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Thread: Nikon Df

  1. #201
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    Re: Nikon Df

    I've got a deep, dark question for you DF/D4/D800 users and figured the talent and experience on this forum would shed some light to help. I'm working on a night photography project over the next six months and looking for a second camera specifically for high-res, high-ISO, pinpoint star photos. I've been using a d800e for the same types of images since it came out, and have had good results, but it is right at the edge of being too noisy, so I wanted to see if there was a better option at this point. I use a medium-format system for the rest of my work, so this camera would only be used for high-res, high-ISO, pinpoint star work with the one lens. I'm considering both the Df and Canon 6d. I could always just get a second d800e, but wanted to see if one of the others would work better for this job.

    I need a camera that can shoot 15 seconds at ISO 6400 with the least amount of noise (I use 14-24mm Nikkor, usually at f2.8). I know both the Df and Canon 6d beat the d800e with lower noise at higher ISO, but I also need to make uprezzed prints in the 40x60 inch range. So the gist of my question is this - to make big prints (and high-res reproductions in books and calendars), am I better off starting with a native file with lower noise and lower resolution (Df/6d, more rezzing up required), or a native file with more noise but higher resolution (d800e, less rezzing up required)?

    I've found reviews of the various cameras at high ISO to be of little use, so wanted to ping you guys to get your thoughts - any are most appreciated. Thanks!

    Tim Ernst in Arkansas

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Tim

    I maybe missing something here ..but if you are shooting at 15sec and ISIO6400….the first step I would take is to increase my exposure and lower my ISO . The difference between 6400 and 1600 in any of these cameras is significant both in reduced dynamic range and desaturated color . I do realize that beyond a certain point long exposures can be problematic .

    My feeling based on having a D4 and D800E (and now a Df) is that the D800E will produce a noticeably better large print even up to ISO6400 ….but I would be pushing hard to get the ISO down to at least 3200.

    The D4 and Df sensor (and the in camera process) is tuned for reportage and sports where fine tone separation isn t much of a factor .

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Thanks Roger - the problem is that an exposure longer than 15 seconds won't give me pinpoint stars, so that is the issue (despite what most other folks report - I need pinpoint stars at 100% view, and at longer exposures than 15 seconds with the 14mm lens the stars begin to trail, so I need 6400 at 15 seconds to keep them at pinpoints). High ISO in the daytime is different than high ISO star fields, where 90% or more of the image is basically dark shadow, and noise is most noticed. I do make star photos with the 800e at iso 3200 and 6400, but I was hoping for a better image than what the 800e can do at night, hence my quest to look into the Df/D4 and 6d sensors. If these sensors can't produce a cleaner file when rezzed up than the d800e, then I'll just get another one of those.

  4. #204
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    Re: Nikon Df

    I'm not experienced in astrophotography, but wouldn't a tracking mount allow for longer exposures and solve most of the issues? Seems a better option than a lower megapixel camera.

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Thanks Segedi, but a tracking mount will blur the landscape. I've got two of them, and use them for other types of star photos, but not when including the landscape (when I use a tracker, I use my medium-format system). I'll be shooting at ISO 6400 for 15 seconds with the 35mm camera, that's pretty much what I am locked into for these images, and am just looking for the best sensor for the job...

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Ernst View Post
    Thanks Segedi, but a tracking mount will blur the landscape. I've got two of them, and use them for other types of star photos, but not when including the landscape. I'll be shooting at ISO 6400 for 15 seconds, that's pretty much what I am locked into for these images, and am just looking for the best sensor for the job...
    You have a tough requirement ..but I now understand . This is so specific I think you need a test ..maybe an order at Amazon would give you enough time to compare .

  7. #207
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Tim,

    ...the problem is that an exposure longer than 15 seconds won't give me pinpoint stars...
    I was going to suggest that you take into account the portion of sky you are shooting in order to squeeze every last bit of shutter speed you can out of an exposure. For example, for a given time period, trails will be longer if FOV covers a portion of sky near the equator than it will near one of the poles. Unfortunately, given your use of the 14-24mm Nikkor, FOV is, um, astronomical?

    What about deliberately capturing star trails so that ISO can be reduced, then undoing the former in post using something like this method?

