Nikon film camera body with depth of field preview

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by yee_lee|1, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Would anyone please kindly to recommend few good Nikon "film" camera body with depth of field preview button?

    It can be either current new model or much older model.

    Would you please also indicate which one will work with Nikon "G" lens for the depth of field preview button and which one will not?

    Thank you very much for the help.
    Yee Lee
  2. The only current model is the F6, but I doubt you want to spend US $2,000+ for a new one.... The rest of the G-compatible bodies are out of production so you'll have to buy used.
    The lowest decent film camera with depth of field preview is the N75/F75. They can be purchased used for about US $50.
    Next is the N80/F80, which isn't much different but a little bigger.
    Then the F100, which is bigger and heavier and has no built-in flash.
    Finally, the F5...but that's probably not what you need.
  3. Probably the oldest Nikon Film body that will work with G type lenses is going to be the F4 or N90
  4. To use with G lenses you need a new-ish camera. Are your G lenses also AF-S and/or VR? Depending on how large, featured and expensive you want the camera to be, some obvious choices would be the F5 or F100 (which work fully with all the lenses since manual focus AI, works with AF-S and VR, but you have to use spot or center weighted metering when using manual lenses), N80/F80 or N75/F75 (works fully with all AF lenses, does not meter with manual focus lenses) or F90/N90 series (lens compatibility is like the F100, but it can't use VR). All those models have a DOF preview button. My personal favorite is the F100.
  5. F4 apparently works with G lenses in certain auto modes, but not manual. The DoF preview + screen/viewfinder of the F4 is quite good in my experience. I know some people hate on it, but the F4s is my favourite camera, bought at least 3 of them. Only other camera I ever bought 3 of was that other dog, the Pentax 67:)
    VR doesn't work with F4s though.
    But for $200 an F4s (what I paid recently), you can't go wrong:) It is the most beautiful camera to hold I've ever experienced...and a tank.
  6. N8008 / N8008s
  7. Thank you very much for the recommendation. I will take a close look at them.
    Sorry, I forgot to ask: Do any one of them also have mirror lock up?
    Please it keeps coming. It really helps me a lot and I am really appreciating your help.
  8. Without knowing Yee Lee's experience, it doesn't make much sense to recommend cameras that are only partially compatible with G lenses.
  9. I am beginner to the photo world. I know very little about digital, but nothing about film camera or film and I like to get into it. Currently I am looking for low cost older model, but high end model may be few years down the road and like to know now to plan for the future. Sorry for bad English. Thank you all very much for the help.
  10. The F100 will not only use "G" lenses, but also can use VR lenses.
    The F100 does not have MLU, but the mirror is well damped. Unless you are doing macro photography or shooting long lenses at slow speeds, Miror Lock Up is not necessary.
  11. F4 has mlu. Why does it not make sense to offer partially G bodies?
  12. I just wonder, Is it rare for Nikon film camera body to have the mirror lock up to take photo?
    Someone told me long time ago that some of Nikon digital SLR camera body have "mirror lock" for the cleaning the sensor, but not for taking the photo. I am not for sure is this true because I do not have Nikon digital SLR camera body.
    Someone also told me some of Nikon digital SLR camera body can’t not activate both the mirror lock up and self timer to take photo at the same time. Only one of the features can be use at a time. I didn’t and can’t confirm this because I never use one or own one of the Nikon digital SLR camera body.
    The only reason I bring up this is I like to found out, Is this also true to the Nikon film SLR camera body? Please let me know if any of this is above it true or not true. If any one of you know about it.
