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Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts
  
 
John Skinner
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p.2 #1 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


I have to say....if it was Nikon's strategy to create buzz with just a retro-look. It's worked.

Even on new top performers like the D800(e) and alike, I've rarely seen so many threads about so much minutia on any given body. Unless there was a total epic failure with grease or particulate..

I handled one of these Df models last week and took my 14-24 and a memory card with me. I'm really failing to see any of the things others are going on about.



Dec 23, 2013 at 06:24 PM
workerdrone
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p.2 #2 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


Well I've been saying forever that I wanted something in this direction - as small and simple as possible, something with just the basics but with a great sensor and a great viewfinder so one could slow down, enjoy taking some pictures slowly and carefully, with as much mechanical pleasure in it as possible. Kind of like an old car you take out on weekends?

Allow me to use my current glass but not be the guy with the big honkin' slr either intimidating the subject or drawing attention to yourself in the crowd.

So I was pretty excited at first but they kind of lost me on the viewfinder being pretty much the same and the back panel being pretty much the same thing as I have now, and costing as much as a D800 without the craftsmanship I was looking for. Guess I'll stick with an old film body for that weekend experience for now.



Dec 23, 2013 at 07:24 PM
BrianVS
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p.2 #3 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


Most likely someone bringing an autofocus lens to test out this camera will be better off with a different camera. I walked into the shop with the 135/2.3 S1. Easy to focus, similar to the F2 with an E Screen. Same with the 55/1.2 and others. Finally put on an AF lens when someone on another forum asked about the AF operation. The camera does have AF.


Dec 23, 2013 at 10:44 PM
VinnieJ
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p.2 #4 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


John Skinner wrote:
I have to say....if it was Nikon's strategy to create buzz with just a retro-look. It's worked.

Even on new top performers like the D800(e) and alike, I've rarely seen so many threads about so much minutia on any given body. Unless there was a total epic failure with grease or particulate..

I handled one of these Df models last week and took my 14-24 and a memory card with me. I'm really failing to see any of the things others are going on about.


One of the appeals is the size of the camera. The 14-24 probably dwarfed it.



Dec 23, 2013 at 10:46 PM
fsiagian
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p.2 #5 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


I wish I could afford it, I really like it


Dec 23, 2013 at 10:55 PM
niXer
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p.2 #6 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


I was all but certain to buy the Df and I got the cash but now I'm rethinking it.

I've done all the research and I can live with the shortcomings to gain the D4 sensor but now I'm wondering why I don't just save up a bit more and get the D4, especially if a D4S/D4X is coming in January.



Dec 23, 2013 at 11:55 PM
j.liam
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p.2 #7 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


niXer wrote:
I was all but certain to buy the Df and I got the cash but now I'm rethinking it.

I've done all the research and I can live with the shortcomings to gain the D4 sensor but now I'm wondering why I don't just save up a bit more and get the D4, especially if a D4S/D4X is coming in January.


If the new D4x/s is introduced, it is likely to be a 56MP sensor. Do you really need that sort of resolution? Think of the data storage needs, high-performance lens selection requirements and serious diffraction limits by 4? Without IBIS, the use of primes will be limited to tripods, apertures of /2.8 or wider, 1/4000 sec + shutter speeds, and higher ISO in order to avoid the blur. I can count on one hand the glass that's likely to be up to that task.

Seems like a very specialized machine.


Edited on Dec 24, 2013 at 01:07 AM · View previous versions



Dec 24, 2013 at 01:01 AM
AndreasE
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p.2 #8 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


j.liam wrote:
Without IBIS, the use of primes will be limited to tripods, apertures of /4 or wider, 1/4000 sec + shutter speeds, and higher ISO in order to avoid the blur.

Hope, you don't believe that.

Seems like a very specialized machine.
Unless you take resolution what it has become - and intermediate product towards better images.
How time has changed: The D4 is the specialized machine, not the D800.

rgds,
Andy



Dec 24, 2013 at 01:06 AM
j.liam
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p.2 #9 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


AndreasE wrote:
Hope, you don't believe that.


