Nikon F4..

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ToddB, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. ToddB

    ToddB Member

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    Hey guys,

    Here in the last few months I was given a mint Nikon F4. The guy I got it from retired and had it in his locker. beuatiful camera. it came with three lens and flash. Where I'm I going with this...? As most of us use medium format cameras I'm fighting in my head in regards to go shoot with Rollei or go out and shoot the F4. Do you guys go back in forth in regards to shoot a particular format, regardless of camera? Do you alway go back to the old faithful? I'm always thinking if I see something and have the wrong camera. I'll have regret not shooting it with Rollei.The insanity!!

    ToddB
     
  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    It's all a personal thing. Some people are one camera, one or two lenses, one film and one developer. Wonderful for them. As long as they don't get all high and mighty about it...

    Personally I love shooting many different cameras and have extensive sets I've collected thru the years both MF and 35mm. As my mood or spirit changes I feel drawn to different systems at different times not only for the results I get but how differently the systems handle and the fun of seeing what I can do and get with different lenses and th different approaches each system or set demands or encourages in me.

    Obviously you got very lucky here getting such a nice camera and set of lenses. Have fun and see what you think. If it's not for you sell it off or pass on the favor to another close friend.

    But don't decide such too quickly! Give it a year or two and at least 3-4 strong solid tries with the F4 system before you decide to move on from it.
     
  3. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    I've got a pretty big f4/f3 nikon system, and a nice compact MF setup; I guess I don't see a lot of overlap between them- I use the f4 when I want to burn a lot of exposures or need something it offers, I use the MF for my premeditated photography when I know I won't need many frames to get what I want. I wouldn't use MF for sports, for example- I've tried, but was unhappy with the success rate vs. processing time for the number of exposures.

    As I see it, the F4 has decent tracking AF, TTL flash, long telephoto capability & 37 consistent shots per roll. These are things I need sometimes. I could probably use the f4 for all my MF shots, but they would lack the look I was attempting to achieve, but I simply could not use MF for many of my f4 work.
     
  4. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Member

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    If you feel you can't use it, you can send it to me. I'll keep you updated on how I use it. You may as well send the lenses, too, they're just taking up space on your shelf.

    :smile:

    I have both Bronica SQ-A and Nikon gear. I enjoy using them both. Give it some time, you may find out you like using the F4. If not, you know how to get a hold of me...
     
  5. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    +1. I, too, have several systems (Hasselblad, Nikon and Leica) and bounce back and forth depending upon mood and what I happen to be interested in (or "planning") to shoot at the time. The Hasselblads - loaded with PanF/FP4/E100G/E100VS) are generally (but not always) my go to set for landscape or fine art work. The Nikons, for their part, get called on for sports or wildlife shooting (anything requiring long glass). And the M6 is usually my choice for a "walk around" when I feel a certain want of ambition and don't feel like carrying around a bag of gear. That said, I just enjoy shooting and tend to move quite easily between the three systems. And, too, sometimes it is interesting to "bounce around" between cameras just to see how the choice of equipment influences what and how I see, and how I will shoot what I see.
     
  6. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    The f4 and system is great for anything dealing with more action and/or lower light than medium format is good for; things I mostly use the DSLR for. Back in the 90's I used one to shoot mucho sports, groups, concerts, events, weddings, etc...

    It doesn't get as much use for me at the moment since I do small format digital, mf/lf film. but that's me.
     
  7. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    for what it's worth, here is what I do:

    MF whenever possible for almost everything. (Camera, 3 lenses, 2 backs). For me the image quality is the big deciding factor and I am willing to schlep a heavy bag and tripod around as a result.

    When it is not possible to be carrying such a large camera system I will use my 35mm SLR (also 3 lenses). This includes on tour when travelling by plane, or out anytime I can't carry much gear. Also I opt for the 35mm most times I am taking candid pictures of people or need to take pictures handheld and or quickly. 35mm I also use for short exposure low light situations (F1.4 vs F3.5 makes a difference).

    If I find myself in a situation where I can't really carry anything except in my pocket, or I want to be super discreet, I use a compact fixed lens rangefinder. It has a good quality 40mm F1.7 lens so is pretty versatile for a fixed lens.

    In practical terms this means that even though I will always try and shoot MF, I also end up with tons of great pictures from my 35mm cameras. The image quality is not the same, but if a picture is good, it will be good no matter what camera was used, and sometimes 35mm allows me to take those good pictures where my RB67 would not have been able to.
     
  8. ksa66

    ksa66 Member

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    Buy some velvia slidefilm and start using it as i do with mine since ten years ago. My dream camera since late 1980:s.

    Very much cheaper than mediumformat and slides.
    Use a good slide projector as Leicas and good optics.

