Disapointed in my Df.

Started Apr 6, 2014 | Discussions
user_name Veteran Member • Posts: 3,134
Disappointed
3

brianric wrote:

You don't know what the hell you're talking about. Take your zone focusing and stick it. I've been shooting Relays since 2006, and this is Relay #37. American Cancer Society is very happy about my work. Rowan University is ecstatic. You got a lot to learn about charity events.

My god. People are/were only trying to help you, myself included.

You were the one asking for help and now you turn on everyone like a rabid dog.

I think that is more disappointing than your camera's performance.

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tommiejeep Veteran Member • Posts: 6,503
Re: Well, not so sure...
4

Please explain why both my D610 and Df are at least as fast and more positive than my D7100 for BIF using 9 pt center cluster?  I'm talking reasonable light not pre-dawn .

Yes, I wish the Df had 51 pt spread but it doesn't .

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OP brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 8,322
Re: Disappointed

user_name wrote:

brianric wrote:

You don't know what the hell you're talking about. Take your zone focusing and stick it. I've been shooting Relays since 2006, and this is Relay #37. American Cancer Society is very happy about my work. Rowan University is ecstatic. You got a lot to learn about charity events.

My god. People are/were only trying to help you, myself included.

You were the one asking for help and now you turn on everyone like a rabid dog.

I think that is more disappointing than your camera's performance.

Here is what I was responding to.

That's exactly the point. 50 GOOD shots. Of the 336 shots you got, I'd guess no more than 50 are good. With zone focusing you don't feel so rushed to get every shot, so you actually wait until the right moment when something new or exciting is happening.

Which brings me to my next point: How many interesting photos can you really get -- or would you really need -- from one indoor charity stroll?

As I mentioned before, I've been shooting Relays since 2006. One thing I found on most charity events is that people love to have their picture taken. I shot 496 pictures, which I used 336. There were over 1,000 participants, and I was there four 14 hours. There's nothing special about the pictures, in fact you can call them snap shots. There are some Relays where I'll struggle to get 150 decent shots in 12 hours, and other Relays where I'll be over 500 shots in five hours. I don't need to have someone tell me telling what shots to use. Rowan University is thrilled over the pictures.

I cover cancer bike-a-thons. The riders, who are the fun raisers, love getting pictures of themselves crossing the finish line. Doesn't take much skill in getting the pictures, just having the right equipment does. The Philly American Cancer Society considers it important enough to ensure I cover the finish line. Who is someone to tell me that 50 "good" shots are better than 336, when the pictures of the 336 are the ones who helped raise money for cancer awareness. In my immediate family I lost a mother, father and brother to cancer. My two sisters have breast cancer, one in remission, one going through chemo. Both sisters tested positive for the mutation in the brca2 gene. Both sisters are going to have their ovaries removed. So I take a snap shot of someone who raised $50. You know what I say, here's my card to my site where you can download your picture for free, and thank you for helping speed the day that no other family has to suffer like mine. Guess what, that person going to be back next year and maybe raise $75, and maybe recruit another person to Relay with them. As long as the pictures are in focus and I don't have to many duplicates, I will use them. Out of 496 pictures shot, there were no more than three that were out of focus. I lost more pictures because the Df wouldn't shoot, and I wasn't about to tolerate that seeing I had a spare camera with me in my car.

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antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,648
(1) % hit rate, and (2) ability in low light?
1

PerL wrote:

antoineb wrote:

caspianm wrote:

There is no proof that D600/601 focusing system is any different than the D7000's. Nor I have ever seen all discrepancies stated on this site regarding D7000 focusing. My D800 is slightly faster, able to focus in darker and has more & wider spread. In everyday I see no difference unless critical work.

Specs, as per Nikon:

D7000 AF module: "Multi-cam 4800 DX", 39 focus points including 9 cross-type, sensitivity -1EV to +19EV

D600 AF module: "Multicam 4800", 39 focus points including 9 cross-type, sensitivity -1EV to +19EV

Df AF module: "Multicam 4800", 39 focus points including 9 cross-type, sensitivity -1EV to +19EV

D800/E AF module: "Multicam 3500 FX", 51 focus points including 15 cross-type, sensitivity -2 to +19EV. In other words the D800's AF engine is TWICE as sensitive as that on the D7000 or D7100 or D600 or D610 or Df. Which can be a pretty big deal.

Interestingly, the D4s apparently also uses the 3500FX but has a range only from -1EV vs -2EV on the D800/E. So it seems that anyone who needs to regularly AF w/o assist light in ow light conditions, is better off w a D800/E.