What's 'not to believe'? When photo sites become tinier and tinier, diffraction limits set in earlier. Physics.

Unless you take resolution what it has become - and intermediate product towards better images.
How time has changed: The D4 is the specialized machine, not the D800.


The D800 was already a specialized beast, why many opted not to go this route. A 56MP D4x is even more so.



Dec 24, 2013 at 01:10 AM
james.d53
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p.2 #10 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


I'm loving this camera! I took it on a photo shoot yesterday with the D800 and I absolutely love the size. The images are fabulous.



Dec 24, 2013 at 01:17 AM
 

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AndreasE
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p.2 #11 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


j.liam wrote:
What's 'not to believe'? When photo sites become tinier and tinier, diffraction limits set in earlier. Physics.

yep, and people need 1/4000s exposure times and tripods all the time
btw, with same output size, a 56MP image wont be worse than a 12/16/you name it resolution. With regards to diffraction it will be equal or better.

The D800 was already a specialized beast, why many opted not to go this route. A 56MP D4x is even more so.
Unless you need 10fps and the bigger buffer size of the D4, the D800 is heck of general purpose camera.

Handheld D800/E images (Attention, big files, full D800 resolution)
Portrait, AFS 70-200mm/2.8 VR, f2.8, 180mm, 1/125sec
Walking towards me, AFS 70-200mm/2.8, f4
Snapshot easter market, AFS 70-200mm/2.8
Helicopter, AFS 300mm/2.8
Pelican Eye, AFS 300mm/2.8
Steel roof, AFS 300mm/2.8, 1/640sec

Here are images shot in the night:
D4 + 50mm/1.4 lens vs. D800 + 50mm/1.4
mostly at ISO 3200,
http://www.pbase.com/andrease/d4andd800

You statement would be correct if you would increase the size of photos in your living room according to the respective resolution. Imagine, you view photos in your house like this






There are folks out there who prefer a given, intentional output size, independent of the base resolution of the camera.






If you consider yourself to be a member of group 1, you are right to be scared by 56 MP cameras.
If you consider yourself to be a member of group 2, you look forward


Andy











Dec 24, 2013 at 01:41 AM
j.liam
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p.2 #12 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


Andreas, If you somehow imagine that a 56MP sensor presents no additional challenges to lens resolution than a 12MP sensor, that diffraction limits are likewise the same and a non-issue or that the amazing D800 is a 'general purpose' camera, I'm afraid you don't get it nor is there any point debating this further. 'Fear' has nothing to do with high-rez cameras. Understanding the demands they place on your computer hardware and glass makes for a wiser decision buying these costly tools.


Dec 24, 2013 at 03:42 AM
niXer
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p.2 #13 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


j.liam wrote:
If the new D4x/s is introduced, it is likely to be a 56MP sensor. Do you really need that sort of resolution? Think of the data storage needs, high-performance lens selection requirements and serious diffraction limits by 4? Without IBIS, the use of primes will be limited to tripods, apertures of /2.8 or wider, 1/4000 sec + shutter speeds, and higher ISO in order to avoid the blur. I can count on one hand the glass that's likely to be up to that task.

Seems like a very specialized machine.


I don't believe Nikon will be using that 56MP sensor from Sony.

In my head it makes most sense for the D4X to be the same 36MP sensor of the D800E in a D4 body with Expeed 4, Dual XQD and USB 3.0 to make it a speedy high resolution camera able to do at least 6FPS in FX and near 10FPS in DX mode. Also probably the native ISO range going from 100-6400 to at least 100-12,800 like the current D4.

Then the D4S will probably bump up to the new "12MP" of 24MP since everything else is 24MP in Nikon's line up. Basically a beefed up D610 sensor with an ISO range of 100-25,600, dual XQD, USB 3.0 and a flip down AI-lever, = instant win.

Point is we won't know until next month so I might as well wait, if none of that happens, Df it is.



