F100 Experiences?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by snegron, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I just purchased an F100 and it feels pretty solid. I did some research prior to purchasing it and read mixed reviews. I plan to keep it no matter what, but I would like to know from other F100 users out there what to watch out for. In other words, what limits can I push this camera to without damaging it, etc.

    Several reviews out there indicate that the film rewind mechanism is plastic and will not last long. Apparently newer models have replaced the weaker plastic parts for different plastic parts. There are also reports of the plastic camera back not sealing properly thereby letting dust into the film chamber. Also, the lens mount is supposed to be brass instead of stainless steel, so it might not withstand multiple lens changing for very long.

    I have also read that the F100 is sealed well, has great AF capabilities, and is a rugged camera. Again, I plan to keep this F100 and use it regularly. Has anyone had any negative issues with their F100? Is there a certain amount of times you can insert film before the plastic parts give out? Has anyone really had any trouble with the weaker lens mount? Is there anyone out there that has been using an F100 for several years without a problem, loaded hundreds of film cartridges through it?
     
  2. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Nothing mixed about it in my opinion. It's a magnificient camera. Period. Unless you are a macro nut like me - then you'll miss mirror lock up a bit. As for build quality - I have never even come close to damaging any of my cameras so I probably am not the right person to comment - but looks pretty tough to me.

    Enjoy the camera,
    Anupam
     
  3. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    I am familiar with the F100 from renting through a few places. As a rental camera, these probably lived a worse off life than with the average photographer. However, at the places I know that rent these still, they are relatively low maintenance durable camera bodies.

    What I like about these is that they are smaller and lighter than the F5, though still provide a wide realm of settings and capabilites. I still think an F4 is the ultimate in Nikon bodies, but hard to go wrong with an F100.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
     
  4. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Thanks Anupam! I do tend to use my equipment a lot and being in a hot, dust filled, humid environment here in Florida equipment tends to deteriorate quicker. Not to mention getting tossed around inside the camera bag, travelling, etc.
     
  5. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I am now breathing a sigh of relief! I did not know these cameras were still being rented. Someday I will add an F4 and an F5 to my collection.
     
  6. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Add one F2, still the best after all these years!:D
    The F100 is a fantastic camera, if you can tolerate batteries.

    Cheers

    André
     
  7. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Eh? While we are about it, add an F3 to that list(and I am sure someone will recommend the F in a minute):tongue:.

    Seriously, the F3 is my dream camera for macro photography. I don't even have a standard finder for it. I use the 6x DW-4 finder with the C and M screens. It couldn't get better than this.

    -Anupam
     
  8. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    I just sold mine, miss it already. I could only keep one 35mm camera and I love my M6!

    Ive used the f100 in rain, mud, etc. It never skipped a beat. The camera is amazing. Don't baby it, use it for what it was designed. Photography in any conditions!

    Have fun
     
  9. flashgumby

    flashgumby Member

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    I have no experience with the F100, but I have rarely heard a bad word about it - if I wasn't smitten with Minolta, an F100 would be top of my shopping list. An awesome camera to be used and enjoyed, I believe.

    As it stands though, my heart yearns for a Dynax7.
     
  10. tbm

    tbm Member

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    I bought a new F100 before I bought Leica equipment and immediately found that I hated its nasty noisy shutter. I've not used it since and I only use my Leica R8 and my M6 now.
     
  11. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I think the F100 is a great camera. It isn't the quietest camera (nor is it the loudest) but it's not built for silence, it's built for speed of operation. If you want quiet and you want to use your Nikon lenses, get an F3HP. :smile:

    I have the MB-15 grip with mine. I remove it when I want to travel lightly. Most of the time I keep it on. The camera lasts much longer on the 6 AA batteries the MB-15 requires than it does with four, which is what it normally uses. The vertical shutter release is convenient, too.

    I have an F90x as my second AF body but I'm seroiusly thinking of selling it and getting an F5. I think an F5 and an F100 would make a perfect pairing since the user interface is basically identical.
     
  12. Will S

    Will S Member

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    The F100 was my first camera I bought 4 years ago when I took up photography (well, I had a N65 for a month, but I upgraded almost immediately.) I bought it used from KEH. The only problem I have had is I had to have the back sensor pad replaced because it started to fail, and I had to buy a new battery pack (the 4 pack) because the seal separated from the bottom edge. Frankly, I wish it was smaller and quiter like by Bessa R3A, but I still pull it out if I'm going to be in the rain/snow or I need quick autofocus/motordrive or I need TTL flash (I have an SB50). I need to get rid of some gear, but I doubt I will ever sell it as it is just the most versatile piece of equipment I own.

    Best,

    Will
     
  13. Tom A

    Tom A Member

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    I have two F100-bodies, the oldes one is from 1999 the other from 2002. I have had some issues with the rubber(-skin?) on the handgrip of the oldest camera. The rubber came lose after 3-4 years of use, I have replaced Nikons doublesticking tape with two layers of ordinary thin doublesticking tape and it is still holding after 3 years. Otherwise I love both of my F100s. Its a nice durable camera - that haven't let me down.