And how do other brands compare?
- at Canon the most sensitive AF engine is on the 5D3, 61 points o/w 41 cross-type, sensitivity -2EV to +18EV

- at Panasonic, i.e. mirrorless, the GX7 can AF in as little as -4EV. In other words the humble GX7 can focus in as little light as 4 TIMES LESS LIGHT than a D800/E can. And, 8 times less light than a Df / D600 / D7100 / D7000 can. Ouch!

Hi PerL,

nice shot!  Helped by f4 giving it quite a bit of DOF and thus hiding any so-so performance from the AF engine...

- did I ever say that the D7000 could not focus at all?  Nope - all I said was that its AF engine is far from the best there is.  My D7k also has delivered me tons of in-focus shots of moving subjects, especially if not moving too fast (a cross-country skier is a good example).  But the hit rate is not that great.

- I did say however that the AF engine on the D7000, did struggle in lower light levels.  And it really does.  And I give the specs above.  I think that if people buy a much more expensive camera like a Df, with a larger sensor giving it less DOF all else being equal, then perhaps it would have been smart to put a better AF engine in that camera.  And given that the said camera does very well in low light, then it's even more of a shame that its AF engine cannot AF in low light

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antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,648
I hate to change cameras often - but yes why should the AF on the GX7 be so sensitive?

scokill wrote:

antoineb wrote:

caspianm wrote:

There is no proof that D600/601 focusing system is any different than the D7000's. Nor I have ever seen all discrepancies stated on this site regarding D7000 focusing. My D800 is slightly faster, able to focus in darker and has more & wider spread. In everyday I see no difference unless critical work.

Specs, as per Nikon:

D7000 AF module: "Multi-cam 4800 DX", 39 focus points including 9 cross-type, sensitivity -1EV to +19EV

D600 AF module: "Multicam 4800", 39 focus points including 9 cross-type, sensitivity -1EV to +19EV

Df AF module: "Multicam 4800", 39 focus points including 9 cross-type, sensitivity -1EV to +19EV

D800/E AF module: "Multicam 3500 FX", 51 focus points including 15 cross-type, sensitivity -2 to +19EV. In other words the D800's AF engine is TWICE as sensitive as that on the D7000 or D7100 or D600 or D610 or Df. Which can be a pretty big deal.

Interestingly, the D4s apparently also uses the 3500FX but has a range only from -1EV vs -2EV on the D800/E. So it seems that anyone who needs to regularly AF w/o assist light in ow light conditions, is better off w a D800/E.

And how do other brands compare?
- at Canon the most sensitive AF engine is on the 5D3, 61 points o/w 41 cross-type, sensitivity -2EV to +18EV

- at Panasonic, i.e. mirrorless, the GX7 can AF in as little as -4EV. In other words the humble GX7 can focus in as little light as 4 TIMES LESS LIGHT than a D800/E can. And, 8 times less light than a Df / D600 / D7100 / D7000 can. Ouch!

Buy the GX7

I like taking photographs, but I don't enjoy accumulating cameras.  My D7k is good not great, it's too large and heavy, but I own some nice glass to go w it (85mm f1.4 among other things) so I'm in no rush to change.

But one thing is for sure:  I am not buying another DSLR in my life, Nikon or other.

So yes, when I see that my D7k's AF engine is supposed to not go below -1EV, whereas that on the GX7 is good down to just -4EV i.e. 8 TIMES LESS LIGHT (and 4 times less light than where the D800 stops), it does raise my attention.

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antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,648
makes sense and you would hope so

sgoldswo wrote:

antoineb wrote:

sgoldswo wrote:

antoineb wrote:

brianric wrote:

I was shooting a Relay for Life last night to 6 AM this morning at a local college and decided to use my Df. I had it set up for flash, AF-C single point, center point, focus priority. The Df struggled to lock focus in what I would consider in light, while low, not all that bad. I had to switch to AF-S, and the red AF-assist illuminator in order to lock focus. When I had a small break in the action I replaced the Df with my D800. With the same initial setup the D800 nailed the focus instantaneously 100% of the time.

Hi brianric,

as a D800 owner I'm sure you're aware of the differences in specs! The D800 has a solid AF engine, whereas the Df uses the same AF engine as the D7000.

I own a D7000 and the fact is that not only is this AF engine not that great for ultimate precision even in good light, but more importantly it is not very sensitive and thus will often fail to lock focus altogether even when light levels are not that low. In my initial days with that camera I got sometimes quite unnerved that one of my pocketable superzooms would lock focus easily in light levels where the much more expensive D7000 utterly failed.

So I guess the Df performs as per the lowly AF engine that Nikon decided to put inside it.

