DSLR cameras by design have some inherent flaws and limitations. Part of it has to do with the fact that SLR cameras were initially developed for film. When digital evolved, it was treated just like film and was housed in the same mechanical body. Aside from the circuitry required for a digital sensor and other electronics, new digital film media and the back LCD, the rest of the SLR components did not change. Same mechanical mirror, same pentaprism / optical viewfinder, same phase detection system for autofocus operation. While new technological advances eventually led to extending of features of these cameras (In-camera editing, HDR, GPS, WiFi, etc), DSLRs continued to stay bulky for a couple of reasons. First, the mirror inside DSLR cameras had to be the same in size as the digital sensor, taking up plenty of space. Second, the pentaprism that converts vertical rays to horizontal in the viewfinder also had to match the size of the mirror, making the top portion of DSLRs bulky.
Today Adobe announced the availability of Lightroom 5.3 and Camera RAW 8.3 release candidates. A number of bugs that were present in Lightroom 5.2 were fixed, and new camera and lens profiles have been added. No new features have been added, so this is mostly a camera / lens update + bugfix release. For those that recently purchased the Nikon D610, this release provides full RAW support for the camera! Other new cameras that are supported include the Nikon D5300, Nikon 1 AW1, Fuji X-E2, Olympus OM-D E-M1, Sony A7 and Sony A7R.
Camera and Lens Support
Here is the list of newly supported camera models:
- Canon PowerShot S120
- Fujifilm XQ1
- Fujifilm X-E2
- Nikon 1 AW1
- Nikon Coolpix P7800
- Nikon D610
- Nikon D5300 (*)
- Olympus OM-D E-M1
- Olympus STYLUS 1 (*)
- Panasonic DMC-GM1
- Phase One IQ260
- Phase One IQ280
- Sony A7 (ILCE-7)
- Sony A7R (ILCE-7R)
- Sony DSC-RX10 (*)
Thanks to your support, we will be publishing a lot more reviews of the old Nikkor classics that we either purchased on auction sites, or loaned from our readers. This is a review of a true classic, the Nikon NIKKOR-H Auto 28mm f/3.5 (Ai modified), which was manufactured way back in 1959. One of our readers, Joe Ridley, was kind enough to send a number of Nikkor classics, and this lens is the first one that we are reviewing. Please note that such reviews of classic lenses will be limited to one page, with a small number of image samples. Still, full lab measurements will be performed on each lens for thorough analysis and comparisons.
1) Overview and Specifications
The NIKKOR-H Auto 28mm f/3.5 is one of the earliest, Pre-Ai Nikkor manual focus wide angle lenses for the F mount. Initially launched in 1959, this lens went through several iterations overtime with slightly different optical designs. The lens is available in various auction sites including eBay, but an Ai-converted version is really hard to come by. If you do decide to purchase one, you have to get the lens Ai-converted to properly mount on modern DSLRs. If you do not do this, you risk damaging your DSLR, since the non-Ai version could either break the metering tab / lever on the lens mount, or could get stuck on the mount and potentially cause other damage.
Our affiliates B&H and Adorama are already accepting pre-orders for the Nikon Df. Here are the links for the body-only and body+lens options:
Nikon Df Pre-Order Information
B&H Photo Video:
- Click here to pre-order the black/silver Nikon DF camera body + Special Edition Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G lens for $2,996.95 from B&H
- Click here to pre-order the black/silver Nikon DF camera body only for $2,746.95 from B&H
- Click here to pre-order the black Nikon DF camera body + Special Edition Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G lens for $2,996.95 from B&H
- Click here to pre-order the black Nikon DF camera body only for $2,746.95 from B&H
- Click here to pre-order the Special Edition Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G lens separately for $279.95 from B&H
Many Nikon D700 owners are probably wondering how the Nikon Df differs from their beloved cameras in terms of features and image quality. As we have said several times in different posts, the Nikon Df could be considered the D700 replacement, depending on one’s needs. While sports and wildlife photographers (or anyone else that relies on fast fps and high-end AF) will certainly disagree, portrait photographers have been longing for a camera with the D4 sensor for a while now. In this article, I will compare the new Nikon Df to the D700 not only in terms of specifications, but also in terms of image quality / ISO performance. Of most interest, our readers might find high ISO comparisons between the two, especially above ISO 800.
