Why Nikon at all


Dear Kian-Guan Au, thanks for your opinion, yes I guess MF is the ideal situation if you what u r upto, I guess I will take a while to reach there, Thanks - Anupam


I started a long time ago with an Argus c-3. My first great camera was a Pentax Spotmatic circa 1965. I lusted after the Nikon F but it was just out of my reach dollar-wise. In the early 90's I bought a Nikon 6006 (601) followed by a manual FM2T a few years ago. I have amassed quite a few lenses over the years - my favorites being the 28-70 3.5 and the 60mm 2.8 macro. Until recently I was going to buy the digital D100 but after a ton of research I settled on the F100. Why? I still like the idea of film and the high resolution of the 35mm negative.

I am anxious to see the improvements in digital and will go that way in a few years when the digital SLR can fully match film at a modest price - 12MP or whatever that number is. Till then I will maximize my use of the portability of film, the old fashioned kind. Nikon is the only choice for me - the build solid cameras based on great engineering. And, of course my investment in lenses, currently over $2000 US.


Nikons are practically indistructable!

A few weeks ago I fell on top of my equipment in a push and shove situation at a concert in a football stadium. The speedlight broke literally into 2 pieces, bottom end with the hot shoe broke off. A little tape and it (and the camera) has continued to work perfectly.
I must have had about 10-15 Nikons over the years, from Nikkormats and F2s to a recently purchased D100. Only one ever died on me -- condensation of my breath inside a tent eventually rusted out the shutter of an F2 after sleeping with it for a few weeks on an expedition. The camera never got wet, so I didn't dry it out...bad mistake!


Wanted a Nikon back when I bought my first 35mm SLR in 1975, but could only afford a Pentax SP1000. Pentaxes served me well until this past year. When I decided to try a modern autofocus, neither Pentax, Canon or Minolta models felt good in my hands, but a Nikon F80 did. So I became a Nikon owner. I also love the FM3a and owned one briefly (a couple of months), but unfortunately, the viewfinder just isn't designed for people who must wear eyeglasses. I like that the F80 has a more professional user interface, very similar to Nikon's pro SLRs, and that it's a fairly straightforward, no nonsense system, as far as electronic cameras go.


Dear Pierre,

The F80 is indeed a fantastic camera. This is my first and (so far) only autofocus camera body. It's a great all rounder, easy to use, and balances well in the hand as you suggest. I have experienced no problems with the camera and it works well in a number of situations. I use the 18-35 zoom, 50 f1.8, 105 micro, and 80-200 zoom with this camera on a regular basis. It's so much fun to use that I almost always carry it with the 18-35 mounted for opportunistic shots around town or out in the country where we live. Perhaps my only concern is the durability under tough conditions and that is where an F100 or an F5 will be superior (and possess other advantages as well). My wife and I have been using Nikon equipment for over 25 years: she currently uses an FM2n and I use an FM3A in addition to the F80. The FM3A has just replaced my 20 year old FE. You just cannot beat these camera bodies. However, since my eyesight is suffering as I get older (better?), I have to agree with you about the viewfinder. I am thinking about trying an F3hp to see if this helps.




>In 94 I was looking for a replacement for my Mamyia ZE. After ten years I had outgrown the one 50mm lens I had and wanted more. Problem that time was that Mamiya was out of the 35mm business and whoever owned a lens didn't want to sell. > That time an electronic outlet had the Nikon F50 and a Pentax on sale. While Pentax threw in a 70-200 for the same price as the Nikon I prefered the handling of the latter. It fit my hand like a glove. So I went F50 with the 35-80 kit lens. While I loved working with that camera I somehow missed the simplicity of the Mamiya. Those 5 buttons for clickking through the menues weren't the best invention - much too slow! So I got me a an FM2N with the grandious 50/1.4 AIS a couple of years ago. And use her as my main camera. The F50 got replaced by a F90S in 2001, because a sandcorn got stuck somewhere in the AF mechanics - note to myself: Be careful when changing lenses on a windy day at the beach. I prefered the F90 over the F100, because the extra ghizmos in the F100 are not needed by me and the price difference was some US$400 that time. But why Nikon? They fit my hand perfectly. I like the heft of the F90x, especially with a heavier zoom lens. Their system is very complete, though a bit expensive sometimes. And their marketing strategy is a bit conservative - makes sure that you still can use old stuff on new gear and vice versa. I handled some Canons, Minoltas, Contax inbetween, but must say the Nikon is the most ergonomical for me (I had hard times to find the shutter button on the 10D)

Lenses? #1 in zoom lenses is Tokina for me, while for prime lenses I prefer the Nikons.