Now my question is, why would anyone use a sensor from the great D4, and couple this with a lame AF engine especially when FX is even more sensitive than DX due to shallower DOF and that AF engine already wasn't that great on the DX cameras it first appeared on? Perhaps this allowed a saving of 50 bucks? For what purpose? To make sure the Df wouldn't cannibalise other models? Too bad.

Actually, the Df uses the AF system from the D600. In comparing both the D600 and the Df to the D7000, both have much surer and more confident AF in a smaller area (which you expect given the difference in sensor size). In any event - the performance of the D7000 is no guide to the performance of any of the D600/610/Df

Or at least that was my experience of testing my friend's D7000 vs the D600 when I first bought it. The D600 was subjectively better for me. Completely agree it's the same parts so I'm assuming what I'm pointing to is a difference in firmware.

I can only trust your hands on experience!  One can have the same design specs, and operating range specs in EV, and still get better performance.  For one, electronics get better each year so even a circuit w the same specs will likely perform better a few years on with better / faster / less noisy components.  And like you say, perhaps better firmware as well.

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user_name Veteran Member • Posts: 3,134
Re: Disappointed

brianric wrote:

user_name wrote:

brianric wrote:

You don't know what the hell you're talking about. Take your zone focusing and stick it. I've been shooting Relays since 2006, and this is Relay #37. American Cancer Society is very happy about my work. Rowan University is ecstatic. You got a lot to learn about charity events.

My god. People are/were only trying to help you, myself included.

You were the one asking for help and now you turn on everyone like a rabid dog.

I think that is more disappointing than your camera's performance.

Here is what I was responding to.

That's exactly the point. 50 GOOD shots. Of the 336 shots you got, I'd guess no more than 50 are good. With zone focusing you don't feel so rushed to get every shot, so you actually wait until the right moment when something new or exciting is happening.

Which brings me to my next point: How many interesting photos can you really get -- or would you really need -- from one indoor charity stroll?

As I mentioned before, I've been shooting Relays since 2006. One thing I found on most charity events is that people love to have their picture taken. I shot 496 pictures, which I used 336. There were over 1,000 participants, and I was there four 14 hours. There's nothing special about the pictures, in fact you can call them snap shots. There are some Relays where I'll struggle to get 150 decent shots in 12 hours, and other Relays where I'll be over 500 shots in five hours. I don't need to have someone tell me telling what shots to use. Rowan University is thrilled over the pictures.

I cover cancer bike-a-thons. The riders, who are the fun raisers, love getting pictures of themselves crossing the finish line. Doesn't take much skill in getting the pictures, just having the right equipment does. The Philly American Cancer Society considers it important enough to ensure I cover the finish line. Who is someone to tell me that 50 "good" shots are better than 336, when the pictures of the 336 are the ones who helped raise money for cancer awareness. In my immediate family I lost a mother, father and brother to cancer. My two sisters have breast cancer, one in remission, one going through chemo. Both sisters tested positive for the mutation in the brca2 gene. Both sisters are going to have their ovaries removed. So I take a snap shot of someone who raised $50. You know what I say, here's my card to my site where you can download your picture for free, and thank you for helping speed the day that no other family has to suffer like mine. Guess what, that person going to be back next year and maybe raise $75, and maybe recruit another person to Relay with them. As long as the pictures are in focus and I don't have to many duplicates, I will use them. Out of 496 pictures shot, there were no more than three that were out of focus. I lost more pictures because the Df wouldn't shoot, and I wasn't about to tolerate that seeing I had a spare camera with me in my car.

I think what you do is wonderful.

What's that got to do with being rude to people that are trying to help you?

Obviously, there is a lack of understanding between you and those that responded.

Obviously, the Dƒ's autofocus is inferior to some other cameras and may not be the best tool for your needs. However, people were just trying to offer ways to overcome some of those limitations.

Obviously, no one is going to be able to fix the Dƒ so it focuses like the D4, so you either need to find ways to work around the problem or get another camera.

Choices are D800, D700, D3 series, or the D4. Maybe you could rent one to see what works best.

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OP brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 8,322
Re: Disappointed

user_name wrote:

brianric wrote:

user_name wrote:

brianric wrote:

You don't know what the hell you're talking about. Take your zone focusing and stick it. I've been shooting Relays since 2006, and this is Relay #37. American Cancer Society is very happy about my work. Rowan University is ecstatic. You got a lot to learn about charity events.

My god. People are/were only trying to help you, myself included.

You were the one asking for help and now you turn on everyone like a rabid dog.

I think that is more disappointing than your camera's performance.

Here is what I was responding to.

That's exactly the point. 50 GOOD shots. Of the 336 shots you got, I'd guess no more than 50 are good. With zone focusing you don't feel so rushed to get every shot, so you actually wait until the right moment when something new or exciting is happening.

