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Monday, 04 November 2013


I notice the lens is apparently a retro version of the 50mm f/1.8G Nikkor. Because it's a G it has no aperture ring. It appears to have a depth-of-field scale though. As for the body, well, it's... different.

Would be cool if — like many single-digit Nikon F film SLR bodies — it had an interchangeable viewfinder system.

A classical optical pentaprism viewfinder that could be swapped e.g. with an OLED or LCD-based electronic viewfinder module.

When installed, the electronic viewfinder module would instruct the camera to put itself in "liveview" mode, with the reflex mirror locked up.

A reasonably fast AF, even in liveview mode, could be achieved via on-chip phase detection, like Sony does with the A99, and Canon with the 70D.

Soon we will get a flood of steam engine locomotive photographs.

I probably wouldn't buy one-- I'm guessing it's going to be at least $3000+--, but I absolutely love all the dials, switches, and buttons on this thing. It looks like a very tactile camera, and I find I much prefer that design aesthetic to ones which emphasize menus.

I assumed that the "f" in DF was to reference the "F" line of bodies that the new camera itself is supposedly referencing.

I welcome a digital FE—I used the original FE for many years—but I have my doubts that this new camera will be that. First of all, it already seems to be much larger than those bodies, and with all the other cameras in their lineup I'd think that form-factor would be this camera's differentiating feature. That's not going to be the case if it's more or less the same size as a D600.

I was pretty excited about this initially, but I've calmed down a little. I was hoping this would make a good 2nd body for my D800, but I'm having trouble seeing how this camera would fit into my system. As a backup to the D800, I would prefer 24mp to 16mp.

But maybe I'm in a rut and a smaller camera like this with a collection of the f/1.8 primes would be fun to work with.

I'll have a better idea tomorrow when the official details and price are known. We'll see how the viewfinder measures up (no eyepiece shutter is a minus for me), what the mysterious knurled knob is for (by the "Df")and the other assorted features.

That Nikon seems a little off in the size/shape of the pentaprism, but other than that small niggle - it's beautiful. And available in chrome...
If the pricing is right, I think Nikon has a winner.

Interesting how they used the product design to "thin" the body visually while maintaining the chunky form underneath. I'm not sold on it though... first, the dials for ISO and exposure compensation look harder to manipulate than the current cameras. There is no built-in flash, the eyecup looks shallow, and the grip is tiny.

In my armchair opinion, what Nikon should have done is to make something like this a $999 DX-sensor camera along with a trio of compact DX-sized primes. Put their best technology into it, especially for focusing and metering - where Nikon is proven and has an edge - and market it against the Fuji X-series and m4/3s as the more serious, capable system that has superior continuous focusing, a "pure" optical viewfinder, and access to a huge array of legacy lenses. Price it so I can buy the body and three lenses for under $2000 and they'd hit a much larger market and probably make a higher margin too. They could cross sell the DX primes to D7100 users pinning for better lenses, and sell their entire range of existing lenses to DF users. Instead of limiting user options and pricing people out of the system, they'd be creating new sales opportunities at multiple levels.

But what do I know? I am just some dumb gaijin with 20 years of marketing experience. And in spite of my weathered cynicism, it does look like a nice camera.

Oh were it only F2ish with interchangeable VF's - from waist level to wireless google glass adapted to...

It seems more like an F4 than an FM/FE/FA in terms of size and complexity. (The original F4 though, not the larger F4S with vertical grip).

Oh man, paired with my M9, that Df would almost digitally replicate my favorite rig of days gone by:

Nikon F3 And Leica M4-P, May, 2010

So yeah, I want one. But I don't want to sell my E-M5, either. Grrrrr. Consumerism.

I do like the look of that Nikon. It's a welcome move away from the blobby and bulbous school of camera design, and while it's retro, it's not 'cute' retro but more 'serious business' retro.
It's got proper knobs to set things with, and a proper threaded cable release in the shutter button. Fantastic.

Shame it'll be out of my price range, no doubt!

RE: addicted to new cameras.
Yeah what happened, a HOW did it happen. I got my OM-1 when I was 16(they were new then to give you an idea of my age) I NEVER wanted another camera(35mm that is) Sure I wanted a lot lenses I could not afford, and got a few as time went on. But now...well there are lots of cameras I'd like to have. These marketing guys must be good.

