Full Frame Mania..the Nikon Df is almost here!
Well well, Nikon has been doing a great job with the tease videos and they are now up to #5. With an expected official word on Tuesday, we will soon see what this Nikon brings to the table.
From the looks of it, my prediction was spot on last week 🙂 Looks like a DSLR reshaped into a square. It’s THICK because it has to be to work well with the lenses Nikon has. It looks like the same material and buttons as a D800 or D4, as in, no retro F shiny metal look anywhere, and it is quite large. Basically, A shrunken down minimalized D700 or D800 or D4. But the more I see from it, the more intrigued I am becoming as I have a feeling it will really be a beautiful machine.
From this image you can see that it does NOT look like an old Fm2..it looks like a D600 with a new design 🙂 Basically a DSLR.
I also have NO DOUBT that this will be a solid camera and the simple fact that it is just that…(or supposed to be)..simple..really gets to me. I love that. I love that Nikon is taking that approach with it because not everyone needs all of the super features of some of these cameras. Basics..this is what can lead you to be a better photographer.
I am excited to see what this camera is really all about. To see it in the flesh and to hold it in my hand and to fire a shot with it. But as I previously said, since it is basically DSLR size (and from the looks of it here, it is bulky) and it will NOT be able to use other lenses like Leica M (though it can use old Nikkor lenses, just not the RF lenses), I will be happy with the Sony A7r I have on pre order.
I do think it will look bad ass though from the front…rough, rugged and super cool. We shall see on November 5th!
Love the dials and buttons which appear to be heavy duty. But it does indeed look like the back of one of their DSLR’s. Just squared off.
Looks like a standard DSLR viewfinder but with better outside controls.
So the question is…who here will be ordering this new Nikon which is said to be full frame and back to basics without video and all of the other frills that come with todays super cameras?
I am using mainly A Pentax K5 / Fuji X100 but am very interested in this Sony A7 …..I presume that there is an adapter that I can use my FF Pentax glass with this camera … i.e. FA31 and FA77.
I must say to get FF in a camera smaller than a K5 is an impressive achievement
“no retro F shiny metal look anywhere, and it is quite large.”
Boy, are you OFF! 🙂
It’s quite large and doe not look like an old F…it looks like a D700 reshaped with some dials.
Speaking as someone who sees lenses tested as part of our daily function overall both Canon & Nikon do not make an entire set of lenses that perform well and are not in the same league as Zeiss & Leica in stills. In Motion Picture these companies (Zeiss & Leica) have competition at the top from Cooke, Angenieux & Panavision and whilst Canon has recently entered that market they are not in the same league. The best Japanese glass comes from Fuji & their Motion Picture zooms.
Why cant a manufacturer really go back to basics by adding a sensor to an old classic film camera? Not much else (apart from any of the parts to do with film handling of course) needs to change. No addition of rear LCD panels even. There may be an argument for AF as this really is useful but a split prism works very well in lieu of AF. And of course, we would need to add a memory card and could update the batteries. But apart from these, most of the electronic gadgetry in a modern camera can be emitted.
Imagine some of the old manual bodies coming back to life; Nikon FMs, Pentax LX, Olympus OM4TI – just to name 3 beauties. How fun will it be?
The coming DF is not quite a camera I would be after as of now, but if it were to have really BIG nice viewfinder and offer a focusing screen that would actually be optimised for manual focus lenses – that could give me an itch.
Besides my D800 i still like my Hasselblad 503 with dil and Imacon digital back full mechanic camera with modern digital back and beautiful lenses.
I already have my omd-em1 in hand and I’m loving it…thanks for all the great information Steve.
More info released on the DF >>
“The low dial visible from the rear, above the command dial, is the PSAM selector. The shutter release button is also the on/off switch and has a thread for the Nikon AR-3 remote (just like the FM2). The dials on the other side of pentaprism are for ISO settings and white balance or exposure compensation. There will be also a very small LCD display on the top panel of the camera (located behind the program mode dial, not visible on any of the videos/pictures).” *
* Description from Nikon Rumors.
This camera is made for the DSLR market, I guess a try to keep the ordinary Nikon buyers that thinking of buying sony a7 or a7r. This do not seams like they try to do any revolution. Nikon already chosen their way and they not aiming to the Leica crowd they just trying to keep their customers. So I don´t really expect anything new here.
Sorry I hit the wrong Reply button ….
Between $2899 (Steve) and $2300 (Mars..)…. You replied ”That’s a good guess”….? Which one?
Using Nikon D700 and Fuji X-E1/X100s for my work at the moment. Was planning to go all Fuji come X-Pro2. I’ve made a DF reservation, but nothing’s decided as yet. Quality, sensor size, weight, mojo (?)…….
Nothing’s decided but there’s enough concrete information floating around. Check NikonRumors and see if the specs as they are now “rumored” suit you. They probably suit me, but would force me to rethink my whole for digital Nikkor lens arrangement. Those big AFS primes may look a bit silly and unbalanced on that pared-down body.
I’ve read most of the info and comments on NikonRumors the last few days, and through the years I’ve worked my way through the DH1, DX1, D100, D200, D300 and D700. One of the reasons why I’ve bought into Fuji is the wish to downscale without compromising too much on IQ. And I’ve been quite happy doing so. I guess I’ll know what to do once I get the DF in my hands…
If it’s the D4 sensor, then only horrible build, ergonomics and looks would dissuade me. And the fact I’ve got a D800, with really excellent (and big) Nikkor primes…
I was going to buy a 610 but I’ll wait and see what this camera is about. If it’s not weather-sealed, it’s a non-starter. Is it strange that it seems positioned as a competitor with the 610?
Can’t wait for the DF. I have no interest in Sony and their overhyped camera bodies with overpriced and limited lenses. All their cameras feel like electronic Playstation devices. I’d rather get a DF and stick to the F mount. The A7/R will have like what, 3 lenses at launch? What a joke.
Lol..the Sony can mount THOUSANDS of lenses at launch, SMALL lenses, HIGH quality lenses that can easily beat those old NIkon lenses and HUGE Nikon lenses. The A7 performs like a camera, plain and simple. But most who never touch or use like to talk smack about things they know NOTHING about. Same old same old. Nikon will be HUGE in comparison as it is a DSLR, stripped to basics that will be premium priced and still take Nikon huge DSLR lenses.
Will take ANY Nikon slr lens, which has a huge attraction to a large number of users. The whole “what lens is better” debate is irrelevant in that respect, as these users love their lenses (that’s passion for you) and would love to use them on a mildly retro styled, reasonably light and compact (for a full frame dslr) body, that has the most useful functions and the wonderful D4 sensor.
Again, what’s not to like? Possibly that there are as yet no style-compatible modern Nikkors. That at least is my only concern.
in this regard, steve, you have intension to try the Samyang lenses for nex, both on a7 but also on the other nex? for us poor would be great …
“…SMALL lenses, HIGH quality lenses that can easily beat those old NIkon lenses and HUGE Nikon lenses…”
Pretty far out on a limb with that claim…
Not at all. I have used Old Nikon glass. All has been soft wide open. Try a Zeiss 35 f/2 ZM..tiny, share, 3D, gorgeous color. Not soft in the slightest. Try a 50 ZM planar..insane sharpness wide open, 3D pop, TINY. No Nikon I have ever used, old or new has beaten these two lenses yet they are teeny tiny and a blast to shoot with. No need for a lens 3-5 times the size (new nikon) or one that is soft wide open (old nikon).
