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  1. #1
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    *sigh* Nikon F5 vs F4s...

    Decisions, decisions...

    Been offered an F5. Body's in decent shape, showing usual amounts of wear on the metal surfaces. However, the grip surfaces are sticky and are pulling away in spots, due to the previous owner regluing them in place and not doing a good job.

    I wouldn't mind having a body that's very similar to my D1H (er, F100D), but I did notice that the autofocus didn't seem much more responsive than my F4s. Granted, I was using a 28-70 AF-D zoom for my testing purposes. Both bodies did have Energizer lithiums installed. It was a little quicker, but not much quicker. Also seemed to be easily fooled in the same low-contrast situations that the AM200 module in the F4s was fooled.

    I'm being offered the F5 for $299. Trade-in is $140 on the F4s, and I'll probably have to purge the 105/2.8 Micro AIS as well to get the camera. Am trying to keep the cash outlay below $30, if I can. Will likely get a 55/3.5 or a nice 55/2.8 in a month or so to replace the 105/2.8, if I do this.

    From my previous experiences with both bodies, here are the pros and cons I've noticed:

    F4 pros:

    Matrix metering works with AI/AIS lenses
    non-AI lenses can be used without modifying the body
    The ultra-rare P screen is available
    Body can be shrunken down with a MB-20 battery pack
    Has "T" shutter speed setting for long exposures
    Classic 60/40 centerweighted metering pattern
    Dials

    F4 cons:

    Single point AF (not that big of a deal to me - D1H is always on the center point)
    AF can be slow with MB-20 or when using alkalines
    Grip material gets sweaty in the summer
    Camera sounds like it's sneezing when the shutter's fired and the motor drive advances the film
    LCD bleed is a common problem

    F5 pros:

    Lighter than F4s or F4e configurations
    Higher frame rate in Ch and CL modes
    3D Color Matrix metering
    More advanced flash metering capabilities
    Five-point AF
    Grip material doesn't sweat and is more comfortable (but does get sticky sometimes)
    Can do VR with lenses so equipped
    Fully compatible with G lenses

    F5 cons:

    Always one size - cannot be shrunk down to F100 size, if desired.
    Centerweighted metering pattern closer to F3 semi-spot than the classic pattern used on most MF Nikons and the F4, but identical to most AF non-pro bodies
    Too easy to squeeze off two frames on CH when you just want one
    LCD fade out is a problem on some bodies, but not anywhere as common as the LCD bleed on the F4's
    Less of a focusing screen choice, can't get the P screen with both a microprism collar and the diagonal split, instead have a choice of either microprism (J screen) or diagonal split (L screen) - however, it seems the screens are more common than the more esoteric F4 screens
    DOF preview is motorized
    Top cover looks like most AF Nikons with an LCD screen and two command dials

    It's tough to decide between the two. I'm tempted to stick with what I have for now, then see if I can sell some non-Nikon items and either pick up this F5 or a different one. What would you guys do? I will be leaving here at 11:00 AM PST to run errands. Will check the forum before I leave.

    -J
    APUG: F4, F3P, F2ASx2, F
    DPUG: D200
    Nikkors: 18-70/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX (f/D200), 24/2.8 AI, 35/135/3.5-4.5 AIS, 50/1.4 AI, 50/2 H, 85/1.8 K, 105/4 Micro AIS, 180/2.8 ED AIS, 300/4.5 ED AI

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  2. #2
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Don't sweat the rubber peeling off - this is a common problem with those cameras.

    Some of those pro's and con's are...umm, interesting. With respect, some of them are a bit of a reach -- "too easy to fire off too many frames on the F5 when on C-H mode". Umm, yeah, well turn the motor drive down, then.

    Size wise, they're both similar with the F5 being a newer body...presumably you'll go a longer time before something goes wrong, I suppose.

    Honestly, they're both terrific, solid cameras with great metering, lens compatibility, build quality and overall feel.

    In my personal experience (I've owned both, sometimes several times) and reading this forum, the main deciding factors always seem to boil down to the F4 bestowing matrix metering on older lenses, and the F5's superior (very much superior) autofocusing.
    "Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away and you've got their shoes."

    MY BLOG - www.reservedatalltimes.com
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  3. #3
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    True. Part of my problem is that both of my previous F5's were replaced with F4's. The first body had a half blank LCD in the viewfinder and was replaced with an F4s that had an MF-23, but also had LCD bleed issues which were minor compared to the F5's LCD issue. The second body was actually pretty clean with only minor scratches in the finish. Was an early model, in the 30189xx serial range. Was traded for an F4 that I owned in 2007, after said body returned to the camera shop, this time with an MB-20, instead of the MB-21 pack. The F4 was about a year older than the F5 was, being just below the 25xxxxx serial range. Like with the FM2's, I keep coming back to the F4's. Not sure what it is, but I just seem to like them a lot, even though they aren't as technologically advanced as the F5's are.

