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Nikon Post Nikon Df Photos

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
well i certainly know what you mean about not having the eyes for manual focusing, as im right there with you! however i will say that focus IS practice--at least in a measurable degree. im getting pretty good with the rf focus of the rd1, and i was pretty good in my day with split screen focus film cams, even though my eyes have always stunk. with the biometar, i was really good with the autofocus confirm on my old 5d. thats why i recommended it for the auto confirm on the Df. getting that right is just practice. and the lowlight ability of the Df allows for DOF apertures that the 5d couldnt dream of, allowing for more 'in focus' area. just something to think about.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
well i certainly know what you mean about not having the eyes for manual focusing, as im right there with you! however i will say that focus IS practice--at least in a measurable degree. im getting pretty good with the rf focus of the rd1, and i was pretty good in my day with split screen focus film cams, even though my eyes have always stunk. with the biometar, i was really good with the autofocus confirm on my old 5d. thats why i recommended it for the auto confirm on the Df. getting that right is just practice. and the lowlight ability of the Df allows for DOF apertures that the 5d couldnt dream of, allowing for more 'in focus' area. just something to think about.
I'm not sure I'm any worse than I was back when MF was all there was and all I knew. I'm just spoiled by AF. In some contexts, I don't mind MF at all and at wide angle, I mostly prefer it. But at the longer focal lengths (probably anything much north of 50mm), it just works better than I do. But you're right about the Df allowing for MORE depth of field than a camera with a lesser low light sensor. I'm actually gonna play around with the long end of my 24-120 f4 over the holidays too. I still get pretty nice OOF area with that lens at f4, but not the wafer thin zone of focus you get with f1.8 or 2.0. That lens may end up being my best option for some of this stuff. It's actually pretty close to the m43 75 f1.8 in light gathering (once you take the better sensor into account) and DOF and 120 is a pretty classic focal length for portraits. And it's got AF and VR. This is a bit of an experimental holiday for this kind of shooting, because this is the one kind of shooting I'm not at all settled about with full frame. I'll see how the various options shake out.

-Ray
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
yeah, i have the m4/3 epl5 and the very nice auto focus oly 60/2.8. its great in low light and the lens has wonderful character. having said that, it cant hold a candle to the biometar 120 and even my old 5d. i dont know how you find the 'green dot' mf confirm on the Df, but it worked great on my 5d and truth is its pretty fast getting there. maybe not as fast as AF, but not so far behind. and maybe the real difference is i hardly ever shoot fast lenses wide open for anything, and i really dont like the 1.4 etc DOF for portraits. no right or wrong, i just dont like it. i like the whole face in focus, not just the tip of the nose or whatever. so since i shot/shoot higher apertures with greater DOF, maybe my focusing was never highly 'critical'. but i loved my results, and thats what counts. so while it may not work for everyone, the green dot worked great and fast enough for me, and lets one use some awesome zeiss glass, which was the original intent of my original post.
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
i dont know how you find the 'green dot' mf confirm on the Df, but it worked great on my 5d and truth is its pretty fast getting there. maybe not as fast as AF, but not so far behind. and maybe the real difference is i hardly ever shoot fast lenses wide open for anything, and i really dont like the 1.4 etc DOF for portraits. no right or wrong, i just dont like it. i like the whole face in focus, not just the tip of the nose or whatever. so since i shot/shoot higher apertures with greater DOF, maybe my focusing was never highly 'critical'. but i loved my results, and thats what counts. so while it may not work for everyone, the green dot worked great and fast enough for me, and lets one use some awesome zeiss glass, which was the original intent of my original post.
The green dot works just fine on the Df but I just find it tough to concentrate on getting the focus box on the eye or whatever detail I'm trying to focus on and still work the lens and look for the green dot all at the same time. It's fine - if I'd have had something like it back in the '70s shooting with all manual film cameras I'd have probably thought I'd died and gone to heaven. But compared to good AF, the bottom line is I just have a much lower keeper rate...

