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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 07-07-2014   #601
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Originally Posted by maitani View Post
Cal, I feel you, I was on the fence selling off the noct-nikkor recently, last second, I decided to keep it it's unique and one of those 'cold dead hands' lenses.. :-)
I'll maybe start looking for a DK-17, my F3P came with and all clear screen 'no focusing help' but it's so bright, all pops in focus almost automatically. the build and feel and sound of F3P are uniqe imo. should I see a good noct around on the used market I'll drop you a line, best maitani
Maitani,

Thanks for the scouting offered. All I can say is that the Noct-Nikkor has a very unique rendering that really is optimized for F1.2. The F3P seems to be the perfect film body to compliment the speed of the lens.

I'm considering getting a 50/1.2 AIS as an interium lens, but the Noct-Nikkor used between F1.2-F4.0 is unbeatable.

Right now I'm kinda broke, but one day I'll get another Noct-Nikkor.

Cal
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Old 07-07-2014   #602
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Jonathan,

I have been known to create vast amounts of GAS, but I have a suggestion for you. If you are serious about getting a Nikon FX camera consider getting a Noct-Nikkor and doing sticked panoramas instead of getting a large format camera. The results I've seen are mucho impressive and since large format requires the use of a tripod not so different. The key seems to be the Noct-Nikkor for the combination of sharpness and shallow DOF. Of course the lens is shot wide open for the effect.

There's this guy who does wedding photography who in particular is great I think his name is "Brezner" or some other unbutcher spelling that is somehow associated with being synonoumous with stiched panorama.

For me the F3 would be the film SLR, and for medium format film all I would need is a 3.5 F Rolliflex.

Cal
Hi Cal, thanks for the detailed response as always. So I decided to rent it for profit (HA!) in that I bought it, played with it overnight, and flip it the next day. Overall, I am impressed with the camera and the files it produced. Another note, I just realized that a used D600 can be had for $150 more than a D700, and a D3 for about $400 more than a D700, all being more or less the same condition. Any pointers here, Cal?

The Brenizer Method, yes, I have heard of it but have never tried it. Just looked it up once again after reading your post and now I wanted to try it. Thanks for the food for thought.
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Old 07-07-2014   #603
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If I may jump in Jonathan, if you don't really need that smaller, lighter camera body option the D700 provides, by all means go with a D3.
The D3 has a better finder, an even tougher body, better battery life, better handling with bigger lenses (and smaller ones in regard of shooting verticals) and in my opinion the best dual card slot option: 2 identical CF card slots, none of that mixed slot thingy nowadays in fashion.

If a D3s is in your budget, it offers some serious improvements over the D3, making it worth a second look.

For me the biggest + of the D3/D3s is it's rear LCD for quickly setting and checking ISO (I always shoot manual ISO and quickly setting and checking it with a glance on that additional LCD is priceless.

The D3 has one downside to the D700 though: you will end up cleaning your sensor more often than with the D700.

Another option to the Noct-Nikkor which I find myself liking a lot recently is the new 58/1.4 AF-S.
Simply ignore the naysayers who stamp it to be a hugely expensive marketing Noct. It is a wonderful lens with a lot of character similarities to the Noct. It is less than half the cost new to a Noct nowadays and it is it's higher price worth over the pedestrian 50/1.4 AF-S (I never liked the 50/1.4 AF-S).

If it's your cup of tea, you can wait a little more and see those D800E bodies falling in price on the second hand market as people storm the shops for the D810, but that is a lot of data to move around you might not really want or need.

If you plan to shoot manual focus lenses, there are screen options available from different manufacturers.
I currently like the most a modified Canon Precision Matte screen, you can buy from focusingscreen.com
This screen is blank full matte and you can focus anywhere in the finder.
It is so far the only manual focussing screen I tried with the D3, that provides better precision with a f1.2 lens (I find it better even than Nikon's full matte screen for the F3).
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Old 07-08-2014   #604
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Dirk, please do feel free to share, I really appreciate your insights. Well noted on your points, D3 is feasible, D3s and D800 or D800e, not yet.
On big hole lenses, I currently have 55 1.2, and my uncle bought it new back in the 70s. So, back to F3, please allow me to post the F3 with 55 1.2:

Bang Joe by jwicaksana, on Flickr

P.S. How cool is it to have F3 and D3 together on my desk. Yumm.
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Old 07-08-2014   #605
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Gil,

The 50/1.2 AIS is on my list. Make sure you get the 28/2.8 AIS for the new formulation that includes CRC.

Also consider the 105/1.8 AIS if you don't mind the increase is size and weight. The added brightness comes in handy and the bokeh provided by additionall aperture blades is really nice. I once owned the 85/1.4 AIS and the 105/1.8 AIS. I first sold the 85/1.4 AIS first and kept the 105/1.8 AIS because of the rendering. To me it was like a 105/2.5 AIS on steroids.
Thanks Cal,

I shot my first film with the 50/1.2. Still need to scan it, but it look good. I am getting a Pacific Image 120 this week, so no use to scan with the old V500. I thought about the 105/1.8, we'll see. Most come from Japan it seems, though I have ordered from it Before and it was very fast.

