Seriously thinking about getting an F4 or F5

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by luminosity, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    Arizona
    #1
    I'm seriously considering getting a Nikon F4 or F5 (in good condition, of course), as I'm getting into photography, always wanted my own film camera and believe in having a great camera.

    In terms of controls and looks, the F4 seems unbeatable to me. It's all done by dials and such, and is easy to control by hand. It also takes virtually every lens ever made by Nikkor. The F5 is more cumbersome as I understand it, and it doesn't look so sleek. But, the autofocus is legendary, and it's a newer camera. It shoots action very well, whereas the F4 can struggle.

    Any thoughts on these cameras?
     
  2. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #2
    Are you excluding the F6 due to cost? I'm asking because it would have the advantages of the F5, but in a smaller body.
     
  3. luminosity thread starter macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #3
    Definitely because of cost. The F5 can be had in good condition for a bit over a third of the F6's price.
     
  4. foooobarr macrumors newbie

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    Aug 23, 2008
    #4
    I always wanted an F5 growing up, but could never afford one. finally, last year after shooting digital exclusively for about 6 years, I decided to pick up film again and purchase an F5. I picked up at a very reasonable price on eBay. It's absolutely fabulous. Having said that, if you're not used shooting with a big heavy camera, it might be a little bit cumbersome for you. It is not light... in fact, it's a monster... I would say the biggest draw back of the F5 is that you can't be stealthy with it. It is large, imposing and loud...

    So, having said all that... the F5 is really the wrong camera for what I shoot. I use it recreationally to take pictures of objects that don't move... I bought it because it was a dream of mine growing up while flipping thru photo mags to one day own the legendary F5. I'm not dissatisfied with the purchase, but I am going to buy an F100 and probably shoot even more film than I do now as it's smaller, lighter, just as good in every way that matters to me, and more likely to end up in my day bag.

    Hope my thoughts are of use to you. If you have any questions about the F5 just let me know!
     
  5. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #5
    I would add the F100 to that list.
    It's very modern, smaller (if you don't use the battery grip) and works with all modern lenses. Other than that, I can definitely understand why you're tempted :)
     
  6. cube macrumors G4

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    May 10, 2004
    #6
    I have the F4 and the F100. I prefer the F100, but I kept the F4 because it matrix meters with AI lenses (the F5 has the same shortcoming, you need the F6 if you want something newer than the F4).
     
  7. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #7
    I found myself only the other day looking through eBay for a F4 or F5.

    I want to bo a little 'old school' film work and figured one of these witha 50mm f/1.4 would be a perfect partner (god I miss my old F4s).

    I have never used the F5 (or F6) and do like the sturdyness of the F4 (the amount of punishment mine took and kept laughing back at me...)

    mmm now to save a little money and go ebay one......
     
  8. grantrobarts macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #8
    I still have my F4, and love it, but haven't used it but a few rolls of film in the past 4 years.

    You know I would even recommend an F3. I absolutely love the old F3 with the manual advance... such a great film camera.
     
  9. luminosity thread starter macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #9
    I have a pre-AI 50 mm 1.4 lens, plus an AF-D 1.8 50 mm. Neither do autofocus on my D40 (nor will the former autofocus on any camera, of course).

    I'm genuinely torn between the setup of the F4 and the clear advances (and easier time in finding great condition bodies) of the F5.

    I'd go for an F3, except that I'm actively looking for an autofocus camera.
     
  10. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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  11. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #11
    I am in total agreement here. I have the F4, which I picked up brand new for a couple hundred dollars. An over-zealous photography student bought a "manual" camera and found it to be too heavy. I sometimes consider selling, but I can't seem to let it go. The only thing I think I'd "trade" it for is the F3. The F3 is by far my favorite film camera from Nikon. The AE-1 happens to be my favorite Canon film camera excluding their range finders of course.
     
  12. luminosity thread starter macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #12
    If I thought the D700 wasn't too heavy (at least for the couple minutes I held it), is it likely that the F5 wouldn't seem too heavy?
     
  13. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #13
    Uh, have you ever seen a F5...?

    Its size should be compared to the D3, not the D700. The F6 size is similar to the D700.
     
  14. luminosity thread starter macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #14
    I haven't had the chance to see one in person, so no. Thank you for the comparison. It helps :).
     
  15. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #15
    Here's what it looks like:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. luminosity thread starter macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #16
    I've seen many pictures of it, but never in person as of yet. I have picked up a D3, and it was pretty solid.
     
  17. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #17
    Wow, looks like the F5 is more like the D3 than the D700 both in terms of size AND weight - it weighs 1210g. I thought it'd be lighter than the digital cameras since it doesn't have the sensor etc.

    The D700 is 995g, while the D3 is something like 1240g.
     
  18. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #18

    Yep no sensor- instead a Motor and mechanical advance components :)
     
  19. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #19
    When I shot film, I used a Pentax K1000 - so I totally blanked on the fact that some film cameras actually had some niceties like film motors and autofocus. :D

    The K1000 was a great camera for learning about fundamentals, though.
     
  20. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    #20
    Either grab the F5, the F3, or the F100. Nothing wrong with the F4 at all, but if you are looking for a light and modern body, then grab the F100. If you are looking for the best film has to offer sans the F6 price, the F5 is the answer and a great body.

    If you are looking for the nostalgia of film in a pro body that doesn't break the bank account and has some expansion options grab the F3 or the F3HP.

    Honestly, if you are looking for a body to be the perfect bridge between any digital bodies you have and film, the F6 used or new is still the way to go. Now that there is the FX format, it's easier for a few photogs to grab the F6 and use the same glass.
     
  21. foooobarr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    #21
    The F5 is a tank. It's made to be dropped, kicked, thoroughly abused and still fire reliably when needed. Mine weighs about 1500 grams when shooting ready. In contrast, my D200 with battery grip weighs 1300 grams when shooting ready.
     
  22. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #22
    I have an F5 (new in 1999 or 2000, I'd have to look) in very good shape that I'm willing to sell (heck, I still have two plain old F bodies) because I've made the move to digital (D200).

    I wasn't thinking much about selling it but since I noticed you're looking....hope mentioning it like this isn't too great a transgression of forum rules.
     

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