Not sure why all your older Nikkors were soft wide open. That hasn’t been my experience, but then again, not sure which ones you were shooting with or whether they were bad / unserviced / damaged copies, but as they say, “your mileage may very.” If they were good enough for VistaVision cameras and theatrical application 40 years ago, they weren’t soft by design, I can tell you that.
The optics of most manufacturer’s earlier lenses have been exceeded in their newer lenses, certainly. That’s just a reality of technology moving forward. I’ve shot with a few of the Zeiss ZM lenses. On balance they are excellent, I agree. A more revealing comparison might be to test Zeiss lenses of 40 years ago against classic Nikon glass.
Several of Nikon’s AI and AIs lenses compare very favorably to lenses made by other manufacturers today. Just about any of the Micro-Nikkors from the 1970s will out-perform other manufacturer’s lenses from today, for example. I venture to say that would include the Zeiss 35 f/2 ZM and the 50 ZM Planar. And if it’s as good as the legendary 58mm Noct Nikkor f/1.2, I strongly suspect that Nikon’s new 58mm f/1.4G will outperform both of those Zeiss-Cosina lenses, too.
Of course, it’s best to stick with apples-to-apples and oranges-to-oranges comparisons in these things.
Great post Robert, very informative. Thanks!
This is the camera I have been waiting or hoping for for years. I loved my FM2 and F3HP and still use the 24mm AIS, 35mm 1.4 and 50mm 1.4 AIS on my ‘new’ to me D3. The solid build and wonderful viewfinder of the D3 are great and I like using the small fixed focus lenses. If I had known about the DF I might have put buying the D3.
Love the look of the Shutter speed dial looks similar to the F3.
The Video and the idea they presented where really exciting and got me going. But after trailer 5 I have to admit that you were right as they for whatever reason took the DSLR approach with ali those plastic bottons etc. Not even “flat shaped” like on the back of the OMD EM1.
The Body Should be Metal like the D4.
But where is it pure? I mean pure in a FM or F way? Nope…. disappointing….
However, it might be technical interesting i.e. the Hybrid ODF, the mechanical Shutter and the possibility to use to old Nikkor Glas.
Personally, it looks great to me. Yes, it is a “DSLR”, which is to say, a digital SLR with a traditional optical pentaprism. It is probably a little smaller than a D600, but not that much smaller, and not as small as a Nikon FE because they have to fit the screen on the back. However, notice the dedicated aperture wheel (looks almost the same as on my FE). This is a big difference from the Nikon “fly by wire” press-button-and-turn-thumbwheel systems of the last 20 years. I will guess that they will get rid of the big righthand grip as well, returning closer to the classic rectangular box profile of the pre-1990 SLRs. All Nikon DSLRs today take the old AI or AI-S manual lenses with aperture rings; if you want, you can even use the AF-D lenses which let you shoot either manual focus or autofocus, and they aren’t too big either.
My FE, with 50/1.8 pancake, is exactly the same width, height and depth as my Leica M2 with 50/2 Summicron. It is not as small as some mirrorless cameras today, but it is small enough. I personally am using metal body manual focus AI lens on my Nikon DSLR right now, and it is a lot of fun. Then I get out the latest autofocus lens for taking pics of the toddler.
Nikon lenses are great and they are cheap. I own Leica but I laugh at the prices people pay for these things. Guess what — any pro-quality lens of the last fifty years is fine! Certainly Nikon. Even their 1990s kit zooms like the 28-80 I have ($20 used) is optically awesome, if rather plasticky. Just stop it down to f/8 if you are really picky about these things.
SLRs replaced RFs because they are way better with interchangeable lenses. I sold my 90/2 Summicron because framing with the little teeny box was a joke, and focusing with the RF is not accurate enough with the shallow DOF of these lenses wide open (which is where you want to use them often for portraits).
The reason why people still pay big $$$$ for Leica M240 today, and the reason I still shoot my M2 and FE (and RZ67), is because they like being free of all the electronic doodah associated with autofocus, and EVF/rear screen view finding. Even “focus peaking” with an EVF is just more layers of electronica. If you like the experience (as I do) of a classic manual focus camera, with small, metal-body lenses, this looks like one of the best options besides the digital Ms.
Yes, you can just put a 50/1.8 AI lens on your Nikon D3200 (a very small and light camera), which in fact I do. It is really about the experience of using a less electronicky sort of machine. Good idea.
Nice writing. Have a look at the CV 40mm Ultron and the CV 28mm Color Skopar. I hope the DF will meet our expectations. There was an exposition lately with famous photographs from the last century. Not even one out of ten pics met todays technical standards, but the magic was unrivaled.
If the images are correct that is disappointing! Looks like nikon have maybe missed a great opportunity. Looks like a seriously obese Nikon F
Oh Steve, you high priest of materialist lust, drooling I was (thank you Yoda) over the A7, but then came the Nikon DF announcement. I pinged Greys of Westminster, saying get me in that queue (line for those to the west ). I gotta have this camera, I have used Nikon and Leica for almost 40 years, they both have their roles. I loved my Nikon Fs, (as much as my Ms ) and bought a new F6 last year as an act of film mourning. I seldom sell glass it doesn’t go obsolete so I have a draw full of Nikon Lenses from the early 60s to the latest 85 1.4, and my beloved 105 1.8. These seldom get an outing as I have no affinity for Nikon (or Canon) DSLRs, though I have owned a couple, they never felt like using an F. In fact they felt as appealing as a domestic appliance, like a washing machine. So its been the M9 and the Monochrome in the travel bag and a D600 ‘spin dryer’ kept in the kitchen for shooting the puppy. I have always felt that the one over the other debate of Leica V Nikon , was like the early PC V Mac , essentially a religious debate, both Leica and Nikon have their roles, its a bit like discussing the difference between an Aston Martin or a Rolls Royce, they do different things. Cars too are are becoming ever more a variation on domestic appliance theme, as they become less and less engaging, and this is what the issue is; the ability to engage, and make you want to use. My Porsche 356 engages far more than my newer transport, and my Monochome inspires and engages me more than the D800, but I concede this is subjective. The new element is the rise of Zeiss glass, I am thinking that the Otus 55mm 1.4 will equal anything from Solms/Wetzlar, and this takes us back to Leitz V Nikon V Contarex battle of the early 60s, going to be a fun time, I am hoping that the DF is going to be an engaging camera.
I’m not a marketing genius, but analyzing a lot of things, and especially after the release of this nikon, nikon and the way that you are taking, I came to understand why sony has acquired part of olympus.
I think right now the difference is making the electronic viewfinder (sony and olympus leader in this).
I’m sorry for the purists, but in addition to functionality, the electronic viewfinder costs less and offers more opportunities for development.
evidently the mirror of this nikon (for me) is its major limitation, which allows it to be compact.
sony has been right, and as when there was film, Olympus and Minolta are more and more forward than the other … and nikon and canon to chase … then sell the most, but only because those who buy certain entry-level canon and nikon does not understand anything.
sorry for my english.
Here is what one needs from a camera to control composition
1. Focus control
2. Dof (aperture) control
Here is what one needs to control exposure:
2. Shutter speed
4. Exposure compensarion
1. focus ring for mf and shutter trigger half press for af
2. Aperture dial with one position called auto to set shutter priority
3. Shutter speed dial with one entry called auto to set aperture priority
4. Exposure compensation dial
5. Iso dial with one position for auto
Camera picks the Shooting mode based on which dial is set to auto.. A set to auto means shutter pri.. A and S set to auto means P mode. S set to auto means aperture priority. If the design is clever like nex 7 trinavi you can cut down on one of the dials. Or make all dials engraved markings and get rid of lcd.
Some kind of view finder and we are good to go.
With the above control scheme one can design
a camera with 4 dials Max and one shutter trigger button.
Everything else is fluff.
All those buttons! What happened to a Nikon that was back to basics?
Nikon apparently has learned to tease from Leica.
Let’s hope the product will meet the expectations better than the “Mini M”.
Ah…come on…it’s already better than the Mini M…as far as camera bodies go it’s arguably better then the M… .. This thing has the D4’s FF sensor and the D600’s AF…. And it’s Pure….what more can you want then that?
Don’t like the way it looks from the limited photos. It is too much like the modern DSLRs and not retro enough. If Nikon and Canon are not willing to start a new line of mirrorless cameras, they are going to lose the market to Sony and micro 4/3
Micro 4/3s is no threat to Nikon or Canon. And both have plenty of time to enter the mirrorless market if they so choose. But right now it remains a fringe percentage of Nikon and Canon’s sales in their chief marketplace. This is why they haven’t entered in a big way yet, pure and simple.
When they do ― and I believe they will eventually ― with their engineering resources and experience they’ll make a big splash and likely dominate that segment, too. They also have the added benefit of being able to leverage existing system technologies at their disposal that are well-established. Nikon’s iTTL CLS system, as just one example.
Removing the mirror really helps to facilitate the integration of better video.
In this respect, I think Nikon and Canon can expect some strong competition from Sony and Panasonic (and _their_ engineering resources and experience in this area).
I’m not so sure that CaNikon will be able to dominate an ‘integrated’ stills/video market.
In the same vein, continuous light will replace iTTL CLS.
“In the same vein, continuous light will replace iTTL CLS.”
Oh, how I WISH that were true; would really simplify a lot of shooting!
Sadly, it won’t. There are several applications where a strobe is still preferable. And I’m not just speaking of freezing action or high speed sync.
As an owner of a pristine FA and FM3a….how could I not want a FF Nikon retro digital?
I suppose we shall wait and see………
Pentax please do the same and use the body of the film MX.
And take my money now while you’re at it.
Robert is right. Mirrorless sales is dropping like DSLR sales is dropping, except maybe in Japan. Check CIPA and other sources.
I don’t think that the camera is as thick as the side view makes it seem. If you note where the neck strap is attached, that’s the front corner of the body. It’s just that, as on my FE, the body is thicker in the middle where the lens mount is, so from the side, that additional bulk gives a false impression of overall body thickness. I’m guessing (hoping) that the body is thinner than my D700.
Robert, are you answering to Steve or Mars Observer?
There is a significant difference 🙂
Based on Nikon’s quality issues and response (or lack of) to those issues in the last year or two I think I’ll wait about 6 months before deciding to purchase. I do, however, like the look so far and I have loads of old Nikkor glass so it makes more sense than a Sony. If there don’t seem to be any issues going forward a price of $1600 or less would be a most likely buy for me. Between $1600 and $1900 wold be a maybe buy. Over $1900 and I most likely won’t buy it. We’ll see. Watching with guarded optimism.
This could be the camera I have been waiting for from Nikon, but wish they have done something to distinguish it from a typical DSLR. If only thinking new and “out of the box” wrt to DSLRs it is a step in the right direction.
everybody is talking about a small retro body, where is it? what I saw in the teaser was a bulky dslr with a speed and iso dial. hey do these two dials really make the difference and the retro?
to be honest, I’m disappointed about that. it is not small as a F2 if you look from the side, it is biiig.
or was I watching the wrong teaser?
Certain angles can be deceptive, so it’s best to look at some of the image comparisons that have already been done online, along with the released specs (which are not official yet, though).
Expect a camera roughly the same proportions as a larger SLR from the 1970s, e.g. FA or F3. Might be a tad deeper than that, but then not as long. But roughly the same.
No, that is not tiny like the Sony A7 or OM-D cameras, but it’s a helluva lot smaller than a D800 or D4. Smaller overall than the D610, too.
For many, this will be small enough.
Robert, you’re the voice of reason. It sits, sizewise, roughly between the D600 and the E-M1, which has a much smaller sensor. Not bad for a full frame DSLR. And yes, it is deeper than a film slr. Of course.
Yes.. I agree… from the front this thing looks a lot like the Nikon F3… and dimensions wise its pretty close to the F3 too…
Df 143 x 110 x 66mm and 765g
F3 148.5 x 96.5 x 65.5mm and 762g
Small, tiny body is cute until you want to mount pro F1.4 AF lenses on it.
Not really a “reshaped” D800 then. So much for spot on observations. Seen from the front there are many harkbacks to FM2 etc. Seen from the back the usual logical Nikon digital interface, slightly pared back. Ergonomics, a small grip, will be up to Nikon standard.
My problem is there is now only one modern lens (the retro 1.8/50) to go with that body. The professional G primes I’ve got are excellent but will look out of place on that body. Many of the old AiS and Ai glass Ienses I’ve don’t go too well with the D800’s sensor; a few do. The D4 sensor might be more forgiving. Will Nikon come up with a few “retro” primes? 24, 28, 35, 85, 105? 2.0 or 1.8 is plenty fast, as long as you can use it wide open.
Let us hope the keep the pricing “retro” as well.
A fun little post: “Sony Drops The F-Bomb!” 😀
It depends on the day, and sometimes the hour!
My thought pattern goes like this:
The A7 is smaller, and lighter. And it’s possible Sony could make even smaller FF cameras. The Nikon F-mount will never be small. I’m going with the A7!
But if the A7 isn’t pocketable with the 35mm f2.8 or 55mm f1.8 and I need to carry in on a strap or in a bag, then the size difference doesn’t really matter that much. *Native* lenses are the same size. Sony may NEVER have the native lenses that Nikon does (fast f1.4 lenses, long f2.8 zooms). I’m going with the Df!
But on the Sony you can shoot legacy lenses (Leica, etc.) That would be nice! But 90% of what I shoot is with autofocus – I LOVE autofocus. Nikon is a leader in AF and when it comes to AF lenses there’s a ton more for the Nikon than for the Sony…
But the Sony has video (I don’t shoot a lot of video but it would be handy on a travel camera to shoot a bit) and what if I witness some wild, news event – would love to get video of that. The Sony is also weather-sealed, and has a tilt LCD. I LOVE my tilt LCD’s and the ability to shoot from the hip. I’m going with the A7!
But.. when was the last time I shot video? I hardly ever shoot video (and I have the RX100 or V1 which I could use to shoot video). Yes, I love modern tilt LCD’s, but the Nikon has an ISO dial and a shutter speed dial. I also LOVE dials. I’m going with the Df!