What do you mean by the "new formulation that includes CRC," are the newer lenses better? I was planning on buying that one mew..

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Old 07-08-2014   #606
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Jonathan,

I don't mind at all introducing Nikon DSLr's into this thread. I'm no film snob, but my digital experience is limited to the Leica Monochrom, and I will refrain and allow others who have much more experience to chime in.

The only thing I will add is that Phil who sometimes goes to the NYC Meet-Up has an impressive Nikon D3 that has a modified Canon screen that enhanced the VF'er especially for manual focus lenses. It was through Phil that I discovered the DK-17. Phil has a very cool rig with a great VF'er for use with Nikon manual focus lenses.

The 5-7 shot Brezener panoramas I saw rivals large format in every way. Shot using a Noct-Nikkor it had that shallow DOF focus with a dreamy OOF. The reason I mention this is that although the Noct-Nikkor is an expensive piece of glass it can also serve to get that large format look without having to aquire another expensive kit (large format). In this way you could justify getting a Noct-Nikkor and limit your expenses. Think of all the money you would save. LOL.

BTW be aware that Dirk, who is advising you, has mucho nice gear, and he can be a great creator of GAS. LOL.

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Old 07-08-2014   #607
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Originally Posted by gilgsn View Post
Thanks Cal,

I shot my first film with the 50/1.2. Still need to scan it, but it look good. I am getting a Pacific Image 120 this week, so no use to scan with the old V500. I thought about the 105/1.8, we'll see. Most come from Japan it seems, though I have ordered from it Before and it was very fast.

What do you mean by the "new formulation that includes CRC," are the newer lenses better? I was planning on buying that one mew..

Gil.
Gil,

I'm specifically speaking of the 28/2.8 AIS which is the latest Nikon manual focus lens. The AIS version has updated optics and also features CRC for close focus correction. I would say that even though this is an SLR lens that its performance rivals Leica rangefinder 28's. Basically the 28/2.8 AIS (the latest version) is the best version. This is a stunning lens that is also rather stubby, but I would not call it a pancake lens. It definately is compact.

For me it seems that many people favor the 85/1.4 AIS for the extra half stop of speed over the 105's F1.8, but to me the extra reach of the 105 is what makes the OOF better over the 85/1.4. Also I failed to mention that the 105/1.8 has more aperature blades than the 105/2.5 AIS, and to me it has both smoother and even better bokeh.

I think the 105/1.8 AIS is very under rated because: one the 105/2.5 is such a great lens for no money (or a lot less money than the 105/1.8); and also because the 85/1.4 has a bit more speed and is also so close to the 105/1.8. Like I said before I owned both at the same time, both were great lenses, but I favored the 105/1.8 for the OOF rendering.

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Old 07-08-2014   #608
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Agreed Cal, there are very few mf nikkors that stand out for me and the 28 AIS 2.8 is one of them. I've had 3 to date and all have been spot on. Close to zero distortion and at the close end it is so sharp on both film and digital. My latest is an ex pro user lens and a bit beat up but optically even with cleaning marks etc is easily as good as my Summicrons.
I've never had the 105 1.8 but one of my other favorite Nikkors is the 105 Ai 2.5. Sharp as a razor wide open and gorgeous bokeh for bargain money.
I tend to use my F3 only with the 28.
For 50 to 60 I use Leicaflex R and now Pentax again.
85 1.4 afd on the F5 and 90 R on the Leicaflex.
Yes it's a bit of a pain with all the different bodies but I think I've finally got my film SLR lens favorites covered!
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Old 07-09-2014   #609
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Originally Posted by jwicaksana View Post
… I currently have 55 1.2, and my uncle bought it new back in the 70s. So, back to F3, please allow me to post the F3 with 55 1.2:
…
P.S. How cool is it to have F3 and D3 together on my desk. Yumm.
[/center]
You have the 55/1.2, no absolute need to dream of a Noct ;-) … (except for the thing the Noct does better than any other lens).

In my opinion the D3 is the modern worlds F3 (not just by naming coincidence but by how far they have brought technology in an indestructible package).
Like the F3 the D3 also has tiny flaws.

Where the F3's viewfinder LCD display is pretty laughable and hardly usable by modern standards, The D3 tends to get a moist driven hazy LCD cover on the back. It is also the dirtiest of the modern day digital Nikons (in terms of how often you need to clean the sensor when you shoot stopped down a lot).

Quote:
The only thing I will add is that Phil who sometimes goes to the NYC Meet-Up has an impressive Nikon D3 that has a modified Canon screen that enhanced the VF'er especially for manual focus lenses. It was through Phil that I discovered the DK-17. Phil has a very cool rig with a great VF'er for use with Nikon manual focus lenses.
Cal, this screen sounds exactly like the screen I got from focusingscreen.com which I have permanently in my D3.
It is made from a Canon full matte screen, does show the difference in focus between f2 and f1.4 (modern DSLR screens do not), hence improving manual focus A LOT.
I like that it is a full matte screen without any markings or additional focus aids - completely uncluttered yet extremely precise.