    I'll do some mulling over in my sleep and figure out what I want to do. Might also check the other shop in the area and see if their F5's are in better shape. I seem to remember them being the same price as the one I'm considering.

    -J
    APUG: F4, F3P, F2ASx2, F
    DPUG: D200
    Nikkors: 18-70/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX (f/D200), 24/2.8 AI, 35/135/3.5-4.5 AIS, 50/1.4 AI, 50/2 H, 85/1.8 K, 105/4 Micro AIS, 180/2.8 ED AIS, 300/4.5 ED AI

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  4. #4

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    What exactly do you wish to achieve by buying a new camera? Is this some sort of a GSA (Gear Acquisition Syndrome)? Judging by your signature you have more then enough you will need for photography, if you want to have a change get a digital camera.

    I say don't sweat acquiring gear, move on and be content.

  5. #5
    rhmimac's Avatar
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    tempting... I own both F100 and F4S, F100 gets out rarely despite it's modern nature, love the F4S solid brick feeling and matrix on AIS lenses, F5 was for sale in my shop for 330€, so far could resist it ;-)

    rhmimac

  6. #6

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    Both excellent camera's, one being a more manual body, to me the F5 feels right, everything has a very solid feel about it and fits my hand and eye perfectly, I love the solid feel to it and all the functions have that "I will work forever" touch about it.

    I know from another forum that you are a real F4 man and I respect that but eventually I know you will have a F5 and love it.

    It is one of the few great models that is missing from your great list of acquisitions.
    Cheers from OZ

    Lee

  7. #7
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    Lee, actually, I've had two. But, as mentioned above in my last post, I keep trading them toward F4 bodies. I guess old habits don't die. Ever since 2005, when it became possible to get film bodies for dirt cheap, I've been on this buying & selling binge where I use something for a couple months, then sell it off, only to buy another just like it within 1-6 months. Luckily, the F5 hasn't been cheap enough for me to do that, so I've only had two, compared to the eight F4's, etc...

    Here's what I currently own:

    F4s
    F2AS
    F FTn with drive
    a couple Nikomat FTn's, one black that I got for a dollar and change, and a chrome that was just overhauled
    FM2 that needs work
    D1H (off-topic version of F100)

    Lens-wise:

    24/2.8 Nikkor-N AI'd
    35/2.8 Nikkor-S AI'd
    50/1.8 AF Nikkor
    50/2 Nikkor AI
    85/1.8 Nikkor AI'd
    105/2.8 Micro-Nikkor AIS
    180/2.8 Nikkor-P AI'd.

    The Hasselblad gear is gone for now. Came to the realization that I should wait on it and just shoot the Nikon stuff for now.

    If I go with another F5, the F4s, 105/2.8, probably the black Nikomat, and maybe the 50/2 will be disappearing from the list. I'll know more when I actually go look at the bodies @ Glazer's Camera in Seattle. If I can get the same deal there, I may do it. If not, then I'll just stick with my F4s.

    -J
    APUG: F4, F3P, F2ASx2, F
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    Nikkors: 18-70/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX (f/D200), 24/2.8 AI, 35/135/3.5-4.5 AIS, 50/1.4 AI, 50/2 H, 85/1.8 K, 105/4 Micro AIS, 180/2.8 ED AIS, 300/4.5 ED AI

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  8. #8

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    I've owned both. F4 is junk compared to the F5. Never looked back. Ultimately the weight of the F5 convinced me to switch to the F100. Only thing missed is the high motor drive speeds of the F5.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  9. #9

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    You will know what a reasonable price for a F5 is in the U.S. in good condition but if I were offered one in the U.K. for the equivalent of $299 from a commercial business and not a private sale where I could vouch for the condition I'd be wary.

    In the U.K. a F5 being sold for only $299 suggests it has seen a lot of use and may not be in the best of condition. In fact I don't think I have ever seen one being sold this cheaply.

    Just a thought

    pentaxuser

  10. #10
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    The UK market does seem to be inflated, price-wise. The F5 does come with a 60 day warranty and a 14 day return policy. I've also dealt with both shops for many years. One shop for 19 years, and the other for the past 5-6 years. I've never paid more than $325 for an F5 over the past three years.

    -J
    APUG: F4, F3P, F2ASx2, F
    DPUG: D200
    Nikkors: 18-70/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX (f/D200), 24/2.8 AI, 35/135/3.5-4.5 AIS, 50/1.4 AI, 50/2 H, 85/1.8 K, 105/4 Micro AIS, 180/2.8 ED AIS, 300/4.5 ED AI

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