But the Sony is very reasonably priced. I really, really appreciate that. I’m going with the Sony. But then I’d need to buy new lenses. With the Nikon I can use all my existing lenses. I’m…
Well.. you get the idea! 🙂
I love this. It’s basically the same stuff that has been bouncing around my head too. If the new DF is $2500 I’m in. The form factor combined with D4 stellar low light sensor, and already having an existing kit of excellent Glass from nikon makes me inclined to go this way. If it is 3k the Sony looks a little better. I’m included to go with the Nikon since I have 4 pro lenses from them and for M mount I only have two lenses neither of which are the best of the best.
If for some miraculous reason it is less than 2k I may consider both.
Hmm… hadn’t considered that. Damn.. .not you’ve got me thinking about how I can get both! 🙂
How can you not want a big bright optical, penta prism viewfinder? Because it makes the body somewhat bigger than a body only equipped with a miniature tv screen?
Have you looked at those miniature TVs in the EM-1 and A7?
They are fantastic, big, bright and what I see is what I get when I squeeze the shutter button…and no one has to try to use the slightly bigger TV screen on the back of the camera with some ridiculous attachment to try for critically accurate manual focus on a sunny day…
Yes I have. I prefer an optical viewfinder.
x2. EVF is like sitting too close to the TV. And when you have to shoot FAST moving subjects, OVF for the win.
Well, there’s no accounting for your taste then.
I have both (big optical on the D700, and LCD/EVF on the Nex 6/7) and… I’ve not only become accustomed to the EVF/LCD combo but actually grown to like it
I like that you get to see the real time exposure adjustments (especially when shooting tricky/contrasty light/night scenes) and the articulating LCD which allows me to get whatever perspective I want without having to be a contortionist 🙂
I guess we are sitting in the same boat. Actually there is nothing I couldn’t do with my current Nikon gear but the D4 sensor in a small body that looks similar to an F3 body is kind of tempting. But the size of the A7… I guess I better have to get a nice bottle of wine and start thinking all over again…
Same here. I can do the same work with my existing gear, but doing it with either the A7 or Df just seems like it would be more… fun/inspiring?… to use.
Yep… its like you’re in my mind… except I also add…
“But do I need another Full Frame?
Maybe, for travel, I should just go small and lite and tough and good enough with the E-M1 and those tiny little Olympus lenses….
But I’m not a pro…when I travel is when I do 80% of my shooting so why shouldn’t I have the BEST possible IQ with me….
ah… but isn’t focus speed even more important and isn’t the IQ on most everything greater then 1 inch good enough today…
But… Do I want to just have good enough IQ…?”….. and round and round and round….
Mars- You and I park our cars in the same garage… I am waiting to see the full specs of the DF and the price- Those two will make the decision for me. I have a set of nikon AF-D primes ready for a Nikon body, and I also have a set of Minolta Rokkor X Primes with an adapter waiting to go on the Sony.
If I go with the DF, I have an NEX6 I will keep as a back up, using my Rokkors on. The only thing I hate about the Sony system is the EVF.
I look at it this way: If the DF price is above $3000, I don’t think it’ll be worth it for me. For $2600, I can get the Sony with the 35mm Zeiss. SO, if the DF is close to that price, then the Nikon makes sense for me, as I already have the AF lenses for it. Above $3k, and it’s Sony time for me.
I sold my D600 once Sony announced the A7- I really liked the camera, but it did have the spotting issue (I had to clean the sensor 2x in 1 year- not too tough, but it sucked to shoot anything above f/4 and come home and see spots all over everything). Got a pretty good price for it. As stated above, I’ve been shooting the NEX6 in the meantime- I am constantly impressed with the results. Great little camera.
Regardless of which way anyone goes- this is a really great time for digital photography. I’m glad sites like Steve’s are around for passionate folks to discuss all of these changes.
Steve you think this is something for the professional photographer? maybe for documentary style weddings.. or more for the rich amateur ?
I’m not Steve, but I’ll say this: if this camera has D4 guts inside- damn right it can be used for professional work! “Professional work” is vague, but if has full flash capabilities & a tripod mount your golden, fire at will.
If this camera performs does what I want it to do, I’ll buy two.
I am looking for a low profile small cam with bad ass low light capabilies. From the size this would be at the moment the Sony A7. I wonder what the Nikon specs are but it does not look like an FE2 / FM2 body reincarnation. I hope for a fair price but that will be another story…
Sony’s don’t take other lenses – people use adapters to mount other lenses. You can use adapters to mount Canon lenses, Leica R lenses, Contax lenses and other SLR lenses on Nikon cameras. You can’t mount rangefinder lenses on Nikons because of the distance from the mount to the sensor.
Thanks. Mount-to-sensor distance. Crystal clear.
That’s only one reason.
I don’t think that you can mount any other lenses on Nikon F mount cameras because of the flange focal distance without loosing focus to infinity. You can’t mount M42 lenses, OM lenses, Minolta AF lenses, etc.
Okay, everybody else seems to know the answer to this (?), but here it goes:
Why does this only take Nikon lenses? Why does it not take other lenses like the new Sonys do?
Because Nikon has huge portfolio of lenses and Song doesn’t for FE mount. Therefore Nikon doesn’t need to care about other lenses. You can mount on this every F mount lens made since 1959.
That absolutely does not answer my question at all. Please re-read as necessary.
Jan, easy love, I replied to your question to my best knowledge.
You are right. Sorry.
Actually, he absolutely answered your question.
It’s like asking why every manufacturer doesn’t take every OTHER manufacturer’s lens lines. Why would they want to? Wouldn’t make any technical or business sense to drive your buyers into the arms of another manufacturer.
Well, Sony is welcoming it..which is why they welcomed me to bring as many M mount lenses as I could. They are also up for me doing a huge 30-40 lens test with these cameras. It broadens the audience for the camera as well. A nicely made full frame that is small and can take native lenses (which are superb) or old manual focus RF lenses..or Canon lenses..or Nikon lenses..or Sigma lenses..or one of the many other brands. THOUSANDS of options for these cameras which means anyone who has some of these lenses may want to give an A7 a try..and if they like it they may try a few native lenses. Smart move. For example, I will not buy the new Nikon because I wuld be stuck with large Nikon lenses. Old Nikon is fine but will not give the quality of many of these RF lenses. Sony is innovating. Olympus is innovating. Nikon and Canon or just going with the flow..so far.
Unlike the rest, Sony is not an optical company. And that’s the real reason. So of course it’s in their interest to be able to allow other lenses to mount their cameras (with the additional adapters.) It’s not “innovation” but simply a different approach when the company is fully aware that there’s something missing. It may end up appearing like “innovation” and certainly could end up being beneficial to those who like to experiment with a variety of lenses and adapters. But that was not the real motivation. They need to sell this camera despite that it has very few native lens choices at the moment. And this way they can also test the waters (sales) before committing to spending $$ for more lenses.
You’re absolutely right on all of this, Steve. You have to remember these companies have wildly different histories and objectives at this moment in time.
It TOTALLY makes sense for Sony to take the approach they’re taking. Their lens lineup is relatively modest, and their full-frame lenses large. Inviting third party adaptation helps them grow market share for these new cameras…if not the lenses (yet).
Nikon and Canon have a different strategy based upon their history and global position. No other manufacturer is going to compete with them on their turf. So what do you do if you’re Olympus or Panasonic or Fuji, etc? You don’t TRY to compete. You try to create a new market segment that you believe hasn’t been satisfied yet. Hence we have mirrorless. Makes perfect sense.