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Have you tried with noise reduction set to on with the D800E? I do quite a bit of star stuff and if i'm not stacking then there's no problem with the second dark exposure, it actually does quite a good job. I've found with my Zeiss 21 that I can't do longer than 8 seconds without getting star movement, the second 8 second exposure is not a problem for me. The other way is obviously 2 exposures, 1 on the tracking mount for the stars and a second for the foreground at much lower ISO and blend them.

    This might sound strange but I have a Sony RX1 which is unbelievable at night, I get cleaner files from that than the D800 but then it's restricted to the 35mm lens.

    Have you got any images to show what you are doing?

    Cheers

    Mat
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  9. #209
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Thanks Mat - yes, I do all of that, I'm just looking to see if I can get a better image out of the camera with a cleaner file to begin with and not have to do a lot of work in post other than what I already do. And just trying to figure out if the cleaner sensors would get the job done - sometimes it just needs to be a straight shot with no post work. I need 14mm, but glad to hear someone else believes that old "30 second" BS is only for web-size images, ha, ha!

    Arebee - I'm not near the equator nor either pole. But it is true that you can shoot longer before trailing when pointing north than when pointing south (maybe that is what you meant). But I plan to be shooting in all directions, so I'm wanting to cover all bases.

    Glenerrolrd - yes, I'm going to do the testing myself with all three cameras, but I thought I would be lazy and see if anyone here at the answer already! I'm also not very good with testing, and sometimes I think we see what we want to see - although since the cost is not an issue (800e & Df are about the same price, and the Canon with adapter is getting close to the same price), I don't really favor any of them at the moment, so I was trying to get someone with practical experience to sway me in one direction or the other.

    I appreciate all of your comments!

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    Re: Nikon Df

    I'm certainly not the one to have the last word (or even the 2nd or 3rd next to last word) nor profess to be be anything but an armchair amateur astro photographer, but I've dabbled in it on and off during the years with a wide variety of cameras. If you going to print that large (40 x 60') with an image that contains fine detail of either part of the landscape and/or pinpoint star points, I think you're going to have a somewhat difficult time up rezing a 16MP file and retain pinpoint detail without it becoming somewhat smeared by algorithms used in up-rezing to such a degree....as good and as clean as the D4/Df "out of camera" files are.

    Excessive noise in a file of course has it's own issues especially if post processing noise reduction schemes are utilized but I believe the D800 (e) might be the better tool for this endeavor. Of course nothing substitutes for actually trying out all of the cameras your mentioned in a real world situation and that too would be my recommendation.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Ernst View Post
    Thanks Segedi, but a tracking mount will blur the landscape. I've got two of them, and use them for other types of star photos, but not when including the landscape (when I use a tracker, I use my medium-format system). I'll be shooting at ISO 6400 for 15 seconds with the 35mm camera, that's pretty much what I am locked into for these images, and am just looking for the best sensor for the job...
    Tim, a tracker like the Vixen Polarie and iOptron Skytracker have half sidereal rate for landscape work which allows you to double your exposure time. The idea is that it blurs the sky and landscape at the same time.

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Tim,

    ...it is true that you can shoot longer before trailing when pointing north than when pointing south (maybe that is what you meant).
    It was.

    Did you see the link I provided in my previous post, or is it just that it is of no use to you?

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Will - my plan is to not have any blur in either the landscape or the stars, so I don't like using the 1/2 speed option (I have the newest skytracker which has that speed) - any blur shows in large print sizes. Tracking at normal speed and then blending with the foreground is better when I can do that, although a lot of times I would not have a view to the north to align the tracker (doesn't matter as much with the 14mm lens though, so I might give that a try). If that 1/2 speed deal really did work, then I would want to make the exposure time even longer and stop the lens down to f4 - it is a never-ending quest!

    Rob - yes, I looked at the link and it does not sound like something that I want to mess with, and probably would not work for my stuff - but I have never seen that done before and it was an interesting read.