Which brings me to my next point: How many interesting photos can you really get -- or would you really need -- from one indoor charity stroll?

As I mentioned before, I've been shooting Relays since 2006. One thing I found on most charity events is that people love to have their picture taken. I shot 496 pictures, which I used 336. There were over 1,000 participants, and I was there four 14 hours. There's nothing special about the pictures, in fact you can call them snap shots. There are some Relays where I'll struggle to get 150 decent shots in 12 hours, and other Relays where I'll be over 500 shots in five hours. I don't need to have someone tell me telling what shots to use. Rowan University is thrilled over the pictures.

I cover cancer bike-a-thons. The riders, who are the fun raisers, love getting pictures of themselves crossing the finish line. Doesn't take much skill in getting the pictures, just having the right equipment does. The Philly American Cancer Society considers it important enough to ensure I cover the finish line. Who is someone to tell me that 50 "good" shots are better than 336, when the pictures of the 336 are the ones who helped raise money for cancer awareness. In my immediate family I lost a mother, father and brother to cancer. My two sisters have breast cancer, one in remission, one going through chemo. Both sisters tested positive for the mutation in the brca2 gene. Both sisters are going to have their ovaries removed. So I take a snap shot of someone who raised $50. You know what I say, here's my card to my site where you can download your picture for free, and thank you for helping speed the day that no other family has to suffer like mine. Guess what, that person going to be back next year and maybe raise $75, and maybe recruit another person to Relay with them. As long as the pictures are in focus and I don't have to many duplicates, I will use them. Out of 496 pictures shot, there were no more than three that were out of focus. I lost more pictures because the Df wouldn't shoot, and I wasn't about to tolerate that seeing I had a spare camera with me in my car.

I think what you do is wonderful.

What's that got to do with being rude to people that are trying to help you?

Obviously, there is a lack of understanding between you and those that responded.

Obviously, the Dƒ's autofocus is inferior to some other cameras and may not be the best tool for your needs. However, people were just trying to offer ways to overcome some of those limitations.

Obviously, no one is going to be able to fix the Dƒ so it focuses like the D4, so you either need to find ways to work around the problem or get another camera.

Choices are D800, D700, D610, D3 series, or the D4. Maybe you could rent one to see what works best.

I just mentioned I switch to the D800 in my original post.

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user_name Veteran Member • Posts: 3,134
Re: Disappointed

brianric wrote:

user_name wrote:

brianric wrote:

user_name wrote:

brianric wrote:

You don't know what the hell you're talking about. Take your zone focusing and stick it. I've been shooting Relays since 2006, and this is Relay #37. American Cancer Society is very happy about my work. Rowan University is ecstatic. You got a lot to learn about charity events.

My god. People are/were only trying to help you, myself included.

You were the one asking for help and now you turn on everyone like a rabid dog.

I think that is more disappointing than your camera's performance.

Here is what I was responding to.

That's exactly the point. 50 GOOD shots. Of the 336 shots you got, I'd guess no more than 50 are good. With zone focusing you don't feel so rushed to get every shot, so you actually wait until the right moment when something new or exciting is happening.

Which brings me to my next point: How many interesting photos can you really get -- or would you really need -- from one indoor charity stroll?

As I mentioned before, I've been shooting Relays since 2006. One thing I found on most charity events is that people love to have their picture taken. I shot 496 pictures, which I used 336. There were over 1,000 participants, and I was there four 14 hours. There's nothing special about the pictures, in fact you can call them snap shots. There are some Relays where I'll struggle to get 150 decent shots in 12 hours, and other Relays where I'll be over 500 shots in five hours. I don't need to have someone tell me telling what shots to use. Rowan University is thrilled over the pictures.

I cover cancer bike-a-thons. The riders, who are the fun raisers, love getting pictures of themselves crossing the finish line. Doesn't take much skill in getting the pictures, just having the right equipment does. The Philly American Cancer Society considers it important enough to ensure I cover the finish line. Who is someone to tell me that 50 "good" shots are better than 336, when the pictures of the 336 are the ones who helped raise money for cancer awareness. In my immediate family I lost a mother, father and brother to cancer. My two sisters have breast cancer, one in remission, one going through chemo. Both sisters tested positive for the mutation in the brca2 gene. Both sisters are going to have their ovaries removed. So I take a snap shot of someone who raised $50. You know what I say, here's my card to my site where you can download your picture for free, and thank you for helping speed the day that no other family has to suffer like mine. Guess what, that person going to be back next year and maybe raise $75, and maybe recruit another person to Relay with them. As long as the pictures are in focus and I don't have to many duplicates, I will use them. Out of 496 pictures shot, there were no more than three that were out of focus. I lost more pictures because the Df wouldn't shoot, and I wasn't about to tolerate that seeing I had a spare camera with me in my car.

