Thinking about a used Nikon F5 or F6

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Ira Rush, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Ira Rush

    Ira Rush Member

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    Thinking about a used Nikon F5 or F6


    OK… so at the risk of offending some forum members…. Be forewarned… I will be using what some may consider a “foul” word.

    No… it’s not that four letter word, :wink: it’s actually 7 letters long… begins with a D and end with an L.


    I am considering getting either a used F5 or used F6.

    Body condition, shutter curtain,shutter speed sound, mirror and mirror foam is pretty obvious to assess as to whether or not its been used but not abused. What does concern me is that since the F5~F6 is less “mechanical” and more of an “electronic” camera is there a way to assess that (i.e. “are the electronics in good working order or are they prone to imminent failure”).

    Of even more importance is “shutter count”.

    I know that Nikon claims the shutter is tested to 150,000+ clicks, …BUT…. Is there a way to actually assess the actual shutter count? I know that with a Digital camera (by the way, that was the “foul word” :wink: ), one can read the Exif data to get a shutter count….

    Any way of doing that on a F5~F6, getting the shutter count.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Nikon service centers(and indie Nikon repair shops)can indeed read shutter actuations on F5 and F6 bodies--a feature that goes back at least to the N90s/F90x. Used F6s tend to be pricier and harder to find than the better-selling F5. You shouldn't have much trouble finding a clean, low-rollage F5 at a fair price.
     
  3. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    I've owned both.

    When film ruled the world I shot with the Nikon F5. I thought it was the greatest film camera made.

    Then came digital and I sold my film body when I switched to Canon.

    Then I got a contract with Sony for digital work, but they never made a film camera so I decided to buy another Nikon.

    I considered the F5 again, since I liked it so much, but thought I would at least take a look at the F6.... so I found a store that had a new one and took a look.

    A few weeks later I bought a used F6 for under $1400 off ebay. I love it. I hope I use it enough to wear it out but that's unlikely. If you want a great film body, get the F6.

    -Rob
     
  4. lns

    lns Member

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    I would presume that the average used F6 should have many fewer shutter actuations than the average used F5, just because it's so much newer. If you find an F6 that hasn't been extensively used by a professional, the shutter and everything else should be fine. And let's face it, most professionals switched to digital by then, so your odds seem good.

    That said, a few years ago I bought for pennies an F3 that had been used and abused by a professional, then put in his closet for years. It was dented, scraped and dirty, the prism was broken, and the shutter was a little dimpled. After a surface cleaning and a replacement prism, it works perfectly and I use it all the time. I think it takes a lot to wreck one of Nikon's professional bodies.
    I do agree with Rob Skeoch about the qualities of the F6. To me, it's the ultimate Nikon AF camera. The other really nice one I've used, for a fraction of the cost, is the F100.

    -Laura
     
  5. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    The F6 is uncannily good. Especially the matrix metering, it can be trusted with lighting situations that would otherwise require spot metering and calculations. I use the AF system only to confirm focus, because I prefer Zeiss ZF lenses. All in all, the F6 gets out of your way and lets you do your work.
     
  6. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    Both are great cameras. I have an F5. The F6 is a lot lighter and gives Matrix Metering with manual focus Nikon lenses. I think if i had the money i'd take an F6 over the F5 purely because of the difference in weight and size - important when trekking long distance for a couple of weeks...

    But then again, i'm not using heavy zoom lenses or big telephoto lenses so it works out OK :smile:

    F5s are as cheap as chips these days - maybe $500 for a low use one in decent condition. F6 might cost $1500 - but it does give matrix metering and Nikon creative lighting system for the $1000 extra.

    I can't justify it just yet.
     
  7. njkphoto

    njkphoto Member

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    I got an F5 recently from KEH for a good price and in great condition. So far so good.
     
  8. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    I have an F5, it is really great, especially the metering. I'm sure the F6 is better, but it is also a lot more expensive, the F5 being something of a bargain these days.
     
  9. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    There is a guy in the ACT selling a F6 as new in box on fleabay. Lucky my credit card is maxed :tongue:
     
  10. roboflick

    roboflick Member

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    I just bought a used f5 for 240 dollars from keh. Works great with my 50 mm g lens and 200 mm macro. Has dedicated mirror lock up (great for macros) and fits my hands better than my d700. I love it! And I save 1200 over the cheapest used f6. That buys a lot of film. I also got an sb28 flash for 69 dollars that worked in 3d ttl mode with the f5

    Get the f5. It autofocuses on my fast moving 2.5 year old son nearly as fast as the d700 and is compatible with all current lenses
    I thought about an f6 but I felt the 1000 dollars I would save to be better spent on glass




    Nik
     
  11. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    Why go al the way when you can have practically everything with an F-100 for a fraction of the cost? I still like my F-1 and F-2 better than the F-6
     
  12. spleenrippa

    spleenrippa Member

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    Hey, an F80 only has a few features less than the F100 and is even cheaper still! :tongue:
     
  13. vbarniev

    vbarniev Member

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    Well,...I have them all; but I can tell you that the T90 is no lesser cat
     
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  15. Ira Rush

    Ira Rush Member

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    First, a big Thank You, to all whom responded, it was very helpful.

