Another funny Nikon Df review


I don’t understand his point. He complains that people called him a douchebag then makes a trendy hipster bashing video thus confirming he is a doucebag.

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Which is… the point.

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So he shows the camera to a bunch of twentysomethings who I would very much doubt have ever used a film camera.

These people just don’t have the muscle memory of us non-hipster old farts who used shutter speed dial, aperture ring, and focus ring for 20+ years (I started with a Minolta SRT in the late seventies).

And they (the people in the video, not the old farts) obviously could not care less about that. Good on them, but I personally would love a digicam with analog controls. I’m just not gonna pay three grand for it.

Someone comes out with a Micro 4/3 camera with “hard” shutter/aperture/ISO/focus controls for $800, I’m there like a shot. It doesn’t even have to be a “real SLR”.

But with fewer and fewer old 35mm farts in the market for a camera every year, I really have no hope.


Back in the film days I had friends with Nikons and even a good friend with a Hasselblad. I however lacked some money so the only film camera I ever had was a Kodak Diskman. Not the greatest film experience.

Went to college and I needed more serious photography for my major. Got a Pentax K1000. There were three fundamental controls you manipulated all the time. (focus aperture and shutter speed) and not much more than that. There was information in the viewfinder showing you if you have them reasonably correct and the rest of the time was spent taking photos. Put in some Kodachrome film you have insane color and dynamic range. I still have it and it is still in working order.

It would be a lovely retro camera to bring back. Three fundamental controls and spend your time shooting.

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Yep, in the 35mm slr days, if you could use one camera, you could pick up everything you need to use another in about thirty seconds. That is what I really miss.

It’s still pretty much like that, it’s just that the specific dials for aperture and shutter speed are not consistent. That said, the Pentax is still a cheap, functional tank and we have one kicking around the house as well. I actually just found this:

So they’re still making them, which is nice to know. I’ve moved back into pinhole, which is also interesting if you get the time. Nothing but shutter speed.

Buy an older F series film camera and you’re right back there. Higher resolution than most of the DSLRs you are gonna buy and cheaper by far in the short run. $150 for a body and you’ve got $2850 left over for film and processing.

A digital camera really only adds ISO and Whitebalance for me to the “three funamental controls” – I don’t use much more than that when I take photos with my D800. In a film camera the choice of film sets those.

Rarely, but on occasion and more often with a 120 film camera, I use filters. I use more filters with film than digital. A polarizer or an ND filter with digital. Film I shoot black and white so there are an array of colored lenses I play with there. I do not use much, or any of the magic in my digitals beyond that.

I like the big sensor in the full frame digitals I have because I routinely print things large. That is also why I like 120 and 135 film. I do, however, have wonderful prints from cameras with sensors as small as 5 megapixels.

The thing I remember loving about the D200 and Nikon backs I’ve had since was easy ISO and WB control. I want well thought out buttons and controls that are able to be customized, I’m less concerned with what the camera looks like. I also like bigger and bulkier cameras and add the extra battery pack to most smaller SLR frames. My hands suffer from years in the internet saltmines.

If anything this video proves that there’s a market for aesthetically pleasing and functional cameras.
This camera isn’t it, but I wish there was one that covered that niche.


Check the Fuji X line, those look great and I’ve seen some amazing work out of them. I know a guy who gave up his DSLR for the XPro1.

I’ll echo that only the most basic digital SLR cameras don’t easily allow for the “two settings” setup. I have a Nikon D90, which was an upgrade from an old Nikon D70. Both were purchased used after having been on the market for around 4 years, so they were quite cheap in the scheme of things. The D70 still takes nice pictures on sunny days, but that’s no different from most people’s experience with film cameras.

Film cameras still had a 3rd option, ISO, which is why we still call it ISO. You just had to take 6-32 shots all at the same ISO. With digital, you can set your own ISO, or you can do what a lot of photographers I know do and set an “upper bound” for variable ISO. This isn’t hard to do, and in the cameras I’ve looked at it’s clearly labeled. You set a minimum shutter speed, for example 1/40, and the camera will adjust the ISO setting so that the shutter speed is at 1/40 or better. If possible, it will try to use the fastest ISO. This is, in practice, a faster way compared to taking a light meter to a shot, then selecting the appropriate film to match the light settings you need.

You can set up a digital camera to be fully manual, and SLRs that are a step above the basics will offer two dials. However, I shoot almost exclusively in aperture priority, which only needs one dial. That’s because I’m primarily interested in depth of field. I can then adjust my aperture to get the shutter speed that I need, but if I’m working at an aperture that needs just a little more shutter speed for the light conditions on the shot, then as noted above, my camera just makes the ISO adjustments itself so I don’t get a blurry shot.

There’s a lot of things to like about film from an aesthetic viewpoint, but at its heart photography is the same. I’m not old, but I grew up using a Nikkormat FT that my dad had. I don’t see the act of taking photographs as any different on the newer cameras, other than I can see what I took after taking it to see if I need to take it again.

Not even close.

I have been using Nikons 25 years, my first was a Nikon FG. I bought a digital body as soon as there was an affordable one that beat 35mm film. That was the D50 which came out almost ten years ago. The D50 is only 6MP but it outperforms any film because even though the resolution is a little lower, it is 100% consistent shot to shot which film is not.

The digital bodies clearly outperformed film when the D300 and D3 came out six years ago. Which is why Nikon have all but abandoned it as a format. And you can buy a used 12MP body for $250 on ebay which is about ten rolls of film these days - if you can find someone who still processes them. Nikons cheapest DSLRs have been 24MP for over a year now. That is far beyond 35mm film resolution and the D800 is approaching medium format resolution on film.

As for the video, the guy is just obnoxious. He simply isn’t the target market for the camera and neither are the kids he is talking to. The target market for the Df is the group of people who otherwise buy Leica which are a $10,000 fashion accessory once you buy the lens. If someone has the money to buy a nice looking camera, why not? $1000 is pretty cheap for art. And aren’t photographers meant to be interested in art and asthetics and stuff?

I get rather tired of the people on the camera boards who brag about their ‘professional’ equipment and bad mouth everything else. Photography is a pricey hobby but even a Phase One will set you back less than a mid priced sports car. So boasting about gear leaves me cold. Particularly the loons who go on about sensor sizes.

The reason Nikon came out with the Df is very simple. Nikon is launching a D4s with a higher ISO rating and does not want to cannibalize sales of the flagship model with a direct competitor like they did with the D3s and D700.

The reason the two bodies are linked is that the sensor production process produces sensors with a range of performance. Nikon realized that they could push the ISO rating of the D3 up a notch by simply selecting the higher performance sensors for the flagship models. So despite the fact the D3s and D700 shared the same sensor, the D3s had a higher ISO rating.

The Df is designed to appeal to sufficiently many Nikon shooters to mop up production of the lower performing sensors without eating into sales of the D4s. The reason so many people whine about it is that they think they are entitled to a D4 at half price which is the deal they got with the D700.

Nilkon could hardly make it more obvious that there will be no D700 equivalent for the D4. At the moment they have a D4s, D800, D800x, D600 and Df in full frame bodies. The only obvious gaps in their lineup are a high resolution flagship body (D4x) and a professional format DX body (D400). But they will whine on and on and on.

Is his scooter turn signal still on?


I guess I’m missing something. Am I supposed to be chuckling aloing with this guy? My impression is that he’s being a dick.

So what do you make of the fact that this camera has a fake aperture ring?

Is the single lens reflex possible with micro four thirds? I though the “micro” came from ditching the mirror box.

4/3 marketing fluff

A misstep.

The 4/3 refers to the sensor ratio, but the “micro” portion does remove the mirror box, and, thus, the “SLR” portion as well, as there is no reflex anymore. However, there are some 4/3 DSLR models.

TL; DR: No, you are correct.

But I am correct. Find me a DSLR that uses the micro-four thirds scheme (as opposed to four thirds or even 110 cartridge film), and I’ll admit to my mistakes.

No mirror, no DSLR.

I think a mirror and prism are inherent in the SLR design, D or no?