I think what you do is wonderful.

What's that got to do with being rude to people that are trying to help you?

Obviously, there is a lack of understanding between you and those that responded.

Obviously, the Dƒ's autofocus is inferior to some other cameras and may not be the best tool for your needs. However, people were just trying to offer ways to overcome some of those limitations.

Obviously, no one is going to be able to fix the Dƒ so it focuses like the D4, so you either need to find ways to work around the problem or get another camera.

Choices are D800, D700, D610, D3 series, or the D4. Maybe you could rent one to see what works best.

I just mentioned I switch to the D800 in my original post.

Understood.  Great camera.

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Felts Contributing Member • Posts: 584
Re: I hate to change cameras often - but yes why should the AF on the GX7 be so sensitive?
2

antoineb wrote:

scokill wrote:

Buy the GX7

I like taking photographs, but I don't enjoy accumulating cameras. My D7k is good not great, it's too large and heavy, but I own some nice glass to go w it (85mm f1.4 among other things) so I'm in no rush to change.

But one thing is for sure: I am not buying another DSLR in my life, Nikon or other.

So yes, when I see that my D7k's AF engine is supposed to not go below -1EV, whereas that on the GX7 is good down to just -4EV i.e. 8 TIMES LESS LIGHT (and 4 times less light than where the D800 stops), it does raise my attention.

It's no good having AF that shoots in the dark if the files that come out of the camera are as noisy as a dance music festival.

Having moved from mirrorless (X-Pro1) I am constantly amazed that people complain about the AF in the Df (and the D800, and the D...)

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mathi_vadhanan
mathi_vadhanan Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: I hate to change cameras often - but yes why should the AF on the GX7 be so sensitive?
1

Felts wrote:

It's no good having AF that shoots in the dark if the files that come out of the camera are as noisy as a dance music festival.

Having moved from mirrorless (X-Pro1) I am constantly amazed that people complain about the AF in the Df (and the D800, and the D...)

But a noisy picture is better than no picture at all.

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Hugo First Contributing Member • Posts: 780
Re: Disapointed in my Df.
1

brianric wrote:

I was shooting a Relay for Life last night to 6 AM this morning at a local college and decided to use my Df. I had it set up for flash, AF-C single point, center point, focus priority. The Df struggled to lock focus in what I would consider in light, while low, not all that bad. I had to switch to AF-S, and the red AF-assist illuminator in order to lock focus. When I had a small break in the action I replaced the Df with my D800. With the same initial setup the D800 nailed the focus instantaneously 100% of the time.

I could understand if you'd come to the conclusion that, for some combination of reasons, the Df wasn't the best choice for what you were photographing... it's another matter altogether to say you were "disappointed" in your Df, when it's not the camera's fault if it wasn't the best choice all around for what you were trying to do.

I also have a Df, a D800, D700, and I recognize where each camera has strengths -- as well as weaknesses.

Among the weaknesses of the Df, I agree, is the AF module. In my view, the cross-type points are perfectly capable -- but there are fewer of them, and the outer ones are generally unsuitable fow low-light use. This means that there are fewer framing options, particularly when shooting action, and it can be a challenge to place a focus point where and when required to get the shot I'm trying to create.

On the other hand, while I might get better performance from the D700 or D800 on the AF because of the number and spread of AF points, I know I can't approach ISO 10,000 and hope to achieve a usable photo. With the Dit's possible to create a perfectly acceptable image in the ISO range, allowing me to use apertures and shutter speeds that would be unthinkable otherwise.

So the trade-off, as I see it, is you give up some flexibility on framing action shots, while making low-light situations accessible for photography (without going all out for the D4s). Yes, I miss shots because of the AF, but I'd say that, in the kind of indoor, low-light environments i've shot in, and knowing and working within the limitations of the camera, that my "keeper" ratio is about opposite of what your experience was.

Nevermind about that, though. You tried the Df and you couldn't do what you were trying to do. If, as you say, it was kind of a make-or-break situation and you had to get the shot, perhaps that wasn't the best environment for trying out the camera -- you should have gone with "the sure thing" in that case.

To be clear, there are a lot of situations where I really prefer the D800; overall I like the quality of the files better. On the other hand, shooting in a club situation which typically has poor and very unpredictable lighting, I would choose the Df without hesitation, because I know how to work the AF well enough to leverage the camera's other strengths to my advantage. I don't make every shot, but I admit, I don't need to. If I couldn't afford to miss any, you can bet you a$$ I wouldn't count on the Df.

