Would you buy an F4 if you only use MF lenses?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by agphotography, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. agphotography

    agphotography Member

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    I'm really enjoying the nikon offerings for 35mm lately and I'm quite fond of my F3. I want to eventually get a second body and I'm leaning towards an F4 body (with the MB-20). At present I only have MF lenses, and I don't intend to buy any AF lenses as I don't use Nikons for my DSLRs. Is it foolish to buy an F4 for only manual focus purposes? I know there is a K screen available but I understand its quite elusive and when it shows up it commands a stiff premium.

    Would the smarter decision be to just get another F3 or an FM2n?
     
  2. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    The F4 is an excellent camera to use with manual lenses. I have four of them and not a single AF lens. They take any manual lens and have a better meter than the F3.
     
  3. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    Yes. A great MF body. I have 4 as well and 4 F3's.
    The focus indicators are quite useful in lower light
     
  4. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I have an F4 that I use with my MF lenses. The F3 "K" screen will work with the F4. They are easy to find. You just change the frame with an F4 screen frame. That is what I did and it works perfectly. Also if you ever do decide thatyou want to pick up a AF lens you are set.
     
  5. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    F4s are great versatile cameras; lots of metering options, nice motor advance, excellent MF indicators, so-so but workable AF, high sync speed. The F3 sort of does what it does. I like having both.
     
  6. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    Absolutely. I've heard it said that the F4 was Nikon's best manual focus camera. I had two for a while, and (for what it's worth) I was never disappointed in its AF performance. Rock-solid design.

    Its negatives are its thickness, weight, and all the damned interlocks on the thing. You have to learn its secret handshake in order to rewind the film. Would I buy one again when finances improve? Yew betcha.
     
  7. kreeger

    kreeger Subscriber

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    Owned one a year ago. Wanted to always have one. Ultimately it is way to heavy for my taste, wish it weighed 1/2 of what it does. Sold it to another happy Nikon guy.
     
  8. ArtO

    ArtO Member

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    I have both F4Ss and F3HPs and while I absolutely love my F4S I tend to use the F3's more. I haven't analysed it but quick thought says that my old glass is a lot easier to use on the F3. But I love the spot metering on the F4 and the viewfinder diopter used to be a life saver for me when my cataracts were active.

    However if you're going to add AF lenses to your bag, an F4 might prove handier in the long run. Both are unbelievably cheap right now.
     
  9. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    For a 35mm camera, the F4 is a pretty big camera. If you add the MD-21 it's even bigger. There are plenty of advantages but it won't be portability.

    Because I primarily use AI lenses I found a K screen on the net and it makes it a little easier to focus than using the camera's focus leds.

    For what it's worth, I like my F3HP much better.
     
  10. agphotography

    agphotography Member

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    To be honest, unless I switch to Nikon for my DSLRs (I'm a Canon EOS shooter with a handful of choice primes) I don't see myself buying any nikon AF lenses (maybe 1 or two more AI/AIS primes). I had given some thought to getting another EOS 1n again (also had the 1V in the past which I loved) but I never really bonded with the 1n couldn't tell you why.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2013
  11. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I don't know because I don't have one. I have the F3 and the F5. I heard it's the best manual focus Nikon camera out there but I failed to see why so.
     
  12. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    What exactly is it about the F4 features that attracts you vs your F3? I've shot FE2 and FM2 bodies for a long time and last year got an F3 (no longer have the FE2). On a whim I got an F2 with a DP-1 a few months ago and love it so much more than the others I might just keep the F3 and F2. To me the F2 is the "Leica" of the Nikon bodies in terms of feel and overall quality of workmanship. The F4 and F3 seem fairly close in specs especially if only using with MF glass, maybe a solid all mechanical F2 might be a good second body? Just throwing it out there...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2013
  13. agphotography

    agphotography Member

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    I'm open to that too, but I also quite like the sound of 1/8000 shutter and 1/250 flash sync speed. As well as having additional metering modes. They are handy.

    Though I wouldn't complain if I came across an F2 with a meter less prism for a good price.
     
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  15. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    I prefer the F4 to the F3. I only use manual focus lenses, with the exception of a lone 50mm f/1.8D. I'm normally able to manually focus just fine with my preferred E screen, but if I get stumped, the electronic rangefinder works in surprisingly low light. The three LEDs of the electronic rangefinder bother some people; I like it fine. The backlit display of the F3 is a joke; the F4's is much better.

    My F4 has the MB-20 grip; alkaline batteries don't seem to last long; lithiums are better. I find the hand grip very comfortable, but again, there are those that hate it. I'd say that the build quality of the F4 is inferior to the F3; it uses more plastic. Personally, this makes me less afraid to use it in the rain and dirt.

    [​IMG]
    LTD_4224_001 by LJ Slater, on Flickr
     
  16. agphotography

    agphotography Member

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    I think it's settled then, when I'm ready I'll pick up an F4 with the MB-20 grip. So it's possible to get a K screen for the F3 and fit it into the F4? Will it affect any of the metering patterns?
     
  17. Halka

    Halka Member

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    No, it should not.
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I personally wouldn't but it's more due to its size than its features. When I first saw one I found it hard to believe that it wasn't medium format and only produced postage stamp sized 35mm negatives.


    Steve.
     
  19. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    If you're getting a modern camera then you should get the 1V instead . . . :whistling:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    I use Nikon N2020, N8008S, N90S and F90X cameras mostly with manual focus lenses. The focus confirmation with the standard screen or with an E (grid) screen are easier for me to use than any microprism, split image or combination screen. This is especially true for macro, telephoto or zoom shooting. Even the lowest spec model, the N2020, has many features and works nicely with the manual focus lenses. When you get up to the N90S/F90X there are certain modes which are not usable with manual focus lenses.
     
  21. agphotography

    agphotography Member

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    I've had the 1V before but they're still expensive I bought and sold mine for $700. I can get an F4 (or whichever body) for well under $200. Anything more expensive isn't on my radar.
     
  22. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    No. It's the heaviest 35mm camera ever made. My taste runs more to a Leica. :smile:


    Kent in SD
     
  23. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    If that's the case then I won't tell you how much it cost me for that Canon 1VHS that I bought from a local forensic lab . . . :whistling:
     
  24. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    Not exactly, it depends on what battery pack is fitted. The F4 with the MB-20 weights 1090kg while the F5 weights 1210kg and the EOS 1V with the PB-E2 weights 1380kg. Granted the F4S with the 6 AAs pack MB-21 weights 1280kg and the F4E with the MB-23 is 1400kg heavy!

    See: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/nikonf4/htmls/spec.htm and http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/NikonF5/specF5.htm
     
  25. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    I am just imagining the photos that came out of that camera.

    They didn't leave a roll of film in it when you got it, I suppose?
     
  26. agphotography

    agphotography Member

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    Please do tell, I love good bargain stories! Won't bother me in the slightest. I never thought of asking law enforcement departments about their gear, that's not a bad idea! Too bad I don't have any friends in those departments.