Lenses for DF

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kent_staubus, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Hey, you know we're going to be hearing this over and over soon enough. So, what lenses to put on a DF? I'll start with thinking of only small lenses, to better fit how this camera is being marketed. People who use 500mm lenses aren't likely to buy it, or wedding photographers either for that matter. So, I'll skip the "holy trinity" of f2.8 zooms. For me, the idea is to have a small but flexible camera bag. Something easy to carry as I wander about Scotland (which I did last summer, ) or better yet--Iceland! What lenses does Nikon have for this thing, really? OK, the 50mm they came out with it looks good on it, so it's "in." Now for some others to go with it. Nikon has other f1.8 lenses. They are smallish, but not really cool. The DF is all about cool factor! I'll go with my standard three lens kit here as it's served me very well in the past. Small camera bag, lots of capability I say. On the wide end, I'm picking the Zeiss 25mm Distagon f2. The 21mm tempts me but leaves too big a gap between 21mm and 50mm. The middle lens is the Nikon 50mm f1.8G that comes with the camera. Now for the long end. I'm going to surprise you and skip the 85mm. I'm picking lenses for general purpose/travel photography, after all. My choice for a longer lens is the Zeiss Makro Planar 100mm f2. It's stunningly sharp! It can be used for portraits but gives you a little more reach than 85mm. It also has strong macro credentials, giving yet more flexibility. This would be a very high quality kit with maximum capability with minimum pieces. Yes, the Zeiss ZF lenses are manual. but no one will be buying this camera for its AF capability anyway. ;-) I'm skipping the old lenses from the 70s and earlier. They will mount on the DF, but I say save them for a vintage F3HP or F2. The Zeiss are not only outstanding, they match the "cool!" The Zeiss name has been all about "Pure Photography for the past 120 years!
    Kent in SD
     
  2. I 'm thinking manual focus lenses only - 20mm, 35mm and 85mm. The Nikon AF-S primes are good but boring plastic things.
     
  3. I'm not yet sure if I'll go for this camera... even I was crying out for years about it :) It is all I was waiting from this camera but with a huge minus. I was hoping for a huge viewfinder with interchangeable focusing screens, something to equal the quality of the ol' good film bodies. I'm very sad that Nikon did not included this in a "pure photography" project.
    As for lenses I have the perfect kit for it (according my own needs):
    CV 20/3.5 Color Skopar - not the sharpest lens but small and portable and equipped with a chip
    Zeiss 35/2 Distagon - a great and quite compact lens
    Nikon 50/1.2 AI-S - the most sharp Nikon lens at f2 and the sharpest ever lens from Nikon bunch (surpassing even Sigma 35/1.4) at f4, according the Imatest measurements done recently by Nasim Mansurov.
    Nikon 105/2.5 AI-S - one of the best portrait lenses - works amazingly even on D800.
    For longer needs I think my 70-200/4 would complement well the MF kit.
     
  4. I would consider using the Nikon Pancake 45mm f2.8 which was introduced with the film version of the FM3A.
     
  5. I already have three manual focus lenses that would fit the bill for me: 28/2.8 AiS, 105/2.5 Ai and a Leica Apo-Telyt 180/3.4 converted to F-mount (as a non-Ai, I am afraid that I wouldn't like the procedure to use it on the Df though - at least the way I currently understand it).
    In that setup, the 28mm might be the weakest link - not that great at infinity and it may leave me wanting for something wider too - like a 24 or 20mm.
    The issue though is, for less than the price of the Df, I could get the Nikon 24/1.4 AF-S that would work perfectly fine with my D700 - I would still save some $800 in the process!
    Also, since apparently the focusing screen on the Df isn't interchangeable, I doubt that there is any improvement over the D700 in terms of manual focusing ability, especially with lenses faster than f/2.8. I find those hard to focus manually on any DSLR because the focusing screens don't show the effect of DOF for anything faster than f/2.8; I need to almost exclusively rely on the green dot. Or use live view, which is about as pleasant as eating tar (as Ilkka stated in another thread).
     
  6. If it really has the same focusing screen as the D600/D800 then I don't know what Nikon was thinking.
    That the focusing screen isn't interchangable means nothing as you can easily change the screen on every Nikon made in the last 15 years. But without a focusing screen specifically made for manual focusing (in whatever shape or form) the pure photography experience is gone.
     
