Nikon F80D (N80QD in USA)

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by jdm_von_weinberg, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Nikon F80 D
    Kadlubek Nr. NIN0685A (Black)

    January, 2000
    I'll write about this one as the F80D since that's what I actually have, but so far as I can tell, the American equivalent -the N80QD- seems to be essentially the same.
    INTRODUCTION
    I was wondering where to go next after my first ventures into Nikon autofocus cameras. Mind, I had shot only Nikon (and the Rollei 35) from roughly 1971 until 2004.
    However, my collection of Nikkor lenses were all non-AI, and in 2004 many cameras -like the F80- did not play well with non-AI lenses. The result was that when Bill Atkins told me at his website that non-AI lenses worked fine on Canon EOS cameras with cheap adapters, well, I became an apostate, as I have admitted before.
    So here I am, back in the world of Nikon, having shot a bunch of early AF cameras from the Maxxum 7000, to a number of EOS cameras, to -most recently- a Nikon N2020 and a N8008s. I was thinking about an N90 or an F100, but a discussion on a recent thread led me to the F80 family. So here goes.
    THE CAMERA
    this is a well-known camera, released in January of 2000, so I'll just give the gist of the specs archived by Nikon at http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product-Archive/Film-Cameras/1776/N80.html .
    Cross-ranged, five-area autofocus system
    Focus Tracking with Lock-On™
    Center-Weighted Metering and Spot Metering
    Built-in Speedlight: guide number 12/39 (ISO 100, m/ft.); 28mm lens coverage
    QD (F80D) and Data Imprint (F80S) versions
    Custom settings of 18 functions (19 functions with F80S)
    3D Matrix Metering (with D-/G-type Nikkor lens)
    Four exposure modes ([P], , [A], [M])
    3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash capability
    On-Demand Grid Lines can be displayed in viewfinder (with Custom setting #4)


    and
    Exposure control:Auto-Multi Program [P] with Flexible Program, Shutter-Priority Auto , Aperture-Priority Auto [A] and Manual [M]
    Shutter speed: 1/4,000 to 30 s; stepless on [P] or A; in 1/2 EV steps on or [M]; B
    Exposure metering: 3D Matrix, Center-Weighted and Spot; EV 0 to 21 at ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens (EV 3 to 21 with Spot Metering)
    Power source: Two 3V CR123A or DL123A lithium batteries; Battery Pack MB-16 is also available (for four AA-size batteries) [clones of the battery pack are widely available]
    Dimensions (W x H x D): Approx. 141.5 x 98.5 x 71mm (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in.)
    Weight (body only without batteries): Approx. 515g (18.2 oz.)
    One key missing feature: This body will NOT meter with non-AF lenses
    However, I am told that VR lenses will work on this body.

    00al2w-492707584.jpg
     
    Henricvs likes this.
  2. Nikon still provide downloads of the manuals for this camera, but they can be a little indirect to find.
    A manual for the F80 and F80D is at http://nikonasia-en.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3129
    For the American N80, N80QD variants from NikonUSA at
    http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/13948
    (along with a lot of other older cameras and Nikon gear)
    There are lots of excellent reviews of this camera from its original introduction.
    Photo.net pioneer Greenspun at http://www.photo.net/equipment/nikon/n80



    Thom at http://www.bythom.com/n80.htm

    "the poor man's F100."

    And a review that is perhaps a better manual than the manual at the Nikonian's site:
    http://www.nikonians.org/nikon/f80/
     
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  3. CONCLUSIONS & COMMENTS

    The Nikon F100 set a new kind of consistency for the Nikon AF interface, and the F80 is a lesser version of the F100 with plastic body and no weather sealing.
    This change is one that, to me at any rate, that makes the camera more consistent in use and feel. In fact, I found the controls "easy to hand" as the old sports car reviews used to say.
    I like it. Focus seems a little faster, although my earlier experiences with the N2020 and the N8008s were that they worked for my style of shooting. All the same, the F80 is better.

    I did my first shooting with the camera with my "new" AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D and then with the inexpensive AF Nikkor 35-8omm f/4-5.6 D. Both worked fine.

    00al36-492711584.jpg
     
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  4. I found a spider web and tried the pop-up flash. I should have dialed in less, since it burned out the Orb spider, but I still like the result. The AF handled the gossamer web rather nicely with little intervention from the human.
    00al37-492713584.jpg
     
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  5. I went to the library for a book sale, and here is the inside of the modern and architecturally unusual roof supports.
    00al3C-492715584.jpg
     
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  6. Then I switched from Fuji 200 to Kodak Gold 800 just for fun.
    Here is today's Rotary Yard Sale for the town. Kind weak this year.
    00al3G-492717584.jpg
     
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  7. I couldn't leave out an actual example of the proverbial "brick structure", here at the town reservoir and park.
    00al3M-492719584.jpg
     
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  8. And finally,
    It's not an "Equivalence"
    So I guess I can call it a "Difference"?
    00al3T-492719884.jpg
     
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  9. BTW, note the date stamp on the library interior shot. That was unintentional and before I had updated the date and time to today's values. It shows off the feature, however.
     
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  10. JDM--thanks for the info and pix on the F/N80.
    I feel it is a very underrated camera-- I've never had a problem and it does a great job, even with slide film.
    It's so quiet! The autofocus motor makes hardly a sound. The shutter sounds almost "slippery" when it fires.
    Hard to believe you can get a good one for $60 or less these days.
    Thanks again.
    I always enjoy your posts!
    Paul
     
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  11. thanks jdm for the write up and no thanks for waking up my nas
     
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  12. I had one briefly. I liked it very much, and was a little sad when I decided to sell my few bits of Nikon gear to expand my Contax accumulation. Sweet camera.
     
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  13. The N80 is a great little camera. The only gripe I have with them, however, is that the rubber on the film doors tends to degrade and get sticky over time, and especially with use. Nikon USA, of course, could not care less about the problem (ask me how i know)!
     
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  14. Not a fan of the camera (F100 user) but nice shots around town. I kind of like the fried spider. Like a reverse silhouette. I would call the last shot "Transition".
     
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  15. Transition might be a good name for it.
    Thanks all.
     
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  16. If you are going to be using Nikon AF cameras substantially do take a look at the AF Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.4-4.5D -- it's a great great lens, with a quite respectable macro feature, that is underrated and available relatively cheaply. The long zoom of that era that is also very fine and won't overwhelm these cameras in terms of size is the AF 70-210mm f/4-5.6D. But I'd get that 28-105 first thing.
     
    peteraitch likes this.
  17. Thanks, Vince. I'm doing this as part of an "early AF cameras" binge, and I will keep an eye out for that lens.
    The one I got is part of my scheme to shoot these mostly with the "kit" lenses that were sold at the time, or nearly the same time.
    At the moment, I'm shooting a Pentax SF-1, but have my eye out for some more advanced AF Nikon bodies such as the F100 and one of the later F-series.
    I'm not quite serious enough to spend much money on this diversion however. After a few more marques, I plan on doing an overall assessment of the various approaches.
     
  18. Enjoyed that, thanks.
    I always liked the F80 - it's very well built, lighter and more compact than the F100. Maybe you should compare it to the PZ-1p?
     
  19. Much, much later, I did do the sum-up essay on early AF cameras at
    http://www.photo.net/modern-film-cameras-forum/00b7pQ
    there are links there to the whole series.
     
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  20. The N80 was my first modern Nikon. A couple of weeks ago my big brother told me he wanted to get back into film. He is a digital Nikon photographer, so I gave him my N80 and a 60mm 2.8 micro lense to round up his lenses. He didn't have a long lens with his digital, depending on a DX zoom. I haven't heard back from him yet, but I am sure he will be pleased. I thought about giving him my F100, but only for a half second. Nice review, thanks.
     

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