Second hand Nikon F4 or F5 ?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by royston, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. I am a relative newcomer to the world of Nikon and have recently purchased a Nikon D80 which I am absolutely
    delighted with.

    Historically I used the Olympus OM system - but have sold nearly all my OM equipment and my Bronica medium format

    The lenses I intend to purchase for my Nikon system will be of the full frame type, not the digital only design
    ones - I am hiring a 80 - 200 mm F2.8 in December and have been warned that I am likely to full in love with it
    and end up buying one of them.

    Having seen the prices of secondhand F4 and F5 bodies on eBay and with dealers I am very tempted to buy one, for
    the occasions where I still would like to use film. I am tempted to pay slightly more perhaps for one from a
    dealer where it should come with some form of warranty period.

    However I have no working knowledge of either Camera body and would very much appreciate some guidance as to the
    differences between the two at a practical day to day level along with any other things which I need to test or
    be aware off when evaluating potential examples to purchase.

    Also what dealers (UK) should I approach ?

    Many thanks

  2. The difference between the two bodies is alot. Your best bet for an indepth look at between the bodies is mir site or Google Photography in Malaysia. HTye really are two different machines.

    As for dealers?

    If you want the best then Greys Of Westminister, they are exclusivley Nikon
    ffordes in Scotland are also very good have used them for many things over the years
    mxv again big choice of gear to be had.

    stick www.***** round the names and you should get there.

    I have an F4s and I love it.

    Still thinking about getting an F5 but think I may go for an F6 instead.
  3. The difference between the two bodies is alot. Your best bet for an indepth look at between the bodies is mir site or
    Google Photography in Malaysia. HTye really are two different machines.

    As for dealers?

    If you want the best then Greys Of Westminister, they are exclusivley Nikon

    ffordes in Scotland are also very good have used them for many things over the years

    mxv again big choice of gear to be had.

    stick www.***** round the names and you should get there.

    I have an F4s and I love it.

    Still thinking about getting an F5 but think I may go for an F6 instead.
  4. I've also used ffordes and been very happy with them. Perhaps a little expensive, but then I've always found
    their descriptions accurate.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have both of those cameras, but the one I would recommend is the F100: smaller and compatible with most recent features, still very well made.

    The F5 is the larger version of the F100 and is big and heavy. To me, the F4 is just too old now with ancient AF and incompatible with the VR feature. My F4 has died due to some electronic problem.
  6. The F5 is a beautiful tool... but big, heavy and complex. If you're coming from a D80, follow Shun's advice. The F100
    (which I also have) is like a junior F5 with better ergonomics, smaller, lighter and incredibly intuitive. You don't need to go
    to a dealer for one, as many can be found in very good shape in this forum. However, if you're interested in buying from a
    dealer, keep exploring... or ask around. I'm sure others will chime in with their suggestions, but, again, widen your choices.
    The F100 will do better than an F4 for you.
  7. Many thanks one and all.

    MVX is just down the road from me and is where the Bronica came from - I shall check out Greys of Westminster - again very accessible and use these forums as well.

    I shall add the F100 to the candidate list and given the comments about the older F4, make it a F5 or F100 choice.
  8. I've owned and loved the F100, I echo the comments here to look for one. However it does have one flaw that I did not like, and that is a dusty film chamber. The F100 has a rather cheap plastic film door, and it is not well sealed to dust. I never had this problem with my F3HP, which has a rigid film door. I've always been fascinated with the F5, and am still considering looking for one. But overall, the F100 is a better overall camera if you don't need the bullet-proof construction of the F5.
  9. Oh and the other flaw worth mentioning about the F100 is the film cartridge rewind fork was redesigned to be stronger in later bodies. I can't remember the exact serial number when they made the change, but it may be worth looking into. The newer fork is squared off, the older one is curved.
  10. Stating that the F100 is just a junior version of the F5 is a bit of an oversimplification. I would suggest you read some of the more in depth reviews at say: Thom Hogan's site or Ken Rockwell's site.

    If memory serves me correctly, the F5 has quite a bit more sophisticated RGB matrix meter, and while in most cases the meter in the F100 is fine, there are times when it can be fooled and the F5's meter will be spot on.