  7. My old tried & true 24/35/85, which I already have multiple combo's of. (I can also tryout monovision with a single contact lens to counter act the bifocal/peephole finder whatchamajiggie.)
    It's humorous that the teaser video got quicker hits than the release thread.
     
  8. It's humorous that the teaser video got quicker hits than the release thread.​
    That rumor site with "nikon" in the name has cooled down substantially too. And as was remarked in previous thread, once the camera is officially announced and the specs known, the criticizing and nitpicking starts. As was said, the camera never looked better than in the first teaser video, 100% excitement, 0% disappointment. Now, for many that ratio has shifted, to as much as 0/100.
     
  9. I use my 28mm/f2 AIS all of the time, often go out with just that lens only in front of a D600. Maybe put an 85 in a pocket somewhere.
    If I had a bag, I would want something wide, the 28 (on the camera), an 85(1.8GAFS), and 135/2.8AIS (instead of the 70-200/2.8) and maybe a 50.
     
  10. Judging from the first photo that Shun showed in a previous post, the 43-86 is the obvious choice. ;)
     
  11. the 43-86 is the obvious choice​
    Yep, who neeeds sharp pictures anyway? Or maybe the 43-86 isn't as bad as many claim? Don't call it soft, call it character or glow - works for Leica.
     
  12. I'd look at the Voightlander Nikon mount MF lenses. Several nice options there.
     
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Way back in 1977, I bought my first Nikon camera and lens. The lens is indeed a 43-86mm/f3.5 AI and the body was a Nikkormat FT3. The following year I bought an FE (shortly after it was introduced in 1978). I sold the FT3 a long time ago, but I still own that 43-86 and the FE. Would be an interesting test to put the 43-86 onto the Df, although mine is not pre-AI. It helps to be "only" 16MP.
     
  14. Even if the 43-86 might have the reputation for being the worst zoom, it sure does have the most original focal lengths. When 45mm is too tight and 85mm way too short, it's got to be your first choice... :)
     
  15. When 45mm is too tight and 85mm way too short, it's got to be your first choice... :)
    Second time I got a good chuckle out of a post here at PN - thanks Wouter!
     
  16. It's a camera that begs to be used with old prime lenses...
     
  17. Well I have a nice selection of manual focus Nikkor primes. 24mm f2.8 Ais, 28mm f2.8 Ais, 35mm f1.4 Ais, 50mm F2, 85mm f1.4 Ais, 105 f2.5 and two zoom a 35-70 f3.5 Ais and the 75-150 f3.5 E.
    I don't think they will see a DF though not at 4049 euro where I live. I might have to paint my D700 silver and glue on some fake dials.
     
  18. I think quite many users of Zeiss, Nikon, Voigtländer, Samyang etc. manual focus lenses will be interested in a camera like the Df which is nice to use with high quality viewfinder optics. A long time it has been in the waiting.
     
  19. which is nice to use with high quality viewfinder optics​
    where does it say that the Df has that - from all I've read so far, it has the same focusing screen as the D600/D610 - but a different eyepoint. In any case, I reserve final judgement until I either read from a reliable source about or better yet, can take a peek myself.
     
  20. Finally I get to tag in to the DF lines that have gone on forever. I have been shocked at how good the 75-150 f3.5 series e has been on the D800. it should do well on the new camera.
     
  21. I'm going to use it with Canon lenses - I am sure canon lens compatibility is going to be a feature.
     
  22. I am sure canon lens compatibility is going to be a feature.​
    Canon lenses don't fit on any of the Nikon bodies (at least not with infinity focus which requires an adapter with an optical element) - so why would the Df be different?
     
  23. Donald said:
    Judging from the first photo that Shun showed in a previous post, the 43-86 is the obvious choice.
    Yes! That's probably the first lens I would mount on the Df--no Ai-conversion necessary! As it happens, I just bought a used, pre-Ai version of the Nikkor 43-86mm (it's the version before the "improvement," so it should have lots of character). Imagine my surprise when this particular lens (the lens which some guy named "Ken," called, "Nikon's worst lens") turned up in the Nikon promotional photo!
    Although I can't possibly justify a fourth FX body at this point (yes, I would absolutely love a new Df!), here's the lenses I own which would live in the Df's new Domke bag (which I would buy especially for the Df):
    1. AF Nikkor 18mm f/2.8D
    2. Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 Ais
    3. Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 Ais
    4. Nikkor 105mm f/1.8 Ais and/or AF DC-Nikkor 105mm f/2.0D
    Boy, I sure would love a new Df, but it's just too pricey a toy for me to rationalize right now.
     
