Upload & Sell: Off
| p.2 #3 · Anyone going to shoot weddings with the Nikon DF? |
Churches have relaxed more over here and it's rare to be forced to the back now.
Fack. That must be nice. I've been posted up half back or all the way back in churches a few times, and even with the 70-200 on a crop sensor, there's still negative space around the couple when I try to fill the frame with them.
Also, I read this from Radiohead (Guy) on NikonCafe. Not my words.
As some might know, I'm a full-time wedding photographer here in England and have been watched the rise of mirrorless (and Fuji in particular) with interest. I've spent the last 2 years shooting with a pair of D3s's, having used D3/D700 before that, and the original 5D for a few months before that.
As the seasons have passed I've moved from a mainly zoom set-up (14-24, 24-70 and 70-200) to a pure prime set-up, specifically Nikkor 24/35/50/85 f1/4's, along with a 28/1.8 recently. This lightening and downsizing has led me to look at my ageing D3s's with view to seeing where I go next. Having run an X-Pro1 as a personal camera for a few months but finding the AF and battery life clear barriers to using that (and the XE's) for pro work. The X-T1 then piques my interest, but having trialled a friend's I found a number of issues with that as well - namely the AF in low-light is still not at D600 level, let alone better, the battery life still an issue with pros I know using them needing a min of 3 batteries a day for each body, the way the (admittedly excellent) EVF blocks up in very bright sunlight (aka, summer receptions at weddings) and the noise levels within the EVF leading to some lag in low light (aka, evenings at UK weddings). Of the 10 or so UK pros who are using Fuji I only know one who has moved entirely to Fuji, with the rest keeping at least one good DSLR because of AF and some performance issues with the Fuji as the light falls.
That leads me to the Df then. I always found it odd that the camera was so heavily panned on release. Whilst the looks are probably love/hate (and I love), it seemed a great option for me and the way I shoot (documentary, available light and discreet), and offered an alternative to the large file sizes of the D800. I'd ruled out the D4 or D4s because of my wish to move to smaller, lighter and quieter bodies. I bought a Df late December last year, a little too late for my last wedding of 2013, and slowly, but surely, fell in love with the camera.
My 2014 wedding season started last Friday, and that was the point where I used the Df as my main camera for the day, with a D3s on the other shoulder. Friday just confirmed what I thought. The Df is absolutely what I have been after. Having established over the grim UK winter that the oft-panned AF wasn't an issue in reality I found the reaction to the Df a real winner. It's much quieter, and far less obvious. Not once during the ceremony was I aware of a guest looking at me as they often do when the D3s fires. Battery life is great, handling doesn't slow me at all and I love using the dials for ISO and EV. Once the camera is set-up I'm really only changing those, aperture and metering mode which I have set to the Fn button.
And the files. They are gorgeous. I expected great high ISO performance, but not the way that the colours hold together at 3200 and above compared to the D3s. They are richer tonally and have terrific DR. AF didn't let me down once.
I cane home, reviewed some of the files and ordered a second the next day. It has arrived and my D3s's are being sold (one has already gone). By moving to a pair of Df's and just using my primes I've dropped my kit bag from 14lbs to just over 7bs. With 43 weddings this year that's not to be sniffed out, especially with London weddings that mean trains and lots of walking.
Much of the criticism aimed at the Df seems, to me, equally valid for the Fujis, but the online evangelism that the Fuji community is generating would lead you to think otherwise, whilst also overlooking, IMO, what are genuine concerns with moving to that system as a sole system (namely AF, battery life and only using an EVF). I do suspect that in 2 years that might not be the case and it will be a genuine option for people like me with these concerns.
The way I see it every camera is a compromise somewhere.
I give up the D3s's and I lose the very best AF, amazing battery life and the handling only the big pro bodies give. But I also lose the weight, size, and noise. By choosing the Df I gain less weight, smaller, less intimidating cameras but drop some AF and battery life but I also gain the D4s sensor. I did try the XT-1 and for me the AF isn't quite there, nor is the battery life and the EVF in very bright and very low light isn't for me, but those things might be very different for other people. Df over XT-1 means more expensive, heavier and louder, but it also means I keep an excellent OVF, lenses I've already invested in and a workflow that stays the same.
There's never been more choice for us as photographers. Choose wisely, and for you, and it's happy days.
For anyone interested in what a Nikon Df wedding can do, I've just blogged it. There are just 9 D3s photos in this post.
Edited on Apr 04, 2014 at 09:05 PM · View previous versions