The good thing with this screen: it works perfectly fine even when shooting the 300/2.8 AF-S with teleconverters!
Also all focus brackets with the D3 work as designed, as these are displayed through an additional thin screen layer above the focussing screen.

Quote:
BTW be aware that Dirk, who is advising you, has mucho nice gear, and he can be a great creator of GAS. LOL.
Hehe ;-)
Never intentionally of course …

Btw, thanks for mentioning the 105/1.8 again, always wanted to try one but they seem to be hard to find at decent prices in non PJ beaten condition.
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Old 07-09-2014   #610
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Originally Posted by menos View Post

Cal, this screen sounds exactly like the screen I got from focusingscreen.com which I have permanently in my D3.
It is made from a Canon full matte screen, does show the difference in focus between f2 and f1.4 (modern DSLR screens do not), hence improving manual focus A LOT.
I like that it is a full matte screen without any markings or additional focus aids - completely uncluttered yet extremely precise.

The good thing with this screen: it works perfectly fine even when shooting the 300/2.8 AF-S with teleconverters!
Also all focus brackets with the D3 work as designed, as these are displayed through an additional thin screen layer above the focussing screen.
.
Dirk,

Phil was mucho creative and modded a Canon screen that had a large split prism. It seems like the Canon screens work great on Nikon VF'ers when fitted.

Also Phil's D3 seemed to be a DSLR on steroids with a muscular build quality. It was almost weapon like and had that "Pro" level build quality.

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Old 07-09-2014   #611
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Dirk,

Phil was mucho creative and modded a Canon screen that had a large split prism. It seems like the Canon screens work great on Nikon VF'ers when fitted.

Also Phil's D3 seemed to be a DSLR on steroids with a muscular build quality. It was almost weapon like and had that "Pro" level build quality.

Cal
Yes, the Canon screens seem to be great for modding into Nikon FX cameras. I think mine came originally from a 1D.
The vendor I buy these screens from basically buys stock screens form the manufacturers and grinds them to specific sizes to fit them in different camera models.

I have an modified Nikon F6 split prism screen from him as well (modified to fit the D3) but didn't test it out yet as I am so happy with the Canon one.

The D3 is legendary. I am no war photographer, but the D3 is the one camera I own the longest, have used the most and treated the worst and still it looks great.
It is the one camera that I am absolutely not shy about leaving on the porch in a rain shower. It will probably just work the next day.
Its the real successor to the F3 and the very last camera line where Nikon simply cuts no corners in build quality

Now if that D3 would have the M Mono sensor inside, I would have a camera for life.
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Old 07-09-2014   #612
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So yeah I tried the Brenizer method, D7000 and 55 1.2 wide open. This was stitched from about 21 images. Very hard to do when background has no texture and we are too close to the object.
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Old 07-09-2014   #613
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The closer the subject distance the harder it is to do and the less it looks special.
Try to do this method with some medium distance and a background that will show the slim DOF of the wide open lens.
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Old 07-10-2014   #614
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A few years ago, I sold my F3HP to buy an M-mount body. I miss my F3. It is robust and extremely reliable.

I avoid reading this thread as it brings about GAS attack. But when I read the comparison with the D3(s), I just had to read on. I still own the D3s as well as the 50/1.2. An excellent combination. I sold the 105/2.5, and regret that as well. Those of you who are contemplating the D3, I say go for it. It is an excellent camera. The handling is better than a D700+grip, and the small MP count is more than sufficient.

Image with the D3 + 50/1.2


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Old 07-10-2014   #615
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A few years ago, I sold my F3HP to buy an M-mount body. I miss my F3. It is robust and extremely reliable.

I avoid reading this thread as it brings about GAS attack. But when I read the comparison with the D3(s), I just had to read on. I still own the D3s as well as the 50/1.2. An excellent combination. I sold the 105/2.5, and regret that as well. Those of you who are contemplating the D3, I say go for it. It is an excellent camera. The handling is better than a D700+grip, and the small MP count is more than sufficient.

Image with the D3 + 50/1.2


Thanks for the post. In regards to GAS your post makes me want to buy a 50/1.2 AIS as a substitute for the Noct-Nikkor I traded away that I now deeply regret.

Nothing renders like a Noct-Nikkor though and it is the best at F1.2.

Cal
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Old 07-10-2014   #616
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So yeah I tried the Brenizer method, D7000 and 55 1.2 wide open. This was stitched from about 21 images. Very hard to do when background has no texture and we are too close to the object.

Jonathan,

I agree with Dirk. The trick here is to get bokeh happening in the background, yet close focusing on the subject to establish shallow DOF. From small format to medium format you loose 2 stops of DOF. Unless you shallow out the DOF by shooting wide open you will not get the large format look. This is why the Noct-Nikkor is the perfered lens, although perhaps alternatives could be perhaps an 85/1.4 AIS or a 105/1.8.

