Retro Cameras

Discussion in 'Equipment & Media' started by Andy Boardman, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Andy Boardman

    Andy Boardman Trade Member: Bob Rigby Photographic

    Hi all, just a quick thought from myself which is probably of no interest to others but you never know !
    Having had my hands on both the Nikon Df body & now the New Olympus OM D EM 1 body & handled them both I can honestly say that if Nikon want to see how it should be done they should look at Olympus.
    It is a much much better camera, looks the part & gives the results, I dare say that the Nikon will deliver the results to but when you compare them there is no chance I would buy the DF £2800 V £1299, Oly less than half the price & feels about twice the Nikon price, it is very cheap/plasticy feeling is the Nikon & has been very very dissapointing after the hype.If you get the chance to try them side by side it would be intersting to hear your thoughts to,meanwhile I am off to get the Olympus kit out.
  2. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Thanks Andy, some interesting comments.
  3. Dan Cattermole

    Dan Cattermole Dan Down - The Steampunk Womble

    Andy...... You have been 'souled' by the Oly charm....
    Be careful, I was once addicted....
    Thanks for the review, got me interested. :)
  4. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    Bored of everything else since I got my hands on the sony a7r the other day
  5. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    (Everything digital - not bored of my film snappers :))
    Rob MacKillop and Dan Cattermole like this.
  6. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

  7. Paul Lange

    Paul Lange Moderator

    Thanks Andy, interesting to read your comments on the comparison. When I read about the Nikon DF I did wonder if they were jumping on the retro bandwagon just to tap into the market rather than to offer anything particularly new. Now that Fuji seem to be releasing a retro style DSLR I wonder if they have lost their way; it seems like a their version of the Nikon DF.
  8. Larry Bolch

    Larry Bolch Member

    I truly don't understand why. Like the D700 put the guts of the D3 in a medium-sized reportage camera, the Df gives you the guts of the D4 in an even smaller body and both at about half the price of the sports camera. If low light capability is the goal, just like the D700 was, it is the only choice other than the D4.

    The D700 was about $500 more expensive than the Df, has served me very well, and continues to do so. I bought the D700, because I did not need a huge, heavy sports camera—but wanted the available darkness capability. The D3/4 will do 11 fps, where I rarely exceed three fps. The D3/4 is rated at somewhere over 300,000 actuations before first maintenance, while the D700 is at 150,000—which I will never reach. This accounts for the premium price and is overkill for my way of shooting. I got everything I wanted in the D3, in a much more mobile package and at a very attractive price in comparison. If I ever would need a replacement, then the Df is the most logical and economical choice. How on earth can that be ridiculous?

    From the viewpoint of a shooter, I am neither turned on, nor turned off by its design. I shoot interchangeably with the button/menu/control-wheels of the D700; and the retro-analog style of controls with the X-Pro1. I like the fact that as I pick up the X-Pro1, I can instantly see the state of the camera. However, if I wait a second or two, I can read the same thing on the top LCD of the D700. If the D700 had the EC knob, they would be about equal. If I had to replace the D700 with the Df, an hour or two of practice, and I would be equally comfortable—possibly more so since it is so similar to the X-Pro1. The D4 is a proven system with superb low-light performance, and capable of shooting up to ISO204,800 compared to ISO25,000 with my D700. ISO6400 is my usual limit, but the higher settings have been empowering in capturing some of my more compelling images.

    The Df has the full imaging system of the D4. It looks like a very capable imaging tool at a very reasonable price. In the USA, the price is less than half that of the D4—$2,750 vs $6,000. Unless one is shooting sports for a publication and actually needs the big camera, the Df gives away nothing. How on earth can anyone see this as ridiculous?

    Of course if you are a swaggering dandy just wearing cameras as trendy fashion accessories, none of that matters.
    Of course if you are a dandy who swaggars about, flaunting cameras as jewelery, none of that matters. I suspect that a number of people are more concerned with "selfies" for Facebook, than a practical solution for top-quality low-light photography. Others have not looked beyond the retro styling and don't have a clue what lies within.
    Of course if you are a dandy who swaggars about, flaunting cameras as jewelery, none of that matters. I suspect that a number of people are more concerned with "selfies" for Facebook, than a practical solution for top-quality low-light photography. Others have not looked beyond the retro styling and don't have a clue what lies within.
    Of course if you are a dandy who swaggars about, flaunting cameras as jewelery, none of that matters. I suspect that a number of people are more concerned with "selfies" for Facebook, than a practical solution for top-quality low-light photography. Others have not looked beyond the retro styling and don't have a clue what lies within.
  9. Larry Bolch

    Larry Bolch Member

    Keith, I did not in any way say you were a swaggering dandy. If that is what you see when you look in the mirror, then it is your own judgement—I was speaking in the broadest terms. We all know people who buy cameras for bragging rights and rarely use them. We also know people who trade cameras constantly and shoot brick walls and resolution charts seeking some kind of statistical perfection. I was simply trying to separate the shooters from the gadget freaks. Shooters know their needs and buy cameras that empower them.

