Nikon Df

Retro de­light or old-fash­ioned relic? Opin­ion has al­ways been di­vided over the Df’s looks, less so on its ca­pa­bil­i­ties

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

£1900, $2750 (body only)

-SLRs seem mostly to have es­caped the retro rush that’s swept through the compact sys­tem cam­era mar­ket. The Df is an ex­cep­tion. It takes its de­sign cues from the Nikon FM2, a film SLR that was the pho­tog­ra­pher’s dar­ling in the 1980s.

There’s plenty to en­gage twid­dling fin­gers, with no fewer than five ro­tary di­als on the top panel. The shut­ter but­ton comes with (al­most laugh­ably) a screw-in socket for a me­chan­i­cal ca­ble release. Around the front, even the Nikon logo re­verts to its yes­ter­year ap­pear­ance. One par­tic­u­larly back­ward ‘de­vel­op­ment’ is that the abil­ity to shoot video has been stripped out of the Df.

The con­trol lay­out is likely to con­fuse many mod­ern

Dpho­tog­ra­phers. For ex­am­ple, the set­ting of the shut­ter speed dial has no ef­fect when you’re shoot­ing in pro­gram or aper­ture-pri­or­ity modes; like­wise the set­ting of the ISO dial has no ef­fect when Auto ISO is en­gaged via the on­screen shoot­ing menu. Oth­ers will wel­come the me­chan­i­cal di­als with their clear phys­i­cal in­di­ca­tion of shoot­ing set­tings.

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