Jon Langford, Club Iota, Arlington VA, 4/6/14

This is just my opinion, of course. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.

OP brianric Veteran Member • Posts: 8,322
Re: Disapointed in my Df.
1

Hugo First wrote:

brianric wrote:

I was shooting a Relay for Life last night to 6 AM this morning at a local college and decided to use my Df. I had it set up for flash, AF-C single point, center point, focus priority. The Df struggled to lock focus in what I would consider in light, while low, not all that bad. I had to switch to AF-S, and the red AF-assist illuminator in order to lock focus. When I had a small break in the action I replaced the Df with my D800. With the same initial setup the D800 nailed the focus instantaneously 100% of the time.

I could understand if you'd come to the conclusion that, for some combination of reasons, the Df wasn't the best choice for what you were photographing... it's another matter altogether to say you were "disappointed" in your Df, when it's not the camera's fault if it wasn't the best choice all around for what you were trying to do.

I also have a Df, a D800, D700, and I recognize where each camera has strengths -- as well as weaknesses.

Among the weaknesses of the Df, I agree, is the AF module. In my view, the cross-type points are perfectly capable -- but there are fewer of them, and the outer ones are generally unsuitable fow low-light use. This means that there are fewer framing options, particularly when shooting action, and it can be a challenge to place a focus point where and when required to get the shot I'm trying to create.

On the other hand, while I might get better performance from the D700 or D800 on the AF because of the number and spread of AF points, I know I can't approach ISO 10,000 and hope to achieve a usable photo. With the Df it's possible to create a perfectly acceptable image in the ISO range, allowing me to use apertures and shutter speeds that would be unthinkable otherwise.

So the trade-off, as I see it, is you give up some flexibility on framing action shots, while making low-light situations accessible for photography (without going all out for the D4s). Yes, I miss shots because of the AF, but I'd say that, in the kind of indoor, low-light environments i've shot in, and knowing and working within the limitations of the camera, that my "keeper" ratio is about opposite of what your experience was.

Nevermind about that, though. You tried the Df and you couldn't do what you were trying to do. If, as you say, it was kind of a make-or-break situation and you had to get the shot, perhaps that wasn't the best environment for trying out the camera -- you should have gone with "the sure thing" in that case.

To be clear, there are a lot of situations where I really prefer the D800; overall I like the quality of the files better. On the other hand, shooting in a club situation which typically has poor and very unpredictable lighting, I would choose the Df without hesitation, because I know how to work the AF well enough to leverage the camera's other strengths to my advantage. I don't make every shot, but I admit, I don't need to. If I couldn't afford to miss any, you can bet you a$$ I wouldn't count on the Df.

Jon Langford, Club Iota, Arlington VA, 4/6/14

This is just my opinion, of course. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.

This wasn't the first time I used the Df, and the Df with the Tamron 24-70/2.8 worked fine for grammar school basketball, a March of Dimes Awards and Kickoff Ceremony, and Stockton College Relay for Life. I was a little bit stunned being at Rowan seeing dim lighting in the Rec Center. I can't remember if it was as dark the year before. I already got 6,000 clicks on the Df. Don't forget I'm shooting on moving subjects, where I need instantaneous focus lock. I will be trying the Df with the Nikkor 24-120/4.0 VR at one of the Relays later on this year to determine if the Tamron 24-70/2.8 is at fault. I told my camera dealer I have no intention of sending the camera in for repairs.

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antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,648
Neither helps a camera w cleaner high ISO but that can't focus in low light ;-)

Felts wrote:

antoineb wrote:

scokill wrote:

Buy the GX7

I like taking photographs, but I don't enjoy accumulating cameras. My D7k is good not great, it's too large and heavy, but I own some nice glass to go w it (85mm f1.4 among other things) so I'm in no rush to change.

But one thing is for sure: I am not buying another DSLR in my life, Nikon or other.

So yes, when I see that my D7k's AF engine is supposed to not go below -1EV, whereas that on the GX7 is good down to just -4EV i.e. 8 TIMES LESS LIGHT (and 4 times less light than where the D800 stops), it does raise my attention.

It's no good having AF that shoots in the dark if the files that come out of the camera are as noisy as a dance music festival.

Having moved from mirrorless (X-Pro1) I am constantly amazed that people complain about the AF in the Df (and the D800, and the D...)

(1) Like I said, I'm intrigued when I see that a GX7 can focus down to -4EV which is 8 TIMES LESS LIGHT than where my D7000 stops.  Mind you, my pocketable superzoom can focus in less light than my D7000 can.  That's one example of how obsolete the DSLR design is, with the AF being based on whatever light is left after going through a tiny (equivalent to f8) semi-transparent area and hitting a tiny AF chip.  I sait "intrigued", not "ready to buy".  I've never experienced that buying a newer camera made any difference to the photos produced.