Dec 24, 2013 at 04:36 AM
williamkazak
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p.2 #14 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


BrianVS wrote:
Most likely someone bringing an autofocus lens to test out this camera will be better off with a different camera. I walked into the shop with the 135/2.3 S1. Easy to focus, similar to the F2 with an E Screen. Same with the 55/1.2 and others. Finally put on an AF lens when someone on another forum asked about the AF operation. The camera does have AF.


What is a 135/2.3 S1?



Dec 24, 2013 at 05:21 AM
niXer
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p.2 #15 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


williamkazak wrote:
What is a 135/2.3 S1?


Probably a Vivitar Series 1.



Dec 24, 2013 at 06:00 AM
AndreasE
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p.2 #16 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


j.liam wrote:
Andreas, If you somehow imagine that a 56MP sensor presents no additional challenges to lens resolution than a 12MP sensor, that diffraction limits are likewise the same and a non-issue or that the amazing D800 is a 'general purpose' camera, I'm afraid you don't get it nor is there any point debating this further. 'Fear' has nothing to do with high-rez cameras. Understanding the demands they place on your computer hardware and glass makes for a wiser decision buying these costly tools.


j.liam, you are of of course entititled to your POV and I am not going to attempt to change your personal opinion. My response to your post was triggered by statements which aren't from my perspective based on evidence.
Other readers of this thread should have a chance to get a more balanced perspective.

On your statements:

A given lens will always perform better on the higher res camera vs. the lower res - viewed at the same output size. Please show us the opposite.

Seen from a device electronic perpective, 56 MP is an intermediate step towards much higher resolution. It is currently being investigated how to manufacture a gigapixel resolution in current sensor sizes. If successful, we could overcome the physical diffraction limit by software (check the structure of an airy disc)

The "general purpose" statement is based on 20 months of usage of the D800 and D800E with a D3,D700,Ds,D4 still available as well.

There seems to be a wide gap between your assessment that someone needs 1/4000s and a tripod for 56 MP for any resonable (technical) quality picture vs. the other extreme, that it is not uncommon today to shoot 200mm handheld with 1/30s and still get a "reasonable" image quality with a 36 MP camera (above the capabilities 12MP resolution). I am not arguing that it has to be this way, I am arguing that your statement should not be seen by others as minimum requirement.

with regards to computer HW: Of the basic computer HW trends, filesize of digital cameras grows slower than memory, CPU speed and disk storage. By far. When I got my Nikon D1 back in 1999, a RAW used 4 MB, today the D800 takes approx 40 MB. An increase of factor 10. The largest flash card you could get 1999 was 64 MB, today 64 GB is almost common (and significant cheaper that 64 MB were back then). Factor 1000. Similar factors in main memory and CPU speed. Yes, there might be temporary "performance" issues dependent on the overlap of upgrade cycles in computer and camera gear, but overall and seen longer term it is a non issue. RAW files sizes just grow slower than those other factors.

Going forward my view is that camera resolution will be more and more decoupled from the final output resolution someone wants to achieve. This 1:1 dependency has been established long ago and is deep into peoples mind as inevitable. It is not. See it similar to the oversampling approach the music industry went with audio.


This post is not meant to convince you in any way. It is rather intended for other readers as an additional POV with regards to your blanket statements where I fail to see the evidence you provided. I would argue this overall development deserve a better, more nuanced debate.

with kind regards,
Andy

PS:
One example for getting reasonable resolution well below "common rules" . When I started using the AFS 70-200mm/4 VR lens the improvement in VR technology vs. other 70-200mm lenses became soon evident. As said, this is one example of many pictures taken with similar focal/time ratios. If you want, scale it down to 12 MP output resolution.

Again, I am not arguing that a heavy tripod, etc kind of setup would give someone the very best possible setup. Unfortunately, not all photographers can take their laboratory on location. And "general purpose" defines for me a camera/lens combo, which gives you consistently over a wide range of photographic scenarios the highest possible % of that maximum possible. And this is what the D800 does - consistenly.