  24. I have been shocked at how good the 75-150 f3.5 series e has been on the D800​
    Now there's a focal range that deserves the AF-S + VR III treatment. Kinda portrait zoom....:) So, an FX version of what Sigma have already done on DX @ 2.8....starting from 50mm too. Big and sharp as a very pointy tack, from all reviews.
     
  25. Dieter, Bjorn Rorslett's early comments on the Df can be found on nikongear.com. It is a pay site, but for these early
    comments easily well worth it, also the image post/review forums on that side are excellent.

    Basically Bjorn says the Df viewfinder image + information display can be easily seen with glasses on, and fast f/1.2 and
    f/1.4 snap into focus (I take this to mean it is easy to see clearly where the focus is). With the D800 he has difficulty both
    with seeing the whole image (vignetting) and focusing these fast lenses is 'hit and miss'. Although I've felt and many times
    noted the focusing screen is the culprit, proof being in my experience of Katz eye screens, this information seems to
    suggest the viewfinder can be vastly improved by developing the other optical components of it, prism, ocular, I don't
    know exactly what was done in the Df but reportedly it is much better than expected.

    I also reserve final judgment to when I can try the camera myself, but I trust Bjorn and in many cases he has provided
    information that is contrary to popular belief but turns out correct in real world testing.
     
  26. As a starter why not the 20mm f4,0 AI, 45mm f2,8 AIS-P, and a short AF tele lens, the old 85mm f1,8 MF lens an alternative for those with good eyesight.
    I wouldn´t be the least surprised if Nikon develops a small new range of compact lenses to go with the DF.
     
  27. Hello I everyone,

    Just to share a few thoughts on what is an interesting camera. I really think that there are 2 groups of people this product
    is going to appeal to:
    - Wealthy people buying into the retro style. People buying new VW beetles and the likes. These people do not really care
    about the MF lenses: they will buy a modern slow zoom and just use it in auto-everything.
    - People like me who have a few Nikon MF lenses and were appalled by digital's plastic bodies and having to look to an
    LCD screen to take a photo. Given that we are currently going through the trouble of developing & scanning it would be
    an interesting transition. How it focuses its going to be critical: I personally hate "focus with the dot", it simply doesn't work
    for me - its really a key point. Still the camera is intriguing in all other aspects and I'm really tempted to try it out. But it
    needs to be really good because 3,000 dollars is a lot of money...
     
  28. Panos - it looks like there's quite a lot of plastic in the Df, from the skeleton images. Which would be why it's light, of course.

    I've no intention of getting one, but I'll play: my walk-around lens on my D700 (when I didn't explicitly want another lens) was the 28-200 f/3.5-5.6G AF-D. It doesn't hold up on a D800, but the resolution of the Df might make it worth a look. Or if you want lightness, there's the 28-80 f/3.3-5.6 (which I've yet to try on my D800).

    More in line with the feeling of the camera, I'd be tempted by a 50mm f/1.8 pre-AF, which is actually sensibly short rather than having a preposterously inset front element (I don't know why Nikon did this). I'm quite fond of my 135 f/2.8 AI-S. The 85mm f/1.4 Samyang may be worth it, though I'm increasingly tempted by the convenience of the f/1.8 AF-S. The 35 f/1.4 Sigma is good enough (when I can get the focus to work - I still have to play with the dock) that I couldn't really justify an older alternative. On size, I might look at the 20mm f/4, though the Zeiss 21mm is in its own class. The 90mm Tamron macro is a surprisingly usable walk-around lens, though it suffers from the same massive overbite that the 50mm f/1.8 Nikkors do. Perhaps the 70-210 f/4? The 70-180 macro is up there too, but the same applies to several cameras.

    I'm tempted to bring up the 6mm f/2.8. :)

    I wish Nikon offered a "flippy aperture tab" option for the D800, though I'm interested that the Df's is reported as being plastic. I don't think it would require software, since the D800 already works with lenses that have no coupling. Does any third party offer a service?
     
