Nikon N8008s - My first autofocus SLR

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by sadanand, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. I have been searching for an autofocus SLR. The search ended (at least for now) with a Nikon N8008s(aka F-801). This is my first autofocus SLR. Having used manual focus so far this is a change and with N8008s I must admit it is a pleasent change. I was actually targetting F4. But when I found N8008s from KEH at $12.00 I thought I will give it a try. Agreed that it may not compare with F4/F100/EOS. When you read up the reviews for this camera one common factor you are bound to notice is that many say that its autofocus is slow. But I found it does its job very well. For a camera that came in the late 1980s it still is a solid performer. I found that it has everything that I could ask for - DOF preview, flash sync of 1/250, will accept manual focus lenses, high point view finder, small size and uses AA batteries - all for a princely sum of $12.00.
    Interestingly below is a New York Times review dated 04-17-1988 which mentions the list price at $857.00 - 23 years ago !
    Below are some of the shots with this camera. I used a 50mm f1.8D AF and Tamron 90mm adaptall. Film used is from Walgreens 200 ISO, processed at Target.
    Thank you for looking. As always, appreciate your comments.
  2. Ah, Spring...Winter's just arriving, for me...Nice photographs, Sadanand. "Flower Bud" is dramatic, and I like the bokeh in "Yellow Bud". While I'm not familiar with the camera, it certainly seems to have all the bells and whistles one would require, and the lens is obviously up to Nikkor standards. Many thanks for posting.
  3. Very nice shots, Sadanand. Even though the 8008s is 'old' by today's standards, it's still a camera with an outstanding reputation. I remember when I bought my Canon EOS A2 in '94 the 8008s was one of the cameras I'd frequently see in the bylines of many of the pictures I viewed in my favorite magazines. It, along with the N90s, seemed to be one of the most popular cameras for those who didn't want to lay out the big cash for the F4 or F5. I think it's a good looking camera and I'm sure it's a pleasure to use. Unless you're shooting sports professionally it should be more than sufficient. Enjoy it, and post more pictures from it when you can!
  4. Great shots Sadanand. But how are the mighty fallen. Twelve dollars for such a fine camera - I think these high tech AF camera are the biggest casualties of the digital era. I've got a Minolta 700si and Minolta Dynax 7, two of the best film cameras ever made in my opinion, both worth virtually nothing.
    I'm intrigued to know why you didn't use the lovely Nikkor f1.4 lens pictured on the camera.
  5. Very nice images ! A Nikon N8008 was my first auto focus camera too, and I think I bought it in 1988 with a 35-135 AF lens. The camera went on several "across the pond" and cross country trips with me, and I have most of the pictures I took with it including a lot of fond memories. The shutter gave out about 10 years ago, and went to an N6006, then switched to digital few years ago. The 8008 was quite expensive then, over $800, so even by today's standards, you got a great deal. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I did mine----Jerry
  6. These are very fine cameras and even if $12 is a bit rich for your taste, the 6006 is not too shabby either.
    To me they feel tighter and more solidly made than the EOS cameras of the same era. That, plus the fact that they work very well with old AI Nikkors, makes them a best buy in the used film SLR field. As nice as the older Nikon FM/FE/FA, FG, and even F3 are, it has to be admitted that the 8008 in most ways outperforms all of them, yet is available for lunch money.
  7. Excellent shots!
  8. I bought one new, about 20 years ago, and used it for many years. It's a very nice camera, but I'd classify the AF as being mainly useful in situations where you don't really need AF anyway.
  9. Great job in isolating the subject particularly with those flower shots!
  10. I used one for many years. And having used an FE2 I have always thought the FE2 over-rated and the 8008s under-rated. Unbelievable that you can purchase such a technological marvel for such a tiny sum. I know what I paid for mine new - I'm just glad I saw the digital onslaught arriving and sold mine - years ago - for 20x the price you paid!
  11. I paid $300 for a used Nikon N70 in mint condition in June, 2000. And I sold my trusty 13 year old Nikon FE2 to pay for the N70. I was thrilled with the N70, and upgraded to the F100 in 2002, which cost me $700! My current F100, a late serial number example, cost me only $150 at a pawn shop. And it isn't worth enough to sell.
  12. Dave, I feel your pain. I bought my F100 when it first came out; with the MB-15 I think I paid $1500. I paid $400 for my N6006 in 1994. But I still shoot film much of the time so have no desire to sell my F100, and the falling prices of film SLR's allowed me to finally purchase my dream camera, an F4s, which I paid $90 for in 2006.
  13. Great pictures! Not such a big fan of the rounded corners (especially without the black border) but thats just my personal preference.
    The F-801s is a favourite of mine, i got one last october in pristine condition and just fell in love with it. Compared with the EOS 5/A2 (European camera of the year 1993!) I find it easier to use with a better viewfinder, and just plain better looking :) Admittedly the AF isn't nearly as fast though.
  14. Thanks to all of you for commenting.
    Andy Collins: I did consider the N90 but I was afraid of that 'sticky back' issue.
    John Seaman: I used 50 1.8D AF simply to the try the AF. The 1.4 AI and 1.8 E series are next in line.
    Dave Lee/Nick Davis: The prices of these cameras today is certainly unbelievable.But then for a person like me who couldn't afford them back then I am able to pick these up today for next to nothing. As long as film and a processing lab is available in my neighborhood I am happy.
    Once again appreciate your inputs. Cheers !
  15. I have two 8008s. I only wanted one, but the other 'came with' a lens and flash I wanted. I also have an N90s, which has considerably better AF and no sticky back. Try the classic 105 f2.5 AI or AIS and you'll love it. Works great on my D200 as well.
