F80 or N90s

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Photo-gear, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    I might ask this question that has been asked for a number of times but I keep wondering which of the two camera does the work best, the F80 or the N90s?

    I find the F80 viewfinder rather small and its auto-focus quite slow. Otherwise this camera is quite reliable, light and friendly user. Since I am not too crazy of multi-function cameras, the F80 offers quite a lot for its value.

    On the other hand, I have never used an N90s but I keep hearing lots of good things about it.

    I took a look at the Nikon compatibility lens chart and both are quite comparable.

    So, is there a criteria that makes the two cameras different?

    BTW, I am aware of the "N" and the "F" letter.

    Thanks in advance for your commentaries!

    :smile:
     
  2. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    The N90s is nice, either with AF lenses or manual focus ones. AF and metering is spot on too, at least with the ones I have used. I only have a minor dislike about it, when you rewind it rolls the film inside, including the film leader. Its really minor, but I prefer loading reels with the film leader out. :D
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I've had the N90s, in fact 4.

    The F80 I haven't used.

    The N90s is a really nice camera.
     
  4. CGW

    CGW Member

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    No contest--get and F90x/N90s. Hugely popular prosumer model that beats the F80 on most counts. Takes cheap AAs, better-built, great with manual lenses, bright HP finder. Dirt cheap now. Great flash metering. Only real glitch was the sticky back problem that still eventually comes back even with replacement parts. Get the MB-10 grip that improves handling and supplies a vertical shutter release.
     
  5. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I had an N80 which is a US version of F80. I liked that body. It's small, light, and has all the features one would normally expect. It also works with all the modern lenses. I believe N90 can use lens with VR but VR does not function. One small benefit of N80 is that screw type shutter release works.

    I never used N90. I have F100 now so I sold my N80 (which I regret somewhat...)

    Most of my lenses are AF-S type. Auto-focus speed does not seem to vary much if anything between N80 and F100. I haven't tried screw drive type for comparison purpose.
     
  6. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    I had N90s (known as F90X outside US) and I remember how nice the viewfinder was. I had no problem using it with Nikon 105mm AI-s. Besides the viewfinder I also really liked the ergonomic form, and coupled with MB-10 vertical grip it was like molded to my hand.
     
  7. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    I have 2 x F80's and they are both light and responsive. I have no problem with the viewfinder although I wear glasses and use them in preference to my other Nikon a F801s. They are quieter with focussing (No high pitched whine) and the metering is absolutely spot on. The only reason I keep the F801 is the F80 cannot take Infra red film, as a IR led is used to gauge where the film advances to.

    The batteries are lithium and not the AA cells which means I always have to keep a couple of sets as spares, but saying that they seem to last a very long time providing that you do not use the flash frequently. Talking of which if I use a separate flash on the F801, with a SB28 it will remain on the widest setting, whilst the F80 will zoom in and out as the focal length is changed.

    If I am away on the bike I always take one of the F80's because the lightness makes it easier to deal with when riding
     
  8. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    +1
     
  9. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    F90X vs. F80

    F90x, that is. I have 5,
     
  10. pierods

    pierods Member

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    Hi photo gear,

    I have always chosen the f/n 80 over the n90/s.

    I am ALWAYS in manual mode, and I find it inconvenient to only have one wheel, so that I have to do some shift-button to change time or aperture.
     
  11. dorff

    dorff Member

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    The F80 doesn't meter with non-CPU lenses. The F90X does not support VR. If neither of those apply to your lenses, then both are nice cameras. I have 2x F100 and an F80 and F75. Since I have many VR lenses, it made sense to get bodies that support them fully. All the film bodies are cheap enough that small feature differences do not make a big difference in price and so become a preference decision, not a financial one.
     
  12. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    You are making some confusion here: The F90X doesn't need some Shift button. In Manual the Command Dial operates the shutter speeds and the Aperture is operated by the aperture ring on the lens.
    That's why G lenses, who don't have an aperture ring, don't work in A or Manual mode on the F90.

    Apart from what was said before, I'm sure my 4 F90X will survive me. It has a core of metal, so it is a bit heavier and sturdier than the F80.

    I'm not sure why the F801 does that, but the SB-28 was made for the F5 and F90. I use the older SB-26 and it is perfectly compatible with my F90X. In fact, it was made for them! And yes, the zoom head on the flash does work with my F801.
    Could you check the manual for the SB-28 and its compatibility with the F-801? If they are compatible on that aspect, then I suggest that you look at the F-801 flash contacts. They might need some cleaning. Good luck!

    P.S. If you don't have the manual, here it is: http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/Speedlights/SB-28.pdf
    I had a look at it and the SB28 should be compatible with the F-801, even the auto zoom should work. Check your F-801 flash contacts. That happened to me once with a F90.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2012
  13. phirehouse

    phirehouse Subscriber

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    Get both. with the prices of these two models very reasonable, you could try out the pair and keep the one that agrees with you. I do like the 80 and it's ability to use the VR lenses, but I own the 90s and love it as well. The N75 is great as well.
     
  14. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    I used both the N80's and the N90's I have a couple of times each. My preference went to the N90 simply because it was a heavy beast and due to that weight was easier to keep steady. All of my N90's have the sticky issue or the coating has been peeled off and no more sticky problem.

