A few more random thoughts about the Nikon Df, in no particular order:
Cameras don't take pictures, lenses do
This will be the proper lens to put on one.
...On a black one.
Although I have to say I like what I'm seeing from the new $217 AF-S Nikkor 50mm ƒ/1.8G, which is presumably what the retro "Special Edition" ($60 more) is based on. Loads more than what I'm seeing from the faster version.
No interchangeable focusing screens?
And for those who are bemoaning the absence of a split image focusing screen, etc., you just use the focus-confirmation dot. It's easy after you get used to it, and more precise to boot.
[UPDATE: Several commenters disagree. See the Comments Section for the gory detes. —Mike]
Day late, dollar short
But—hate to tell Nikon—the ideal retro digital SLR has already been and gone.
It was called the Sony A900.
The A900 was a purist SLR. No video, no live view, no feckin' pop-up flash. Simple, clear menus and controls, excellent traditional ergonomics. No fripperies, fol-de-rol or foolishness. Just a big, beautiful sensor and a big, beautiful view through a big, beautiful glass pentaprism. Classic.
Not to be snarky, but I thought at the time that it was the sort of digital SLR you'd expect a company like Nikon to make.
Oh, well, yes, that was snarky.
And available on eBay for $1,100–1,700.
Nikon F100, the last mid-line film standard: WxHxD approximately 155 x 113 x 66mm (6.1 x 4.4 x 2.6 inches); weight (body only, without batteries), approximately 785g (27.7 ounces).
Nikon Df: WxHxD approximately 143.5 x 110.0 x 66.5mm (5.6 x 4.3 x 2.6 inches); weight (body only, without batteries), approximately 710g (25 ounces).
Credit where credit...
...Is due: Nobody really mentioned this explicitly, but consider that a) for years, people on the Internet have been saying "If Nikon would only make a digital FM2/FE2/FM3a," and b) it did. I mean, granted, the Df is not everyone's idea of a digital FM2/FE2/FM3a, but I think Nikon gets credit here for listening to its fans and at least making an attempt to come up with what they were asking for. No?
There's this, too.
(Thanks to Jonas Yip and Oren Grad)
Original contents copyright 2013 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Marcell Nikolausz: "The ideal retro digital SLR was Konica-Minolta 7D in my opinion."
Mike replies: You can put "sainted" before "Konica-Minolta 7D." I had no idea how good that camera was, because it was my first DSLR. I really wonder how long I would have used mine if it hadn't gone all wonky on me...after Sony had taken over and was declining to repair them.
Bob Rosinsky: "Agreed. The Sony A900 and its brother, the A850, are well-designed cameras. They have understated retro attributes. These Alphas are a pleasure to use—special indeed. Too bad Sony dropped the ball on optical viewfinder FF cameras. I patiently waited for an upgrade—36MP, 14-bit RAW, and a better AF system—way too long. Then, six months after the Nikon D800 came to market, I succumbed. The Sony went bye-bye. I still miss something about those robust 12-bit Sony files. Oh well, time marches on...."