Nikon N80 to Nikon F100?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Naples, May 3, 2009.

  1. Naples

    Naples Member

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    Hello.

    I have a Nikon N80 that I use for family, portraiture, travel, and sport photography. I am satisfied with it, but am concerned about its build quality and longevity.

    BH Photo sells a new F100 for $750. I suspect I will want one later, when it will not be available new.

    What benefits are there to the F100 compared to the N80? I understand the F100 is a superior build, but what about the electronics, image quality, etc.? In short, is the upgrade worth the money?

    Thanks.
     
  2. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

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    Hi Naples,
    The price you mentionned is very high. F100s sell for 200 euro on ebay, in very good condition.
    The F100 is a great camera. It's bigger in size than the F80. No exchangeable viewfinfers like in its bigger brother , the F5. No possibility to rewind the film manually. Theses are two flaws.
    Otherwise, good built quality.
    Get one you won't be disappointed.
    Cheers.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    "image quality"

    Camera has very little to do with image quality. That's the job of your lenses. If you put junk on an F100, you get junk. That said, I own three F100 bodies because they are fabulous.
     
  4. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    They offer several advantages including mirror lock up (i think) and compatability with older lenses like not locking out metering without the CPU chip.

    That price is outrageous. Look on ebay.
     
  5. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    I agree that the F100 is a fine fine camera body. Don't pay more than $250 for one though, and google around for an article that notes which serial numbers to get. The older models replaced a film advance spindle that was weak with a more robust version. Also, I may be wrong, but I don't recall the F100 having mirror lock-up.
     
  6. mudman

    mudman Member

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    No mirror Lock. The main advantages are the compatability with older lenses, better build quality in the body, better weather sealing, longer life shutter, faster shutter (1/8000 vs 1/4000), better AF and more custom settings. Advantages of your N80 - it's lighter and has a built in flash.
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I brought an N-75, which is similar to an N-80. Recently I brought a F-100. I use the N-75 for color prints and the F-100 for black and white. For me the big advantages for the F-100 are the spot light meter, [which I also use when I need a spot meter for the Hasselblad] and the ability to change the film speed for a whole roll.

    The N-75/N-80 is more of an amateur camera, step or two above a point and shoot, while the F-100 is much more professional. I think the F-100 is the best Nikon slr built. The F5 is much too bulky for my use.

    I enjoy using the F-100 much more and therefore the N-75 tends be be used more for less serious work. Therefore, I recommend that you keep the N-80 for backup and casual work and buy the F-100. In fact if you can afford two F-100s, buy them.

    You will not regret buying the F-100.

    Steve
     
  8. Naples

    Naples Member

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    Thanks for all the helpful advice.

    Someone mentioned that the F100 has better autofocus than the N80. Is this a consensus view? I thought the N80 come out after the F100 and had fairly advanced autofocus (?).

    By the way, the $750 price from BH Photo is for an actual new F100; not used. I’m leery of buying used.
     
  9. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    The F100 uses the same AF sensor as the F80/N80 but has slightly better hardware so it's a little faster.

    Don't be too leery of buying used. You could buy three F100s used for the price of a new one. Two could be dead and you'd still be as well off.

    Frankly, if you want durable you want an F5 or F6. You could easily get a really nice F100 and F5 in the price range you're considering, from a reliable vendor like KEH which has a money-back guarantee. I bought my F5 from there and it was an excellent camera; I'm very pleased with it. The only thing I missed getting were boxes and manuals (and KEH sells manuals if you want one).
     
  10. Naples

    Naples Member

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    Thanks, Jim.
     
  11. mudman

    mudman Member

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    Jim that's incorrect. The F100 uses the same AF sensor and cam as the F5. The N80 uses the same AF point layout, but uses a less powerful AF cam that is slower and hunts more often. The F100 also has more cross type sensors as well to be sensitive to both horizontal and vertical contrast then the N80. Thom Hogan talks about it in his review of the camera as well.
     