The rumored specs say 16 megapixel. That rules it out for me. Why not the D800 sensor?

Judging by the marketing and design of this camera, Nikon is aiming for leica rather than Fuji/Sony. Expect pricing to be ridiculous. I'm guessing d800e pricing.

The leaked pictures show a screw-in cable extension shutter release thing. This leads me to conclude that these are faked. That's just too photographer-friendly, and too profit unfriendly.

Unless they go with some hinky proprietary threading or something?

The DF looks like a really cool camera. Too bad it's going to cost $3000(!)

I kinda wish Olympus had made the OM-D E-M5 look more like an OM-1. I always thought the pyramidal pentaprism of the orginal OM-1 made it the most beautiful of the film SLRs.

M43 - yeah, Voightländer has that right... not quite as the common thread size is M42, what a bummer....

Looks great from some angles, a Franken camera from others. A shot of it from top down reveals the small original FM/FE body entombed in a present day digital casing. And they couldn't figure out what to do with those unsightly rubber side doors.

Interesting to see how it looks in person, and how it performs. At $2,500 minimum, I'll continue to use that which inspired it.

If they're going for the retro theme they should have the film advance lever/shutter cocking mechanism à la Epson RD-1 - then I'd buy one ...

That Nikon looks like a retro fruit cake. They are taking direct control two steps too far, probably just to please the loud forum crowd. Fiddling with all them dials might take a while if you want to use the camera "properly", i.e. In full manual mode. However, it seems to have enough buttons to run everything in the usual, 21st century mode too. An interesting camera for sure. It looks to be part of a genre that got lost in the transition to digital: cameras for the road (the E-M1 is another one of those).

Just guessing based on rumors, but it seems like this is the 'simple' counterpart to the D4. As others have mentioned, the D800 would eat old MF nikkors for breakfast, so better less, really nice pixels. It's nifty - a little silly, but it does make me feel that there are folks at Nikon who love photography, and love cameras(two very different passions), and want a toy they can play with.
(And my dearest wish would be a split-prism viewfinder. I know that it's never, ever, gonna happen, but lordy would it be nice to be able to use a 50 1.2 on something newer than my F2.)

As I have mentioned before I will not be buying a new digital camera until they make them sensor upgradeable. If my D700 bites the dust I will look for a used one to replace it. They can dangle all the shiny goodies they want in front of me. They might even get me somewhat excited, but I've become to jaded to be swayed enough to plunk down my hard earned cash for the latest wundercrap.

I was originally swept up in the hoopla generated by the Df teaser campaign, but two things occurred during the course of those six videos.

1) I went out for an evening stroll with my D600 and two lenses (50mm f1.8G and 85mm f1.4D). While the idea of a simpler camera with more direct controls is appealing, I actually really like how the controls are laid out on the D600. It works for me. And the camera is comfortable in my hand. I'm sure I'd love the Df, but I don't think any more than I love my D600.

2) When I started thinking about "Pure Photography," this is what I thought of. That's my old Mamiya 500 DTL that was passed down from my Dad. It was my first SLR. To the best of my knowledge, it was his first, too. I'd love to run a roll of Kodachrome 64 through it like both he and I did many times in the past, but Tri-X should do nicely, too. The new Nikon is still far too complex to be this purely photographic, IMHO.

Congrats to Nikon with their new release and I hope it sells well. I just don't think I'll be buying one.

This camera inspired me to invent a new camera metric: "controls per dollar". However, I am not sure whether a high or low value is a good thing.

Much has been said about the digital FM2, but it looks more like an F3 to me, with a bit of FA in it. The bulkiness suggests a pro level camera. Looks quite attractive to me anyway. The lens looks like a standardplastic Nikkor dressed up to resemble a classic manual lens, which is a bit tacky to me. Unless you want to use manual focus lenses you won't find anything to match the look of the camera.

If the pictures are real, why do they even bother with a M P A S dial? Plus the grip really destroys the retro body line. IMHO, they didn't retro it enough! Still way too busy for a really digital FM(2,3a, whaterver).

Based on some pictures briefly viewable on amazon, this thing has 17 buttons and 10 dials. This is, um, rather more than my FE2 has. The styling is 100% modern DSLR with some half-hearted nods to the FE/FM cameras of yore, once you spend some time looking at ratios of this to that and so on.