A great example I saw was a bride and groom shot on top of the "Mall" in Central Park in NYC. It was perhaps a 7-8 shot panorama shot with a Noct-Nikkor. The subjuects were shot full body, but also understand that the finished print displayed a lot of the OOF background that was rendered in a spectacular way. This photographer really captured dreamyness, the OOF was extra creamy, and because perhaps 3-4 shots comprised the bride and groom the sharpness, resolution and detail were all in the realm of large format.

I can only imagine that this is not easy to do, but large format is mucho expensive... Then again a Noct-Nikkor is mucho expensive, but it is the normal lens that gives the extra creamy OOF and bokeh that resembles a much longer lens shot wide open.

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Last edited by Calzone : 07-10-2014 at 06:54. Reason: puncuation
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Old 07-10-2014   #617
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Great photographs benji77! The second shot shows how different the 50/1.2 from the 58/1.2 … entirely different character (both of which lovely in their own right).
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Old 07-11-2014   #618
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A few years ago, I sold my F3HP to buy an M-mount body. I miss my F3. It is robust and extremely reliable.

I avoid reading this thread as it brings about GAS attack. But when I read the comparison with the D3(s), I just had to read on. I still own the D3s as well as the 50/1.2. An excellent combination. I sold the 105/2.5, and regret that as well. Those of you who are contemplating the D3, I say go for it. It is an excellent camera. The handling is better than a D700+grip, and the small MP count is more than sufficient.

Image with the D3 + 50/1.2



GAS ALERT: Even though I'm totally broke, I want another Noct-Nikkor and now a D3.

As far as D3S or D3X I'm on the fence about high ISO with the big pixel size of the D3S verses the higher resolution but lower ISO's of the D3X. Right now I think I favor the D3X for resolution because I want to print big, but then again I live in NYC and like shooting mucho street. Perhaps I really need two D3's: a "S;" and a "X."

I also shoot a Leica Monochrom, but I seldomly pump the Iso past 800 anyways because I hate the didital artifacts that come with anything higher than 800 ISO.

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Old 07-11-2014   #619
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Don't go for the D3x. Nikon practically killed that body by selling a D800(e) much more capable if high res is what you are really after (question your pursuit of high res first - do you really print regularly larger than 13x19 ?).
The D3s is a better D3 and with the price difference on the used market I think is worth to pay the difference. Mainly you gain ~ another stop and you have less sensor dirt.

Another way of getting high res and saving that big money D3x still go for is to get a D3 (non S) AND a D7000.

But honestly, since I got that 58/1.4 AF-S I am not so sure about the Noct-Nikkor anymore. The 58 AF-S has A LOT in common in image character wight he Noct and that at half the price brand new.
The 58AF-S is substantially better than the 50/1.4 AF-S and sharper and much smoother than the other fast 50 Nikkors.
It's biggest trait in common with the Noct is that it really melts background like no other 50 Nikkor and that it renders light sources properly in low light edge to edge similar to the Noct.


street portraits with the 58 1.4 AF-S G + D800e on the first day out:







…and stopped down (f2.8 I guess):



I think if I had to shrink Nikon SLR gear to the extreme, I would sell everything except the old D3 + 58AF-S + 24AF-S and if I could I would keep that 300/2.8AF-S as well, covering everything in need.

The D3x really is a low ISO tripod camera by design, while with recent DX and FX Nikons it really is not THAT high res anymore.

By contrast the good old D3 is still VERY valid in 2014. That sensor was simply a masterpiece back in 2007 and still competes very well with many of todays high end cameras.

The biggest trouble for the next years with the D3 series bodies will be to get batteries for them as Nikon does not manufacture them anymore (new Japanese legal regulations forced them to omit the high capacity D3 series batteries in favour of smaller batteries in the D4 series).

The few original D3 batteries I still regularly though hold up well still, easily getting over 800 shots a charge(down from over 1000 new).

For the low price you get a D3 nowadays, those are real bargains - reason, why I kept mine as it's use far eclipses it's re-sale value at current prices, even in really nice cosmetic conditions from first owners they are cheap by what they used to sell for. I am happy I didn't sell mine as I planned when getting the D800e from a user perspective as well.
Somehow the Nikon DSLR full size bodies have something really nice about them -rock solid and ergonomically simply perfect.
The D800 and also the Df feel like plastic toys compared to the old D3

Be warned though, the D3 files are nowhere near as nice as the M Mono files. You will be disappointed in regards of detail and tonality - not much of a problem printing 13x19 though.

