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Nikon Df Digital SLRs
Nikon designed the Df full-frame DSLR for purists. It has the same 16-megapixel full-frame sensor as the D4, a 39-point auto focus system and a classically-styled weatherproof body with traditional dial controls. To match the classic film camera look the lens mount has been updated so it can accept pre-AI manual focus Nikkor lenses. Videographers can move on because Nikon didn't give the Df any video capabilities. This is a camera for photographers.
Submitted by Shen Stone a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: July 8, 2016
Strengths: Weight, Sensor, build quality, battery life, ability to use all current and legacy Nikon lenses.
Weaknesses: Only a single SD card slot. Videographers need not apply.
The Nikon Df uses the same 16mp CMOS sensor as their professional D4, so it has a very high dynamic range, and it is their lightest full-frame digital camera.
It has an all metal construction, with analogue dials for ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and shooting priority mode, so if you grew up in the film-era then it should feel fairly intuitive to use.
It has an ISO range of 50 to 204,000, so if you combine that with a fast prime you have a very powerful tool for low-light photography.
With the LCD turned off, no WIFI, GPS, or video capabilities it has a very low drain on its battery, and I get over 1,000 shots on one charge.
I can use all my old Nikon mechanical Auto-Focus D lenses with their aperture rings, but it will also accept all the new G lenses.
I find the 39-point Auto-focus very fast with the primes 24mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4, and 105mm f2.8 micro. These all take a 52mm filter, so I have one polariser that fits all.
The shutter is rated to 150,000 cycles and speed goes from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds, with bulb and time options, and will also shoot up to 5.5 FPS on continuous.
It will accept a standard shutter cable release and also my old Nikon SB400 flash gun, with i-TTL exposure control.
Together with tripod my total kit weight is 3kg for a full-frame camera, three primes, flash unit, shoulder bag, and filters.
These are the main reasons why I purchased it, and why I will use it until it dies.
Price Paid: $1200.00
Purchased At: eBay
Similar Products Used: I also use the Nikon P7800 compact, as a backup camera, which uses the same size USB cable, and more importantly, the same battery and charger.
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by paul k a Professional
Date Reviewed: March 30, 2014
Strengths: Size (relatively small in comparison with eg D3 and D800, makes a very discrete presence) weight (see previous comment) IQ (D4 sensor, excellent low light capacities, lower megapixelcount allows less carefull shooting technique)
looks (highly personal, but as a former Nikon F2/FE user it was nice to have the filmbody feeling back again)
Weaknesses: AF (IMO no problem, but admittedly not on par with the D800 and D3) battery (would have liked one with a bit more juice, but that would probably have impacted the size of the body), price (although I got one for Euro 2250 before Tax, and the camera of course is relatively recent, so in a few months might become cheaper)
I simply love my DF.
Being a longtime (professional) shooter, I started in the filmdays with a F2AS and FE, so am very used to working with the aperture ring on the lens, the ISO and shutterspeed dials. The later AF bodies like the F801S and F90X basically had the button orientated UI which evolved in that is found on the modern DSLR's, but I have not always found that kind of UI as intuitive as the old one.
The body is nice and small for a DSLR, and consequently can be used very discretely, and still offers all the possibilities of a modern DSLR (apart from video, but hey it's a photocamera), including an excellent sensor, IMO very acceptable AF, live view etc.
As a bonus it's a delight to work with older manual lenses. There's a lot of discussion whether that really is the case as it does not have a K-type viewing screen, but in my experience there's another, IMO very important thing which is mentioned too little.
Bodies like the D800 and D3 (those are the ones I a.o have, so can talk about) are themselves already big, and in any case thick and heavy. Older AiS lenses like the 2/28 and 1.4/50 are smaller and thinner then their modern AF counterparts, and in my experience don't feel in balance in he before mentioned bodies.
Consequently when shooting old glass on DSLR's you're overly conscious of the size of the camera and holding and focussing with the lens also becomes something done very consciously and less fluent and natural as with a film body and in this case the DF.
And on a very personal note, having the silver edition, and being somewhat older, I'm having a hoot with all the wannabee professionals, and people who wnat to look as a pro, touting big black camera's and big lenses, looking at me with ill hidden disdain as another old f*rt with an old camera with which I have to focus myself (!), in short a dinosaur and definitely not in their league.
Price Paid: $2250.00
Purchased At: Amsterdam
Similar Products Used: Canon TX, Canon FT QL, Nikon F2AS, Nikon FE, Nikon F801/F801S/F90/F90X/F100, Nikon D70S, D1/D1H/D1X/D2X/D3/D800
Type of photography: People
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