    All the above said, I prefer to use the N75 due to it being the last consumer film camera with most of the bells and whistles of the then top model cameras in a very, very light package. And what is really fun is sticking a DX version G lens on it and see what comes out!! All my MF and AF "D" series lenses work perfect on it. Much, much lighter than the N90.....found an N75 that had one roll of film through it after it was purchased by the original owner and put in the closet a couple of years back.

    Unless you have purchased an N80 or an N90, consider getting an N75 instead.

    Bob E.
     
  15. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    i have both and use both. the 80 is much lighter and quieter and as mentioned many times can fully use VR lenses. the 90 feels more solidly built, is much heavier and at times the controls feel a little strange. the 80 is designed more like todays digital cameras, having two control wheels. if you are worried about batteries for the 80 you can get the small plastic grip for $15 at KEH and then use 4 AA's. but my two 123 batteries have lasted me more than 25 rolls in the 80 and still show more than 50% full, so while they do cost more they last longer. but the main difference is build. in nice clean weather the 80 is a great camera, but i would not want to expose it to long to heavy wind and dust or very dirty locations. the 90 doesnt worry so much there, but i usually grab my F5 in that case.

    but the only thing that matters to me is the end result and to be honest, both are great cameras with great meters. I have a hard time telling the results apart from each other. with that in mind and the almost free cost, get both, try them out and keep one if you must. but I like having both of them as one always has velvia inside and the other tri-x. if you look hard you could get both for $100
     
  16. FotoGys

    FotoGys Member

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    I did use the F80 and found it far less then de F801 I had before. Never got used to the F80.
     
  17. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    I owned an N80, held an N90s but declined to buy. If I still had my Nikon kit the N80 would be seeing a lot of use. Very nice camera. Can't say anything at all about the N90s, other than it was a semi-pro model, and is several years older older. The N80 was very responsive, light, and very quiet. If you need speed, get an F5. Otherwise, get both, the functional differences between them are marginal at best.
     
  18. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    Thank you all for your inputs !

    At this very moment, I have the F100 and the F80 as auto-focus bodies. I was considering to go for the N90s as well but since the difference is more in terms of ergonomics, I'm gonna wait for a very good price before purchasing it.

    Since I also have the FE2 and the FM2n, both in perfect condition, I think the F90s could wait while I am gonna take care of my GAS episode.

    :wink:
     
  19. pierods

    pierods Member

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    Hello Ricardo,

    actually I do not have any manual lenses, by choice.

    For the kind of photos that I make, I would rather have instant control of speed, aperture and focus than having to move my hand back and forth between focus ring and aperture ring, or, in case of an AF lens, between the Command dial and some shift dial. Also, with non-manual lenses, I can see in the viewfinder at any instant f stop and speed.

    My workflow when taking a photo is the following:

    1 compose
    2 focus
    3 set aperture
    4 set speed.

    Since I don't have to shift my fingers between focus ring and aperture ring, or command dial and shift, and I see f/stop and speed in the viewfinder (so I don't have to look at at dial on the lens) the 1-2-3-4 routine, on an F80, is a sub-second maneuver.

    Since it's so fast, I can either

    - shoot real fast
    - go through different creative options (creative blur, creative DOF, zones and so forth) and thereby repeat the 1-2-3-4 routine in seconds.

    So for example, for me, a Leica/Ikon/Bessa are not useful. I would be slower, and my decisive moments would be long gone.

    Of course all depends on the kind of photos you do. For landscascapes, this is meaningless. For people photography, it makes plenty of sense.

    But, then again, if one does not need the speed, why not getting a Nikon FM2, so cheap, and indestructible? An FE ? I think an FE can be had for 20 euros on ebay...
     
  20. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    Hello!
    I was talking about Manual mode, not Manual lenses!

    There is no shift dial or button on the F90. It doesn't need.

    The same on the F90 with AF lenses.

    For me, it is far easier to use the diaphragm ring on the lenses with one hand an adjust the speed with a dial. My index finger doesn't have to go to the front Sub-Command Dial, as in the F80. It remains over the shutter ready to operate it.
    See the manual for the F90X here: http://www.butkus.org/chinon/nikon/nikon_f90x_af/nikon_f90x_af.htm
    The F90X is also a semi-professional camera with shutter speeds going to 1/8000th and, more importantly to me, the flash syncs up to 1/250th, instead of the 1/125th on a F80.
    But, this is nick-picking! You use whatever you feel more comfortable with! I used for many years a Canon EOS 1N and was never happy with the 2 command dials arrangement. It was a nice thing to change to an older Nikon AF system 8 years ago!
    Have fun and enjoy your decisive moments!
     
  21. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Ok Pierods, now I'm confused too.

    The N90s would be no slower, it simply requires auto focus lenses that have an aperture ring if you want to shoot with manual exposure settings.

    With the N90s and non"G" auto focus lenses you could:

    1 compose
    2 focus with a half push of the shutter button using the right index finger
    3 set aperture with your left hand that is already there supporting the lens
    4 set time with your right thumb using the wheel

    There is no extra step, nothing to slow you down.

    The real advantage of cameras with two finger wheels is that you can use "G" lenses if you want.

     
  22. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    For what it's worth, I have the F5 and it's a dual wheeler camera. When I use it in manual mode, it's nice but IT IS SLOW in comparison to the F3HP. The wheels are good because they support smaller steps than the dial on the F3 but to change shutter speed from 1s to 1/125 it does take some time. So I don't think the N90 is slower than the N80, but they are different.