Nikon Just Df things, seen by M shooter

Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I read all the reviews about 50/1.4G vs 50/1.8G and firmly came to the conclusion that 50/1.8G + 50/1.4D is the way to go ;)
I own the 50mm f/1.4 AF (non-D, but it uses the same optical formula as the D lens) and find its rendering "interesting" - it's pretty muddy wide open, but renders in quite a "round" way. I quite liked the 50mm f/1.8G when I had it, but its rendering, while reliable and pretty crisp, wasn't the most appealing - a bit wild and rough. The 50mm f/1.4G seems to provide more pliable images with smoother transitions while being sharper than the original AF lens, but I could be wrong. I'll certainly not advocate a lens I've never owned. The 50mm f/1.8G *is* a good lens, all things considered, so no objections from me, to be sure.

M.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Someone on another forum made the statement that fast manual focus lenses could not be used in low light on most digital SLR's. I suspect he is correct, and I find the Df very easy to use in low-light with fast lenses.
Judging from what I got with my f/3.5 AF lens in the dark, I think Df will work even better with manual focus lenses in dim conditions. Fall is soon here, will put my 85/1.8 AF-D to a real test then.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
There’s a train of thought that you only get to see the best of those G lenses when the shot’s taken at night and of course wide open or nearly wide open. I haven’t used either lens, but from what I’ve seen, the 50 f1.4 is really good as is the 58mm f1.4 (the latter astonishingly so if you use it for the purpose it was meant and you know how to use it).
 
How is it that all old/experienced Nikon shooters have a lens or two that are "must-haves" :)

The guy who sold the Df to me told to get a 105-something as it's a must in one's toolbox.
Only the young and inexperienced Nikon shooters have a lens or two that are must-haves.

We old/experienced Nikon shooters will gladly make a list of 20 or more lenses that are "Must Haves", especially for Nikon Df.
 
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mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Next up, a battle between f/3.5 normals.

2020-08-17 (Mon) 17-58-30.jpeg
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
First observation: both lenses at their widest, shutter speeds matched, Nikon Df at native ISO 100 is practically as sensitive at Leica M at its native ISO 200.

In these demonstrative files I somewhat matched the exposure differences and warmed Leica file up. Both are AWB, Nikon using AWB AUTO2 setting.

Nikon was focused in a swift manner, leaving room for mistakes. I utilised the DRF dot. I would shoot Leica the same manner as always, focus it in a swift manner, leaving room for mistakes.

Round 1: Nikon misfocused, Leica wins by default

Round 2: Nikon misfocused, Leica wins by default

Round 3: Wow. I can't believe how equally these suddenly perform. Overall suddenly it's tricky to choose a winner.

2020-08-17 (Mon) 18-10-22.jpeg
2020-08-17 (Mon) 18-09-22.jpeg


to be continued
 
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mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Round 5: at far distance Nikkor performs poorly so I gave it some handicap (f/8). Note well that all Heliar shots are taken wide open at f/3.5 no matter what the EXIF information is saying.


These "SOOC" (save for crop) raws highlight some of the differences in what darktable (per my modifications) applies to Leica DNGs and Nikon NEFs by default. Real(er) "SOOC" raws would be closer to each other I think.

2020-08-17 (Mon) 18-30-57.jpeg
2020-08-17 (Mon) 18-31-34.jpeg



I might as well disable these camera-specific colorings to bring these files closer to native unaltered raw. I cooled Nikon file down somewhat to match Leica closer but not fully.

MP001464.jpg

DDF_0482.jpg
 
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The Nikkor 55/3.5 is optimized for 1:10 reproduction ratio.

The Micro-Nikkor AF-D 200 F4 is reputed to be the sharpest lens in Nikon's line-up. I have it "even though it is an Autofocus lens"- It's on the list of you want sharp.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
A/B:ing Nikon and Leica side by side is dangerous business. Shooting largely just Nikon for the past week, for maybe the first time I really appreciated how the .68x rangefinder window opens up to a huge view whereas the 0.7x boxed view of Nikon feels tiny. I've also considered Leica M's to be not very ergonomical cameras but it feels better in hand than Df. Not to mention how light M feels. :)

As a result the following night I had a fever dream about panic-selling all Nikon gear and spending $2k in Chinese M mount lenses.

This may happen but not just yet!

But I am returning the lens which has a FL well covered by my M lenses, I'll keep my Nikon setup somewhat midtele-centric. 85mm and 135mm will both work even in the dark of winter thanks to Df's capabilities.

