Nikon N75 Review

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ic-racer, May 10, 2011.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In case anyone is interested in a review of the Nikon N75 by someone who's 35mm experience is centered around manual focus German cameras. (Rather than a review by someone with initials KR who makes a living from digital photography :D)

    This is what the N75 and its 'kit' lens will be up against:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. kwall

    kwall Member

    Messages:
    65
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Sure, I'd be up for a review of the N75. I don't give a flip what Ken Rockwell says.

    Those Rolleiflex 3003s are pretty sexy looking, too.
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Why the N75? Because that is the last film camera (not counting the F6 which will not be discussed here) that Nikon made. The N75 was designed around 2003 and discontinued in 2006, from what I have read.

    What is my background with this type of camera...NONE! That is right I have never owned a Nikon or an autofocus camera or a zoom lens (I must live in a cave, hu?)

    For whatever reason, in the USA the camera came in silver. I think that is a good thing as it is less likely to be confused with a digital or more expensive camera (who wants their car window smashed for a $35 camera?)

    $35?? Is that right? Well, the bodies alone seem to average around that amount on completed e-bay auctions in mid 2011 (US Dollars).

    I overpaid a little on a BIN from a dealer, but I didn't have time to wait around on an auction. I spent $80 and got a 'mint-minus' body, lens and the MB-18 battery holder on the bottom. What I did NOT get (and these add up) is the original strap, original caps, eyepiece rubber piece, box and owner's manual. So, when looking at prices on e-bay, realize, for example, that the original Nikon lenscap cost over ten dollars at B&H. That is about one-third the price of the camera body!

    Here is a stock image of a Nikon N75:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2011
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This camera does have a few quirks, but in the long run they are not much of a bother:
    Lens turns wrong way to come off
    Camera is difficult to hold still with thumb on the exposure lock and finger on the release button holding the focus lock at the same time
    Focus ring turns too easily
    Unwinds the entire roll from the start, then spools it back onto the cassette as you go
    Viewfinder is very small (though probably normal for this type of compact/small pentaprism camera)
    Flash is dim, acts more like a fill-in flash (compared to the massive Rollei E36 :smile: )
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    More to come...stay tuned...
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,588
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have an N-75 that I bought when I won a Tamron AF 28mm to 300mm zoom. I now use it only for C-41 film. I later got a F-100 that is used for black & white film. The N-75 does have a very few minor quirks but the matrix metering and the rest of the camera's performance is well above what one would expect for the cost. Yes, it cannot compete with the F-100 for features and ability to control the photograph, but the pair is good for for traveling when I want a record of the trip and taking relatively few "serious" photographs. They were used as my main cameras for years. Coming to APUG gradually changed that.

    I use the Hasselblads for serious work and the 4"x5" just for fun and playing with swing, tilts and rises.

    Steve
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Matrix metering.
    I'm OK with it. If you read Nikon's documentation of Aug 2001 and see the examples, in almost every example the Matrix metering scheme gives more exposure. It functions as if they put some of the film exposure safety factor into the metering system. So, yes, you can get good exposures rating the film near box speed, however, your shutter speed and aperture will not be much different than using 1/2 ISO on an older average meter camera. :wink:
     
  8. fstop

    fstop Member

    Messages:
    760
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Not really a quirk, its smart engineering, if you screw up and open the back of the camera part way through a roll of film you won't ruin the shots you exposed.
     
  9. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,447
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I bought a N75 new for about $150 back in the days. It was my first AF film camera. It is very lightweight and fits in the hand easily. Note that the grip fits small hands very well, with the N80 having a slightly larger more rounded grip and the F100 much larger. The N80 feels a bit more solid but i've dropped the N75 a few times ond it still works perfectly.

    It is very similar to the N80 in specs and performance. The 28-80 G lens that came standard is quite a good lens. A 50mm f1.8 is a good match.

    In conclusion I'd like to say the N75 is a very likeable camera and I would recommend throwing it in a bag or luggage over a P+S. The AF is not quite fast as I would like it for moving subjects but fine for quick snaps.
     
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    FILM SPEED:

    The camera only shoots at ISO 100, so you have to use the exposure compensation dial (+/- 3 stops). It is only in half-stop increments, but I'm not the first to point out that the difference between the half-stop point and the third-stop points is not enough to make any difference with B&W negative film. That will get you from 800 to 12 which is pretty good. The flaw here is that the exposure compensation does not work in MANUAL or AUTO (but does work in all the other modes).
    Good news is that because of the Matrix metering the camera may actually give enough exposure with the DX coded ISO speed to use that as your EI (with name-brand fresh film). I have not tried this, however.
     
