So just how tough is a Nikon F5?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by EdColorado, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. EdColorado

    EdColorado Member

    Messages:
    401
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Loveland, Co
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a new to me F5 that I'd like to use when out on a motorcycle and I'm concerned about durability issues. I'm thinking of getting a Pelican case of the right size and bolting it to the bikes luggage rack. I'd use fitted foam on the inside to carry the camera a lens or two and a SB-28 flash. I'm concerned about vibration, not just engine vibs but also all the bumping and banging from riding off road. The bike is a KTM 950 Adventure which is a large dual sport, for on and off road, and much, most really of my riding with the camera will be off road. Anybody have any experience beating on an F5 in this manner? I know its supposed to be tough but just how tough?
     
  2. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

    Messages:
    2,223
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    An F5 will certainly fare better than most cameras in this situation, but I've never subjected my F5 to such conditions.

    My instinct would be to carry a mechanical body like an F2A/F2AS, personally - that way you don't have to worry about electronics. You do lose some convenience, though.
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It's an F series camera, always over-engineered and way tougher than anything else in the line. Always baffled by the abiding suspicion that an elderly mechanical camera would outlast a newer electronic model, especially one as nearly bomb-proof as an F5. I've beat the living crap out of several lesser N90s bodies that never so much as blinked. Provided your F5 is tight and snug in its case, there shouldn't be any problems. For me--and despite the F6--the F5 really was the last of the pro Nikon film bodies.
     
  4. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,941
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Consider putting it in a tank bag on top of some foam. Besides being more accessible, it will take less direct vertical jarring being away from the same vertical plane as either axle.
     
  5. EdColorado

    EdColorado Member

    Messages:
    401
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Loveland, Co
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Excellent point lxdude, something I should have thought of myself. Not sure my tank bag is bag enough but I can certainly try it. If it will fit I can just cut a chunk of foam to fit and turn the tank bag into a fitted camera bag. :cool:
     
  6. EdColorado

    EdColorado Member

    Messages:
    401
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Loveland, Co
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I do have an F2, and I also thought about my early Canon F1 but I value those more due to their age. I also want the speed of the F5 as many of my photos will be of fast moving bikes. I guess I shouldn't be to concerned really as F5s are pretty easy to find but it could get expensive if I have to keep replacing the things.
     
  7. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,866
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Brandon, MB
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    +1 as well.

    Tank bag, foam, then Pelican case..THEN the foam inside.

    You should be fine unless you're jumping Snake River canyon or something.
     
  8. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,889
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    .
    Why would anyone want to jump the Snake River Canyon ?
    .
     
  9. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,941
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's a mighty big tank bag!:D
     
  10. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,941
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Because they're Evel?
     
  11. Markster

    Markster Member

    Messages:
    307
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Location:
    Denver area
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'd be more worried about the lenses. Pad the heck out of them as listed above. The camera? Probably could take that for 100 years without blinking from the reputation it has.
     
  12. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,866
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Brandon, MB
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    There are various sizes of Pelican or similar cases...I should have been more clear and said any pack anywhere. I guess a back seat offers a similar amount of vibration as a tank!

    The F5 certainly does live up to its lineage far as durability and trustworthiness goes, that's for sure.
     
  13. TSSPro

    TSSPro Member

    Messages:
    229
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Location:
    Carbondale,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The camera will fare just fine if it holds up as well as mine have- I have abused them to no end. Much film and much abuse have been issued to this camera and it has never stopped working, or given the least bit of issues. Mud, sand, grit, fine dust and being attached to various climbing harnesses (Warning carabiners will break the LCD on the back :tongue:)

    I have even seen some one hammer in a decking nail into a 6x6" piece of lumber with an F5 before- impressive to say the least.
     
  14. Wishy

    Wishy Member

    Messages:
    189
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Consider the F90X/N90X if you don't need the extra features of the F5. They're also very tough, but they're much cheaper so if you trash one its not going to belt your wallet so much.
     
  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I bet the F5 will hold up perfectly!
     
  16. dehk

    dehk Member

    Messages:
    891
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Location:
    W Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    How tough is the F5? Consider the F5 will be your best bet.
     
  17. slumry

    slumry Subscriber

    Messages:
    127
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Washington S
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    IIRC there is a story about Bjorn Rorslett, who used F5’s for many years, about breaking through the ice and getting caught under it. The only thing he had was his F5 which he proceeded to use to break though the ice and escape. I believe the camera survived the event just fine. Unfortunately, I cannot find a link to the story.
     
  18. EdColorado

    EdColorado Member

    Messages:
    401
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Loveland, Co
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Might not be a bad idea actually. I've never handled an N90 but it looks like it might be worth a try for this use. Its smaller so setting up my tank bag will be easier and it certainly is cheaper. Bargain grade from KEH at $25 is hard to beat. Coupled with a cheap Tamron lens and I could have a good setup for on the bike for a good deal less than $100...hmm...
     
  19. phirehouse

    phirehouse Subscriber

    Messages:
    254
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Clearwater F
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    how about wearing the F5 in a camera back-pack. that's what i do when i do not carry a passenger. you will then have a great portable set-up for your gear when you arrive at your destination.
     
  20. EdColorado

    EdColorado Member

    Messages:
    401
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Location:
    Loveland, Co
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I could, and I do have a Camelbak I wear for water (which sometimes also carries the recorder for my VIO helmet cam) but I try to keep things off my back. In the event of a fall hard things on the body can lead to some serious injury. I killed a Ricoh P&S once and it did its best to hurt me too. That was a great little camera, sharp, excellent colors, a nice little lens on it. In the end it broke a couple of my ribs..
    I'm hoping that if I fall the water in the Camelbak will help protect my back (along with a good back protector). The F5 though, or an N90 as I'm starting to like that option too, is just more than I want back there. Also, many shots are grabbed in a hurry and I'm liking the tank bag idea for its ease of access.
     
  21. djacobox372

    djacobox372 Member

    Messages:
    127
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Heck, an F2as cost as much as an F5 these days.