    My current goal is to get a low cost Nikon film SLR camera body with depth of field and/or mirror lock up. If it can take G lens will be great. If not, it will be fine too. Same for VR, I would like to know which one have one of them or both of feature, but they are not as important to me at this moment as depth of field preview and mirror lock up.
    Right I just got a used Nikon N60 film camera body and it do not have either depth of field preview or mirror lock up. I really appreciate all your help so far. Thanks.
  13. I have an N65 and an N75. Both of them have DOF preview. Also, both can use G lenses and work with AF-S lenses. Neither has mirror lock up. I have no idea about VR, as I have no lenses with that feature.
  14. Cory, the N75 and N65 can both use VR.
    Yee, to get compatibility with G lenses and mirror lockup you's need an F4, F5 or F6. I forgot to mention the F4, it does AF, AF-S and G but does not do VR. All of those have DOF preview.
    The F100 doesn't have MLU but it's my favorite anyway. But I bet if I could afford an F6, that would be my favorite. :)
    The F5 also has this cool mirror counterweight system that lessens mirror vibration. But I guess they had room to put almost anything inside that huge body.
  15. The F4 would work with G lenses in S an P modes but the MLU function won't work with the G lenses. In fact the MLU function on the F4 won't work with any lenses when in S and P modes. It only work in M and A modes. Most of Nikon film cameras have the MLU function just that with the older ones the MLU function won't work with G lenses.
  16. On the F4, when the mirror is locked up, the auto focus mode and the auto exposure modes (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Program) do not work. The manual focus mode and the manual exposure mode will work when the mirror is locked up.
    When a G lens is mounted on the F4, the Shutter priority and Program auto exposure modes work. The Aperture Priority and Manual exposure modes do not work.
    Therefore, even though the mirror lock-up feature works when a G lens is mounted on the F4, none of the exposure modes work. I assume this is also true with the G lens on other Nikon film cameras with mirror lock-up.
  17. John I'm curious. Is t normal to engage mlu and then focus or set other parameters? I always hook up mlu as the last
    step, having already set exposure and focus. Nonetheless, it seems the F4 has a lot of quirks for use with G lenses,
    maybe not the best choice for anyone who needs an automatic camera. I must say though, in M mode, I love it:)
  18. N80 and F100 are both excellent bodies, although neither has mirror lockup.
  19. Get the F5. The DOF is optimized in the viewfinder for f1.8. A lot of other bodies are optimized at f2.5 and don't show you how shallow the DOF really is.
  20. Unless you want to spend 1500-2000 bucks on a used F6, I'd go with:
    1. F5: everything you want, and a fantastic camera - a bit big, but available under 300$
    2.F100: No MLU, but otherwise a great camera, my favorite AF Nikon. Should be able to find one for under 200 if you look carefully
    3. Everything else: the N80, N75, etc will work, but honestly, there's little sense in not getting at least an F100 unless budget is paramount. My Vote would be for the N80 in that case.
  21. The Nikon FM3A has depth of field preview but will not work with 'G' lenses.
  22. My old Nikkormat (EL) has a depth of preview button and mirror lockup.
  23. What are the improvements Nikon F6 over F5?
    What are the features and/or functions has removed for F6 which F5 have?
    Does VR work on F5?
    Currently I only have Nikon N60 film camera and two very used Nikon lens made by Sigma Zoom AF 35-70mm Lens and very a haze Sigma Zoom AF 70-210mm Lens, which I don’t know where to send to for cleaning. Would it be too high cost for cleaning?
    Would it be cheaper for me to get a cheap Canon film camera body with Nikon lens to Camera body adapter and good old Nikon lens or current Nikon D lens and forget the G lens or the VR? or I should stay with Nikon. I hear Nikon have very good lens.
  24. An F6 has a newer AF system and a smaller body (similar to a D2). I think it doesn't have the mirror counterweight. It actually seems like less of a hard core pro camera than the F5. When it came out, journalist and sports pros were buying D2's instead, and the F6 ended up being more of a high-amateur-to-event-shooter camera instead.