Meanwhile, Nikon and Canon aren’t in a position yet where they need to care too much about mirrorless. The only reason they haven’t entered this market in a serious way is because most serious photographers ― and by serious I mean those not interested in merely capturing life’s moments with a smartphone or compact camera ― are still buying DSLRs in North America and the Euro Zone.
All of the retailers in my city say the same thing: “Mirrorless cameras just sit on the shelves. They don’t sell.” Most North Americans and Europeans (and that accounts for the vast majority of Nikon and Canon’s market) still see the DSLR as the next logical move up and tend to be dismissive of mirrorless.
Will this change over the coming years? Yes, to a large extent I think it will. Who wants to lug a big, heavy DSLR everywhere? I don’t. You don’t. Most people don’t … unless it’s a paid and/or preplanned shoot and you need the ultimate combination of image quality, speed, reliability, system compatibility, etc.
But make no mistake about it, these two titans have the experience, resources, and engineering know-how to enter the mirrorless market at a time of their choosing.
Do you know about flange focal distance and it’s significance to adapting lenses? If not, I can try give you a brief explanation.
It’ because Nikon has about the longest flange focal distance of all the 35mm SLR’s at 46.5mm. Works great when you need to mount a Nikon on another body because you just make up the difference in flange focal distance but going from another manufacturer with a shorter focal distance is impossible with just a plain adapter. You would never be able to focus at infinity. You can try this with a Konica/Hexanon AR mount lens on a Nikon. They will fit but they sure won’t focus at infinity.
I did a poor job of explaining and I can’t edit it now so here’s a link to a better start at understanding why.
Why don’t they make a brass camera with metal buttons and controls? if you go for simple/basic, at least go all the way.
Leica does. That is how their M cameras are made.
No doubt the DF is a seductive camera, even down to the vintage Nikon logo it appears to have on the prism. But since it will be priced between the D800E and D4, I’ll pass. My $2,500 D700 was a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. That cost more than my first new car!
Steve, if you take a careful look at the front of the new Df you will see most of the buttons look to be exact replicas of those from the F2 / Nikkormat FT2/3 era -chrome with shiny black inserts .The shape of the prism housing is similar to Nikkormats /FM/FE’s of old, and the shutter speed dial is reminiscent of the F2 .
So from the front and top there are many nods to Nikon’s classic film camera heritage but, from what I can deduce so far, the rear is virtually contemporary in layout and design.Is this the hybrid feature Nikon alludes to, or will there be more to this reference than presently meets the eye?
Also , I am very keen to read up on experiences with the Sony RX10 as this camera could be a great all rounder/ family travel camera,replacing an ancient Sony video camera into the bargain, providing it meets on paper expectations. Hopefully your RX10 observations will be posted soon.
I am interested in this as I have a selection of old Nikon manual focus AIS lenses that I am using on my Fm2n and F2as. what matters to me is how Nikon has implemented the manual focus control. i want it as similar as possible to my old Nikons. great big matte screen would be killer.
The size looks similar to my F2 aka The Mallet so that is fine. When I take that camera out, I just sling it over my shoulder with one lens only, and a couple of rolls of film. No bag full o stuff, no case, really quite liberating. A different mind set.
Keep in mind old Ai and Ais lenses can be had cheap, so if u want to build a manual system around this it would be much less money than new cameras. I have a perfect condition 105 1.8 that was $400. A 50 1.2 that was $300. And a 55 2.8 micro (a lens that I recommend highly as it is crazy sharp with nice bokeh) for $100. But, and this is a big but,…. with the Df you would not need that fast glass as it has a digital sensor that is great at high ISOs. I have them as my fastest film is only 400 speed. So a full manual nikon prime lens system for the Df can be easily had for under $500. The 55 2.8, 105 2.5, 24 2.8 are all fantastic and would be my pick. No adapters needed…
if manual focus needs electronic indicators etc then I am out.
I hope that it will have a great glass viewfinder. And, as for the hybrid thing, maybe, we will see the first translucent (O)LED-screen in the optical path of the viewfinder…and a secondary DX-sensor as metering and previewing system…
I’m happy with Leica ^.^
I want one! I just hope they make it really simple – minimal menu, no in camera effects, etc. Manual all the way!
Yes, I hope they do this as well. VERY minimal menu would be awesome. In fact, if they did the dials right, no menu would even be needed. Just a one page deal with ISO settings, etc. All we had to choose with film cameras was the film. No menus needed there.
It will be very much a back-to-basics camera. No frilly stuff. Top dials that borrow from the design ethos of the FE/FA/F3/F4 cameras…the back borrowing elements from their current popular DSLRs.
It will have everything a serious still photographer needs — including backward compatibility with almost all Nikkor lenses — and nothing he/she doesn’t. It’s most definitely not a “kitchen sink” camera.
Seriously Weather Sealed? All Metal?
I don’t know about weather sealing yet. But the body will be well-built, I’ve no doubt.
At $3k it better be weather sealed. A ‘rugged’ camera that isn’t weathersealed? That’s like making an off-road vehicle that isn’t 4wd.
Do not ever think that I will buy a Nikon camera, not cause they are not good. Guess the main reason that other cameras are more fun to use. Sony, Olympus and fujifilm making cameras aiming for be easy to carry with you and the most important the fun of taking a picture (to be creative)…
The big question is how will they price it. It seems the spiritual successor to the D700, so it ought to cost below the d800. If so, say 2k or so. I think it will do well. If they price it as a luxury, as some have quoted, 3k, or higher, it will be a tough sell. At least a tough sell to me. I may be willing to pay a premium over a d600 for better design, and simpler old school controls, and some loss of size and mass, but I don’t see myself willing to pay that premium over the d800. Factor in the costs of the a7 and a7r…. And all they deliver…. I think pricing this is going to make or break the df. My fear is nikon has recently been pricing high, ( nikon 1 ), and that’s a large potential issue.
My wild guess..$2899 or $2999
Yea…they are not going to price it the same as the D610… so near $3K sounds right…. given the quoted weight it will be built like a tank… Frankly I’m torn… and waiting to find out more on Tuesday… I still have me A7r pre-order in place…. but all my glass in F-mount right now… and this Df might fit in best with my D800E, FG and FE2….. but I also love and have been truly impressed by my RX1R and so adding in the Sony direction also is an attractive proposition… Arrggg …. i’ve got so much GAS right now my ass is floating a foot above my chair…
I’m gong to DEMAND the Nikon list it at $2300 or less!
And if they don’t I will, absolutely, stomp my feet and throw a hissy-fit! 🙂
Or just wait a year to buy it….
That’s a good guess.
Depends on the price, and on whether it will meter with AI or older lenses. At or near $2000 with AI compatibility and I’ll probably pick one up, along with a few manual focus classic Nikkors to go with it.
My hope is for an F3 style camera with basic shutter speed dial and AIS compatibility. Either way, there are some great options to big clunky dslr’s coming soon! Thanks again Steve for consistently providing the latest updates!
Lets hope they take a leaf out of Sonys bag and give it a sensible price?!
I hope so. I’m being optimistic and am hoping for a $2295 price. I’ll likely be disappointed, but I’m going to hope!
It will apparently cost 3000 euros body only; this according to the French magazine Chasseur d’images.
This is a link to the article in Chasseur d’images:
Won’t be cheap, but won’t be nearly that high, either.
Unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to talk about specific pricing.