    Additionally, the F5 has mirror lock-up if you're interested in that, while I don't think the F100 does.
    The F5 has manual rewind, whereas the F100 doesn't. As mentioned already, the F5 has a lot better sealing/weatherproofing than the F100. If the vertical grip is important to you, then adding the grip to the F100 does not provide as solid an interface as the F5 either.

    I think the F100 does have a slightly more advanced AF, at least my F100 seems to focus a little faster than my F5. The focus point inside the F100 are illuminated much better than the F5 viewfinder.

    Just some additional things to consider.
  11. If your choices are only F4 or F5, forget the F4. I have and use both of these cameras, but have generally relegated the F4 as a copy (macro) camera or as emergency back-up.
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Jeff, I had the F5 for 2+ years before getting my F100. I still own both today, as well as a non-functioning F4.

    The F5 has an RGB matrix meter while the F100 is just matrix. When I first bought the F100, I tested them side by
    side under a number of difficult lighting conditions, and both cameras gave me the same metering reading. Therefore,
    I concluded that the F100's meter is certainly good enough, but even the F5 still gave me plenty of wrong readings
    when I went to Antarctica in 1998 where there are a lot of snow scenes.
    In everyday use, my experience with the F100 confirmed that its meter is just fine.

    The F100 has no mirror lock up. Initially I thought that was a big deal, but I tested some 1:1 macros with both using
    my 200mm/f4 AF-D macro lens at supposedly the worst 1/15 sec. After I got my slides back, under a 10x loupe, I
    could not see any difference in terms of sharpness between those shot with the F5 w/ mirror lock up and those with
    the F100 w/out.

    Both the F5 and F100, along with the entire D1 family, use the Multi-CAM 1300 AF module. The F5 is supposed to
    have a more powerful AF motor inside so that it can AF faster with non-AF-S lenses. With AF-S lenses, the F100 is
    supposed to have newer firmware and therefore can drive AF-S lenses faster. (Remember those cameras were from
    the days that the user could not update the firmware at home.)

    The bottomline is that when I was shooting film, I used my F5 and F100 pretty much interchagably, typically with
    different types of film in each. Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like the OP wants a film SLR for more casual
    use. In that case the smaller (and cheaper, although not by much any more) F100 should be a better choice. The F5
    does have a few higher-end features such as MLU, interchangable viewfinders and 8 frames/sec for those who need
  13. I still have two F4s cameras and I think they are one of the best cameras ever made. The only issue I think that limits their capability is the slower autofocus as compared to newer models. That said I also have an F6, which really is the best camera ever. I still threaten to shoot film again, so I'm keeping them at least for now. :)

  14. I picked up a very nice F5 about 2 months ago for $300 locally. ( I was telling this story at a party, when one woman went "$300! Our company paid $5000 when it first came out!) I also own an F100 which I bought new about 5 years ago. Both are very nice to work with. I'll switch back and forth depending on what I'm shooting. I don't think you could go wrong with either one, and prices are pretty darn good. Sorry, but I've never even seen an F4, so I can't comment.
  15. I also have both and while they are both more than enough for my 35mm needs I would say the F4 is simpler. Thats not to say the 5 is better but the F4 does have big old fashioned knobs and buttons so you can see exactly whats going on just by looking at the body. The F5 has more functions if you really want to use them but you may need to carry an instruction book around with you if you intend to change things while you are out.
  16. I shot an F4 for years as a newspaper photographer. As far as I'm concerned, it's still the best camera that Nikon made. I now own an F100 with the MB-15. I really don't like the metering system on the F100. To me, it is not as acurate as the F4. So I usually use the center weight meter in that camera, as it seems to provide better results that the matirx metering does. I have been tempted to purchase an F5, because the prices are just rediculous these days. With all of that said, any of these three cameras will yield great photos if you understand the ins and outs of the system. Good luck in your search and let us know what you get!

  17. You might add these guys to your list of dealers:

    Though Ffordes, as mentioned above, have some good deals on F100s right now, starting at 169 GBP:
  18. I prefer the F100.
  19. I looked at this situation and to me it comes down to this logic.

