Nikon F4s,MB-21,SB-24 Speedlight, and SD7 Battery Pack All for 400$,should i do it?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dylan_morgan, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. i have been comunicating witha lady who is interested in sellling me some of
    her equiptment for 400$ total. the offer includes-

    -A nikon F4s Camera Body (she rated it condition wise with a 7 or 8 out of 10)

    -an MB- 21

    - an SB-24 speedlight flash with appropriate cords

    -An SD7 batter pack for the flash

    -and, a remote for the camera

    all for only 400$. she seems very reliable and legit, as i have been
    conversing with her on and off for aprx. 3 months now. It's in my state and
    she said she'd meet me halfway to pick it up. should i go throught with it?
    why or why not. (also, what exactly is the SD7 and what is it used for?)

    thanks you guys so much for your help in the past and now hopefullly now

  2. I guess the most important question is, does the equipment function?

    I inherited an F4s similar system, sb-26 no battery pack, and its a bulky heavy camera. It is an awesome camera, works great, but my only complaint is it can get heavy. My father used it for a number of years, and never had any complaints about it.

    Another question is if the equipment is functioning, how well?

    I would do it if I was interested in the system, but since I have a similar one, which it doesn't sound like you do, and I knew that I would use it, I would go for it.

    I would tell her to go down $25 and go to her town meet in a nuetral area, that way you save a little cash, unless your in Texas, that could cost more than $25 to cross that state ;) you catch my drift.
  3. All good pro equipment, so if undamaged it should last quite awile. Price is VERY GOOD
    compared to UK where people still think it's a sellers market.

    The question is, "do you actually want it?". I presume you are film based and this is an
    upgrade you intend to use for a number of years.

    As the seller is prepared to meet you, then you can try it all out before buying. If it looks
    good, shoot off a roll, give her a deposit, get the film processed. If you are still happy,
    then pay the difference and get it posted to you, or go and collect it.

    You have not mentioned a lens with it, so I assume you have your own. Take the biggest
    with you to test the body.

    Let us know how you get on,

    Andy B
  4. Quick answer is NO, it's not worth it. For $400, you can easily get an F100. With a little patience, maybe even a flash unit to go with that.

    If you factor in the severely dated technology of the F4 plus the low, low prices that you can get a used F100 these days, the F4, IMO, is just not worth it these days, especially not for $400.

    BTW, you're double-dipping when you count the F4s **AND** an MB-21, since the F4s designation means it has an MB-21 battery pack. Unless of course, the package includes an **EXTRA** MB-21 battery pack.

    The SB-24 is a nice flash, but again, there are **better** flash units, such as the SB-28, that you can get cheaply in the used market.

    The SD-7 is an external battery pack.

    Link below will give you more info.
  5. Sounds like a good deal, but the better question would be, "Do you want an F4S and
    SB24?". A friend offered me his pickup truck the other day for a great price. It is very well
    maintained and a great buy, but's it's not what I'm looking for. Get my drift?
  6. As an owner of the F4 and F100, don't sell the F4 short. It focuses my AF-S lenses as fast as my F100 and has mirror lock up and less vibration even without the mirror lock up than the F100. It's the only camera available that has Matrix metering with AI-s lenses. Of couse it's built like a tank to withstand more physical abuse. The big advantage of the F100 is it's lightweight, takes VR ang G lens and has better TTL flash metering with monitor pre-flash.
  7. $400 is a fair price for a 7 rated F4 body and a SB24 flash. I just sold my SB24 (8 rating) for $65, I would say that's about the average market price for the flash. That leaves $335 for the 7/8 rated body. At that price, I would rather pay a little bit more and look for a better condition body. I bought a mint- F5 for $550 a few months ago.

    A F4 is different from a F100. F4 provides matrix metering on all manual AIS lenses. Not so on the F100. The F4 is built like a tank and is designed to work for a long time. The F100 has more advance matrix metering and a faster focusing capability. There are many other differences, so it's really up to your own requirements.

    The SB24 is designed for the F4. If you use a SB28 flash on the F4, you won't be able to use rear curtain sync on your flash, the SB28 does not support rear curtain sync.

    I will ignore the battery pack. Battery ages and loose their charge capability. The F4 is at least more than 10 years old. I bought mine back in the early 80s. The battery pack can't be that fresh.
  8. It focuses my AF-S lenses as fast as my F100 -- Alan Wilder
    That's an interesting statement, considering the F4 uses a dated AM200 AF module (which the F4 shares with the N4004, N8008, N50 and N60), while the F100 uses a MultiCam 1300 AF module, which it shares with the F5.
    Also, while it's true that the F4 can matrix meter with AI/AIS lenses, it uses dated matrix metering algorithms, circa almost almost 20 years ago(?).
    Don't know if you need MLU; if you do, then you might as well look at the F5.
    I've owned many Nikon bodies, including the F3, F4, F100 and F5. If I were to grab one body, it would NOT be the F4. Don't get me wrong - the F4 is a very good camera, but if you are looking for a shooter and good value, there are better options these days.
  9. Thats a good deal for the equpment, but is that what you want.

    I have an F2as, F5 and N80. I shoot mostly AF lenses and I normally grab the N80 unless I have a good reason to grab another body. For sports Hands down F5. For Night metering F2.

    But for general shooting, I like to use my $300 N80. (You can probably pick them up cheaper now). If im using fill flash outside, yea I like to use the F5. But other than flash sync and slower AF (The N80 is plenty fast for everything but sports), I find the N80 easier handle, its less than 1/2 the weight. The heavy cameras get old when you are using them. Other than MLU, FPS or Flash Sync I'd get the N80 and make pictures. My F5 gathers dust most of the time, unless im in the mood to show off my painfully expensive hobby, but thats another story.
  10. $400 is just an OK deal, arguably high, for the items you mentioned, given the 7 or 8 rating. Unless you're doing rapid-fire flash work I don't think you'll find the SD-7 to be terribly advantageous. The inclusion of an SD-7 would lead me to believe, though not necessarily, that the equipment was used professionally i.e. heavy use. I suggest you opt for an F100 as it has many more features for a very comparable price (minus the flash). The F4s (for better or worse): heavy, 1 AF point, vertical release, Matrix Metering with AI / AIS lenses (no big deal in my book), requires 6 AA batteries, interchangeable prism, viewfinder curtain, mirror lock-up, etc.

    A few benefits of the F100 over the F4s: lighter, more compact, 5 AF points, focus-tracking, auto-bracketing (F4 needs MF-23 film back for auto-bracketing), flash exposure bracketing, superior AF module, compatible with VR feature of modern AF VR lenses, 4 AA batteries, a slew of Custom Functions, the list goes on. Having used (and continuing to use) F2AS / SB, FM, FE2, F3HP, F4s, etc. I am very comfortable with Center Weight fact find it easier at times and don't feel the lack of Matrix on the F100 with MF lenses is a deal-breaker by any stretch. I don't even bat an eye.

    I have a handful of bodies and would certainly reach for the F100 more often than the F4s. No disrespect to the F4s...a very fine and capable performer but lacking some critical features of the F100.
  11. I'd probably buy it. The price isn't too bad and you don't know what it's condition actually is until you see it. If she's willing to meet in person it's sounding better. As for the F4, it's my favorite camera ever along with the F2. I have a tough time deciding some days whether to pick up one or the other and often I'll just grab both. The technology of the F4, AF, metering etc. worked well in their day and work just fine today. I like the control layout on the F4 and really can't warm up to the whiz wheels on the new cameras. I would pick an F4 over an F100 every time and quite possibly over the F5 as well. Both are excellent cameras but I can use the F4 without thinking about the camera and I can't do that on the other two.

