Supply of the Nikon F6

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Ian Rance, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Back in 2008 there was a discussion here about the discontinuation of the F6. Grey's of Westminster reported that it was no longer in production, but I still see it for sale at B&H and indeed at Grey's. Amazon don't have it nor do Warehouse Express (who used to be one of the bigger sellers of this model).
    Sadly the price is now even higher - at 1700 UKP or $2500. It is stated as a current item by Nikon but the lack of availability seem to tell otherwise. So, apart from B&H and Grey's, have you seen the F6 on display and actively for sale anywhere else in the past month or so?
    Thanks, Ian
  2. Ian,
    There is probably a small enough demand for that camera that Nikon only makes a certain number in short runs. With all of the political unrest in one of their main manufacturing companies, be prepared to see problems like this as they find new places to make stuff, or as they move manufacturing (at least in the short term) to China and Japan.
    This has always been a camera that was easy to find one month and impossible 6 or 8 months later.
    You already have one. No? Be happy, because I bet you there will be no F7!
  3. My guess is that Nikon made a final run of F6s and has them warehoused. I have seen the camera for sale on various websites - most places require you to special order it. I doubt Nikon is running a line to continually make the camera, and once supplies are gone, it will not be available. I expect the public had factored this in and so the price is rising. An official announcement would almost certainly drive the price up. This is one of the last cameras that is fully compatible with almost the entire line of Nikkors.
  4. Yes - I do have one, but I do worry about it going out of production because when the FM3a went out of production (in 2006) many spare parts soon went out of stock - never to be replenished. Same with the F3. Despite Nikon saying that parts should be available for 7 or 10 years, in my experience this is not the case and as soon as production ends then so will that of the spare parts - and some sell out faster than others.
  5. Maybe the Nikon F6 will be like the Nikon 9000 scanner. Folks will say Acme photo doesnt carry them anymore and thus weep; while 4 other retailers have them glued to shelves. With the Nikon 9000 scanner; new ones have been on ebay sold by real dealers every day this year; ie 5 months; while others have said one cannot buiy them new anymore. At some point folks have to look at other dealers. The old Nikon F was available new in the boxas new old stock 6 years later at some dealers; ie until the late 1970's.
    There is a difference in what is being made and what is still available as new old stock. I have new old stock slide rule indicators I still sell that were made when before man landed on the moon.
  6. SCL


    I saw a couple on Ebay last week.
  7. But Ian's concern, correct me if I'm wrong, is not that he can't find one to buy, but that in 10 years he can get his fixed, and there will still be parts around. Ian is a photographer, but also a bit of a collector. Legitimate concern!
    I wonder if in five years if I want to get my D50 fixed (unlikely, as it is merely a backup now) if I can.
    8 or 9 years I had complete service done on my old Pentax MX (which I LOVED and miss, even if I wouldn't shoot with it anymore--as I do NOT like film), and the shutter speed indicator in the viewfinder was askew and couldn't be fixed because there were no parts available. Will that happen to the F6? I bet it will, as I am guessing the number of F6s built and therefore the number of spare parts is VERY small compared with, say, the ubiquitous F3.
  8. You are spot on there Peter - but my worry is that I will be able to have it fixed in less than 10 years. The FM3a was only out of production for 3 years before some parts were unavailable and that model sold better than the F6 I think.
    When parts run out one has to start babying the item as one drop, one mistake and it is just scrap.
  9. What will remain of the F6 and film in general cannot be foretold. The F6 is a unique camera in that its the last of the modern film cams. Perhaps Nikon will do a few special runs. Perhaps they will sell the design to a third party who will start making film cams again. Film and film cameras are going to become a very niche business.
    I have two F6s and I love these cameras. I'll use them for as long as I possibly can. Until they die, or film is no longer available or my Coolscan 5000 bites the dust. For now, I just keep enjoying them.