  12. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Naples - I wouldn't worry about buying used -- after all, one of the features is its build quality. Interestingly enough, the only camera I have ever bought new was the Nikon N80. In the end I sold it because I wanted the F100 for some of the features mentioned above, and because I couldn't stand the slow focus of the N80. I got an almost mint used F100 off ebay for $150 -- and I've had no complaints whatsoever with it. My only complaint with the camera is the lack of mirror lock-up but I've found other ways around that.
     
  13. rthomas

    rthomas Subscriber

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    The other posters here are correct to reassure you about buying used. Get your gear from a reputable dealer (like KEH) and you'll have no trouble returning it if there is a problem. I can only think of a couple cameras I have ever purchased brand new. I've owned dozens of used cameras over the last twenty years, and only twice gotten a camera with an actual problem. In both of those cases I was able to get the dealer to replace the camera.
     
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  15. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    I bought a new F80 soon after they came out, and recently bought a used F100 advertised here. I kept the F80 because it's smaller and lighter and has a built-in flash (and it does have a spot meter). It's a great packing-around camera. The F100 is bigger, heavier, has faster and better autofocus and accepts all of the AIS lenses that I bought for my FM3A. I could easily get by with just the F100, but selling the F80 would be like selling my dog - in both cases we're used to each other. One other thing I really appreciate about the F100 is that it takes regular AA batteries, not those ridiculously expensive batteries the F80 uses.
     
  16. Naples

    Naples Member

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    johhny,

    Thanks. The F100 has a spot meter too, right?
     
  17. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Both have a spot meter.
     
  18. mudman

    mudman Member

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    What's nice about the spot meter in the F100 (I don't know if its true about the N80) is that it's linkable to each AF point when using AF lenses. Can't tell that I love my F100 huh :D
     
  19. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    If I were you, I'd pick up a nice used N90s. It's as rugged as an F100, but lighter. IMHO, it's 85-90% of the camera of an F100, for 25% of the price. Nowadays, good clean used N90s bodies typically sell for $50-60 on ebay. I recently got another one for $31. The only detriment to an N90s is that it doesn't work with G-lenses. But it DOES work and meter with Nikon AI and AIS manual lenses, unlike your N80.

    If you did decide to get an F100, get a used one for ~$200, not a new one. But I think you'd be just as happy with an N90s for well under $100.
     
  20. mudman

    mudman Member

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    Actually the N90s will work with G lenses - however you're stuck to P and S modes only.
     
  21. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    For me, that's the same as not working, because I shoot in A mode around 80% of the time, and 10% each in S mode and M mode.
     
  22. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I say bite the bullet and go streight to the F100! From what I understand (I wish I could say I was the proud owner of one...) you will not regret it!
     
  23. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    I've got an F100 and would not be without it. I owned an F5 a few years ago and loved the output but not the weight of it. The F100, in my opinion, is about the best film body with a built-in winder you'll get without going for an F5, F6 or EOS1.

    The metering is superb, it's incredibly reliable, it's solid and people will always want them as they are so good. The only criticism I've ever heard levelled against them is that, on the early ones, the prongs on the film rewind are made of plastic and were prone to snapping. However, later ones (where the ends of the prongs are square) are much stronger. If you are careful how you load and unload film, that shouldn't be a problem.
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    In camera store after camera store [In Los Angeles: Bel Air and Samys, for example], most of the sales and repair people that I talk to say that they think the F-100 is the best 35mm slr that Nikon made.

    Steve
     
  25. Naples

    Naples Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. Now I have no choice but to move up to the F100. :sad:

    By the way, I noticed today that the "Imported" Nikon F6 is now listed by BH Photo at $2,399. I'm almost certain I saw it listed for $1,999 by BH Photo several months ago. Could the price increase be due to increasing demand for film cameras? :surprised:
     
  26. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    No, the F6 price increase is simply due to currency issues. Nikon figures that the folks that presently are in the market for an F6 have more money than sense anyways, and don't bother with anything as mundane as cost/benefit calculations, and their demand is price inelastic - they just want it, and damn the cost.