UK heads-up: AP review of the Df is out

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by fluppeteer, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Hi all.

    For those in the UK, Amateur Photographer this week has a review of the Df, if people think the 800-post thread wasn't enough and are keen to read more about this camera...

    I just wanted to take a moment to say AAAAAAARGH. And make an appeal for accuracy in reviewing. Similar to several other reviews, we have the sentence: "Should you want to change the shutter speed, sensitivity or exposure compensation, there's no need to scroll through on-screen settings - simply use the dials on top of the camera." Every review I see like this makes me think someone is being told that you need to go into menus to change shutter speed, ISO and EC on a modern (non-introductory) DSLR. If those people are film camera stalwarts reading this review because the Df looks familiar, who decide that they were right all along, ignore every other DSLR on the market and get a Df solely to avoid "scrolling through on-screen settings", this kind of reporting is going to have cost them a lot of money. And that makes me cross. I might even write to AP and tell them off.

    Not that I have anything against the Df itself, especially since I still haven't managed to play with one. I just wish people would discuss the genuine merits of products rather than spreading misinformation. The Df seems to attract this kind of thing. Thom Hogan (who should know better) has just talked about stop-down metering in the context of the Df - though KR is still claiming he'll do the same: it seems as though pretty much nobody is actually trying out pre-AI lenses on the Df in their review process. (To be fair, if you're going to ask people to dig out pre-AI lenses, I think the least Nikon could have done is add a coupler for the rabbit ears rather than the half-baked support the Df has, happy though I am to see more compatibility.)

    Anyway... I'm not sure I'd have expected their conclusion that the camera would be best kept below ISO 3200 or their complaint that image review isn't turned on by default, but the rest of the review is much in line with what's been seen elsewhere: they're not very convinced by the controls and think it's a bit pricey for what it is (especially at UK prices, which are still about £2750 with the 50 f/1.8), but it's otherwise perfectly competent. I obviously wouldn't want to lose them sales by discouraging you from reading the review yourself, though, so I'll stop summarizing here. My own impression, as a cynic, will turn up when I eventually find time to visit somewhere that has one in stock. (Anyone know a camera store in Phoenix? I'll be at a conference later this month and have time to kill...)
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Should you want to change the shutter speed, sensitivity or exposure compensation, there's no need to scroll through on-screen settings - simply use the dials on top of the camera.​
    The problem with the old-fashioned shutter-speed knob is that you can only change shutter speeds in full stops with it. While you can set up Custom Setting f11, Easy Shutter-Speed Shift, to further fine tune the shutter speed by +- 1/3 or 2/3 stop using the main command dial, if you need to go further, you need to turn the knob again and then use the main command dial to fine tune.
    For example, if you set the knob to 1/125 sec, you can use the main command dial to move up to 1/160 or 1/200, or move down to 1/100 or 1/80 but no further. If you want to move further in either direction, you must turn the knob. Moreover, with the knob, you have no access to the really slow shutter speeds longer than 4 seconds.
    In other words, instead of simply using the main command dial to make 1/3-stop adjustments continuously all the way from 30 seconds to 1/4000 sec, if you choose to use the knob, it now becomes using two different controls. To me, the best way is to set the knob to 1/3-stop and only use the main command dial, as it is on any other Nikon DSLR.
    Additionally, because of the physical dials with 1/3-stop ISO, exposure compensation, and shutter speed adjustments, the option to change in 1/2-stop increments is gone on the Df. It doesn't bother me at all since I prefer 1/3 stop anyway, but for those who want 1/2 stop increments, they are out of luck with the Df.
    An annoying thing that you must go to the menu is formatting the memory card. I tend to do that 2, 3 times a day. I just can't believe that Nikon is not providing the two-button format with confirmation on the Df. There are certainly enough buttons on the Df to carry that out.
    One bright spot I find on the Df is high-ISO capability. The other day I tried ISO 12800 early in the morning at a friend's dark kitchen. The Df does a very respectable job at 12800. I'll provide some samples later on.
    Concerning pre-AI lenses, I bought my first Nikon camera and lens in 1977, the year they introduced AI. I still own that lens from 1977. But even though I am a long-time Nikon user, I own no pre-AI lens. People have no fewer than 36+ years to have their pre-AI lenses converted. IMO, the whole pre-AI compatibility idea is silly.
     
  3. Two comments: <br>
    Isn't it a good thing for the rest of us, if people who can afford it support
    Nikon by going out and just buying the Df, without too much research into
    the fake 'buttons vs menus' issue?<br>
    And b): You can still buy those pre-AI Nikkors, for example on eBay. Often
    they are quite affordable. Personally, I like the idea of a camera that can
    use (and meter) with them without having to get the file (and super glue, for
    the chip) out.
     
  4. Personally, I like the idea of a camera that can use (and meter) with them without having to get the file (and super glue, for the chip) out.
    I like it, too. Usually, using a pre-Ai, MF lens on a DSLR, is a two minutes game, a couple of shots action, before being aware that any AF or AFS lens do it much better... So the Df is great to avoid breaking more pre-Ai lenses... ;)
     
  5. These discussions are just SOO tiring, especially if rambling on and on about the same subject... The camera is pretty good though, judging from- albeit brief- handling.
     
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    These discussions are just SOO tiring​
    Right, there really isn't much more to say after, what, 800+ posts on a thread.
    Nikon definitely put in a lot of work on how it looks and the Df is well made, but that is essentially what you are paying for. Otherwise it is a very expensive camera that costs about the same as a D800 in the US but with a feature set weaker than the D600/D610.
    In other words, if you are the type that tries to save money buying pre-AI lenses, it doesn't make much sense to over-pay for a Df body. Seriously, plenty of AI and AI-S lenses are dirt cheap in the used market too, and even their optical quality varies. There are few reasons to reach back to the pre-AI era for optical designs and manufacturing from over 36 years ago.
    Now that I have used the Df for a couple of weeks, my opinion has not changed a bit since I wrote the preview for photo.net back in November without ever seeing one: http://www.photo.net/reviews/nikon-df-preview/
    Not that there is anything really wrong with it, but the Df is an expensive toy for collectors and wealthy folks with NAS. Leica has been surviving for decades catering to that market segment. Hopefully Nikon can make some money in the same fashion.
     
  7. I can't see the problem setting the shutter speed in full stops. Normally you would just fine tune exposure with the aperture ring if you want a little more or less exposure.
     
  8. Borgis: Yes, sorry, I'd not meant to kick off another set of general discussions about the Df - I was just bringing people's attention to the review (some may care what AP think) and raising my concerns about the quality of reporting (not just by AP), particularly in the context of an easily-misunderstood camera like the Df.

    Stefan: Financially good, yes. Good for the soul, not so much.

    I like compatibility for compatibility's sake. Do I need it? No. Is it nice to know that I have the largest possible range of accessories to consider? Yes.

    Shun: Yes, on a modern camera other than the Df you rarely need to go into menus, which makes the initial comment even more misleading. Obviously it's not a big deal for everyone - there's a big difference between needing menus to change shutter speed and needing menus to format the memory card. But it's true that no Nikon DSLR with two dials (and I think the same is true for Canon) needs you to enter a menu for the settings specifically mentioned. Some people, especially burnt by older and low-end cameras or compacts, have a poorer impression of a modern camera interface than is justified; best not to mislead.
     
  9. I recently thought I might consider trading in all the Nikon stuff for a different system that had more "retro" styling, similar to the Nikon Df. After doing some hands-on experimentation I discovered two things.
    1.As romantic as it seemed to have retro styling, it was harder to get where I wanted to get with it, for some of the reasons mentioned above.
    2. When I started messing with a camera that DID NOT have the front and rear command dials set up in the place and function that it is on my D90, I realized that I now HAVE to have that.

    So... for the photo enthusiast, my recommendation is to try and learn the way things work now in the 21st century and stop the nostalgia. I'm sure there's a "rich collector" market for this camera... but... as cool as I once thought it might be... it's not me.
     
  10. Sigh. Here we go with more discussion on minuscule details of the Df versus ...
    After a couple months with the Df, my D800 is gathering dust on the shelf, and will likely be sold one of these days. For me, the Df is unquestionably a better handling camera, and much more pleasant to carry and shoot.
    Your results may vary, of course.
     
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    My own impression, as a cynic, will turn up when I eventually find time to visit somewhere that has one in stock. (Anyone know a camera store in Phoenix? I'll be at a conference later this month and have time to kill...)​
    Andrew, which cave in the UK do you live?
    I find it hard to believe that the one person who single handedly prolongs so many discussions on the Df has yet to use one, after it has been available for a month and half. I would highly recommend that you buy a Df in Phoenix. If you don't need it in the long run, I would imagine that you can always sell it back in the UK for a profit.
    These are some old threads on camera stores in Phoenix:
    This is the kitchen image I posted to today's Nikon Wednesday thread, with the Df @ ISO 12800, Nikon 18-35mm/f3.5-4.5 AF-S lens @ 27mm, f4.5, and 1/40 sec hand held.
    [​IMG]
    And below is the pixel-level crop.
    00cJQA-544869584.jpg
     
  12. there's no need to scroll through on-screen settings​
    With a conventional DSLR, you do have to scroll through settings on some screen or other—the top screen, the menu screen, or the viewfinder screen. I don't read the reviewer's statement as necessarily referring to menu diving.
     
  13. I don't know is it was mentioned in the 800+ thread but I do find it rather amusing that the most ergonomic place for the shutter speed control just happens to be on the top plate in the very place it was on a pre-war Leica. That wasn't from choice; it was from necessity being about the only way to adjust the curtain setting on the horizontal travel focal plane shutter. Similarly the best place for the front command dial seems to have been chosen because that was where the ranging knob on a pre-war Contax was located.
    I could go on (sigh) .....
     
  14. For example, if you set the knob to 1/125 sec, you can use the main command dial to move up to 1/160 or 1/200, or move down to 1/100 or 1/80 but no further.​
    So much then for the claim that the Df allows to see the settings without turning the camera on? Seems to me that one can't trust that the ISO is set where the dial says it is - the camera might be on AutoISO (and the setting on the dial then has different effects depending on other settings in the menus). And the shutter speed dial may also not reflect the true setting - the Easy Shutter-Speed Shift may be in effect. At least the Exposure Compensation dial isn't lying to you - or is there a setting to bypass that one as well? And with a G lens, one won't see the aperture unless the camera is ON (just for completeness). Now someone tell me again what the advantage of the dials on the D(igital)f(rankenstein) is? Seems to me the dials confuse and complicate things more than they are helpful; Nikon may have been better off not trying to hide nearly all the features of a modern DSLR in this retro style - maybe just A and M would have been sufficient? Maybe Nikon's desire to provide something for everyone in the end really pleases no one? Just my 2 cents - no need trying to convince me that the Df is head and shoulders above all the other cameras ;-)
    Concerning pre-AI lenses, I bought my first Nikon camera and lens in 1977, the year they introduced AI. I still own that lens from 1977. But even though I am a long-time Nikon user, I own no pre-AI lens. People have no fewer than 36+ years to have their pre-AI lenses converted. IMO, the whole pre-AI compatibility idea is silly.​
    Well, when the dates are changed to 1979, then exactly the same applies to me. And $2750 buys a lot of Ai-conversions if one really feels the need to use a lens made before 1977.
    I would highly recommend that you buy a Df in Phoenix.​
    I second that suggestion - it's high time for you to satisfy your curiosity. Not so sure about making a profit selling it back in the UK - unless you manage to avoid paying tax and customs on your return.
     