I find it astonishingly ugly.

I'm not seeing anything actually retro here at all except a couple top-deck dials for shutter speed, exposure compensation, and maybe ISO. No PC socket that I can see.

If you're going to make a camera to be sold on the basis of its looks, you should probably, I'm just sayin here, make it look good.

Christopher Holland wrote:
> I assumed that the "f" in DF was to reference the "F" line of
> bodies that the new camera itself is supposedly referencing.

If this leaked naming plan is to be believed, the "f" is more likely a label indicating the camera's positioning in Nikon's future product hierarchy...

A prematurely released page on a well known online book retailer had the kit price at $3K. Give it 6 months.

Okay Mike, I admit it. We are really spoiled for choice. I also admit that I'm really jonesing. For this camera and for so many others.

I don't buy all that I want, but I do buy more than I need. The liberal guilt is killing me.

The Df appears to have controls for both "retro UI" (shutter dial, exposure compensation and ISO dial) and the now standard "buttons and dials UI"** (front and rear dials and all the buttons to activate them).

The best of both worlds it would seem.

The camera looks oddly ugly and clunky but attractive too. A bit like an FM in my eyes.

** For those that don't understand the Nikon "buttons and dials UI" the idea is the rear dial normally controls the "default parameter" (e.g. in A mode it's aperture; in S mode it's shutter).

To alter other parameters you hold down a button that corresponds to another parameter e.g. holding the ISO button (or function button for ISO) then rotating the dial changes ISO. In some cases two buttons can be used together on some DX bodies: hold down "exposure compensation" button to change exp comp or hold down "exposure compensation" and "Flash" popup buttons together to change "flash compensation".

It's a useful scheme for adjusting many parameters (n+1 for n buttons -- even more ifyou use combinations) whilst you keep your eye to the eyepiece. It scales rather better than the "retro UI" where you need one dial per parameter.

On an old post I said I wanted a camera with technology from the future and handling from the past. So far I really like what this retro-wave is bringing.

I'd love one as a D300 replacement, but the price is out of my league.

I had to chuckle when I saw the publicity pic of the Df and a 43-86, the lens everyone loved to hate but secretly owned.

Where is nikon's headline about the beautiful interchangeable matte and split focusing screens available for the camera?

If they're there, sold.

If not, then it's just an (though successful) aesthetic exercise.


I'm confused. I like it, yes it seems me interesting. With my 20/2,8 AFD and my 50/1,4 AIS is could be the digital alternative for my FM2 (with same lenses) which I still use. But size and weight I need to evaluate with the camera in my hands. Too many new cameras on the market...decisions, decisions, dec.....

Ohh, I was so hopeful. If only it were a 16 mp DX, with appropriately sized lenses and priced at $1600, I would have bought 2 immediately, but alas, I am not buying anything at $3000. As a DX it could have been smaller, lighter, prettier, and competitive with the competition.

As I was scrolling down my screen and saw the image of this camera, I was unable to stop myself from exclaiming, "What the hell is that?" This is a camera, even if it is fake. Why don't they make something with less features? Why do I need four different custom settings on a dial, when all I ever use is full manual? Make my life simple, give me shutter, aperture, white balance, and a meter. Everything else is just gravy to get fat with. I want a lean camera that only does what I want.

If I wasn't still paying off my Monochrom, I's probably be interested in this one.

This will probably get me banned from TOP for life but when I first saw the chrome version it kind of reminded me of a Praktina.
That does not deter me from wanting one.

I bought an Olympus OM-2 last June. I purchased it because I was curious about shooting film - right now I'm trying to decide whether my favourite black and white film is the Tri-X or the Ilford HP5 - but also because I love the way SLRs look. This Nikon could inject new life into my digital photography, which has stalled since I began to get decent results from film.
That said I find two issues about this Df camera: it is bulkier than any SLR of the 70's and 80's and it looks as if it's made of plastic rather than metal. That's something I get from looking at the stills taken from the teaser videos - there's a lot of pigmentation on the top plate -, which makes it a rather expensive camera (though less weight might be a good thing in such a chunky camera).
Otherwise it's all good news. I never liked the look of current DSLRs, even if it's a matter of form following function. And I'm certainly not the only one. There's still plenty of fascination for SLRs and Nikon seems to have made a brave move with this Df. It will always be a niche camera, though.

