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Nikon F6

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#1 Dallas


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Posted 16 November 2007 - 08:01

What is your opinion of the Nikon F6? This topic will be indexed on our LENSES page.

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#2 AFS


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Posted 16 November 2007 - 16:57

Coming from a child of the digital age, you might be surprised to hear that the F6 is by far the greatest camera I've ever used or owned.
Period, no questions asked.

Just looking at it you can trace the lineage of the proud F series, stretching back 48 years. I can point out to you where things came from, what generation they evolved in, how they changed over time. The old style manual rewind crank stays... dual command dials a la F5, the metering selector and autofocus capabilities that originated in the F4.. exposure lock from the f3... AI metering from the F2.... The most touching for me is looking at it from the front. The prism has been designed to mimic the look of the original F and F2's non-metered eye-level prisms.

The camera itself is extraordinarily dense. It feels just as solid or more so than the F2 that sits next to it when I'm in my room. With the F2, I felt I could beat someone over the head with it and stop a mugging. With the F6, despite its electronic innards, I'm pretty sure I'd knock the mugger out and maybe leave him with a nasty concussion, and still have a working body.

The viewfinder is like dying and going to heaven. Even though the focusing screen is still stock, rather than one of the optional ones that might be better for MF, Everything just snaps into focus without really needing the AF confirm arrows and dot unless it's really low light. Autofocus is a dream, too. I can see just how much I'm going to love the 70-200 VR on the D3, because I like it better on the F6 than on any other camera I've used it with. Ergonomics, of course, are the best yet. Command dial interface or aperture ring, tilted sub-command dial, informative top LCD, even more useful back LCD, what's not to love? The use of a menu system on the rear LCD and informational displays when using different controls is a huge help- no carrying around a cheat sheet for c. fn's, easy non-CPU lens data adjustment, change end of film, leader settings, and rewind on the fly....I love it.

I set mine so that I have to initiate the film takeup with the first shutter press, manual rewind priority (can do automatic but I prefer a manual touch most of the time), and the Continuous Silent drive mode sounds much more like a film camera of old than the S drive mode, which sounds exactly like a D2Hs- short sharp shutter release and aperture movement, absolutely no film drive sound. With Cs, it sounds like someone is advancing the film with an advance lever, just without any sort of ratcheting sound from the lever itself.

I also have the MB-40 grip for it, which mounts like it was a one-piece body. The ability to use EN-EL4/a batteries, especially with the same chamber cover as the D300+MB-D10 means I can streamline logistics when taking my cameras out on a shoot.

Somehow, only Nikon seems to be able to do that.


D3, D700, F2, D1 UVIR, 14-24 AFS N, 24-70 AFS N, 70-200 VR, 400/2.8 AFS II, SB-900, etc...

#3 italy74


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Posted 16 November 2007 - 18:18

Nikon F6. Simply the best.

Both autofocus and build quality are top-notch and what I like more is handling, but it's something you can't understand fully until you don't try for yourself.
Probably, my "real" review could end here, but let me tell you something about me first.

Shortly, coming from film (amateur level, just a tad above p&s, but already SLR oriented for the possibility to have better lenses in different moments) and then passing through two DSLRs (D70s and D200), this spring I discovered slides while attending to a professional photographic course and oh-boy, it has been love since the first moment I saw them! Despite the already good quality of the JPGs produced by the D200, in facts, not having the possibility (nor the time or the will) to PP a lot my shots, or just for the sake of something different, DSLR never persuaded me completely. It's a different basic philosophy, also got by the Nikon F6 chief engineer in an early interview, three years ago, when the camera was just released, to strive from the beginning for the best possible shot as if it was the latest of your life. Despite I know this has been discussed quite for a long time, I found DSLR surely useful but somehow also "diseducative" for my eye. My old F80s was able to deliver from the beginning much more exciting images than the D200, once loaded with a Velvia, an Ektachrome or a Tmax B/W roll.
Recently, I had the possibility to get a demo F6 with MB-40 with a 40% discount... wouldn't you have taken it?

In this period, I'm attending at the 2nd part of the photographic course, with both fashion and reportage subjects. Of course I still need my D200 (especially when my local photographer need 2-3 days to develop my slides!) but I realized that I use it JUST BECAUSE I NEED IT, not because I love more than the F6. At all! Again, of course my D200 solves time-related problems (and, honestly, gives you a lot of useful options and very good results in a well designed solid body) but if I could just take one with me, it would be the F6. I found that sometimes shooting with DSLRs where you can control everything all it's not always that fun, nay, sometimes it can be even counterproductive, if you leave set something it wouldn't be. Film is easy. Aperture, shutter, frame and click. To me, the third part (framing) is the most important one, and the only thing I set now and then and especially with slides, are the -0.5 EV for slides (against a blue sky) plus a CPL filter in front of the lens. That's all. My shots haven't been so exciting since I started shooting. I discovered again colours and sharpness in a form and in a cleanliness that I neither thought it was possible. A 100 iso slide is able to deliver outstanding images under every aspect, and THIS is my main concern. Image quality.