    E6 is probably history in about 10-33? years so enjoy it while yuo can. Maybe slidefilm wuold have survived much longer if people where more smart but they aren´t.
    They are only average people and consumers not photographers or artists.

    F4s is a heavy beast to carry around but balances well whith long teleoptiks for sharp handheld shots.
    Il shot mostly nature adventure and sportfishing/flyfishing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2013
  9. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Really? Is this true? :blink:
     
  10. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    By this statement, I assume you mean, “most of us who participate in the APUG Medium Format Camera forum use medium format cameras.”
     
  11. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    When I shoot film, I have definite format preferences.

    Close-ups – usually small format or medium format; rarely large format

    Macro – small format is my only choice because I do not have macro equipment in any other format

    Portraits – medium format is my first choice; small format is my second; never used large format because equipment and film cost was prohibitive for me

    Black & White Images – medium format or large format because I have never been satisfied with small format B&W images

    Sports/Action – usually small format; for night or indoor events I prefer medium format if I need to sync a flash at shutter speeds faster than my small format camera will sync

    Architecture – large format if I need image detail, perspective control, and depth-of-field control; medium format if I only need image detail; small format if only need an image

    Travel – small format first choice due to size and weight constraints; medium format second choice if landscapes and scenic shots are the primary subjects

    Candid – small format rangefinder first choice due to small size and quiet operation; small format SLR second choice; second choice is medium format TLR for its quiet operation and waist-level viewfinder

    Hand-Held Available Light – small format camera with fast lens is my only choice



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11336821@N00/6179982776/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11336821@N00/8135993200/
     

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  12. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Just buy a 16x20 camera and say the hell with everything else!


    Seriously, just shoot whatever you want. It's all fun!
     
  13. dorff

    dorff Member

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    Hi Todd,

    I cannot recall the number of times when I shot a decent photo simply because I HAD a camera with me. My MF kits are simply too bulky to take everywhere, and I have a constant process of negotiation to take the extra kit along on family trips etc. So, if you haven't got other 35 mm gear then having a simple set will be very useful indeed.

    If you are concerned about quality, then be frank about what quality you expect. There are horses for courses, but I have seen rather beautiful prints from "ordinary" 35 mm, 16" x 20" and sometimes even larger. I print only up to 12" x 16", as my darkroom setup is not conducive to larger prints, but I have no fear of enlarging a 35 mm negative to that size. Using Acros, I still see very little grain on that size print. TriX prints show grain, but the sharpness and texture compensates for it. I know that Michael Crouser makes prints beyond 40" in size from 35mm TriX; AFAIK he uses an F4. If you never need autofocus or long telephoto lenses, and have barn-sized storage available when travelling, then you probably won't see the need for 35 mm gear. I think many if not most of us (here in MF forum) though can be described as multi-format shooters where multi usually means 35 mm and 120/220. There are some who use MF as their "small" kit :wink:, and some who use rangefinders like the Fuji or Mamiya 6/7 for travelling light. But the cost of those options is in a different league to a used 35 mm with a few old lenses, and they still do not overcome the focus and tele issues. I think Narsuitus's list covers most, and I concur. But we all differ in how we operate, what we like most, and whether we do something as easily as possible, or rather for the hell of it.

    My advice in a nutshell: Stick with the F4 for a while and see whether you like it or not. It may give you options you didn't think you'd need, and at it will take nothing away from what you can do with MF gear. There are also lenses for 35 mm systems, the equivalents of which sometimes do not exist for the larger formats (the converse also being true!). Try to print a few negatives, if you do darkroom. From my experience, jumping between systems is not a problem, as long as you know each of them well. You have to have confidence in your gear, no matter what gear it is.

    Regards
     
  14. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    First thing I recommend you do: Get the MB-20 four AA battery grip, if you don't have it already. The reason being is that it slims the camera down quite a bit and makes it lighter. Load it up with four Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries. You will have decent AF speed when you need it, and a decent frame rate, if you decide to shoot it in Continuous mode. Personally, I only use single shot mode on all of my motor driven cameras (F4, F2AS, F, and FM2n). Every single camera's motor drive contains the lithium batteries.

    Secondly, get some rolls of Velvia, Ektar 100, etc.

    Thirdly, go out and shoot. Maybe shoot it alongside the Rollei kit and figure out which kit is best for the situations you find yourself in. You may find yourself spending more time in the 35mm section of APUG, as well. If I remember correctly, I think I've done a lot of photos with my F4 bodies, as evidenced by the number of images I've uploaded to flickr. The most analog photos on my flickr have been done with an F4. Second, F2 series. Third, FE/FM series. Then comes the F. After that, it's Nikomat, F5, F3, and, finally, non-Nikon film cameras.

    -J
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2013