Weekly Nikon news flash #260

→ Nikon Df, D5300 cameras and Aculon T51 binoculars received the 2014 Reddot award for product design.

Zeiss is rumored to announce a new Otus 85mm f/1.4 lens for Photokina.

→ The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens is now available for pre-order also on Amazon.

New version of digiCamControl is now available (digiCamControl is a free open source tethering software for Nikon DSLR cameras previously covered here).

→ New Nikon Behind the Scenes video:

→ Video shot with a Nikon D800 hacked with 50Mbit/s high bitrate video option:

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  • Ernesto Quintero

    Df, mama mia that’s a nice travel camera.

  • dan

    Otus if you can afford the best. Sigma if you can’t.

    • Kynikos

      DXO Mark says they’re effectively even.

      Oh, except for AF.

      • koenshaku

        DXO mark says a lot of things lol.

    • Or…

      • Pete Sdaddy

        Is that your boyfriend?

    • nikkorian

      Or Nikkor if you prefer.. a Nikkor.

    • rt-photography

      And nikon if you want AF, future compatibility, and af accuracy and great resale value and have some sense as the extra sharpness from both 50’s from the brands youve mentioned wont be noticed by brides and grooms I shoot. so makes no logic to buy it.

      the nikon is stellar as it is. it offers excellent IQ and a sane price.

      weve come to a new low. $4000 for a 50 1.4 with no AF and a sigma costing more than a nikon 50 1.4

      50mm, the most used, boring, uninspiring and uncreative lens one can get and people are selling them at prices unheard of.

      • Paul

        Why even own a 50mm then – if it’s so ‘boring, uninspiring and uncreative’? Flat telephotos and distorted wides are you flavor then? No, those aren’t boring at all! Good grief.

        Leaving aside your silly opinion on sharpness, there are other lens properties which can be of great importance like distortion, vignetting, coma, and the way it renders the out-of-focus areas. Your Nikkor G hasn’t been ‘stellar’ in some or most of these areas, unfortunately.

        If it’s good enough for you then be at peace, but don’t take your low standards and foist them on more discerning shooters. Many of us don’t shoot to meet the fairly low standards of brides/grooms anyways.

        • rt-photography

          low standards, huh..a 50 at a grand or 4 grand is psychotic. you dont have high standards for buying an expensive lens. dont play it off like youre so great because you want to buy an expensive lens

          if thats the case and you want to spend your money, youre free to do so. most people dont use the right technique to get the lens’ potential anyway. if youre not using a tripod then all that money goes down the drain.

          give me an 85/105/135/180 anyday over a boring 50.a 50 is in my bag simply as a backup lens. nothing more. wides, no. Im not a WA person. I shoot people so proper aesthetics is my thing. there is a reason why the 85/105/135 trio are loved by portrait photogs. the 50 is neither here nor there.

          im out shooting, im not on my computer analyzing the pictures under a microscope. im about capturing the moment and emotions. for that, you can do it with a simple 50 1.8d. believe me when I tell you that no one who looks at the pictures cares about distortion/coma/vignette. they smile and tear from the emotion the image brought them. they care that you captured and documented special moments in their day.

          you assume wedding photography is low class, its a very demanding job. sure theres a lot of amateurs and less capable photogs. but also artists who are about capturing images and doing it with a special eye.

          you more about the gear than shooting?

          • Bm

            I agree with you on everything except the boring 50 statement. The 50 is just not your thing and that’s cool. Some people see in different focal lengths. but, there are others that do see in that focal length and produce nice things with it. That is like saying a carpenter’s hammer is boring and uninspiring. This is very true. A hammer is boring and uninspiring but like any tool, it’s the person using it that dictates that most of the time.

            • rt-photography

              youre not using the right comparison. every carpenter uses a hammer (like a lens) but ask him which and hell have a preference. there are many different hammers. like lenses. we need them and can use what we want. a 50 has been the most used focal length since way back. but 50 is great for group shots of 4 or more. but for one or 2 people an 85 or 105 is much better. the 50 is too loose on the sides, too much DOF as well. sure I can create beautiful pictures with a 50, but I dont see anything special in a fifty. I prefer the better aesthetics an 85mm range and up produce and the DOF is so much nicer. the bokeh has a nicer quality.

              nothing worng with a 50. I just dont see any reason to spend $1000/4000 for such a focal length. sigma selling theirs for more than a nikon. a history first and zeiss smoking some glass dust there and charging $4000. simply crazy. for the $1000, id buy a 135 DC.

