Canon F1n vs. Nikon F2? Really, is one better than the other?
I have them both and love them both. Silly question, but should I love one more than the other? This question is all about personal opinion but is it possible to quantify the advantages of one vs. the other and then decide the best camera?
Let my attempt this:
F2: Heavier. F1n: Lighter
F2: The exposure information in the finder is brighter and easier to read. Aperture and shutter speed are at bottom of frame and both are bright.
F1n: Gorgeous matte black finish and lovely lines
F2: Says "Nikon" on the front of the prism...
F1n: Pleasing font used for "Canon" on prism.
F1n: 50mm 1.4 is great lens, focus to 1 foot.
F2: 50mm 1.4 is a great lens, does not focus as close as 1 foot.
F1n: Lighted exposure info in prism.
F1n: Has Aperture priority AE mode (Should I be comparing the F1n to the Nikon F3??)
Both: Wonderful clunk when shutter is fired.
Both: Can be used as weapons if you are being mugged.
Both: Exchangeable finders and focus screens
Both: Excellent lenses available in all interesting focal lengths
F1n: Lenses are cheaper.
F1n: Professes a like for HP5+
F2: Won't load HP5+ without a bit of whining.
Probably better to compare the Nikon F2 to the Canon F-1 or the Canon New F-1 to the Nikon F3 since these pairs are of the same era. Are you considering whole systems or specific prisms?
So far, with specific prisms. I only have the Canon F1n AE prism and the F2 - Uh, forgot the model number, but the original F2 prism. I would consider the complete systems against each other but don't have experience to do so. If you do, your input would be valuable.
Originally Posted by Les Sarile
Nikkor lenses are better. Nikon was established as a total system before F-1 even came along. Lot to be said for being first in the business.
I've used both extensively and in my opinion the Canon bodies are just awful to use. They tried to automate things away when really all I want is a reliable body with a meter that tells me what it sees and lets me choose what to do with that information. Ditch the Canon, buy a nikon.
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Nothing is automated on the F-1.
I have always found that Nikon manual focus lenses for the Nikon were on the whole better made although there is little to compare between them in use. Canon used a lot of plastic in the later FD lenses whilst Nikon was mainly metal. Yes they are considerably cheaper too.
The Nikon F2 has always held the top of the pile as being the finest mechanical 35mm camera ever made and having owned 2, I can vouch that they are bullet proof!. I don't know of anyone who has argued that point.There was an issue with the metering on the F2 models but there is a repairer in UK that can re-manufacture the tracking used to get the meter to respond correctly.
As for no automation on the Canon there was an auto exposure head available for the F1 although how common these are I have no idea. I do know of one UK dealer with one for sale at present and the price is around £170 for the body only.
Your comparsison isn't so much about Nikon vs Canon but 70's vs 80's.
Nikon is great, but I still love my Canon F-1.
I have used a lot of cameras, but my F1n sans motor was smother more satisfying and i think lighter than the fabled Leica M3. (Yes I've used the Nikon F2... too many quirks compared to the modern F-1 and match needle meter)
That is all. Use what you wish. My favorite photographer from grad school did outstanding work with a Pentax K1000 and 50mm f2.