  10. Yes, the future is unknown so one cannot worry too much. Saying about the D50 being unrepairable in the future is funny in a way as if my D50 bit the dust I would almost be happy as it would be a legitimate reason to upgrade, erm, sorry - replace it ;-)
  11. I don't think one can really know how long parts will be available. There's information there that Nikon doesn't make public. But certain parts (e.g. film transport parts) have gone out of production and it would take a lot of doing to bring them back into production, so it seems unlikely that Nikon would make new F6's. From their perspective, the more people they can get to abandon film cameras and move to digital, the better. Digital tech ages quickly and provides more opportunity to sell new cameras as upgrades. If you've got an F5, F100 or F6, how much incentive would you have to buy a (theoretical) F7? But if you've got a D2 series, chances are you bought a D3 or at least a D300 or D700, and they're able to sell D3S's and D3X's to people who already own D3's just by changing the sensor.
  12. Certainly a valid concern but as long as there is no official word from Nikon and the camera still listed on their website it seems fair to assume that spare parts are still available and repairs possible.
    As Shun pointed out in a 2008 thread, it is very likely that production already stopped in 2007 and that what is still available now had been warehoused then. Special production runs are certainly possible, but since the innards to some extent were shared with the D2 series (discontinued), I doubt Nikon would manufacture those parts again once their supply runs out.
    In addition, while it appears impossible to convert a film camera into a digital camera (Leica R8 and R9 notwithstanding), it seems entirely possible to cannibalize a DSLR and convert it into a film camera. Especially years down the road, this might be the better option than a limited production run of a camera that by then is about two decades old. And as some already pointed out, the F6 does not appear to have been a mega-seller.
    No matter what the circumstances, there is little to no point in worrying about something one has no influence on - enjoy the camera while it lasts. When or if it breaks down, then hope that a repair is still possible - pretty much the earliest point to start worrying about the issue at all.
    Or if you choose to worry now - then there is always the option of buying one or two now and put them into storage - kind of expensive though.
    I have a Leica M5, M6, Rolleiflex SL66 and SL66E sitting on the shelf - either Leica can still be repaired (though the metering system in the M5 might be a problem by now); no idea if parts are still available for the Rolleiflexes. Of all the cameras I have owned or still own, I sent in for repair my first camera, an FM for a displaced shutter speed indicator in the viewfinder in 1980 (the problem re-occurred within months of the warranty fix), and recently the M6 for a stuck shutter. My first D200 suffered a "stroke" a while ago and I choose not to repair it - it still works except for the flash and the metering. My only concern is that I cannot leave home with only one of those film cameras, just for fear that a problem occurs and the camera stops working.
    I babied my first F3 and kind of regret that now - those cameras are made to be used not pampered. I had acquired a second F3 and when time came to offload the film cameras, I hesitated for a minute whether or not to keep the second body around in case the first one develops a problem; since I hardly use the F3 anymore, a decision was quickly reached not to.
  13. It is a pro body. Use it until there is a problem. If it can not be fixed at that point then you will have to do something else. In the mean time have fun. I plan to put 300k on my 2001 Toyota pickup. If parts are not available to get it to 300k I will do something else. When my D700 dies it will get replaced by what ever fits my needs then. I have only 6k clicks on it now so I have a long time still to wear it out. I sold my Leica M3 before I wore it out, same with the Mamiya 7. You may not want to keep it forever.
  14. Look at it this way unless you are emotionally attached to the serial number; you can just buy another working used
    F,F2,F3,F4,F5,F6; there are more bodies than actual users.
    My used F I bought in 1962 still has never had a CLA.
    A Nikon F2 lost in Katrina was replaced by another for 160 bucks with working meter and 45mm F2.8. My brother has two working F3's he might give me. Any one of the F series are available as used.
    One can even buy working nice Graflex slrs on Ebay built from roughly 1920 to 1960's.
    There are so many used working film cameras that often it is cheaper to buy a spare at a paltry price than worry.
    There are many Nikons that have only 1 to 5 percent of their lives used; their used cost is often a tiny fraction of what we paid for them new.