            • Neopulse

              Well said… you made a very good point.

      • Spy Black

        The 50mm is only as boring as the photography you make with it…

        • rt-photography

          absolutely. its not that I cant create nice pictures. the perspective it gives isnt so wow to the eyes. it does great half body shots of 4-5 people in weddings. or 6+ people full body shots. but I like more of a compression/isolation look teles give from 85mm+

          • kotozafy

            Exactly! You don’t shoot 6+ full body shot with your $1000 135 DC. Better use the $1000 50mm.

      • neversink

        Don’t be absurd. The 50mm is a great lens. The first photographs I ever sold for annual reports and editorial coverage were taken with the “boring, uninspiring and uncreative” 50mm lens. The 50mm is a lens a new photographer should learn with. Perhaps it is too tough of a lens for you to use properly.

        • rt-photography


        • Yeah, saying 50mm lenses can’t make good people photos, or portraits, or whatever just means a person doesn’t really understand photography. You can do portraits with a 19mm lens, if you know what you’re doing.

          It’s like people saying all photos should use the rule of thirds. When in fact, the rule of thirds is like training wheels. It helps you begin to make photos that are not too centered or wasteful of space. But the better photographer you are, the less you need those training wheels to make great photos. same with a 50mm. The sooner one can get away from simplistic definitions of how a lens can be used, the better.

          • neversink

            Excellent points. The rule of thirds is a rule to be broken. Concentrate on your subject, eliminate the unnecessary from your images. You can even shoot portraits with a 14mm lens. You just have to know how to use it and what impact you want the photo to have.

      • Mike

        That is because you are using Nikons craptastic 50/1.4. That thing is one dog of a lens.

      • There are no boring lenses. Only photographers who can’t use them. Cartier-Bresson shot more than 90 percent of his photos with a 50mm lens, and few photographers come close to his body of work.

  • AM I Am

    Otus 85mm f/1.4 (drooling).
    Those are lenses, not the wannabes that some subpar company’s been releasing lately.

  • Dr. Kvack

    does this ‘DF’ come with tripod?

  • Guest

    So, what lens was this made with? Zeiss, Sigma, Nikon?

    • Zeiss fanboys can’t answer.

      But let me take a guess. It does not matter. As long as the lens delivers what you need, who the hell cares what brand or the price is.

      • umeshrw

        I came across this recently….
        ” beginners argue about bodies, pros argue about glass, seasoned veterans let the pictures argue for themselves. “

      • Exactly

  • Guest

    So, what was this image made from…Zeiss, Olympus, Nikon, Sigma?

  • waterengineer

    We need something more like an Otus 35mm or 28mm. We need something of this quality wider, not tighter.

  • zoetmb

    The 5300 gets a design award? Why? Because it’s so unique compared to the 5200? Or the 5100?

    • arachnophilia

      the Df gets a design award, for its redundant and poorly-thought out control scheme?

  • Manvin

    wow @ Video shot with a Nikon D800 hacked with 50Mbit/s high nitrate video.

    Will they be able to fix FX softness issue for Nikon D4?

  • FDF

    Design reward for Nikon Df .. for the biggest number of useless knobs and dials ever?

  • SPfan

    Never heard of the prestigious Reddot award. I’ll bet Leica wins a lot of them.

  • Mansgame

    lol Df…That hype died a rather quick death. Do they still sell that thing or is Nikon going to admit it was a flop.

    • Jeff Hunter

      I’m guessing it was never meant to be more than a niche camera. It is kind of cute in a nostalgic way. I would buy one if I couldn’t think of anything else to do with $2,700. It got Nikon some much needed favorable publicity after the D600 disaster.

      • Mansgame

        I guess it took some heat off the D600 issue. That’s something lol.

    • I quite like mine. I shoot it every day. It’s the smallest full-frame camera you can get with a proper mirror.

      • Mansgame

        Well let’s be honest. It’s just a little smaller than the D610 and about 100grams lighter. The real issue however is lenses are still big so if you put a 24-70 on either of those cameras, there is virtually no size advantage. At the end it does come down to a fashion statement / nostalgia which is your right of course…it’s your money.

        • Which brings us of the real disadvantages of the Df: It’s not comfortable with large lenses, but I can live with that in the interest of compactness.

  • kotozafy

    The Sigma is listed at Amazon France for 1029 EUR. That’s $1400 !!!

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