Monday, 24 March 2014

roses in the city and a new camera

red-rose-hair-reflections At the beginning of March I was loaned a Nikon Df camera to have a bit of a play with. I was quite excited about this, as it is a great looking camera, based on the stylings of old ones (as in, the really cool old vintage ones) with nice chunky dials – and it was also my first ever full frame camera. There is a silver version which I think is even better looking than the black version I got, but of course it's not all about how the thing looks, is it!

To be honest, I wasn't sure how I'd find it, as I thought it might be a bit style over substance, and I've read mixed reports on the photos it takes. Still, as I am planning to get a full frame camera in the near-ish (hopefully less of the ish) future, it was useful for me to have a play with this one to see what I thought.

city-green-trees hasbeen-rose-leaf deco-curve-building city-roses-red (you can tell this os from the D7000!) John and I went to the city a couple of weekends ago, me armed with the Df and John with my D7000, so we can see the differences between them here.

city-buildings b I think the Df's look much more film-like, as in both camera film and movie film, if you know what I mean. There is a kind of smokiness that I love.

The Df is about the same size as my D7000, maybe a bit taller and flatter, and seems to me to be about the same weight. (Which, btw, I NEVER would have thought was important until I started using DSLRs and found the earlier models I tried were too heavy to hold properly in one hand.) There is less of a bulge-y bit on the front right hand side (I can only presume this has a technical name but I've no idea what it is!) so it was a bit harder to pick up, which did make me a bit nervous.

And the clunky old-style dials were a bit strange to use at first, and they are very close together, but I actually got used to them very quickly and could soon change things without having to look. I actually really liked the manual dials, as it forced me to think about my settings that little bit more, whereas I can be a bit lazy with my D7000, setting everything else up, roughly guessing the shutter speed and then adjusting it according to whatever the metre tells me.

city-feets But what about the photos? Well, my initial thoughts were "they're AMAZING!". The screen on the Df is much better than on my D7000, so when I first looked back at them I was pretty chuffed. They really looked amazing. When they were on the computer, though, they didn't look quite as good (damn!) but still were really awesome (erm, thanks to the camera and not just me, you understand, ha). They look a lot more 3D to me, and there is more detail in the shadows. The dark bits are smoother too, and the ISO is better, in that it handles low light really well, than on my D7000 (wah!) which is already pretty good as far as I am concerned for my first not-exactly-super-cheap camera. This actually made me edit them a little differently, lifting up the shadows a bit to soften the blacks and show all of that detail off, as they weren't noisy. I really liked this, although it felt pretty different for me and my usual bright white light thing. They are kind of dirtier, and make things look more distant, time wise.

red-rose-look-camera Hmm, I think it suits me, right? Also, I am going to get one hell of a wrinkly face from doing that however many times a day. Erm, something to think about. Or not! tiles window-weights-dream red-rose-cafe-camera However, one thing is I think is that it is less flattering for faces. I can't put my finger on why; it's not that it's too sharp or too contrasty. It just seems to be less kind, somehow, to any tiny lumps and bumps on a face, or maybe it's because there is a murky green-ish tone, rather than the oranges and yellows I'm used to with the D7000. (Oh, what if it's just reality?! Could well be..!) I don't know. Maybe I just needed more time to get used to what it liked to to and how to work with that.

hanging-ferns b city-buildings a That said, I LOVED this camera. Loved it. Maybe it was just because it was my first full frame – I'd obviously need to have a go with more to get proper comparisons – but I would have happily kept this one, although in the silver finish. (If I'm going to start caring how my camera looks – to be honest, at the moment I wouldn't care if it was held together by scuffed gaffer tape if the photos were good – I want it all please thank you!) I loved the manual feel of those dials and the hearty click sound of the shutter. I also got used to, very quickly, the different kinds of photos it took. Oh and focus wise it was AWESOME. Quick and crisp every time. I did have to manually set the focus (my eyesight isn't good enough for me to do this often) for the pic at the start of the post, because it was all quite dark, but most of the time the auto focus was good.

What do you think of the pictures? I also used the Df in this post, this one and this one and I think the difference is huge and for the better. Do you like them more too? hanging-ferns a


Emma Cherry said...

I've been dreaming of a new camera for months now, but unfortunately money does not permit right now - Boo!!!
One day, I shall upgrade my camera to a nice posh (ultimately good-looking) one.
I know what you mean about a darker, almost noir feel to these pictures...with the greenish tinge. I prefer your usual camera (and photoshop technique) for your blog - it has a unique feel. Although, saying that: the pictures do look lovely :)

(Dear Thirty)

Estranged said...