    If you want to use older MF lenses with matrix metering, you like traditional nobs instead of push buttons for your interface and not programing features with menus, then the Nikon F4 is for you. It can even be used with pre ai lenses. The F4 without the bottom bottom battery pack is the best looking Nikon ever made. You still have all the interchangeable finders and MLU.

    The F5 is the sports camera, fast tracking, fast FPS with non detachable battery grip so the size is fixed as always big. Its got buttons, and its programmable, but it can work with G and VR lenses and the CLS flashes like the SB800. Only lacking as much compatibility with the oldest Nikon lenses using matrix metering. Some like the F100 VF better since the focus points light up red instead of black lines. Its got interchangeable finders and MLU.

    F100, not a truly pro camera, I have one, but when I am out shooting it everyone asks me who I work for because it looks like a pro camera, and if your a pro it is, because your results will be as good as the F5 as Shun says. If you need a grip you can get one, its still not an F5 but you can ditch it to save weight. The VF with the red focus points is nice, you give up the 100% VF but like the other cameras its still high eyepoint like the F4 and F5. No mirror lockup but Shun again is right you won't likely miss it.

    For me if its a backup film camera that will never see ultra heavy use, with modern or at least AI or AI'ed , AIS lenses F100. If not shooting high FPS or extreme focus tracking with screw type lenses also F100 is just as good as F5 in AF especially with 70-200mm F2.8 VR lens. One thing is that there are a lot of F100 with less hard use on them than F5 cameras, this since advanced amatuers not pros who shoot tens of thousands of pictures used them. Get a mint F100 with late serial # to avoid the wind fork issue. Its a beautiful camera and just the right size and weight. I think an OM user will find the F4 and F5 way too big and eventually leave them home.

    A personal note, I like using a mix of manual and AF lenses with my F100. Here is a list of my favorites plus one that came out after I had already bought my lenses.

    28mm F2.0 AIS manual focus

    50mm F1.2 Ais manual focus

    85mm F1.4 AFD

    24-85 F2.8-4 AFD with macro mode

    70-200mm F2.8 VR AFS

    I like the 45mm f2.8 P lens as my street lens, its got a special look and its so tiny it makes the F100 feel smaller.

    One lens I don't have that I wish I did is the 17-35mm F2.8, but I already had the fine enough for me 20-35mm F2.8.

    Good luck.
  20. This is likely redundant as I've not taken the time to read all of the above. I think you'd need a compelling reason (e.g. 8 fps) to lug an F5 or F4 around. (Though not sure why you'd consider an F4.) Both are very large and very heavy. Spend a few minutes with an F100 in your hands and check for size/weight.
  21. Roy, if you were a fan of the Olympus OM system (so was I, finally sold mine a year or so ago and still miss it), you appreciate compact, rugged cameras. You'll probably enjoy the F100. The F5 is bulky and heavy and offers only a few specific advantages over the F100.
  22. Roy, I have F6 and love it a lot. But for IQ, 35mm is no match for digital. My F6 film images are transfered to digital by Epson V750 and IQ is far away from my D3 images. So I just got a set of Bronica SQ-Ai and found it has better IQ.
    (Moderator's note: The OP didn't ask about scanning or film/digital comparisons. Please stick to topic.)
  23. Roy, please do not disregard the F5 due to its larger size. I assume you are a fully grown adult, so it should not be an issue. Also, the lenses that you use, particularly the 80-200, will balance perfectly with he F5. If you are used to the D80, with the dials for adjusting aperture and shutter, then I would suggest the F5 over the 4. The 5 feels like a modern camera, where the 4 has the older style manual dials. I am not suggesting that the 4 is a bad choice for this reason, however changing between the D80 and the F5 will take alot less adjusting. Also, you will be limited to lens choice, with the more modern G lenses lacking an aperture ring. These are unusable (for practical shooting) on the 4.

    One thing that the 5 misses out on is the ability to matrix meter with AI-s lenses.