But if you’re planning ahead to get one and expect it to fall somewhere between the D600 and D800, that would be a safe assumption.
I hope you’re right. I’ve seen D800 bodies advertised for $2,300 new. MSRP is more, of course. I’ll be in at up to $3K with a lens. More and I’ll buy a second M9 body.
So then, it will occupy the D700’s price slot.
Man, if that’s the case then the A7r really will be the better investment, even for the Nikon user. Metabones will have the AF-S/VR compatible adapter out by March. I don’t see Nikon producing as finished a product as Sony in the compact division. Small digital cameras have not been Nikon’s strength in a long, long time. With or without F mount.
“I don’t see Nikon producing as finished a product as Sony in the compact division.”
You’re forgetting that Nikon has already demonstrated their ability to build a state-of-the-art, compact mirrorless camera.
The 1-Series really only suffers from one significant flaw: the sensor is too small. But it performs strongly in a variety of other areas:
– Superb autofocus performance
– Speedy overall operational performance
– Excellent sensor (for its admittedly restricted size)
– Very solidly built body
And what many don’t realize is that the 1-Series cameras also employ a new, modular design modality that is actually in many ways more advanced than Nikon’s DSLRs (e.g less internal wiring bundles). From engineering to execution, it’s one of the most streamlined cameras in terms of advanced production on the market right now; ahead of many of its competitors.
What it lacks is a sufficiently large sensor and a few of the latest features. Implement all of that and then give the bodies some retro sex-appeal, and presto, Nikon has a full-on mirrorless competitor.
My point here is that they’ve already laid the ground work in terms of engineering and proof of execution with the 1-Series. They’d just have to scale it up a bit. I think you could safely state that the 1-Series cameras were Nikon’s engineering testbed for mirrorless. There’s no question they can do it.
That’s clearly a new lens on it too.
The rumor mill says its the 50mm F1.8G reshaped to look better on the more retro camera… and from the picture its definitive a G lens without the aperture… and will add $300 when bought with the body… now if that’s all true they can keep it… I have a 50mm F1.8g that I bought for $175… nice little lens…but I’m getting the feeling that this is just a styling exercise …. If they really wanted to do something impressive they would have produced a modern digital ready 35mm f2 to go with this camera….
Yep, appears to be an AF lens with AI styling. Smaller than the “G” AF lenses, too. Comparing the lens and body sizes, I will venture that this camera is smaller than a Nikon DX (APS-C) camera. Cool.
If the rumors are true, its not that much smaller then the D600… basically just a little bit bigger then the Pentax K3 … 143mm x 110mm x 66mm verses …131.3 x 100 x 77.5….
Best describe it as film camera of old without the film Kind of a F3D.
What is the point? It seems about a big of a miss as Pentax K-01 was. Interesting concept, poorly executed. Doesn’t fill a need that isn’t already being filled by someone else.
Totally agree with you David, I think with the A7, A7r and em1 there is a little bit of revolution in the camera industri. Why buy the big bulky dslr when mirror less cameras can deliver the same IQ. The problem for companies as Nikon and Canon is that they will realize this too late. Another question is if companies that these giants really want to go the same way. Or if they are to pride to mimic the other companies. Maybe this is the death of at least one of the giants.
This camera will sell, and sell well. It’s a halo product for purists and well-heeled traditionalists that will generate a lot of buzz for the company. And it already is.
Nikon is in no danger of going away. They didn’t survive all these decades (including WWII) without learning a trick or two.
The only reason they haven’t entered mirrorless more aggressively (yet) is because mirrorless just DOESN’T sell. It’s popular in Asia, but nowhere else.
Mirrorless DOES sell, and is selling more and more each year while DSLR sales go down each year (due to size, bulk and weight) so this is why Nikon is making this move. They know they have to. See where the DSLR market is in 5 years 😉
If you take a snapshot November 1st, 2013, here is what the statistics reveal: Mirrorless cameras are not selling well in North America and Europe, comparatively speaking. Yes, DSLR sales are going down, but so are sales of ALL cameras across the board right now. And that’s because of the proliferation of the smartphone.
Will that change over the next few years? Yes, I’m pretty sure it will, so your prognostication about where the DSLR market is in 5 years is probably pretty spot-on.
But here’s the thing: I’ve no doubt Nikon has mirrorless designs on the drawing boards right now. But in their estimation they don’t need to go there…not just yet. When the tide starts to turn, make no mistake they have the engineering and resources to release new products.
But until mirrorless sales start to eat into DSLR sales in Europe and North America in a meaningful way, you’re probably not going to see Nikon (or Canon) release a serious mirrorless lineup.
The problem here for Nikon in particular is that they are and have always been at an electronic disadvantage. They license much of what they use and then bend it to their own specifications… which has made their R&D cycles occasionally extravagantly long. This is a genre of cameras that will have been 12 generations in the loop, at minimum, before Nikon and Canon release real competition. It will now be on red and yellow to see if they’ll have the chops to compete with what will be full mature divisional product by the time they decide to wage war. I don’t believe Nikon is going anywhere. I do, however, believe, that the “alternative brands” are going to be much more mainstream than Nikon, or some of their user base, are willing to believe.
Nikon isn’t at as big a disadvantage in electronics know-how as many people seem to think.
Re licensing much of what they use―that applies to all the Japanese camera manufacturers, save perhaps Canon … and it’s always been this way. Nikon’s R&D cycles appear long because traditionally they’ve tended to be the most conservative of the Japanese camera manufacturers, doing things very methodically. And there’s been a good reason for this, a lot of it having to do with ensuring legacy compatibility to retain a professional base established in the 1960s.
And it’s worked for them; they’re one of the two big titans in camera manufacturing, after all.
I think it’s overstating things to suggest that mirrorless is any sort of real competition right now. The latest sales figures simply don’t bare that out >> http://www.cipa.jp/english/data/pdf/d-201309_e.pdf
At the same time, you’re correct in pointing out that other manufacturers will have mature products by the time Nikon/Canon enter mirrorless in a serious way.
However, given their expertise and overall momentum I don’t think that will prevent them from dominating the market once they do enter. Remember that it’s almost certain both companies already have advanced mirrorless designs on the drawing boards.
In fact, I’m certain they do. If Nikon is filing patents for things like digital backs that can be adapted onto ’70s SLRs, then their R&D division is humming along and certainly working on mirrorless development (though it’s probably very hush, hush―remember the DF caught everyone largely by surprise, too).
mirrorless is not selling as good in Europe and North America for the sole reason that those continents are in photography since many years and have many ancinet photographers that are sitting on a huge park of glass from one, or two brands they ow or have shot with for ever. I used Nikon for 42 years priore to step over to Sony, but I still ow Nikon bside of a Fuji S5 in a nikon body.
Asia is emerging, many just get out of poverty, many newbies are found, and most of those chose mirrorless. But here again, it depends in what Nation you go and see what is selling best. In the Philippines, for example, DSLR market is much higher than mirrorless. This has also for reason this pretentious side, the bigger, the better, and “have ya seen me”. Japan is fully axed on mirrorless.
Now, I bet all you want that Nikon will run right with mirrorless, if they where making a camera in the A7 style, that can use all Nikon glass with an adapter and all other glass as well with different adapters, the same as Sony does. Sony has made here a “death mans hand”, in some way, there is no other company that can reach this hand at the moment. I see at the moment only one way to compete with Sony and that is simply doing the same. It just has it all, there’s not much t add, at least nothing very usefull.
