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F-6!! New Job partner for adventurous photographers.
Written: Mar 25, 2005 (Updated Apr 21, 2005)
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Like F-5 instruction manual Nikon have not mentioned any thing about F-6s build. In F-5s manual they have mentioned what alloy and metals they have used for construction of F-5. But F-6s brochure says the aluminum-alloy chassis covered by magnesium alloy metal. So we should assume we have quite rugged camera not as rugged as F-5 but far better than any other camera. Solid and durable body with major components crafted from durable metals where drop-tested, vibration -tested and put through extremes of temperature. Self-diagnostic double bladed shutter Tested to 150,000 cycles, a standard where all professional Nikon F-bodies are judged. A Shutter Monitor that designed for monitoring constant shutter release performance in any situations. A floating mechanism for silent operation. Motors and gears are attached to the camera body indirectly via a rubber "shock absorber" construction in order gears and coreless motors within minimizes internally induced vibration. Coreless motors assure powerful and secure camera operation. I also tried its weather resistance. I used this camera in foam parties. During an assignment in Yorkshire F-6 and me both took lot of heavy rain shower still it worked perfectly. I used F-6 in dusty and humid environment of Texas. I also shoot melting process of steel in steel factory where temperature was very high. I dont know exactly but it was nearly 55c to 60c. And I was shooting there with camera for more than 20 minutes and changed rolls many times of both cameras F-5 and F-6.It is still working as new. Amazing!! I should mention this also I never go on assignment with single camera. I always keep second body. On above assignments F-5 was also with me. It handled all those extreme environments perfectly like F-6.
High precision shutter unit:
No shutter unit in any other camera comes close to matching the precision and durability of the F6s assembly. Created from cutting edge materials -DuPontTM KEVLAR® and a special aluminum alloy. The blades of the shutter unit offer unparalleled reliability and are extremely lightweight, for lightning-quick movement. For enhanced accuracy, the movement of the blades is carefully analyzed using a high-speed video camera and computer simulations, enabling unprecedented precision even at shutter speeds of up to 1/8,000 second.
Nikon F lens mount:
One of the MOST important feature for all Nikon photographers is the decision Nikon made during the mid '80, where the Nikon AF-frame work was still adopting the old, trusty lens mount that actually first used in 1959! Although arguably this has limiting the development of some possible exotic AF-Nikkor due to its smaller diameter, but to all Nikon users this came as an important decision because virtually all the Nikkor ever produced can be used with all the Nikon SLRs produced since then. The lens mount for the F6 has a flaw in calling for a factory change if you intend to use some of the older version (modified non-Ai Nikkor). The famed 3-claws F-mount, with its thick, robust stainless steel lens mounting ring, is securely mounted via its 5 screws to the camera body, it will sustain even with a long, heavy super-telephotos (however, most tele-Nikkor are designed with a separate tripod collar that you should always use. Instead mounting the body on the directly on the tripod with the lens attached).
Handling and Size:
This is really admirable Nikon put so many features plus a whole lot more fit in a much smaller package! The F100 weighs in at 27.7oz, the F5 at 42.7oz and the F6 at 34.4oz (F6 w/MB40 is 40.8oz). Camera is much lighter than F-5 and heavier than F-100. Like latest Nikon cameras ergonomics is excellent. Camera fits perfectly in your hand than any other previous SLR camera. Even better than F-100. Rubber texture is excellent and totally sleep proof even your hands are sweaty. The smaller body (no vertical grip) makes the F6 seem much more portable. An obvious difference between F5 and F6 is the larger rear LCD and the new menu system like Minolta Dynax 7. This LCD makes handling and operating of camera easier. But this LCD is very delicate. I really dont like this idea. There is manual rewind crank for people who want total silent during rewind or who want to save batteries. Like F-5 you have to use this crank to open back. But be careful because there is no back lock and you can accidentally open back during manual rewind. There are 41 custom functions available. Thank god that LCD makes this easy. But It is still very boring job to choose your favorite function from this lot You can choose languages for back LCD. Available languages are German, English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Japanese.
