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  1. #1
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    No MLU on Nikon F100.. Problem?

    I've had a beloved Nikon F100 now for about 3 years and it really hasn't gotten too much use since I also have an F4 that I normally shoot if I want to shoot 35mm. But the F4 is heavy and the AF plain stinks. I'm going to start using the F100 now since I want a light and fast AF camera for hiking. Besides the fact that there is no cable release socket the other thing that bothers me about the F100 is lack of mirror lock up. I have heard that this will be a problem with shots on a tripod with a telephoto lens at 1/30 and slower. BUT, I have also heard that the shutter in the F100 is so good that there is no need for MLU. So which is true? Or are both true to some extent? And what can I do to ensure sharp photos with the F100 and my 80-200/2.8?

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Is there a self-timer on the F100? Does it cause the mirror to "pre-release"?
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Using the self-timer, either with or without mirror pre-release should alleviate much of the vibration at and below 1/30th. I have certainly employed that technique with my Canon EOS 1N for a long, long time tripod-mounted (that is to say, mirror lock-up and 2-sec. self timer). Introduced movement is more likely hand-held at 1/30th. You can always improvise for stability e.g. shoot at ground level or on a rock, supporting the lens with a sock rolled up to support it (a shirt, a bushwalking boot — even knickers ... anything you can find or imagine). One way to sort fact from fiction with the F100 is to take it for a spin and find out exactly what it does do. I'm sure it will be damned good and an interesting experience.


  4. #4
    jhw
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    Brian -
    I'm sure a rental trial would indeed let you know if it fits your needs...but I can say I was initially worried about no MLU too. Then I got one, shot many rolls, and saw no introduced vibration from the mirror causing decrease in sharpness. It actually let me part with bigger, heavier F-series Nikons. Yeah, that 9-hole socket for release is goofy. But the camera works wonders. I've shot it up to 200mm, on and off tripod and not noticed any difference from a 'control' camera with MLU I set up to test with.

  5. #5

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    Couldn’t agree with you more – very disappointing that the F100 lacks both mirror-lock and pre-fire mirror-up. Undoubtedly that feature was used to push buyers to the F5. The F100 has a cable-release receptacle in the form of a 10-pin socket. Compatible cables include the MC-20, MC30 and MC-36. There are other less expensive after-market 10-pin cable releases available.

    I haven’t kept careful notes when shooting my F100 but cannot recall sharpness being compromised at the critical range of shutter speeds (1/60 to ½) under normal shooting conditions, though I’ve not done any high magnification or super-telephoto shooting at those speeds either. I can’t help but think that mirror vibration would eventually affect sharpness under high-mag and super-tele usage. It would be helpful to hear about your results. Perhaps Nikon can tweek the software in order to provide pre-fire mirror-up when using the self timer. They can tweek it for other things such as leaving the film leader out when rewinding.

  6. #6

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    Here's another thought. It is generally accepted that the range of shutter speeds that may compromise IQ due to mirror vibration (and/or shutter vibration) is from 1/30 to 1/2 second or thereabouts. IQ doesn't seem to suffer at speeds greater than 1 second. Consider using a neutral density filter to attain slower speeds to reach 1 to 2 second exposures. This, however, may be counter-productive if wind-induced vibration is a concern, though even without an ND filter the wind would likely cause some level of vibration. Of course anything else in motion may also be blurred, e.g. foliage, clouds, etc.

  7. #7
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    I've had a beloved Nikon F100 now for about 3 years and it really hasn't gotten too much use since I also have an F4 that I normally shoot if I want to shoot 35mm. But the F4 is heavy and the AF plain stinks. I'm going to start using the F100 now since I want a light and fast AF camera for hiking. Besides the fact that there is no cable release socket the other thing that bothers me about the F100 is lack of mirror lock up. I have heard that this will be a problem with shots on a tripod with a telephoto lens at 1/30 and slower. BUT, I have also heard that the shutter in the F100 is so good that there is no need for MLU. So which is true? Or are both true to some extent? And what can I do to ensure sharp photos with the F100 and my 80-200/2.8?
    The lack of MLU on the F100 affecting sharpness is largely urban legend. Shot quite a bit a few years back with one using the 80-200/2.8AF and 300/2.8AiS and never detected any softness at lower speeds I could pin on mirror slap. Had very similar results with the older N90s, another MLU-less body.

  8. #8
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the positive replies. I will indeed not worry too much about it then. I have an old trusty Gitzo 1340 tripod and newer Giottos tilt pan head. Both are beastly. I guess I'll look for one of those electronic cable release thingys. It's a shame I cannot just use a mechanical cable release. If they included a threaded cable release and MLU this may be the best Nikon 35mm SLR ever.



 

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