So, I recently traded in my Nikon FE and MD-12 Motor drive for a relatively good condition Nikon F4s. Why? Well…
The Nikon F4 was the second camera design by Giorgetto Giugiaro (famous for many automobile designs, a couple of firearms and motorcycles) and personally I adore the look and feel of this camera. It looks good - it handles good and is a huge ergonomic advance on it’s predecessor(s) It’s got a great rugged industrial look which is backed up by it’s feel when holding it.
It’s very much the missing link to the Nikon SLR family - The Nikon F5 with the infamous built-in vertical grip mirrors almost every Nikon Digital SLR camera to date - and is packed with many of the features too. Whereas the F3 looks a lot like my old Nikon FE - and any other Manual Nikon SLR bar the Nikon Photomic FTn and F2 due to their very similar prism-on-steroids look. This F4 doesn’t seem to belong in either category - while having the best of both worlds. Personally, I love the bridge between the standard size of the viewfinders as we see regularly today - and these huge lovely viewfinders of the FTn and F2.
The grip choice is excellent - fitting everyones needs - and the MD-21 is perfect for me. It’s small and packs a punch, vertical button perfectly positioned with its own disable/activate shutter switch - easily flicked when needed. As a photographer with slightly smaller than normal hands - I still find the AE-Lock and AF-Lock buttons big and easy to distinguish between, both when shooting portrait and landscape. The MD-21 allows lots of space for my fingers to explore and use the many buttons and switches without the need to retract from it’s crystal clear viewfinder. Same goes for its ideally positioned metering switch and EV-compensation dial. Distinctive tactile buttons and dials, which are a photographers dream, his or her eye belongs to the viewfinder, not the birds eyes view of the camera.
It obviously pays off being that missing link - big, bright viewfinders with Nikons typical large expansion of focusing screens. You could go brightness crazy and spend £150 on a Beattie screen! You would no doubt be able to pick out a black cat in the dark and have it pin-sharp in seconds. The viewfinder as it is, is very much big and beautiful. This allows the photographer to frame and focus flawlessly, aided by it’s relatively fast autofocus. It feels natural, easy to compose - and with my lovely nifty fifty - it’s near flawless.
Autofocus is quick and easy with my Nifty 50mm f1.8 AF-D. It does occasionally search when in darker conditions but it is easy just to turn the focus switch to ‘M’ and do it yourself. In normal lighting conditions it is flawless, accurate and I can feel no feel difference when compared with the Nikon D90, D200 or D300. I am obviously not the best person to talk about speed - most of my work does not involved high speed objects, but it is important to me to capture the moment.
Main winning point over other Nikon Manual cameras is the bonus of having Matrix metering. It may not be RGB 3D matrix metering like the F5, but at least I can have matrix metering on any AI and AI-S lenses, and also the added benefit of stop-down metering with NAI lenses, unlike the F5. The only issue is with G lenses and being unable to use aperture priority metering, like I would be able to on the Nikon F5. I do like my wide apertures and fast film, and the 8000/th of a second shutter speed capability is astonishing - something not seen on most of todays DSLRS, Nikon or not!
Overall, this is a fantastic camera especially for the money in comparison to the Nikon F6. It is a highly polished camera with great added bonuses like viewfinder coverage for the long shutter speeds, and option of power-rewind for a bit of fun! Even though it can’t gain the benefits of VR, it’s still a easy and flexible camera that will help you every step of the way!
EVERYONE PLEASE TRANSFER YOURSELF
TO MY NEW BLOG.
THIS BLOG IS NOW OVER. GOODBYE.
new blog, and explanation: http://mynikonfeandme.tumblr.com/
just realised, if smart really is the new sexy, then i am STILL unattractive. Fml!
not been posting in a while, all the festivity and business has kinda got in the way!
1. No one watches this blog :(
2. I managed to take apart and fix the contacts in my light meter in the ol’ Pentax which is gunna make general snaps a bit more easy :) no more self metered, which works but takes brainpower which I lack, in capacity anyways!
3. I’m ordering some chemicals feom Ilford soon, ready so I can use and develop my many rolls of delta!(100, 400, and 3200!)
very excited :)
P.S. if you do actually read my blog, like this to let me know! i honestly don’t think anyone does, but like this or summin if you do :)
more work up soon! :)
Frank Iero, you god.
“We’re growing up in this culture where we are growing up too young and being expected to know what we want to do with our lives at such a young age. Kids are growing up, having sex and getting jobs, having to do things on their own and look out for themselves. Next you’re in high school and you have to prepare for college. Then you are in college and you have to know what the hell you wanna do with your life. You get put into this little box and expected to be happy and to know what the rest of your life is going to be like… I think that is fucking retarded.”