First, it is silent; like it doesn't make a sound at all. Continuous Silent mode, up to 1 fps is almost inaudible to the human ear. The F6 delivers a maximum 5.5fps and 8fps with MB-40 attached. Two, CR123A batteries power the F6. But rewind speed is slower than F-5 who rewinds 36-exposure film in Just 4 seconds where F-6 takes 7 seconds. With the F6 you have an options to rewinds automatically or not, at the end of the roll or on frame 35 or 36. Custom function allows whether you want film leader in or out. And of course, you can rewind the film manually if you want. The F6 can imprint shooting data in between frames, in frames, on the first frame and also download that data to a CF card (via MV-1)!
The F6 is the ONLY Nikon FILM SLR with 11 AF sensors! A feature up to now only available in the D2H/X is now available in the F6. With the help of silent wave lenses and the Mulit-CAM2000 AF motor, the F6 delivers ultra fast AF focusing. With other Nikon AF lenses also Focusing speed and accuracy superb. I have tried its auto focusing accuracy and speed with AFS 400mm f/4 Nikon and with AFS 300mm F/2 to shoot F-1 cars as well as some international basket ball tournaments. Results are fantastic. Even better than Canon EOS 1V.
There are many custom functions to select from, AF options are no different. In conjunction with the AF Area Mode Selector on the film back, these options give you incredible control and customization of the AF features on the F6. AF-C & AF-S Priority and Group Dynamic AF with Patterns with Closest Subject options are available. Really awesome.
Nothing special here. There are three meters offered. 3D color matrix, Flexible center weighted, and spot which is linked to focusing points. My experience says F-5s color matrix is already outstanding and fool proof for 98% of time for slides films. I never used bracketing function of F-5.The 3D Matrix Metering is still powered by the same 1005 pixel RGB sensor. It still compares all those things, brightness, contrast and color just as before. Nikon said F-6 has 3 D color matrix metering with improved algorithms. But I honestly say I have not seen any difference between final results of F-5 and F-6. What is interesting that I got same reading from F-100 and F-6 for many scenes than F-5 and F-6. When I saw final slides F-5s slides looks slightly more contrasty and saturated than other two. Unlike the Nikon F6's enhanced 3D Matrix lens compatibility framework, the 3D Matrix system in the Nikon F5 only will work when a CPU lenses that has a "distance" chip set. i.e. AF-D Nikkor lenses.
New i-TTL flash exposure control system should be more exciting than regular Nikon 3D multi sensor flash but I have to do work to see the difference.
Nikon F6 Principle Features
· 100% viewfinder frame coverage
· Viewfinder information includes, /- three-stop analogue exposure/exposure compensation display along right side, focus confirmation, exposure mode, shutter speed, aperture, battery level, frame counter, and flash-ready indicator below bottom edge of frame
· Standard B-type focusing screen with a further seven optional types
· Fixed viewfinder prism head with built-in viewfinder blind, and viewfinder eyepiece lock to prevent accidental loss (release activated by eyepiece blind lever)
· Accepts DR-5 Right-angle finder
· Fast continuous shooting (5.5 fps; 8 fps with MB-40 Battery Pack)
· Quieter operation
o Shutter sound reduced to 59dB, and just 48dB in silent mode
o Number of high-frequency components reduced for lower sound levels
· 37ms shutter lag time (same as D2H)
· 11-area (nine cross-type and two line-type) AF sensor pattern with CAM2000 module that provides frame coverage of 18mm (50%) horizontally and 7mm (29%) vertically
· Large dot matrix LCD screen on rear panel displays, shutter speed, lens aperture, ISO, custom setting bank, AF-sensor pattern, AF mode, and data-back printing location.
· Data Back Function
· Interval Timer
· Data imprint (in-frame, between-frame, #0 frame)
· User customizable Function button, which can be set to operate FV lock, AE-L/AF-L, bracketing burst, flash off, and metering pattern (Matrix, Center-Weighted, or Spot).
· 41 Custom Settings grouped in a similar way to those of the D2H, Group-A auto-focusing, Group-B metering, Group-C timers and lock functions, Group-D shooting and display functions, Group-E flash and exposure bracketing, and Group-F controls (control dials/function button), with four Custom Setting banks for pre-set values.
· Shooting Data memory that stores up to 26 different settings for each frame for up to 57 rolls of 36-exposure films. The optional MV-1 Data Card Reader is required to download the shooting data to a Compact Flash card. Download from MV-1 to a computer via USB interface. Shooting data can also be read direct from the camera via the rear LCD panel by pressing the INFO button. Information includes, film number, frame number, shutter speed, lens aperture, exposure compensation value, shooting focal length, metering pattern, exposure mode, lens focal and maximum aperture value, day/month/year plus hour/minutes.
· Electronic depth-of-field preview function
· 10-pin remote release terminal beneath new style hinged rubber cover
· 1/250th second flash sync speed
· Full compatibility with the i-TTL flash exposure control system with 5-segment flash sensor (same as D2H), includes Auto Aperture mode, and FV-lock functions
· Standard PC socket beneath new style hinged rubber cover
· Auto Exposure bracketing in increments of 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, & 1.0 stop, over a range of 3, 5, 7, or 9 frames.
· Flash exposure bracketing
· Multiple-exposure function
· Mirror lock-up function operated by either shutter release button, or remote release
o Set using film advance mode selector (same as D2H)
o Helps prevent camera shake due to internal vibration
· Powered-up rewind (9 seconds; 4 seconds with MB-40 Battery Pack)
o Automatic start-of-film wind-on
o Automatic end-of-film rewind
o Film leader position after rewind selectable (in/out)
o Manual film rewind using film rewind knob
· Multiple power sources - in addition to two CR123A batteries, optional battery pack MB-40 accepts eight AA-size batteries or rechargeable Li-ion battery EN-EL4
· Reduced power consumption for longer battery life
· Lightweight magnesium alloy body - 970g without batteries (compared with F5 - 1210g, and F100 785g)
· Stylish, High-durability Design
Exterior design by Giorgetto GIUGIARO*
Floating mechanisms ensure quiet operation
Aluminum-alloy die-cast chassis; magnesium-alloy front body and covers (top, bottom); aluminum-alloy back body and camera back combine to optimize reliability
Enhanced resistance to rain and dust
Self-diagnostic double-bladed shutter tested to 150,000 cycles supported by Nikons exclusive Shutter Monitor
Conclusion- I use 100% film cameras because they are more reliable than digital. I have 4 F-5s and 1 F-6. I use my F-6 as a back up camera. I prefers built in vertical grip rather than removable. When ever my work demands I use different finders. If you have F-5 then F-6 would make an excellent second body. If you have F-100, F-6 would make an excellent up grade. If you cannot afford F-6 or F-5 dont despair F-100 is also an outstanding camera.
Nikon F6 Specifications:
Type of camera: Integral-motor autofocus 35mm single-lens reflex with electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
Exposure modes: Programmed Auto (Flexible Program possible), Shutter-Priority Auto, Aperture-Priority Auto and Manual
Picture format: 24 x 36mm (standard 35mm film format)
Lens mount: Nikon F mount (with AF coupling, AF contacts)
Lenses usable: G- or D-type AF Nikkor (except for DX- and IX-Nikkor): All functions available; PC-Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D: All functions except autofocus and exposure modes other than Manual available without shifting and/or tilting the lens; AF Nikkor other than G-/D-type (except AF Nikkor for F3AF): All functions except 3D Matrix Metering and i-TTL flash control available; AI-P Nikkor: All functions except 3D Matrix Metering, i-TTL flash control and autofocus available; Non-CPU: Usable in Aperture-Priority Auto or Manual exposure mode, electronic rangefinder usable with lens having a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster, Color Matrix Metering, aperture value display, etc. usable with lens meeting specified criteria
Viewfinder: Fixed eye-level pentaprism, built-in diopter adjustment (-2.0 to 1m-1)
Eyepoint: 18mm (at ם.0m-1)
Focusing screen: B-type BriteView clear Matte screen II, interchangeable with six other optional focusing screens
Viewfinder frame coverage: Approx. 100%
Finder magnification: Approx. 0.74x with 50mm lens set to infinity and 1.0m-1
Viewfinder information: Focus indications, metering system, AE lock, FV lock, exposure mode, shutter speed lock, shutter speed, aperture step, aperture lock, aperture, multiple exposure, battery level, frame counter/exposure compensation value, electronic analog exposure display, exposure compensation, bracketing, ready-light, 11 sets of focus brackets
Autofocus: TTL phase detection, Nikon Multi-CAM2000 autofocus module
Autofocus detection range: Approx. EV ם to EV 19 (ISO 100, at normal temperature)
Focus modes: Single Servo AF, Continuous Servo AF, Manual
Focus Tracking: Automatically activated in Single Servo AF or Continuous Servo AF
Focus area: One or a group of 11 focus areas can be selected
AF Area modes: Single Area AF, Dynamic AF, Group Dynamic AF or Dynamic AF with Closest-Subject Priority
Focus lock: Focus is locked by pressing AE-AF-L button or lightly pressing shutter release button in Single Servo AF
Exposure metering: Three built-in exposure meters 3D Color Matrix, Center-Weighted and Spot
Metering range (ISO 100, f/1.4 lens): EV 0 20 in 3D Color Matrix and Center-Weighted, EV 2 20 in Spot
Exposure compensation: With exposure compensation button; ±5 EV range, in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 steps
Auto Exposure Bracketing: Number of shots: 2-7; compensation steps: 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV steps
Auto Exposure Lock: Detected exposure value locked by pressing AE/AF-L button
Film speed setting: DX or Manual selectable (manual setting has priority over DX detected film speed); DX: ISO 25-5000, Manual: ISO 6-6400 in 1/3 steps
Shutter: Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter with built-in Shutter Monitor
Shutter speeds: 30 to 1/8,000 s (1/3 steps in S and M modes); Bulb setting available in M mode (Shutter speed can be prolonged to 30 minutes in M mode)
Accessory shoe: ISO518 hot-shoe contact digital data communication (sync contact, ready-light contact, TTL auto flash contact, monitor contact, GND), safety lock provided
Sync contact: X-contact only; flash synchronization up to 1/250 s (up to 1/8000 s possible in AUTO FP High-Speed Sync)
Flash control TTL flash control by combined five-segment TTL Multi Sensor with single-component IC and 1,005-pixel RGB sensor; i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash with SB-800/600; Film speed range in TTL auto flash: ISO 25-1000
Flash sync modes: Front-curtain sync (normal sync), Red-Eye Reduction, Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Sync, Rear-Curtain Sync
Flash ready-light: Lights up when the compatible Nikon Speedllight attached is fully charged; Blinks (3 seconds after flash) for full output warning
Sync terminal: ISO519 terminal, lock screw provided
Creative Lighting System: Advanced Wireless Lighting, AUTO FP High-Speed Sync, Modeling flash, FV Lock and Wide Area AF-Assist Illuminator available with SB-800/600 Speedlights
Self-timer: Electronically controlled; timer duration: 10 seconds
Depth-of-field preview button: Press to stop-down lens aperture
Mirror lockup: Set using film advance mode selector
Film loading: Film automatically advances to first frame when camera back is closed
Film advance modes: Automatic advance with built-in motor; three modes available (S: One-frame advance, CL: Continuous low-speed shooting, CH: Continuous high-speed shooting, CS: Continuous silent-low-speed shooting)
Film advance speed: (With Continuous Servo AF (C), Manual exposure mode, shutter speed of 1/250 s or faster, 36-exposure film, CR123A-type lithium batteries [AA-type alkaline-manganese or Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4 in Multi Power Battery Pack MB-40])
CL: Approx. 2 fps [4 fps]; CH: Approx 5.5 fps [8 fps]; CS: Approx. 1 fps [2 fps]
Film rewind: Choice of automatic or manual; automatically rewinds at the end of film roll or when two film rewind buttons are pressed; Rewind speed with 36-exposure film: Approx. 7 seconds (12 seconds in CS mode)
Multiple exposure: Activated via shooting menu
Interval timer: Activated via shooting menu
Top LCD panel information: Shutter speed lock, shutter speed, aperture EV step, aperture lock, Auto Exposure Bracketing, exposure mode, Flexible Program, exposure compensation, electronic analog exposure display, exposure compensation value, Auto Exposure Bracketing status, frame counter