  15. Yes many reviews I have read about the Df make the same wrong statement. On most DSLR's adjusting shutter speed, aperture, ISO, EC you don't have to go into menu for those.
     
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Yes many reviews I have read about the Df make the same wrong statement. On most DSLR's adjusting shutter speed, aperture, ISO, EC you don't have to go into menu for those.​
    In fact, on the Df, you cannot go to the menu to adjust shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation. Clearly it would have been very wrong if you set the shutter speed to, e.g., 1/125 sec on the physical knob and then you go into the menu and change it to something else.
    I am not aware that any Nikon DSLR lets you change those other than the ISO setting from the menu, anyway. On most higher-end DSLRs you can set the ISO in the menu and store that in a Shooting Menu Bank, but the Df doesn't allow that since it cannot differ from the setting on the hard physical dial. However, auto ISO control is still from the menu.
    One confusing area is that you can set the SPAM dial to A, aperture priority. In that case the shutter speed is automatically selected and whatever setting on the shutter speed knob is ignored. Old film SLRs such as the FE doesn't have this issue since the A setting is on the shutter speed knob itself. On the Df, you need to be careful. The same is true for the P mode.
     
  17. I am delighted with my Df which I traded my d800 for.. I have no negative issues whatsoever and I look forward to years
    of use.
    p.s. And I am not a rich collector
     
  18. Dan: Sorry! (I gave up on hoping someone could persuade me, logically, of the merits of the Df interface, for the most part, and accepted that I'll need to work it out for myself, so I'm not after yet another huge thread. I can logically explain why some of the Df's design decisions at least seem to get in the way of use - though I won't repeat myself by going through them all now - so I'm trying to counter that. If you feel you can explain why the Df works so well for you - and I'm very glad that it does - by all means prolong the discussion and put me out of my misery. Otherwise I'm happy to stop boring people and try to learn for myself.)

    Shun: Sorry for dragging things out! I'm depressingly far from anything resembling a camera store (my cupboards are better stocked than anything within an hour's drive - and the same is nearly true for computer books...) - the concept of a local camera store being a rare thing in the UK these days - and I spend far too much time in the office. Sometimes posting, admittedly. Still, the Df took its time to appear in the UK (it's still back ordered in some configurations or plain missing, even from big stores) and getting to one that's on a shelf remains non-trivial for me. If any forum members would like to visit the sunny Staines/Bracknell region and let me play, on the other hand...

    Thanks for the links. I was more thinking of playing with one in store than giving my credit card a work-out, much though the "profitable importing scheme" has appeal, but I'll see whether I fall in love with it; my birthday's coming up if you're feeling generous. And that image is pretty respectable, considering - even if it could do with a visit from DxO.

    Kent: Point taken. Though I'd not really appreciated that anyone found that to be a problem. Maybe that's my modern-camera bias. My blood pressure may, then, reduce - I'll stop being cross with the reviewer.

    Dieter: Love to. Lend me one? :) I promise, the moment I can find one... (If there's one in the shops at Heathrow, expect me to risk missing a flight while playing.)

    Brian: I'm glad to hear of another happy customer. (Genuinely, my biggest concern about the Df was that some people may make an expensive emotional purchase and end up with a camera that didn't do what they need, at least well. That at least some people find it does do what they need is reassuring.) Not that I'm likely to let go of my D800 any time soon, but I still hope at least to understand what the fuss is about, better than I managed to after 800 posts. And I do get a bit of the fuss, at last.
     
  19. Andrew, no apology necessary. Once, I was complaining to my Minister about some issues in a committee in our church, hoping others would see things my way. The Reverend said to me "Dan, image what this church would be like, if everyone was exactly like you?" Well, it would have been a lot worse, because at the end of the day, I'm not all that.
    I just wish everybody else would love the Df as much as I do :-|
     
  20. I'm as happy to discover that the Df just doesn't fit my shooting style as I would be to find that it's my perfect camera. What bothers me is that I don't (fully) understand it - I struggle, somewhat, to see why people like it, at least so effusively, which I would normally be able to do with a camera (or other product) even if I disagreed with them. It may be that I'm looking for more justification than is there, but it's the failure to understand - the happy customers as much as the camera - that bothers me. I'm hoping that getting my hands on one will let me work it out.

    I'm perfectly happy for people to disagree with me - it's not like I've been lacking experience. Feeling that I'm not truly seeing the other person's perspective is more unusual. Or possibly my experience with the Df thread has just turned me into a psychopath.

    I do feel, from comments, that those who like the camera seem to have found a way to adapt their way of shooting to it (mostly) - or just found that their shooting style was already a poor fit for current cameras. Most reviewers, on the other hand, seem to have tried to use it like a modern DSLR, and struggled. This is why I keep looking at reviews - I hope someone is going to try to work out how to use the camera in a way that does "work". I've yet to see many reviews who have said the Df's controls actually help in some situation (surely they help sometimes), so I'm determined to treat the Df as a puzzle to be cracked when I finally see one. The thread of doom was my training regime. Thank you all for sparring with me.
     
  21. Think about the D100 release. An affordable digital SLR, that delivered the image files that could do all those things that digital files can do (not the least of which are instant image review and the elimination of film and processing).
    But, I don't think anybody felt the the D100 was a quality camera instrument, and felt they were short-changed on overall camera quality and handling in exchange for the higher cost of the digital components inside. We had to get used to the relatively poorer feel and handling as compared to similarly priced cameras of the day. And that really didn't change going through the D200, D300, D700 sequence, IMHO. We also developed an expectation that the camera we bought today would be obsolete in a very few years.
    The Df changes that. It's an much better handling, permanent camera. Something that will deliver for the entire Nikon generation, which was established as a ten year cycle so long ago. It's an off-ramp from the digital-upgrade merry-go-round, and one that I happily have taken.
     
  22. Dan,
    I couldn't agree with you more, and yet the DF continues to be as if a thorn in the side of reviewers, and thread contributors alike. Also, this very P.Net does not even recognize the Df in its Nikon equipment section as if it doesn't even exist. What's with that?
     
  23. Dan: Well, until I understand better, I'm with Shun that the Df may not be a camera that gets upgraded... But it's also true (as Thom Hogan is fond of pointing out) that we're at the stage where upgrading a DSLR in order to get a better camera is becoming a less useful pursuit. We're near theoretical maximum low light performance, and we're at the stage where resolution is limited by practical lens manufacture cost, diffraction and the user's ability. The D100 (or 300D in my case) was clearly improved by later generations; the D7000/D7100, at least in the sensor, is much closer. So I don't think a Df is likely to need replacing soon, at least for what it can currently do - but I'd say the same for a D610 or a D800 (less so a D4). I do believe that a Df will be better to use than a D100, no matter my opinion of the dials, but I also don't think comparing a Df with the equivalent of a D5300 in terms of market position (ranges have split, so that's a guess) is all that fair. A D2xs might be fairer, and that's not built to fall apart. Meanwhile, quite a bit of the Df is plastic, though I'm not necessarily criticising it for that.

    I'm staying out of discussions about whether the interface is actually a significant improvement for most users until I can form my own opinion (and I look forward to Shun's assessment). I promise to try to keep an open mind. I'm happy that it's an improvement for some people, though.
     
  24. Andrew! I don't want to drag this out but I know for sure that the Df is not the camera for you in term of handling (it may be fine in term of performance). I do like the Df very much and it's the camera for me. The reason simply because I use the camera much different from your way of doing it.
     
  25. I'm staying out of discussions about whether the interface is actually a significant improvement for most users until I can form my own opinion​
    ;)
     
  26. In other words, if you are the type that tries to save money buying pre-AI lenses, it doesn't make much sense to over-pay for a Df body. Seriously, plenty of AI and AI-S lenses are dirt cheap in the used market too, and even their optical quality varies. There are few reasons to reach back to the pre-AI era for optical designs and manufacturing from over 36 years ago. "Shun".

    Definitely not a money savings camera. If it was just use film and forgo the Df body price too. FWIW if I wanted to go retro I would just shoot film.
     
  27. Older lenses definately give cheaper access to very
    diverse imaging capacities. And many are worth it too!
    I used and use old lenses on D200, 300 & 800 - all AI'd
    obviously. The D200 sensor was tricky, the others are
    pretty forgiving with respect to CA. The viewfinders of
    these camera's are the limiting factor.
    THAT's why (and where) I hoped (and hope) that the Df is
    better..
    If not.. well.. than a D610 or another D800 is probably a
    more rational choice. .

    But who says I always make rational choices? I really find
    the retro styling of the Df attractive
     
  28. FWIW if I wanted to go retro I would just shoot film.​
    I've been doing just that but recently it became so difficult to get film, get them processed, get the chemical to process them myself. So I get the Df.
     
  29. Chip: The missing word was "further". I'm staying out of further discussions about the universal benefits of the interface. :)

    Film is a limiting factor with film cameras. A gentle drop-off to highlights and shadows is nice, as is the high theoretical resolution, albeit at low contrast. Lack of contrast at high frequencies, limited dynamic range of some films and heavy grain, especially at higher ISOs, count against it. I do believe that 35mm film was never the premium choice for high image quality. I still sometimes shoot 645 and I still have designs on a 5x4, but - while I'll probably use my 35mm film eventually - I'm unlikely to get much more except for the experience of using some unusual cameras. It's too expensive to use and develop in quantity.

    I'm not beyond using film for some unusual spectral characteristics, though.

    Anyway. I like my Bessa, though it doesn't play well with the post-laser state of my eyes, but it's no X100s. And I like my F5, but my D800 is the camera that gets used. If the FM3a weren't so expensive I'd be a little tempted for the experience. The same could be said for the Df, but I don't think I'd get a Df out of a wish I had a film camera in my hands. (And, while I'm expecting Bebu to be right about my shooting style, if I fall in love with a Df, it will be on its own merits.)
     