    The F5 is better built than the F100 of course and the price difference between the two cameras at the moment make this an easy choice.
  24. The same for the F4. It is the bulkiest "short body" film Nikon ever. It is beautiful, very well made, it`s a pleasure to
    handle, but in everyday use I prefer by far a F100. I liked but never loved so much my F4. I still keep older and newer
    cameras, but the F4 was in my first bunch of gear for sale.
    I prefer to keep manual focus lenses on manual focus cameras, and AF lenses on modern AF cameras. The F4 is a
    transition model, with the best (and the worst) of this two worlds.
  25. "My F6 film images are transfered to digital by Epson V750 and IQ is far away from my D3 images." Of course! In my experience, V750 scans cannot be compared even to a Coolpix image. Try another scanner.
    (Moderator's note: The OP didn't ask about scanning or film/digital comparisons. Please stick to topic.)
  26. 35mm scans on flatbeds are atrocious, particularly trannies.
    (Moderator's note: The OP didn't ask about scanning or film/digital comparisons. Please stick to topic.)
  27. I haven't used an F5, but I had a couple of F4s cameras when I was still shooting Nikon. They are fun to use, but I found the interface frustrating and slow to use. There is no thumb wheel to change apertures or shutter speeds, meaning that if you have to change shutter speeds you either have to take the camera away from your eye to do it or fumble around w/ your right hand on top of the camera while attempting to hold the heavy beast in your left. The viewfinder is 100%, which I liked, but you had to shift your eye around in it to see the readouts. Bear in mind this camera is as big and heavy as a medium format camera, and the F5 is even bigger, so why not just shoot MF?

    My ownership of an F100 lasted all of 5 minutes. I received mine in like new cond, admired it's looks and layout, then snapped the shutter a few times. KLANG. Man, that thing was FAR too noisy for me. I immediately took some pics of it and put it up for sale. In my eyes Nikon ruined a great camera w/ that ridiculous shutter. I then found an 8008s and used it for many years. Almost the perfect camera. Top shutter speed of 1/8000, much quieter shutter, convenient thumb wheel to change shutter speeds or aperture settings, extremely accurate meter, very petite and light compared to the monster F4s, and it took AA batteries that lasted forever. I loved that camera. You can pick them up for a song now, along w/ the excellent N90s cameras. Those would be my recommendations for someone wanting to shoot film w/ Nikon lenses. Think I saw an 8008s for $30 at KEH recently. How can you go wrong at those prices?
  28. I know objectively that the F5 metering and speed of auto-focus are superior to that of the F4, but I never had any problems with the F4s. I liked both of them, and the weight did not bother me. I like the F100, too. If you are still committed to shooting film, then you would probably be happy with any of them--unless you want VR. The F5 is an incredible machine, but I just loved my old F4s. It was a camera for a transitional era, looking backward and forward at once.

    I gave my girl friend an F100 back in 2002. She still has it and loves it. I only shot it a few times, but it really is a versatile camera. Otherwise, I have had no experience with it.

    Just be sure that the camera you buy will support modern features, such as VR. It is great to keep at least one of these film cameras. I have a Canon 1-N, and it is just not the same as the old NIkons. I am sorry to say that I sold the F4s, and I gave my F5 to my daughter (which was really too heavy for her), and so I now have no Nikon film cameras.

    (You wanna buy a 1-N, cheap?)

  29. Whoops, I forgot the F100's little brother, the N80. Fine little camera w/ the quietest shutter on any SLR camera I have ever used. The viewfinder isn't as good as the 8008s or N90, but it's a wonderful little shooter w/ tons of features. I used to shoot mine w/ an AF 85 1.8 lens and it was perfect for street candids. The 85 gave you some distance from your subjects, and the thing looked like an everyday DSLR to everyone so they paid you no mind. Just another tourist w/ a camera.
  30. FYI. I don't know what prices are like over there, but here it is possible to get a quite decent F5 from a
    reputable dealer for under $450 and an F100 for about $200. Check out KEH. Not sure if they ship overseas.

    My cameras are an F100 and an F3HP. F5 has a more advanced Matrix Metering system.