Before you go on a shopping spree, have a really, really hard, good think and approach it from the points of:

- resolution needs (print size)
- low light needs (also thin about using slower lenses in low light)
- handling preferences - if your favourite daily hauler is a pair of F3 + MD-4 you probably prefer the D3 over any small body Nikon DSLR.
If you like the F3 finder with magnifier and accessories, the D3 and D700/800 are the only game, the D3 series having a slight edge with more coverage and a better eye point

Don't rush this, D3's are getting cheaper by the day ;-)
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Old 07-11-2014   #620
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Don't go for the D3x. Nikon practically killed that body by selling a D800(e) much more capable if high res is what you are really after (question your pursuit of high res first - do you really print regularly larger than 13x19 ?).
The D3s is a better D3 and with the price difference on the used market I think is worth to pay the difference. Mainly you gain ~ another stop and you have less sensor dirt.

Another way of getting high res and saving that big money D3x still go for is to get a D3 (non S) AND a D7000.

But honestly, since I got that 58/1.4 AF-S I am not so sure about the Noct-Nikkor anymore. The 58 AF-S has A LOT in common in image character wight he Noct and that at half the price brand new.
The 58AF-S is substantially better than the 50/1.4 AF-S and sharper and much smoother than the other fast 50 Nikkors.
It's biggest trait in common with the Noct is that it really melts background like no other 50 Nikkor and that it renders light sources properly in low light edge to edge similar to the Noct.


street portraits with the 58 1.4 AF-S G + D800e on the first day out:







…and stopped down (f2.8 I guess):



I think if I had to shrink Nikon SLR gear to the extreme, I would sell everything except the old D3 + 58AF-S + 24AF-S and if I could I would keep that 300/2.8AF-S as well, covering everything in need.

The D3x really is a low ISO tripod camera by design, while with recent DX and FX Nikons it really is not THAT high res anymore.

By contrast the good old D3 is still VERY valid in 2014. That sensor was simply a masterpiece back in 2007 and still competes very well with many of todays high end cameras.

The biggest trouble for the next years with the D3 series bodies will be to get batteries for them as Nikon does not manufacture them anymore (new Japanese legal regulations forced them to omit the high capacity D3 series batteries in favour of smaller batteries in the D4 series).

The few original D3 batteries I still regularly though hold up well still, easily getting over 800 shots a charge(down from over 1000 new).

For the low price you get a D3 nowadays, those are real bargains - reason, why I kept mine as it's use far eclipses it's re-sale value at current prices, even in really nice cosmetic conditions from first owners they are cheap by what they used to sell for. I am happy I didn't sell mine as I planned when getting the D800e from a user perspective as well.
Somehow the Nikon DSLR full size bodies have something really nice about them -rock solid and ergonomically simply perfect.
The D800 and also the Df feel like plastic toys compared to the old D3

Be warned though, the D3 files are nowhere near as nice as the M Mono files. You will be disappointed in regards of detail and tonality - not much of a problem printing 13x19 though.

Before you go on a shopping spree, have a really, really hard, good think and approach it from the points of:

- resolution needs (print size)
- low light needs (also thin about using slower lenses in low light)
- handling preferences - if your favourite daily hauler is a pair of F3 + MD-4 you probably prefer the D3 over any small body Nikon DSLR.
If you like the F3 finder with magnifier and accessories, the D3 and D700/800 are the only game, the D3 series having a slight edge with more coverage and a better eye point

Don't rush this, D3's are getting cheaper by the day ;-)

Dirk,

I have no money so entertaining a Nikon DSLR rig is totally a dream right now. There is no rush here, and you are correct: Time is my friend. No shopping spree anytime soon, but like a chess player I like to think three moves ahead. Also being a creative (crazy) person I like to daydream.

I have an Epson 3880 so 17x22 is my current large print size, but the Monochrom can print bigger. I was thinking of the D3S over the D3, and I think you have me profiled correctly in that I like and perfer the heavy duty camera with the more industrial build quality that resembles my F3P/MD-4 rig. From carrying cameras I have a rather thick neck from carrying cameras, especially for a skinny guy, and because I generally go walking around carrying a camera in my right hand all day my right arm is overdeveloped and noticibly larger than my left arm. In a way I look a bit deformed.

My dream Nikon you mentioned: a D3S with a monochrom sensor, but a Monochrom Leica S would be really cool. Seems like big pixels is the way to go to avoid digital artifacts.

Cal
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Old 07-11-2014   #621
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I was thinking of the D3S over the D3, and I think you have me profiled correctly in that I like and perfer the heavy duty camera with the more industrial build quality that resembles my F3P/MD-4 rig.l
Cal, I can see this around your neck... you love monsters.
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Old 07-11-2014   #622
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Cal, I can see this around your neck... you love monsters.
John,

You should know: you coined the phrase calling my cameras "monsters."

Phil's D3 really had a effect on me.

Anyways big heavy cameras that can be used as weapons come in handy when you need them. Last Tuesday I did some night shooting using medium format and a tripod at 125th Street and the Willis Avenue Bridge/Triborough Bridge. I didn't have any cameras that would make any good weapon, but I carried my monopod in case there was any hassle. I started walking home around 10:00 PM along the East River.

