F4 or F100?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ann_overland, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. I am considering buying one of these cameras. Both of them seem to be a good choice for a film SLR. Can anyone point me in the right direction as to which one I should choose? I have been looking at Ken's lens compatibility chart, so I am aware of which lenses they can use.
     
  2. I Have F4s and F100 I like the F4s nice camera
     
  3. Totally dependent on what you'll be shooting. Apart from the recitations of features you'll likely get, I can say friends love the F4 for macro work since all controls are pre-command wheel knobs. The F100 is arguably among the best prosumer film bodies Nikon made in terms of features, ergonomics, and value. Unless you shoot NAI glass often, the F100 beats the F4. Pretty ones just seem to get cheaper every day.
     
  4. I've been tempted to buy an F100 several times, but never pulled the trigger. I've got an F4 (in all three incarnations--I've got the three different battery grips), and I love it.
    The F4 is possibly the best, most versatile (within the limitations of film) and toughest camera Nikon--or anyone, for that matter--has ever made. (I know it shouldn't bother me, but a friend of mine and I were both playing around with an F100 at a camera shop one day, and we were both appalled by the plastic rewind forks--true, they would likely *never* break, but it just seemed an unnecessary compromise on quality construction.)
    All that being said, the F100 does have several advantages, which no doubt some aficionado will fill you in on in more detail shortly.
    These would include:
    • Smaller and lighter, but still has a battery grip available if you want the advantages that offers.
    • Can use the D information from lenses with that feature, for flash photography; this is one of the main weaknesses of the F4 (although, to me, not a huge one)
    • Can be fully used with G lenses, as the aperture can be changed by control wheels; the F4 can only be used in Program or Shutter Priority with these lenses
    • Ergonomically more similar to Nikon DSLRs, so probably easier to switch seamlessly back and forth between film and digital, if you shoot both
    • More advanced meter, which under *some* conditions will give you better exposures than the F4's (although it does a great job)
    • More autofocus points (although the F4's autofocus lock button is quite easily accessible, so focus-and-recompose works great--possibly even quicker than hunting for the proper AF point)
    • The camera is newer--probably easier to get repaired, spare parts are probably less of a problem to come by if needed
    • Unlike the F4, the F100 was not considered a fully "professional" camera, so a particular body may have been used less hard than an F4
    (Regarding that last--I used to live upstairs from a crusty old fella who worked for a few decades as a newspaper photographer in London. He said that when he left one job, he had a pair of F4s, which he just dropped in a rubbish bin. When I expressed shock and dismay, he told me they were basically beat all to hell--he said he used to literally run to keep up with stories, with the two cameras hanging around his neck, banging into each other constantly.)
    Either camera will serve you *very* well indeed. My personal preference, despite its weaknesses, is the F4, it's obvious. However, you're probably going to find opinion leaning 80-20 or so in the direction of the F100--and for good reason. It's a heck of a camera, one of the most highly advanced film cameras ever made, and a steal at the prices they're going for nowadays. If you're not a hard-core old film addict like me, you'll likely find yourself preferring the F100 to the F4, and so my advice to you would probably be to go that way.
     
  5. The F4 was built to hold up against the hardships and abuse of pro photographers. The F100 was built for prosumers. If possible, handle both cameras yourself to help in choosing.
     
  6. I have a quite different opinion. The F4 is a "transition type" model. It`s a fact that wheels and knobs were discarded after this camera. It`s also huge, the first one with AF (yes, I know there was a previous F3AF), which was too slow even when it was released. To my taste it is amongst the most beautiful Nikons, but sadly, also amongst the most uncomfortable and unpractical. It was my first Nikon to be sold, I got the equivalent to $400, no regret. I liked the F100 so much, so I currently keep the F6 which is just an improved model. Modern lenses on film are impressive.
    I`d advice you to get the F100, noticeably smaller, good red LED display, still with AA batteries; not as good for MF lenses, but instead, you get full compatibility with the current VR and G lenses.
     
  7. I have them both and like them in different ways. The main user difference is the input method: traditional wheels and knobs for the F4 and electronic on the F100. If you have old glass the F4 wins. The F100 can use the VR feature of modern lenses, the F4 can't. If you also use Nikon digital cameras the F100 is laid out very similar to them.
     
  8. Can anyone point me in the right direction as to which one I should choose?
    If this is a serious question, then no, not without much more information from you on the type of photography you do, the lenses you have (or will likely purchase in future), your personal handling preferences, etc, etc. It's like asking "Should I buy a Honda Civic or CR-V. Both seem like nice cars". No one can read your mind.
    I have owned and used both extensively. Still have the F4. Ergonomically they are very different beasts. Someone could easily love the F100 but hate the F4, and vise-versa. Scrambled eggs or sunny side up? Both are good, but I have no idea what anyone else would prefer.
     
  9. Don't rule out the N90s. A lot of F4 shooters went to the N90 back in the day.
     
  10. Most definitely handle the F4 before you consider buying one. The right-hand grip on that is a bulbous
    affair and can get very uncomfortable.
     
  11. The F100 and the N90 for that matter
    are excellent. That said, the top of the
    line bodies feel and operate like the
    best. Hard to quantify but every pro
    Nikon feels like it while the F100 is
    clearly not. The same can be said of
    the F F2,3,5 and 6 over the Nikkormats
    and FM/FE etc. that were made
    alongside them. As for slow AF the F4
    still works fine for most things. For
    years the F2 was to me the best thing
    Nikon ever built. It still is but the F4 is
    the only thing that comes close to it.
    I've still got two of each.

    Rick H.
     
  12. Great input here, folks. Thanks!
    Will DX lenses be fine on a film SLR or does it have to be 'FX digital or FX film' lenses? I think landscapes and maybe some street photography will be it's main use. I don't necessarily need speed shooting with a film camera. Too scary :)
    I am leaning towards the F100, because it is smaller and lighter than the F4. I wish I was able to handle them both to see the difference first hand.
    Dan, would you recommend the N90S over the F100?
     
  13. No! If you use DX lenses on a film camera, you're gonna get vignetting (black, rounded corners--which may extend a good way into the frame). FX lenses are the way to go.
    *I* wouldn't recommend the N90S over the F100. I mean, it's a nice enough camera--but the F100 is a lot better, in several ways. The only difference might be price, but even the F100 is cheap enough nowadays to make that almost insignificant.
     
  14. No! If you use DX lenses on a film camera, you're gonna get vignetting (black, rounded corners--which may extend a good way into the frame). FX lenses are the way to go.​
    I was afraid of that.
    I do have my Nikkor AF 35-70mm f/2.8D lens, but I would want a wider angled lens to go with it. Any recommendations in that respect? Prime or zoom. IQ important. Nice if it could be a good lens on FX digital as well.
     
  15. From a fisheye or 14mm to 35, there are many "wide angles".
    Maybe the cheapest/most "usable" is the 24/2.8AF, depending on the FX (12, 16 or 36Mp).
    The "newest" one, the 28/1.8AFS. An all purpose zoom, 16-35AFS, or even the 17-35AFS.
    The "best" in his class, the 14-24AFS. How wide is "wider" to you?
    If only for film, any prime (14, 18, 20, 24, even the 28AFD) could be an option. If zoom, the 20-35/2.8AFD could be an interesting choice.
     
  16. Hi Ann, based on your subsequent questions, I would recommend the F100/F90 and even the f801s (i have 3 of these) over the F4 to you.
    The F4 is perfect for those (like me) coming from a classic film camera background, the others are closer in use and feel to digital cameras.
     
  17. Depends on your budget. If you go with the F100, and money's no problem, there's this:
    24/F1.4 AF-S G
    The mid-range option is this:
    28/F.8 AF-S G
    And if you're really on a budget, this one works great on film, and will be at least decent (if not spectacular) on FX digital. It has the advantage that you can probably find plenty of good used examples of this lens even cheaper than this, particularly at keh.com:
    24/F2.8 AFD
     
  18. As Jose says, there are plenty of other options--I didn't bother with the zooms. Which is a bit odd, really, because I've found the 17-35/F2.8 AFS to be wonderful--I own one myself. And the older 20-35/F2.8 AFD is excellent on film, too, I used to own one of those. You can probably get the 17-35 for near a grand, the 20-35 maybe as low as $400 or a bit more, second hand.
     
  19. Aside from the obvious differences the F100 has 20 or so Custom Functions, only a handful of which I find regularly useful, but very useful when needs arise. It also has a dedicated bracketing button. Bracketing on the F4 requires the MF-23 film back, and relative to camera-cost, it's a very pricey add-on. Most F4 bodies you'll find are the 'F4s', which approximates an anvil. To scale it down to F100 size, in other words to exclude the vertical grip, the F4 needs another pricey item, the MB-20 battery holder. $$
    I'd need a pretty compelling reason to go w/ F4 (e.g. removable finder, 250 back, etc.) over an F100. I have both and much prefer the F100.
     
  20. ...closer in use and feel to digital cameras.​
    That I think would be a pluss for me, Frank.

    If I should buy a prime, I think I would go for a 24mm. What do you choose, 24mm or 28mm? I think both will be fine for landscapes and street shooting.
    Maybe the cheapest/most "usable" is the 24/2.8AF, depending on the FX (12, 16 or 36Mp)​
    Jose, what do mean by that? I don't think I will be buying a 36MP FX in the near future. I am still not sure whether I would want a FX DSLR or not.

    I might want to go below 24mm, but I am not sure how wide I should go. I don't like the details to get too small, if you understand what I mean.
     
  21. Have you look at the F5 or pick up nikon FM2n i pick one up mint in the box black one 125.00 like new . good luck and have fun with what you get .I love film you will too
     
  22. Lilly, I think I would feel the same way about them as you do. Thanks.

    Any thoughts around the Nikon AF 18mm 1:2.8 D?
     
  23. SCL

    SCL

    Ann - I've owned both, sold the F100 after about 4 years, kept the F4, but haven't used it as much as I originally intended. It is truly a heavy beast, but I fashioned a hand sling for it so I could carry it on my several hour hikes without complaint. If you like the F100 and have had a chance to try it out and like it, go for it....it is a great camera, except for legacy lenses where it doesn't excel on all scores. I saw Dave's note above recommending the F5...talk about heavy beasts....but an unbelievably great camera....I just had my shutter box replaced after it took a tumble. Can't recommend it as a daily shooter for anybody without some upper body strength. Good luck in your choice.
     
  24. Ha Ha F5 is heavy so is the D800 AND D700 Its not heavy be a man Stephen Lewis lol used it you will be happy happy you will get good body strength from it
     
  25. Ann, I have an F100 and use a Nikkor 35-70 and a 35-105 and they are great. Never had a bad shot.
    I tried one of my DX lenses just for kicks and don't recommend using one for reasons already mentioned in this thread.
    Good luck and have fun.
     
  26. I think we can forget about the 18mm. I went to look in a flickr group.
    (F100).....it is a great camera, except for legacy lenses where it doesn't excel on all scores.​
    Which 24mm lens would be best for this camera?
     
  27. There are only two primes in the 24mm focal lenght; the older 24/2.8AF-AFD (probably same optical design, preferably the latter for different reasons), and the new 24/1.4AFS, a much better, faster and improved design (also quite expensive).
    Don`t know about zooms, I`d say the better I currently have on my D700 can be listed starting on the 24-70, then 14-24, 24-120/4 and the 24-85AFS. I rarely or never use other 24s.
    Jose, what do mean by that? I don't think I will be buying a 36MP FX in the near future. I am still not sure whether I would want a FX DSLR or not.
    As the pixel density and image format increases, the lens flaws became more obvious. So it`s not the same to use a lens on a low pixel count, DX camera, than a high resolution FX body like the D800.
    I have used quite a lot the 24/2.8AFD on the D300, it was not stellar, but perfectly usable to my needs. It provides the angle of view of a 35mm on FX, so it fits the bill as an all purpose lens.
    I don`t use it quite often on the D700, but I don`t have a bad impression of it; when I want a smaller&lighter lens for indoor use, I take it instead of the much better but bigger&heavier 24-70.
    I might want to go below 24mm, but I am not sure how wide I should go. I don't like the details to get too small, if you understand what I mean.
    A 24mm seems the logical step down if you already have a 35mm lens (film full format or FX, I mean). A 28mm is maybe too close to 35. Of course it`s a personal decission but I find 18-20mm probably too wide for outdoor use, and still a bit wide for people indoor. For architectural photos (indoors and outdoors), or large groups in confined spaces, a 18-20mm is fine.
     
  28. A 24mm seems the logical step down if you already have a 35mm lens (film full format or FX, I mean).​
    Jose, absolutely. I think a 24mm would be the perfect choice for me.
    We are getting off topic here, but I hope that is okey.
    I think one of these lenses would be of interest for me:
    Nikon 24mm F1.4 G AF-S ED - 620g (A: $1849 grey)
    Nikon 24mm f/2.8D ED AF - 270g (A: $300 refurb)
    Nikon 16-35mm F4 G AF-S ED VR - 680g (A: $1260)

    They all would be fine on a F100, the D300 and a D600, wouldn't they? Is the image quality of the 24mm f1.4 worth the extra money (on a D600)?
     
  29. I have a F4 and liked It. But It had some serious issues which might be common.
    Metering with extension tubes, long lenses and TC's was not good (needed compensation).
    And putting a new film in the camera was fidgety and unpredictable.
    I liked the F3 much more. And considering your choice, I would get the F100!
     
  30. I surely wouldn't like those issues, Albin. Thanks for letting me know.
     
  31. It's personal, but I really like a (relatively) light body and a small prime lens. The F100 and 24/2.8AF feels very agile to me. It's still a solid feeling camera though. Having said that, the F4S that I used to have felt very stable at slow shutter speeds, but it was inconveniently heavy. I'm not solidly built and I have fairly small hands: I used to do strength training when I had to hand hold a 16mm movie camera with 400foot magazine, but that was a long time ago!
     
  32. I just the other day got an F4 to add to my fleet, largely because it was a huge bargain and just seemed too good to pass up. I have no autofocus lenses except for a long term loan of a rather low line 80-300 zoom, but the F4 seems a very good camera for someone like me who wants something that will shoot and meter with anything at all, including pre-AI lenses. I still have an F3, and doubt I'll forsake it for long after the thrill of the F4 wears off, but I do like the way the F4 feels, very heavy and solid, and I like idea that I can at least in theory set the F4 as a point and shoot autofocus machine and bag a bird on the wing. After a nasty accident last year my vision has suffered some, and I appreciate the F4's very bright finder, built in diopters, and focus confirmation.
    My wife has two F100's, and loves them. She has no old lenses, using all modern full frame autofocus, so has no need of the F4's retro features. The F100 does its job with ease and panache, and it's handier to hold and carry than the F4, which is very heavy. She also has an AV lens, which the F100 can use properly. If you have no expectation of needing to use pre-AI lenses, I'd be inclined to go with the F100. They also have a good finder, focus confirmation, and built in diopters. Its in lens readouts are very good, and the controls, once you get them all figured out, are versatile and easy to use.
    The F100 may not be quite in the ultra-solid pro category like the F4, but it's a tangible step above the 90, and these days a good F100 is a great bargain.
    On wide angles, I really like a 35 and a 24 mm. lens. For some reason the 28 never seemed to be quite right, and 20's are pretty radical, often with vignetting issues as well. My 24/2.8 AI does very nicely.
     
  33. John, it seems like a good combination, doesn't it.

    From what I can see, the 24/2.8AF is doing quite well on a F100 and a DX camera, but not good on a D600. Too much light fall off in the corners on the latter. However, it would probably be overkill to buy the 24/1.4 AF-S now if I never bought the D600.
     
  34. My 24/2.8 AI does very nicely.​
    They are still selling the AIS version new, Matthew.
    Does your wife have a 24mm lens or a zoom that covers that focal lenght for her F100's?
     
  35. Another happy user of F100 here! I'm sure you'll love this camera.
    Regarding lenses... if MF is OK for you then you can consider CV 20/3.5 SLII. I have this lens, it is small, pocketable, and believe me or not I like it more on film than on digital... It is also very well built unlike most AF-D Nikon WA primes.
    If you prefer a zoom you can consider as well the new Tokina 17-35/4 lens. I tested it in a shop on my D800 and I have a good impression about it. It is relative inexpensive, great build quality, compact in comparison with other zooms in this range and from f/5.6 very sharp across the frame with a reduced amount of distortion. Its true that at f4 seems a bit soft on D800 but for landscape this is not a big deal.
     
  36. The F100 can shoot infrared film unlike all the other N's.​
    I didn't know that. That's cool! The price is a bonus if I go for the F100, definately, Barry.
    The CV 20/3.5 SLII looks like a great lens, but I think it is a bit wide for me on a full frame camera, Mihai. And I do have some problems with manual focus, especially in low light situations, because of my eyesight.
    I think I'll go for an Nikon autofocus lens of some kind this time. Are there any happy 24mm f/1.4 AF-S owner here?
     
  37. The F100 was maybe the best nikon I've ever owned. It handles VERY nicely! The F4 is more like a cinder block.
    Kent in SD
     
  38. Well, the F4 is indeed a pro body and its a camera that I really love. I've shot most of Nikon's Film bodies. These days I've settled on the F6 and the F4, with the F6 getting most of the shooting time. For digital I shoot a D300 and D3. I think much depends on how you shoot and what you want out of the camera. If you can swing it, I would recommend an F6. Its the best camera, that I have ever shot - film or digital. The experience in shooting with the F6 is really sublime. For me there is a difference between the pro and prosumer bodies. The ergonomics are better, the build is better, the tool is just better all around.
    You can get an F6 used for about $1,200 and I'm guessing you will be able to sell it in a few years for as much. I bought mine for less about five years ago. Prices on these seem to gradually creep up. So, in the end, it will just cost you the film. I was thinking the other day that digital camera depreciation has cost me far more per shot than film has in the last ten years - funny how it works out that way.
    If not, go with the F4 and some nice Ais and AFD glass. You can't go wrong.
    Anthony
     
  39. Ann -
    Well, the deals are too good so I have acquired both an F100 and a couple of F4s. Everyone's mentioned most of the pluses and minuses. Nobody has touched on viewfinders.
    If you find yourself in need of anything but the standard eye level prism, then the F4 comes into its own. One can find:
    DW20, the waist level finder
    DW21, the magnifying finder
    DA20, the 'action finder'.
    The above offer various functionality - to aid in low level photography of stuff on the ground; to critical focus; to sort of a bright sports finder with huge eye relief. If you need this, they are indispensible.
    Weight-wise, camera body without batteries:
    F100 with grip - 1004 grams
    F4 with MB20 battery holder - 1090 grams
    F4 with MB21 battery holder - 1280 grams.
    I find the F4 the best body I've used for deliberative shooting (my term). (I've used an F2, N90s, F4, F100, Nikkormat FT3, Nikkormat EL, Nikon FE, FM2n and an FA over the years for my silly hobby shooting.)
    If the action is jumping, I find the F100 a bit more auto-auto/just hammer away without thinking. It's a pretty subjective comment I realize.
    Below see a pic comparing the two bodies.
    Regarding infrared ... doesn't any F body allow for infrared film? The N90 has a gear driven counter for the film, not an IR diode to determine film advance according to -
    http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/007z27
    So, the N90 is OK for IR too.
    If $$$ isn't a concern, grab 'em while the grabbing is still affordable for decent bodies.
    Jim
    00bCWf-511995584.jpg
     
  40. Ann-
    24mm f/1.4 AF-S is a G type lens, it will work on F4 only in S or P mode, because you can't control aperture from command dial. On F100, it is fully functional. Ergonomically, F100 fits me better than D800, I have small hands.
    Or like Jim said, grab both and sell the one you don't like. These days, film costs easily outprice the costs of film bodies in the long run, well, the two you are interested in.
     
  41. Ann,
    You might consider the 18-35mm AF for wide angle stuff. That's a big range for a full frame camera, for scenic shots.
    What's the difference between the F100 and the F4 ? If you drop the F100 on something, you check to make sure the camera is OK. If you drop the F4, you make sure the thing it HIT is OK.
    Other things the F100 doesn't have ... Mirror lock-up. A viewfinder blind to cover the the window for long exposures. I think the F100 only has a B and E type focusing screen. The F4 has many.
     
  42. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I happen to have purchased an F4s in 1990, an F5 in 1997 and an F100 in year 2000. I still own all three but my F4 is no longer funtional.
    In the early 1990's I was very familiar with the F4; it has traditional controls similar to cameras from the 1970's and 1980's. However, after using the F5 for a few months, I realized in 1998 I didn't like using the F4 any more. By then, I was toally accustomed to the main and sub command dials on the F5 and didn't like those traditional controls on the F4 any more. Shortly after, Nikon introduced the F100 as the "baby F5," with a lot of similarity between the two. For a few years I used the F5 and F100 combo until I completely switched to digital.
    In other words, whether you prefer the F4 or F100 depends on which type of controls you would like to use. The F100 is a lot closer to modern DSLRs in terms of controls.
    I have owned more than 10 Nikon SLRs since 1977 and my F4 is the only one that has ever failed. By the late 1990's, it developed electronic problems and its electronics eventually died about 10 years ago, a little over a decade since I initially purchased it.
     
  43. Ann,
    I have been using the F4s for over 15 years. It has that feel good factor for me. Pro body with a traditional control layout. Awesome camera. You'll love it.
     
  44. Anthony, somewhere down the line I might buy an F6. I have been wanting to buy one for some years now. But my digital equipment is in need of an upgrade, so it will have to wait for a while longer.
    I was thinking the other day that digital camera depreciation has cost me far more per shot than film has in the last ten years.​
    Most definately. Honestly, I don't want to see that calculation.
     
  45. Jim, thank you very much for that photo comparison. And for the weight comparison of the camera bodies. You know I just looked at the weight of the lenses, not the cameras. I just assumed that the F4 was heavier because it is a pro body. There you go. And they don't seem that different in size either. The finders are a good point. I have never tried one of those.
     
  46. 24mm f/1.4 AF-S is a G type lens, it will work on F4 only in S or P mode, because you can't control aperture from command dial. On F100, it is fully functional.​
    Shiang, I noticed that in the compatibility chart, but I forgot about it. Thank you for reminding me.

    John, the 18-35mm AF seems to be doing pretty well at an affordable price.
    What's the difference between the F100 and the F4 ? If you drop the F100 on something, you check to make sure the camera is OK. If you drop the F4, you make sure the thing it HIT is OK.​
    LOL! I like that. As long as it doesn't hit my toes or one of my dogs.
     
  47. By then, I was toally accustomed to the main and sub command dials on the F5 and didn't like those traditional controls on the F4 any more.​
    Shun, I do see myself fiddling around with the F4 buttons having that big moose pass me by at a ten feet distance. Oh well, I did just that the other day even with my D300 and I didn't get the shot. I was in a state of combined chock and thrill mode. (Actually it was caused by the lack of enough light to focus quickly enough :))
     
  48. What I didn't notice at the time was that there were two of them. The one I was trying to focus on is standing almost hidden behind the tree to the left.
    00bCeG-512065584.jpg
     
  49. F100 with grip - 1004 grams
    F4 with MB20 battery holder - 1090 grams
    F4 with MB21 battery holder - 1280 grams.​
    B&H is showing a used F5 at 1211 grams.
    --Lannie
     
  50. The D300 is 825 grams without the battery and the CF card. So I am used to that weight. However I would prefer a camera to be lighter.
     
  51. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Those listed weights are kind of mis-leading. You can have the F100 without grip, and it weights 785 grams. All you need is 4 AA batteries and film. I never bought the grip for my F100.
    With the F4, you must use either the MB-20 or MB-21 to hold some AA batteries. I would compare those wieght against 785 grams for the F100.
     
  52. I can use the F100 without the battery grip. Or will the 4 AA batteries not last for very long?
     
  53. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As I said, I never bought the battery pack/grip for my F100, and I never thought that was an issue.
    Please keep in mind that I bought my F100 in January, 2000 and used it for a few years along with my F5. My F4 was already dead by then and I don't like its traditional controls anyway. I gradually shifted to digital since I bought my D100 in 2002 and all digital with the D2X in 2005.
    Now, if you are accustomed to the way most people shoot digital in these days, I think your bigger concern is that your 36 frames will not last very long inside the F100. I never thought battery usage was excessive for the F100, and since it uses common AA batteries, it is a non issue.
     
  54. Battery life isn't an issue Anne. Film will probably be unobtainable before you get through too many sets of alkalines in any of Nikon's cameras.
    However, let me scotch this myth that the F4 is a tough camera. Heavy and useful as a doorstop it might be, but it's about as tough as eggshells. The top and prism cover are plastic!
    Below is a picture of the result of a minor knock to the top-plate of an F4. The film counter beneath the cracked area became bent, rendering the camera unusable until the top plate was removed and the counter-wheel straightened out. An F2 suffered a similar knock and apart from sporting a bit of a dent, it kept right on working. BTW, the dent on the F2 was easily knocked out and after a respray became near-invisible. That's not the case with the F4 as you can see.
    That same F4 also later developed a faulty aperture lever, and is now only usable between full aperture and f/8. I wouldn't have another as a gift, thank you.
    00bCfK-512087584.jpg
     
  55. My wife doesn't care much for wide angles, so does not have a 24. She does have a rarely used 20 and a zoom that goes down to 28. We go the same places and shoot the same stuff often, but get very different viewpoints. It's rather fun.
    Her F100's do not have the added battery holders, and do quite well with lithium AA cells. She does tend to manual focus, a holdover from her experience with a Minolta Maxxum 7000, but even when using the AV zoom battery life seems quite good. Without the added pack the F100 is a nice compact package considering all that's in it. Much different from the monster F4S. I have no issue with the latter, especially when it's a hundred dollar beater, but you'd best try them both before deciding.
     
  56. However, let me scotch this myth that the F4 is a tough camera. Heavy and useful as a doorstop it might be, but it's about as tough as eggshells. The top and prism cover are plastic!

    As opposed to the F100 which is all plastic ? Which modern cameras do you have that are NOT made with plastic tops, Joe ? Some people even say that plastic can give rather than dent. The prism on the F4 can be easily swapped out by the user. No tools required. The prism on the F100 can not be removed.
     
  57. The F100 isn't all plastic. Only the film door is plastic.

    But anyway. Put lithium batteries in the F100 to keep the weight down, and they'll last several dozen rolls. Less if you're
    using VR and fiddling with AF a lot. For a D300 owner it will be a very comfortable camera, and familiar.
     
  58. For what it's worth, the F100 top plate (and much of the rest of the camera) is magnesium alloy (the back is plastic). I'm sure both cameras are well built, but neither likes being dropped! Personally I'd take the F100 over any other AF film SLR, with the possible exception of the (still relatively expensive) F6. There are situations where you'd do better with the F4 (e.g. if you need the accessory finders), but for me there are many more situations where the F100 is the better choice, especially when using the AF on anything that actually moves...
    I agree that lithium AAs are the way to go with the F100 (but always carry a spare set - you have very little warning of them running down).
     
  59. In reality the F100 is good enough for many pro's ...
    The manual says for 20 degres celcius and up, a set of alkaline batteries is rated up to 60 rolls of film. 110 rolls if you use lithium or 60 for the 3V CR battery with the special holder MS-13. If you had the grip this goes to 100 alkaline AA, 140 lithim AA and 70 AA NiHH ...

    And like you say earlier, you probably won't be burst firing film ... Handle them both and see which you prefer personally ........
    Basing on those numbers if you took an extra set of batteries, you would reach least the capacity of the grip without the bulk and weight unless of course you like the grip.
     
  60. That is good to know, Ray. Thanks. Doing without the grip won't be a problem then. (Must remember: Bring more film rolls than batteries...)
     
  61. Actually Ann, it should be you that tell us which camera you buy. As you have seen there are as many recommendation for the F4 as the F100. We can't really help you decide. You have to decide for yourself. Right or wrong, I decided neither. I have the F2AS, F3HP, F5 but no F4 nor F6 or F100. I would have bought an F if I was old enough then.
     
  62. You probably get both for very little money now. The F4 is more rugged and versatile. It is heavy, though the lightest of the autofocus pro Fs, except the F6. I considered the F 100 but it seemed a bit too flimsy. I like that you can change prisms and that it does matrix metering with Ai manual lenses. I found the F4's autofocus skitterish and so only use manual lenses on it.
     
  63. I do not want to steal this thread, but also want to ask somewhat related question. I have an N8008 with the multi function back, lenses, and period speed lights, in like new condition that I shoot TMax 100 in a couple times a year. Earlier post here mentioned the F4 would function the VR system on modern lenses from my D7000. All thoughts appreciated. Thanks Duane
     
  64. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Only Nikon SLRs with multiple AF points are compatible with VR. The F4 has only one AF point. VR will not work with it.
     
  65. get one of each - lord knows, they're cheap enough nowadays.....
    both were pricey when new
     
  66. The 8008 has multiple AF points. There is an 8008s that also has spot, but that came out after I bought mine. Can I do any harm to the lens by trying.
     
  67. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The 8008 has multiple AF points. There is an 8008s that also has spot​
    No it does not. The N8008 (F801) has exactly one AF point, so does the subsequent N8008S, but you are correct that the N8008S has spot metering while the earlier N8008 does not.
    I bought an N8008 back in 1989 and it was my very first AF camera, so I knew it very well. I sold it about 11 years ago.
    The first Nikon SLR that has multiple AF points was the F5, with 5 AF points and introduced in 1996. The subsequent F100 uses the same AF module as the F5. Those two are compatible with VR. The F4, N8008/F801, and N90/F90 families are not compatible with VR.
     
  68. I think I will go with the F100 for now, all things considered (except having tried them out). I like that the newest lenses will be fully functioning with it. It hope it will go well with the FX lenses that I might be buying for a D600 some time in the future.

    You guys have all been so helpful, thanks a million!
     
  69. I owned/sold the F6, and it's the lovechild of the F5/F100... and the Cadillac of film bodies.
    I owned/sold a couple of F5 bodies. Fantastic but they are beasts. You can't go wrong with this choice unless you think the weight will be an issue. My advice go to a camera store and hold a D2/D3 class camera and you will have a good comparison. Might be the best bang for the money.
    I currently own the F100 picked up as a throw away in a lens deal. They are laughably inexpensive and do about 90% of what the other cameras provide. Build quality isn't terrible and at the price you could always add another for backup or for another family member.
    I have never held the F4... but if it were me... and I had the cash it would be the F6 (and that would be more for bling/vanity reasons). If you don't want to spend that much the F100 is a logical choice.
     
  70. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Unfortunately, I still remember some of the prices I paid:
    • In 1989, I paid $600 for my N8008.
    • The next year, in 1990 I added the F4s: $1400
    • In 1996, Nikon introduced the F5 at $2850. I waited a year and bought one for $2300 at the end of 1997.
    • In 2000, I bought my F100 for about $1000 as a second body to the F5.
    I am very glad that I have no interest in the F6. :)
     
  71. You are only missing the F6.... :)
    You obviously have been one of Nikon's dream clients for many years, Shung.
     
  72. I want to say the F6 cost me $1500 used. I was getting into sports and weddings and had no real use for the film body. I really regret selling her. Pretty much the same story with the F5's I own which were going for $600 used at the time.
    FWIW... After being away from photography awhile, I'm trying to throw off the shackles of digital and pursue traditional B+W portraits and fine art.
    In time, each of my three most used primes will be mounted to F100 bodies.
    In the end, they are only light boxes... at least that is what I tell myself. That logic is probably why I've resisted the siren call of the F6.
     
  73. That logic is probably why I've resisted the siren call of the F6.​
    You obviously should be buying a rope by now, Rob.
     
  74. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    In the end, they are only light boxes...​
    Well said, Rob. From the beginning, my interest is to create great images. Cameras are merely light boxes, but we simply need some light boxes to create those images so that I also need to be familiar with those light boxes and how to get the most out of them. But my interest is not those light boxes per se.
     
  75. But my interest is not those light boxes per se.​
    Confess your sin. No one is believing that for a second.
     
  76. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Confess your sin. No one is believing that for a second.​
    Ann, in this case, I can't care less about what other people belive in.
     
  77. It is not good for your soul if you don't confess :)
     
  78. Since I've been dabbling with the mamiya RB67, one function that I find myself using more than 80+% of the time is the mirror lock up. No matter whether it be portraits or landscape.
    The F100 doesn't offer MLU, so that might be a deal breaker for some.
     
  79. I have never used MLU. Would the VR be of any help instead?
     
  80. Mirror Lock Up is a tripod-based technique. VR is a hand-held strategy. If you shoot long exposures on a tripod, say 1/30 second to 1 second, particularly with long telephoto lenses, the F4 wins, with MLU -- macro, distant waterfalls, low-light w/ long lens, slow film.
    For shooting hand-held with VR, the F100 wins, (no VR with F4). If mounted on a solid tripod, with shorter telephotos, and good technique ... the F100 sounds great. I have an F4.
    Have you considered Speedlights and their cross-functionality -- digital to flim -- in your analysis?
    http://speedlights.net/nikon-speedlight-sb-800-flash/
     
  81. Have you considered Speedlights and their cross-functionality -- digital to flim -- in your analysis?​
    No, I haven't. But it is definately another plus that I can use the SB-800 or the SB-600 and get TTL flash exposure with the F100. Thank you, Christopher.
     
  82. I never used MLU either although all my cameras have the feature. Not only the Nikon top of the line F2,F3 and F5 have it. My Pentax KX has it too. I guess on newer cameras only the top end has this feature.
     
  83. Sorry I don't have the patience to read through all of these replies. But as a former newspaper photojournalist, before my paper went digital my film kit was two F5 bodies and two F100 bodies. I had, of course, also used F4s bodies before the F5 came out (they were actually stolen, I didn't upgrade just to upgrade).
    I almost always shot with the F100, even for intense breaking news situations. I mostly only shot the F5 bodies for sports when I needed the speed. The F100 was my favorite film SLR and it's a great camera. I would recommend it unless you need very high speed motordrive. While I guess it is part of the prosumer line, it's built very tough.
    If you need super high speed shooting or if you just prefer a larger camera, then if you can stretch the budget, I'd go for an F5. The F4s has a plastic prism which was always a weak spot, I've seen countless bodies including mine with cracks, though the body is tough as nails.
    Can't really go wrong either way, especially at today's prices.
     
  84. I almost always shot with the F100, even for intense breaking news situations.​
    That's not bad for a prosumer camera, Noah!
    If you need super high speed shooting or if you just prefer a larger camera...​
    I don't think I'll dare use a film camera in super high speed shooting. In case there were almost no keepers :)
    I just found this review of the F100. I didn't know it was newer than the F5! And it seems to be holding up fine compared to the F5. How about that.
    I noticed a detail that I haven't heard of before:
    The F100 only requires four AA batteries; the F5 uses eight. The F100 also has an optional holder (MS-13) that takes two CR123A lithium batteries (a wise option if you plan to use the camera in cold weather); the F5 does not have this option.​
    How cool is that!

    I was trying to find out about it's weather sealing, and that seems to be good as well.

    There is one thing I think I will be missing, and that is a built-in flash. My D300 has a good built-in flash, and I use it quite often for fill. Does any of the autofocus film cameras have a built-in flash? Or is that a 'digital feature'?
     
  85. There is one thing I think I will be missing, and that is a built-in flash. My D300 has a good built-in flash, and I use it quite often for fill. Does any of the autofocus film cameras have a built-in flash? Or is that a 'digital feature'?​
    No, the contemporary lower end film bodies had flash. You might look at the F80 (N80 in the US). If the F100 is a baby F5, this is the baby F100. Smaller, lighter and quieter than the F100, and super cheap nowadays. The AF isn't nearly as good as the F100's, though it still beats the F4's.
    http://www.bythom.com/n80.htm
     
  86. The F100 is still a modern camera with reliable, reasonably fast autofocus- the F4 is slow. This is the era when Nikon was firmly behind brand C where autofocus was concerned.
    The only two issues with my F100 sample were a tendency in matrix mode to underexpose back-lit scenes by a stop or two (My F4 was much more dependable in that respect) and the absolute need for lithium AA cells- alkaline batteries will only give you between 3-8 rolls of film depending if you have the accessory battery part or not.
    Unless you have many old manual lenses or do dedicated macro work I would not consider the F4- the oldest bodies are nearly 25 years by now and there are reports that the circuits are prone to failure by now.
     

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