    Dave - I know going from 16mp up that large is quite a stretch, but I was hoping someone with a D4 or Df had played around with doing something like that instead of dealing with the noise of the larger sensor and would proclaim that it would work. I have made some huge enlargements with just CS6 that held up really beyond what I could have imagined - the software is getting so good. But of course you have to have an exceptional file to begin with - which is what I was hoping the cleaner low-res file might help with, instead of starting with a file that had no noise but only needed smaller rez.

    I have the 800e & 6d (waiting for an adapter so I can do a comparison), just wondering if I should also try the Df and compare all three - I would rather stick with Nikon if I could. Sounds like it would probably be a stretch though, but I'm a dreamer...

  14. #214
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Tim,

    I too have successfully make very substantially large sized prints from detailed subjects with 12-16mp cameras and it can be done with today's excellent post processing software. Astrophotography type images though are something quite different since many of the elements in the image are discrete pin point details and have to be reproduced that way after rezing up. I honestly believe you should rent either a Df or a D4 and test against the D800 for your specific application and compare the two directly. Its the only way to be certain wheich camera gets closer to meeting your objectives.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Tim,

    You might want to take a look at some of the testing that David Kingham has done comparing the D4 and D800 series (plus the rest) at his blog:
    David Kingham Photography | Nikon Night Photography Shootout

    Interestingly you'll see that he is also pretty keen on the 6D for night photography and he did a further comparison with that and the Nikons and ended up selecting the canon.
    http://www.davidkinghamphotography.c...ht-photography

    I haven't tried the Df for astro yet as it's cloudy season here in the NW although I'd expect it to perform similarly to the D4 vs D800/600.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Hey Graham, I've been getting info from David's site and enjoy his work. Although quite honestly, I find it difficult to interpret some of this findings due to his test images being out of focus sometimes (kind of basic for a test of this nature). I have a 6d in the bag due to his recommendation, but so far have not been too pleased with it. Which is why I wanted to see what the Df would do, since it is the D4 sensor and he was so high on it.

    I've ordered a Df for delivery tomorrow (love holiday shopping deals!), so will hopefully get to take a first-hand look at all three sensors with a crispy-clear moonless night expected here.

    THANKS everyone for your thoughts!

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    Re: Nikon Df

    THANKS again to folks who commented on my question above in regards to uprezzing nighttime Df files. Just FYI if anyone might be interested, I spent much of last night on a mountaintop shooting pinpoint star photos with the d800e, Df, and Canon 6d, using the same 14-24 lens for all three. I didn't care too much for the user interface of the Df, especially the power on/off and ISO switches, and the fact the ISO is not shown in the viewfinder (I'm hoping that I just missed how to do this - surely there is a way to show the ISO in the viewfinder, right?) I was using all three cameras in the dark which made everything tougher, but I find that way is a good test of how well one person mates up with the controls of a particular camera, and the Df and I just didn't get along too well.

    Will - I did try using the ioptron at 1/2 speed and found that even at 30 seconds the foreground had blurred some (naked trees about 100 feet away - great silhouettes against the starry sky - and easy to see if the detail is blurred). But I bet this could work for some scenes to help lower the ISO.

    I shot all three cameras at ISO 6400, f2.8, and 15 seconds with high ISO dark-frame on; didn't do any RAW processing (beyond defaults for each) other than change white balance on all to the same point; then I uprezzed all files in CS6 to the same pixel width for a 40 x 60 print via bicubsmooth. I did not do any noise reduction.

    I was a little surprised by the results of this limited test - while I could not see the differences from very far away, it was obvious up close to me that the Df produced the best final file, with less noise and more details. The 800e was a close second, and the 6d was the worst on both noise and detail (I kind of liked shooting long exposures with the Canon since it allows immediate use after the end of an exposure while it does its dark-slide thing in the background - wish Nikons would do this!). So it appears to me with this specific type of shooting situation that it is possible to get a better final high-res file with a lower-res, cleaner file to begin with. I may have to use the Df as my primary star camera with the 800e as backup…

    Happy trails!

    Tim Ernst in Arkansas
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Tim

    How did you find the live view focus with star points with the Df vs the Canon? I know that my D800 & D600 both had horrible LV noise compared to the relative clarity of the Canons.

