AF speed and accuracy with Nikon n8008/F801s vs. F80/n80
I've owned a year ago a F80/N80 Nikon camera and was thinking of returning to auto-focus gear (i'm with Pentax K & Minolta MD at the moment) on film too (currently I shoot only digital with my nkon lenses). Looking on the market ... prices and stuff, I was wondering if a Nikon 8008 (f801s) would be a better alternative to F80 , especially regarding AF speed and accuracy ? A good one (although much older) would cost less than the F80 but as I know is the pre-pre-pedecessor of the F100 (n8008-n90-n90s-f100). I liked on the F80 its VERY quiet shutter, the two dial control but didn;t like the AF speed so much (definetely not after trying F100 :-) ) and the use of CR123 batteries (i know there is a battery grip but that would add to the camera's volume).
The N801/F801 have a primitive AF when compared to the F80 but it is very plasticky when compared to the 801. Altogether the 801 wins hands down in built quality.
Having said that the 801 is no slouch when it comes to focussing. If you use a tripod the F80 uses a normal cable release where the 801 needs either an MR3 adapter to take a cable release or a special electronic release.
The big question is - the 801 is getting a bit long in the tooth now and good ones will be getting harder to find whilst the F80 is at the opposite end of the spectrum where availability is concerned.
Try very fresh batteries. I used 2 8008s cameras in my pro work for years, great cameras, but when the batteries started losing a bit of power the AF really slowed down and wasn't very precise. RandyB
Did you consider a F90x or a F4s? These are also dropping in price and are very nice cameras.
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Best AF for the money is probably going to be a F100 with a serious cosmetic problem, like sticky rubber; these can be very affordable. F100's are pretty devalued for what they are capable of.
if you are looking at the 8008, also take a look at the N90s. I have both the N90 and the N80 and the 90 has a faster AF with a higher torque AF mechanism. Both have great meters. my only complaint with the N90 style bodies is the weird ergonomics.
I own both of these cameras. The F801/N8008 cameras are much better built, and take normal, inexpensive AA batteries. The autofocus is decent but not super fast. Then again for most subjects, AF speed is not all that important. Accuracy is excellent, especially with faster lenses.
The F80/N80 has significantly faster autofocus and more convenient autofocus, since it has multiple sensors (five compared to one, if I recall correctly). However, I'm not sure I'd term it more accurate.
One other advantage of the F801/N8008 bodies is that they meter with AI and newer manual focus lenses. The F80/N80 needs electronic contacts on the lens to permit metering.
Personally, if I were to only own one of these I'd buy the F801s (which boasts AF tracking and faster AF than the original F801) and enjoy the higher build quality and extra features.
As posted above, the F90/F90x is a terrific bargain and has faster autofocus, with a larger sensor, than the F801/N8008 series cameras and it is not much more expensive . The F90 (non-x) and its US equivalent, the N90 (non-s) is a particularly good bargain if you can live with 3.6 fps rather than the 4.3 fps of its replacement.
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
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thank you.. the F90x seems more interesting. I'm make a search and follow prices on the net for a good condition body. thanks again.