Anyone still use a Nikon F4?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by The Henchman, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. The Henchman

    The Henchman Guest

    What are your opinions about it?
    The Henchman, Apr 28, 2009
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  2. The Henchman

    Noons Guest

    The Henchman wrote,on my timestamp of 29/04/2009 8:07 AM:

    Best film camera to use with manual focus lenses, this
    side of an F6. Also reasonably good with AF, not so good
    for the "G" type lenses although it works with them in
    shutter priority and program mode.

    The camera is an absolute beauty but can be a bit heavy
    if care is not taken to configure it for casual use.

    Get the F4 model, not the F4e or F4s, which have a very
    heavy battery handle. Alternatively, get one of the others
    and find a MB20 grip: it's by far the best for
    non-professional use.

    Get also a MF23 data back: it prints the exposure details
    in between frames and extends the capabilities of the
    camera into long exposure, time-lapse, etcetc.

    The metering is usually very good. I use mostly
    matrix and spot. I've also replaced the standard
    type B focusing screen with one more appropriate for
    manual focus: type P.

    The flash system will work with anything on the short
    side of a sb-80, as well as with a multitude of Metz
    dedicated flashes. I particularly like it with an sb-26
    but that varies with everyone's tastes.

    The camera and its options are extensively described here:
    and here:
    (the camera in that last photo now belongs to me!)
    Noons, Apr 29, 2009
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  3. The Henchman

    Desdinova Guest

    Camera control layout is just great. Nice, big, informative
    viewfinder. The most compatible flagship body and a great matrix
    metering system.
    I prefer it to the F3. They're just dirt cheap for the amount of
    camera you get, I wouldn't hesitate buying one in good condition.

    Take care,
    Desdinova, Apr 29, 2009
  4. This is a great camera. Especially if you don't like paging through
    menus to set things. I have two. It's built like a tank. I like
    the weight of the F4s because it is steadier for hand-held
    available light candids. I have a (lighter) F4 battery pack but I
    always end up leaving the F4s battery packs in place on both of
    mine. Since this was the top Nikon pro camera, all the expected
    accessories exist like data backs, interchangeable focusing
    screens ( I like the E ), and four different viewfinders. The
    SB-24 was designed for it.
    Bob Kirkpatrick, Apr 29, 2009
  5. The Henchman

    frank Guest

    I'm not sure what you're talking about I've routinely shot over 50 35
    exp rolls with it, just had to change batteries if they got low, then
    you just buy a spare battery pack if you don't want to change out
    batteries. And that's with shooting with a 80-200 2.8. I'd use a
    monopod with a 300 2.8 or a 50-300 or something like that.

    Shooting low light is more technique than anything else. A lot of
    people have no idea how to hold a camera to shoot with it.

    Let alone properly use the shutter.

    I've even shot with a 500mm f8 mirror at concert. Now, you use fast
    film and wait until you get the spots on for a face filling shot, but
    sometimes you break from convention to get a different shot.

    Generally when you're shooting over 2000 rolls a year, you do your own
    processing. F4 is a great camera, secret to AF is you need fast
    lenses. Works best with 2.8 or faster. Others outside if there is
    enough light and as usual you have something that works well with AF.
    Good subject lines. When AF doesn't work, hit manual mode. Like the
    Aussies say, no worries.

    Prices are way lower now than they were when I got mine. Now you can
    have 2 or 3. Or 4. Can we say NAS????

    Great solid camera. You've got the frame rate if you need it. I shoot
    sports and airshows. I also use a N75 and N80 both work great for
    aircraft in flight. AF is as they say, spot on.
    frank, Apr 30, 2009
  6. At current prices, I feel an F5 offers far better value than
    any of the F4 models. But to be fair, almost all "pro" film
    cameras are selling for silly money these days. Canon 1v's
    regularly sell for under $400, and it's also easy to get an
    AF 645 kit for about $500.
    The F5 needs a modification in order to accept non-AI glass;
    the F4 doesn't. While you _can_ use El-Nikkors and large
    format Nikkors with 35mm film cameras, neither one offers any
    special abilities in this regard.
    Michael Benveniste, Apr 30, 2009
  7. I like the F3/MD4. I don't like the FM2 (FE2, FA, etc.) series for two
    reasons: the field of view of the viewfinder is too large. With an HP finder
    I can see the left and right edge of the frame at the same time, with an FM2
    I can't. The second issue is that I don't like the way the MD12 handles. And
    for heavier lenses (like the 80-200/2.8) I prefer to have more grip than just
    an FM2 provides.

    The F3 has a number of drawbacks as well: flash is a disaster. Reading out the
    light meter in the dark is not very pleasant as well. The F3 is great during
    daylight with print film (and no flash of course).

    In my experience, the F4 is simply the best camera for manual focus lenses.
    But I have to admit that I never tried the F5 or F6. I do have a D1X though.
    The problem I had with two F4 cameras I bought is that the mechanism that
    closes the aperture gets sticky (and too slow) when the camera is not used
    for a number of years. The first camera was cleaned at the expense of the
    seller. I still have to get the second cleaned.

    I enjoy the F4E at lot. Brilliant camera. It's my main camera.
    Philip Homburg, May 18, 2009
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