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  1. #1

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    Help with a Nikon F5

    After a couple of years using Digital I have decided to go back to 35mm. My camera of choice is a Nikon F5, I would greatly appreciate your views on this camera, are there any cameras better than the Nikon F5. I thank you in advance for your help. Stuart (Ha Eretz).

  2. #2
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Don't worry the Nikon F5 is a better camera than 95+ percent of the people who use them are photographers.
    Ben

  3. #3
    Marvin's Avatar
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    I have an F5 and like it very much. This was the camera that the working photographers used daily. The color Matrix metering and autofocus were the best at the time.

  4. #4

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    I have had mine for a few years now, and it replaced my N80. Its an amazing camera. I personally like the weight, but some complain its heavy. Focus is great (try it with a 50mm 1.8 and hold on!), but the sensors in the viewfinder are black, which is not the best for low light. Other than that, you can customize everything, and I love the removable prism (low angles, incognito shooting) and focus screens. The meter is dead on ( some people tune it down 1/3 stop for slide film, I just fire away) and I trust it to meter for other cameras that dont have a meter. I dont think the battery life is as bad as some people say, although Im in the habit of switching off my camera instead of leaving it on, so YMMV on that one. In short, you wont regret the purchase.

  5. #5
    TheToadMen's Avatar
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    The Nikon F5 is wonderful camera. I love its size and weight, but for some folks it is too much. An other good camera is a Nikon F4s. Both are fine, it's a matter of personal taste and feel. Either will get the job done!
    If you have used a digital camera like a Nikon D1X you won't mind using a F5.
    "Have fun and catch that light beam!"
    Bert from Holland
    my blog: http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
    my Linkedin pinhole group: http://tinyurl.com/pinholegroup


    * I'm an analogue enthusiast, trying not to fall into the digital abyss.
    * My favorite cameras: Hasselblad SWC, Leica SL, Leica M7, Russian FKD 18x24, Bronica SQ-B and RF645, Rolleiflex T2, Nikon F4s, Agfa Clack and my pinhole cameras

  6. #6

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    If possible spend some time with an F5 (and your lens of choice) dangling from your neck or hand. It's large and heavy. Consider your subject matter. Do you need (want?) the majority of the F5's features and functions? If so, an F6 is more compact since it has a detachable vertical grip. I bet an F100 would suit your needs quite well...an excellent camera for a very modest price...and my preferred AF body.

  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Different? Sure.

    Better than the F5? No.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #8
    mweintraub's Avatar
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    What digital do you have?

    I sold my F100 when I got the F5. I don't use it a lot as I don't shoot 35mm as much as MF. But I love picking up the F5. It's a bit heavy, but it's balanced very well. The screw focus is fast!

    Few things I wish were different / better:
    No sub-command dial on vertical grip
    AF focus points elumination (as mentioned above) are hard to see. (plus I'm spoiled to 51 points, I guess)

    Edit/Add: What's better? Probably the F6. For the price (compared to the F5), the F5 is amazing. The F6 has iTTL control and wireless CLS when using an external commander... but is the $2000+ price difference worth it? Not for me. I know if I would get the F6, I'd want the grip. At that point it's much bigger than the F5.

  9. #9

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    I bought my F5 new in 2002 when I got back to photography after many years absent. It is a great camera. I don't mind its weight as I like heavy cameras. The controls are pretty much the same as Nikon digitals and it was the first Nikon to have an uniform controls. Before the F5 and after the F3, that period of time Nikon was not sure where to put the controls so they are not uniform. It's actually a great camera for manual exposure and manual focusing as well. The focusing screen is very usable for manual focusing.
    The down side of the F5? Actually for me the F5 failed me on 2 areas where it has the most praised among users. First of all the color matrix meter while works very well for color tranparency as well as for digital (if you were to use the F5 reading and set it on a digital camera) but it works very poorly for both color negative and B&W film. The reason is that I found it tends to do a good job to what many nowaday called expose to the right. It watched out for highlight and tend to place the highlight where it won't burn out on slide film. That approach is ok for slide but not for negative where the shadow is generally most important. Negative film has enough latitude toward overexposure to cover the highlight but insufficient exposure in the shadow they look ugly. Since I shoot mostly color neg I now no longer use the matrix meter. The second thing is that while the F5 is great for fill in flash it does it very poorly if the flash is the main light. It tends to underexpose about 2/3 to 1 stops.

  10. #10
    TheToadMen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chan Tran View Post
    The down side of the F5? Actually for me the F5 failed me on 2 areas where it has the most praised among users. First of all the color matrix meter while works very well for color tranparency as well as for digital (if you were to use the F5 reading and set it on a digital camera) but it works very poorly for both color negative and B&W film. The reason is that I found it tends to do a good job to what many nowaday called expose to the right. It watched out for highlight and tend to place the highlight where it won't burn out on slide film. That approach is ok for slide but not for negative where the shadow is generally most important. Negative film has enough latitude toward overexposure to cover the highlight but insufficient exposure in the shadow they look ugly. Since I shoot mostly color neg I now no longer use the matrix meter. The second thing is that while the F5 is great for fill in flash it does it very poorly if the flash is the main light. It tends to underexpose about 2/3 to 1 stops.
    I can't speak out of personal experience in this matter, but this argument is sometimes mentioned in favor of the Nikon F4s metering system. Anyone out there who can make the (unbiased) comparing argument for these two cameras?
    (Stuart: if this is off topic, just say so and we'll shut up ...)
    "Have fun and catch that light beam!"
    Bert from Holland
    my blog: http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
    my Linkedin pinhole group: http://tinyurl.com/pinholegroup


    * I'm an analogue enthusiast, trying not to fall into the digital abyss.
    * My favorite cameras: Hasselblad SWC, Leica SL, Leica M7, Russian FKD 18x24, Bronica SQ-B and RF645, Rolleiflex T2, Nikon F4s, Agfa Clack and my pinhole cameras

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