(2) your argument can easily be reversed.  Of course a GX7 is a bit noisier than a D800 - and it had better be, considering that this is a much smaller much lighter much cheaper camera, with a sensor with half the area!  So you're saying "what's the use of a GX7 focusing down to -4EV if the files are going to be terrible?"  To which one could just as easily counter, "what's the use of a camera with great low-light files, if it can't focus in low light levels?"

Mind you, and as per the specs above, the D800 can focus down to -2EV, i.e. just half the light levels where the Df stops.  So the D800 is a much more credible low-light camera - too bad the sensor in the Df (the same as in the D4) has better low light performance than that on the D800...

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antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,648
Well said indeed

mathi_vadhanan wrote:

Felts wrote:

It's no good having AF that shoots in the dark if the files that come out of the camera are as noisy as a dance music festival.

Having moved from mirrorless (X-Pro1) I am constantly amazed that people complain about the AF in the Df (and the D800, and the D...)

But a noisy picture is better than no picture at all.

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PerL Forum Pro • Posts: 14,012
About 80 percent

antoineb wrote:

PerL wrote:

antoineb wrote:

caspianm wrote:

There is no proof that D600/601 focusing system is any different than the D7000's. Nor I have ever seen all discrepancies stated on this site regarding D7000 focusing. My D800 is slightly faster, able to focus in darker and has more & wider spread. In everyday I see no difference unless critical work.

Specs, as per Nikon:

D7000 AF module: "Multi-cam 4800 DX", 39 focus points including 9 cross-type, sensitivity -1EV to +19EV

D600 AF module: "Multicam 4800", 39 focus points including 9 cross-type, sensitivity -1EV to +19EV

Df AF module: "Multicam 4800", 39 focus points including 9 cross-type, sensitivity -1EV to +19EV

D800/E AF module: "Multicam 3500 FX", 51 focus points including 15 cross-type, sensitivity -2 to +19EV. In other words the D800's AF engine is TWICE as sensitive as that on the D7000 or D7100 or D600 or D610 or Df. Which can be a pretty big deal.

Interestingly, the D4s apparently also uses the 3500FX but has a range only from -1EV vs -2EV on the D800/E. So it seems that anyone who needs to regularly AF w/o assist light in ow light conditions, is better off w a D800/E.

And how do other brands compare?
- at Canon the most sensitive AF engine is on the 5D3, 61 points o/w 41 cross-type, sensitivity -2EV to +18EV

- at Panasonic, i.e. mirrorless, the GX7 can AF in as little as -4EV. In other words the humble GX7 can focus in as little light as 4 TIMES LESS LIGHT than a D800/E can. And, 8 times less light than a Df / D600 / D7100 / D7000 can. Ouch!

Hi PerL,

nice shot! Helped by f4 giving it quite a bit of DOF and thus hiding any so-so performance from the AF engine...

Thanks Antoine. F4 at 200 mm is really not a deep DOF. For instance I don't believe there is a single native lens in the m43 format that gives an eqv shallow DOF even wide open.

- did I ever say that the D7000 could not focus at all? Nope - all I said was that its AF engine is far from the best there is. My D7k also has delivered me tons of in-focus shots of moving subjects, especially if not moving too fast (a cross-country skier is a good example). But the hit rate is not that great.

This is from a sprint competition with the world elite, so I think they move faster than for instance the runners in the OP:s post. Here is Charlotte Kalla - olympic champion:

As for the hit rate - the first shot I showed was from an 11 frames series at 6fps with two out-of-focus, so about 80 percent. Here are the five frames before the shot:

In some other series the hit rate was less because of severe backlight that flared the lens, but when the light was even the hit rate was higher again. Overall I would say the hit rate was about 80 percent, (compared to about 95 percent with the AF system of the D300s). This was shooting at AF-C release priority, full 6 fps with no slow down.

But one key element is a fast focusing lens, like the 70-200 VRI used here

- I did say however that the AF engine on the D7000, did struggle in lower light levels. And it really does. And I give the specs above. I think that if people buy a much more expensive camera like a Df, with a larger sensor giving it less DOF all else being equal, then perhaps it would have been smart to put a better AF engine in that camera. And given that the said camera does very well in low light, then it's even more of a shame that its AF engine cannot AF in low light

This is of course in good light. A few shots in the shade:

Its not really low light, but the m43 CDAF camera you refer to probably can't AF-C nearly as well.

I believe the 39 pt AF system in D7000/D610/Df is good enough/workable for most kind of shooting if you pair it with the right lens. However, I agree that at the price point the Df might well have the best AF-system, or even better - a little lower price.

