Kodak Professional DCS ProSLR/n/c batteries and adapters

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jdm_von_weinberg, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. It's an old thread, but it pops up in Google searches and I thought I'd chip in. I have the same problem as the OP - a 14N with a handful of batteries and a charger, plus the fake-battery power coupler unit, but not the cable that connects the charger to the coupler. I don't like to use the batteries too often because there are no replacements.

    However I've found that you don't need that cable, or indeed the charging unit. I've been using a generic power adapter plugged directly into the fake-battery coupler. I'm not going to directly link to Amazon but if you google "Powseed 36W AC Multi Voltage" you'll get the chap, although I imagine any charger than can output roughly 7-8v at 3 amps+ would work. This particular unit comes with a bunch of different plugs and the biggest one fit my 14N.

    I set it to 7.5v, at which voltage it can deliver 4 amps. The minor voltage difference hasn't phased the camera so far. I've just shot 40 images over the course of an hour and a half and the camera is still working fine. Off the top of my head it's supposed to have 7.3v / 3 amps, but not many chargers put out exactly that figure.

    So as long as you have the fake-battery power coupler you can at least use the 14N tethered for the foreseeable future.
  2. The specs of the 14N isn't too bad by today standard. It's 14MP FF compared to the current Nikon Df with 16MP but however I think it's worth less than the D760 when you try to sell it.
  3. The early Kodak digitals were astonishingly ahead of their time, but too costly.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I think the Kodak 14N's problem was that it was based on a very consumer-grade Nikon N80/D100 type body. The N80 was a $300 film SLR in those days. The 14N could do 1.8 frames/sec and was quite slow with fairly poor AF.
  5. Yes I was interested pretty much in the 14N as it's the first FF DSLR with Nikon F mount but was turned off by the use of the N80 body.
  6. The 14/n is an interesting camera.

    In my mind, it's basically a full-frame competitor to the D2x.

    The D2x certainly shows its age now, nut at the same time it's still quite a capable camera. Although I no longer use one regularly, the D2x, set up right, gives nice punchy colors in landscapes but can also be toned and look really nice for skin tones. The D2x isn't known for its high ISO performance, but at the same time it's perfectly usable up to ~400 and doesn't look terrible at 800.

    The sensor in the 14/n is a different beast. In my experience, if the lighting is less than perfect it can give weird and splotchy skin tones even at base ISO, and the colors for more vivid scenes are nothing to write home about(although the latter is easier to fix in post than the former). It really doesn't like going above base ISO(which, IIRC, depends on resolution but I think is 80 at the highest resolution), and at 400 it looks worse to my eye than the D2x at 1600. When Nikon finally got into the full frame business with the D3 and D700, they were able to pretty much immediately go to 6400 without TOO much trouble.

    I've also had issues with moire with fabric backgrounds in the studio. The lack of an AA filter DOES give it a noticeable sharpness edge over something like a D3(or I should say an edge that seems to be a attributable to more than the slight resolution increase) but IMO 14mp is sort of playing things dangerously. 36mp+ full frame cameras, and 20mp+ crop sensors, can get away with it, but not 14mp full frame.

    I will agree that the N80 body doesn't do it any favors. All of the N80 based DSLRs, whether they say Nikon, Kodak, or Fujifilm on the prism, are a bit clunky to me although Nikon certainly pulled it off the best by making the camera about the same size as the N80. You still have annoyances, though, like having to use the mode dial to change the ISO. The "chin" on the 14/n is the most prominent of all of these cameras, and I have at least one Nikon lens(24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR) that won't physically mount on the camera-the switches on the side catch on the battery housing.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  7. I was, at one point, vaguely interested in one as a backup to my (then) D700. Advice on this forum tended to be "don't do it", and I lived with an F5, not that the backup was ever needed. It's an interesting curio, and I remember being excited when dpreview first looked at one (though I was a Canon shooter at the time, and a 5D would have been way more sensible), but I don't think there are many practical arguments to have one these days; "good" used cameras are way too common.
  8. Well there was a version of the Kodak DCS Pro SLR/c with Canon EF mount too. It doesn't look like the N80 like the n version. I heard it was based on a Sigma film body.
  9. I'd forgotten that. DPReview have a review of it, and refer to its Sigma roots; the top (notably the dial around the shutter) and AF illumination light are clearly Sigma heritage. Not that the Sigmas were all that ergonomically strong, but I suspect that Canon weren't very interested in providing a body for modification. These days the competing 1Ds is pretty affordable.

    The early Kodak bodies based on Nikons were very much a film body with a sensor replacing the back (which was typically a removable component anyway to allow date backs and the like). I imagine everything is way more integrated in modern dSLR bodies (they certainly don't "open"), which is a shame for those of us who might like to see an updated F-mount film body made by a third party - though I imagine someone might do another FM variant. Unless collectors start handing over Leica-like amounts of money, I doubt we'll see anything more updated than the F6 - which is a shame, because quite a few aspects (AF module, meter, AF-P and E-aperture support...) are now out of date - and I still think it would be interesting to see a body that was fully compatible with everything from pre-AI (with bunny ear interlock) to AF-P.
  10. I wouldn't be interested in a more advanced film body with new AF, eye focusing, etc.. Actually I would be more interested in either a more simpler camera with manual focusing like the F3. Or perhaps one with live view light meter. That is a meter that show how the result would be.
  11. Not just the grade, the Canon version was based on the then top-of-the line Canon EOS1n:
  12. You don't surprise me, BeBu. :) The problem I've always had with live view - doubly so for a film body - is the relationship to the final output. I guess on slide film at least the "post-processing" is (usually) a known quantity, but highly film-specific - and even then you're relying on the relationship between the sensor filters and those in the film. Having grown up on digital, the concept of a negative and working out how the print will appear (at least in a print shop setting rather than doing it myself - I have read the Ansel Adams books) seems excessively random to me. Still, modern tech could probably spot meter better than older film bodies.

    As for an EVF on a film body... well, there's Kodak's Super 8 film camera. (Actually, I'm not sure how that achieves TTL digital output. Is there a pellicle mirror?)
  13. I don't care for EVF for composing and focusing. But since the Mirrorless camp people have been singing about the WYSIWYG aspect of the EVF I think It would be a great meter to display the image before exposure that look like the result.
  14. Ah - I'm the opposite: zoomed in focus that doesn't depend on a separate optical path appeals to me, as does precise framing (although I tend to crop retrospectively anyway). For me, an EVF's WYSIWYG is What I See Is Only Vaguely Like What I'm Going To Get Because I Plan To Edit It; on film, it'd be What You See Is Vaguely Like What You're Going To Get So Long As There's No Big Spectral Difference Between Film And Sensor And Roll-Off Is Managed Properly. Still, being able to see what the meter is doing might be better than relying on the AI systems using the same RGB metering sensor in the F5 and F6.
  15. Since nobody will make it. I am working on a system myself. Of course I can't incorporate the meter in a film camera but I am working on a system where I can use a digital camera to preview a shot that I will make on film. It would need serious calibration and testing but it can be done.
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  16. I'm sure we'll be interested to hear a report, when you're ready to share, BeBu!

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