From D700 to Df and back again (sharing my experience using the Df).

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xteapot
xteapot Forum Member • Posts: 75
From D700 to Df and back again (sharing my experience using the Df).
8

Just want to share my experience using the Df from a long time D700 user.

My first camera was the Pentax K1000 a few decades ago then the Pentax MX before I switched to the Nikon FM2, F3, F4, etc. So I'm not new to the retro control layout. I got use to the Df control quickly and appreciated the nostalgic aspect quite a bit. The only dial that I don't like is that front vertical dial maybe if they put a rubber ring around it and make it a little thicker it might be easier to use.

I understand the complaints about an inconsistency about what dials are showing and the actual value the camera is using but I'm totally fine with that. I like that I can leave the speed dial to the speed I want and if I want the camera to pick it for me I can turn the mode dial to A or P and when I switch the mode back to M or S the shutter speed is already where I want it to. Maybe because I was using the F4 for a while and the logic is the same.

The normal setup for my D700 that I used 80% of the time was the D700 + 24-70mm f2.8G with a better grip attached. It's a heavy setup but very very well balanced. With a help from the Black Rapid sling strap I can shoot with this all day without feeling like the camera is getting in the way.

The Df on the other hand with the 24-70mm f2.8G it feel off balanced and very uncomfortable to use. So I ended up using it with 2-3 primes like the 50mm f1.8G and 20mm f1.8G. The camera plus lens is a lot lighter than my D700 setup but I lost the convenience of zoom lens.

The focusing on the Df is not that bad as you might have heard. I'd say it's on par with D700 in many areas. Although I wish the focus area is a little wider and the edge focus points should be more sensitive/accurate.

I was using this Df plus primes for almost a year and started to get use to using them and then a few week ago I pull my old D700 out off the dry cabinet and held it in my hand. This was the first time I pick up the D700 after almost a year. The first feeling was WOW! this so very comfortable to hold! everything I need are at my finger tips! This reminded my the first time I tried the Pentax Z1 or the Canon EOS 5 back in the film day. Now I remember why everyone moved from the old dial layout to what it is now.

I spent my weekend shooting with my old D700 setup again. Everything just feel right and I can focused on my shooting again.

I love the raw files that the Df produced a lot. It's a shame that it's in a body that I don't feel connected to. Until I have my wife approval for buying the D4s or the D5 my main camera is the D700 again and the Df will still be around as a backup.

Why not D810 or D850 you might say? Well, I'm not a professional photographer I don't really need all those pixels. I do want to have a sensor that give a nice skin tone gradient like the Df/D4 sensor. This sensor paired with the 70-200mm f2.8G VR2 gave me some very pleasing portrait shots.

Thank you for reading!

 xteapot's gear list:xteapot's gear list
Leica X2 Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) Nikon D700 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Nikon Df +6 more
Nikon D4S Nikon D700 Nikon Df
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