    I'm sure you'll quickly get used to the different UI of the Df compared to the D800 but it certainly is different.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Hey Graham, I've never been able to get live view to work for stars on the Nikons either, and since I never use live view for any of my normal shooting anyway, I didn't even bother to mess with it on the Canon. I generally shoot a couple of test frames until I can see pinpoint stars when zoomed in on the LCD quite a bit, then tape the lens focus down. On my 14-24 infinity is a ways off from the infinity mark. So it is correct that there is no ISO visible in the viewfinder of the Df? That is going to drive me nuts, and it is not a very long drive, ha, ha! The rest of the stuff I'll learn with use, although the 800e seems a lot more intuitive...

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Tim

    You should see the ISO display in the VF at the bottom right - at least while you turn or adjust ISO or other exposure values. Obviously you can also display it on the rear LCD too with the info mode selected.

    Btw, if you check option d3 and you should have the ISO value displayed instead of the exposure remaining count.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Thanks - I'm not good at reading manuals, but will go have a look! That would make me sleep a lot better once I come in out of the cold...

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    Re: Nikon Df

    I know this sounds a bit looney, but pre-chill the camera (not the batteries) in a ziplock bag in your freezer. The colder the sensor, the lower the noise.

    Just look at my aurora photo in the gallery and you'll see a 25 second exposure taken at -9 degrees F. Keep the batteries in your pocket until you need them.

    http://www.getdpi.com/gallery/files/...5w0815_fix.jpg
    Brad Husick

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Tim

    You should see the ISO display in the VF at the bottom right - at least while you turn or adjust ISO or other exposure values. Obviously you can also display it on the rear LCD too with the info mode selected.

    Btw, if you check option d3 and you should have the ISO value displayed instead of the exposure remaining count.
    Graham is right! You can set it to show ISO on the bottom right of the Df viewfinder and if I recall correctly (don't have camera in hand at the moment), see the remaining # of frames instead of ISO when you half press the shutter button.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    I know this sounds a bit looney, but pre-chill the camera (not the batteries) in a ziplock bag in your freezer. The colder the sensor, the lower the noise.

    Just look at my aurora photo in the gallery and you'll see a 25 second exposure taken at -9 degrees F. Keep the batteries in your pocket until you need them.

    http://www.getdpi.com/gallery/files/...5w0815_fix.jpg
    Exactly Brad! I used to stay outside in the cold with past DSLR's prior to shooting Eclipses of the Moon, meteor showers, star trails etc. It does make a noticeable difference.

    Very nice image by the way!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Nikon Df

    I agree about a cold sensor - the wind chill was down near zero F. while I was doing this test last night so I think we had that one covered. I once did an 8-hour single exposure star trail photo (ISO 200) with a Nikon Ds in 15 degree temp and the image was virtually noise-free. I often am out shooting for 6-8 hours at night here in the warm temps of Arkansas summers and will often duck tape a cold pack to the back of the camera to help keep the sensor cool.

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Here are a few low ISO daylight captures with the Df.....


    Nikon Df Nikon 58 F 1.4



    Old Train House Porch







    Old Train House Entrance







    Old Train House Well and Pulley






    Thanks,


    Bob
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  27. #227
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Same setting ... some plantings around the structure.



    Nikon Df Nikon 58 F 1.4



    Old Train House Rose Gone Bye







    Old Train House Caboose







    Old Train House Tree #5







    Old Train House Tree #7






    Thanks,


    Bob
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  28. #228
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    Re: Nikon Df

    A few native grasses around the structure.....


    Nikon Df Nikon 58 F 1.4



    Old Train House Grass #1







    Old Train House Grass #3






    Thanks,


    Bob
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  29. #229
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Working with a few older captures from the Df...


    Nikon Df



    Sewer Color







    Beyond the Tree






    Thanks,


    Bob
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    Re: Nikon Df

    A few more...


    Nikon Df Zeiss 50 F 2 ZF.2



    Fence Post and Tree Stump







    Distant Tree and Stump







    Distant Tree and Barns






    Thanks,


    Bob
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  31. #231
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Here are a few pics from the Df....kind of slow on this side of the new Sony site....



