After about a week of photographing with the Nikon Df, I am pleased to say that its CMOS sensor appears to come the closest to behaving like the CCD sensor I’ve long respected in the Leica M9.
I can actually pull more shadow detail out of the files (which came as a complete surprise) and the highlight recovery is also superior (not a surprise).
Of course, the Df is not a rangefinder (so if you’re like me, and like to manually focus, that makes things more difficult… also, I miss seeing the scene “outside of the frame” that a rangefinder offers) and the stable of lenses for the Nikon F-mount are larger and generally not as well corrected as the Leica equivalents (having said that, the Voigtländer 40mm f/2 SL-II I’m using is very competent and compact).
For micro-contrast and tonality, CCD wins every time.
On the other hand, the Df has rock-solid reliable electronic guts (with robust processing power), does not feel like a beta product, and has an external ISO dial (I love this).
More photos to follow…