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  1. #21

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    If you only manually focus with an F4, then the AA batteries last quite long time. The autofocus and motordrive are what eat up batteries, though even then you can do many rolls on those AAs.

    I got an F4S from KEH in January, and recently added a waist level DW-20 finder. Really amazingly bright standard viewfinder, though that waist level finder is a nice change when doing very low angle shots. Nice thing with the F4 is Matrix metering with non-CPU lenses, like all the old AI and AIS lenses. It also connects to much more modern flash gear than an F3, with a much higher flash sync speed for daytime fill flash.

    An F3HP is nice for daytime shooting, and weighs less than an F4 (substantially less than an F4S or F4E). The flash shoe is non-standard, though Nikon makes an adapter unit so you could share a Speedlight between your F100 and an F3HP (or an SC-17). You might want to price the adapter, if you think you might use flash on an F3HP (or an F2).

    An F2 is nice, though the prices are not. These are nearly collectors item status. I have also found them to be a bit clunky compared to other Nikon bodies, at least with setting shutter speeds. Nice if you find a good price on a used one, but don't buy a beat up body.

    Something not mentioned yet is the FM3A. These are actually more expensive than an F4S, if you can even find one. I have the much older FM and FE, though you can also compare the FM2 and FE2. All these allow changing the viewfinder screen, except the original FM. They are light for metal (mostly) camera bodies, and reasonably well balanced with a 105mm f2.5. You might find the viewfinder brightness somewhat comparible to your F100, though not as good as an F4 (or F3).

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio

  2. #22

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    The best viewfinder I've seen to date is in the N80; Just switch it to manual focus and custom set it for a gridded screen. Their cheap when used and light and have an incorporated flash for the people pix's. The spot metering option is nice.

  3. #23
    Amund's Avatar
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    Thanks for your insight Gordon. You`re not making it easier

    I`ve had a FE2 and a FA, and both decided to quit working within the same month(!) Bad luck.....
    Amund
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    -Digital is nice but film is like having sex with light-

  4. #24
    Amund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynecrider View Post
    The best viewfinder I've seen to date is in the N80; Just switch it to manual focus and custom set it for a gridded screen. Their cheap when used and light and have an incorporated flash for the people pix's. The spot metering option is nice.

    Wayne, I already have a F100, wich has a much better vf than the N80 IMO, and gridded screen isn`t any help for manual focus...
    Amund
    __________________________________________
    -Digital is nice but film is like having sex with light-

  5. #25
    Amund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by film_guy View Post
    What about the FM10? I heard it's a pretty good manual camera.
    Not enough viewfinder coverage, and it`s not a Nikon(it`s a Cosina rebrand)
    Amund
    __________________________________________
    -Digital is nice but film is like having sex with light-

  6. #26
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by film_guy View Post
    What about the FM10? I heard it's a pretty good manual camera.
    I bought an FM-10 for a friend. Except for a working built-in meter it didn't compare well to the Nikon F and Nikkormat cameras I regularly use. The kit lens was a dog, and the body gave some trouble. The Nikon F was part of a great system, with a focusing screen for almost every purpose.

  7. #27
    Anupam Basu's Avatar
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    The FM10 is an embarassment IMO when compared to the previous FM and FE series cameras. Cheap build, bad viewfinder. The N80 is a nice camera if you want a cheap AF body. But VF wise it is very mediocre and the meter doesn't work with MF lenses. I do a lot of macro stuff and the N90s, F100, F3 etc simply blow the N80 away in terms of manual focussing ability.

    -A

  8. #28
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    I would seriously consider the F3HP as a good all round camera, regardless whether it is your main camera, or secondary camera.

    With the HP finder it is excellent, put in the type "E" focusing screen with the horizontal and vertical reference lines and you have a screen that can use any Nikkor lens, no matter how small the f stop of the lens is. The type "B" focusing screen is the same as the "E" except it doesn't have the lines. Both of these screens are the only ones which are suitable for any Nikkor lens, including the f/11 1200 nikkor, which I once had one of my F3's attached to for a roll of film.

    The excellent DW-3 waist level finder is fantastic for overhead shops using a 24mm lens and the camera held at arms length above one's head.

    The DW-4 6X magnification finder is an absolute eye opener for focusing on fiddly stuff. One of the more exotic uses for this finder, is for close focusing the 105 f/2.5 lens.

    It works like this:- Place the camera in portrait mode, on it's side. One then focuses critically on an eye or part of an eye, or wherever, as soon as critical focus is reached you squeeze the shutter button. This ensures accurate critical focus with very interesting out of focus parts of your scene. The 85 f/1.4 doesn't work as well, however the 180 ED f/2.8 is also a good prospect for this close focusing. It at first is a bit funny standing on the side of the tripod for focusing, but like backwards pictures on the focusing screen, one soon comes to grips with this.

    I also have the DA-2 Action, or sports finder. This is terrific for focusing whilst wearing a motorcycle helmet or working in very cold weather and you are wearing a hooded jacket with draw strings and possibly goggles so your eyes don't water in the super cold wind. You can focus perfectly with the camera between 100 to 250mm away from your eyes.

    The F3 also has an advantage over most cameras manufactured after it. It doesn't have a permanently attached drive! With the F3 I put the body in one jacket pocket, in the other pocket I carry a lens. Yes they are weighty, but they travel exceptionally well when transported in a broken down form.

    The F3 was Nikon's third major model and more or less by this time, they had perfected the camera body. With the almost endless array of accessories, you can photograph virtually anything.

    The absolute quality that went into the manufacturing of this particular mass produced manual focus camera, has not been equalled either before or after.

    At least that is my view after using this camera for over 23 years, whilst slowly acquiring little bits and pieces which have enhanced it's capabilities enormously

    Mick.

  9. #29
    Anupam Basu's Avatar
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    All good points about the F3. If Nikon had managed to put a normal hotshoe on that body for easy flash work, it would be a truly perfect camera.

    -A

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amund View Post
    epharis, I have a absolutely fantastic 105mm f/2.5 Ais, and will probably add something wide-ish too...
    I have one too.

    I recommend you consider the 24mm f2 AIS or 35mm f1.4 AIS. I love 'em both. Add a 50mm f1.4 AIS and the 105mm f2.5 AIS you mention and I could photograph forever and not need any additional lenses.
    Last edited by ehparis; 04-14-2007 at 11:16 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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