We recently got our hands on the brand new, retro-throwback Df D-SLR from Nikon to take with us to shoot at Governors Ball Music Festival in New York. The camera came as a kit, with a stunning fixed AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G already in the box, but knowing that we would also need some distance we grabbed a 24-75 mm lens to give us some added distance. Although we are not in any way expert photographers, we do know our way around a camera. Or at least we thought we did, until we unboxed the DF.
Now when we say this is a professional camera, we mean it. There aren’t any Running Man, Mountain, or Flower icons on the knobs, only numbers and ratios. After a paralyzing couple of moments, we buckled down to business, quickly snapped off some pics of downtown New York, adjusted the shutter speed, ISO, and we were set for a weekend to tinkering. While sitting on the ferry crossing to Randall’s Island for the festival, a fellow photographer walked over and asked if in fact the camera we were carrying was the new DF. We assured him it was, at which point he asked if he could give it a whirl. We’re all in it together, so we obviously graciously obliged. With impressed whistles and mumbles emanating from him, he handed it back saying that he was now seriously considering getting himself one.
The Nikon Df is designed exclusively for taking still photos, enabling high reliability, advanced functions and elegant camera control. Though the design might look vintage, the dedicated mechanical dials for shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, exposure mode and release mode, are most definitely up to par. The camera’s manual focusing ring features the knurling/hatching of classic manual lenses for precise focus and adjustments. Despite the daunting amount of settings, the learning curve was almost nonexistent and once we started shooting, everything made sense. In fact the level of precision in which you can set the Df was incredible, especially in a festival situation where the light levels are ever-changing, from the darkness of the Gotham tent to the glaring sun at the Gov Ball Stage.
The Nikon Df offers a perfect blend of classic and modern, designed to suit anyones personal shooting style, no matter how dynamic it may be. Get familiar with the camera yourself by watching the video below. Also take a look at some of the photos we took on the Nikon Df at Governors Ball earlier this month.
Chance the Rapper: