At last, I finally got my hands on a boxed and mint MB-23 battery pack for my F4. Finding anything for the F4 in mint condition these days takes time, but if you wait long enough you’ll find it.

The Nikon F4 was a 35mm autofocus (AF) single lens reflex (SLR) film camera, first introduced in 1988 as the next generation in Nikon’s line of F series professional cameras. With industrial design by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the F4 was the first professional Nikon to offer autofocus and is able to accept any of Nikon’s manual focus (MF) or AF lenses from 1959 to the present day, including the two F3AF lenses (in Autofocus mode). The F4 replaced the F3, which was a manual focus camera produced from 1980 to 2001. Nikon introduced its next flagship model, the F5, in 1996. All F4 models were discontinued soon after in May 1997.

Nikon F4e, with 16mm f2.8 Full Frame Fisheye

The F4 introduced many Nikon owners to autofocus (as well as focus tracking), and was the first professional Nikon to utilize a vertical-travel metal-blade shutter (with shutter balancer to minimize noise and camera bounce). As a fully electronic camera with motorized film transport (up to 5.7 frames per second), it required one of three available bottom-mounted battery packs to operate, using standard AA or rechargeable cells. For the first time on a Nikon SLR, two of those battery packs also offered an additional vertical shutter release button and grip for using the camera vertically.

Its controls were transitional between those of mechanical SLRs and future professional film and digital SLRs: the F4’s electronics, LCD viewfinder display, autofocus, programmed auto-exposure, and matrix meter looked to the future, but it also retained classic dedicated analog dials for shutter speed, lens aperture, metering pattern, and exposure compensation.

The F4 was the first Nikon F-series camera to lack a manual film-advance lever, though it offered both motor-driven and manual film rewinding. Like previous F-series cameras, the F4 featured a high degree of customization to specific tasks, with various remote controls, film backs, and viewfinders available. While it was a complex camera with over 1700 parts, the F4’s high-quality mechanical and electronic components, as well as weather sealing and tough construction, made for a reliable and long-lived professional SLR.

Nikon MF-23 Multi Control Back/ F4

The F4 will accept all autofocus lenses made for the F mount, as well as almost all manual focus F mount lenses excluding some very early fisheye lenses. The meter coupling cam can be moved out of the way for use with lenses manufactured prior to 1977 (non-AI lenses). The F4 is one of the few Nikon cameras offering full Matrix metering with AI manual focus lenses.

Nikon F4 Control Dials

Its lack of electronic aperture control limits the F4’s functionality with G type lenses, which do not have an aperture ring. With these lenses, exposure control is limited to program and shutter-priority modes. In addition, DX lenses are not designed to cover the full 35mm frame and will vignette when used with the F4 (or any other 35mm camera). The F4 also provides no support for Nikon’s later VR (Vibration Reduction) system; VR-equipped lenses will mount and function, but without image stabilization.

Nikon F4e

Eventually Nikon had three F4 models that were distinguished by which integrated battery pack was attached. All F4 bodies are interchangeable with all battery packs. Therefore none of the cameras includes a label for its particular model name—all use a simple “F4″ nameplate:

Text From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Having had time to get more acquainted with Nikon FC-E8 Fisheye lens I purchased for my infrared converted Coolpix 995 I’ve made a couple of interesting discoveries.

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angel

angel

boat-people

boat-people

cam

cam

church gates

church gates

curvesadjustment

curvesadjustment

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esp

esp

exit

exit

Foot Loose

Foot Loose

IR-Building-web

IR-Building-web

no1bridge

no1bridge

pit-head

pit-head

sign

sign

statue

statue

steplights

steplights

StMichaels Tree

StMichaels Tree

The Lightening Tree

The Lightening Tree

the photographer

the photographer

three trees

three trees

Titford Canal

Titford Canal

waterfront#1

waterfront#1

waterfront#2

waterfront#2

waterfront#3

waterfront#3

Wychbury Heights

Wychbury Heights

All Images Copyright John Powell, 2011

My main concern was the fact that I wasn’t getting pin sharp images when I engaged the camera in the recommend Fish#1 setting. What the Fish#1 setting actually does is set the cameras zoom to its widest setting. With the FC-E8 attached you get a phenomenal 183 degree field of view. What the camera then proceeds to do is set the focus point to infinity, which is what you don’t want, not with a Fisheye Lens you don’t!

With all ultra-angle lenses you need to get close to your subject and fill the frame. But if the camera is set to focus at infinity you will never achieve sharp images.

To remedy this I have dispensed with the in-built menu settings and created my own, which I have saved and asigned to the FUNC1 button.

My settings now read as follows:
Coolpix is reset to Normal Lens Mode
Metering is set to Centre-Weighted
Focusing is set to:
Manual Area AF (you choose AF area)
Single Point AF (you choose AF point)
Focus Confirmation: On

As you can see from the images shown, focusing is no longer an issue, keeping one’s head, feet and shadow out of shot is!

Happy Fishing!

Update: Saturday 29th January, 2011 – Slide Show Feature Added

Useful Links:  Coolpix 995 | Nikon FC-E8 | Infrared Photography Guide |

It may be of very little interest to some, but for me and anyone else who happens to enjoy ultra wide-angle photography, owning a Fisheye lens must come pretty high up on their wish list.

I have to confess my, Fisheye lens isn’t a true lens as such, but Fisheye attachment, designed for the classic Nixon Coolpix 995.

Although the Nixon FC-E8 (official title) dates back to 2001 its still a very much a sort after accessory, so much so, its taken ages to track one down. I got mine from Cash Generators in Manchester for a ridiculous price of just £40!

The perspective you get from this type of lens is phenomenal. With the Coolpix 995 you have the choice of two settings, Fish#1 or Fish #2.

Fish#1 gives you a full 183 degree circular view, equal to a 8mm Fisheye lens.
Fish #2 gives you the equivalent of a 15mm full frame Fisheye.

In addition to my wide-angle obsession I also love to capture images in infrared. The combination of eerie monochrome images along with an exaggerated perspective creates some very interesting results.

The four sample images shown here were all taken with my infrared modified Nikon Coolpix 995 using the Nikon FC-E8 in Fish #2 mode @ 200 ISO.

More about the Nikon FC-E8 Fisheye Adapter
Originally developed for scientific or industrial applications, Fisheye lenses are now also widely used in advertising, commercial and general photography. Fisheye lenses create a dramatic effect, showing the viewer the world as a fish might see it. With coverage up to 220? – virtually seeing backwards – Nikkor Fisheye lenses can add a new dimension to your photography.For special effect photography, as well as a variety of scientific and industrial applications, the Fisheye lens FC-E8 for Nikon CoolPix digital cameras is ideal. All-encompassing 180? Fisheye coverage records everything in front of the camera, and produces a circular image on the film. Bright f / 2.8 aperture for dim light or fast shutter speeds. Close-focusing is now down to 33cm (1 foot), full-aperture viewing and metering. Easy filter interchange; 5 filters are built into a revolving turret inside the lens.