  30. I have been using non ai lenses with my DF and they work just fine. I use them in A mode and simply choose the aperture on the lens first and then the same aperture with the main dial. If I want to underexpose or overexpose I simply modify the aperture on the lens by for example half a stop (in between clicks), leaving the aperture unchanged in the camera (from the main dial).
    As for the mode dial, many are saying that it is a flawed system mainly because if you set the mode dial on A or P the speed dial becomes useless and will indicate anything but the right speed (Thom Hogan even says this). I don't have problems with this. My OM 2 camera works in exactly the same way. The OM 2 only has M or A mode, and if you set the camera on A mode the speed dial becomes inoperative. The speeds adjust automatically depending on the aperture, and they can be seen through the viewfinder as they adjust the exposure. You just know that you are in A mode, just like you know that you are in A mode with the DF. The dial is even locked in A mode. Nikon introduced the mode dial on the DF so that it can use older legacy lenses.
    Many are saying that Nikon should have used the double A system (A on the speed dial and A on the aperture rings) an get rid of the mode dial. I don't have much of a background with Nikon cameras, but I don't think that Nikon ever made lenses with an A on the aperture ring. Did Nikon make lenses with an A on the aperture rings? I think that the double A system would (a la Fuji etc) only work if Nikon produced a new set of lenses with the A on the aperture ring. And what about using more modern G lenses without the mode dial; would that work?
     
  31. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As for the mode dial, many are saying that it is a flawed system mainly because if you set the mode dial on A or P the speed dial becomes useless and will indicate anything but the right speed (Thom Hogan even says this).​
    That is not a new problem. Back in the days when the choices used to be either manual (M, manually selecting the shutter speed) or aperture priority (A), such as the FE and FE2, A is simply one of the choices on the shutter-speed knob. Once you start adding S, the exposure mode selection has to be on a separate control so that you can select Shutter Priority and also choose the shutter speed. The FA had this inconsistency with a shutter-speed knob and a separate SPAM control; so did the F4. To me, it is not a big deal.
    Of course Nikon resolved all of such inconsistencies with the F5 in 1996, by having two separate main and sub-command dials. By making things retro, they are bringing back old issues, although a minor one in this case.
     
  32. I agree that it is not an issue. On the Olympus OM 2 there is no A on the shutter speed dial. The camera uses a separate switch for M or A just like with a mode dial. The shutter dial on the OM2 with the camera on A mode, can be moved to any speed without affecting the exposure at all. It therefore 'lies to you' like Thom Hogan says. The DF works this way as well. Not a problem for me at all. We always know what mode we are in anyways don't we? A quick glance at the mode dial or through the viewfinder tells you.
     
  33. Where's the commitment ... I import films from the US and export to the US for development. So expensive here. Your slide films are about 25% the price to our local price. Your lab costs are like 1/2 to us or a 1/3 if you desire mounting.
     
  34. Yes, I can't say the "dial is ignored" thing bothers me either, and I actually quite like the idea of a dial being preset to your "default" when you switch into the right mode to use it. For example, you can use aperture priority outdoors for creative depth of field control where there's plenty of light, and you could then switch to shutter priority indoors, where you want to ensure the shutter speed doesn't drop below the "shake limit" for your lens. (I already do the same kind of thing with auto-ISO on the D800, but I get that, on the Df interface, the alternative I suggested might have some appeal.) If anything, the problem is the inability to ignore the aperture ring setting on the lens, which you do have to put in "A" position (the minimum aperture) for camera-driven aperture settings to work. I do get that the logic might be jarring, though, especially if you're used to some "double A" cameras.

    Neither I (by logic, not examination) nor any reviewer I've found seems to like the implementation of the SPAM dial, but that's not the same thing as complaining about it not being "double A system". Besides, as you say, you'd actually need an "auto" position on the lens for it to work, which is a concept that wasn't even an option when the F mount was invented.

    Nikon did, with the F5 interface, avoid the problem of a labelled dial that doesn't do what it says on the label. They achieved it by having two dials that aren't labelled at all, and which either selectively become inoperative or do something completely different (in easy ISO or easy EC) according to mode. This doesn't bother me at all, but I can see why some aren't fans.

    Ray: An individual roll of Velvia 50 in 135 is, according to my default local retailer, £10.99. (Fortunately a 5 pack of 120 roll, which I'm more likely to use, is £28.99, which is marginally less likely to make me choke. I actually hadn't realised how bad it had got. If it wasn't probably expired, the contents of my fridge could buy my fridge...) At least one local lab adds £2.29 for developing, without scanning or mounting (actually going to the high street costs much more). Drum scanning at cheapdrumscanning.com adds £10+. So let's call it £13 for 36 images I don't use, plus quite a bit for anything worth scanning properly. At the 8fps of my F5, that's one of the faster ways I've got of spending money. Even at UK prices, that's 200 rolls for a Df. Developing, mounting and not scanning? £8.79. Call it £20 per roll of Velvia. About 140 rolls per Df, or about 5000 images. That's somewhere around twice the number of images I average taking as a guest at friends' weddings, usually across a couple of days. (Not keepers, obviously, but also not usually on continuous fire mode.) This is why my fridge is a mix of film yet to be developed and film that I've not found a good enough reason to expose.
     
  35. Canon made lenses with the 'A' marker after its smallest aperture. I don't think Nikon ever did the 'A' marker on the aperture ring. The Nikon method for at least on my FA, and at shutter priority, was to simply set the aperture to whatever the conditions bared the highest aperture. To be safe I simply set it to f16 even if f22 was available on the lens. If EV condition went higher than that, you would get either a 'FEE', or the shutter speed would check up^. I could be wrong on that, I'll break out the FA to confirm that to myself, but that's my current recollection.
    Anyway whatever these camera's do, they're all different, and personally, or fortunately I've not had a problem adjusting from one camera to the next whatever the camera may be, so this constant angsting over what the Df does, or doesn't do is getting way over played in my view.
    A person buys a camera they spend time with it, get to know it, learn it, and move on with making great pictures. Am I wrong? Every camera made is different from on to another. Should they all be the same? Why? Basically it's shutter, aperture combo's and ways to get there, and the ways to get there all vary. The Df is light, just small enough, and goes anywhere. This is a camera I want, and from what I'm hearing from users, they love it. So far I haven't hear anyone who owns a Df regret that they bought one. The picture quality at high ISO's are stunning, even at the hands of amateurs.
     
  36. I really find the retro styling of the Df attractive
    By making things retro, they are bringing back old issues,​
    hmm...
     
  37. Eric, why do you think that they are worthwhile issues? The mode dial is not an issue. It has no negative impact whatsoever on the performance of the camera and on being creative with the camera.
     
  38. Marc: The reports I've seen suggest that the "lift-and-pull" handling of the mode dial is a bit awkward to change, especially compared with the "don't take your hand off the shutter" approach on, say, the D800. I can't imagine that this is a critical problem, given that I don't typically change mode all that frequently, but it seems awkward enough that multiple reviewers have commented on it. However justified the design of some of the Df, the mode dial does feel like change for its own sake (as does the vertical front dial) rather than an attempt to provide a control in keeping with the camera design. But, as ever, I'm only parroting reviews, and there may be some design principles behind it. That there's some was of changing mode is another matter.

    Interesting, Don - my knowledge of pre-Eos Canons is a bit limited. Of course, Canon went through multiple mount updates even in that era. Nikon had a lot of mechanical aperture and metering backward-compatibility to try to maintain (for better or for worse, looking at modern G and electronic aperture lenses that essentially clone EF) by the time the first shutter-priority Nikon cameras appeared, and I suspect not breaking the F3 was a higher priority than making the FA's interface nicer, and anything relying on a lens change would have a lot of lenses to deal with. (Not that I have any objections to the FA's PSAM dial - I'm sure it's a little harder to access than the Df's, but it also takes up less space on the camera.)
     
  39. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Some of us can recall that the D7000's SPAM knob on the left side of the viewfinder has no lock, and there has been complaints that people have experienced unintentional setting changes. After the D7000, the subsequent D600, D7100, and D610 that have the same design all have a knob with lock.
    The Df's design follows the same philosophy. That SPAM exposure mode dial, exposure compensation dial and ISO dial all have locks. Whenever there is a lock, it is going to be a bit slower to operate; you simply can't have it both ways. Personally, I don't have any particular objections on those three controls. The way the shutter-speed knob and the main command dial work together is weird, but we have already beaten that to death.
     
  40. I think the Dfs mode dial is more awkward to operate than the FAs, but in the case of a mode dial, and mode dial only, that wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. Possibly if the Df has adopted the same mode dial as the FA, but with a ball check detent, we would have simply pinned it as a copy, and moved on to something else, but again, once the mode dial is set I've never been under pressure for the need to change it from one to the next. So the Dfs mode dial is fine, there are other positive characteristics of the Df that outshine the mode dial.
     
  41. I'm not sure I'd have expected their conclusion that the camera would be best kept below ISO 3200​
    That is a rather bizarre statement about a camera which is widely viewed as being the best camera ever in terms of low-light/high ISO performance. Just about any DSLR worth its salt can be routinely shot at ISO 3200 these days without excessive noise.
    I just wanted to take a moment to say AAAAAAARGH. And make an appeal for accuracy in reviewing. Similar to several other reviews, we have the sentence: "Should you want to change the shutter speed, sensitivity or exposure compensation, there's no need to scroll through on-screen settings - simply use the dials on top of the camera." Every review I see like this makes me think someone is being told that you need to go into menus to change shutter speed, ISO and EC on a modern (non-introductory) DSLR.​
    Andrew, this alone would make this thread worth starting. So many criticisms of DSLRs are still coming from those who commitment to film has resulted in an absolute unwillingness to try a modern DSLR. "There are none so blind as those who will not see." I rarely go into menus anymore while actually shooting. There typically simply is not a need to do so.
    --Lannie
     
  42. Andrew, this alone would make this thread worth starting. So many criticisms of DSLRs are still coming from those who commitment tofilm[​IMG] has resulted in an absolute unwillingness to try a modern DSLR. "There are none so blind as those who will not see." I rarely go into menus anymore while actually shooting. There typically simply is not a need to do so.
    --Lannie​
    I got burned when I paid good money for the F5 in 2002. I dislike its controls. Newer cameras have improvements over that of the F5 but not by a whole lot. They are still basically the same type of user interface.
     
