Was this a good deal? (F-801)

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BetterSense, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

    Messages:
    3,126
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Previously all the cameras I had, a Pentax program plus and a Canon AT1, were free (with purchase of 1 wife). However I recently bought a Nikon F801 with 50mm f/1.4 lens and SB-28 flash for $75, the first camera i've ever actually bought.

    The camera itself is broken, and i did not know that when I bought it. That is, the auto-aperture does not work. The program modes result in the pictures always being taken with the smallest aperture, severely underexposing (unless TTL flash is being used). However manual and Aperture priority work just fine. Considering TTL flash, autofocus, and apparently a very nice lens, should I try to trade or sell the body for some other Nikon? It's depressing that the program modes don't work, but Aperture priority is quite adequate.
     
  2. Frank Szabo

    Frank Szabo Member

    Messages:
    312
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Location:
    Broken Arrow
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    Was which a good deal? The camera or the wife?
     
  3. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Cana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not familiar with that model.Did you get a manual with it? If not,get one and read it cover to cover,twice.You might be missing an important step or two when you set it up.
    Sell it if you like but make sure you describe any faults in detail.You'll sleep better at night.
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

    Messages:
    3,126
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    35mm
    the wife was the deal of the century without a doubt.

    I didn't get a manual with it. It's possible, i suppose, that I'm not doing something right, but I'm experienced with my manual cameras, I mean, i put the lens on, put it in program mode, checked ISO was set right.

    For the whole roll, most photos were highly underexposed except for the ones that used TTL flash, or aperture priority/manual mode. From this I concluded that the aperture must be stopping all the way down on the program modes instead of being set to what is indicated in the viewfinder. I can confirm this by putting the camera in shutter speed priority mode on a setting such that the aperture would be wide open....i.e. setting a high shutter speed in a dim room, which would force a large aperture. I can visually confirm that even when the viewfinder indicates f/1.4, the aperture leaves close all the way when I take the picture. It seems that TTL flash is 'smart' enough to expose the film properly anyway. The little lever on the back of the lens mount works very smoothly and the DOF preview works fine as well.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,083
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have the F601 which is similar.

    My only suggestion is that in Program mode, the aperture should be closed down all the way. Many lenses have a lock for this feature.


    Steve.
     
  6. PeterB

    PeterB Subscriber

    Messages:
    643
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I own that camera. (actually the F-801s). Try putting the aperture at f-22 when in Program Mode or Shutter priority mode else the camera won't be able to auto-select the aperture. It should give you a warning if you haven't done that "FEE" from memory.
    Can you try out a different lens ? Is the lens designed for the camera ?

    regards
    Peter
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

    Messages:
    3,126
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I always lock the lens down to f/16 and engage the latch when I want to use program mode. I also tried a Sigma 28-200 zoom on it, and although I didn't take any pictures, it behaved the same way with closing the aperture even when it was supposed to be wide open.
     
  8. mwdake

    mwdake Member

    Messages:
    612
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    FL, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The F801 is the European version of the N8008.
    Butksus has a manual for it if you need it, he is at...
    http://www.butkus.org/chinon/nikon.htm
    If you use it, donate a few $ to him as he is an amazing resource.

    In my dealings with Nikon lenses I remember you have to turn the aperture all the way to f22 and it should lock. Then the aperture should be controlled by the camera.

    good luck
     
  9. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

    Messages:
    3,126
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'm starting to think the lens's that I've tried are not compatible, based on the post by user Pete a few posts down on this page, where he states that the F801s "has no means of controlling aperture from the camera body". I simply don't understand how that can be though; if it has program modes in the first place, it must be able to control lens aperture.

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/messageboard/Various-Nikon/index.php
     
  10. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Cana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is there a friendly photography shop near you? They might let you try a Nikon AF lens on your camera to see if the unit is indeed T.K.Oed
     
  11. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,381
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Regardless whether the body works or not, you got a good deal.
    The 50/1.4 even non-AI can bring what you paid for the package and the SB28 even more.
    Does the camera work manually or in aperture priority? I seem to recall seeing this problem relatively often with the 8008.
     
  12. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

    Messages:
    3,126
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yes it still works perfectly on aperture priority (my preference anyway) and on manual (the electronic AF-assist feature is nice!).
     
  13. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,918
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    Duvall, WA,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I kinda wonder if the contacts are dirty, either on your lenses, or on the body itself. If it's more than that, I'd probably consider getting another body instead. KEH doesn't charge much for N8008's or F-801's. They're good little bodies, and I'd considered holding onto mine as a car camera, maybe with a 50f1.8 Series E attached, but wanted my F2A paid off, so I could get it out of the repair shop. I let it go.

    -J