Nikon F70, F75 or F80? Which one should i buy?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by anacsrita, May 15, 2020.

  1. Hello, i´m kinda new to film photography and i want to buy a really good nikon camera. right now i only have a fujifilm zoom date 70 and between the nikon f70, f75 and f80 i don't know which one to buy o_O
    I haven't found a F80 with a good price for now, so my doubt for now is really only between F70 and F75, between these two, which do you think would be better to buy?
    One more question: do you think the differences between F70, F75 and F80 are significant?

    Note: The lens that comes with the F70 is 35-80mm and for the F75 I can choose between 35-70mm or 28-100mm.
    The price are pretty much the same.
  2. How much is the good price? I think the F80 or US version N80 are cheap these days. You want a really good Nikon camera then the F80 is minimum. If you can find the F90 for less (which I doubt it) then go for that.
  3. I am from europe, i have search over ebay and didn't find anything less than 70€ and it is only the body , that's why i decided to choose between the F70 and F75 for now...
  4. I would definitely look for an F90 or F90X, it's a semi pro camera with a good reputation for reliability and exposure accuracy. Also it runs off cheap AA batteries rather than the expensive photo batteries of the other cameras. Another good choice would be the F801, for the same reasons.
  5. The F80/N80 will give you the best compatibility with modern lenses(AF-S, VR, G) at the cost of no metering with non-CPU lenses.

    The N70/F70 gives metering with non-CPU lenses, but sticks you to P and S with G lenses.

    Personally, I'd suggest avoiding the N75/F75, especially if the N80 is similar in price.

    If at all possible, stretch your budget a bit and get an F100, which gives you a much broader range of lens compatibility and is overall a much more capable and more refined camera than the N80.
    Richard Williams likes this.
  6. The F80 is, despite the apparent order of the numbers, later than the F90(/N90) (LINK: Nikon F80D (N80QD in USA)) and in my opinion is a much nicer camera to shoot.

    The F100 is probably better, but - in the past- cost a lot more than the F80,

    Thom, at a post now apparently gone, described the F80 as

    "the poor man's F100."
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
    bgelfand and Sanford like this.
  7. Yeah, I think sometimes the F80/N80 gets overlooked where it really is quite a good if somewhat cheaply made camera. The major issues seem to be sticky rubber and broken door catches(I've experienced both). Feature wise, to me the main thing it lacks in comparison to the F100 is the AI follower for MF metering. The N80 was good enough for Kodak and Fuji both to turn it into digital cameras.

    Also, I meant to say above that I'd avoid the N70 for no other reason than the really weird control layout. I've known of people who mastered it, but it operates like no other camera in existence and at times you do feel like you're programming a VCR given what all the camera is capable of and the limited amount of information it can display. I can usually make it do what I want, but it takes several minutes of "okay, why is this setting not changing? Oh, it's blinking, I need to hit the set button. Oh wait, it's still not working, maybe I should try holding the button while I spin the dial. Okay, I'm there. That's right, now I have to press set twice to get it back to where I can adjust the shutter speed." If you master it, I suppose that it's a lot easier to use, but IMO doing so is a bit of a futile exercise since those skills don't transfer to any other camera. By contrast, someone who has mastered an F100, for example, will take to a D850 fairly easily.
  8. The F801 has a gotcha that it won't autofocus with AF-S lenses (i.e. anything remotely modern) - for some reason Nikon managed to end up with some bodies that can only use autofocus with screw drive lenses (F801/F601/F501/F401s/F60/F55) and some that can focus electronic lenses but not screw drive ones (low-end dSLRs). That would put me off buying one, but also makes them cheaper. The F80's lack of AI follower so you can't meter with manual lenses might be an issue if you're trying to go for an authentic budget lens experience.

    If you're prepared to import it from Japan, a used F100 might be manageable and certainly counts as a "really good Nikon". If you're lucky, you might find an F5 that's affordable, but I can vouch for them being a bit bulky to use; they're nothing like as refined as a modern dSLR, but then they're lacking twenty years of tweaking. (The F6 is probably better, but silly money.) Otherwise it's a game of "pick your compromise".

    The F75 is a lot cheaper, and basically the film equivalent of a D3x00 series dSLR (small, light, plastic, only one dial, no old lens compatibility). That's not necessarily a bad thing, and it's otherwise relatively modern - I've never used one, but I've been sorely tempted as a backup. (I have an Eos 500, which is close to Canon's equivalent.) I'm sure the F80 handles better, at the cost of being bigger and heavier, and I don't know how much that'll bother you.

    Before skimping too much, I'll point out how much film and film processing costs these days. It's a bit like inkjet printers - the up front cost of a film camera is reasonable, but by the time you've bought a few rolls of film, got them developed, and scanned them (depending on how much of that you're willing to do yourself), it's painful, which is why I have a load of out of date film in my fridge. A quick look online puts Velvia 50 at about 50p/frame to buy, another 15-20p to get developed, add a bit more to scan it... call it 75p/frame or, rounding down a lot, £25 per roll. Two rolls of Velvia is easily the price difference between an F75 and F80. 6 rolls would get you an F100 from Japan (maybe 15 from somewhere local), which might give you better use of cheap old lenses if you wanted them. Of course, 15 rolls of Velvia in, you could have bought a D7000 and shot as much as you liked digitally. So... I assume you're shooting film because you explicitly want to. But I'm just pointing out that going for the cheapest option isn't all that relevant in the long term. :)
    stuart_pratt likes this.
  9. I have had a lot of Nikons and thought the F100 was the best film camera of the bunch, Nikon F excluded.
    bgelfand likes this.
  10. Why now? I had some of these cameras "100 years ago".
    robert_davies|2 and Sanford like this.
  11. Can't be 100 years! My oldest Nikon is only 70 years old. Nikon M.