  43. So many criticisms of DSLRs are still coming from those who commitment to film has resulted in an absolute unwillingness to try a modern DSLR.​
    Very true or they would base their criticisms on the experience of using some kind of outdated P&S. Indeed, looking at the Df, you begin to realize how good the controls on modern dSLRs are. If anyone wants to use MF Nikon lenses on a FF digital camera, SONY has already made one for you, the A7, which is about the size of the FM and is just $1,700. It has a state of the art EVF and a tiltable screen with magnification MF assist and focus peaking to make it easy to use MF lenses. To me personally, $1500-1700 is the right price point to use these old lenses. For videographers, who prefer to MF, the A7 can allow these people to shoot HD videos. I am not inviting criticisms by saying good things about SONY, which I do not own, in a Nikon forum. But looking at the competition, it is easier to see how Nikon has missed the mark.
    To understand why Df provokes such heated debates, and why I, and others, feel compel to say something about Df, after participating in the previous thread, Thom Hogan said it best that despite the fact that Df can take great pictures, some of us cannot help but wonder what it could and should have been. Yes the Df works, and it has a great sensor, but is this all we care about in cameras? Some will say yes, and some will say no.
     
  44. Facing with so much criticism when it was announced Nov 6, 2013 I had hoped that nobody will buy it but it seems now that it does sell quite well.
     
  45. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Indeed, looking at the Df, you begin to realize how good the controls on modern dSLRs are.​
    CC Chang, I learned that in 1997, when I bought my F5 a year after its introduction in 1996. Prior to the F5, my main body from 1990 to 1997 was an F4, which I was keeping as a backup. After using the F5 for a few months, I realized that I couldn't stand the F4 again and eventually I bought an F100 as a second body. The F100 and F5 have similar controls and were the predecessor of today's DSLR controls.
    Of course, BeBu Lamar has a completely different reaction to the F5.
     
  46. Bebu, I have no problems switching back and forth from my 'modern' dslr's and the Nikon DF, no more than I have from switching from my rangefinder Contax ll (1937) and my film slr's. It only takes a minute to adjust to the changeover. I guess I like variety.
     
  47. but it seems now that it does sell quite well.​
    Care to share your source of this information. Keep in mind that Nikon was expected to make just 15,000 of Df per month, and it is well stocked at Amazon in the USA. As of now, body only, there are 20 of these in stock, and it says "order soon."
     
  48. Andrew could not get to see one in real life. But any way I hoped that Nikon sells very few of them so that they have to drop the price to get rid of stock. I also hope the they realize that it's bad idea and drop it altogether.
     
  49. Just out of curiosity, are there any members here on photo.net that have purchased a Df and are now unhappy with it?
     
  50. I don't get it. Why would anyone want the DF to be a sales failure and Nikon to realise that it's a bad idea? Purchasers of this camera don't think that it's a bad idea. The only motive behind this kind of thinking is 'if I can't afford it, or don't like it, than no one else should like the camera, and they should not be buying it'. Unfortunately for you Bebu, there are people buying the camera and the vast majority of these buyers are enjoying the camera. There are other choices for people who don't like the camera.
     
  51. From what I read, the Df seems to sell better in Asia. However we do not know how many Df are shipped to the US vs the rest of the world. Being simply out of stock does not mean that they are selling this thing in very large quantity. One rumor site pointed out that in the US, the Df was sold with a rebate before the X-mass.
    I too hope Nikon can learn a lesson. Otherwise in Df2, we may need to pull a leveler to advance to the next "frame" and have to open it in the dark to change the memory card. I really think a Nikon version of the SONY A7 makes a lot of sense. It will give new life to its very large collection of MF lenses, to establish a mirror less platform, not directly competing with its FX dSLRs, and creates a new and attractive niche.
     
  52. No rebates offered in the US and Canada on the DF. The rebates are for lenses purchased with the camera.
     
  53. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Just out of curiosity, are there any members here on photo.net that have purchased a Df and are now unhappy with it?​
    Dan, first of all, it is quite clear that the Df is a very expensive camera for the features it offers. Its retro style controls are of course unique among Nikon DSLRs and not to everybody's liking. I would imagine that whoever is willing to spend that kind of money on a Df has considered those factors, which aren't exactly secrets; they have already been beaten to death on various forums and reviews. In other words, those who are unhappy with the Df are unlikely to get one to begin with. Therefore, if you only check with those who have bought one, I would expect that most of them like it.
    I am aware of one photo.net member who tried to sell a Df fairly quickly, in our classifieds: Nikon DF Pristine, barely used
    I have no idea why he wanted to sell it. Since he didn't participate in these sometimes heated discussions, I don't think it is fair to drag him in.
    There is one person on DPReview returned his Df because he didn't like it: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3608049
    Unfortunately, he got flamed pretty badly over there. If some people love their Df, great, but I don't know why some of them over on DPReview are so defensive. If any one of you has time, read that entire thread; it is quite interesting.
    I am in the unique situation that I have been using a Df test sample for a while, but I didn't pay for it. To me, it is sort of an "antique" and it is fun to look at in that sense, but I am probably much better off spending $2750 on something else. I already have way too many cameras and lenses.
    BTW, has anybody run into the Df lock up issue that OP on DPReview mentioned? It has never happened to me.
     
  54. No lock ups whatsoever. Must be caused by his memory card. Maybe the camera was faulty.
     
  55. I don't get it. Why would anyone want the DF to be a sales failure and Nikon to realise that it's a bad idea? Purchasers of this camera don't think that it's a bad idea. The only motive behind this kind of thinking is 'if I can't afford it, or don't like it, than no one else should like the camera, and they should not be buying it'. Unfortunately for you Bebu, there are people buying the camera and the vast majority of these buyers are enjoying the camera. There are other choices for people who don't like the camera.​
    Oh no I love my Df. I wish Nikon couldn't sell them so I can get one for cheap. I wish they don't make them any more so few people have it. I am selfish want good things for me only. That's the motive.
     
  56. Yes, the Df still seems to be rare in UK retailers, but I can't tell whether that's because they've sold in huge quantities or because few have shipped - rumours are that the manufacture rate is currently lowered because of Sochi and the D4s, but that's rumours for you. I'm not close enough to a big UK retailer to spot whether the stock is fluctuating.

    In case my intentions have ever appeared otherwise, my motivations with analysing the Df are:

    a) curiosity (trying to understand why what, to me, look like usability problems are not - at least for everyone - and what advantages the camera has) and

    b) trying to ensure that the features of an easily-misunderstood and mis-reported camera are properly discussed so that those who have an emotional response to the camera (for or against) can make an informed decision. I don't like thinking there are people who think they ought to like the Df's interface (more than they at least perceive they would like other DSLR's) who, in fact, would find it worse for them than a cheaper camera; equally, I don't like thinking there are people who will dismiss the Df when, in fact, it would work well for them.

    It's very patronizing of me to try to save the misinformed from themselves, but I feel a civic duty. In any case, it's why reviews which have the potential to mislead - especially about this camera - frustrate me.

    That said, barring my ongoing frustration about feeling I'm missing something with this camera, I do think we've done all practical analysis of the Df's mechanics and interface to death. Which doesn't preclude my interest in oddities from a casual interest perspective, but I'm not expecting any further discussions will be of much direct use to potential buyers. Of course, I'll probably be proven wrong by the next post to ask something we've missed.
     
  57. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    rumours are that the manufacture rate is currently lowered because of Sochi and the D4s, but that's rumours for you.​
    If Nikon intended to release the D4S for the Sochi Olympics, they should have announced it by October, November last year, as they did with the D3S four years earlier (for the Vancouver Winter Olympics): http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Ujxq
    The Sochi Olympics is merely three week away and the D4S isn't even officially announced yet. Nikon may have some semi-official, pre-production models for selected photographers to try out at Sochi; I don't see any large production that would tie up the Sandai factory. Such rumors don't seem to make any sense. If you are a big-time sports photographer covering the Olympics, there is no way you would use a brand new camera that is not fully tested for such an important occasion.
    Otherwise, all Nikon DSLRs from the D610 and below are produced in Thailand. What Sandai produces: D4, D800/D800E were introduced two years ago and sales must have tapered off a long time ago. I see no reason why there is insufficient capacity to manufacture the Df. I have no idea about the UK, but there has never been any Df shortage in the US. It is available in both colors, with or without the kit lens, from day one. Early on, B&H could be out of one configuration for a day or two, but you can find it at Amazon or vice verse. There was never any long waiting lists like the D800 two years ago.
    Andrew, I simply don't see you have any excuse for not picking up a Df in Phoenix. Maybe you should pick up half a dozen or so and make a profit across the pond. :)
    Or maybe the Sandai facility is tied up manufacturing the Coolpix A.
     
  58. Hi Shun. "I am aware of one photo.net member who tried to sell a Df fairly quickly, in our classifieds: Nikon DF Pristine, barely used
    I have no idea why he wanted to sell it. Since he didn't participate in these sometimes heated discussions, I don't think it is fair to drag him in."
    It wasn't me. But, I had a point, when I thought of it. I had the Df a good month, and shooting with it and surprised of the quality of the images, better dynamic range, better high ISO capability, compared to my D4. The problem is, it is very limited luxury item, bigger then I expected, in a certain way the design arrangement is not logical. Using with small prime lenses is good ( a special small bag, Df,+20/3.5AI-S, 28-50/3.5 zoom, 135/2.8 AI-S, 200/4 AI-S and the SB-400 flash ) and handling is excellent, but, that's it. This camera is a walk around expensive high quality FF body. Using it as a pro body with big lenses is awkward, ugly, without an extra optional battery grip. Witch is almost impossible in the stupid configuration of the Battery and memory card placing. Never mind the single card. Regardless, I keep it for a special body for prime and S.W. Angle prime lenses when I travel, move around. After 50 years of a Nikon user, it is a first time I'm disappointed of Nikon. I don't mind paying over 3000 dollar with tax for the camera, but, I going to keep it anyway.
    I wish, they build all this in a FM3a body, with optional motor drive, sorry, battery grip.
     
  59. I don't have the FM3a but I do have the FM and FE and both of them handle very well without the motor drive. With the motor drive attached they are the worst in term of handling. My hands are tired by trying to grip the camera hard enough so it won't slip from my hand.
     