  29. I think think Ilkka was referring to accessory shoe mounted wide angle view finders.
     
  30. Thanks Ilkka, you just made my day :)
    Basically Bjorn says the Df viewfinder image + information display can be easily seen with glasses on, and fast f/1.2 and f/1.4 snap into focus (I take this to mean it is easy to see clearly where the focus is). With the D800 he has difficulty both with seeing the whole image (vignetting) and focusing these fast lenses is 'hit and miss'. Although I've felt and many times noted the focusing screen is the culprit, proof being in my experience of Katz eye screens, this information seems to suggest the viewfinder can be vastly improved by developing the other optical components of it, prism, ocular, I don't know exactly what was done in the Df but reportedly it is much better than expected.​
     
  31. If an opportunity comes around to try a 50-135mm 3.5 AIS zoom, try it and see if you like it. It is a very sharp and constrasty zoom, and is more strongly constructed than the 75-150mm (and admittedly heavier). I carry one with a wide angle prime lens as a walk around kit.
     
  32. voigtlander 40/2 on a Df would be sweet. but really, any reasonably small, fast prime would be great on this. the sigma 35/1.4 is a little big, but i'm reasonably sure the images would be MONEY.
     
  33. The 43-86 was never taken seriously by anybody when it was new. I don't know why anybody would want to use it today. I suppose you could team it up with an old 85-250 Nikkor. Or there's always the ever-popular 50-300 Nikkor. Oh, never mind. The 25 + 50 + 105 the OP mentions sounds most excellent to me.
     
  34. Any of the Zeiss ZF or ZF.2 manual focus lenses would probably be great on this camera, as would most classic Nikon AIs prime lenses (like the 28mm/2.8, 55mm/2.8 Micro, 105mm/2.5, 105mm/1.8 and 180mm/2.8 ED Nikkors). I have the ZF 25mm/2.8 and ZF.2 28mm/2, 35mm/2, 100mm/2 Makro, and 135mm/2 Apo. All are good lenses on the D800E, though I don’t like the extreme field curvature on the 28mm/2 which can lead to soft corners in landscape subjects due to lower corners going off toward infinity. The 28mm/1.8G AFS Nikkor is better for landscapes, as would be the old 28mm/2.8 AIs lens. I think the 85mm/1.4 AFD lens would also be great on the Df.

    Don’t bother with the crappy 35mm/2 and 28mm/2.8 AF or AFD Nikkors unless you plan to shoot f/8-f/16 only. These lenses suck in the corners at wide apertures on film and D800E both, and even a less demanding 16MP sensor will show their faults.
     
  35. The original 43~86 sold quite well, was one of Nikon's most popular lenses despite the shortcomings. It was standard issue with several photographers kits.

    Nikon made a 25mm lens in S-Mount and Leica mount. I'll use my 24/2.8 Nikkor-N with the DF, all depending on 1 question. Did they screw the mount into plastic, like the D600, or Metal, like the D800?
     
  36. I got mine Df today, I'm so happy handling it that for the first time I think I put a comment here :)
    Of my collectiion I think I'll start testing my older 20,24,28 ,200 mmf4 micro and logically the 105 f2,5 my preferred. I didn't like the 50 1,8G (Made in China), maybe is a good one but only time will be the better judge
     
  37. Late to the party I know. I just got my Df last week and spent a small fortune on glass to go with it.
    AF-S 24-120mm f/4 VR for when I'm lazy (I won't use this much as I greatly prefer primes).
    Ultra Light and super cheap travel kit: AF 24mm f/2.8D and AF-S 50mm f/1.8G (kit lens)
    Normal Travel kit: AF-S 28mm f/1.8G and AF-S 58mm f/1.4G (my favorite Nikon lens)
    Casual Friday: AF-S 35mm f/1.8G only
    Vintage: 35mm f/2 Nikkor O (AI'd), 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor P (AI'd, Sonnar type) and Nikon FM loaded with Tri-X
    and of course on actual photo trips I'll leave the zoom at home, but bring the 24, 28, 35 and 58mm AF Nikkors, the vintage 105 and my Leica M Monochrom with 35 and 50mm Leica glass.
     
  38. Andrew, that's an awesome set-up. Not too mention the Monochrom :)

    I love my Df.
     

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