-Ray
 

Ripleysbaby

supernatural anesthetist
Sep 9, 2011
123
Cumbria UK
I didn't trust the green led at first But it was accurate and it was another way of checking focus I didn't have the autofocus lens .
I liked the idea enough to buy the Minolta 7000 when it came out.
 

donlaw

All-Pro
Sep 14, 2012
124
Texas
I realize I haven't posted anything here in a while, but have been shooting with the Df a lot. I sold off a bunch of good and mediocre lenses and now have three GREAT ones at the wide end. Zeiss 21 (I know, I had one, returned it for the Nikon 20 f1.8, then changed my mind yet AGAIN, and returned it and found a better deal on another used 21), Zeiss 25 f2.8, and Zeiss 35 f2.0. All bought used, the 21 still cost a boatload of money, but the 25 and 35 were both well within the bounds of what I'd ordinarily spend on lenses.

Ray,
What was your impression of the Nikkor 20mm f1.8? It has some good reviews. You must have been disappointed somehow to return it for the Zeiss 21mm.
Just curious.
 

EasyEd

Regular
Dec 22, 2010
43
Hey All,

Ray wrote... The lens is probably the hardest thing to quantify or even qualify, despite all of the optical charts that technical reviews will give you. But certain lenses just give images a certain look and the more you work with them the more you come to appreciate it. My first Zeiss was with the RX1 and that was also my first full frame sensor. I loved that camera right away but it took me a while to really start to appreciate just how good the different elements of that camera are, how great the sensor is for DR and post processing, etc. But there's something about the way that lens renders that I really didn't GET right away and it took a little while to fully grow on me. People use all kinds of terms like micro-contrast and transparency and talk about field curvature and distortion and coma and I honestly don't have more than the most basic understanding of what any of it really means. But I do know there's something about the way the Zeiss lenses I've used render that's simply unlike anything else I've used. It's something I can't really describe but there's a certain clarity, a transparency, even certain glow. They're just different. Some may not like them as much as some other lenses. I just love the look of light that lands on a sensor after it comes through a good Zeiss lens. I'm sure it's as much a matter of taste and preference as anything. But we all probably get a subconscious boost when we're shooting with a lens we love, because we sort of can't wait to see how a certain image will look once we get it back home and see it on the big screen and then work with it a bit. They're different - the 21 and the 35 Sonnar in the RX1 render very differently - the 21 is almost startlingly clear and sharp and colorful - RX1 somehow has a bit more of a glow, an ethereal quality that Luke and/or Eliot have described as being "made from magic unicorn dust". I'm seeing a lot of the same thing in the 35 f2.0 Distagon I got recently. The 24 f2.8 is a bit unlike either of those, or maybe somewhere in the middle, and I don't know it well enough to describe it yet - but I REALLY like what I'm seeing from it. I've shot with little else since I got it and it figures to be my most used lens given it's sort of perfect (for me) focal length. I'm looking forward to really getting to know it, but I already love the damn thing. ...
Interesting - so a Leica lens would be junk? :rolleyes::rolleyes: I'm just kidding.

I'm always curious about raves over a lens or brand of lens as my opinion is that photographic technique, sensor and perhaps especially processing can "overrule" any lens characteristics other than maybe sharpness assuming you can correct lens aberrations. In comparing the two major ones often done Leica and Zeiss I find I prefer leica "coolness" over Zeiss "warmth" but then I love ektachrome. My problem with Leica is of course my children are not willing to be sold into servitude :rolleyes: to purchase the Leica lenses I'd like. This thread however does make me go to ebay to think about buying a Minolta CLE for which I'd "havta" buy a Leica lens. :)

I've yet to see the comparisons between "high end" nikon, canon, fuji, leica and zeiss lenses - I suspect we might be suprised by some of the results.

Enjoy the Zeiss lenses they are great.

-Ed-
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
Hey All,



Interesting - so a Leica lens would be junk? :rolleyes::rolleyes: I'm just kidding.

I'm always curious about raves over a lens or brand of lens as my opinion is that photographic technique, sensor and perhaps especially processing can "overrule" any lens characteristics other than maybe sharpness assuming you can correct lens aberrations. In comparing the two major ones often done Leica and Zeiss I find I prefer leica "coolness" over Zeiss "warmth" but then I love ektachrome. My problem with Leica is of course my children are not willing to be sold into servitude :rolleyes: to purchase the Leica lenses I'd like. This thread however does make me go to ebay to think about buying a Minolta CLE for which I'd "havta" buy a Leica lens. :)

I've yet to see the comparisons between "high end" nikon, canon, fuji, leica and zeiss lenses - I suspect we might be suprised by some of the results.