  16. Sadanand, the sticky back issue is certainly one to look out for. I was fortunate enough to find an N90s (with the data back) in pristine condition; it looks as though the camera was hardly ever used, and it cost me all of $46! If you ever decide to pursue the N90/N90s, definitely consider KEH. They have them priced very reasonably. In the meantime though, your N8008s looks great and should be a superb camera.
  17. Sadanand, nice looking camera and a great performer in your hands. Can you reveal the locale of the shots. I ask because the jogging path looks quite a bit like Green Lake in northern Seattle WA.
    But you are on the slippery slope. My first AF film Nikon I ever had was an F100 which I bought about 4 years ago for $500.00 It is impossible not to like the F100. Then a year later, a Nikon F4s for $350. And about 6 months ago I foolishly speculated that I was ending my quest for film cameras. Whereupon, I have since bought an F90s, an N80, and an F5. And that is just mentioning the Nikons.
    Most of what I shoot is stationary, so autofocus speed is not a big deal. When I take shots of my two Old English Sheepdogs, autofocus is nice to keep up with them. The F5 autofocus is noticeably faster than the F4s, but it is still by split seconds. Might be important if photographing high speed sports. I like autofocus mainly because my eyesight is not the greatest. I lost the high rez of my right eye due to a condition known macular edema, with just enough peripheral resolution to provide 3D vision, but I can't read a billboard with that eye. If I close my left eye while driving, the car in front of me disappears into a gray blob. Why I like telling this is because they tried some experimental techniques on me (they admited there is no known cure). It involved injecting hormones into my eyeball with a needle.
    I really like the rubbery finish of the N80, F100, and F5, and am glad they kept it up with the digitals. I wish I had it on my F4s and N90. It seems as though the camera is glued to your hand. At my favorite local camera store, which has a good inventory of used stuff, one of the salesman said that he sold a lot of F100s by just asking the customer to hold one in their hands. I can see why. It feels as if it were custom made just for me.
  18. Sadanand - don't get overwhelmed by the nitpickers. The 8008s/801s series are great cameras.Slow autofocus? -only compared to cameras you could not buy for $12.00.
    Plus points : superb bright,clear viewfinder -just look into a F80 squinty box and you won't go back.
    Works great with Ai /M/F lenses.Uses AA batteries. Reliable.Well built.
  19. Andy Collins: Thanks. I think one day I will end up with a N90 ! Kenrockwell's website has beautiful pictures of N90 and to tell you the truth, the moment I saw it I wanted a N90. Somehow I need to make sure that it comes with a clean standard back. I read that Nikon actually replaced those without that coating.
    James Kennedy: Thanks for stopping by. All these pictures are taken in and around Ellicott City and Columbia in Maryland. All those cameras you have are excellent pro bodies indeed. As I said, I was actually planning to get a F4. I took a chance with N8008s because I read somewhere that F4 was born out of N8008s and at $12.00 it was a risk worth taking. Also with its ability to handle MF lenses it was more attractive to me.Today I must admit that I am very happy to have done so. On the MF lenses support alone the N80 is out of my equation. This does not mean that I out of that slippery road which you mention ! That F100 salesman you mention could be right. I read in another forum - never handle a camera in a camera shop... it is like holding a kitten ... you got to take it home. Sorry to hear about your eyesight. Wish you a speedy recovery and good health.
    Ian Gordon Bilson:Thank you. Very happy to see another vote for N8008s and a supporter for my $12.00 investment! You have precisely summarized all the points that I considered.
    Cheers !
  20. I had one for quite a while. It was a good camera. I also owned the N80 which I liked also until my son took it over one day. I then bought a F100 and still have that one. It's my regular camera. They are all good camera's and so is the N90. Your N8008s will work very well with AIS lenses also. Have fun with it. It's amazing how cheap camera's can be bought these days.
  21. I must dig out my F-801 (= N8008, the 'non-s' model) - it's now cheap enough to take on a trip in my checked luggage! Haven't used it for ages, but remember the excellent viewfinder (up there with the F100) and general solidity, though the pre-F5 interface is a minus. It was already an old model when I bought it as a backup, and my impression of the AF was a bit more favourable than I'd feared, though Mark's 'mainly useful in situations where you don't really need AF anyway' pretty much covers it. How much of an improvement was the 's' version over the original? Odd how the FE2 it more or less replaced in the Nikon lineup is now a much more desirable (i.e. expensive) camera. Much of the film-using community seems to have some sort of Amish-style Ordnung prohibiting technological conveniences introduced after 1985.
  22. When I got started in photography in 1997 the N8008s was a pretty hot item on the used market. Back when KEH Camera always had a big ad in Shutterbug I recall 8008s bodies listed for as much as US $550.00. I think the lure was that it had DOF preview in an era when only high end Nikon AF cameras had it. You could buy a new N90s for $900 or an F5 for $2,800...or an N8008s.
  23. Nice work.
    For that sort of price, I may need to rethink my decision not to upgrade my Nikon equipment beyond the F2.
    (BTW, now is the time to get in on close to the ground floor for the collection of early generation AF cameras. Since the lenses are often still good, they are not so cheap, but the bodies themselves are overlooked, and are still good workers, not just shelf displays. )
  24. JDM:
    Thanks !. You are correct about the early generation AF cameras. KEH now has N8008s for $13 and N90 for $29 !
  25. I just picked up an n8008s in EXC+ condition from the auction site for $24.99 plus shipping. Has a nice bright viewfinder, but compared to my F100 this thing is very noisy!

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