    My Nikkormat Ftn with 50mm F1.4 SC cost me 302 bucks in 1973; about when gasoline was 35 cents. Thus that new combo was equal to 862 gallons of gasoline. It is 3.05 were I filled up in Ventura Cty now thus that Nikkormat system is like a 2600 buck camera. You could buy a running junker in 1973 for that Nikkormat's price .
    Today one can buy the same combo on ebay for 1/10 to 1/20 the price. I have bought a working Nikkormat Ftn with 105mm F2.5 multicoated lens for 49 dollars
    Film cameras are in a glut; there are more sellers than actual film users
  15. On has on ebay today
    4 Nikon F6's ;
    42 Nikon F5's
    and even 90 rare Polaroid Swingers!
  16. Ian,
    the difference is, with film, one could move from the F2 to the F3 or from the F3 to the F4 and still feel nostalgic for some of the features and layout from the previous generation. My old boss had a couple F2s (for pro use) and a couple (maybe it was only one) F3. He always shot the F2. He preferred it.
    With digital, there is nothing that would make me "long for" the layout or functionality or image quality of the D50 now that I have my D90. Not one single thing.
  17. Since the camera is listed at I assume it is still being manufactured. I suppose it must still sell enough to keep it alive. I would not worry about parts for the camera or repairs. Just send it in if it were to need something. All the digital models are replaced pretty quickly and I would assume the parts availability on them must be in the same situation. I would like to see an F6 sometime. The camera stores have all closed up around here so there is no place to see any new stuff not that they would have an F6 anyway. I imagine the F6 you have would probably give you excellent service for many years to come.
  18. @Peter Hamm
    With digital, there is nothing that would make me "long for" the layout or functionality or image quality of the D50 now that I have my D90. Not one single thing.​
    I was happy with my 8008s the day I bought it (new) to the day I switched to digital. I might have lusted after the F5 or the F100, but there was not one thing I thought I couldn't do with it than any other Nikon could. Hell, a K1000 could outshoot an F5 in the right hands.
    You didn't wait for the new body, so much as the new film, and sometimes the new glass.
    Granted - I did want a larger negative and played with MF and 4x5.
    Anyway, now the body is the film and as the "digital film" improves, so goes the body with it. I've gone through 4 bodies in about half the time I had my 8008s. Moreover if you wanted a new style with film you just grabbed another brand of film. Now you're stuck with whatever "look" the manufacturer baked into the chip. Sure you can do a lot with PP, but there's some things you just can't achieve. It may look more like Velvia, but it ain't Velvia. It may look more like Kodachrome, but it ain't Kodachrome and so on..
  19. Ross;
    Makers list stuff in catalogs when there is new stock to buy at dealer; it really has nothing to do with they are still being made.
    Thus Kodak had in 1976 in their full bore pro catalogs new lenses for the Kodak Retina Reflex.
    Nikon has the 9000 scanner listed too; when they are not being made,
  20. This is one reason I havent bought an F6 (apart from the 1700 others). I cant imagine spending that sort of money on a new camera when most people are agreeing that there is every chance spares will not be available in a few years time. On the other hand Sover Wong made my F2 like new, a guy I spoke to last week will be getting my 1950's Microcord later this month for a full service, I can get bellows made for a 1920's Hunter Penrose and Hasselblad tell me they will have all spares for a 503 for at least 50 years!
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I would imagine that Nikon had stopped producing the F6 2, 3 years ago. There is no other camera to share its film transportation components and its Multi-CAM 2000 is also no longer used by any other current camera when Nikon replaced the D2 family with the D3 back in 2007. It would have been very expensive to make them in small numbers; it would also disrupt production of current DSLRs and lenses.
    Most likely Nikon had made a bunch of them and has been releasing a few at a time to generate some shortage in order to jack up the price. You just hope that they have sufficient parts available to last a few more years. Nikon should be pretty good at estimating how many parts they need to last the typical 10 years.