    The F6… WOW…. A monster of a camera, with an equally monster price!

    So.. To cut to the chase, I chose the F5.

    I got an F5, in good condition, for just under $400. While price was not the only factor, it was a realistic factor, as used F6’s in similar condition were anywhere from $1,200 to about $1,600. Would rather “eat or pay the rent”!

    Other factors, besides the price included, the feel of the F5 compared to the F6… the F5 weighs probably more than my old F and F2 combined (with their finders attached!) meaning it’s a solid camera.

    The interchangeable finder of the F5, (F6, finder is fixed) and numerous choices of focusing screens, the use of common, everyday, sold everywhere “AA” batteries as opposed to the F6 battery needs. The incredible continuous shooting speed of the F5 Vs the F6, the numerous locks on the F5 (shutter lock, rewind lock), the extra shutter release for vertical shoots, I could go on and on.

    Sure… there are some things I wish the F5 had that the F6 has… such as EV step factor (f/ stop and shutter speed increments) of the F5 which is fixed at 1/3 stops Vs the F6 choices of either 1/3, ½ or 1. The ease of recording of shooting data on the F6 Vs the F5… here too, I could go on and on…

    Bottom line, I chose the F5 and I am happy that I did :smile: :smile:
     
  16. Marvin

    Marvin Member

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    I bought a used F5 at a local camera store for $320 and have been very satisfied with it. The F5 already has the vertical grip built in and I think the F6 you have to add on as an extra. Its a big heavy wonderful camera.
     
  17. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    The F6 looks like a very nice camera. Too bad is soooo expensive! I'll keep my F100.
     
  18. MajorDad

    MajorDad Member

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    There is nothing like an F5...nothing!

    I have many Nikon cameras, both film and digital. I also own a Mamyia MF. But I keep returning to my F5 with its MF-28 multi-control back.There is absolutely nothing like it in functionality, feel and sound--especially the sound of the shutter release.
     
  19. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    OK, let's continue this discussion......about 4 years ago I got my F4s from KEH for I believe around 400 bucks, I again think it was EX. I looked at the F5's at the time and they were much, much more money and you couldn't touch an F6 for under a couple thousand as I recall.

    Is now the time to seriously be looking for that "nice" F5? I absolutely positively enjoy every moment I spend with my F4s.....time to start searching KEH again?

    Bob E.
     
  20. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    The prices have come down a lot some one recently on the forum got a f5 for $250 and I've seen completed auctions for even less if you have the time to hunt. For me F3s are enough though, they get a bit to big after that.
     
  21. Graham_Martin

    Graham_Martin Member

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    I have used both the F5 and F100, and prefer the F100 for one very basic reason. The focus point light indicators. On the F5 they are black and I could never tell which focus point I was using. The F100 indicators are in red and so much easier to see. If you want a vertical release just buy the battery grip.
     
  22. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Hi Bob!

    I'd go even further. Recently, I've had the good luck to find a F6 NIB on Amazon for 1200 Euros. Handily stood in for the used one I stupidly sold.
     
  23. dreamingartemis

    dreamingartemis Member

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    If you have the money, go for F6. If you don't, go for F5. It's that simple.
     
  24. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    i'll use my fmsuntil they'll fall apart,ans there 's no sign of that yet.
     
  25. oneANT

    oneANT Member

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    I'm like the kid with his nose on the lolly shop window every time I visit here and finally have an f100 (late serial number) on the way so you are likely to hear my voice a bit more. Unused and hobby by the looks of it and $165. The F5 was just too heavy and I tried to like an F3 but am better suited to the f100. Its for street and Zeiss lenses and Im really happy to be joining everyone here.
    Film is like chocolate and I can eat a ton of it ...you guys know what I mean (grin).

    Ant.
    ɹǝpun uʍop puɐl ǝɥʇ ɯoɹɟ
     
  26. mablo

    mablo Member

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    I regularly use the F100 but I've been thinking of picking up a F5 one day. I've never liked F100's matrix metering. I think it underexposes b&w film in some high contrast situations and I don't trust it any longer. Maybe F5's matrix would work better, who knows.