People need to remember that Sony is a company in decline. Their cameras haven’t caught on the way they’d hoped; Samsung and other Korean companies have been hammering them in sales of consumer electronics. Their gaming consoles are under severe threat from new organizations offering innovative web-based gaming solutions. And their entertainment division (film & television studios and holdings) has lost money for the last 8 years straight.
It’s part of why they recently partnered with Olympus to try to get a share of the lucrative medical equipment manufacturing business (which is also Olympus’ biggest revenue generator).
Sony is no threat to Nikon or any other established camera manufacturer, except perhaps in the sense that if Sony went away there might be a shortfall in chip manufacturers.
Falconer, you just light up these message boards on every topic possible. Going to have to disagree with you on the market for mirrorless. This site and it’s following is proof.
Sales may not be where we think in comparison to Asia, however they hold their own in most markets. As with any other product, there are peaks and valleys especially in the early stages.
Actually wilk the proof is not this site, but actual market sales figures like CIPA. And those real results match what Robert is saying.
Let’s not confuse ‘following’ with ‘sales’ which is partially my point. The proof of the following is in this site for sure. I am not arguing with results (sales). However, they are certainly holding their own for a new product…as I stated.
I really don’t believe that one or the other will take over just yet due to so many options in the camera world, however, I do believe that the larger DSLR’s will fade over time more than the compacts.
Agree with both your points here, actually.
Arguing “following” with “sales” is a false equivalency, however. Sales, frankly, is all that matters in the sense that it translates to the bottom line. A following, by itself, does not.
And I also wholeheartedly agree that the larger DSLR trend will fade over time and give way to more compact cameras that can do more.
Remember, though, that the camera is a tool designed for the human hand―there’s an ideal size for the average person. Too big, and it risks being clumsy (today’s big DSLRs have already hit that point, IMO). Too small, and your hands are creeping all over it while shooting and there isn’t enough heft or solidity to inspire confidence holding it.
The problem is that despite being a relative minnow, Nikon is in much better shape than Olympus, Panasonic and Sony. Those companies may not survive long enough for mirrorless to win. Canon is probably the best positioned- strong in advanced cameras and successfully diversified.
Yep, this is true, too.
David, who is making a DSLR with a dedicated shutter speed dial and without the ridiculous bloated grip of today’s DSLRs?
‘cept the K-01 was an APS-C camera and this one if full frame… many full frame users are use to carrying something like a D4, D800, D700, D600 etc. This is at least a little smaller than those.
A lot of image comparisons have already been posted around the web. This new camera is significantly smaller than a D800, and closer to an F3HP. Personally, I think it would be foolish to make it too small. There is a perfect balance of size and weight, and I think this new Nikon will get very, very close to that.
I use an F3 on a daily basis (I have both DE-2 and DE-3 finders and personally prefer the DE-2 because of the magnification factor.) imho, the big thing is having a true optical viewfinder instead of just an EVF. It’s why I also like using my Leica M6. And a single lens reflex and a rangefinder have their own specific benefits (e.g., DOF preview and also 100% framing is convenient with the single lens reflex.) The size of the F3 is perfect to me (and so is the M4 for certain purposes.) Surprisingly, the F3 is actually more ergonomic for me over the long run (esp with the MD-4.) I’m young and still have muscles 🙂 ….and good eyesight. I hope this new DF Nikon has a top quality optical finder. I’ll get one if it does (and with a D4 sensor I think it will be a good compliment to a D800E.)
Different tools for different reasons, and with many of those reasons being subjective and quite personal. People have plenty to choose from now and with image quality no longer an issue. fwiw, I own the 28mm Summicron, the 35mm Summilux FLE, and 50mm Summilux ASPH. Some of my Nikkor AIS lenses are really quite good and on par to where no viewer can tell the difference. Some good Nikkor examples: 28mm CRC 2.8; 105mm 2.5; 50mm 1.2 (tricky lens); 35mm 1.4 (also tricky.) Where the Leica lenses are really nice is when used at maximum aperture. But overall they’re all good (including other lens brands.) We tend to be getting way, way too hung up on the gear aspect these days. And also on resolution; some of these latest ‘semiconductor images’ are almost looking like technical illustrations and not photographs anymore. 🙂
I can tell you that Nikon is absolutely committed to optical viewfinders for the time being.
Their research is likely telling them that this is what shooters in this milieu still want.
I switched to EVF. Haven’t looked back. The ability to critically focus in moonlight in Moab sold me. That was a real revelation. Being able to see the video through the viewfinder, histogram and all… another. Correcting white balance live, yet another. It’s hard to go back to even the best OVFs (and I had an F3T and Sony’s A900… the two best Pentaprism finders I’ve ever seen outside of the PME45 for Hasselblad) when your entire image is ready at the outset. It’s nice to move organically again.
So yeah different tools for different people. With my eyesight, and the added live abilities, the EVF was 100% the right decision for me.
I agree. The EVF is the future and offers all sorts of benefits.
Or perhaps for higher end models some sort of advanced hybrid of OVF and EVF, like Fuji’s X-Pro and X100 cameras…but more sophisticated.
I will also get a DF if it has a top quality optical viewfinder. I still use my Nikkor 55mmf2.8 and 105mmf2.5 primes with my F2as. I’ve used them with a D700 but it required a mod to make the viewfinder easier to use. I use an M9 with Zeiss 50mm/f2 & CV35f1.2 ll Asph. These are all fine lenses but these Nikkor’s and a few others have a magic all their own.Great FF sensor, great glass, sounds good to me.
While definitely not a ‘Pro’ camera, I wish we could get back to the same size/weight as the (film) Nikon EM
Dimensions 135 × 54 × 86 mm
Weight 460 g (16 oz)
The Sony some closest I think.
AF-On!!!! Yeah, something missing from D600/D610!!! I love it!
AF-On is missing from the D600? I have a rear AF button on the D7000?
It will be in my bag next spring… Not sooner. I will wait for hype to come down. I do need a second body to my D800, and this is a perfect mix that I desired. Good move Nikon! Glad I came back…
If you can get it in spring (could be a big back-order after the initial production?)
If this camera could accompany ‘M’ lenses, it would be a winner for me.
Best of All Worlds!
Why would Nikon make a camera to use M lenses? They are more interested in supporting their own lenses customers. It makes sense.
They wouldn’t and I would never expect them too. But neither did Sony. Just so happens it is compatible with them even though they built it for their own mount. With hundreds of lenses available, some vintage, some modern and some crazy it makes for a really cool camera with limitless possibilities and looks. I will shoot Nikkor RF lenses on the A7. They are TINY but super HQ. Cant do that on the new Df..we will be stuck with modern Nikon large lenses or vintage lanes which are smaller but not near the quality of Leica or even Zeiss ZM. I have used many older Nikon manuallenses. All were soft wide open and usually needed stopping down a bit to look decent. So buying modern Nikon lenses would not be of interest to me..way too large. Older lenses would be cool for the retro factor but not so sure I could find any I would fall in love with.
If it were able to mount Leica M mount with an adapter like the Sony does it would be much cooler to me as it would then open up crazy possibilities. But alas, this is a DSLR in a new shape with some dials and buttons.
