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  1. #1

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    Thinking about a used Nikon F5 or F6

    Thinking about a used Nikon F5 or F6


    OK… so at the risk of offending some forum members…. Be forewarned… I will be using what some may consider a “foul” word.

    No… it’s not that four letter word, it’s actually 7 letters long… begins with a D and end with an L.


    I am considering getting either a used F5 or used F6.

    Body condition, shutter curtain,shutter speed sound, mirror and mirror foam is pretty obvious to assess as to whether or not its been used but not abused. What does concern me is that since the F5~F6 is less “mechanical” and more of an “electronic” camera is there a way to assess that (i.e. “are the electronics in good working order or are they prone to imminent failure”).

    Of even more importance is “shutter count”.

    I know that Nikon claims the shutter is tested to 150,000+ clicks, …BUT…. Is there a way to actually assess the actual shutter count? I know that with a Digital camera (by the way, that was the “foul word” ), one can read the Exif data to get a shutter count….

    Any way of doing that on a F5~F6, getting the shutter count.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    CGW
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    Nikon service centers(and indie Nikon repair shops)can indeed read shutter actuations on F5 and F6 bodies--a feature that goes back at least to the N90s/F90x. Used F6s tend to be pricier and harder to find than the better-selling F5. You shouldn't have much trouble finding a clean, low-rollage F5 at a fair price.

  3. #3
    Rob Skeoch's Avatar
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    I've owned both.

    When film ruled the world I shot with the Nikon F5. I thought it was the greatest film camera made.

    Then came digital and I sold my film body when I switched to Canon.

    Then I got a contract with Sony for digital work, but they never made a film camera so I decided to buy another Nikon.

    I considered the F5 again, since I liked it so much, but thought I would at least take a look at the F6.... so I found a store that had a new one and took a look.

    A few weeks later I bought a used F6 for under $1400 off ebay. I love it. I hope I use it enough to wear it out but that's unlikely. If you want a great film body, get the F6.

    -Rob
    Rob Skeoch
    This is my blog http://thepicturedesk.blogspot.com/
    This my website for photo supplies...
    www.bigcameraworkshops.com
    This is my website for Rangfinder gear
    www.rangefinderstore.com

  4. #4
    lns
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    I would presume that the average used F6 should have many fewer shutter actuations than the average used F5, just because it's so much newer. If you find an F6 that hasn't been extensively used by a professional, the shutter and everything else should be fine. And let's face it, most professionals switched to digital by then, so your odds seem good.

    That said, a few years ago I bought for pennies an F3 that had been used and abused by a professional, then put in his closet for years. It was dented, scraped and dirty, the prism was broken, and the shutter was a little dimpled. After a surface cleaning and a replacement prism, it works perfectly and I use it all the time. I think it takes a lot to wreck one of Nikon's professional bodies.
    I do agree with Rob Skeoch about the qualities of the F6. To me, it's the ultimate Nikon AF camera. The other really nice one I've used, for a fraction of the cost, is the F100.

    -Laura

  5. #5
    phaedrus's Avatar
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    The F6 is uncannily good. Especially the matrix metering, it can be trusted with lighting situations that would otherwise require spot metering and calculations. I use the AF system only to confirm focus, because I prefer Zeiss ZF lenses. All in all, the F6 gets out of your way and lets you do your work.

  6. #6

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    Both are great cameras. I have an F5. The F6 is a lot lighter and gives Matrix Metering with manual focus Nikon lenses. I think if i had the money i'd take an F6 over the F5 purely because of the difference in weight and size - important when trekking long distance for a couple of weeks...

    But then again, i'm not using heavy zoom lenses or big telephoto lenses so it works out OK

    F5s are as cheap as chips these days - maybe $500 for a low use one in decent condition. F6 might cost $1500 - but it does give matrix metering and Nikon creative lighting system for the $1000 extra.

    I can't justify it just yet.

  7. #7
    njkphoto's Avatar
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    I got an F5 recently from KEH for a good price and in great condition. So far so good.

  8. #8
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I have an F5, it is really great, especially the metering. I'm sure the F6 is better, but it is also a lot more expensive, the F5 being something of a bargain these days.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by tony lockerbie View Post
    I have an F5, it is really great, especially the metering. I'm sure the F6 is better, but it is also a lot more expensive, the F5 being something of a bargain these days.
    There is a guy in the ACT selling a F6 as new in box on fleabay. Lucky my credit card is maxed :P

  10. #10

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    I just bought a used f5 for 240 dollars from keh. Works great with my 50 mm g lens and 200 mm macro. Has dedicated mirror lock up (great for macros) and fits my hands better than my d700. I love it! And I save 1200 over the cheapest used f6. That buys a lot of film. I also got an sb28 flash for 69 dollars that worked in 3d ttl mode with the f5

    Get the f5. It autofocuses on my fast moving 2.5 year old son nearly as fast as the d700 and is compatible with all current lenses
    I thought about an f6 but I felt the 1000 dollars I would save to be better spent on glass




    Nik

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