    Nikon Df



    Yaupon Holly







    Open Gate







    Hawk in Flight (100% Crop)







    Wishin' I Were Fishin'






    Thanks,


    Bob
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Welcome Nikon Df :-)

    28 2.8 AIS


    50 1.2 AI


    16-35 AFS


    I like it and look forward :-)

    cheers

    JP
    olympusstuff nikonstuff fujistuff variousstuff
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  33. #233
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Here are a few with the Df...


    Nikon Df Nikon 50 1.8 Kit Lens



    Tree Fronts Silos 03







    Rail Car Wheels in Yard 03







    Treasures in the Yard





    Thanks,


    Bob
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  34. #234
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Another view of a Df capture...



    Nikon Df






    Thanks,


    Bob
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Can anyone speak to the Live View implementation? How does it compare to the D800?
    Basically what I am interested in is what happens when you zoom in for critical manual focus? Does LV get all grainy i.e like the D800?

    Steven
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    Re: Nikon Df

    My Df live view is much lower noise when zoomed in than my D800. It's very good.

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Quote Originally Posted by DDudenbostel View Post
    My Df live view is much lower noise when zoomed in than my D800. It's very good.
    I ended up renting the DF and the Nikon 45mm PCE lens for a few days.
    Wow, what a nice camera and yes the Live View did work better then my D800

    Now if I only had the $$$$$$$$$$$$$ to purchase one.
    16MP FF for sure has a really nice look to it.
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Have you tried telescopes? A proper reflector should give you lower exposure time with D800, or lower ISO or both. Some thing like this
    Celestron - Telescopes - Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph with CGEM DX

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Df with Nikon 14-24mm/2.8 @14mm

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Have you tried with noise reduction set to on with the D800E? I do quite a bit of star stuff and if i'm not stacking then there's no problem with the second dark exposure, it actually does quite a good job. I've found with my Zeiss 21 that I can't do longer than 8 seconds without getting star movement, the second 8 second exposure is not a problem for me. The other way is obviously 2 exposures, 1 on the tracking mount for the stars and a second for the foreground at much lower ISO and blend them.

    This might sound strange but I have a Sony RX1 which is unbelievable at night, I get cleaner files from that than the D800 but then it's restricted to the 35mm lens.

    Have you got any images to show what you are doing?

    Cheers

    Mat
    I have send You an email

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    Re: Nikon Df

    Well my Df has arrived and I didn't have to wait to charge the battery! (I had bought spares beforehand and had them all charged up ) I carefully mounted my trusty 50mm f/1.8 and took a few test snaps of my willing subject (the youngest cat as my children and the other three cats have figured out my shenanigans). Color me impressed!


    Wiggles tolerating the photographer by Carlos Echenique, on Flickr

    ISO 1400 Compressed 14-bit NEF, No NR, LR 5.5 Std Sharpening, Huelight Std profile.
    [As per the Shadow Proclamation of GetDPI, no photographer truly owns his/her camera until they submit a cat photo. And a shrubbery! Ni!]
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  42. #242
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    Godfrey's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Df

    What if we don't own any cats? Will Polar Bears do?


    G
    Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
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  43. #243
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    Re: Nikon Df

    If you do not have a cat, you must hew down the mightiest tree in the forest wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiith a herring! And then photograph it! And make sure it not too backlit.

    Ni!
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

  44. #244
    Member MHC's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Hello, I'm considering to buy the Df. Anyone bought the silver version? Is the silver coating on the plastic surface easily worn out? Thank you.

  45. #245
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Hello!
    Time to update some Df stuff...







    if someone asks... all with 50 1.4 ZF.2

    All the best
    JP
    olympusstuff nikonstuff fujistuff variousstuff
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  46. #246
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Quote Originally Posted by MHC View Post
    Hello, I'm considering to buy the Df. Anyone bought the silver version? Is the silver coating on the plastic surface easily worn out? Thank you.
    IIRC the body is made of magnesium which is why it is so light.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

  47. #247
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    Re: Nikon Df

    Yes, I think the body is made from some kind of magnesium alloy but it does feel like plastic.

  48. #248
    Senior Member Hulyss Bowman's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Df

    If only this damn camera was 1/8000 of a sec ... Can't wait the d750 to compare.
    Kind regards - Hulyss - hulyssbowman.com

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