Having just picked up a DF and playing with it a bit I venture to say what happens on gear is we sometimes get very wrapped up in specs, and that’s perfectly fine because that’s a lot of peoples thing in having and debating the best specs.
However, then there comes a time also where people who make pictures get past the specs and make use of the gear. I’ll get chided but its my belief that great photographers don’t need great cameras to make great images, the cameras are mere tools that can help. I believe photography is more about the minds eye, vision and execution.
I would like to see more reviews from people that actually go out and make images with these cameras, and I don’t always mean pros, I mean people like you and I who see themselves as hobbyist that buy semi-pro gear for the love and passion of photography.
What I can tell you that I saw yesterday in digging deeper into reviews and then looking at real pictures is the D4 sensor rocks! Seriously, its only the sensor in Nikons flagship camera right? And as an added benefit, you don’t have to deal with all the pixels if you don’t need them and the DF works perfectly fine for most shooting that people like me would go out and do.
I say this tongue in cheek as I do have a D810 coming, probably early next month, so I will check back in at that time and tell you how I feel about using the two. While my D700 replacement ended up being rather expensive, two cameras, I am going to guess that since I always keep two cameras anyways, I will be just fine.
Lol, it must have been my lucky day as I got two used primes fresh off the street from a widow of a photographer that the shop sold me with the camera that I had been looking at, a 50 1.4 and 85 1.8, they looked brand spanking new. I need to sell off my D700 now, yup, the DF in just a day got me over it with also knowing I have the pixel machine on the way as well.
Incidentally, while a little awkward, if you aver shot an old film body from Nikon, you’ll quickly find your way with a Nikon DF. My own experience goes back to my childhood where in my teens I got a Nikon FG. In the early 2000’s I ended up going through lots of digital bodies, each with an open mind and a focus on image making and not so much specs and gear. In short this is my first retro body and I was shooting pics in minutes after charging the battery.
I didn’t have any troubles being able to change settings while looking through the view finder as has been reported in several places. The hollerings I have read all over the internet seem a bit dramatic in my humble opinion. The menus are all Nikoness so there really isn’t any issues there either.
The DF seems like a very easy to use camera with a world class sensor in it, so its funky wrapper I think might be swaying people away from trying one. Even the build quality ramblings seem exaggerated to me as the cameras feels light and substantial in the hands.
My advice to D700 owners in search of a replacement is to go try some of these new cameras, I will guess that you won’t be nearly as disappointed as some of the ramblings make it out to be, my own included at times. I really didn’t want the retro body, had handled one and quickly dismissed it as a viable option. As I said, some real digging and review of images what I saw was in the right hands the DF sensor has that magic that some sensors have had in the past. It reminds me of the D2X sensor except for it obviously has evolved in noise performance.
I think I only have two negative comments so far, the grip is a little strenuous with a heavier lens, so if any DF owners can point me to a nice protective case that doesn’t add weight but does dress it up and make it more comfortable, please let me know.
The other is the power button, a minor gripe. Having owned 9 other DSLRs you can get rather flexible about bodies, controls ect. That leaves me taking the rather unpopular view that the DF is a perfectly fine camera. I didn’t need to tune any of my lenses so far either.
Here are some of my first DF images, light was rather poor this morning so I was on Auto ISO and some of these are in the 1600-3200 range. These are also web reductions obviously, also, in my opinion, the 39 Point AF seems to have worked fine on these which regrettably all had to be handheld.
I have taken to morning outings on my way to work to scour up photo opportunities, on this morning I captured a few. these two were fun to capture… These will be better next time, composition needs a little work and I have some ideas for the next go around.
Looks like if I nail focus the Sigma 50-500 can hold up to the DF sensor. The first is ISO 320 and the second is 1600.
The DF so far has been a highly fun and capable camera, it pairs well with older lenses as well, I have been using a 18 F/3.5 Manual and a 28 F/2.8 Manual lens and having lots of fun. The 50 F/1.4 and 85 F/1.8 also work very well on this body.
Your not limited to older lenses by any means, I have used newer ones as well like the Tamron SP 24-70 F/2.8 VC and Nikon 105 F/2.8 VR with wonderful success as well.
The lake shot is with a Sigma 12-24 ED ASP F/4.5-5.6 lens. It perhaps shows the best color from the DF as many of these others were not shot in the best of light!
The DF is a very fun and intriguing camera with a truly magic sensor in it and I look forward to many many wonderful pictures with it!
Try one out at your local store, see for yourself!