Egad, this is one ugly mutant camera. Bizzaro Superman to the Nikon F3's Man of Steel styling. Thick. So many buttons AND dials. All will be forgiven though, if the body is lighter than 500 grams or the viewfinder is glorious.

McI said in one of the comments:

"Oh were it only F2ish with interchangeable VF's - from waist level to wireless google glass adapted to..."

I wish he hadn't said that. I've been haunted all day by the fact that I was walking across the Santa Fe plaza (where you often see a lot of cameras) and saw a serious photographer-looking dude peering into the *top* of a 35-mm-looking camera. You know, like a Nikon digital with a waist-level viewfinder. And I didn't stop to take a closer look...

I have been using my D200 for seven years. I am waiting Nikon to bring something that I really like to buy. Now it is coming (not the simplicity I love, but OK), but with a ~ $3K price tag, probably I have to wait another seven years.

Perfect bait for a sugar daddy trap.

Beautiful! I want it but I can't get it. What if they make a digital version of Nikon SP? Hmm....that would be irresistible!!

Maybe I'm just weird (maybe?) but I've always found this prism housing design to be darned handsome, especially in silver with the little leatherette on it.

But I am offended by Nikon's pricing and will not be spending my imaginary $3000 on it. Take that, Nikon!
But seriously, why the 39 point focus thingamajigger? I'm very spoiled by the coverage on my D300. Guess I'm gonna keep shooting it until it finishes falling apart on me.

Identity crisis. This pretty much sums up what I think about this camera and probably Nikon as a company.

As an enthusiastic Fuji X100s owner, I say welcome Nikon shooters to retro land.

However, from what I can see so far I don't think this works as well as the Fujis (or the recent Olympuses for that matter), for a few reasons:

- It's just not elegant IMO, like the FM2. It's proportions are more F4 - top heavy, big head, thick. It's just a bit awkwardly shaped, like somebody drawing an FM2 from memory.
- It's a rather slavish interpretation (including lack of video) that doesn't seem to bring much new to the party. The great thing about the Fuji's is they have a classic look/form factor with never-before-seen technology like the switchable OVF/EVF.

Like one of the earlier commenters says, this does feel more like a Leica vanity/fad play.

Can't say I'd buy one, doesn't seem to be a place to put the film in. *shrug*

Even with a drawback as major as that, I'm sure they'll still sell a lot :P

You know those Hollywood sets they built for westerns? The streets made up of facades only? You looked round the back and there was nothing there. No actual building. No substance.

The Nikon Df makes me think of those.

Facing you, its faux 70s look has some appeal. Not a great deal, but enough to make you look again and, for those of us who are old enough, reminisce about favourite cameras we owned 30 years ago.

But have you seen round the back?

Steve Huff has a series of photographs on his site that show the camera in its entirety.

It's like Nikon stuck the rear of a Volkswagen to the front of a Porsche. The complete package is a mismatched mess of styling and a cacophony of dials, switches, buttons and complexity.

... Following on from my previous comment, I've just realized that Volkswagen and Porsche share a common heritage, undermining my point considerably.

I know little about camera. Less about cars.

Firstly, I've already handled the camera. This is not your FM2. It's much bigger and fatter. I'll likely have more details on my blog by the time you read this.

Secondly, I'm always very amused by people wanting a "basic" camera in digital. No more menus? Fine, I suppose you want to shoot only in RAW then, without AF options, built-in intervalometers, custom white balance for your preview JPEGs, self-timer options, bracketing options for your HDR, date and time in the XIF (no menus, no setting of date and time), and probably a few others I have left out.

Also amusing is the chorus of "no more menus" with the retro dials. Excuse me, but the dials in the Df don't do anything a, for example, D800 doesn't do quicker. In fact, if you ask me, the Df actually makes certain things more troublesome.

In short, a modern digital camera's versatility and power comes from its control and reconfigurability. Taking that aways makes us go back to the stone ages... which in effect is what the FM2 really is. Still a great camera, but one for its time, not this one.