    If you're going to go film, pick up a scanner. The Nikon Coolscan V is a great machine for $500. Coolscan +
    F100 + 100 rolls of film comes to less than you paid for your D80, and if used right will give you better images.
    And is more fun, IMHO
  31. hus


    As F4 is older I don't think you can use all the features of new lenses and flashguns. Besides, if you need it, it is not as fast. I'd go for F5 which I might, if I find a bargain in good condition. I'd recommend you have your prints scanned after you have them developed.
  32. Wow - It looks like I opened a real can of worms when I asked this one - great input from everybody, again what a fabulous resource is.

    I headed down the road to MVX this morning where they had a number of F100 bodies including ones with the extender battery grip. The controls seemed very logically laid out, given that I've only had the Nikon D90 for a couple of weeks.

    Alas the boxed F5 they had has been sold, so I've yet to try the F5 on for size, and want to do this before I commit to either body. As always the guys at MVX where keen to assist, even though I made it clear that I would not be purchasing today.

    The smaller F100 is appealing simply on size grounds, given that I'd go for one with a grip that I could remove when I want to keep weight to the minimum. Also getting this choice saves me some $$$ given that I am also starting from scratch on the lens collection.

    I shall revisit this post when I've made my final choice.
  33. I've used an F4s for 20 years without fail. Thousands of rolls of film over that time frame. The AF was never the F4s's strong point. It's built like a tank. If you are getting familiar with the D80 you may find the F4s's controls odd.

    -Shane Srogi
  34. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Keep in mine that the OP, Roy, current has a D80/D90 (both have been mentioned, could be a typo, but they have
    essentially the same body anyway). Therefore, as far as construction quality goes, even the F100 will be a step up
    from the D90 so that I don't see what the problem is.

    The key here is that Roy already has a DSLR, which most likely will be his primary camera.
    When I was shooting film, the F4 and then F5 were my main cameras. I for one don't mind a big primary camera. As
    far as I can tell, this film SLR will only be a side camera for Roy in this digital era.
    IMO, a big and heavy secondary camera will only get in the way and eventually discourage the owner from using it.

    That was why I suggested the F100 to Roy, but of course your mileage may vary.
  35. B&H still lists the F100 as available new. I think, $799.
  36. For $300 I'd almost buy an F5 just to stick up on my wall. That was my first "badass" pro camera and I ran a lot of film though and had a lot published from that camera.

    Good times.
  37. I had the same situation, and decided to get the F100. Paid $237 for it last week. I did not want the F5 because of it's size and the F6 is still very expensive.
    If you just use film occasionally, F100 will be just fine. But the F4 might be even cheaper.
    I got theF100 because I thought it is really not expensive for $237.
  38. Hi Roy - this will sound redundant, but probably more is better than less. I've owned and used all of the mentioned
    hardware - my favorites of those being discussed would have to be the F5 and the F100. I owned 2 of each, and all were
    fantastic. The F4 was an awesome piece of hardware for its time, but all of the above mentioned drawbacks (slow, older
    meter technology, heavy) were among the reasons I sold mine off a few months ago. If I could only have one of what is
    being discussed, and if the price is indeed as attactive as Josh notes, I'd get the F5 - I liked the balance with my pro
    lenses, I liked the fact that you can use AA cells, I liked the ease of finding all the controls - most of all I liked the results. --
  39. Roy the size of the F5 is about the same as an F100 plus the grip, about the same weight too. The F100 came out later than the F5 and they improved some ergonomics, it doesn't have as many things that require releasing interlocks to enable changing a setting like someone mentioned requiring two hands and taking your camera away from your face to see what you are doing. I think the F100 is tough enough constructed better than prosumer digital cameras I have seen. It can do 5 fps without the grip for me thats a fast film run rate.
  40. If you are serious about the 80-200, the F5 is a far better option. The F4's strengths nowadays are largely
    overshadowed by later cameras, unless you have manual focus lenses - it's a great manual focus camera. If you are
    put off by the weight issue (say, for every day use) the F80.N80 is a good back-up camera and is arguably a good
    starter camera too - and is very cheap nowadays. However, I too would recommend a F100 as the best all-rounder. AC

    Note: Buying a camera from a UK - or EU - dealer by mail order gives you a 10 day, no questions asked, return
    option (a stautory right: Distance Selling Reguations) - valuable when buying such cameras unseen.
  41. Hi Roy, I guess everyone picked up quite quickly that the F100 would be a more modern and (probably) better
    camera than the F4.
    but I going to comprehensively disagree (its a passion thing)
    Nikon now only support one film Camera the F6, it is an awesome tool - if you can afford it get it, but it wasnt
    in the original question.

