If you plan to get any newer Nikon than the F or early F2's than I would highly recommend that you get Ai lenses. The non-Ai lenses will not work well or at all with some of the newer Nikon's. For-instance, they will not fit an FM2, FE2 or the FA and will only work in stop down mode with the F2A or the F3. I don't know about the F4 or F5. I have mostly the Ai or Ais lenses but a few non-Ai and can only use them with my F2. I am considering having these lenses converted here: http://www.aiconversions.com/PricesAndShipping.htm
As for the viewfinder screens, I have tried most and really like the grid screen (E) and have that screen on all my Nikon's.
If you can find an F2 in good shape, that would be a nice camera and you should consider it. I love my F2...very tough camera and it keeps on going even w/o batteries.
I don't agree with converting lenses, right now on KEH the difference between a non AI and AI 50mm is $12 hardly worth the cost of conversion that devalues vintage lenses.
APUG: F, F/FTN,F2,F2A,F2AS,F3,F3HP,FA,FE,FM,FM2,FE2,XK,XM,XD, XD-5,XD-7,XD-11,XE,XE-5,XE-7,SRT101,SRT102,XG9,XG7,XG1,XG-SE,XG-M,X700,OM-1,OM-1n,OM-2,OM-2n,OM-4,F-1,F-1N,AE-1P,R5,500C/M,SCII
Focusing screen is personal so I wouldn't recommend one. I use plain screen like type B or type D. Many fan of the F4 said it's the best manual focus Nikon. I since don't have one I can't say much but I much prefer the F3 as its simpler. I found many of the extra features on newer cameras I simply not use. Since I don't have the F4 I can only say which features on the F5 that I don't use. I don't use S or P mode (my F5 custom setting is set to disable S or P mode, only A or M is selectable). I don't use the matrix nor spot. For spot I found a hand held is easier to use. For matrix it doesn't work for color negative film. I don't use auto bracketing, I found it take more time to set the sequence. I do at times use AF, but I have heard the AF on the F4 isn't any where as good as the F5.
I have the F5 too.
I do use many of the features.
One is the shape of the body, it is a joy to hold.
AF is very important to me, my eyes are getting old.
Use with speed lights is sweet.
IMO the meter is very nice for an in camera meter, I even use "A" on occasion. Still prefer an incident meter and "M" but in a pinch it is just fine.
Sure there are things I don't use but that's ok.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
What do plan on using this equipment for?
Originally Posted by puketronic
Makes great deal of difference in focusing screens and bodies/motors.
Frankly, I would not purchase any glass other than Nikkor.-Dick
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The F3/MD4 combo is a beauty. It's dense and durable and inspires confidence the way a hammer does. It is quite heavy, something like 2kg all dressed, but that extra weight is a helluva damper for camera shake. I could hand-hold mine at 1/15 on the regular, 1/8 if I got my breathing just right.
I can't see a reason to own an F4 in 2012. The AF is pathetic, it's plasticy-feeling for an F, the ergonomics are strange, the viewfinder is a hellscape of information overload, and it somehow manages to feel even bigger than it actually is. Matrix metering is great and all, but the only time I see a need for it is when shooting quickly, a situation in which you would also want an AF system which can track a moving object—something the F4 can only do in lab-ideal conditions.
Everything about the F4 screams "stop-gap"; it's not really an MF body, it's not really an AF body, it's not really traditional ergonomics, it's not modern ergonomics. It's the middle child of Nikon history, neither here nor there.
I have a complete set of Nikon screens (22) for my F2 and a couple of Beattie screens. However, there are some that I prefer to others. When I was young with good eyesight, I preferred the “B” screen for general shooting. As my eyesight failed, I found it easier to accurately focus with the “A” screen. For astrophotography, I prefer the “M” screen. I use the other screens when the circumstances warrant. For example, if I am doing a lot of 35mm architectural work, I will use the grid lines on the “E” or “R” screens.
I have used the Nikon F, F2, F3, and F4. All are excellent cameras. I no longer own the F or F3 but I still own and use the F2 ad F4.
I have owned a few F3s, an F2, a couple of F4s, and a couple of f100s, an FM, FM2, and even an FM3A, but I have sold all of them except my old plain-prism F. This is my favorite Nikon camera, it's simplicity and ruggedness appeals to me, and I get great photos with it. Don't knock the old F, it's more than enough to get the job.
Yes it is, it's a simple rugged tool which can be kept running almost indefinitely. The F2 is just about as good, I can't think of any area where it is inferior to the F as far as reliability.
Originally Posted by sangetsu
Don't knock the first series of Nikkormats, either.
Last edited by E. von Hoegh; 12-04-2012 at 10:25 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Saw many an F take quite a beating in Vietnam and they kept on ticking. I wonder if more modern cams would hold up nearly as well. Every time I pick up mine I'm reminded of the weight, but it sure is solid.