Enjoy the Zeiss lenses they are great.

-Ed-
Leica, yeah, chopped liver... :wink:

I perhaps forgot to mention that, as with almost everything, most of it is more about personal preference than flat out technical prowess. Lecia and Zeiss are both phenominal and some of Nikon and Canon's high end glass and now Sigma's Art lenses are also incredibly good. But they don't all render the same way, so you go with what you like. And somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the Zeiss look. And I like funky stuff too, like the Olympus "body cap" lenses, but higher end stuff does have it's own pretty special thing going on. I have no idea how I'd feel about Leica glass beyond liking a lot of the images I've seen made with it - I'm just not willing to spend the money to experience it firsthand. I've spent over $1000 on a lens twice and the Zeiss 21 is one of those. I have yet to spend $1500, let alone the prices of good Leica glass. And I'm not terribly interested in Leica's camera bodies anyway, so it's been pretty easy not to be tempted by the glass. I'm sure I'd like it. I'm sure I'd like a villa in the south of France too, but neither are on the horizon!

But, of what I've used, Zeiss pushes my buttons like nothing else, and I can afford a small number of them in my most used focal lengths, so I'm good!

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
123
Not too far from Philly
[
Ray,
What was your impression of the Nikkor 20mm f1.8? It has some good reviews. You must have been disappointed somehow to return it for the Zeiss 21mm.
Just curious.
I liked it Don, but in a different way than the Zeiss, and not as much. I initially returned the Zeiss 21 because as brilliant as it is, I didn't think I'd like it that much as a walk around lens combining street and landscape and other stuff. It's a little big and awkward, although really nice in use. And the Nikon was just over half of what I had in the Zeiss cost-wise. So it seemed like a good idea. And I liked the Nikon - it would have been a better walk-around lens, but it didn't have the pop of the Zeiss or the detail out towards infinity. It had plenty good of it's own, but it just wasn't all that similar. If I hadn't shot with the Zeiss first, I'd have bought the Nikon, kept if for years, and loved it. And I did like it. But the irony is that I took the money I got back on the 21 and after buying the Nikon 20, I had enough for the Zeiss 25 f2.8. And once I had THAT, I realized it was gonna be my primary walk around lens and I was gonna use the 20 in a more limited role than I'd initially thought. And I just couldn't get past how much I preferred the Zeiss. So I gathered all of my lenses together and had a good long talk with them and decided to return the Nikon 20 and sell off a few of the lesser cousins (including the Nikon 28 f1.8, also a pretty nice lens, but not needed with the Zeiss 25). And then I was able to buy another copy (saved about $100 from the first one too) of the Zeiss 21 and had enough left over along with an Amazon gift card I had to also pick up a used Zeiss 35 f2.0. So that's how the whole thing evolved. I THINK I'm sort of safeguarded against buying additional Zeiss glass because I just don't like manual focus in the longer focal lengths and I very rarely shoot with anything wider than 21, so wouldn't put big money into anything wider (I have a Rokinon 14mm for the very occasional ultra-wide shots). I'd think about a 50 if I ever shot at that focal length, but I don't and the Nikon 50 f1.8D is all the lens I need there with all of $75 invested in it.

Anyway, the Nikon 20 f1.8 is a really nice lens, something that was long overdue in a quality lens from Nikon (it's way nicer than the 20 f2.8 D, which also went in the purge), and probably a more useable all-around wide angle than the Zeiss. But I just like the Zeiss too much... Here are a couple from the Nikon 20 from when I had it (for your curiosity and to keep Bill happy!):

Stroud-36-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr

Stroud-41-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr

Marsh Creek-2-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr

One more - it's fun wide open and up close...