I am working on a couple of articles related to the new Nikon Df camera (see the announcement / overview and pre-order options) and I decided to post a size comparison between Nikon’s most current line of full-frame DSLR cameras. Starting from the left, we have the flagship Nikon D4, then the Nikon D800, followed by the Nikon D610 and finally, the new Nikon Df (click on the image for a much larger version):
As you can see, the Nikon Df has a similar size as the Nikon D600 / D610 in terms of height. When looked at the top, it is thinner due to a smaller grip and less protruding pentaprism / flash area. Weight-wise, it is about 50 grams lighter.
With the release of the Nikon Df, 7 sample images from the camera by Takeshi Fukazawa and Jeremy Walker have been posted at Nikon Imaging. The below images are all copyright of Nikon and all EXIF data is retained in photographs. Our quick notes on the image quality are posted below. Please keep in mind that the images are taken in RAW and simply converted to JPEG via Capture NX 2. No other editing has been done, including sharpening.
Click here to download a full high-resolution JPEG version of the above image. Exposure Info: 1/400, f/8, ISO 3200.
Without a doubt, Nikon has created a lot of hype around the upcoming Nikon Df camera. With five teaser videos that talk about “pure photography”, Nikon has spiked interest among the photography community, including our team at Photography Life. Many of us, especially those that shoot event, wedding and portrait photography have been desperately waiting for a true Nikon D700 replacement. Something with a good number of pixels, but not too many (yes, those D800 files are huge!). Something that can produce very low noise images at high ISOs. Something that is fast with a solid build, but does not come with a huge price tag and a heavy body. Nikon finally answered those calls with the Nikon Df. Read on to find out what we think about this remarkable camera.
What makes the Nikon Df remarkable? I have used this word a few times already, because I think the Nikon Df will be even a bigger hit than the Nikon D800. If you remember from February of 2012, we covered the Nikon D800 release extensively. From what we saw, being world’s first 36 MP full-frame camera, the Nikon D800 created a lot of interest – mostly from landscape, architecture and studio photographers that needed more than the 12 or 16 MP that Nikon was traditionally using on its DSLRs. However, many portrait photographers, especially pros that come back from events with thousands of images felt that the D800 was too much of a camera for them (yes, the D800 files are huge!). From Nikon’s new product positioning, it was pretty clear that the D700 was a mistake never to be repeated again – Nikon did not want to compromise the sales of its high-end line in the future (and the D700 did lower D3 sales significantly). But Nikon knew very well that it left a gap in its high-end DSLR line. Instead of coming up with yet another DSLR, Nikon decided to take a very different route. Why not take the much wanted Nikon D4 sensor, put it in a retro body to appeal portrait photographers (especially the group that loves shooting film), strip it down to a bare minimum without bells and whistles like video that are of no interest to most photographers, and market it as a fusion of DSLR and early SLR/rangefinder Nikon cameras? That’s how the Nikon Df was born.
This is an review of the classic Nikon NIKKOR 50mm f/1.2 Ai-S by one of our readers, Christian Duguay from Montreal, Canada. A quick note from Nasim: while I was going through testing some of the older manual focus lenses (including the 50mm f/1.2 Ai-S), Christian contacted me via email and sent some of his thoughts on the lens. After a couple of emails back and forth, I requested him to write a review of the lens, so that we could share it with our readers. Christian accepted the challenge and we both agreed that it could be a good idea if we both worked on it – I would provide all optical test results, while he would write the text and provide sample images. So in a way, this is a collaborative effort between the two of us. Enjoy!
1) Overview and Specifications
When I read a few weeks ago at Photography Life that Nasim wanted to review some of the Nikkor Ai-S manual focus lenses, I was really pleased by the idea. In fact, I was longing for that since the summer of 2012. At that time, I was looking for a 28mm prime and although Nikon had launched a new 28mm f/1.8G in April of that year, I opted for an all-manual f/2.8 Ai-S lens. The reviews I read about it were interesting and convincing, so I decided to order one new from the US, because it was not available in Canada. When I received the lens, I was totally amazed by its high quality, intrinsic beauty and special craftsmanship. This was my first contact with these old Nikkor Ai-S lenses.
Earlier this week, when I wrote about my experience at the 2013 Photo Plus Show, I pointed out that I found a product that I have been searching for the past 4 years. It was something that I found on the last day at the conference, while going through the smaller, less popular booths towards the end of the exhibit hall. I first hesitated about what I saw, but as soon as I realized that it was exactly what I had been looking for, I got very excited and bought one for myself immediately (and pretty much forced Tom to buy one as well). You might be wondering what it was – well, as weird as it may sound, it was a Sensor Gel Stick!
Don’t mind the name – I came up with that, because it describes the function of this tool pretty well in my opinion. The actual product name is “Eyelead” :)