  60. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have seen some comments (other than just Bela) that people wish the Df could be smaller, like FM/FE small. I think that would be very difficult; Nikon has already made the Df as small as they realistically can.
    In the image below, I lined up the mounts of the Df and the FE. The red line is the film/sensor plane. The distance from the mount to the sensor plane (i.e. the flange-to-sensor distance) was fixed in 1959. On the FE, the film is very thin and there is only the camera back with a spring-loaded pressure plate to flatten the film; there is no weather sealing, etc.. On the Df and any other DSLR, there is electronics behind the sensor. And you essentially must have an LCD on the back of a DSLR to review the images and also provide the menu for a lot of controls. (There may be technologies to put some app on a smart phone to control a DSLR and display its images, and then you can do away with the LCD on the camera. However, that'll make your camera very dependent on the phone. I am not sure that idea flies.)
    Look at the D7000; it is just as thick as the Df for the same reasons. It is narrower because it is DX instead of FX.
    As I mentioned earlier, there is no lock on the D7000's MASP dial, and some people tend to accidentally change the setting. The FE has an ASA/ISO dial and an exposure compensation dial on the left, similar to the Df. The FE has locks on both. You need to hold down that button in the 4 o'clock position to rotate the ISO dial, and you need to lift the rim of that same dial to change compensation, a bit similar to the MASP dial on the Df.
    Quite a few people have complained about using big lenses with the Df. Meanwhile, I use the long 80-400mm AF-S VR on the D7100 (which is very similar to the D7000) frequently with no issues. I think the big difference is the grip. I wrap my right fingers around the grip on the D7000/D7100 for a very secure hold so that using a big lens is not an issue. The grip on the Df is way too small; only my finger tips are in contact with it and they have to pressure onto it. To me, that is uncomfortable.
    I think Nikon puts a small grip on the Df to make the camera small. Beside poor ergonomics, without a large grip, there is no room for the regular sub-command dial, which becomes a little vertical dial on the Df. There is also no room for the EN-EL15 battery that is now common among the D800, D600/D610, D7000, and D7100; even the tiny V1 uses it. There is also no room for dual memory cards, which is a major negative on the Df. There is insufficient space for a regular-size top LCD. As a result, the Df is more like the D3000 and D5000 series that have no top LCD. Most of the displays are re-directed to the back LCD.
    If you want a smaller DSLR, you either need to use a smaller format, such as APS-C or you need to shrink the flange-to-sensor distance, e.g. move to mirrorless such as the Sony A7. However, once you do that, compatibility with the millions (the current count is up to 85 million) existing F-mount lenses becomes an issue. I, for one, by far prefer native lenses for a mount rather than using adapters.
    00cJsk-544934084.jpg
     
  61. ... I do have the FM and FE and both of them handle very well without the motor drive. With the motor drive attached they are the worst in term of handling. My hands are tired by trying to grip the camera hard enough so it won't slip from my hand.​
    I owned an FM and two FM2 bodies - and for me it was just the opposite. Without the grip from the motor drive, I never felt I had a secure grip on the camera; with the grip things were a lot better. The same held for the FA and F3 - I spend a lot of money on motor drives I mostly needed to have a grip on the camera.
    The grip on the Df is way too small; only my finger tips are in contact with it and they have to pressure onto it. To me, that is uncomfortable.​
    Same here - though I have not tried to adjust my grip the way Bjorn suggested in the 800+-thread post: gripping the camera from below (couldn't quite figure out what he meant). Scroll down a bit on this blog post - I believe the writer demonstrates that adjusted grip: http://bestlightphoto.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-nikon-df-first-look.html That's pretty much how I remember trying to hold onto those "gripless" soap-bar-shaped film bodies (including most recently a Leica M5 and M6).
    Unfortunately, due to the memory card/battery placement on the Df, I don't think companies like RRS will produce a grip that can be mounted like an L-bracket under the camera (similar to the one for the Leica M: http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2603/.f). One has to remove the base plate of the M anyway to get to the battery and card (and the RRS plate replaces the original Leica base plate and can be removed as easily without the use of tools); I don't see a similar solution for the Df.
     
  62. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dieter, actually I thought about an add-on grip. Companies such as RRS are quite creative. They should be able to hollow out part of the plate so that you can still open the battery/SD card compartment.
    The problem will be the location of the shutter release. Pay attention to the D7000 above; with the built-in grip, Nikon positions the shutter release on top of the front part of the grip, very convenient for your right index finger. The shutter release on the Df is much farther back. You can artifically add a grip onto the Df, but now your fingers are much farther out while the position of the shutter release hasn't changed. That is going to be very uncomfortable as well unless the add-on grip is very small. Additionally, on the Df, you also have that uncommon, vertical sub-command dial to worry about. An add-on grip can make its control difficult as well.
     
  63. Actually the problem with the Df is that it's too big not the grip. The camera is too fat front to back as well as too tall. Too tall at the shoulder from the bottom of the camera to the top deck. The high prism doesn't matter. Also the lens mount is slightly further from the bottom of the camera than film camera. This fact makes it difficult to hold the camera with the left hand. Thick camera front to back also make holding the camera with the left hand more difficult. High top deck means you can't reach the shutter release button while you the edge of your right palm is supporting the bottom of the camera. Thus the grip is needed on the Df but not on a film camera like the FM. On the FM the right hand never need to grip the body thus no grip is needed. But I can't complain about the size of the Df because it would be very difficult to make it as small as even the relatively large F3 or F2 cameras.
     
  64. On the Df and any other DSLR, there is electronics behind the sensor.​
    Makes one wonder how Leica managed to keep - at least on paper - the thickness of their digital M cameras in line with that of their film camera - the M7 is 38mm thick, the M9 37mm and the M 42mm - these are taken directly from the Leica technical data sheets. Looking at the M9 and M images, it seems quite obvious that the numbers don't reflect that the digital Ms appear slightly thicker - though the difference in not as big as the one between the FE and Df that Shun mentioned above.
    The problem will be the location of the shutter release.​
    The RRS grip for the Leica should pose the same problem - and it likely is an issue; I just don't have experience with one. It's the price to be paid when after-market accessories are needed to correct a faulty design. I have no doubt that Nikon would sell a lot more "Df" cameras if they had chosen to put that D4 sensor into a D610 body - we just wouldn't have had those long 800+ thread posts about it.
    The camera is too fat front to back​
    Not the impression I had when I handled one. The "fattest" body I ever used was the F4 - I just barely managed to get my hands around that bulbous grip.
     
  65. One more time. I still don't understand WHY nikon designed the way of the memory card placement? I can live with an overgrown, fatty FM, FA, F3 imitation of the body. I have no problem handling the camera, as long as I using small primes, (20AI-S, 28-50/3.5AI-S, 105/2.5, 135/2.8, & max. 200/4 all AI-S ) but the AF-S 17-35/2.8 and up pro zooms is awkward and ugly on the Df. Otherwise, I like the camera very much, and very happy with the quality of images it producing.
    I'm in the troubling time, what to do with the D3s and the D4? I like the D3s better then the D4, because the stupid two different memory cards on the D4, one, XQD, witch all ready a dead issue. I would definitely keep the D3s. The new D4s? No, thanks', as long as the mix memory card issue exist. If Nikon came up with a D4x with two same size memory cards, then, I my going to trade in the D3s And the D4 for it.
     
  66. If a camera is fat front to back it's not going to be a good handling camera in the old film camera style. It would be a camera with large grip and with the shutter release on the grip style. To have a good handling camera in the old style the camera is necessary be thin.
    I have no problem with the memory card in the battery compartment. I would not like to see a door on the side of the camera. I don't care for dual card slot as I don't care for redundancy. Murphy's law said that any thing can fail will fail and I know that but that apply also to a dual card system. If my camera fails I would quite shooting and look for way to fix it. I would care more for the camera well being than the images it could have taken. But that's me.
     
  67. OK, Since the DF release, and all the threads, commentary, and much by none of us that actually handled one, I finally found a Df today in black to handle at Calumet.
    I have been in favor of the Df, and have come to its defense as I like the concept, So, 5 minutes with the Df is all I had, as on this day there was one person in front of me, and 2 people behind me that wanted to do the same by merely handling to get introduced to it. I brought my F3, and 3 AIS lenses, the Voigtlander 40mm Ultron, Nikkor 105 f2.5 AIS, and a Nikkor 24mm f2 AIS.
    Again I had virtually 5 minutes with the Df.
    First off the weight is deceivingly light, I think its the appearance of the camera that cues you into thinking it would be heavier.
    The grip I found to be positive, but I do now know how some would have a problem with it, as its at the limit of a secure handle. Long lenses, forget about it.
    The first big disappointment is where the right strap lug is mounted. Big mistake! As it prevents your pointer finger to access a direct push on the vertical front command knob. You would be forced to access underneath, which is uncomfortable, or over the top, again wrong angle. This issue would essentially train me away from using the dial altogether, and therefore compromising the flexibility that was intended by the engineers in the first place. Most demo camera's are presented without the strap mounted. For the Df shopper this could be deceiving. Because when the strap mounted, it changes the angle of the eyelet. It's fiddly.
    While I'm at negatives, I was shocked to see, even through all of the threads that I've read here, I somehow missed, or this wasn't covered, is that the exposure compensation dial needs to be unlocked from every third stop! I had somehow thought that the lock was just to release it off of zero, so then one could just peruse through the third stops unfettered. So you need to press the unlock button, which by the way I thought the spring tension is too high, and unnecessary. Again not necessary, and not fluid.
    The viewfinder with my 105mm 2.5 attached brought a look to the 105 I had never seen in the 30 years with it. The viewfinder on the Df is really tricked out. Clear, sharp, bright, and manually focusing my 105 was crisp, and decisive. So clear. Once the diopter was set, the image was clear, but the info in the viewfinder got a little out of focus, so I would get a diopter disc, which would, or should bring everything into sharp focus. I prefer to shoot without my glasses, and when I shoot, I shoot collections of a situation, then edit, so this limits the need to take glasses on and off.
    Build quality is what I expected, I think of all comments on build quality, most everyone is on the same page on this.
    Shutter release was nice, and fluid. The shutter sound I thought was as quiet as anything I've heard, other that a Leica M6, or M7, of which is quieter, or the quietist. I would prefer the shutter button to me more forward, and this was a consistent complaint throughout our threads here.
    So, my five minutes are up, thats all I could garner in that time, and as I drove away my impressions were mixed. $2700? Hmm I don't know, I'm thinking perhaps if Nikon was so willing to turn on a dime with the D-600 to the D-610, perhaps they will tweak out the Df too. This is my impression at this time! The strap lug blocking the front command dial, and the meticulous Un-locking of the exposure compensation dial for every step, bugs me. I know what slowing down is, and I'm afraid these two issues may bring fluidity down too slow. Again, I like the concept, and when this tax season is over, the Df is still a candidate for a late Christmas present. Next test for me, the D-610...soon. If the viewfinder in the D-610 is near the clarity of the Df? We'll see. The Dfs viewfinder is awesome. I also intend to spend more than five minutes with the DF. I'll need to get into the shop before the crowd to relax a little more with my impressions.
    Those of you that have had, or have more than five minutes with the Df, I envy you, I've seen pictures from the Df, and they, as someone said, did something to the processor or something, and now with the announcement of the D4s, promising better image quality, this makes me wonder whats going on here.
     
  68. I have bought the Df for just over 3 weeks so I do have more than 5 minutes with the Df. I won't discuss about the image quality because I am no expert on this (I have never owned a DSLR before) although I am very happy with it. The handling of the Df is good but since the camera as I have mentioned earlier that it's bigger than even the F3 so it doesn't handle as well as the F3 but close enough. I use it almost the same as I use the F3 so it works for me just fine. I never used the EC on the F3 as it's also locked every 1/3 stop you have to hold the button down to make adjustment. The ISO is the same way it locks every 1/3 stop but so does the F3. In fact both of these controls are easier to use than that of the F3. The shutter speed dial needs less force to turn and yet makes very positive click. I use the aperture ring on most of my lenses. I have only 1 lens that doesn't have aperture ring but for this lens I use it on P mode and I especially mount this 24-85 lens on the camera when my wife wants to use it. So I primarily uses the focusing ring, the zoom ring, the shutter speed dial and the aperture ring. The ISO dial is used very sparingly only when I face with different lighting condition altogether. Unlike a number of people I know who use the ISO control as a mean to control exposure to allow them to set the aperture and shutter speed to whatever they want and still have correct exposure. I use the aperture and shutter speed to control exposure. Just like when I use the F3.
    I found the screen is good for manual focusing I have no problem using it. I would not like a screen with focusing aid like split image. It would be better if the Df has the interchangable screen feature to let people have choice but the choice I would have made is a plain screen. The grip on the Df is just right for what it is but it would be better to have a thinner body and no grip. A thick body needs a grip and the grip of the Df is right size for its thickness. I would not want a vertical grip because I never use it. I always shoot the vertical shot with right hand bellow.
    The shutter sound is quiet, quieter than the Sony A7 which doesn't have a mirror. But it's too quiet for me, I like the sound of the F3 or FM better. But that's not a real complain but it's not a praise either.
    The one card slot in the battery compartment isn't a problem for me as a 32GB card would give me at least 800 shots with RAW+JPEG at the largest file size setting. That more than enough for me for one single outing. So when I go out in the field I would never have to access the card. I was worried about battery life more than memory card but the battery seems to last a long time. The indicator still says full after a week or using it off and on.
     
  69. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    A lot of you know that I also have a Contax 645, which was introduced in the late 1990's. As you can see from the image below, it has very traditional shutter-speed knob, exposure compensation knob and an aperture ring around the lens. However, there is also a full size grip with a notch for the right middle finger. That is why the grip is very firm even thought the 645 lenses are quite big.
    Nikon started providing this type of grips on their SLRs since the late 1980's and the design gradually improved. For example, the F100 introduced in 1998 has a grip with a notch for the middle finger similar to the Contax grip. With the excpetions of the two retro-style cameras, namely the FM3a and now Df, all Nikon SLRs from the 1990's and on have this kind of design.
    Instead, Nikon uses a very small grip that has no notch on the Df, similar to the one on the F3. Since the grip also houses the battery and memory card inside, that one design choice has a lot of implications on the control and handling of the Df.
    P.S. I captured the image of the Contax 645 with the Df and two flashes.
    00cK7S-544970484.jpg
     
  70. I don't think an exposure compensation dial even needs a lock button. My Contax G2 uses ball check detents, with no initial lock button, O being the strongest, and then everything after that has a different, lighter feel to it. My Pentax 67II has a lock on its exposure compensation dial, but its just for O, every other stop, or step have clicks, but after the one unlock, its always movable with one finger. I don't think its reasonable to think that one will know exactly what the exposure compensation factor is going to be. Usually deferring to Exposure Comp is a test, or search for the right exposure. So having to press that hard button on the DF every time you defer to exposure comp, is a little unrealistic I think.
    If the grip on the Df had a ridge on it where the finger tips end up, that would be better for a more positive grip. Where you are actually reaching in to the camera grip to get hold of it, then the grip size could be maintained, although still the baby finger has no where to land.
     
  71. Usually deferring to Exposure Comp is a test, or search for the right exposure.​
    Usually when I do this I estimate an exposure and set it manually. Take the shot and make the adjustment with either the aperture ring or shutter speed dial. Small changes are usually made with the aperture ring alone.
     
  72. Wow, I turn my back for five minutes...

    Shun: I hate to defend a rumour, but it's possible that the number of prototypes and back-ups for the D4s cameras expected to be trialled at Sochi are tying up the pipeline, or it's possible that Nikon are making a number of the in expectation of a big sales launch afterwards. But, equally, that could be rubbish and stocks could be fine. My samples of UK stocks were: WEx (awaiting stock of both colours of Df), Park (limited availability of black, awaiting chrome), Amazon (not apparently listed). However, they seem to be around in some places (Mifsuds, Cameraworld) and some people that I assume are importing grey market items (Panamoz et al. claim to have the body at about £1000 cheaper than the normal price). It took a while for the Df to turn up anywhere in the UK - the US seems to have precedence. I really can't imagine they're selling in huge quantities at £2750.

    Good point about the small grip not leaving room for a conventional dial. I should have thought of that - I feel much better about the design now I realise it wasn't just done to make it look like a G2. Frankly, I think that shrinking the grip has always been a fake way to try to make the camera smaller - very few lenses (except some body cap specials) are thin enough that they're not the limiting factor in whether a camera will fit in a pocket, and it's rare for the flatness of a camera to be an issue in getting it into a bag. If Nikon really wanted to make the grip thinner for storage, I maintain they should have a normal size one, but hinge it at the base so it folds outwards - but that's another camera. I'm convinced that the Df's grip is the size it is just to make the Df look a bit like an F3, although the tiny battery undoubtedly helps the weight a bit.

    I'm confused about the differences in sensor behaviour. DxO show the sensor to be almost identical to the D4, but NPhoto's review shows significant differences - not that I entirely trust them. I'm curious whether those seeing significant chances relative to the D4 are looking at raw images or JPEG - I could believe the JPEG engine got tweaked.

    Dieter: Thanks for the link to the grip description. I admit that Bjorn confused me a bit as well - I was trying to imagine some kind of "cupping the camera in the hand" grip. Now I realise what he meant, I realise I'm an idiot. That's exactly how I hold cameras with small grips (or no grip) anyway - my Bessa, my GF2, the XPro1 and X100s I played with over the weekend. Not quite as secure or comfortable, and I wouldn't want to hold a big lens on it, but I think we can agree that the Df is not intended to be a perfect match for big telephotos. Interesting that they like the auto-ISO behaviour in that review.

    Don: Thanks for your thoughts, and I'm glad you liked it. The D610 release was not uniformly well received, so unless there's a PR disaster awaiting the Df (oil spots, anyone?) I'd be a bit surprised to see it tweaked. Actually, I'd be surprised to see a successor at all, at least any time soon, but I won't rule it out if it sells well enough.

    Much as I'd love to buy a Df (honestly, for all my ranting, I'm sure I'd find times when I'd like to use it), affording one alongside my D800 is some way from being an option (I'm still saving for a 400 f/2.8, Otus/new Sigma 50mm and a 135 f/2 APO... or more realistically, paying off my D800). Though the "sell it in the UK to offset the depreciation" option has some appeal, for now I think trying one in a store is a simpler option! I'll see how I get on, but take my credit card with me. :)
     
  73. Incidentally, the Df approach is contagious. Fuji are teasing their new old-style camera. I'm guessing, based on the picture, but... no flash, small grip, weirdly small front dial(?), ISO where you can't get at it right-handed, strap lugs in the way... I wonder where the SD card goes? :)
     
  74. Andrew, Thom Hogan seems to like it and had this to say:
    "Fujifilm's upcoming X-T1 (to be announced January 28th) seems to incorporate virtually all of my comments [on the Df]:
    • No mode dial — Fujifilm has correctly moved the film answer for exposure modes forward into digital: A settings on the aperture ring and shutter speed dial give you all four exposure modes without needing a mode dial and then making the shutter speed or aperture ring lie to you.
    • ISO dial — Look, an Auto ISO position.
    • Exposure Compensation dial — Yep, in the correct position for the right hand, leaving your left hand under the lens supporting the camera and/or focusing/zooming while looking through viewfinder.
    • Front Command dial — horizontal, just below the shutter release; opposes rear dial correctly for one-hand operation without moving hand position.
    • On/Off switch — small gripped tab sticking forward from the ring around shutter release.
    • Shooting Method switch — under the ISO dial on the left side (as you face the camera), with the markings facing you for visibility. (Metering is similarly set via a dial under the shutter speed dial.)"
    I think the grip on the X-1 is more substantial than the one on Df, but I could not see the bottom of it. This Fuji is unlikely to be used with really large and heavy lenses though so a very large grip is not necessary.
     
  75. I still cannot understand Thom's criticism of the mode dial. How can you implement the double A system as he mentions if the lenses don't have an A on them? I don't think that Nikon lenses ever had an A on the aperture ring. Fuji has no problem making this mainly because it's a whole new system with new lenses recently released. Nikon used the mode dial route to accomodate older lenses. Maybe someone can shed some light on this.
     
  76. I must agree with Marc! There is no way Nikon could do without a mode dial or mode switch (press a button and turn the command dial) unless Nikon would introduce new lenses just for the Df or make a camera without P and S mode.
     
  77. I must agree with Marc! There is no way Nikon could do without a mode dial or mode switch (press a button and turn the command dial) unless Nikon would introduce new lenses just for the Df​
    Which is why DPreview called Nikon silly since Nikon did "redesign" a new 50/1.8 to go with the Df by simply adding a silver ring for the look. The old MF cameras and the modern dSLRs have two different sets of control designs, each works well in its own right, and the Df shows that just mixing/fusing them together is weird. If you can't do retro right, don't do it.
     
  78. CC Chang, I don't understand why you are saying this. The DF was designed to use every type of Nikkor lenses. They introduced the camera with one kit lens and would have had to introduce a whole new set of lenses with aperture rings with an A to please who? Everyone would have complained about this. The mode dial is not a flaw but a necessity. The camera can use every single Nikkor lens. We should be celebrating this move, instead of complaining about a mode dial. As for the way the dials are placed on the top plate, I am still waiting for someone to come up with a simulated mock up of a better design which would keep all of the dials with the EC dial on the right.
     
  79. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Andrew, Thom Hogan seems to like it and had this to say:
    "Fujifilm's upcoming X-T1 (to be announced January 28th) seems to incorporate virtually all of my comments [on the Df]:​
    CC Chang, that is an extremely unfair comparison. The Fuji X series cameras first appeared in the 2010's, merely a few years ago. They have absolutely no need to maintain compatibility with lenses introduced a few decades ago. Clearly Fuji has a lot more freedom to "get it right." Nikon is constrained by an F mount that was designed over half a century ago. Even the latest D4 and D4S must have some compromises.
    Incidentally, I wonder why that brand is still called Fujifilm? Those aren't film cameras.
     
