So long Nikon F and hello, again, Leica M !!

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by JosBurke, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. JosBurke

    JosBurke Member

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    Some time ago I parted with my M3 due to lack of use (Mistake #1) and since my Mamiya 7II is a little tough to use handheld in low light (my babies sleeping, playing, etc...) I picked up a Nikon F (Mistake #2) to keep 35 mm affordable --well was I ever dissappointed in the Nikon F compared to the Leica (Doh!!!) ---So I finally reinvested in an M2 this time with a 50 mm 1.4 Summilux-----Smooth smooth smooth--smoother than my M3--huh ! --I think I'll keep it and not look back and I love the feel of the M2 and yes the Leica is leaps and bounds over the Nikon but then I expected as much but NOT THAT MUCH !! I'll be selling the Nikon F on ebay I guess!
     
  2. Confusion Circle

    Confusion Circle Member

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    Congrats on your new/old purchase! I myself just bought an M6 titanium w/ 35mm f1.4. I can't wait to play with it! :D
     
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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    Dear Jos,

    Is the Nikon worth enough to sell? For years I've carried 2 Ms and an F, the latter mainly for 200mm. This was of course the classic Vietnam war photographers' outfit. Once you try it, you can see why. There's not a lot you can't shoot.

    Cheers,

    R. (www.rogerandfrances.com -- where you might care to take a look at the free module in the Photo School called 'How many cameras do you need?')
     
  4. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I don't understand, you got rid of your M3 and then came to regret it. Now you want to get rid of your F.

    I won't start a L v. N battle - but right now an F, even in great condition, goes for around $150, if that much. Unless you really need the cash, why not keep it - so you don't have any regrets later on?
     
  5. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    As an owner of a DS M3 and two Nikon F's (one eyelevel prism and the other the FTn Meter head), I am going to say hold onto your Nikon F. There will be times when a rangefinder will not be practical.

    Bill
     
  6. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Hang onto the Nikon. I use Leicas and like the discreet size, the bright focusing, the quiet shutter, the excellent optics, etc. But an SLR is more flexible, can use (with direct viewing) ultra wide to ultra long lenses, has easy close focusing capability, etc.

    Besides, you know if you sell the SLR you'll regret it and have to buy another sometime later. :wink:
     
  7. Gatsby1923

    Gatsby1923 Member

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    Keep the Nikon, I regret selling all my old Canon FD equipment. You never know when an SLR will be needed. Leicas are GREAT but some times you just need an SLR. Just my two cents.

    Dave M
     
  8. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    The F is a pretty cool camera, but it's one of the least usable of the Nikon SLRs.

    The F2AS, now...

    And don't get me started on the F3HP... I've fallen in love with mine. A totally indulgent purchase, and worth every nickel.
     
  9. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    The Nikon F has its pecularities, but I use mine more than my Leica M4 because of its versatility. The Leica got more use in past years in different circumstances. It is a smoother camera, but not nearly as good for macro and long lens photography. It's the difference between a quality automobile and a light truck. I like the comfort of my sedan, but sometimes need my pickup. Keep both cameras. Use whichever is best for each shot.
     
  10. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Jim,

    That is the reason that I have been using R series Leicas for 20 years. The only thing that I miss is the rangefinder capabilities, quietness, and lower hand holdable shutter speeds of an M camera, but I do have my Mamiya 7II.

    Rich
     
  11. T42

    T42 Member

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    Hello PhotoJim.

    Could you elaborate on that a bit? I'm using an F, an F2, and an M3. I'm relating pretty well with the thread consensus here to keep the F and the M2. But I cannot fathom the statement that the F is one of the least usable Nikon SLRs. To me, any Nikon with less than 100% frame accurate viewing and without interchangeable finders and screens would be, by some measure, less usable than an F. That must include more than a few Nikon made SLRs designed to meet price points by stripping away features that some seasoned old snorts still use and appreciate.

    While I do prefer my F2 to my F, on any given day I pick up either and use it about as easily as the other. I think I could share your enthusiasm for the F3HP. If I were picking out an F class camera body today, the F3HP would be it. I could put up with the battery dependence for all that it is.

    Happy day. :smile:
     
  12. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Hi Jim,

    YES!!

    The F3HP is the uber-Nikon manual (semi-auto) SLR. I now have three!

    I would definitely agree that the OP should ditch the F if he were to replace it with a F3HP. They go for around $250 w/50mm Nikkor.

    Someday folks will speak of the F3HP in the same reverential terms they use for the M3 - espescially the "buttery smooth" film advance lever.

    Oh, oh I love it!
     
  13. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    I'm curious as well, as other than the shutter release being on the back of the top-plate rather than the front, what's wrong with the original F? On the other hand, I may need an introspective moment with my equipment, as I seem to prefer shooting with the F2 as well, and I haven't entirely figured out what the difference is, other than the shutter-release position.

    Quite seriously, is it the rounded edges, slightly less blocky build, balance? All I know is 100% viewfinder, always works, doesn't care about cold, and comfortable enough that I take it along and get good pictures with it.
     