    An F5 is fully compatible with your lenses, and with G, AF-S and VR. The only lenses you can't use on it are pre-AI lenses (lenses from before 1977) and IX Nikkors (these were made for Pronea cameras that used APS film, and they are uncommon, which isn't surprising since Pronea cameras didn't sell very well). DX lenses (lenses for small-sensor digital cameras) work but usually the corners come out black because the lenses aren't meant to cover the whole size of a 35mm film frame.
    An F100 has the same lens compatibility profile as an F5. But any lens that works on an N60 works as well or better on an F5, F6, F100, N80, N90 or N75.

    Now, the lenses - what do you mean by haze? Is there a problem with the glass? Is there a problem with a removable filter (which you could just remove)? Or is there a glass element out of place or a problem with the focusing that prevents you from taking sharp photos?
    As for Canons, my immediate response would be, why would you want to do that? Yeah, you can use an adapter to put a Nikon lens on a Canon camera, but they work best on Nikon cameras.
  25. Thank you very much for all the help. It really helps me. I am really appreciating it.
    Does F6 allow user to change the view finder like F5?
    Is the anything else F5 can do and F6 can’t?
    As for the haze old Sigma Nikon lens I bought from eBay. I am guessing hazy, fogy or cloudy may be the better word for it. The best description I can give it is the internal elements have very light semi transparent white look to it. I am not for sure what cause it, whether by light fungus, mole or something else.
    Is it too hard for people like me who do not know anything about the lens to take it apart to clean the internal lens elements and put it back again? What lens repair tools do I need? Where can I get the special lens tool?
    I do have few old lenses I bought them on eBay and it turn out to be hazy. Many eBay seller do not list all the problem clearly or fully.
    Does anyone know where can I send lens to be to clean? Would it be too much cost?
  26. An AF zoom lens is difficult to disassemble and reassemble - there are a ton of small parts that are likely to come out, and you're likely to get elements misaligned when trying to reassemble them. It might be repairable, hard to say without knowing exactly what's on them, but... what's the aperture of the lens? I think there's such a thing as a Sigma 70-210 f/2.8, which would be an expensive lens that might be worth having repaired (though I don't know if it was ever made in Nikon AF) but if it's one of the variable aperture consumer models it's certainly cheaper to replace than repair. If it's the f/4-5.6, that's a $40 lens on, and if it's the 3.5-4.5 APO macro that's a $115 lens. I can't imagine you can have a decent repair job done for less than that, and if you buy a lens from Keh and there's something wrong with it they're good about returns.
    The F6 does have a fixed finder. And if you don't use a battery grip it doesn't shoot 8 frames a second like the F5, and the battery/vertical holding grip isn't included by default, but it does have a newer version of the AF sensor and the meter... Actually, okay, I could type a lot here but there's this web site that you can't name on the Nikon board because the forum software will yell at you, but it's done by a fellow named Ken Rockwell and if you Google his name it will bring you to the site. Normally I wouldn't call it a recommended read because he's quite opinionated and a lot of what he writes isn't very good advice, unless you're a beginner who needs to be talked out of spending way too much on a camera, but if you go to the Camera And Lens Reviews part of his site and click on Nikon, and scroll down to the 35mm Cameras section, he gives pretty exhaustive descriptions of the F5 and F6.
    But if you were to consider an F6 I'd recommend also reading up on the F100, because it's much less expensive and many of the F5 features that seem important to you that the F100 doesn't have are also features the F6 doesn't have.
  27. Thanks, I just check at keh and my Sigma Zoom AF 70-210mm F4-5.6 only cost $35.
    Can anyone tell me why Nikon F6 cost so much more than Nikon F5 or Canon 1V HS? Even for a used one.
    Is Nikon F6 really much better than Canon 1V HS too?
    Would anyone please kindly to tell me is there anything Nikon F6 can do Canon 1V HS can't?
  28. “John I'm curious. Is t normal to engage mlu and then focus or set other parameters? I always hook up mlu as the last step, having already set exposure and focus. Nonetheless, it seems the F4 has a lot of quirks for use with G lenses, maybe not the best choice for anyone who needs an automatic camera. I must say though, in M mode, I love it:)
    I am not sure what is normal. I just want to make sure that Lee has an idea of how some of the features he asks about either work or not work together.
    When I use mirror lock-up, I normally put my camera in manual exposure mode. In manual exposure mode, I can change the shutter speed and/or f/stop with the mirror in the up position.
    However, the manual exposure mode on the F4 does not work with the G lens. I do not consider this a quirk of the F4. I consider this a quirk of the G lens.