    Tom
     
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  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I have had nothing but success with my F100. I "downgraded" to it from an F5 because I wanted the option of going light and I am happy with the decision.

    One thing that does annoy me a little bit, though, is that after experiencing the incredible build of the F5, the add-on vertical grip for the f100 seems rather flimsy. But it's a minor gripe, it doesn't affect me much in reality.

    Another minor gripe is that I really would like to have MLU in a camera that I take backpacking. I have found the F100 slap to be very well damped, but still, MLU sure would be nice.
     
  16. Will S

    Will S Member

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    The lack of mirror lock up can supposedly somewhat be compensated for by using the self-timer pre-set (I forget the actual setting) that pauses for about 2 seconds after you press the button before firing the shutter, though I can certainly see where this won't help in some situations.

    Will
     
  17. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    The F100 doesn't have true mirror prefire like most Nikon manual bodies. So even on timer the mirror only swings up just before the shutter fires. It does have 1/2 second mirror pre-fire but that is not as useful as true mirror pre-fire or lock up.

    -Anupam
     
  18. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I use a F100 as a backup to my F5 for AF shooting here in New York and as my primary camera for such in Tucson. I think it's a great camera in its own right and a heck of a nice "little brother" to the F5. In fact, because it is "simpler" than the F5 - in some uses I favor it.

    I have not had problems with plastic rewind buttons (cannot see how push buttons would break) and if the rear door is plastic - you sure fooled me!

    Great camera!
     
  19. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Actually it is the film holder in the camera, the little spool that holds the film cartridge in place. When you place the film cartridge in the camera, you have to push up the rewind spool. That rewind spool in the F100 is plastic as opposed to metal found in almost all other F series cameras. The first F100's apparently had weaker plastic spools. Those can be recognized by their triangle shaped ends as opposed to the newer sguare (or flat) plastic edges.
     
  20. ehparis

    ehparis Member

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    I was never able to tolerate the need for batteries in an SLR. I use Nikon F's with eye level finders.

    Jerry
     
  21. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Oh no - here we go. The "battery thing".

    Isn't this OT since the OP asked about the F100 which, by definition, uses batteries?

    Please, take the "battery thing" over to the RF forum where they go on and on and on and on about that.....

    Originating in the mid-19th century - batteries are, as yet, an unproven technology. It is why I continue to hand-crank my automobile and use a ten mile long extension cord to power my cell phone and iPod while walking around town!

    Besides, batteries are BAD - everyone should use candles in a blackout - they're so much safer!
     
  22. ehparis

    ehparis Member

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    Sorry am new around here. Didn't know I was raising some verboten topic. BTW, I use my 60GB iPod with the supplied battery. :wink:

    Jerry
     
  23. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I just shot my first roll today with my new F100. I will be taking the roll to the lab tomorrow, so I will probably get the results in the afternoon or Tuesaday.

    The handling on the F100 felt good! The autofocus was faster than I expected, even with a Nikon 28-105 AF lens. I have to go over the instruction manual though when it comes to using the SB800 flash as fill flash (meter kept indicating the setting was too high when placed in "A" mode, F22, ISO 400 film outdoors). It was tough leaving my F2A at home and taking only the F100 (had I taken the F2A I would have been tempted not to use the F100), but the idea was to see how well it handled.

    On a side note, I discovered something interesting about my Nikon 28-105 AF-D lens: in Macro mode it actually focuses down to about 2 inches! I have had this lens for about a year now and never really bothered to use it much other than the ocassional zoo trip or family gathering. I have owned several Nikon zoom lenses in the past with the "Macro" designation and it has been my experience that they are not true macros. This lens, on the other hand, totally surprised me! I have praised it in the past for its outstanding sharpness, now I can add that it is a true Macro as well! Just thought I'd throw that in here. :smile:
     
  24. Tonglen

    Tonglen Member

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    I've used my F100 to shoot sports assignments before changing over to *. A superb camera with a really comfortable body design. A Canon user I know complimented it as being one of the best all-around camera designs. I've used an F2/motor, F3/motor, F4, FE, N90 and 8008s. The N90 and 8008s were backup bodies, took an enormous amount of heavy use and continued to work well-so you'll probably be quite satisfied with your F100.
    Good luck!
    Brian
     
  25. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    About what? Nothing to be sorry about, there are people who don`t like the power source, the truth is one, without batteries the darn thing is useless, off, Kaput!

    Cheers

    André
     
  26. Will S

    Will S Member

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    Congrats on getting started! If you haven't read this http://www.bythom.com/f100.htm give it a look. Especially the footnote about the custom settings. I also have the magic lantern guide, but I'm not sure it is ncessary.

    Best,

    Will