D800E, AFS 70-200mm/4 VR, @ 200mm, 1/30s, f4, unprocessed, Full D800E resolution









Dec 24, 2013 at 07:45 AM
LeifG
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p.2 #17 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


j.liam wrote:
What's 'not to believe'? When photo sites become tinier and tinier, diffraction limits set in earlier. Physics.


Diffraction does not set in earlier, it is not physics, but it does mean that at certain apertures the extra resolution is somewhat pointless. And smaller photo sites do not lead to less resolution, but to fully use the extra resolution that they provide, you need to use better technique e.g. tripod, mirror lock up, remote release. If you do not use better technique, well you are no worse off.

On a related point, the Bayer sensor means that colour resolution is lower than spatial resolution. With a high pixel count you get better colour resolution, even if the spatial resolution is not usable due to the chosen lens aperture and pixel pitch. I can't say I know in the real world how much difference it makes.




Dec 24, 2013 at 07:50 AM
BrianVS
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p.2 #18 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


Most vintage lenses "max out" at around 50LP/mm, which requires a minimum 100pixels/mm to resolve. Usually better to have a little bit more resolution on the detector than the maximum resolution of the lens, but if you have multiples of it- just imaging blur does not make a sharper image.

The APO 50/2 Summicron is measured at around 120LP/mm.

Most lenses do better stopped down a bit, diffraction takes over at around a 3mm wide aperture.

Canon made a 150MPixel APS-C size sensor a couple of years ago, still not on the market. The idea was the lens would be the low-pass filter. It's not on the market.



Dec 24, 2013 at 01:16 PM
j.liam
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p.2 #19 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


In regard to diffraction (a property of lenses) and how photo site size of digital sensors determines optimal aperture....

See: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/02/sensor-size-matters-part-2

And: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/diffraction-photography.htm

Also see: http://diglloyd.com/articles/Diffraction/Diffraction-TechnicalChallenge.html

adapted from the above article:


Camera
Canon EOS 5D (12.7MP) --Approx Photosite Size (microns): 8.2 --Smallest Optimal f/: 13


Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III (21.1MP) --Approx Photosite Size (microns): 6.4 --Smallest Optimal f/: 8


Nikon D3 (12.1MP) --Approx Photosite Size (microns): 8.4 --Smallest Optimal f/: 14


Nikon D3x (24MP) --Approx Photosite Size (microns): 5.95 --Smallest Optimal f/: 7


Note that the D800 pixel pitch is 4.88 . With a 56MP sensor they will be smaller again, probably around 4 .

This is obviously only one factor in image quality, but it is a major one that must be understood and accounted for when extracting the most resolution out of an optic using a higher-resolution sensor, aka,"getting the biggest bang for the buck."

Physics.



Dec 24, 2013 at 03:41 PM
LeifG
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p.2 #20 · Nikon Df - Steve Huff's thoughts


j.liam: As someone with a degree and PhD in physics, I might claim to know a little about the subject.

There might be some sort of crossed line here, but having smaller pixels does not reduce image quality at a given aperture, when compared to having larger pixels. All it means is that lens imperfections become more apparent, at certain apertures you might as well have a camera with less pixels, and to make full use of the extras potential resolution requires better technique. Your earlier post was, I feel, an exaggeration. You should also bear in mind that modern cameras can be used at ISO1600 and achieve superb results. I have handheld a 24mm lens at F8 with a 24MP FX sensor and obtained sharp images. In the UK too. We seem to be much further away from the sun than you. They did not tell us that during my physics degree 30 years ago, so maybe that comes from recent research.

Basically you can use a 54MP FX camera - for example - just as you use a D700 with 12 MP, but when you need optimum IQ, you can shove it on a tripod, keep ISO to 800 or less, use MLU and get superb images. Actually I used a D200 for 8 years, and always used MLU and a cable release.

Oh, and there is a good reason why some manufacturers are bringing out new lenses such as the Zeiss 55mm F1.4 Otus. My view is that 24MP is more than enough for most purposes. But I would not force my preference on others.



Dec 24, 2013 at 08:48 PM
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