Nikon DF - First Hands On and Sample Photos

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography


It has been a while that I have been eyeing on this DSLR (Yes it is a DSLR and not a mirrorless) since it's launched. And of course there is a lot of (good and bad - so far I can say that bad one is more than the good one) comments about the Nikon DF. So I think it will make the justification right after I tested it out personally and make my own call how do I feel about it on my own hands.

More photos after the jump...

I am glad that the Nikon Centre in Times Square do allow people to have a quick test on the DF. And of course, I have brought most of my prime lenses and a zoom lens to test it out. When the lady pass the DF with the 50mm F1.8 kits lens to me. I feel like alright it is way much lighter than my D700. And the first click and first shutter sound produce by the DF, I am like Woo… It sounds pretty good. And then there goes my swapping and changing of the lenses during my hands on on the Nikon DF.

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography

Nikon DF First Hands On and Sample Photos by Chiat Hau Photography


Personally, this is my verdict. The retro looks do really attracted me a lot (You know, it brings me back to those childhood memory and remind me of the DLSR that my dad used to own :")). And it does not take away a lot of the DSLR control that we used to have (where the horizontal dial at the back and vertical dial at the front do allow you to control shutter speed and aperture). The dials… yes took me a while to get familiarise with it. Still I shoot it full manual most of the time, so…, as long as you get familiarise with it, then it should not be a big problem at all. And of course, the D4 sensor in it (Which is the primary reason that make my eye on it) has really produce great photos and images here, and do manage to reproduce the same colour rendering and white balance at where you shoot. (I did not manage to test out the low light condition, since the Nikon Centre has been very well lit there). And there is a lot of noises on no videos on this camera, still I am not a video guy, so it does not really matter to me here. And the reduction of AF points does not really make me feel weird in taking photos (D700 have like 51 AF points and DF only have 39. I never tried a D3s or D4 DSLR before still compare to my D700 and at the same lens, it do focus faster.) And yet, the light weight body will definitely be a good travel and street DSLR here. :)

Of course, when there is likes there will be some complaints here as well. One thing is that, the highest shutter speed for DF is 1/4000. (Common Nikon it should go at least until 1/8000 right? Still not really sure why it is only 1/4000). When it pairs with a zoom lens (I have tested it out with 24-70 F2.8) and it feels quite heavy at the front, so I can't imagine when you fits 70-200 to it, you are going to and a gym session on your left hand on stabilising the whole camera. And lastly, the grip is kind of small (for a person with big hands like me). You will need to hold it certain way so that you will not have ergonomics issue if you are shooting at long hours.

I believe that's all I have. As a summary, I love the DF (other than the complaints that I have). It feels different when you started to shoot with it. So folks, ignore all those bad comments that you heard or see. Go and try it out yourself and make your own call. Who know, you will fall in love with it too. ;) (Love and hate is just a line away) And above are a sets of photos taken with DF (other than the DF itself where it is taken with the D700). process with the way I used to do it via Lightroom. I will not say that it is a good set of sample photos, still it should provide some good ideas on the photos produced by Nikon DF. Hope that you all will enjoy it. Have a great evening people. ;)


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Chiat Hau is a portrait and wedding photographer based in Penang, Malaysia. He started his photography journey by shooting strangers' portrait on the streets of Penang and around the world whenever he travel. Observing life and culture through the viewfinder, Chiat Hau has found a passion for framing his subjects in a natural, cinematic and yet photo-journalistic fashion. Capturing precious moments in both commissioned assignments and personal projects.