  80. Marc, the point is that it can't be done, unless Nikon truly and thoroughly makes the commitment to bring back the UIs used successfully in the film days. Nikon has long decided that the camera body should control the aperture and the resulting UIs on modern higher end dSLRs work really well whether you use the G lenses or the MF lenses. The dials and tower of dials plus the mini lockable model dial on the Df add unnecessary complexity to the user experience and they ask you to pay a lot for it. For people who wish to use most MF lenses, what is wrong with D610 (or D800)? What if Nikon just put the D4 16MP sensor in D610 and call it D700 and add $500 to the price tag?
     
  81. In the film days starting with the FA and then the F4 Nikon had the mode switch which had the same problem with the mode dial on the Df. Previous cameras didn't have the problem because they only have manual or manual and aperture priority mode. I am OK if Nikon decided not to include P and S mode with the Df but many people would have complained about that too.
     
  82. It really doesn't take that much imagination to envision a PSAM-dial-less Df. The easiest solution, naturally, would have been to do away with S and P altogether.
    Another, to design the top-deck more like the one of the F4 and/or FA. It would have been very welcome to have the exposure compensation on the right side of the prism, and the different shooting modes would not have been out of place on the left side (where they are on other Nikon DSLRs).
    So,for example, under the shutter speed dial would be the lever to select between P S A and M (like on the FA); the useless PSAM dial would be replaced by an exposure compensation dial, and the shooting modes move to the left side with the ISO dial (or around the shutter release, like they were on the F4). Or, it would also be easy to combine the exposure compensation dial on the right side with an ISO scale (for example, a little window and a dial that needs to be lifted to set ISO; it's not like that's unheard of on classic Nikon film cameras). More likely though, to have the EC dial moved towards the back of the camera, it would need to incorporate the LCD display in this scenario.
    I can also envision a scenario that breaks with the PSAM tradition - but I don't think that would ever fly with Nikon.
     
  83. I guess you can't please everybody but if they move the EC dial to the right like other recently introduced cameras I would not want the Df. The EC I know is very important to many people and to many it's the one that actually control the exposure. However for me it's an unimportant control and they can bury it in the menu I would be fine with that. I control the exposure primarily by the aperture and shutter speed with the ISO very rarely. I want to use the camera just like I use a film camera back in the old days. Don't tell me to go buy a film camera as I have plenty and it's the film that I have a hard time buying thanks to the digital revolution.
     
  84. It really doesn't matter to me whether the EC dial is on the left or right side. I rarely play with EC compensation while looking through the viewfinder. I don't need to be changing EC on the fly while looking through the viewfinder. I will usually look down on the camera and change exposure with the EC dial if need be. I do the same with my other dslr's, rotate the command dial programmed for EC usually by looking down at the small lcd on the top of the camera. I don't think that the DF is meant to be used like other dslr's where you can rapidly rotate the command or sub command dial to exposure compensate while looking through the viewfinder. If you are concerned with speed, you can always bracket like any other camera.
     
  85. I actually intend and do work fast controlling the camera with the focusing ring, aperture ring, shutter speed dial and the shutter release button.
     
  86. How can you implement the double A system as he mentions if the lenses don't have an A on them?​
    i just shot my x-e1 in manual mode two days ago. the fuji XF primes have an aperture ring, the zoom lenses have an aperture ring but no numbers. there's a switch to take you from A mode to M mode, and you can see aperture values in the LCD or EVF. it's easy to configure P,A,S, or M, exactly as thom describes, and the actual real-world experience of shooting that way is pretty breezy. fuji totally gets it.
    i will also be looking at the xt1 with interest. after shooting a bit with the x100 and xe1, ive decided that i want to build a fuji system. there's really no comparison between build quality of the fuji 18-55 kit and the nikkor kit lenses, and the IQ of the 18-55--a $700 lens--looks as good or better as the 24-70 in the limited shooting i've done with it, plus the fuji is stabilized. a matured AF system and ergonomic/UI improvements could make the xt1 the go-to hi-Q compact, and the thought of carrying two compact bodies is more appealing than carrying two larger bodies. moreover, fuji is making the lenses i want too, instead of endless iterations of cheap kit lenses and limited-appeal normal FX primes with heavy price tags. $1000 for the fuji 56/1.2 sounds much more appealing than $1700 for the nikkor 58/1.4, since that focal length is in no-man's land on FX but an 85mm equiv. on APS-C. also, fuji and other 3rd-party vendors make grips which should help with longer lenses. plus fuji seems to have a commitment to customer satisfaction, unlike some Japanese camera companies ;)
    while i'm going to keep my D3s and FX lenses, and possibly get another FX body in the future, the only thing keeping me tethered to Nikon DX right now is the AF performance and UI of my d300s, which is getting a bit long in the tooth. if the xt1 delivers in this area, i may sell off my DX lenses to get more fuji stuff. i dont really need 24mp DX for most of what i do, and for the things on which i might want more MP, i'd probably want to go FX, so the d7100 thusfar hasnt proved compelling.
    The dials and tower of dials plus the mini lockable model dial on the Df add unnecessary complexity to the user experience and they ask you to pay a lot for it.​
    what i'm hearing on this thread from Df owners is an irrational need to justify the camera's cost, despite the logic which says the UI should have been much more streamlined and the specs less frankensteinish. i dont doubt some will enjoy the Df experience, but it's not a camera that makes a whole lot of rational sense for a good portion of its potential market -- which includes d3, d700, and d3s owners.
     
  87. DPreview comments are already calling the xt1 "the Df killer." not exactly, since that body does make sense for pre-AI and older nikkor users, but it's really fuji's whole approach to their product line which is killing nikon right now, IMHO.
     
  88. Does the XT-1 have a full frame sensor?
     
  89. Let me just add a couple of lines.. we are not at 800 posts
    yet!! ;-)



    I never used Exposure Compensation on SLR camera's.
    And: The F3 also had a locking dial. In A-mode I just
    measure where I expect 18% grey and hold AEL. That
    works fast and reliable for me. In M-mode things pretty
    much work the same. ..O, I seem to remember that the F3
    TTL flash compensation also worked through the EC dial. I
    modern DSLR's that is done through a separate button.
    In short: I would have no issues with the EC dial on the Df.


    Considering the €2700 price tag, I DO have issues with:
    1) The viewfinder. 2) The AF module and possibly 3) ..No
    video.. And I am definately willing to change my opinion !
     
  90. Eric wrote:
    the fuji XF primes have an aperture ring, the zoom lenses have an aperture ring but no numbers​
    Not all of them. Take the 27mm pancake, for example, which has no aperture ring at all. You have to set the aperture from the camera.

    Now Nikon could have a camera-selected aperture setting for "auto", though I suspect a good few people would hit it accidentally while aiming for a small aperture. You'd have to override this manually for a lens being controlled by an aperture ring, but that's not rocket science because the secondary dial would be available anyway. (I almost submitted a post yesterday asking how a camera with no lens speed indexing post feeler and no EE servo post detector knew when the aperture ring was set at its minimum value, but then I realised it doesn't, which is one reason you have to use the aperture ring to control aperture on recent cameras.) Is this better than a separate SPAM control? Probably not.

    I quite like the idea of having a selected aperture that I want, and being able to toggle between that and auto-aperture mode. For example, I might want shutter priority outdoors, but once I'm indoors and the light falls I'll switch to maximum aperture and aperture priority. (I actually usually just stay in manual, but I could do this.) You can't do that if you have to move the aperture and shutter speed dials to an "auto" position. So I've never actually objected to the concept of a SPAM selector. I don't particularly mind the one on the FA, which doesn't take any space on the top plate and is easy to find. I'm a great fan of the pro-body mode button + dial approach so I don't need to move my grip. What I don't like is jumping my grip to the opposite side of the camera to turn a dial (which only really makes sense when there are lots of scene or custom mode options). The concerns I've heard most people raise about the Df is not that there is a SPAM dial, just that the "lift and turn" control is awkward. But I really don't change mode enough to worry about it myself. (I do, absolutely, change exposure compensation with my eye to the finder - how would you know what you were pointing the meter at, otherwise? and the meter isn't even replicated in the Df's top plate... - but that's another issue.)

    The Fuji (I don't tend to bother with the "-film", but I do think of the company partly for its film products) camera looks interesting, but DSLR-styling makes the most sense if they're planning on adding big telephotos, which don't really play so well with the handling of the current cameras. I do like the feel of the X-Pro1, but I'd only want to use it with rangefinder-style (shortish) lenses. It's very unlikely that the lenses have FX coverage - not that this stopped Sony, recently - so I'd be astonished if this camera was full-frame. OM-D competitor, maybe; Df competitor, doubtful.
     
  91. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I talked to a Fuji rep at a camera store last month. I was very surprised that on the X system, some lenses have an aperture ring while some lenses don't such that you must control the aperture from the body. For a new system introduced merely a few years ago, there is already such inconsistency in the controls.
    Nikon has some similar issues on the Nikon 1 system. On most lenses there is no focus ring such that you must manual focus from the body, which is very annoying. However, the 32mm/f1.2 portrait lens has a focus ring on the lens. I wish they had made every Nikon 1 lens that way.
     
  92. Aperture rings don't generally play well with variable aperture zooms - controlling the aperture from the camera is much more sensible on a Nikon lens. I'd actually not realised, until recently, that some Fuji lenses have an aperture ring but just haven't labelled it with stops. I've no problem with that, although trying to manage three rings (focus, zoom, aperture) on one lens sounds a bit much. My complaint with Nikon aperture rings has always been that they have to be where the lens meets the camera body, which is an ergonomic problem on a big lens - I believe that's why the F5 offered the ability to control the aperture right-handed. No such issue with a fly-by-wire system, so Fuji should be okay if they introduce a big telephoto - which may be what the new camera is about, since an X-Pro1 and a big telephoto are not a good mix.

    I suspect Fuji started out trying to be like Leica - and some of the early, small lenses work well on an X-Pro 1 AFAICT - but once the system was popular and managers started wanting it to compete with more complete systems, the design goals shifted.
     
  93. In other news, at the risk of re-posting information from a rumour site, this is a company that claims to be offering replacement focussing screens for the Df. For those wanting a split prism.
     
  94. This company claiming to offer replacement screens offers no explanations as to how the screen would be removed and replaced. Can the DF screen be replaced? I haven't noticed a tap that would allow you to lower the present screen and replace it with another. Any clues on this?
     