Rear LCD panel information: Shooting display (Normal, detailed, full display); Shooting data display (film data, frame data); Menu display (Custom Setting menu, set up menu, shooting menu, Non-CPU lens, language)
Data imprint: Activated via shooting menu; in-frame, between-frame and 0-frame imprint possible: film speed range: ISO 25 3200 (DX)
Internal clock: Built-in clock; 24-hour; leap year adjustment until December 31, 2099
Camera back: Hinged back; film confirmation window, AF area mode selector, multi-selector, MENU button, film speed (ISO) button, flash sync mode button, INFO button, rear LCD panel, built-in data imprint unit
Shooting data: Recordable number of film rolls (36 exposures): Approx. 57 rolls in basic shooting data (13 items), Approx. 31 rolls in detailed shooting data (21 items)
10-pin remote terminal: Equipped
Power source: Battery holder MS-41 provided (two 3V lithium batteries); optional Multi Power Battery Pack MB-40 and AA-type battery holder MS-40 available (for eight alkaline-manganese, lithium or Ni-MH batteries, or one Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4); built-in backup battery
Power switch: Power ON, OFF and LCD panel illuminator
Exposure meter: Auto meter shut-off 8 seconds after power turned on if no operations are performed; activated by lightly pressing shutter release button or pressing AF start button after power is turned on
Battery power confirmation: for sufficient power; indicates batteries are beginning to lose power; indicates batteries are just about exhausted, prepare fresh batteries; blinking indicates replacement of batteries is necessary (shutter locks and rear LCD indications disappear)
Number of film rolls per set of fresh batteries (Approx.):
Usable number of 36-exposure film rolls per set of fresh batteries (Approx.):
The usable number of film roll is tested under following conditions by Nikon.
Using an AF-S VR 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens, Vibration Reduction function on, in Continuous Servo AF with film advance mode at S and shutter speed of 1/250 second. After lightly pressing the shutter release button for 8 seconds, autofocus operation covers the full range from infinity (?) to the closest distance and back to infinity (?) before each shot. After the exposure meter automatically turns off, the same operation follows for the next shot.
Battery / Temperature 20?C (68?F) 㪢?C (14?F)
CR123A 3V lithium 15 6
LR6/AA-size alkaline (with MB-40) 10 1
R6/AA-size Ni-MH (with MB-40) 30 30
FR6/AA-size lithium (with MB-40) 45 35
Rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL4 (with MB-40) 35 25
Using an AF-S VR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens, Vibration Reduction function on, in Continuous Servo AF with film advance mode at CH and shutter speed of 1/250 second. After lightly pressing the shutter release button for 3 seconds, autofocus operation covers the full range from infinity (?) to the closest distance and back to infinity (?) three times before each shot. The same operation follows for the next shot.
Battery / Temperature 20?C (68?F) 㪢?C (14?F)
CR123A 3V lithium 35 15
LR6/AA-size alkaline (with MB-40) 55 4
R6/AA-size Ni-MH (with MB-40) 55 50
R6/AA-size lithium (with MB-40) 95 70
Rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL4 (with MB-40) 65 50
Duration of Long Time (Bulb) exposure (Approx.):
Battery / Temperature 20?C (68?F) 㪢?C (14?F)
CR123A 3V lithium 5 hours 3 hours
LR6/AA-size alkaline (with MB-40) 6 hours 1.5 hours
R6/AA-size Ni-MH (with MB-40) 5 hours 4 hours
FR6/AA-size lithium (with MB-40) 8.5 hours 7 hours
Rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL4 (with MB-40) 7 hours 6 hours
Tripod socket: 1/4 (ISO1222)
Custom Settings: 41 Custom Settings are available
Two-Button Reset: Pressing the MENU and INFO buttons simultaneously and holding them for more than 2 seconds resets various settings to their original default settings (with some exceptions)
Dimensions (W x H x D): Approx. 157 x 119 x 78.5mm (6.2 x 4.7 x 3.1 in.)
Weight (without batteries): Approx. 975g (34.4 oz.)
All specifications apply when fresh batteries are used at normal temperature (20?C/68°F).
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Amount Paid (US$): 2210
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Solid Enough for a Professional