1/2000s, f/5, ISO 200, 70mm
In two recent posts, I have written about my experience with Nikon’s new retro-style DSLR, the Nikon Df. Nikon was kind enough to lend me the camera for a month and I’ve put the camera to use for my street and urban landscape photography.
The image quality and light weight make the Df a versatile fit for all day shooting. And the readily available manual controls made me feel that I was truly crafting my images. In this post I will wrap up with some general thoughts after taking the Df with me on a hike on the Great Wall.
For my last day with the Df, I went to the Great Wall at Simatai (司马台). Simatai is a few hours northeast of Beijing and offers stunning and dramatic views of the wall and Yanshan mountain. To keep things light, I only packed the Df with the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED.
1/1250s, f/5, ISO 200, 24mm
Hiking with the Df is a treat. The light weight is an obvious advantage and the ergonomics feel right. I’m used to larger camera bodies, so it took me some time to get used to the Df’s smaller size. Once I did, I really got to appreciate the compact design. Similar to shooting with the camera in an urban setting, I found that I rarely had to stop to look at the actual controls when composing and exposing an image. Instead, I was able to focus on the image and framing it exactly the way I wanted it.
The day of my hike was a bright day, which makes it challenging to capture both the details in the (bright) sky and the (darker) foreground. Not so with the Df. The dynamic range of the Df is exceptional and offers a lot of leeway in post-processing in terms of bringing out details in the darker parts of the image.
Processing the images, I was able to recover plenty of details from the darker areas of the images without really compromising on noise and color accuracy (see below for before-and-after samples).
1/100s, f/2.8, ISO 100, 62mm (before processing)
1/100s, f/2.8, ISO 100, 62mm (after processing)
The worst part of trying out the Df was having to return it. After going back to conventional DSLR bodies, I noticed that the Df had changed the way I think about taking photos. It was as if the camera, with its dials and buttons, reminded me of the importance of shaping my compositions and paying attention to the different variables that go into “getting the shot” -- all while keeping my eyes on what I’m shooting.
You can check out more about the Df on Nikon’s website.
Full disclosure: while this post is based on my unfiltered thoughts about the camera, the post is sponsored by Nikon.
1/3200s, f/2.8, ISO 200, 24mm
1/3200s, f/9, ISO 200, 24mm