untitled-2-3-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr

-Ray
 

rbelyell

All-Pro
May 14, 2013
88
NY Mtns
ray i agree with you on spending. for me, and i guess you, theres just a line thats drawn, arbitrary as it might seem or be. i think a lot of people are in that group. having said that, ive had/have a bunch of leica glass and i cant remember spending over $1000. for me personally, its just a matter of patiently checking the 'bay or forum classifieds til the deal i want is there. i just picked up a summarit 75/2.5 for under $900 when it routinely sells for $12-1500. nothing special about me except patience--in this single regard! ):

i too started out as a zeiss devotee, but ive really come to appreciate the special character of leica glass. not better than zeiss, just different but just as singular. i just recently sold my biogon 35/2 to fund an elmarit 21/2.8. the biogon was typical zeiss, sharp as a razor etc. but it was leaving me cold. the elmarit, while not as sharp or contrasty, just fills me with warmth. same with my 50 year old 50/1.5 summarit. i just adore the look it gives portraits.

anyway, point being if you want to try leica it can absolutely be done on your budget.
 

donlaw

All-Pro
Sep 14, 2012
124
Texas
I liked it Don, but in a different way than the Zeiss, and not as much. I initially returned the Zeiss 21 because as brilliant as it is, I didn't think I'd like it that much as a walk around lens combining street and landscape and other stuff. It's a little big and awkward, although really nice in use. And the Nikon was just over half of what I had in the Zeiss cost-wise. So it seemed like a good idea. And I liked the Nikon - it would have been a better walk-around lens, but it didn't have the pop of the Zeiss or the detail out towards infinity. It had plenty good of it's own, but it just wasn't all that similar. If I hadn't shot with the Zeiss first, I'd have bought the Nikon, kept if for years, and loved it. And I did like it. But the irony is that I took the money I got back on the 21 and after buying the Nikon 20, I had enough for the Zeiss 25 f2.8. And once I had THAT, I realized it was gonna be my primary walk around lens and I was gonna use the 20 in a more limited role than I'd initially thought. And I just couldn't get past how much I preferred the Zeiss. So I gathered all of my lenses together and had a good long talk with them and decided to return the Nikon 20 and sell off a few of the lesser cousins (including the Nikon 28 f1.8, also a pretty nice lens, but not needed with the Zeiss 25). And then I was able to buy another copy (saved about $100 from the first one too) of the Zeiss 21 and had enough left over along with an Amazon gift card I had to also pick up a used Zeiss 35 f2.0. So that's how the whole thing evolved. I THINK I'm sort of safeguarded against buying additional Zeiss glass because I just don't like manual focus in the longer focal lengths and I very rarely shoot with anything wider than 21, so wouldn't put big money into anything wider (I have a Rokinon 14mm for the very occasional ultra-wide shots). I'd think about a 50 if I ever shot at that focal length, but I don't and the Nikon 50 f1.8D is all the lens I need there with all of $75 invested in it.

Anyway, the Nikon 20 f1.8 is a really nice lens, something that was long overdue in a quality lens from Nikon (it's way nicer than the 20 f2.8 D, which also went in the purge), and probably a more useable all-around wide angle than the Zeiss. But I just like the Zeiss too much... Here are a couple from the Nikon 20 from when I had it (for your curiosity and to keep Bill happy!):


One more - it's fun wide open and up close...

untitled-2-3-Edit by ramboorider1, on Flickr

-Ray
Very helpful. I am tempted to try the new 20mm nikkor, but also watching for a relatively reasonably priced Zeiss 21mm. Probable hold out to year's end and see what happens.
Thanks for sharing the photos. Very nice, especially that sunflower.
 

RT Panther

All-Pro
Dec 25, 2012
123

lenshacker

Veteran
Nov 21, 2014
103
Ahem...

Gents, I thought this thread was about photos...? ;) seems like ages since one was posted...
Nikkor-O 35/2, factory Ai converted, Wide-Open on the Nikon Df. 1/30th Second, ISO 12,800.

It was very, very dark. "My Cub, dressed in a Black Coat, in a Cave- but not at midnight". But caves stay the same during Noon and at Midnight.

Luray Caverns by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr
 

lenshacker

Veteran
Nov 21, 2014
103
Another at ISO 12,800- Vivitar 135/2.3 Series 1, Wide-open.



This lens is one of the first telephoto lenses to use floating optics for close-focus, decades before Nikon.


Nikkor 55/1.2 Ai series, wide-open, At ISO 5000.



This is probably the fastest "T-Stop" lens that Nikon ever made, T1.25.
 

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