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  15. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    The things I don't like about the F:

    - a non-hinged back
    - an unwieldy set of metering prisms - they work but they take obsolete batteries and they're kind of ugly; the non-metering prism looks really nice but it's hard to find in good condition and has become very pricey
    - the motor drive system works but it's unwieldy and inconvenient, and older Fs need modification to work with it
    - if you do have a metering prism, it won't meter at full aperture with Series E and AF lenses... yes, I know this is being nitpicky because a lot of people who use this camera would use the manual lenses, but there are a lot of fantastic autofocus lenses that work on this camera in stop-down metering mode only (or using a handheld meter of course) ... any f/2.8 zoom for example

    Why I like the F3HP better:

    - hinged back :smile:
    - excellent 80/20 centreweighted metering
    - impeccable mechanical construction... in the ballpark of Leicas. Just wind one.
    - a convenient 5 fps motor drive that is not only cheap (low $100 US range in "user" condition), but rewinds the film and is very meager on batteries (100+ rolls of 36 per set, and that includes running the camera itself - the button cell is disabled when the motor drive is connected)
    - it works with every Nikkor lens ever made, except the G lenses - albeit that you can't meter at full aperture with non-AI Nikkors... but you can easily get those lenses modified to permit full aperture metering
    - did I say that it winds nicely?
    - HP viewfinder... a little less magnification than the F finder (although you can get a non-HP viewfinder if you miss that), but more practical for those of us who wear glasses (which most of us that can afford Leicas need :smile: )

    I'd love to own an F... but I wouldn't buy one to use (other than for occasional use). The F3HP is the best manual F body. The F2AS is good if you absolutely want to be free of batteries, but I've learned that isn't an issue 98% of the time (and it gets to -40 [C or F :smile: they're the same!] during the winter here)...
     
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Member

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  17. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I llike and use the F often, but agree with PhotoJim. The removable back may have been a convenience in using a Speed Magny Polaroid back and the 250 exposure back. After all, the F body was only a small part of a very extensive system, and had to accomodate a wide variety of accessories. There was no other readily available system like the Nikon. Another peculiarity of the F was the mirror lock-up. The F's baby brother, the Nikkormat, had its own pecularities, but is a durable and useful part of the Nikon system. The quality of both cameras is fine. When using them alongside a Leica M, the smoothness of the German engineering and construction is obvious, but it's the image that counts, and both deliver.
     
  18. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Jim,

    You pretty much summed it all up - the F3HP is built to last but with an "elegance" of a fine machine - that advance lever is just so smooth.

    As to owning an F - I did pick one up on eBay a while back for precisely the reason you noted - it's nice to have it - but I use it only occassionally. I also have both a S2 and SP and get a kick out of how the F really is just an SP "hybrid" with the SLR viewfinder attached.

    I don't know much about the F2 - but by the time you get to the F3 you have a "true" SLR.

    BTW: Jim Jones comments about the Nikkormat are "on point". The Nikkormat FT2 was my first SLR. It is a bare bones camera, built to last forever, and was a moderately-priced way for "newbies" back then to get into the Nikon/Nikkor system.

    I guess you can tell I'm a Nikonian! :D
     
  19. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I still have a Nikkormat FT3 - the Nikkormats are great cameras. They definitely have some operational quirks, but they are one of the best mechanical SLRs for handheld photography. (I find that the quirky lens-mount-encircling shutter speed ring is pretty convenient to use with the camera to the eye, although with the camera on a tripod, it's another matter.)

    Let it be known though that I don't always need perfect ergonomics. My favourite camera of late has been my Zorki 4. It's been serviced by Oleg Khalyavin and is it ever smooth. (Roger, stay away from me... I don't want you tempting me with your Leicas... plllleeeeeeeaaaaasssseeee doooooooooooon't...)
     
  20. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    Speaking of selling Nikons to buy a Leica...

    I have a question.
    I have an F100 set up, with four lenes, the SB-80dx and MB-15 and am thinking of selling it to buy an M6 TTL and 35mm lens.
    My photography is kind of changing and I haven't used my F100 for more than a year.
    So I am wondering if I could sell my F100 and accessories and have enough for an M6 and 35mm lens.
    Thanks!
    Brian
     
  21. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Depends on the lenses.

    A used M6 with 35mm will cost you around $1500 (I was considering such a purchase a couple months ago).

    A used F100 on eBay will go for $300 to $500 (price is dropping).

    BTW: I think that there is a demand right now for the M6 w/lens as a "reasonable priced" strategy as people are figuring it's a good way to position themselves for the digital M8.
     
  22. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    Well, I have the 80-200 AF-S, the 24 mm, and the 35-70 D and a Sigma 14mm ASP-EX all f/2.8.
    Plus a Tamrac backpack to fit it all in!
    I didn't realize the prices were going down!
    Brian
    :confused:
     
  23. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    You will get a better total price if you sell the items individually (although the Sigma won't command much and you might as well keep the backpack). Bit more of a pain - but worth the hassle.

    BTW: how fast is the 24mm?
     
  24. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    Selling each item individually is my plan.
    All lenes are f/2.8.
    So in your opinion do you think I could get enough for an M TTL and a 35mm?
    Just seeking advice.
    Thanks!
    Brian
     
  25. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Yes, I think you'll get in the ball park - a lot will depend on condition of course. If you decide to go forward - I might be interested in the 24mm. :wink:
     
  26. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    OK.
    I'll keep that in mind!
    Thanks!
    Brian