    I would like to point out that you are buying a discontinued camera and both of them professional tools which are
    likely to have had a hard life, and this should be easy to spot. Do not be tempted by the cheaper one with a bit
    of a scuff here and there, or one where the hand grip is peeling up - sure signs that it has had professional use.
    From this point of view get the newer camera, it in theory should last longer

    I used to own an F4 and loved it to bits it was the most solid camera ever made, however it is a bit lacking in
    the auto department.
    The F5 is a considerably better camera (other than for stability, where the F4 outshines everything) But using
    any lens over 300mm, or for macro work or in low light when you are hand holding, there really isnt much to
    compare with the F4, its solidity (lead weight feel) resulted in better pictures than were they taken with any
    other camera body. Unfortunately in about 1990 I was considering an upgrade to the F5, but long story short
    switched to EOS and am now looking longingly at the D700 - Cant wait till they do it with about 16M pixels, then
    I may well switch back to Nikon again

    There is also another choice, in line with the F4 (kind of) its the Nikon F90x
    I feel that this would be a good compromise between the huge bulking body of the F5 (if that diddnt appeal to
    you) and auto everything. This was replaced (!!) by the F100. Though a 1990's design, its a great camera and with
    the mf26 (i think) date back extremely useful. Though built from plastic it is exceptionally strong. Again I
    should point out that everyone will tell you correctly that the F100 is a better camera (I just diddnt get along
    with it at all and found it to be without a soul!)

    As much as I am an F4 fan and have been on the look out for one for posterity's sake and I loathe the F100, my
    choice would be the F5 first and I would also get an old FM2 just for those days when the fancy takes you. you
    will of course start to seriously question your digital camera with this top spec pro film body

    Good Luck G
  42. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Folks, please keep in mind about some of the limitations in the older film SLRs.
    (1) The entire F90/N90 line has no sub-command dial and therefore not fully compatible with the many G lenses today. If you use a G lens on the F90/N90, you will be restricted to either the P or S exposure mode. The F90/N90 has only 1 AF point and is not compatible with the VR feature.

    (2) The F801/N8008 line has all of the above limitations plus the fact that it cannot drive AF-S lenses to auto focus.

    Given the fact that even an F5 worths little in the used market, IMO the smaller and lighter F100 is the best choice. You are not going to save much money going the F90 or F801 route and you will miss some important features.
  43. I mentioned the 80-200 F2.8, because my day job is in aviation and having a fast telephoto appeals to
    me in order to capture photographic opportunities on my door step. I have the use of a hire one in
    December and will be taking it on holiday with me to Cyprus where I shall be able devote some time to
    evaluating it in a wider context.

    With MVX being on my doorstep I should be in a position to have hands on prior to purchase, but you
    have made a valuable point Alan as I will need to build up my collection of glass as well.

    Shun has made a good point in that this is very much the secondary camera and perhaps the F5 might
    be overkill, because detaching the extended grip and associated batteries to keep the weight down
    whilst on the move appeals.

    Miklos it looks as if I might be going down the same route, the F100 with grip I had a look at this
    morning was £209 and a boxed F100 on it's own was £175, amazing when the launch price must easily
    been north of £1000
  44. Definitely F5.

    Its too fast too good. Used to own that camera before i bought canon and it was awesome. Even in program mode, my slides were perfectly exposed, even in very difficult situations. My DSLRs dont come close.
    F4 is too heavy and bulky and not even half as fast or has a meter that comes close to the mighty F5. If it were film era, i wouldn't have sold my F5 till the end. I miss it :-(
  45. Just wanted to note on the lens...

    I have one an older 80-200 f/2.8 ED AF. Its also the "One Touch" version, which has a combined focus/zoom ring. Its a bit different, but I really like it. I picked this lens up used (refurbished) from a local repair shop for $400 with a 1 year guarantee (the guy who owns the shop is the one who refurbished it).