> Why the F80 and not the F90? I own an F100 but am going to sell it and will (for paper pictures) step down to my "new" F2 and an F3... For everyday pics (and pro use in my branch) I'll by a Fuji F5000 digital camera. but really proud I'm about my erfurbished F2 and F3...

Regards, C. Gilbert


OK, if I can jump in again, it is clear that the camera bodies (e.g., FM2n, F2, F3, F80, F5, etc.) enjoy a wide following. However, the primary element (apart from the photographer) is the lens. Nikon users are lucky to have a system that includes great MF and AF optics and backwards compatibility of lenses with many camera bodies. This means that you can take full advantage of the best optics. For ex&le, your lens kit might include the classic MF 28mm f2.8 (or f2.0?), the MF 35mm f1.4, the AF 85mm f1.4D, and the AF 180mm f2.8D. There are some issues to consider, such as the manual focus operation of AF lenses and the limited metering capabilities of MF lenses on AF bodies and so on, but on the whole we are blessed with a fantastic lineup of lenses new and old. What I don't like is the current trend toward G type lenses and Nikon's continued comments about how the G lenses are either for consumer optics or that the lack of an aperture ring is in harmony with the lens design. Any comments?


I don't really care if Nikon makes them (the G lenses, that is), if it's going to (A) provide some very cheap zoom lenses that are affordable enough to bring entry-level photographers into the fold, and (B) if they need to do that to add all the high-tech VR and AFS stuff. "A" doesn't affect me because I'm not buying any entry-level zooms, and "B" doesn't affect me because I'm not buying more expensive AFS and VR zooms either. I think that both "A" and "B" are necessary to keep Nikon competitive with Canon, so in that sense, it's probably a good thing that Nikon is making G lenses. Now, if they were to abandon the production of their current AF-D prime lenses, that would be a different matter.


Well-Known Member
I've personally used Nikomat FTn, FE, FM2, F100 of which only the FE is no longer in my posession. Included in that is also a small collection of AI, AIS, AF lenses. The reason I went with the F100 over the F80 when I went with AF system was because I could still use my AIS lenses and also use the AF lenses on my FM2 (backup body). I currently only have one old AIS lense left since most of the AF lenses are lighter, perform well and have aperture rings that work with the FM2. Like Greg, I'm not thrilled with the G lenses however, I bought a 70-200mm G AF-S VR for the F100. The reason is because I would never use it with the FM2 (size, weight, balance issues) so it is no big deal. Since I do use my FM2 as a backup camera it would still be nice if the 70-200 would work on the FM2 in emergencies, but so far I haven't have one problem with the f100, FM2, Ftn (knock on wood) - Only issue with the FTn is finding the 1.35v wein button cell batteries
I believe that my Nikon Manual cameras will outlast the F100

BTW - I use the Nikon's for general outdoor landscape, hiking trips, and portraits. But I still use only my Contax G2 rangefinder for street photography and some portraits.

-Almon C. Dao a.k.a yogi


Well-Known Member
Ok...first off, if comparing cameras from competing brands isn't a "why Nikon at all" kind of topic, which topic area did you wish it to appear in? Also....what DO you want in here....as it really doesn't say what should and shouldn't show up here.

Second....where DID you move my posts to?



Why Nikon?
First of all, during my years living in Cuba, when I happened to got interested in photography and happened to be lucky enough to met and befriend Alberto Korda, a great Cuban photographer -most of you may know one of his work, the photo of Ernesto "Che" Guevara that has been used everywhere and in every form- , anyway, he tutored me and lend me during this time one of his cameras, you guessed, a Nikon, which I don't recall the model, but was one of the firsts, we're talking of 1979 or 1980.
Nikon always represented to me a name that carried with it quality, versatility and reliability.
When the FM3A came into the market I got the itch, now I own an FM3A and an FM2n.



