Those who read my blog on a regular basis will know that I have a passion for collecting Nikon cameras, both film and digital. It all started out with me wanting to replace all the old film cameras I once owned back in the eighties and nineties (EM, FG, FE, F301, F801). Then the bug hit me and I moved on to the ones that I would have loved to have owned, but couldn’t afford (F3 & F4). Now I’ve gone a stage further and plan to collect all their 35mm film cameras from the original Nikon F from 1959 to the Nikon F6, introduced in 2004. Here’s a few more that I picked up recently.
The F50 is a 35mm film SLR camera which was introduced by Nikon in 1994.
It was aimed at the lower-end of the amateur autofocus SLR market. The F50 features autofocus, TTL light metering and various “programs” (ranging from manual operation to a highly-automated point and shoot mode). It was replaced by the similarly-priced F60 in 1998.
The F60 was introduced in late 1998 as the successor to the F50. It was targeted at the consumer market and at the time of release was Nikon’s lowest-priced SLR on sale in the UK. It was noted by some reviewers that the F60’s wheel-based interface was easier to use than that of the F50.
The body of the F60 is made from polycarbonate and metal, available in both “champagne silver” and black. It’s compatibility with older Nikkor F-mount lenses, except AFS and pre-AI lenses. However, in some cases autofocus and/or TTL metering is not supported. Notable omissions include depth-of-field preview and any form of remote shutter release; both these features were included on the F65. The F60 body was used as the basis of Fuji’s popular Fuji S1 Pro digital SLR of 2001, with modifications to add a colour LCD, a digital storage compartment, and a separate battery compartment for the digital portion.
The F70 was introduced by Nikon in 1994. This camera is known for its unusual user interface which uses a combination of function and set buttons along with the thumb wheel to navigate the nestled settings. It is quite different compared to other Nikon SLR’s of the same era.
The Nikon F80 was the first SLR to be introduced for the Y2K. It was the successor to the F70 and was based on the highly successful F100 with the notable lack of the weatherproofing and ruggedness that characterizes that camera. Three versions of the F80 are available, the F80, the F80D, which has a different back that can imprint date information on the frame and the F80S which can also imprint exposure data between frames. The F80 keeps with the traditional look of Nikon camera bodies, with a black plastic exterior, white Nikon lettering on the prism with a red rubber insert on the inside of the camera’s grip. The F80 accepts all F-mount Nikkor lenses with the exception of many pre AI, and all IX, lenses (these cannot be mounted on the F80 without causing damage). Older non-CPU AI and AIS lenses can be mounted on the camera, but exposure must be set manually as the camera will not meter through them at all. The F80 was chosen by Nikon to be the basis for the popular Nikon D100 digital SLR. The chassis was also used by Fujifilm as the basis for the FinePix S2 and S3 Pro cameras and by Eastman Kodak for their Kodak DCS Pro 14n.
Rumours were a bound during 2005 that Nikon would make a successor to the F80. However, in early 2006 Nikon announced that they intended to cease production of all their film cameras apart from the F6 and FM10; no up-grade to the F80 was ever forthcoming.
The F90 was manufactured by Nikon between 1992 and 2001 and replaced the earlier Nikon F801. At the time of its release it was noted for its fast autofocus speed compared to previous Nikon models. Despite not being intended for the professional market, the Nikon F90 and its upgrade, the F90x, were built to a high standard and were used by many professionals of the day. It was Nikon’s first camera to support 3D TTL flash metering with D lenses. However, many, if not all F90 and F90x’s had problems with the rubberised coating on the back of the camera turning into a sticky mess! The rubber around the grip and other parts were not affected. Although this did not affect the functionality of the back it was a nuisance to users. The rubberised coating can however be removed by rubbing with a microfibre towel or similar soaked in Isopropyl Alcohol. This procedure will remove the rubberised top coating without affecting the surface finish of the underlying plastic or the clear film viewing window.
The Nikon F90x was a slightly upgraded version of the very popular F90.
Differences included faster and more accurate autofocus and shutter speed adjustments in thirds of a stop versus the full-stop increments of the F90. Frame rate was also increased, along with several other minor upgrades. Weather sealing was also beefed up. In addition, it eliminated the beeping function of the F90.
In all cases the use of DX lenses are not recommended for SLR Film Cameras as they do not cover the full 35mm frame and will lead to vignetting.