Funny thing about 135mm, it renders in such a beautiful way and composing it through an optical viewfinder is such a pleasant thing I plum forgot I have long had these FLs available within my M4/3 35-100mm lens.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
One thing I didn't expect from an optical TTL camera. If the lens flares, the mirror is not going to pick it up, like at all. Flare control is a big reason to prefer TTL and sadly this is one place where the DSLR lets me down.

And these older 4,5,6-element lenses they sure like to flare :)
 

Bart J D

Top Veteran
Strange.
I have one "flare champion" lens: RMC Tokina 17mm f/3.5 and this shows up more than obvious in the viewfinder.
(actually I have another very old 28mm lens in m49 but I don't use that one anymore)
I then use my hand to block the sun out from the lens and the flare disappears - from the viewfinder and from the image.
I should have bought a hood for the lens but it doesn't get much use.

One thing I didn't expect from an optical TTL camera. If the lens flares, the mirror is not going to pick it up, like at all. Flare control is a big reason to prefer TTL and sadly this is one place where the DSLR lets me down.

And these older 4,5,6-element lenses they sure like to flare :)
 

serhan

Hall of Famer
Location
NYC
Most of the Chinese M lenses are getting closer to Western equivalents at bargain prices, but usually flare shows up with these lenses... The coatings are not up to standards yet. I am sure they will catch up soon... However if you are adapting older glass, usually flare is a problem also. I like older Nikkor 35mm 1.4, OM 50mm f1.2 but flare is a problem and of course there are lots of smaller options on the rf lenses esp newer CV lenses perform good with the digital sensors and give you smaller option... One negative, fast CV lenses still show high fringing... Although CV has APO lenses, they have not brought APO in M lenses yet...

As a result the following night I had a fever dream about panic-selling all Nikon gear and spending $2k in Chinese M mount lenses.
 
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mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
You're right. Flare can be attractive but with older coatings there's usually very much of it and it makes things difficult.

Maybe the flare is seen in the viewfinder before I take the shot but it certainly behaves in a much milder manner against my eye than against the sensor... The brain can probably filter out the excess light.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
Lexington, VA
Real Name
Steve
A/B:ing Nikon and Leica side by side is dangerous business. Shooting largely just Nikon for the past week, for maybe the first time I really appreciated how the .68x rangefinder window opens up to a huge view whereas the 0.7x boxed view of Nikon feels tiny. I've also considered Leica M's to be not very ergonomical cameras but it feels better in hand than Df. Not to mention how light M feels. :)

As a result the following night I had a fever dream about panic-selling all Nikon gear and spending $2k in Chinese M mount lenses.

This may happen but not just yet!

But I am returning the lens which has a FL well covered by my M lenses, I'll keep my Nikon setup somewhat midtele-centric. 85mm and 135mm will both work even in the dark of winter thanks to Df's capabilities.

Funny thing about 135mm, it renders in such a beautiful way and composing it through an optical viewfinder is such a pleasant thing I plum forgot I have long had these FLs available within my M4/3 35-100mm lens.
Does the rangefinder VF actually seem bigger, like the old SLRs, or is it that the coverage of the scene is bigger? I've never used a RF.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Does the rangefinder VF actually seem bigger, like the old SLRs, or is it that the coverage of the scene is bigger? I've never used a RF.
The viewfinder on an RF is clearly bigger but in a different way. Even though my Leica has a smaller magnification.

Nikon Df has a 0.7x magnification. My Leica has 0.68x magnification; the M10 sports a 0.73x magnification.

On an TTL camera like the Nikon magnification is directly tied to the size of the view. On a rangefinder you actually see more of the world, the smaller the magnification is!

On columns here you can see magnifications 0.58, 0.72 and 0.85. On rows let's focus on the middle row where we see framelines for 50 and 75 mm focal lengths.

0044Eg-10272884.jpg

Image: Leica literature


The center image for example, with a 50 mm lens mounted on, Nikon at 0.7x magnification would show the contents of what falls within the 50 mm frameline and nothing else. Leica at 0.68 shows pretty much the same size view PLUS everything outside the frame, everything!

The big problem is that you have to stick your eye pretty far into the VF to actually enjoy that view. 35 mm framelines I can observe somewhat but 28 is difficult and I can only check one edge of the frame at a time by peeking around the window.

Ideally I would have a Leica with 0.58x magnification when I shoot a 28mm and a Leica with .85 magnification when I shoot a 90mm lens... Sadly digital Leicas aren't offered with different magnifications so everything current is 0.68 or 0.73x.
 

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