Need to get a Nikon body, tell me about the Fxxx/Nxxxx series
After a year of dealing with my Nikon FE, it is not cooperating and is constantly jamming and locking up on me. I've had it serviced twice, the second time was supposed to be a sure fix, but the problem still haunts me. At this point I am very fed up with it and will most likely be using it as a doorstop/paperweight/etc. So now I am on the lookout for a new Nikon body.
After a bit of reading, I have become really interested in the Fxx/Nxxxx series. For some reason I am attracted to the elctronic-ness of them, especially since I tended to shoot in aperture priority with my FE a lot of the time. I still have one fully mechanical Nikon-mount body, my trusty Kiev-19 which I have full confidence in, so I am set in that department.
Now, I have three AI primes that I use and these are the lenses I plan on using. I, obviously, want metering with the AI lenses so that's a big requirement. I also need to be able to manually punch in the ISO and override the DX coding, but I think that most of them can do that. Other than that I don't have any other major requirements, at least not off the top of my head. My one big concern though is the viewfinder/focusing screen issue. I want to be able to focus with ease, so something like a microprism would be a pretty important thing to have. I've read that they have the electronic rangefinder, but how about the screens themselves? I'm hoping that they're not like those in the new Nikon DSLRs because those are, quite frankly, absolute crap when it comes to manual focusing or seeing things even. I would like to know what focusing on this series is like, so tell me about that.
So yeah, let's hear it. What's good and what's out there?
EDIT: How responsive is the electronic rangefinder? From my reasearch it seems to be that it is very easy to use and that sounds great, but how quick is it to check your focus?
Last edited by Dr.Pain-MD; 02-02-2012 at 04:45 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Nikon F100 can meter with manual lenses and has a fast shutter speed of 1/8000.
It is not as expensive and heavy as say an F5.
It is considered as a solidly built camera that lasts.
F4 can matrix meter with lenses back to 1977.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.
F801s is my favorite: good build and nowadays almost for free
The othe option is A Nikon F3, there are alot for sale a Clean F3 HP can be had for Under $250.00 !!! not Bad for a camera that cost $$$$$ new and the MD4 is avaliable for under $100.00.
The other option is a FE2 or a FA they can also be bought for under $250 and the both work with a MD 11/12 motor
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My suggestion would be either a F4 or a F100 depending on the ratio of MF/AF you expect to do. I would skip anything in between, unless you don't want to spend more than $50. The only reason I am suggesting F4 and not F3 (which is what I use) is the auto film advance/rewind in F4.
F100 does handle like a DSLR, I would compare it with D700 in size and feel. The VF is nice and big, but very different from anything from the old era. Focusing screens for F-F4 were made with manually focusing in mind; focusing screen in F100 is optimized for AF and it shows. I do use my F100 with old Nikkors with absolutely no problems, but it's no F3. Its ground glass is a bit dimmer than F3HP and then there are five AF points that you have to learn to ignore.
Personally, I pick up F100 when expecting to use AF. Otherwise, it's F3.
The Nikon F4 is a good choice providing you can accept its bulk and weight.
I use mine with manual focus AI lenses and for a while focused with the standard "type B" focus screen that came with the camera. I later bought a "type P" screen (hard to get) which is similar to the screen in my F3HP and I find this much better. I would not buy this camera for it's autofocus capability even with modern lenses. see: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...eens/index.htm
The F4 is a very nice camera, but for weight and portability I prefer the F3HP.
I can't compare it to anything else, but I do like my F4S. Yes, it's rather heavy, but I have small hands and I like having the stability that such a camera affords me. It's a matter of personal "feel," but it's nicely contoured, so it feels great.
Yes, the AF is relatively slow, but it's nice to have. The electronic rangefinder lamp doesn't light until you're dead-on focused, so there isn't much "play" in that and I find I rarely depend on it. I snap the shutter when I feel the scene is focused regardless of the lamp.
Who worked on your FE? That should not be such a problem.
Manual focusing on F-100 isn't that easy. For one, the electronic range finder gives you a "range" where the blue dot illuminates. Sometimes, this range can be quite a bit.
For another, the arrangement where the dot is located at lower left corner of view finder requires one to look at two things at once. The scene itself making sure focusing bracket is where it is supposed to be, and the lower left corner for the green dot. I've never got used to this. The dot is so far on the edge of my view that it isn't easy or natural.
I do like F-100 and I have 3 of them - but manual focusing on them isn't my thing.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?