Last Sunday walked to Highbridge Park which is a rather large abandoned park that is ferrule and overgrown. Basically if there was any hassles it would of been "Gladiator Mode" meaning a fight to the death. There is good reason why this park remains unused and is empty, except for right at the entrances where all these families were roasting meat right near the park signs that clearly stated "No Bar-B-Que," it is kinda dangerous because its so empty and vacant. In a true sense it it abandoned.

I found the wooded part to be totally empty except for this one guy. He and I kept our distance, but I ended seeing him a second time further south, and again he and I kept some distance knowing that getting closer than 10 feet might mean a fight because that close a distance like radar would signal and indicate an attack.

BTW a friend of mine got stabbed in the eye and shoulder two days ago in Co-Op City ( Northern Bronx/ Westchester Avenue) where we use to go shooting. Ron had an exchange of words with another young guy and the next thing you know its a gang attack. Don't know yet if Ron will loose his eye.

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Old 07-11-2014   #623
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maybe I'm missing something, but it's hard for me to understand the hype for the noct-nikkor when the 55 distagon exists.

the 55 is much better at controlling coma, especially around the edges, than either the noct or the new 58/1.4. the old noct costs about the same, too, and as far as I can see the only advantages are weight, size, and slightly higher center illumination. of course the distagon comes with a warranty and beats nearly everything for sharpness.

my f3hp has treated me well. it's a no nonsense, no gimmick camera. it's not perfect (what is other than the M3?), but as far as Nikons go, it's my favorite.
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Old 07-11-2014   #624
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From my first roll with the F3 and 50/1.2:



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Old 07-11-2014   #625
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Cal, I am sorry to hear about your friend, I hope he will recover.
This sounds like a crazy place you live in.

For the print size you mention, the 12MP D3 sensor renders very soft actually - a lot of tricky sharpening is needed to extract detail.
Your print size it can manage just about, but not if you need to crop or if you miss focus by a bit or need to shoot at ISO3200.

From my perception, the M Mono just about juices double the detail than the D3 although it has a barely higher resolution.

My dream SLR also is a Leica S Monochrom, which would let me shoot medium format at ISO 3200 and have the insane detail of the Mono sensor while even better tonality than the MMono as for true 16bit imaging.
If Leica would build something like this, I would sell my Nikon system for it to get one, Noct included.


The reason why the Noct has such a following lies in the fact that this lens has been with us for more than 30 years. A legend has been built around it and it still performs admirably.
Until the new 58/1.4 arrived, the Noct-Nikkor has outperformed every single 50 Nikon offered to that point, which is quite a feat for such an old design.

In a sense it has been the Zeiss OTUS of the 1970's.

The OTUS is a humongous lens, the size of a f2.8 zoom actually. It is much more expensive then the Noct still and also far eclipses the new 58/1.4 in size and cost.

I would like to have one if it would be half the size.
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Old 07-11-2014   #626
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every noct sample I've seen has been significantly worse outside of the center than the 50/1.2, though.

and a quick look at sold ebay listings puts the noct at 26 to 45 hundred, and the otus retails for 4000, so more or less similarly priced.

I mean I get people like the lens and all it's just there are a ton of unsubstantiated claims as to how good it is but when it comes to real samples the humble 50/1.2 always seemed to do better in real world shooting despite the noct having the advantage in nighttime infinity shots.

if someone has examples of a shot that only that lens could have done until even the last decade, please share it with me. I've never owned one myself and have legitimate interest in any ~50. but I suspect they will be mostly technical images, though I'd be happy to be proven wrong.
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Old 07-11-2014   #627
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Gil,

I like your recent photo of the lady holding her kitten.

Dogs are wonderful, but IMHO there is something special
in the way people hold cats/kittens.

Keep up the good work and
enjoy the F 3 and fantastic lens!

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Old 07-11-2014   #628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redisburning View Post
every noct sample I've seen has been significantly worse outside of the center than the 50/1.2, though.
…
I doubt that.

The Noct is not just about the ability of drawing light sources in proper shapes (the new 58 is even better than that).

One major advantage of the Noct is it's high contrast from wide apertures on, easily bettering vintage fast 50s and being almost on par with Nikon's 50/1.4 AF-S.

What the Noct is about for me is that (apart from it's newer 58 AF- incarnation) provides the creamiest background rendering of all fast 50 Nikkors.

No other Nikkor 50 apart from the newest 58 can touch it for the background rendering.

The 50/1.2 never had the ability to replace it for that reason (ugly points of light toward the edge, lower contrast at wide apertures, funky background rendering).
Don't misunderstand me, the 50/1.2 is a nice lens for what it is, but it is no Noct (price differences, cult, internet myths aside).

The OTUS is an impressive lens with beautiful rendering (and creamy backgrounds to boot) and one will have to think which lens is better value, a Noct-Nikkor or a new OTUS.
I understand your point.