Why Nikon?
Well I always had this passion to own a Nikon F throughout my childhood in the 1960s.
But I did'nt get my own first Nikon untill 14th Jan 1991 why so long ?
Well I had received a Canon A series camera as a gift in the late 1970s.
I built a larege system around it and untill af arrived I had never thought of changing.
Eventually I took the plunge into AF but with Minolta the Dynax 7000i being my first purchase. I then built my system up over a number of years.
And would probably have stayed with it, but someone deciceded to relieve me of it.
It was stolen out of the locked trunk of my car,
all I had left was a set of old Tamron adaptall II fit lenses.
With that in mind I scoured the magazines/revues and the Nikon 801 appeared to be the ideal camera to purchase, I would be able to use my old MF Tamron lenses and as funds became available I could upgrade to Nikon AF lenses.
And so that's what got me into the Nikon system and I have never looked back.


In the February issue of Popular Photography & Imaging, Herbert Keppler states, “However, Nikon won’t abandon film SLRs. A high level 35mm SLR is in the works.†Has anyone heard about a new Nikon SLR?


New Member
I got my first camera after working all summer as a kid on our farm. It was Yaschica FR1, that and 2 cheap lenses and a 2x multiplier a tank and some chemicals was my pay for the year.
Got older, proirities shifted, got away from shooting. A few years back I decided to get back in, looked around a got a Minolta HTsi+. Started to get more serious and relized they didn't seem to be aiming towards a digital SLR. So having used Nikons in some contract work I do and looking at the complete system and quality of lenses I decided I would swap over to Nikon.
About that time I ran across a good deal on a used Hassie system bought it, love it.
Finally about 4 months ago bought a F100 and a couple lenses. Just bought the S2 Pro. So after some a little more time the Minolta will go to strictly BU and then Ebay or a closet shelf.


Why Nikon?
My Dad gave me my first camera in order to join my high school photo club back in 1986. It was a beat up FG with 3 "E" series lenses. That little camera introduced me to the wonderful world of photojournalism. After Graduation, I traded it in (and a year's worth of waitering) for my F4 and N6006 and headed of to college. I was very impressed with the seemingly indestructable construction of my F4. Surviving a direct hit by a hockey puck and being stepped on by the occational wayward basketball player. My N6006 was deligated to more "safer" duties like Frat parties and Adirondack hikes where it's light weight and numerous functions exel brilliantly. After achieving every top rung in sports / photojournalism during my collegiate career, I found out a weird fact about me. I'm stuck with the Nikon brand! Every photo equipment I own or ever owned from my point and shoot to my brand new F5 is a Nikon. I even broke up with my girlfriend (a Canon user) to fall in love and marry my wife (guess which brand of camera she lugs around). Now that I'm older and more laid back, I've gone back to MF. and have purchased an FA and a FE. The slower pace of taking pictures just seems to fit me better now. So why Nikon? I don't know...maybe it's just plain brand loyalty or maybe it's something else. FG's are selling cheaply at ebay these days, maybe I'll pick one up and give it another whirl.


It's funny that there are hardly any comments on Nikon lenses. I remember an old advertisement of Nikon in a magazine (which I am sure did influence me after more than a decade of seeing one to purchase a Nikon). This had a picture of an aged man (probably a farmer) with uncombed hair and unshaved beard. The clarity in the hair and the wrinkles was so high that you could actually feel them as if they were right in front of you. And there was this comment at the top of the picture which stated something like "What kind a nut would one want to pay ???? dollars for a camera?" and then continued at the bottom with "only those who want a Nikon picture". I always felt that NIkon lenses were extremely good (with the exception of Leica which are truly remarkable), and that was the reason people buy a Nikon. And in those days, 1990s, Nikons were doubel the price of Canons at their starting price. I do not have Canons, but felt Nikons were better for lens, based in pictures I saw of both. I have not seen any testing though. <font color="ff0000">Any comments?