The F6, with a superior exposure control, allows you to get beautiful pictures and let you see them from the beginning. I remember one of my very first shots with it some weeks ago against a red brick church tower and then against the sky.. I thought: wow, what a beautiful case, I just hope I can get it on my slide... well, I found it as I viewed through the viewfinder. Both the red, the sharpness and the blue.
Above all, however, in my case it's the handling the key point. It has a lot of useful and interesting features (just the possibility to change rolls without wasting them...) but I guess overall, feeling such body on hand is really something more than pleasant, something as when you drink a rare wine or whisey and you can taste it slowly and fully.

p.s.: To tell the truth, in the comparison I should also add the Canon EOS 1v, owned by a friend at the same course. A lot of things looked to me alien and not on pair with the F6. It's not because Nikon or Canon, at that time I didn't own the F6 yet but I really didn't like it. It's a question of taste and handling. Both some buttons / dials weren't as quick to use as on the Nikon (I had the F80s at that time) plus the external casing was of a colour and roughness that I didn't liked. It just looked OLD, not PRO. Also the af wasn't THAT fast as I expected.

The only thing I DON'T use (due to my small hands) is the MB-40. I prefer a more compact camera and don't need the 8 fps.

Overall, I definitely think that, unless something bad and unexpected happens (like a steal), I'll keep it for a long time (while I'm not sure for the D200; however it's also true that, not being able to afford the D3/D300 and not looking to digital as I did once, it could remain with me for long too)
All the best,


F6 | D200 | NIK 17_35 F2.8 | TAM 28_75 F2.8 | NIK 50 F1.4 | NIK 70_200 F2.8 VR | TAM 90 F2.8 MACRO | METZ 58 AF-1

The combo I'm actually enjoying more and more  is my F6 + 17-35 and a roll of Velvia just loaded!

#4 AFS


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Posted 16 November 2007 - 19:40

I should add, as Dino mentioned, a comparison to the Canon EOS-1V and 1V HS (1v with PB-E2). These were my primary film bodies prior to coming to the F6 for quite a while. IMHO, there's simply no comparison though. The 1V and 1V HS are nice cameras, yes, but every conceivable bit about the F6 is just light-years ahead.

D3, D700, F2, D1 UVIR, 14-24 AFS N, 24-70 AFS N, 70-200 VR, 400/2.8 AFS II, SB-900, etc...

#5 Bill V

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:07

I have used film camera for the past 40 years, beginning with the Nikon FM.  From there I continued to move up through the ranks until I moved from F5 to a D70.  Eventually I swiched back to F6 along with the D2X.  The F6 controls and features are very similar to the D2X.  In my opinion, the F6 is by far the most advanced of the F-series cameras.  I often carry the F6 loaded with B&W film, along with my D3.  I expect the F6 to be the last of the film cameras, unless Nikon decides to come out with a retro-camera as an anniversary addition.  It is vary easy to move back and forth from the D2X or D3 to the F6.  The AF is fast and accurate with all AF-S (and G) lenses.  The metering is accurate for both flash and available light.  All three meter modes work well with all lenses from AF-D fisheye, through AF-S (G) zooms to AI-S primes.  For me this is a keeper, the last of its kind.
Enjoy the Light

#6 dvg



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Posted 25 March 2008 - 22:55

1978 - 2006 twenty six consecutive years and thousands of rolls shot under the most adverse conditions with my F2A which become the extension of my right arm and eye and a precious and very dear piece of my personal life.

Aging, increases the needs and AF started to be a necessity. Then came the F6.

I have nothing more to say that for me is the BEST film SLR in the world comparing to none. Many would have dreamed of producing such a camera but only Nikon did it.

Anyone that uses the F6 cannot compromise for nothing less even for a second body.

The technicalities, specifications and all that jazz, is a trivial matter not applying at all to such a camera.

The F6 is the last of the Mohican's, unfortunately drawing the curtain to the film era. It is an unrivaled example of an SLR, which I hope I will show to my grandchildren just to know how the exceptionally beautiful things used to look, feel and perform.

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