Another Df post

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
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graytrekker Regular Member • Posts: 340
Another Df post

With the advent of the latest and greatest from big "N" in the form of the Z6 & 7, it is interesting that there has been an uptick in interest (judging by new posts) in the now becoming "venerable" Df. I thought I would add to that at this timely moment.

For me (and others, I suspect), the purchase of the Df was one based more in emotions than cold hard logic. Let's face it, unless you want the D4 sensor at a cheaper price than the D4, the Df does not exude the higher end tech specs, let alone video. For me I saw it as a way to take a step back from the buttons and wheels (yes, I know the Df has some buttons and wheels - but I am hoping you know what I mean) and use it with my legacy AI and non-AI lenses. Maybe its a shameless ploy at reconnecting with my photographic youth when I started with a Nikkormat and a 50 f2 non-AI lens. I am not interested in getting any of the newer AF lenses, though I did get a 28-105 AF-D for $75, but that was for a specific purpose (granddaughter).

I got my Df in the Spring and have been dinking with it pending some decent weather to get out and run it through its paces with my old primes. Horrible summer weather and incessant smoke from forest fires all around the west has made that difficult.

The things I keep reading about the Df is the low light capabilities - not only shooting in low light, but recovering details from shadows, and the colors that come of f the sensor. Now it is fall and the air is clearing up.  I live near Glacier Nat'l Park and figured I could finally get out with the Df and shoot the fall colors there.  However, now the smoke has given way to rain and snow!  For me, though, Yellowstone is not that much further away and the weather there this last week has been gorgeous.

When I think of colors, I think of Yellowstone and  in particular, Grand Prismatic Spring, the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and finally, one of my favorite if conditions are right, sunset at Great Fountain Geyser.  I also wanted some photos with high contrast to check the dynamic range of the Df.

For me, I recognize that there are 3-4 components to photos these days - the camera, the lens, and the operator - both of the camera and the PP.  The weak link here is the latter, especially the PP as I am just learning both the Df and LR.  I haven't done much real photography since I hung up my Nikkormat over 20 years ago.  With that in mind, I am posting 3 photos downsized to 3 MB Jpegs on export to see if the Df meets these expectations.  These 4 represent bracketed shots, merged as HDR in LR.  The lenses were the 24 mm f2 AI, 50 mm f2 non-AI and the 105 f2.5 AI (I also used the 55 mm f2.8 macro - but none of these 3 photos are with that lens).  I have done minimal processing - basically LR defaults and "auto", so I know better images can be produced.  I see this as looking at the "potential" of a photo, rather than the final product.

A couple of notes.  Due to the huge numbers of people now visiting Yellowstone, access to these iconic images is really regulated.  This makes it very hard to get unique angles and compositions.  These are the same vantage points as anyone visiting the park will get.  The sunset photo was a bit disappointing as the clouds moved out of the way about 10 minutes before the peak sunset time, limiting colors. The Grand Prismatic Spring photo was very difficult to get.  I had my tripod on the board walk about the time all the tour busses showed up.  Every 90 seconds a new bus would arrive and a hoard would thunder down the boardwalk sending terrible vibrations up my tripod.  On top of that, the wind was blowing pretty hard as well, so getting a really steady shot was a challenge, to say the least!!  The Biscuit Basin photos were hand held.

So, how is the match of legacy lenses and Df in terms of color and shadows

Sunrise from Artists point, Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River (105 mm)

Sunset at Great Fountain Geyser (24 mm)

Grand Prismatic Spring (50 mm)

Morning, Biscuit Basin (24 mm)

 graytrekker's gear list:graytrekker's gear list
Sony RX100 II Nikon Df Sony a7R II Sony FE 24-105mm F4 +5 more
Nikon D4 Nikon Df Nikon Z6
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