    By the way, as a matter of full disclosure I must say I do not like G lenses and try to avoid them. I do own two G lenses (14-24mm f/2.8 AF FX and 18-55mm f/3.5 to f/5.6 AF DX) but I wish the 14-24mm had an aperture ring so I could use it on my F2.
  29. The F6 is the newest pro film camera, most would say it's the best in its size class, it is more desirable to the people who are still buying expensive 35mm cameras new. And something to do with market, I guess. Since so many pros bought F5s then sold them after switching to digital, there are more of them on the used market, or something to that effect. Anyway, those F5's and 1V's aren't exactly cheap - an F5 in good condition costs several hundred dollars, and a 1V isn't even available from Keh and it would cost you close to $1000 to get one on Ebay.
  30. BTW, if you're serious about looking in the F6 price class, might I suggest an upgrade to that telephoto zoom. A Nikkor or Tamron 70-300 VR/VC lens is a lot better than that Sigma.
  31. Nikon F6 is too much for me. May be F5, F4 or even F100. I think for now. Thanks for the recommendation.
  32. Yee, for someone new to film photography, you are asking a lot of questions about things that do not make a huge impact with most photographers, such as MLU. I don't know about others, but I have used MLU very rarely, and if your camera is on a tripod and you use a remote release, it's not a factor for 99% of the images. I see you asking about pricey, pricey cameras and then about really cheap lenses. Put the money into a capable body and buy good glass. Buy an F100 or even an N8008s. A 50mm 1.4 lens, and a reasonable short range zoom and see where that takes you. My favorite is the Nikon 24-120 AF D lens.
  33. F4 or F100 both have DOF buttons. And both will work with G series lenses. However, if you have a lot of these lenses, i would go with the F100.
    Unless you have money to burn, in which case go ahead and get yourself an F6.
  34. Hi Yee,
    I agree with Mark, I have used Nikon SLRs since 1972 starting with the Nikkormat FT2, F2, also had the 801, 601, F70, F90, FM2 and finally the F5 and maybe used mirror lock up very rarely, no more than 3 times at most and MLU is not an issue 99.999% of the time. Don't get hung up on MLU.
    If you just want to experiment with an older SLR body and dof and a G lens then just buy a reasonably good SLR body, an upscale one like you said I would start with the D/N 90, F4 or F5 that should be enough and these are quite cheap and are very good cameras. The N/F 90 is much lighter.
    Except for my FM2 and D90 all my film SLRs have been sold. My lenses from the film days are still usable with my DSLRs (my old D70) and my current D700. I have only FX lenses.
    Remember film is gradually getting harder to find and more expensive to buy and process. Kodakchrome has already become a memory. Put your money into a good digital SLR body and good glass. I have not shot film for maybe 8 - 10 years now and don't miss it at all. The 24-120 AFD is a good lens, it was my primary multi purpose lens for a long time but just at Christmas I got the 28-300 VR and that is going to be the multi purpose lens for me now.
    Hope this helps, have a good 2011 - year of the Rabbit
  35. Thank you all for all the very helpful info and hints. I am really appreciating it all and I will take it all very seriously consideration.
    Is there a Nikon film camera body has depth of filed preview button and mirror lock up cheaper than F5, F4, F3.... and a bit more feature than F100? and may be with self timer build in too.
    If not, I may go for a used F100, FM10 or cheaper model and forget about Mirror lock up, G lens, VR and use good old Nikon mechanical lens with aperture ring.
    Is the there such thing call. “Color Bulk Film for 35mm format”? I was only able to find 35mm B&W bulk film in b&h.
    Just FYI, Chinese New Year goes by Luna Calendar and Year of Rabbit start on Feb 04, 2011.
  36. For Nikon film bodies, only the single digit F bodies have mirror lock up. And among those, only those with aperture
    control dials will work fully with G lenses. So you are limited to the F5 and F6. You should be able to find F5 for cheap
    in the 2nd jand market or eBay.

    Forget the FM10, it's made by Cosina, not Nikon, and is mostly plastic. I'd go for a used FM2n instead.
  37. I just got Nikon N8008 and I like it very much. It have depth of field preview, which what I want and it use AA, but do not have mirror lock up. Thank you very much for the recommendation.
    I will look into Nikon FM camera body series next. Would anyone please kindly to recommend any good Nikon FM camera body? I am thinks about FM2 or FM3. I hear they use special hard to found battery, but I could be wrong about this. Would any Nikon FM camera body able to use AA battery grip?
    As for mirror lock up feature, I want to use mirror lock up for macro photography and very long exposure with long lens and that will be in the future for Nikon F5.
    Thank you very much to you all to give me very useful info, hints and recommendation. Please keeps it coming. Thanks

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