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    SHUTTER RELEASE:

    The button is located in a good place and has a soft touch. You need to depress it slightly to make the camera focus, then you are ready to depress it all the way to make the image on film. If you try to take a picture before focusing it acts like a very quick self timer, and dissipates any concept of 'decisive moment.'

    AUTOFOCUS:

    There is a marker in the center of the frame which you place over the textured object on which to focus. When you depress the shutter button slightly, focus is achieved and a confirmatory, pleasant, sound is emitted. It is very straight forward, but if you are in a hurry, you need to turn the autofocus off. This is easily done with a lever on the camera body. Then you can twist the front of the lens and focus in the usual manner (though it is less than a quarter of a turn to go from macro to infinity).

    The camera back has a lever to tell it which autofocus sensor to use. The choices are to use the center area, or a peripheral area or a camera-defined area.
    The center area works best for me. If you have strabismus or some other ailment, maybe you want to define a focus area on the right or left of center for some reason. If you use the 'camera-defined' focus area, the camera chooses one of the 5 focus areas on its own. This essentially makes it impossible to focus. The camera shows the sensing area to you by outlining it in black, but as soon as you move it over your subject to focus, it switches to a different area. This thoroughly confounds ones ability to have the subject in focus, so I avoid that one (it is marked in green as a warning).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2011
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, I kind of like it. I just have to remember to fire off the blank shots at the beginning to get the frame counter to 36 before starting. That way you always know to stop at 0. In case it starts off at something like 37 or 38 etc. In a week or month or even a day, it will be impossible for me to remember if I was supposed to stop shooting on 1, 2, or 3 etc.
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have processed the first few rolls and examined the negatives. So far the images look very promising. The lens, at the 28mm setting, seems to have very good sharpness and seems to be very even throughout the field. Distinctly different from the Distagon 28mm that is sharpest at the center and is worse near the edges. I have searched but there is no MTF pdf file on the internet available for the Nikkor 28-80 to confirm my impression http://www.photodo.com/lens/Nikon-AF-2880mm-f3356-1010 .
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Yukon, OK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I got mine from KEH about a year ago to compare to an F4S, just for kicks. I laugh everytime I use it. So much better than a P & S as noted before. For kicks, I even put some of my new DX G lenses on it....works perfect. With an SB-23 it is so easy for wife to even use and with my SB-28 I can do pretty much anything. D style AF lenses work good......I rarely put a MF lense on it because I normally am chasing young children around and just can't MF anymore the way I used to.

    Doing a kiddie gymnastics olympics last week and in a hurry opened the F4S up with the film still in (fortunatley only lost 3 shots), that's why I don't mind the N75 running the film out first.

    Another reason I got an N75 was to try out all the new electronics that the F100, F5 and F6 have on them that are similar (minus all the nice goodies of those cameras) before I decide on which one to buy. I really want an F100.
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hot off the press. (Literally, it is still warm from the Seal Press... :smile: )
    One of the first images from the N75. This is on Trix and printed on Ilford Fiberbased Multigrade. Image size is about 4x6" on an 8x10 sheet.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,311
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Does this camera have spot metering?
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,588
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No, it does not. But with my 28mm to 300mm zoom, I can get a spot meter reading.

    Steve
     
  19. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,311
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am looking for an consumer level SLR with a spot meter from Nikon.
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,588
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Better than consumer level quality, but at today's prices, take a look at the Nikon F100. It can be used as a point and shoot or any level up to and including professional or serious enthusiast.

    Steve
     
  21. KenR

    KenR Member

    Messages:
    112
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Those of us who happen to share initials with that KR resent the implications of that comment:D
     
  22. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ok, throw another camera in the mix. I picked up a 28mm f2.8 Yashica ML lens for my Yashica FX-3. Realizing I use the Nikkor zoom on 28 almost alll the time.

    8 more rolls processed yesterday and again, the Nikkor is pretty fantastic in comparison, with excellent edge sharpness at 28mm. The Yashica has an edge in sharpness in the central area, but there is the typical pattern of oblong blur in the tree leaves in the upper corners.
     
  23. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

    Messages:
    905
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    N8008s to name one. Just picked up my second one for $25 off Craigslist.

    Roger
     
  24. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

    Messages:
    905
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Quick question on the N75, what battery does it take? Reason I ask is I have a N6006 which take a odd/expensive battery verses my N8008s which takes 4 AA's.

    Roger
     
  25. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,149
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    35mm
    2 CR2's
     
  26. Roger Thoms

    Roger Thoms Subscriber

    Messages:
    905
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format

    Thanks for the info.

    Roger