Really great photos :]

she. said...

grate photographs, you can always count on a nikon.

she. said...

grate photographs, you can always count on a nikon.

StyleMelbourne said...

I like the shots from the new camera; the contrast seems to make things moodier.

Now I'm craving a new toy (my camera got champagne spilled on it at fashion shoot - so glam). Fast speed sounds good to me!

Lorna Sharp said...

Wow but your pictures are beautiful its really lovely !
I know nothing about photography apart From the fact that I model but it seems to be à really interesting loan, Nikon seems better than good !
Also, i Love your blog your avatar picture is so Nice I Love your hair.

Whenever you are in Paris ! I supposed it is in GB where you are, it is so pretty.


The Dainty Dolls House said...

The photos look gorgeous...I like the smokiness to them & they do have a film like appeal to them, so lovely. Very crisp in the details as well. Love the 6th picture, so pretty xx

Vickie said...

the photos are gorgeous - I love the ones of the alley-ways :)

Anonymous said...

Really suits your vintage style! Lovely photos.

Matilda said...

I just have to say that i LOVE your blog! I´m from Sweden and I enjoy dreaming avay for a moment whilst loking at your bright sunny pictures haha I´m not a creep it´s just that there have been winter here in Sweden for five months now :P

Cheryl from BusinessChic said...

I'm on the market for a new camera too so this post was great - I like how you and John went about testing the df against the D7000.

I'm with Esz in that personally I prefer images from your D7000 but that's because I prefer sharpness to grainy - the latter which I normally associate more with Canon. I'm currently using a Canon but looking at Nikons because I like the sharpeness and great colours that they seem to get compared to the softer, more nostalgic-y Canon.

But your comments about the skintone thing bothers me - Meagan Harding is excellent at getting good skintones so I'd ask her what settings she uses on her nikon.

And I too worry about the wrinkles I get from squinting to take my pics!

esme and the laneway said...

Emma Cherry : oh it will be so exciting when you upgrade, as a camera that works better will just make taking photos a billion times more fun/less stressful (ie my entry level Canon DSLR hated dark situations, and my house is dark even in the middle of the day). And thank you – they are so different from my normal pics, and remind me of my early blog pics from my point and shoot, in that I would edit them far more softly. :)

StyleMelbourne : oh no, but what a glam way to go! I do like the moodiness from these, and oh yes, we can relate to needing low light settings :D

Lorna Sharp : thank you! I'm in Australia, but will be in London in two days :D x

The Dainty Dolls House : thank you! I really enjoyed them but I think they would add a very different style to the blog. Less vibrant. But so fun!

Vickie : thanks! It does help to have a pretty location :D

Anonymous : thank you!

Matilda : thanks – but do you know I need two hands to count the number of Aussies I know here who think Sweden looks absolutely amazing! :D That snow, love it!

Anonymous Cheryl from BusinessChic : thanks :) yes, the D7000 is amazing for that sharpness, and I'd love to see what a full frame Nikon more along those lines could do. And I so agree about the nostalgic-ness of Canons, I've been drawn to it a bit lately since the end of last year, but I think I'd miss the crisp vibrancy I love with mah Nikon. With the skin thing, I don;t think it was so much the one particular tone (the greeny ness) but maybe the levels of the colours between the shadows, midtones and highlights, detail/relief just seemed more emphasised somehow. But that seriously could just be it being more sensitive and picking up more info that I'm used to (argh scary thought haha!) but it would be easy to 'shop out if it bothered you. (I keep all that in, although sometimes I'm sorely tempted to de-spot myself! hehe) Oh but wrinkles, just character, right..! (Says she who checked out micro-dermabrasion and is starting to look into acid peels..!) xxxxx

Jessica Cangiano said...

The smokiness, as you so perfectly described it, is what jumps out at me first and foremost in this lovely series of images. What great fun it must have been to play around with a different camera for a day.

♥ Jessica

Natalie_vintage_girl said...

I just adore the dress. so chic!

laura redburn said...

i've used canons for many years now, but if i was ever to switch to nikon you may have convinced me to go with this camera! love the photos it takes and i can see what you mean by more of a film look.

Dorothee Cosack said...

What lense do you use???!! The photos are beautiful

Dorothee Cosack said...

What kind of lense do you use?? I'm shopping for a new camera/lense. These photos look great!

esme and the laneway said...

Dorothee Cosack : the Nikkor 35mm 1.8 fixed. (and sorry for publishing both comments :D) I really like it, it's so useful for lower light things. Hope that helps!

laura redburn : cool! I really wanted to use this camera (or similar)when OS, it would have been great for buildings, I think.

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