    I only have 2 minor complaints about this lens.

    1) Because it has a bit of a strange combination zoom/focus ring things going on, you really can't put a tripod collar on it. There are custom tripod collars that you can get for this lens, but they are really cumbersome.

    2) With my D50 the autofocus is really slow. This has caused me to miss quite a few shots. I like to shoot rodeo, and the 80-200 is great for it, but when I have something like a barrel racer running towards me, the AF just can't keep up.

    Overall, for $400 dollars, this has been an amazing lens. Although I am really drooling over the 70-200 2.8 VR.
  46. "I am hiring a 80 - 200 mm F2.8 in December. . . ."

    As Keith said, the one-touch version requires a separate custom-built collar. I have one from Kirk that fits the
    lens. It's a bit of a pain. I no longer have my somewhat newer 80-200 f/2.8 ED with separate controls for focus
    and zoom--and a built in collar. It was easier to use, in my opinion. Don't even begin to ask why I got rid of
    it. (Okay, so I went Canon.) The guy I sold the Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED to in Washington State gives me a weekly
    update on its condition by sending me all the great shots he is getting with it. (His name is Danny Lauve with
    TLD Photography.)

    Have you thought about hiring the 70-200 f/2.8 VR? I have never used it, although I have the same focal length in
    a Canon with IS. I use it a lot when I want to shoot hand-held, and I presume the Nikon 70-200 VR is likewise
    very versatile and would be ideal for the kinds of shots you are talking about making.

    I have to say, though, that I really, really did like the Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 ED. It is one crisp lens, and I
    don't know how it compares in that regard (crispness, that is) with the 70-200--but that is another thread. Just
    something to think about, since you did mention lenses. . . .

  47. Roy - I'll will give you my vote the for the F100 too. It's a consummate pro body. Not only does it perform, feel, stand up to abuse and just plain *look* like a professional camera (ergo: walks like a duck, talks like a duck, must be a duck); claims of it's "advanced amateur" status could be taken with a little salt. This was very much a top flight camera in it's day (not too long ago). The F5 was a showcase for all of Nikon's most state of the art, up to the minute technology, but other than a faster frame rate, I would be highly suspicious of claims that it really "takes better pictures" then the F100, or anything like that. Maybe dust and water exclusion sealing was better on the F5, but my F100 went through all kinds of adverse conditions - I went through a phase of shooting in the rain and during storms - and the F100 never flinched in the slightest at getting downright wet. Ditto for dust and sand, as long as your extra careful and don't go changing lenses in the sandbox!

    As I can see from your post this afternoon, you've had a chance to 'meet' this excellent camera and I can't help but think that was enough to convince you. Good luck in whatever your choice and best of pictures to you! Cheers.
  48. I was just offered £40 by London Camera Exchange for my good condition F4 + MB23! I didn't realise prices had plummeted so much. I couldn't possibly sell it for that price (2 rounds at the pub!) so it's going to stay gathering dust. Today I can't justify the costs of taking slide film and scanning as nearly everything I shoot is for the web, but it took beautiful pics in its day.
  49. If you take pictures of things that do not move: F4. It has mirror lock up, you can use a cheap mechanical cable release, the
    viewfinder has a neat little shutter, it can meter with all sorts of lens and the shutter speed and aperture dials etc. are all easy
    to use. If you want autofocus: F4 isn't terrible outside in bright light or with a SB-26 to help it in darker conditions. But the F5
    autofocus will blow it away.

    I have a F4 with the smaller battery pack and a F100.
  50. I own an F4, F5, F6 and F100. One thing I have always liked about the F4 is that it has "knobs and wheels" instead of
    "buttons and read-outs." That said, I only use mine for landscape work, where autofocus is turned off, I meter with a
    handheld spot meter quite a bit, and there is no issue with speed. The F6, of course, is a spectacular machine, but I use it
    so infrequently that I can't always remember all of the settings.
  51. Why not both? They are affordable as ever now. I bought both at KEH for under $500 for both!. The F5 is super fast but I do love the F4 with all buttons and switches. As soon as the F6's start going under $1,000 I'll grab one of those too. You really can't beat the build quality of a Pro grade 35mm.

