When it comes to the Nikon Df there are a lot of strong feelings. The forums are overflowing with full-on verbal assaults between people who love the camera and people that hate the camera. I try to stay away from all that mudslinging, but I can't help but to run across it from time to time especially when my name gets batted around because of my Df Real World Review, in which I tried to give an objective review. This post isn't defending my review. All I did was give my honest opinions which stemmed from my usage of the camera and my extensive familiarity with all of Nikon's DSLRs.
The first thing I want to put out there is that my review was not an attempt to justify my purchase of the Nikon Df. That's a ludicrous theory. I have no need to explain what I spend my money on to people on the internet. I can afford the Df. I'm a photographer by profession so the camera is an expense that I will easily recoup. I'll even admit that the camera is overpriced. I think the Df should have been priced lower. $2500 seems to be about right.
So if I think the Df is overpriced then why did I buy it? Because, aside from the amazing IQ, I like the way it looks. There. I said it. I bought the camera because I think it looks cool. Am I a fashion victim? Have I fallen prey to Nikon's marketing scheme? Or even worse, am I *gasp* a hipster?!? Maybe so.
I was born in the early 70's. I started out in photography at a pretty young age so therefore I obviously started out shooting with these old blocky film cameras. My first camera was a Pentax Spotmatic, to which the Nikon Df takes a resemblance. I identify with this design. So when I saw the Df it struck a chord with me. The Df, especially the silver one, looks like the cameras I grew up using. Am I trying to fool myself into that the Df operates like an old film camera? Absolutely not. It's a DSLR and I know that. Even with the retro dials the Df still handles like a DSLR. Because it is.
|The Reverend Horton Heat plays retro style music on a hot-rodded vintage-styled modern guitar. The Rev thought the Df was a slick camera.|
There's is nothing wrong with buying something because you like the way it looks. I mention this point in my review but I would like to go a little deeper on the subject because when Df haters run out of arguments it seems they attempt to end the argument by trying to shame people for actually liking the way the camera looks.
I doubt that anyone out there who makes a big deal out of the style of the Df is wearing brown dungarees, a plain brown button down shirt, and brown work boots like they are in the Communist labor party. Visual and stylistic design permeates every aspect of consumerism.
If you are a normal and somewhat functioning person in society I'll bet that you make lots of choices every day based solely on style. When you put on clothes today did you select things that matched? Probably, because that's part of what people in society do. If you didn't select things that match then you made a stylistic choice as well. What color is your car? Do you own any T-Shirts with logos on them? Do you own any jewelry? Do you wear a necktie? Do you have a collection of hats? I could go on and on in this line of questioning with no end. The point is, that everyone buys things for a reason. Your style is what you show to the world depending on how you want the people that you encounter to perceive you. Whether you like it or not, every single day you play the style game.
When I was at the camera store picking up my camera another shopper (quite rudely) asked the question, "Why would you buy a silver camera? It's just going to attract more attention to you." I'm not sure why there is this current obsession with keeping the camera hidden and being stealthy.
I don't mind people noticing my camera. Since I bought the Df I've gotten a lot of attention. Other people, especially non-photographers, like they way the Df looks too and it has started a lot of conversations. Why is this good? Do I crave attention? No, I don't need the attention to satisfy my ego. The attention I'm getting has generated work for me. The first event I shot using the Df I had a few people come up and ask me about the camera. I handed out quite a few cards and ended up booking two paid photo shoots. This is directly attributable to the positive attention that my camera received from people who were attending the event.
|These folks really liked the style of the Df and were surprised to learn it was digital. Regular people love the way the Df looks, even if some photographers don't.|
As a professional photographer, being noticed is a way to gain new clients. Attracting attention to yourself is relatively difficult to do in a positive manner as you're working. I'm not a street photographer, so I'm not trying to blend into the shadows. I also don't have the time or necessarily want to approach prospective clients as I'm working. The Df draws people in and allows prospective clients to approach me.
Another thing about the styling of the Df is that due to the diminutive size and quirky 70's retro look it's less intimidating when you're photographing people. The camera fits into a niche that even the Fuji cameras don't cover. It looks like a serious camera without appearing too professional. These are the some of the practical sides to the "style" of the Df.
At the end of the day it's just a camera. Find the camera that's right for YOU and go take some pictures. Don't worry about what everyone else is shooting. The last thing a photographer should worry about is what other photographers think of their camera.
|I used an old retro 70's lens to take a photo with my retro-styled camera of my retro-styled motorcycle.|