A bit off topic - your Nikon link sent me there, like Alice down the rabbit aperture ....
I've been wondering what's happened to basic English usage. The simple ability to discern and type " two" or "to" or "too" where appropriate. Are we losing - loosing our collective basic intelligence?
I've been wondering what's happened to lens hoods. So many modern lenses hang the front element out in the breeze - where flare & dirt & thumbprints & flare & possible damage & wet & flare (hint, hint) reside. Worse - a nice, shiny, cheap to make expensive to buy (by? bye?) UV filter - in some cases as much profit as the camera. Very few ads or blogs point to the righteous path of hoods or decent grammar anymore.
Then I stumbled across this "first look" and began to understand.


This guy tells the truth: "they are there just to bring a little flare to your camera". Knit lens hoods for that extra flair - or - flare?
Oh yeah - the new Nikon - should have been named the LM (Lost Mojo).


I'll go against the grain and say that I hate the retro top deck.

It does nothing to get rid of what will surely be the maze of Nikon Digital Camera menu systems that you navigate on the back screen.

And, it's harder to use to actually set the shutter speed/aperture with the camera in hand and looking through the viewfinder. The anonymous CaNikon plastic front and back dials may not call out to the film-era nostalgia that we all have for the classic snick-wind film cameras but they at least make it fast and easy to change A and S on the fly. I've always found those top deck shutter speed dials to be a pain in the ass.

As for the rest, I guess the body shrinkage is fine. But the real problem with the Nikon (and Canon) lines right now is that the lenses are huge. After carrying an OMD with the 45mm/1.8 (90mm equiv) in my pants pocket on my recent trip to France, I'll never go back.

Esp. when said 45mm can do this:


I'm not sure who Nikon is trying to make happy with this machine. But hey, at least it looks good... oh wait.

I never use custom white balance, jpeg or TIFF image formats in camera, or in-camera processing options. A camera without those wouldn't bother me much at all.

But custom white balance is actually of value, I'm just lazy (deliberately shooting a known neutral target to set white balance will work better than finding something roughly neutral in the frame). And I can see the argument for jpeg output for certain high-volume small-print situations, kids sports league commercial shooters and such, and if you shoot jpeg then the in-camera processing options are useful too. Those things contribute very little to messing up the UI, so far as I can see.

A "clean, simple" camera is very specific to what a particular photographer does and how they do it. Nearly all of us would find an actual quite FM2 limiting today (I would strongly miss: auto-focus, high ISO, overall image quality, program exposure mode, histogram display on playback, the ability to switch ISOs without switching film rolls, and the ability to instantly review images.) What I actually left the FM-series cameras over, in 1987, was spot metering (hence my Olympus OM-4T); but with instant review and histogram, I no longer use spot metering much even though my D700 has it.

A camera that incorporates what any significant chunk of photographers "need" (let's say "strongly want") will turn out to have a considerable mass of superfluous features in the view of most individual photographers.

It occurs to me that Olympus shocked the world by taking the shutter speed dial off the top deck and putting it concentric with the lens mount, and some people liked this very much. (I didn't; it moved one more thing from the right hand to the left hand, which was already over-worked.) Looks like this happened in the OM-2, the OM-1 has a conventional shutter speed dial on the deck.

Olympus OM stuff

The OM1 was the first of the OM system - a major leap forward and refinement in camera design. Designer/engineer Maitani ignored previous concepts, and made a camera system so appealing and compact in appearance, so modern in engineering it was described as a revolution.

I'm working totally from aging memory, but some of the features - the prism was recessed into the body yet presented a bigger, better and brighter FOV than larger SLRs - the mirror had tiny shock absorbers - the lens mount was relatively larger, allowing smaller lenses with large maximum apertures, interchangeable focusing screens, a huge system of lenses, motor drives, flash & accessories, low vibration macro and telescope attachments, etc. etc. etc. One of the "big two" photo mags of the time described it as "almost as compact in size and high in quality as the Leica" (not an exact quote). Some of the lenses are still considered among the finest in SLR history.

Wish I had kept them - I didn't foresee the adaptability of the Zuikos to M4:3. Come to think of it, if I was able to choose the (ta-daaah) power to foresee i'd probably have chosen Apple stock values before Zuiko adaptability. Just sayin'

Dear DD-B: None of the OMs had a conventional shutter speed dial. They moved it to the lens "throat" 'cause there wasn't room on the top.


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