As I write, I mourn the loss of a legend, that legend being a very long line of 35mm film cameras from Nikon as they cease production of the outstanding Nikon F6.
Over the years Nikon have produced some truly amazing film cameras, most of which I own and enjoy in various guises such as the F, F2, F3, FM, FM2 then the more advanced F301/501/801 and finally the F4 & F5 – now they have announced that production of the last of the line the F6 is to cease.
Nikon, like all the manufacturers have jostled for the top spot, just like today their equipment has been top notch and always had good competition from Canon and Minolta, Olympus or whoever keeping them honest. Advances in technology, just like today, allowed the big manufacturers to be creative and innovative, sometimes with really quirky models and sometimes with game changers which carved their names in the history books.
The Nikon F, of course, set the standard in 1959 and continued to do so right into the 1970’s. Photographers did not change their gear, like their underwear, back in those days, they focused (you liked that right) on going out and making photographs. The Nikon F equipped just about every photo journalist throughout the Vietnam war and beyond, even claiming to have saved a couple of lives with it’s bullet proof build quality.
However, I shall keep on track because this is about my experiences with the Nikon F100 and it’s more expensive and bigger pro sibling the F5.
I have had the F100 for a while and it’s truly brilliant, will take all the AIS manual lenses and all the AFD and G AFS lenses from the digital stable too.
It’s quite good fun having such a backward compatible system as Nikon. Now with the advent of the mirrorless Z cameras I can use any lens from any era of F mount 1959 on that modern digital system, and Nikon have made some extraordinary glass over the years.
The F 100 is reliable and accurate, focusing is swift and lock on is good, as is the tracking. It feels much like a D300 in the hand, ergonomics are similar too so the switch from digital to film is a breeze to be fair, I like it very much.
GAS forced me (you know the deal right) to grab an F5 at the right money and as soon as it arrived I ran a film through it to see if all the hype was worth it, annnnd it is a truly amazing camera. The meter is so accurate for a built in reflected light meter, it just produces such faithful images, as you saw them. It utilises over 1000 matrix segments giving not only light but also colur measurements making for very reliable matrix, centre weighted and spot metering functions. Not only does it have a highly accurate meter this thing is like a machine gun and can eat a 36 exp roll of 35mm in just under 5 seconds – the moral of the story is shoot wisely, har har.
Another rather unique feature is that it records exif data which you can retrieve using the MV-1 data writer utilising CF cards.
It’s a brick for sure, but it’s a great camera and highly affordable these days, mine cost me less than my last XQD card, grab one while you can.