  95. some [Fujifilm] lenses have an aperture ring while some lenses don't such that you must control the aperture from the body​
    I think there is one lens without the aperture ring, called the XC 16-50/3.5-5.6 OIS. It is a kit lens to go with the two lower X series cameras X-A1, and X-M1. The C may stand for "Consumer." This is apparently done to reduce the size and cost of the lens. Both the XA and XM have two command dials to work with this lens and they can both use the XF lenses by reassigning the two dials, how, I am not sure. Conversely I believe seeing firmware update to allow upper bodies to use this XC lens.
    In passing, I recall that Fuji is not the first company to put an aperture control ring back to the lens. Canon did this a while ago to their P&S S90 camera, which has a control ring around the lens that can be programed to perform many functions, including the aperture. Later, this feature appears in Samsung's NX cameras. Fuji apparently saw this as an opportunity to not only reduce clutter on the top plate but also to enhance the retro styling in its original X series of cameras. Olympus took a different approach to the retro design by maintaining the dSLR controls. They even maintain the "hump" by putting an EVF in its place. Rumor has it that the upcoming E-M10 will manage to put a built-in flash in the same place.
     
  96. The Panasonic L1 has the Leica lens with aperture ring although it can be used with lens without aperture ring.
     
  97. CC: I mentioned the 27mm pancake, which is a Fuji lens missing an aperture ring (for space reasons). But you're right, the 16-50 doesn't appear to have one either.

    I do like the ring around the lens on the S90 and successors, and now some clones. I don't dislike Samsung's ability to override what the "aperture" ring on an actual lens does. What I don't like about the Nikon aperture ring is that it's at the back of the lens, and my left hand is not usually well-positioned to use it, because it's holding the lens. It's a bigger problem with bigger lenses. It's no problem at all with an S90, obviously, and I'm perfectly happy setting apertures on my Leica lenses, or (from playing) on an X100s.

    My suggestion for giving the Df the "feel" of a traditional pre-F5 camera is that Nikon should extend the aperture follower ring around the mount so that you can move the aperture that way, rather than just with the ring on the lens. It doesn't have to be much, but it could be made to extend to where a left hand holding the camera in a "small lens conventional grip" could reach it, and reach around to where the right hand could be used to adjust aperture as well. I'd accept a "fly by wire" approximation to this scheme to improve grip or configurability. But apparently the front dial isn't the issue I was worried it was (at least to the same extent).

    On the original topic of this thread, What Camera (I think) have also reviewed the Df this month. But I've now read enough reviews that I'm not tempted to get it. I'll wait for Shun's report, and my own.

    Meanwhile, I see that Hasselblad have also decided to go with the "silhoutte teaser" idea. In their case, there's not so much hiding of the handling (I assume), unless the bits you can't see look like a Lunar. I've no idea what Hasselblad's sales figures look like (though I doubt the Lunar is flying off shelves), but announcing a CMOS version of your medium format camera a couple of months in advance does sound awfully Osborne Effect-ish (the Df was relatively ready to go). Oh well. At least it's presumably not made out of mahogany.
     
  98. I remember in the film camera body, one can see the aperture settings sort of as a reflection in the VF, Is this why the aperture control ring has to be placed so far back near the mount?
     
  99. The initial coupling of the lens's aperture to the metering finder was simply a mechanical connection between the aperture ring and the prism - a feeler for the "bunny ears", via a cut-out in the bottom of the finder. The AI mechanism, which actually moves something on the mount, could probably have been transmitted differently if it really needed to, since it won't be worse than sending the aperture lever position back the other way to the aperture - though the notch in the back of the aperture ring is elegantly simple. Being able to see the aperture through the hole in the bottom of the finder is probably part of the reason for the design, though. Leicas - which, at least for the two lenses I own, don't communicate the aperture to the camera at all - can have the aperture controlled at the front of the lens. Electronic schemes can do what they like, obviously.

    I'm trying to remember how the aperture on my Pentax 645 works... Nikon very much went for purely mechanical communication between the lens and camera, which got very complex in the AI-S era. I don't blame Canon (and, later, Nikon) for going electronic. I'm not sure if there are any mechanical lens mounts that did something with the same level of camera communication but with the aperture ring somewhere more convenient. Assembled experts? (Incidentally, from a "neat" perspective, I do like the Hasselblad system for shutter and aperture, with the "program" interlock.)
     
  100. Cameras that are designed to work with pre AI lenses don't display the aperture in the viewfinder via the ADR (aperture direct readout) like those of cameras of the AI lenses era. Some don't display aperture at all but some have the aperture scale built in to the viewfinder. One of the reason why you have to do the manual indexing of the pre AI lens so that the aperture scale in the viewfinder would match that of the lens.
    Olympus cameras which don't display aperture in the viewfinder but do have aperture coupling to the metering system have the aperture ring all the way out in front of the lens.
    I am so used to the classic Nikon (F2, F3, FM, FE) so that using the aperture ring where it is is just natural to me. Even the direction of the ring is also natural for me.
     
  101. My take on the Df is this. I wanted a digital camera that work as close to the old Nikon in the pre AF/ pre built in drive era and the Df looks like it and I have found out that it also works like it.
    Compared to the F3, FM, FE cameras the Df is very close.
    1. Focusing screen is just as good as what I have on the F3 ( I think type B I can't remember but it's a plain screen without any focusing aid) and I have no problem with it.
    2. The shutter speed dial is easier to use than all of those above. It's larger, requires less force to operate yet provide very good tactile feedback. It locks at about the same position as the F3 and FE.
    3. The ISO dial is also easier to use than that of the F3.
    4. The EC dial is also easier to use than that of the F3.
    5. The camera handle about the same as the F3, FM and FE but not as nice because it's bigger. It's bigger than the Nikon F, F3 and F3.
    6. The on/off switch is easier to use than the F3 but the FM has a cool on/off switch in the film advance level.
    7. It requires the user to set the lens number in menu before using any AI lenses which of course one doesn't have to do with any of the classics. So it's a bit inconvenient here.
    8. The mode switch which makes the shutter speed dial illogical when in A and P mode. However, as Andrew has mentioned it makes for quick switching back and forth between M and A mode. With the F3 and FE one has the turn from the A position several clicks to get to the shutter speed one wants when switches to manual.
    9. The AE lock button is easier to use than both the F3 and FE but it lock the EV value (which makes logical sense) while the F3 and FE only lock the shutter speed. But with both the F3 and FE one can lock the shutter speed with the AE lock and then change the aperture for the exposure compensation purpose.
    10. The aperture display in the viewfinder when using the aperture ring only display in full stop while with the classic one can estimate the in between space and estimate the actual aperture. I wish that the Df can display aperture in 1/3 stop when using in this manner.
    11. Meter indication in manual mode is similar and better than the classics.
    Overall I didn't want a camera that only looks retro like the Fuji's but I rather one that works as close to the old classics as possible. The Fuji's are all electronic viewfinder and thus they are not the same as using the old classics. The Df is not 100% what I want but there is none comes closer and I doubt that there will be one that comes closer in the future. So I am very happy with it.
     
  102. Despite having worked for the AP's opposition and having no particular love for the news co-op itself, I am pretty certain the wire service has a round file sitting on the floor where they "store" snippy complaints from people who do not have a clue as to how such a service works. They attempt to write in such a way ordinary folks, with no emotional stakes in the facts, will understand what is happening. They do not cater to Nattering Nabobs of Negativism or persons who believe everything in print should pass their personal, elitist censorship program. IMO.
     
  103. Thanks, BeBu. I'm still learning Df (and other Nikon) quirks. :) I hadn't really thought about it, but the F3/FE lock affecting only shutter speed makes sense. Strictly speaking, you don't need to tell a modern camera about an AI lens, it's just that giving the camera the maximum aperture lets it record the aperture correctly, and knowing the actual aperture and focal length lets the matrix meter do its thing. The F6 can be given this information; the F5 can't, so you lose matrix metering on AI lenses; the F4 and FA know the focal length and aperture mechanically, and the F3 doesn't have a matrix meter. :) It depends what you call a "classic"...

    The aperture follower granularity is odd for me as well. I guess it's a machining tolerance thing. The camera's meter does seem to update according to positions between the aperture ring stops I think, but my experiments with a D700 were hampered a bit by the quality of the lighting in my house. It's certainly easier to do fractional aperture stops controlled from the camera!

    I'm glad it's what you want, anyway! (As "first DSLR"s go, it's a heck of an option!)
     
  104. Makes one wonder how Leica managed to keep - at least on paper - the thickness of their digital M cameras in line with that of their film camera - the M7 is 38mm thick, the M9 37mm and the M 42mm - these are taken directly from the Leica technical data sheets. Looking at the M9 and M images, it seems quite obvious that the numbers don't reflect that the digital Ms appear slightly thicker - though the difference in not as big as the one between the FE and Df that Shun mentioned above.​
    Not sure where Leica are measuring from, but when this came up on another forum, the M9 was found to be 4mm thicker at the base plate than a film M. The difference between the Df and FE looks like more than this, but perhaps it would be fairer to compare it with one of the AF film SLRs.
     
  105. I'd be astonished if this camera was full-frame. OM-D competitor, maybe; Df competitor, doubtful.​
    XT1 is 16mp APS-C. so? Fuji already has the best IQ of any crop body, and some lovely lenses. now they add a killer body at a fraction of the Df price, with more lenses to come. the XT1 will be a volume seller (like the d300, d700, and d7000 were), the Df a niche camera. nikon's decision to limit the fps and put the lesser AF module in the Df is going to hurt them in the long run. for $2700 it's a nostalgia camera, not a pro workhorse.
     
  106. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    the M9 was found to be 4mm thicker at the base plate than a film M. The difference between the Df and FE looks like more than this, but perhaps it would be fairer to compare it with one of the AF film SLRs.​
    AF mainly adds thickness to the bottom of the Nikon SLRs since the AF module is below the mirror.
    See the attached image. Nikon uses a symbol with a little circle with a line through it to indicate the sensor plane. The back of the Df is about 18mm from its sensor plane. For the FE, it is only about 3mm. Therefore, the difference about 15mm.
    the XT1 will be a volume seller (like the d300, d700, and d7000 were), the Df a niche camera.​
    Eric, I think few people would dispute that the Df is a niche, nostalgia camera. However, to me, the whole idea about retro cameras is silly because it merely un-does a lot of advances in the past 2, 3 decades. Moreover, it is a very bold prediction that the XT1 will be a volume seller like the D300 and D7000. Nikon sold approximately one millon D300 in its first year.
    00cKy9-545087284.jpg
     
  107. XT1 is 16mp APS-C. so?

    OK, so now full frame sensors don't matter? Please.
     
  108. If you count pixels then the least expensive Nikon DSLR the D3300 has more pixels than the Df so?
    If you think retro although the Olympus and Fuji have the retro look but not at all retro in operation.
     

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