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  1. #1
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Buying a Nikon F5: Any Advice?

    After selling some surplus equipment on good old eBay, I am soon going to have a little surplus of money. Most is going toward our European holiday in September, but I am diverting (with permission ) enough to treat myself to a nice used Nikon F5 body.

    I've shot 35mm for about 25 years and it's still my favourite format. I bought a new F100 about four years ago and it's become my favourite body, unquestionably. I've always wanted to own a very high-end body and the low prices now present an opportunity to indulge my wants but also make my system more usable. (The F100 has a user interface that is almost identical to my F100; my current #2 body, the F90x, is much different to use and is also much slower on AF and motor drive speed.) In essence, I suppose I'll be making the F100 the #2 body, although in some situations where weight is an issue I will be using it in preference.

    KEH has a non-US EX-rated body for around $400 US, and US bodies with similar ratings for about $450. I live in Canada so Nikon USA's anal policies about grey market gear are a non-issue to me. From all I've heard, KEH's EX-graded gear is awfully nice; I've not been disappointed with BGN-graded stuff I've bought. My logic here is that an EX body was probably owned by an amateur and not used and abused.

    Any advice, suggestions...? Are there any accessories I should seriously consider? (The NiMH batteries to get the higher advance rate are cheap, but the chargers are ridiculous - can one use one of those intelligent battery chargers to charge Nikon's batteries?) I should also get an E focusing screen for it at some point.

    Incidentally, don't worry about the size and weight - I really do know it's a big camera. I take my pair of FE bodies and some prime lenses when I want to travel light. This stuff is so cheap now that one can have the precise tool for the job without sacrificing too much of the budget.

    Thanks!
    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.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  2. #2
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've analyzed the situation well. Go for it - you will enjoy the F5 - espescially when used in conjunction with your F-100.

  3. #3

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    At these prices KEH should consider an advert in the UK and direct dealing with U.K. customers. I can't think of any good reliable secondhand stockist in the U.K. selling a F5 for the equivalent of about £210 or even within about £150 of it. This is bargain basement stuff even allowing for carriage costs from the U.S.

    I recently had the opportunity to handle a F100 and F5 in a local secondhand shop. If you attach the F100's grip to it to make it a fair comparison, I didn't think that the F5 felt appreciably bulkier.

    pentaxuser

  4. #4
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    KEH will ship to the UK. You'll have to pay VAT on the purchase, but it sounds like that might still be worth considering.

    Even though I'm in Canada, I get my colour negative and slide film from New York because the price is better than I can get locally. Black and white film is surprisingly competitive in price here, though, which puzzles me (and pleases me).
    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.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  5. #5
    bjorke's Avatar
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    I hear there's one floating around somewhere

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTBFlSwtBKc

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  6. #6
    PeterB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
    Any advice, suggestions...? Are there any accessories I should seriously consider? (The NiMH batteries to get the higher advance rate are cheap, but the chargers are ridiculous - can one use one of those intelligent battery chargers to charge Nikon's batteries?)
    Hi Jim,
    have you read this review ? Be sure to checkout the "drawbacks" section.
    see also [COLOR=#551a8b]Nikon Forum: Nikon F5 batteries[/COLOR] and [COLOR=#551a8b]Nikon Forum: Nikon F5: Rechargeable Batteries[/COLOR]. for using other brand chargers. The Nikon NiMH battery pack uses 9 cells in it in order to get a decent voltage out (nominally 12V which is either 8x1.5V alkaline cells, or 9x1.35V NiMH cells). The best way to charge NiMH cells is to do so individually rather than all in series, I'd be surprised if the dedicated Nikon charger doesn't do that somehow. Actually if it did, the interface would require 10 wires to charge the Nikon 9 cell NiMH pack.

    regards
    Peter

  7. #7
    snegron's Avatar
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    I just purchased a Nikon F3 in EX condition from KEH last week, paid $286.00 plus shipping. I am happy with it. It looks very clean, almost new actually. I have purchased many things from KEH, including new cameras and used DSLR's. When it comes to film equipment their rating system is very accurate. As for digital stuff it is a bit of a toss up. They have a good return policy and surprisingly helpful customer service people as well. If you buy the F5 and don't like it for some reason, send it back to them. Because of their customer service, hassle-free return policy, and accurate equipment rating I only buy used stuff from them. I don't buy anything from ebay, too risky compared to KEH.

  8. #8
    Matt5791's Avatar
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    I bought an F5 about 6 months ago and predominantly use it for weddings - rally love it, even though I was always a diehard manual camera fan.

    I suppose the only thing is to make sure you only buy a mint one - pointless buying anything less with the current prices.

  9. #9
    Blighty's Avatar
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    The F5 is a fantastic camera but, as with the F4 before it, can be a tad heavy on batteries. So much so that I sent it to Nikon UK and asked them to check it over. Everything checked out fine. I couldn't afford Nikon's own dedicated rechargable battery set, so I stuck with alkalines or the occasional set of lithiums. For gawds sake don't use Duracells, they're utter bollocks.
    Norman is an island.Time and tide wait for Norman.

  10. #10
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blighty View Post
    The F5 is a fantastic camera but, as with the F4 before it, can be a tad heavy on batteries. So much so that I sent it to Nikon UK and asked them to check it over. Everything checked out fine. I couldn't afford Nikon's own dedicated rechargable battery set, so I stuck with alkalines or the occasional set of lithiums. For gawds sake don't use Duracells, they're utter bollocks.
    Odd, I get very good life out of Duracells - although I do buy the "digital" version (bit of blue paint on the positive end of the sleeve) which is supposed to have "nicad like" life cycle (i.e. steady current until just before they die).

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