Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Brian Sweeney Writes About the Nikon Df - and Buys One!

Nikon Df
Image Source:
Brian Sweeney is a Leica and Nikon photographer whose name is pretty well-known on the photography forums. I've written in the past about Brian's work with vintage lenses, namely the Zeiss Sonnar, on Leica rangefinders.
(Click Here) to read my previous post.
It seems that Brian was won over by the new Nikon Df DSLR, which is modeled after Nikon film SLRs of the past, sports an ideal (in my opinion) sensor size and resolution for low noise and high quality image performance, and even allows us luddites to use our oldest pre-Ai Nikon lenses.
(Click Here) to read the Brian's post on THEME.
Brian believes that the Df is for Nikon what the M-E (M9) and M Monochrom are for Leica - real, practical digital answers to their excellent film cameras of the past.
Brian takes us through the evolution of his perfect kit (for personal work that is; Brian has used digital for professional work since 1993) in three major steps:
  1. Originally, his chosen camera bodies were a Nikon F2AS (SLR) and Nikon SP (rangefinder).
  2. Then, the Leica M9 replaced the SP for him.
  3. Now, Brian's chosen kit is a Nikon Df (SLR), Leica M9 (rangefinder, for color work) and Leica M Monochrom (rangefinder, for black and white work).
In his post on THEME, Brian shares an image shot with the Df at an incredible iso setting of 20,000. Of course, it's impossible to evaluate how that image would look printed, but on the screen it sure looks fine. Not even nearly possible with the venerable film cameras.
Having Brian buy into the Df is an influential factor for me. Until now, he's been unconvinced by any potential digital replacement for his F2. That's a long time waiting. There must be something to this Df thing.
I still am in love with my Nikon F2. I'm still in love with my Leica film cameras, even though I own and enjoy the digital Leica M9. My current problem is one of too much gear and not enough time to shoot. But, I did get to handle a Df at McClanahan's Camera in Warrenton, Virginia recently. I cannot say that the camera hasn't been on my mind ever since...