    Are far as converting DSLRs to accepting film, I wonder where you put the film transport mechanism. Except for a few models that are collector items, the majority of film SLRs are dirt cheap in the used market. For those who still want to shoot film, there are many many very cheap options. It simply makes little economic sense to produce any more film camera except for the occasional special items for collectors.
  22. Wait a while. There will be tons of Nikon F6's on the used market as Nikon continues to improve their digital cameras.
  23. Ross;
    Makers list stuff in catalogs when there is new stock to buy at dealer; it really has nothing to do with they are still being made.Thus Kodak had in 1976 in their full bore pro catalogs new lenses for the Kodak Retina Reflex.Nikon has the 9000 scanner listed too; when they are not being made,
    Your probably correct but that makes me wonder why the F100, FM10 and F65 are not listed in the catalog since you can still buy these camera's new. However I do believe the camera is most likely not being made any longer. I just cannot see it selling that well to justify it.​
  24. Wait a while. There will be tons of Nikon F6's on the used market as Nikon continues to improve their digital cameras.​
    I do not see the relationship in that statement but I would love to see them on the market at affordable prices. I would buy one in a heartbeat.
  25. Ross;
    many low production optical Nikon things are made in batches. Optical goods have been made in batches back even in world war 1.
    Scanners; enlarging lenses; shift lenses' super telephotos; and oddball camera bodies.
    They make more once the inventory gets low; if it makes sense.
    Take the 5cm F2.8 El Nikkor of 1956; they made several dozens of batches along the way to todays 50mm F2.8.
    Nikon does not makes a low volume item at a contant rate of 1 per week. They make 1 batch of 52 over several weeks; ie a batch; that is how they make optical goods.
    It is too wastefull to stick one lens in a vacuum chamber for coating; you place many in at once.
    For a very bizzare reason on many folks are fixated that makers make things like cars; they DO with high volume kit zooms and popular stuff; but NOT with slow moving stuff; theye make it in batches.
    Thus if the last Nikon F6 batch was in 2008?; last 50mm F2.8 Nikkor in 2007?; and Nikon 9000 was 2009?and all three are in Japan at Nikon warehouses; the list them as available.
    Unless one is an insider to Nikon; you will never know their warehouse's inventory of finished goods; or when the last batch was; you can only guess.
    KODAK makes master rolls of Kodachrome like this. They make a master roll then work it off.
    I make maps like this; I make a batch when required and they work them off. If I sell 365 maps each year; I do not make 1 each day. I might make a batch of one type as 16 units; with another map 50 units; with a dinky map I might make 200 or 500 units.
    If I am not making map #37 today; it does NOT mean I have dropped it; I might have 4 months in finished goods inventory. When inventory drops to a low; I make another batch. If the product has few sales; the batch make take foreever to sell and thus be dropped; ie no more batches; like Kodachrome; or Nikon 9000's.
    IN terms buying power; A Nikon F in 1962 was more expensive than todays Nikon F6
  26. I must have missed something but what is this 'political unrest' at the factory that was mentioned? Hadn't heard about that, anyone care to fill me in?
  27. Chris,
    Not at the factory, in the country.
  28. I must confess I have not read this entire thread but I want to point out B&H has the F6, new, both "grey market" and with Nikon USA warranty.
    Henry Posner
    B&H Photo-Video
  29. Henry;
    You probably have some darkroom stuff too that is no longer in production but folks want too.
    The frustrating thing to use in retail is "sensing inventory" Thus while one of your darkroom; name brand lenses is new for about say 290 with ups; the same exact item is sold on ebay by a seller as used pull off a printer for 51 bucks with free freight and looks mint. Thus I ponder if too that the last batch of many enlarging lenses has been made; since there are so many used ones or "new old stock" ones.
    In some of the stuff I sell it is actually cheaper to buy used stuff off of ebay than buy new stuff from my suppliers. ie one has a glut in a declining market
    I bought a 135mm F5.6 Componon used off of ebay and the seller through in his unsold Ebay 50mm F2.8 for 5 dollars. It came in its original box and looks never used.

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