts bin" exercise by Nikon with some not very well thought out knobs attached, and to my eye, ugly finish in the "chromed" version.
Nikon did not have the courage to make a really retro FF digital camera ...
That camera would have been much simpler, might not have even needed a menu system - certainly not just "same old, same old" non-tabbed "list", and would have had an incredible optical viewfinder with focus screen options ... and like Nikons of old, it would index the max f-stop of the lenses (manual) when mounted (that is what "AI" means - auto indexing) ... and would have been kitted with the still in catalog 50mm 1.4 AI-s.
The Df = big engine/no shocks/shifter on the column
(yes I had a good/handle look at my LCS)
- I can't see that there is an equivalent of AF-On or any button that it could be comfortably assigned to - which is how I've shot my Nikons for years now. That would be missed by me.
- Another comment - the "full frame Gestapo" make a big deal out of DOF "control", but more often than not (w. D600/D700) I find myself shooting at smaller F-Stops than I would like in low light to INCREASE available DOF. There goes your FF noise advantage.
It is also my impression that most of the better M4/3 primes are quite sharp and behaved at max aperture - this is not generally true, at least historically, for the full frame lens catalogs. It is what is so notable about the 35mm Sigma for instance.
Another question - if you fit and ND filter does the EVF show normal gain?
And finally - multi aspect ratios in the VF - that seems like a huge thing to me.
As well as - the flip screen and shooting discreetly, and just a generally over-all much more stelthy shooting rig than full frame
a split image / ground glass screen would have legitimized the whole effort - absent that, one smells a cynical, almost desperate marketing effort from a company that can't seem to figure out how to respect its user base
its those old fantastic Nikon brass on brass helicoids and all metal construction that made Nikon a household name ... THEY want ground glass and a micro prism surrounding a split image
this camera is neither fish nor foul - it will be an awkward camera to mount any of the modern 2.8 zooms on, and it will not offer the true manual focus experience either
wkay: of course the real reason for the cloud is that photoshop is one of the most pirated programs in history. I've located illegal copies of every release since PS3, which I found in Hong Kong in the early 90's.
piracy likely explains the enormous legit user base - in some businesses it's called a "loss leader" - in software it's how you hook new users, many of whom become paying customers eventually
The risk to Adobe is that their user base gentrifies ... this is an industry that thrives on young minds - there is a real risk in this for Adobe
the Creative Cloud graphic look like the mothership from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"
I am sure Adobe has looked at the numbers, but may be underestimating their success due to piracy. The broad user base they enjoy, and mostly due to the excellence of their products, has a huge foundation partly due to piracy. It is part of the establishing mechanism. I see this where I work at Berklee College of Music where very few of the students can afford many of the hugely expensive software products in music creation software, especially sample libraries, and so ripped copies are common. But I fail to see how any of those vendors could even begin to get established if the ripped copies were not circulating basically as loss leaders ...
That huge shadow user base will now dwindle for the CS products - couple that with the "every other or every third gen. user" who will decide to exit purely due to cost (because this IS an increase for them) and you wonder how long CS will maintain its "must have" status for professionals
No dedicated AF button ...
I know - re-assign the AF-L/AE-L button - but as with the D7000, it is just a little too far to the left (under your cheek/nose) ...
This can't be an "oversight" on Nikon's part - same for the 3 bracket limit - just enough missing to drive a certain segment (pro/semi pro) to the higher priced bodies.
A very cynical game with an otherwise undoubtedly fine camera ...
Digitall: My prophecy is that this camera will be a failure. The retro thing has already reached the video pro cameras in a way nothing elegant. My microwave is more beautiful :)
yes - it needs more buttons
what will the upgrade from 5 to 6 cost ??
its the number of carried cameras that dilute the income stream of the "professionals" - it's people/amatures with IPhones who are present at newsworthy events and they, by virtue of just being there, dilute the need for the pro journalist.....
stills images are by a fair margin what the mind remembers - they are objects - video is narrative, and meaningful, but seldom memorable in the same way a still image is....
images are like logos - video is like add copy - think of how you remember video, if you remember it at all - as a sequence of stills - a good still is the distillation of events..... the imprimatur of history
njkdo: I dont use HDR because I really believe that light and shadow have to have appropriate relation to make sense, but I always thought too that B&W has been a greater manipulation too of reality, film or digital, I dont know why it was intended like so cool way to show reality, and the greater documentary photographer used and use now B&W ...
except that virtually all cameras in fact don't have "appropriate" light/shadow relationship. They virtually all have (compared to our human visual abilities) limited dynamic range. Additionally, all display mediums (print, lcd and so on) have even less dynamic capacity. The entire photographic effort can be more or less described as one of trying to "map" the actual range of a scene onto an ever decreasing dynamic pallet as one goes up the device chain.
HDR is just another clever tool that can be really useful to that task....
The typically restricted dynamic range of most cameras is what is not "realistic".
HDR techniques allow more of the present tonal range in a given scene to be displayed naturally (if you know what you are doing). Is changing the contrast response of your camera internally (Nikon Picture Control for instance) dishonest? No of course not. One is simply trying to match the response characteristics of the camera to the tonalities of the scene at hand. HDR is just a more comprehensive approach to that technical limitation.
Photomatix has had a huge impact on my approach to real estate photography, allowing me to shoot scenes that here-to-fore were not possible....
We need sensors that approach the flare limit of good lenses in dynamic range at least as much as we need more resolution. I would fall all over myself to purchase a 6 mpx camera with 15-16 stops at base iso.....
Fred Mueller: Any idea why " Nikons need a lot longer" in the intermittent test?
And if so, would that be related to the general observation that Canon AF is generally faster than Nikon, but Nikon seems to be more accurate? (putting on flame proof jacket)
I currently shoot a D700 (very good AF) , have extensive experience with a D300 (also good, but a little slower) and D40 (slow but very accurate, especially in low light). Had a D7000 for a few months, it had AF "problems".......
Really don't have the time in the next few weeks - up-to-eyeballs in work load.
Do really appreciate your article above - thanks for the insight....
Any idea why " Nikons need a lot longer" in the intermittent test?