  52. I recently purchased and F5 from a friend who owns 5 (now four) of them. I paid $100 (again, I emphasis that he is a friend) then sold my F4s for $250. The F5 with it's 1005 pixel RGB metering has been quite impressive and though I do like to take command of my images when I shoot, it's almost reflex when using the F5 to trust the meter 95% of the time. Also, important to know when considering the alternative,... the F100 isn't made to withstand the rigors of travel or intense use. I'm not an advocate of plastics yet and, having spent time pulling in those cracked and shattered housings like goose excrement in the park, I'm partial to metal. The F5, though heavier than it's counterpart the F100 will provide more options and you will not be so inclined to bag it when conditions turn less favorable (like in a storm or dusty environment) although I would still be somewhat anal in that consideration,... using at least a shower cap to protect my camera.
  53. Here is my 2 cents. The F4 has really primitive auto focus and is heavy. It is fine for using AI-S primes and overall is
    a very nice camera. The F5 is a huge jump above the F4 but if I were looking at either of these, I would have to
    seriously consider the F100. It has the fastest AF of all the Nikon film cameras and it is built very well. They can be
    had from Adorama or B&H for aroung $250 or less. In fact, if I were looking for an autofocus lens, I would simply get
    an F100 and be done with it.
  54. After carefully reviewing the many well considered contributions here, and re-evaluating my needs, I realised that having something smaller would more than likely spend more time in the camera bag and therefore get USED on a more frequent basis seemed the way to go. Having also had a F100 in my hands it was obvious that on balance suited my needs better than the F5, and when I was able to secure one on eBay for $110 (£70) thought, what the hell - if I want an F5 I can still get one later and the money I've saved now will go towards film and processing and the important task of using the equipment. It arrived this morning and is a joy to use - with the operational layout being nicely aligned with the D80, with things like the pair of command dials. It also feels like a "proper" camera and I am sure will outlive my D80, as this must be near the zenith of 35mm SLR cameras with only the F5 & F6 offering more. Thank you
  55. if you are still looking for an answer. f4 has metering with older lenses and has a lot of style and collectability. Other then that my wote would go to f100 for heavy usage and f5 for show off
  56. I have been debating between the F100, F4, or F5. I am planning on taking a film class at my local college (you also learn dark room/development). I currently have a few decent nikon lenses (including a few AF-D).

    I like to shoot sports also, and have heard that the F5 has an excellent AF system. Is the AF system in the F100 comparable? If not, I would probably spend the extra on the F5....
  57. So I went to my local camera shop tonight. I planned on picking up an F100. To my surprise, they were all out! They had 3 of them (one with a grip) about 2 weeks ago. They also had an F5 that had been sold. I guess the F5 got sold to a guy who broke his, so he walked right in and purchased another F5.

    All they have left now are two F4's. New semester of college just started, and all the film cameras got gobbled up by students!
  58. The F4s (and with the MB23 Data Back) is a mechanical version of the F6. The F5 was a dud.
    I also have a D300 for digital and FM2n and FE2 also for film. The F4 is the touchstone of cameras with forwards and backwards lens compatibility like no other. All the AF and AFs lenses I have for the D300, all work properly on the F4. Brilliant!
    The only thing it won't do is make use of VR. It has the best finder ever put into a camera. The adjustments to shooting, AF and metering are all controlled by nice firm ergonomic metal dials. The scope for creative film photography is virtually unlimited. I will never sell mine.
  59. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    "The F4s (and with the MB23 Data Back) is a mechanical version of the F6. The F5 was a dud."​
    Stephen, I sure hope you are joking. The F4 is a totally electronic camera and requires batteries to operate. Its AF system is ancient and in my opinion pretty much useless. That is why some people call the F4 the best manual-focus Nikon SLR. It was introduced as the transition from manual focus to auto focus. Calling the F4 "a mechanical version of the F6" is a serious mis-representation of facts.
    I never found the need for an F6, which I have no doubt to be an excellent film SLR, but my F5 along with the F100 are among the best film SLR Nikon has made. Ever since I bought the F5, I realized that I could not use the F4 any more.

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