I would think you can't compare these two lenses in terms of rendering.
One has a distinct beautiful character with some impressive modern traits thanks to it's hand ground exotic elements.
The other is simple optical perfection at what is optically possible today.
Mind you it has also scalpel like precision sharp details, which is not always what is preferable.

It is a bit like old Leica Noctilux f1 vs new Noctilux f.95.
I take a Noctilux f1 over the new Noctilux any day.

Lenses are not like burgers, where getting more burger for your money is always better.
Maybe some like the specific taste of a certain burger over the two for one offering from another restaurant?
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Old 07-12-2014   #629
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Thanks David. It was easy to say I wanted a picture of the cat, but she is an interesting character.. I cut her eyes out of the frame (thanks to the F3HP full frame precise viewfinder) because I did not want viewers to concentrate on her face but look around instead... People with pets are easier to approach on the street. You can always say you want a photo of their pet and include them too..

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Old 07-14-2014   #630
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Cal, sorry about your friend. Please stay safe, I remember you saying you got quite some muscle around the neck and arm area, so that should help alert wannabe attackers.

Gil, nice to see you enjoying the 50 1.2, tonight I will try to develop some films I shot with 18mm f/4

Another note, my 35 f/2 AF-D is acting up again. This is the earlier model made in Japan with notorious oily blade. Apparently it like to lay down on its sides and not sitting on its bottom or doing a headstand. If I store it sitting on its caps, the oil will appear after a few days. I hate it as it overexposed my pics. Thinking about replacing it, I know choices are slim for AF-D lenses in that focal length, but please fire away.
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Old 07-14-2014   #631
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Quote:
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I doubt that.

The Noct is not just about the ability of drawing light sources in proper shapes (the new 58 is even better than that).

One major advantage of the Noct is it's high contrast from wide apertures on, easily bettering vintage fast 50s and being almost on par with Nikon's 50/1.4 AF-S.
while your second point here as to advantages is true, the noct is pretty bad outside of the center compared to the 50:1.2.

these are from photodo:



like you said, you can pick between these two on some other things that make the 58 a better overall lens, but yeah it's still hard for me to understand it going for 4k. it's just not got that level of rarity.
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Old 07-14-2014   #632
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I loved my HP, but it's weight kept it at home more than I would have liked. Sold it to find a Rolliflex. But I would totally have another one. I have plenty of lenses...
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Old 07-14-2014   #633
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Aaaahh - MTF charts, the thing to salivate over and dissect on internet fora ;-:

Seriously, as I tried to make a point earlier, the differences between the 50's on the list are not to be measured by numbers and charts.
The Noct has been designed purpose fully for one thing and one thing only: provide beautiful low light imaging with incredible smooth backgrounds, sharp details where it matters, high contrast even at wide apertures and most importantly to solve the age old issue of ugly distorted light sources, common with fast lenses at the time with superior sagittal coma control, unseen to the date when the Noct-Nikkor was introduced to the market.

The Coma control in fact was so good, bettering any other Nikkor normal lens until in 2014 Nikon announced the "followup" 58mm lens of them own.

You really have to see it from this perspective.
Sure the 50/1.2 might be sharper at certain apertures in certain image areas.
But look at it's ugly background rendering.
Look at it's low contrast.
Look at it's vintage looking coma, rendering it by far less suited for what the Noct (Nocturnal) has been specifically designed for.

The Noct-Nikkor is not a collectible lens but it is indeed by far one of the lowest production run lenses, despite it's very, very long run (until 1997) with barely a change to it's design.

Also ask yourself in what condition the 4000 USD samples, you always state are in.
You hardly will find a common user in that price range, but much lower priced.

One last point: still in 2014 the 58/1.2 Noct-Nikkor is Nikon's fastest ever produced fifty consumer lens. This surely is part of the appeal of a certain user base, pushing value.
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Old 07-14-2014   #634
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every noct sample I've seen has been significantly worse outside of the center than the 50/1.2, though.
The soft corners wide open you mention is an honest criticism of the rendering. No doubt that there are other lenses that have better corner sharpness wide open. The Noctilux for one has sharp cornes, but then again the Noctilux has mucho light fall off.

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Old 07-14-2014   #635
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Cal,

I've seen you mention this a number of times:

"I also modded the F3P so that the light comes on to illuminate the metering LCD's whenever the mettering is turned on."

Can you explain how you went about doing this? I'd be really interested.

Best,
-Tim

PS:For everyone wanting to discuss the pros and cons of the Noct-Nikkor (a discussion I would love to follow), how about we take it over to the new thread that is just about the Noct-Nikkor and how it compares to other lenses, and leave this wonderful thread to discuss issues of the Nikon F3:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...hreadid=143509

Thanks.
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Old 07-14-2014   #636
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Cal,

I've seen you mention this a number of times:

"I also modded the F3P so that the light comes on to illuminate the metering LCD's whenever the mettering is turned on."

Can you explain how you went about doing this? I'd be really interested.

