+1 for the F4. I adore mine. If I had to choose only one camera to keep out of all my kit (film and digi) it would be the F4.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing, as simply messing about in boats
To me, it's really quite simple to decide. (For the record, I own both cameras.)
Do you intend to rely frequently on autofocus (particularly with moving subjects)? If so, get the F100.
If autofocus is something you might use but don't need to rely on, the F4 is better in many other ways and it's a very pleasant camera to use.
The only other issue I might note is size and weight. The F100 is quite small and still not bad if you add the MB-15 battery pack (that adds a very useful vertical shutter release and ups the frame advance rate from 4.5 to 5.0 fps). The F4s/F4e (the most common F4 variants) are quite a bit larger. You can buy a battery pack to make the F4 smaller and lighter (a true F4 although most so-called F4 cameras are really s or e variants). However, the packs are rare and expensive. (I am still looking for one...)
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?
Some F4's can have issues. Had one about three weeks ago that was an above 2500000 body. Would work fine for about 10-15 frames then act as if I'd fired it on "T". Have gone back to my 2265xxx body that I owned previously. Kept the newer finder, which updated the finder release lever to the double detent feature - the mod was done to the rail on the left side of the finder. The only other truly problematic F4 I've had was one I bought as a parts camera. Someone stuck their finger through the shutter and destroyed it. The LCD's do have bleed issues on some of the bodies. Seems to be more common with the 243xxxx-244xxxx bodies in my experience. Had three that had issues. With one of them, it was in the DP-20 only (and majorly so - half of the bottom LCD was black), so I found a decent DP-20, bought it, and replaced the bad one with it. The other two had minor bleed, but not enough to prevent usage of the camera in all modes.
The pros for the F4:
System camera, can be made big or small, depending on what you want, and has four different finders, plus a bunch of focusing screens.
Will matrix meter with AI/AIS Nikkors, but not AI'd Nikkors, due to those lenses missing the lens speed post on the rear element baffle
Traditional control layout without LCD's on the top cover
Ability to manually rewind the camera
T mode for long exposures without wearing the batteries down - can also be used for longterm storage, fire shutter on "T", wait a few seconds until click is heard, then move shutter speed dial off "T". Shutter is left uncocked, but mirror is locked up.
100% viewfinder coverage, like all other F-series Nikons
Will not work with G lenses in M or A modes
Focus can be slow at times - lithium AA's help a lot
Single focus point, compared to five for the F100
Newer with a more current interface
Fully compatible with G lenses, except, of course with DX lenses, which won't do full-frame, obviously
More advanced matrix metering system
Backlit negative LCD display
Five focusing points that light up in red and faster AF - can still get confused and hunt, though
More advanced flash circuitry, similar to N90s, but with rear curtain sync controlled by camera, instead of flash
10-pin remote socket that can also be used with other cables to download image data to a PDA or a computer, etc
More electronics, even the DOF preview is motorized instead of a mechanical linkage as in earlier cameras
Metering mode switch will eventually become tempermental
No ADR, so no apertures in the viewfinder with non-AF Nikkors
96% viewfinder coverage
Rubberized covering, while it feels nicer, can get sticky after a while and sometimes needs to be reglued
Centerweighted meter is closer to Nikon F3 in bias, so it's almost a spotmeter
Aforementioned plastic rewind fork
No manual override of rewinding
Only two focusing screens, either the B or the E - is possible to modify an FM2n or FM3a screen to fit, however.
Both cameras are nice. I have both, although, my F100 is the digi version, also known as the D1H.
APUG: F5, F3HP, F2AS, Nikomat FT2, FTn, Nikkormat EL, FT
Nikkors: 18-55/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX (f/D2x), 20/3.5 UD, 24/2.8 AI, 50/2 AI, 50/2 H, 50/1.4 S, 55/2.8 Micro AIS, 85/1.8 K, 180/2.8 PC
- My flickr stream
I can't think of any way to skew the program mode like with an F100...
Originally Posted by drumlin
I own both, the F4s looks better on the shelf and is more impressive to "play" with, but the f100 is a better camera to use.
Also the f4's lcd screen is notoriously prone to bleeding. LCD technology was still fairly new when it was designed, the f100 does not have this issue.
If you like the feel of a heavy camera, you should also consider the f5--like the f4 it's a camera that "feels like you mean business." The only problem with it is the hard to make out focus point selection, which they fixed with the f100. Focus point is selection is not a problem with the f4, as it only has one focus point.
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I've an F100, F4 and a FM3a and I can never decide which one I love the most!!
I just love Nikons!!
Save your cash and buy them both
"Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing" Optimus Prime
I stayed away from the F4 because of the size. Other than that, I think it would be a nice complement to the F100 as a do anything body. I love my F100 though.