    Rick H.
  12. It focuses my AF-S lenses as fast as my F100 -- Alan Wilder
    That's an interesting statement, considering the F4 uses a dated AM200 AF module ... -- KL IX

    While I only own one AF-S lens (an AF-S 24~85mm f/3.5-4.5G), I will say that my experience mirrors Alan's. I can't detect any significant *speed* advantage with that particular lens on my F100 compared to my F4 when used in good light. Of course, where the F100 will outperform the F4 will be in low light or scenes with poor contrast, or tracking moving subjects, and in those scenarios there is a noticeable difference in performance.
    The F100 and F4 are very different animals, and whether or not you want one or the other (or both) depends on which features of each model is important to you. $400 for an F4 and SB-24 is a decent price if both are in good working condition, but it's no bargain ( lists an F4S in EX condition, with a 60 day warranty, for $379).
  13. I got a really nice late F4s almost a year ago for $270 and an SB25 flash cost me around $60. $400 sounds a little steep to me.
  14. While it is not a wonderful price, it is not bad either. If you go to look at it, take a lens (preferably a zoom) and some film to check out AF, AE, and winding speed. The SB-24 flash display will show the FL of the lens and the ISO speed of the film as determined by the camera. It might be a good idea to bring a dozen new AA cells, while you are at it.

    Expect some enamel wear around the prism, and dirt on the focussing screen. Not really a problem. Make sure that the LCD display in the viewfinder works for all modes. See if the lens mounts and dismounts easily without any sloppiness. Similarly with the prism.

    See if the flash fires at shutter speeds up to 1/250th sec. Check out its display in all modes.

    I wouldn't imagine that you are likely to encounter problems with a camera as rugged as the F4S.
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    The F4's AF is very ancient, 1988 technology. By 1992 when the N90/F90 was introduced, those sports photographers who hadn't switched to Canon AF would rather use the N90's AF instead of the F4, and the F100's AF is yet another generation newer than the N90's. That difference may or may not show up in a small lens such as the 24-85mm AF-S under non-demanding conditions, but generally speaking, the difference is very major. I have both and know this first hand, as I had a lot of frustration with the F4's slow AF back in the early 1990's.

    Some people consider the F4 the best manual focus Nikon SLR and it indeed works very well with manual lenses. That is not too surprising considering that the F4 was introduced around the MF to AF transition.

    IMO, I would consider an F4 if you want a really robust body that works very well with manual lenses. However, considering the age of the F4, its robustness is kind of questionable. Mine simply died because of its electronic failure a few years ago.
  16. I have both F4s/e and F100, and wouldn't apart from either sooner or later as each holds up different and unique features and capabilities, and surely they both are great cameras. Back to your original question, $400 sounds little higher for grade of 7/10 on F4s and so forth. The last F4s (grade of 7/10 to me) I got about a year ago was $425, including a 35-70mm 2.8 AFD lens which is at least 8.5~9 out of 10, plus a sunpak flash (4000AF), stroboframe bracket and SC-17 cord, and all functions as should.
  17. I will sell you TWO working F4s bodies for $400 , total for the two , nothing wrong with either one, just the typical use scratches and brassing, but BOTH work just as designed, which is pretty durn good designing by the way...I'll even throw in a TTL Nikon flash, small, but a good one, the SB-15....I love and own several F4s in every model, and they are great cameras, even today....let me know if interested...
  18. Hello Dylan, in my opinion the F4s is a great camera and I prefer it over other newer cameras. It is heavy for sure but it is extremely rugged. Also despite the "old" age the metering is very accurate and using it with old or new AFS lenses is not a problem and it is just fine. My only concern would be the condition 7-8 that wouldn't be good enough for me.
    The condition is that of a camera that has been professionally used (and abused) I personally wouldn't accept anything less that 9 grade! and today you can find it a pretty low price. You can check also the wear internally on the winding gears (more reliable index of abuse than the external look)
    Stay well

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