    There is no universal camera that solves all photographic needs and solves all problems. If there was, there would only be a need for it alone. With nearly two decades of digital camera development, we have a rich palette from which to choose—to match our individual needs. All cameras exist in relationship to the shooter's situation—they do not stand alone.

    The D800 has little appeal for me personally, though it probably is the best single camera in the world in some ways. What I do not need is 36MP. My printer is just 13" wide and my D700 and X-Pro1 provides more than enough resolution. If conditions changed, and I needed what it gives, I would buy one without hesitation. A good camera, but wrong for me at the moment. Simply too many compromises with my present goals.

    If I actually need more than 12-16MP, I stitch. I love the ability to get crisp images in any light, keeping the beauty of its ambience. The majority of my pictures involve people and subject movement is a problem that is solved by the D700 sensor and fast lenses, as well as the X-Pro1. The Df extends that further. I do shoot landscape on occasion, but it is a minor need. The resolution of the D700 and X-Pro1 is more than adequate for my need, since most of my work goes directly to the web. The Df is in the same resolution range. My equipment could easily handle D800 files, but I just don't need to.

    While the Df may not in any way be the ideal camera for you, it is good for the segment of shooters who do reportorial work, primarily in ambient light. For us, the D4 was the best sensor and engine available. It is just too darn big and showy. Haul out the D4 and a big zoom, and everyone for hundreds of meters knows that photography is about to take place. Walk into a concert or sporting venue with a D4 and every rent-a-cop begins to salivate. No dSLR is really stealthy, but I have the Fujis for that. While the D800 addresses a lot of photographic problems, it comes no where near the low-light capability of the D4, and now the Df. For me, that is the deciding factor. Hopefully, you will have the ability to understand.
  10. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    Now now ...

    Keith, I have seen a lot of Larry's posts here, on DPR and on a Nikon yahoo group. Although some things he says can be taken as ad hominiem, they, from experience are more sweeping, general comments.

    Me being a man who wields a Nikon 50mm 1.2 quite often, could have taken his oft mentioned words about people who use such lenses as "carrying unnecessary jewlery" (please feel free to correct my quote Larry) very offensively ... But I know I'm not doing that, so I concider it aimed at some other idiot (who may linger on DPR) ... That is the position I would recommend under these circumstances!

    Please no further riseing to bate, keep it cool! Cheers!
  11. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    The Df does appear to be something of a divisive camera and, like Leicas, is polarising opinion. My first impression was much as yours Keith and certainly the comments of Andy suggested that maybe this camera was more about style vs substance. I like the idea of dials rather than menus and control wheels and the resolution is probably OK for most general photography. It does appear expensive compared with a D800 and it would be difficult to do a comparison. I would like to have a play with one though just to see for myself.

    People buy cameras for all sorts of reasons. I use Leicas for most of my personal photography. I have several and I know your opinion about that Larry. I am confident in my reasons and the cost does not bother me at all and I consider I get good value from them. I know what you mean about people who buy things for status but I do not think we have any people on RPF who are as shallow as that (although the rhinestones I have had fitted to my straps does seem to be improving my image quality! ;) ). However, as a moderator, I would suggest we leave that sort of stuff to DPR, concentrate on more objective opinion. Sweeping opinions are like very wide brooms, they often pick up things one doesn't intend. As Hamish says, "keep it cool". :)

    Personally I think there is nothing wrong with enjoying the aesthetics of something whether feel, look or maybe even image (if that is important to you) or at least letting it inform ones choice; did you choose that sofa just because 3 people could fit on it? This also applies to technical things. Many years ago I had to choose between two amplifiers. One sounded fractionally better to me that the other but I hated the looks. So I chose the other as the appearance would have annoyed me every time I looked at it. Would I choose a Df over a D800? Probably not. But if I were just returning to photography, just starting or getting serious, maybe.
    Brian Moore likes this.
  12. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Pete, where do you buy your rhinestones? If they'll help meet shoot better shots, I'm all for them!
  13. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    The Leica Store of course! Cheap ones from ebay are just nowhere near as good! ;)
    Brian Moore likes this.
  14. Andy Boardman

    Andy Boardman Trade Member: Bob Rigby Photographic

    Hi again, I am not saying the Df is not going to give results, far from it but having had it in my hand I do not feel like I am holding £2800 worth of camera, far from it in fact ! Yes it does have features of the D4 in it but why buy it ? I am looking at the Olympus kit now as it is beautiful to look at & performs way way above its fighting weight & is less than half the price.If you like a Nikon Df & can afford it go for it but for ME it was very very dissaponting indeed.
  15. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

  16. Andy Boardman

    Andy Boardman Trade Member: Bob Rigby Photographic

    Interesting find that Pete I rather aggree with what he has said as well, I was very dissapointed with it & was so much looking forward to selling it but that bubble has burst well & truly, I will stick to pushing OMD as that is a stunning bit of kit.
  17. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Love Ming's Christmas picks for 2013 - a used Blad V mount - I'd second that!
  18. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Just been back and read it. Still not in love with my GR!

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