A Bad Day in F4-Ville

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Feb 5, 2021
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I was out the other day shooting wading birds with the F4 and F5. I had my 400mm f/2.8 AIS attached to the F4. I laid it down on the sun shade and unlocked the F4 to switch it to the 200mm f/2 AIS. It was a hot day her in SC, already hitting 80º and my hands were a little sweaty. The one thing I do not like about the F4 is that that beautiful smooth leather on that body gets slick as ownsh*t when your hands are wet. It slipped out of my hands and landed finder first on the rocks of the jetty. Someone caught the look on my face as it hit the rocks.........

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The finder and tip of the selector ring/shutter button took the brunt of the fall, knocking it completely off of the body and popping out the focusing screen. At first I though it was just the finder that was trashed, but it turned out that there is also a section of body just above the lens mount that got ripped off as well, tearing a circuit ribbon. Had it just been the finder, I could get another DP-20 on FleaBay for less than $100. Oh well, scratch one F4. Fortunately I have another one, an F4E, so I think I will just keep this one for parts if I ever need to have the other one fixed. The camera itself still works perfectly but it would cost more to get it repaired than it would cost to just get another body.

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I guess I am becoming somewhat of a rarity because I still shoot a lot of film, both in 35mm and 6x6 (and P&P it myself) and I will continue to do so until I can no longer find it or it gets too prohibitively expensive to do so. Film, especially black and white and medium format has a look that digital just can't replicate. I still love the looks I get when people see me carrying an SLR around with me. I have often been asked how many MP my camera has and I just smile and say "35" :joyful:
 
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Good you have a another body. That one looks pretty bad. I'd be happy a lens wasn't on it, especially when it's either of the lenses that you mentioned.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
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Good you have a another body. That one looks pretty bad. I'd be happy a lens wasn't on it, especially when it's either of the lenses that you mentioned.
It is in even better shape than the F4S was and to be honest I prefer it. Changing batteries in the F4S is a PITA, which is why I got an MB-23 battery pack for the other one. In the F4s you have to unscrew the battery pack remove the batteries from both the battery pack and grip, replace them and screw it back on. The batteries in the MB-23 just slide out in their own holder just like in the F5 and all DSLR's. I really have to wonder just what Nikon was thinking however, when they released the F4. The top plate and finder are made of PLASTIC and as time goes on I have found that this plastic is becoming brittle and prone to cracking. I can see releasing a consumer grade camera made from plastic to keep the cost down and make it more accessible to a much broader share of the market, but not a professional level one you could reasonably expect to take some hard use. My F5 is made of metal throughout with a titanium finder. I have at least one of every one of the F-series except the F6, which honestly I have no use for since apart from easier to use menus has nothing to offer over the F5, and is in fact a step down from it in my opinion. The F5 was the last true professional film camera Nikon ever made. And not to mention since they are not as long OOP the F6's are still rather expensive, especially if you can find one new or open box. If I had to pick one of them that is still my favorite, it would be my F2A, Nikon really hit one out of the park with that one and if your battery dies, all you lose is the meter, no big deal, since I use either a spot meter or incident meter most of the time anyway.

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Feb 5, 2021
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Sorry to hear that. Anytime you lose something you enjoy through an accident is tough.

Thanks, but the traditional three day mourning period has passed though........back to shooting! I shot some stuff with the F2A this morning. Manual film camera therapy works wonders!

This one is my favorite film camera to be sure, it has been with me since 1975. it is big, heavy and noisy, exactly what a film camera should be! :)

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Yikes! :(
Not too rare though as I too shoot a lot of film as well!

I have an FTN (my first Nikon, I got it in 1973), F2A, F3HP, F4E (and now a busted an F4S), F5, FE2 and Nikkormat FT2 and FT3 not to mention my beloved Hasselblad 500CM. Kodak T-Max 100 in the Hassy blows even my D850 out of the water. If I have to scan the negatives though, I use a Nikon Super Coolscan 8000 and at 4000 dpi the .nef files are a MASSIVE 700MB each for B&W and 800 MB for color. That eats up hard drive space quick like and in a hurry! I have a 1TB SSD for all of my programs and a 4TB HDD for all of my photography files (plus two 4 TB external drive back ups). I have already used up almost half of the HDD space. :eek:
 

kilofoxtrott

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Dec 29, 2011
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Klaus
F4/F4S/F4E rules!
No other camera gives this feeling holding it. The perfect fit.
And listen to the shutter and mirror - a sweet sound. No other Nikon can't beat that.

Kind regards
Klaus
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
103
F4/F4S/F4E rules!
No other camera gives this feeling holding it. The perfect fit.
And listen to the shutter and mirror - a sweet sound. No other Nikon can't bet that.

Kind regards
Klaus
I will grant you that! It is probably the quietest SLR/DSLR I have, perhaps with the exception my 1969 vintage FTN. But it is hard to make a full comparison since the FTN does not have an F36 attached to it. The F2, for all of its smoothness, is pretty noisy with the MD-2. The MD-12 on my FE2 is pretty noisy too.

It does indeed feel very good in the hands, Nikon certainly did their homework on that one. I just wish they had not covered it in that slick leather. Beautiful as it is, it is rather slippery.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
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I need to dig out my FM3a. It has sat idle too long
The FE2, FM2 and FM3 were probably the pinnacle of Nikon's "prosumer" bodies back in the 80's. I love using my FE2. It is light, has a bright viewfinder and feels great in the hands with the MD12. It has pretty much everything you need in a film SLR.
 
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