Nikon Df, how easy to focus manually?

Started Dec 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
Fogsville Contributing Member • Posts: 577
Re: Not much different than my D800

user_name wrote:

Tried one this afternoon and the difference seems to be about the same - for my eyes.

Not that it is bad by any means as both focus manually well enough, but if you are expecting a dramatically better VF you will be disappointed.

fwiw, I spent another 2 hours with the Df around town and using a 35mm 1.4 AIS Nikkor. That brings me to a total of around 5 hours with the camera and manually focusing various lenses and trying to evaluate the ergonomics in respect to how it might work for me personally (see my posts in this thread: Matt Granger's Nikon DF review)

My final conclusion is that the Df is not optimized specifically for manual focusing but designed ideally to be used with AF lenses. The finder seems to be not much different (if at all) from the existing Nikon DSLRs. As time goes by, I'm pretty certain this will become more apparent in future reviews and user's reports, etc.. Everyone was hoping it would be something different and unique with manual focusing and using AI/AIS lenses, but now that the anticipation has died down, the reality of it is being understood. The green dot works fine, as it does with the other Nikon DSLR models (D800/D4. etc..), and it's just as good as any Nikon to manually focus. Which really isn't that difficult especially if you use MF lenses a lot (you get used to it and develop your own technique, etc..) Zeiss has been selling plenty of ZF lenses to owners of past and current Nikon DSLRs. And I do think we all need to appreciate that Nikon does allow the use of a majority of their lenses (both MF and AF) on most all current camera bodies, and that they never changed the F mount.

The Df is a great camera. The D4 sensor is one of the best. But it's not a truly spectacular camera. I feel that Nikon was perhaps just a little too timid with the Df. They could have produced a unique analog style DSLR with an real emphasis on manual focusing. They could have produced a unique kit lens, too. One with an aperture ring and not simply a cosmetic re-make of the existing made in China 50mm lens. Granted that approach would have been riskier, and Nikon needs to sell to a relatively broad audience. As a result, the Df was really optimized to be used with AF lenses and current G lenses. It makes sense from a business standpoint, for certain. But I still dream of what 'could have been.' Maybe sales of the Df will be good and they'll get the courage to make another one, and one that's a bit more refined. I hope so!

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