    The F100 can use AA batteries, as can the N90/N90s. The Lithium batteries used by the N70 can get pricey. The N80 has an optional battery pack to use AA. Just something else to consider. If you have a Nikon DSLR that uses internal AF motors- getting fully compatible might make a difference. Otherwise- an N8008s is dirt cheap, has a nice finder, uses AA batteries. The N90/N90s adds advantage of AF-D type lenses- may be important for using with flash. My N8008s used to be a DSLR.
    John Seaman likes this.
  12. There are some great Nikon classics out there from the golden era for next to nothing.
  13. The F70, F75 and F80, if I remember correctly, have weak plastic film door catches which break easily and can't be repaired. The F90X and F801 (N90S, N8008) have strong metal catches. The F90 film back coating goes sticky but it's easy to remove. The rest of the body doesn't go sticky - unlike the other cameras mentioned. The F70 as mentioned, has an incomprehensible user interface.
  14. You're not that old Mary! I think the OP wants it now because the kind of money he is willing to pay. Back in the days he couldn't get any of the cameras for 70 euro.
  15. I might hold out for an F80 at the right price. The F75 is OK, but it's cut down in various ways compared to the F80. The F75 doesn't have the sub-command dial (the one on the front in the F80) so it's not as easy to use in full manual mode. Film ISO setting is DX code only without manual override, and the flash sync is a bit slower if it matters. Still, it is compatible with the same lenses as the F80, including G and VR. The F70 is a solid but older design with more primitive AF and a quirky interface, and it isn't compatible with VR or with manual aperture control on G lenses. You can set ISO manually, though. With the F75 I'd go with the 28-100, unless the 37-70 is the f/2.8 version, which was a professional lens.
  16. I would skip the F70/N70. Has a weird (to me anyway) user interface like no other Nikon camera. Designed by a Nikon engineer who was also a closet Star Wars fan me thinks.:);)

    F80/N80 is the best of the 3 you listed. When it was offered new, it was the top of the line consumer film camera in Nikon's lineup. F75/N75 was the next lower tier camera.
  17. Note the quotes I used on "100 years old". Anyhow, these cameras are ancient - now will someone say "Nikon is not ancient because it is only 70 years old"? ;)

    I had used all of those prehistoric cameras with the exception of F75. I agree with some suggestions up there, with a few dollars more, get the super-duper F100. You will like it a lot more than the others.
    Sanford likes this.
  18. There is somewhere else a note today from someone using a Kodak Autographic 1A,
    that they say is 103 years old. I don't know quite how close you can date them, but that
    is close to the era.

    Last year I had a Brownie 2F, which uses 120 film, for three rolls, which I believe
    is about 90 years old. (One roll is VPL, I suspect rarely used with the Brownie.)

    I do wonder a little why the OP is considering these models.
    Not that I think they are not good choices, but many looking to revive their interest
    in film photography go for the manual cameras, Maybe the FT3 or FM.
    Ones designed for non-AF lenses.

    I have an N80 that I got from our church auction some years ago. Not so long
    after I got a D70s, and found it interesting how similar the user interface is.
    (I didn't know that when I bought it.)

    The OP didn't say what other cameras he/she might have.

    Otherwise, another choice might be the Canon FTb, or similar aged cameras
    from others.

    As others mentioned, you need to consider film and processing costs.
    Black and white film, developed yourself, is the cheapest way to go, and,
    besides the lower cost gets you more into the traditional feel of
    film photography.

    You might just shoot film, scan it, and then digitally process and print it.

    But wet printing is a traditional part of film photography, and you might
    be interested in doing it. Unlike film, with prints you get to watch the
    image appear from nowhere.
  19. I understand the attractions of classic manual cameras, but if you already have a Nikon AF dSLR and want to share lenses, one of these AF models can make a lot of sense. I think all mainstream AF lenses except the latest AF-P and electronic aperture E type lenses will work on the F5, F6, F100, F80, F75 and F65. And all these cameras have the familiar dial interface that began with the F5 and is retained in the dSLRs. I think the F100 is the pick of these (the F5 is very large and heavy, and the F6 is very expensive), but the F80 is a decent alternative, smaller, lighter and quieter. And the F100 is still relatively expensive as far as AF SLRs go - I've seen nice ones sell for more than I paid for my F5.

    The cost of shooting film is a good point to consider, and worth comparing to the price of the camera. I picked up an F80 last year that came to about the same as I'd pay for 4 rolls of film plus commercial processing and scanning. If your budget is too low to stretch to an F80, consider whether shooting a cheaper body will be affordable. It's also worth checking a range of dealers, not just ebay.
  20. The OP says he "only has the Fujifilm zoom date 70".

    Maybe he forgot to mention any digital cameras.

    But yes, sharing lenses between film and digital cameras is convenient,
    and saves money. That works, at least, between Canon EF and Nikon models.

    Many Nikon lenses can share between older manual cameras, maybe not pre-AI,
    and newer DSLRs.

    Self processed black and white film is the best way to get costs down.
    Lab processed C41 isn't so expensive.

    And if you only do one roll a year, even E6 isn't so bad.
    (My current usage for E6 is less than a roll a year.)

    Also, the batteries for some of these cameras are expensive.

    Some years ago, I got some 223 batteries for a low price,
    which turn out to be two 123 cells in a plastic package.

    Do shop around, though, for the 123s.

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