BTW - the focusing in low light of the GX7 - surely it depends on the amount of contrast, since it is a CDAF system?

Dismayed Contributing Member • Posts: 649
Re: Disapointed in my Df.
2

Rservello wrote:

Nikonparrothead wrote:

brianric wrote:

Rservello wrote:

Anticipate distance. That's why it's etched on the barrel! Action/sports photography existed long before auto focus. And so you believe sports photogs trust their camera to get their shots for them??

And that's the excuse people give for a camera that doesn't focus squat diddly in low light. Tell me how you going to anticipate distance when you have 1,000 participants inside a gymnasium walking around in a recreation center at Rowan University.

I almost replied to this last night. Moving on a track at walking speed eh? I checked to make sure you didn't start this on April 1.

Look, I saw your port and kudos for documenting all those charity events the way you do. And I realize we come from different backgrounds.

My screen of choice was a Beattie without a split image, so while focusing, all I could see was whether it was in or it was out. I spent more than two decades shooting sports with manual focus cameras -- basketball, football and track (for some reason it always seemed like the person I needed to shoot was part of a 4x100 or 4x200 relay, both indoors and outdoors) -- so I can't comprehend the difficulty of follow focus on a slow-moving subject, moving at a fairly consistent rate. Toss in that they're repeating that same motion for several hours and our versions of reality move farther apart.

I've tried rerwriting this next portion without sounding condescending but can't. I guess the bottom line is next year at this time you'll bring your D800 (or maybe your D3s -- that would have been my choice but I also don't own a D800) to Rowan University.

Be well.

A lot of people forget that a lot of professionals forsake auto focus for speed. Auto anything is inefficient, and I personally, would rather miss the shot because I miscalculated, rather than the equipment failing me.

Nonsense.  Modern high-end AF systems are incredibly fast and accurate.  Anyone shooting fast-moving sports for a living relies on AF.  And people that use flash no longer use flash powder.

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Dismayed Contributing Member • Posts: 649
Re: Disapointed in my Df.

brianric wrote:

I was shooting a Relay for Life last night to 6 AM this morning at a local college and decided to use my Df. I had it set up for flash, AF-C single point, center point, focus priority. The Df struggled to lock focus in what I would consider in light, while low, not all that bad. I had to switch to AF-S, and the red AF-assist illuminator in order to lock focus. When I had a small break in the action I replaced the Df with my D800. With the same initial setup the D800 nailed the focus instantaneously 100% of the time.

I'll continue to shoot my D700 until Nikon produces a small-body, reduced-price D4.

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InTheMist
InTheMist Veteran Member • Posts: 3,078
Re: Disapointed in my Df.

brianric wrote:

I was shooting a Relay for Life last night to 6 AM this morning at a local college and decided to use my Df. I had it set up for flash, AF-C single point, center point, focus priority. The Df struggled to lock focus in what I would consider in light, while low, not all that bad. I had to switch to AF-S, and the red AF-assist illuminator in order to lock focus. When I had a small break in the action I replaced the Df with my D800. With the same initial setup the D800 nailed the focus instantaneously 100% of the time.

In fact that's my only complaint about the Df: focusing. Oh, and some of the locking knobs are stupid, but still.

As I said in my review (sig):

If anyone knows the guy who decided to put the D7000 focusing system in this wonderful camera, kick him in the **BLEEP**, really, really hard, right now.

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GadgetBoy Regular Member • Posts: 345
Re: OP is comparing TAMRON vs NIKON lens

brianric wrote:

scokill wrote:

brianric wrote:

So what you're saying is while my Tamron can keep up with kids running up and down a basketball court but not at walking speeds as being irreverent. Tell you what Sport, I'll put the 24-120/4.0 on the Df and rerun the experiment next year around this time.

You could just test it in extreme low light with the Nikon lens to rule out an issue with the Df Tamron Combo. You could also wait another year.

I have seven Relays left this year, and I will, given the chance, will try that option, as that's what's my camera dealer wants me to do. I normally don't like changing lenses in the field, and last Friday night was raining when I went out to my car to swap cameras. I actually prefer the 24-120/4.0 VR because of the reach, but went with the 24-70/2.8 because I initially planned on available light until I saw how dim the rec center was. I don't remember it being as dark last year. I would love to try it at a black tie event this Saturday night for American Cancer Society, except it is a very important event, so the D800 will be used because of the dual card slots. I don't mind playing around with Relays, but no way on the Gala event.

I would be curious to hear of your results of the Df and the 24-120 F4 as I am using that combo. I don't shoot moving objects in limited light, but sitll interested in how you make out.

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