Still VERY cool though and I love the concept.
I’d have to agree about the quality of AI and AiS Nikon lenses compared to Leica and Zeiss. Nikon made a few gems, but as a range they are not the best. I went through a whole bunch before getting mine and even from a build quality they do not compare to the m mount lenses. Contrary to what a certain he who shall not be named says on his website. I found a bewildering mix of sloppy focus/too tight focus/ too loose aperture rings/ too tight aperture rings.
The 50 1.4 is a particularly poor performer until stopped down, plus it backfocuses! The much cheaper 1.8 and 2.0 are much better. But really you need to try the 55 2.8 micro. That lens rocks.
Couldn’t disagree more strongly. Nikon’s lenses from the ’60s through to the early ’80s were no worse than any other lens lines, and better than most. They were then — and remain today — the choice of most photojournalists and professional photographers.
Yes, there were some lenses that perhaps they’d have been better off not producing: the 43-86 comes to mind.
Many may not know this, but all the visual FX for the original Star Wars (some 350+ shots) were shot with Nikkor 35mm lenses adapted to VistaVision cameras. The chief DP for that film had his choice of using any lens line in the world, and he chose the Nikons. That’s about as demanding as you can get.
Remember that Nikon is an optical company, first and foremost. They know glass as well as anyone in the world, and have made several series of lenses over the years that are sharper than anything made by anyone, anywhere…yes, including Leitz and Zeiss. Repro Nikkors being but one example.
All my leica and zeiss glass is sharper and better made than my Nikon glass. i own and use all three brands.
my old leica lenses, from the 1950s, still function as new as well as being sharper than my old Nikon lenses from the 1980s, which have either become sloppy or too tight in comparison.
The only Nikon lens i have that matches up well to Leica/Zeiss is the 55mm 2.8 micro.
Nikon was picked by most photojournalists over Leica due to cost. They knew their gear was going to take a beating and so would find it easier to replace a $500 Nikon lens over a $3000 Leica lens. If i was going to sacrifice my gear, I too would pick Nikon.
Incorrect. Nikon was selected by most photojournalists because their optics are still excellent, and because “the system” is the thing. The Nikon System is far more versatile under a wider array of shooting conditions than anything produced by Leica.
The Nikons are also far more reliable under harsh shooting conditions. Just ask NASA.
Robert, I know you write for the Nikon Owner’s Group publication so of course u will tout the product, but still it is funny that u are telling me that somehow i am mistaken and that the Nikon lenses i own are sharper and better made than the leica and zeiss lenses that i own.
Even though in use that is not the case.
By the way i really enjoy using my Nikon gear, but i am staying grounded here.
Responding to your remark about Nikon Owner. Yes, I write for that publication. Be that as it may, I stand by my assertion, and must point out that your assessment is still only anecdotal.
I, too, have a Leica rangefinder and two Leitz lenses, but they’re older.
No Zeiss glass (Cosina or otherwise) in my stable, though.
I’ve also shot with friends’ Leica digital Ms on occasion.
And I have a pretty significant assortment of Nikon gear.
Here’s what I’ve discovered over the years:
1) Taken as an entire lens lineup, Leica glass remains the finest in the world, yes. It’s consistently good across all focal lengths and at all apertures (some argue that Zeiss glass made in Germany is actually better, but I can’t really speak to that point, as I don’t know).
2) Meanwhile, most of the major Japanese manufacturers cannot claim to have an ENTIRE lineup that is superlative. Their market is general consumers, so they make their money on higher volume and lower price (again, with exceptions, obviously, like their pro market), so you will get inconsistencies through some of the lineup.
That being said, the very best from Nikon is more often than not as good or better than the equivalent offering from Leica. I mentioned Nikon’s Repro Nikkors, as one example of unbeatable glass. Other examples that compare favorably with Leica include the 105mm f/2.5, the 180mm f/2.8, the 85mm f/1.4, the 24mm f/1.4 … along with an assortment of specialty optics that Leica simply has never made because they cannot compete in that market. Classic and contemporary legends like the Nikkor 6mm f/2.8, the astonishing Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2, the Zoom-Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8P IF-ED, the current 14-24mm f/2.8, etc, etc.
The truth is that today the differences in resolving power between all these high-end manufacturers is painfully small. In the vast majority of cases any of this gear will out-resolve the creativity of the photographer using it.
These debates are just for fun and matter little to the camera manufacturers.
I also own the micro 55/2.8 and it is the sharpest glass I own from wide open. I wouldn’t sell it for any price.
Nah. Leica and Zeiss were affected by the war, and the Nikons were shockingly good in the 1950s. The German camera industry was then reduced to niche status where it has remained for decades. The Japanese couldn’t be touched on the quality/value front.
If I could use my Nikon glass (with AF) on the A7/7r that would be ideal!
Wasn’t metabones or someone going to make an adapter that support AF (like the Canon adapter?)
MX Camera was working on the adapter, but it’s been delayed.
Why? Nikon makes some fine bodies that take Nikon lenses natively.
@Dr. Nick – indeed they do! Though.. I’d like one about the size & weight of the NIkon EM (but digital), with an articulating LCD, EVF, video, weather sealed, and at a reasonable price please 🙂
Nikon was great as a professional toll with all the cost of carrying a very heavy and large equipment. That is all. There are now cameras which can make equally or almost equally good pictures and are yet smaller and lighter. Surely for pros the “almost” can be everything but for majority of enthusiasts some little difference is nothing and small size and weight easily compensate lack of FF capability. And surely will not be discovered during your presentation of vaccinations pictures on a LCD screen or even future 4K one.
Leica M lenses cannot be fitted on any Nikon or other DSLR/SLR simply because of the flange to film plane / sensor distance. I do not know if Nikon RF lenses can be fitted either. If they do, they need a special Zeiss Ikon helicoid focusing adapter. The Leica-R lenses can be fitted via Leitax or a similar permanently fitted adapter. It takes a specialized photo technician to do the fitting. Especially with the three cam ROM lenses the whole thing can be turned into a mesh. Therefore I think there is no reason to mention the whole thing as an non existing option or as a Nikon “bad” choice.
Now, regarding the quality of the Nikkor manual lenses, forgive me but I have to completely disagree. Many people unfortunately refrained from using their manual Nikkors on the Nikon DSLRs and lost a lot of the quality these lenses can deliver.
I will not make a list but I will just mention that the Nikkor-AI 50mm/1.8 (vintage 1978) can deliver the same quality wide open as the latest 50mm/1.8 G with better colour rendition. Robert, here, mentioned some Nikkor gems. I fully agree. I could go on with meticulous detail, but I do not think it justified.
Last but not least. It is self understood that the new Nikon is not intended to be a toy platform for testing lenses. Third party lenses are an option for nearly all cameras, facilitating the user. Neither constant use of adapters is advisable for proper photographic work. Nikon Df therefore by providing a full lens compatibility, as it said, is mainly targeting to the traditional Nikon users, offering them a digital option to their manual Fs. If you continuously have been using a Nikon F2A for over thirty eight years, this should be easily understood. F2A and its simplings before and after it, are simply the best cameras ever made, at the heart of the best system ever made. Leica M has been a completely different concept all the way from the beginning. It seems that in the digital era the things have been mixed up a lot though.
Let us see what the 5th of November will bring.
Dimitris V. Georgopoulos
Photographer at Large