Best,
-Tim

PS:For everyone wanting to discuss the pros and cons of the Noct-Nikkor (a discussion I would love to follow), how about we take it over to the new thread that is just about the Noct-Nikkor and how it compares to other lenses, and leave this wonderful thread to discuss issues of the Nikon F3:

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...hreadid=143509

Thanks.
Tim,

I posted this mod in the repair sticky a while back. The mod is easy to do if you do not have sausage fingers, but realize that you need the proper small jewler's screwdrivers and the real danger is loosing those tiny screws.

Basically you remove the prism and the screen and remove this front top part of the screen holder. There is part of a flexible circuit board that limits access, but you move this out of the way to shim the red button to be on all the time. I used a piece of a matchbook cover. Reassemble is the reverse.

In use the light comes on any time the meter is activated. I find that this eliminates the weak point of the F3's metering system that rightfully everyone complains about, but the penalty is that 10-12 rolls of film will kill a fresh battery. The workaround to this is use a MD-4 as your battery supply that has mucho capacity.

Realize that when you mount a MD-4 that the small base plate mounted battery does not get used, and the small unused battery should be removed as not to become a leaky battery somewhere in the future if forgotten.

I find that the light allows easier reading of the LCD even in good light, and that I can set an exposure manually at night because I can clearly read the LCD's in darkness.

The mod is easy to undo by simply removing the cardboard shim. I posted that mod a long time ago. I'll try to find the posting number in that Repair "sticky" but if you could create a link for others it would be great.

Cal

P.S. The moderators seemed to have deleted the old sticky I mentioned above. I'll refresh my memory by looking at a F3 tonight. I do remember that this mod was a lot harder to perform on my F3P because of the weather sealing. In many ways the F3P is a very highly moddified F3 and it is different in many-many ways.
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Old 07-14-2014   #637
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Cal, sorry about your friend. Please stay safe, I remember you saying you got quite some muscle around the neck and arm area, so that should help alert wannabe attackers.

Gil, nice to see you enjoying the 50 1.2, tonight I will try to develop some films I shot with 18mm f/4

Another note, my 35 f/2 AF-D is acting up again. This is the earlier model made in Japan with notorious oily blade. Apparently it like to lay down on its sides and not sitting on its bottom or doing a headstand. If I store it sitting on its caps, the oil will appear after a few days. I hate it as it overexposed my pics. Thinking about replacing it, I know choices are slim for AF-D lenses in that focal length, but please fire away.
Jonathan,

Something about my past gets reminded in these disheveled areas for me. I lived Greenpoint Brooklyn 15 years ago in a a Polish immigrant community where an Asian **** with a ponytail was not welcomed and lived there as an outsider. Not very different from my upbringing being Chinese and growing up out in the suburbs of Long Island in the 1960's and 1970's. BTW the first thing I learned in school in kindergarden was how to fight. By third grade I was rather good at it.

I lived on the Southside of Williamsburg before it was conquuered by hipsters and it was still a forsaken area. I lived in part of Long Island City that was really too unpopulated to be called a community, and now I live in Spanish Harlem the worse neighborhood in Madhattan.

In my work (photography) overall there is a sense of abandonment and homelessness in my landscapes, but this gets balanced by all the life in my street shooting. As we see the gentrification going on in the city, I have been part of the gentrification, and also have experienced the displacement that is part of the process. Somehow I am compelled to explore these issues and it comes out in my work in a profound way. One day I will edit and print, but realize that since 2007 when the housing crisis bubbled and popped that I have inadvertantly been documenting a dramatically changing NYC using small and medium format and a Leica Monochrom.

Yesterday I went to shoot the Domino Sugar Refinery from above from the Williamsburg Bridge that now is being dismantled. I have earlier shots when it was just abandoned, but know that when I lived nearby on South third Street that the sugar refinery was still operating. Know that living one block from a working sugar refinery is rather dangerous, because sugar refineries are known to sometimes explode. The fine powder sometimes ignights and the top of the Domino placarded tower is made of glass that is meant to blow out so as not to take down the entire building. I lived perhaps 150 feet away.

Back on topic. I shot a Plaubel 69 W that effectively is a 6x9 with a 21mm FOV and a F3HP with a 45/2.8 P. On the northside of the Williamsburg Bridge there is an opening that provides a panoramic areal view along the East River. These shots are rather dramatic, especially when you see the changes, but will especially be profound because some of the tallest buildings in Williamsburg will eventually be built right along the waterfront on the East River right where the Domino refinery use to be. The F3HP with 45/2.8P was is a really fun rig and it is so compact.

Cal
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Old 07-14-2014   #638
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Gil

thanks for the tip, I like that "asking the pet owner to photograph her/his pet".

Also thanks for pointing out your framing strategy.

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Old 07-17-2014   #639
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Hi Cal, thanks for sharing your story. I hope you and your family enjoy a lot better condition than it was when you were growing up.

I have sold the FE2 and decided to stick with the F3HP. In fact I miss it so much I will take it out this weekend. Have a nice weekend folks.
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Old 07-17-2014   #640
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