Affordable Nikon body?

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Tom
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#1
Does anyone have any recommendations for an affordable Nikon body? My digital camera is a Nikon but for film I use a Pentax (which I love) but I thought if I had a Nikon film body I could use the lenses between them... but I don’t want to spend a fortune. Is there anything worth looking at under £100?? Ideally with some kind of auto exposure.

Thanks,
Tom
 
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Andy
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#6
I have an F90, it’s a good solid camera :) Only caveat is that while AF-S lenses work on it, you can’t shoot in aperture priority, shutter priority is fine.
That may not affect you if you only have AF-D lenses though :D
 
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#7
I've been using my F80 (£40 or 50?) quite a bit this year, and trying to justify replacing it with an F100 (£200+?), but I'm not sure I need one for landscape and other slow-ish shooting. If you find you don't like the F80, you can probably sell it on without loss. Try to find one that isn't sticky, as that's a bit of a nuisance.
 

simon ess

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#11
Try to find one that isn't sticky, as that's a bit of a nuisance.
If you pick up a Nikon F80 to try then you'll probably find it very difficult to put down again...

because your hands will probably be stuck to it! :whistle: ;)
True, and something to be aware of...but easily fixed.
 
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Tom Pinchenzo
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#14
I can't understand why the F80 is so much cheaper than older models like the FM and FE series. Maybe it's the cheap 90s plastic-y look compared to the cool retro metal-bodied look of the older model. The table here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikon_F-801 even suggests the F80 was 'high end' compared to the 'mid-range' FM/FE series.
 
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#15
Looks posher than my Pentax ME (I.e. newer!) - very similar to modern DSLRs. what’s the autofocus like??
AF is fine. I'd like it to using an old digital D70.

I've used mine with a 28mm f2.8, 50mm af-d and a 28-80 f3.3-5.6. All work really well on it.

You're more than welcome to give mine a whirl if you're anywhere near Worcestershire where I'm based.
 
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Tom Pinchenzo
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#16
Thanks Dave, unfortunately I'm down in Devon! It looks like the D80 is a firm favourite for a cheaper good performer. I'm used to manual focus with my pentax - I quite like manual focusing(!) though it might mean fewer shots where I miss focus...
 
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#17
F80 is great, and amazing value - BUT it is like shooting a Nikon D series DSLR (which may be a good or bad thing) - personally I prefer the FE type film cameras, they are £100+ BUT will hold their value.
 

Woodsy

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#18
It’s rare, but you could pick up an F100 for ~£100. While it maintains the plastic look, but certainly doesn’t have a plastic build. Otherwise the F80 is a great camera.

Don’t get me wrong, give the choice of a single camera, I’d probably use an fm3a over most things modern.
 
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#19
One thing you have to consider is lens compatibility. Nikon has been messing around with their technology in the last few years, which is now starting to leave the film cameras (and early dSLRs) behind. The F80 can use the original AF and AF-D lenses (since it has an AF motor built into the body) as well as the more recent AF-S lenses which have their own motors. It also works with G lenses since it can control aperture settings from the body, and with VR. However, recent AF-P (stepper motor) lenses aren't compatible, and neither are E-type (electronic aperture) lenses. Your profile lists a D3300 and three lenses. The AF-S 50mm will work fine on both bodies, but neither AF-P lens is properly compatible with the F80 (or any film body). One of your AF-P lenses is also DX, which won't fully cover the 35mm frame - you need FX lenses for film. Your D3300 lacks a built-in AF motor, which rules out AF/AF-D lenses. That leaves AF-S FX lenses. A handful of AF-S FX lenses have aperture rings, which will be fine. Most AF-S FX lenses are G-type, which will also be fine, and there are quite a lot of them. AF-S E-type lenses aren't compatible.

Edit: The F100 has the same lens compatibility as the F80, as do all AF film SLRs from the F5 onwards. I wouldn't choose anything earlier than the F5 (like the F90), because hardly any lenses will be fully compatible with both the D3300 and the film body.
 
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Andysnap

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#20
F80 is an excellent camera, Mrs Snap swears by hers, and I have an F801 which is also top notch, it is however significantly heavier than the the F80 and the autofocus is a bit slower.
 
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#21
It’s rare, but you could pick up an F100 for ~£100. While it maintains the plastic look, but certainly doesn’t have a plastic build. Otherwise the F80 is a great camera.

Don’t get me wrong, give the choice of a single camera, I’d probably use an fm3a over most things modern.
You aren't going to find an FM3a for under £100, nearer £500. I paid £150 for my F100. The F80 is great, and light and can use AF, D or G lenses. An F501 is inexpensive and can use MF, AF and D lenses.
 
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#22
Another F80 user here. The sticky issue is easily rectified with a bit of isopropyl alcohol and a cloth.

It’s a well featured camera that feels good to use and delivers nice results.

I also have an F70 with it’s weird “Space 1999” LCD display. It’s doesn’t have all the features of the F80, but it’s still a solid performer.
 
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#23
I can't understand why the F80 is so much cheaper than older models like the FM and FE series. Maybe it's the cheap 90s plastic-y look compared to the cool retro metal-bodied look of the older model. The table here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikon_F-801 even suggests the F80 was 'high end' compared to the 'mid-range' FM/FE series.
That's rather an odd table. The FM and FE were 2nd tier bodies in their day, below the F2 and later the F3. The F801 had a similar place in the range later on, and in some ways is better than the F80 (more solid build and nicer finder) but the AF is fairly primitive by today's standards and (like the F90 that followed it) compatibility with the dSLRs is worse. The F80 was a 3rd tier body below the F5 and F100, but with a lot of features and more recent technology. The F100 is the pick of these bodies if you can stretch to it (the F5 is great, but very large and heavy). The AF bodies in general are relatively cheap compared to some of the manual focus bodies - you can pick up an F5 (which contains a lot of metal!) for about the same price as an FM2.
 
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#24
I know the OP has some current Nikon lenses that he can use (to some extent or other) with a latter-day Nikon film SLR, so it probably seems logical for him to look for a latter-day Nikon film camera. That said, to some people latter-day Nikon 35mm film SLRs have perhaps achieved something akin to mythical status?

However, compare that to similarly priced Canon 35mm SLRs of that time and it's perhaps not all hugs and rainbows... The Canon EOS 30 (I know I keep mentioning this camera, but there's a good reason for that!) has a 35 zone metering system, optional flash sync on all shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 1/4000 of a second, eye controlled focus (you look at one of the 7 focus points and the camera instantly selects it), 4 frames per second built in motor drive, and it's one of the quietist 35mm auto-wind 35mm SLR cameras I've ever used.

Now compare those specs to the Nikon F80... then look at the current prices and overall compatibility with modern lenses (in Canon's case, every EF lens made, up to and including the latest image stabilised 'L' class EF lens) and then decide which is the best of the latter-day 35mm autofocus film SLRs to buy.

I mean no disrespect to Nikon owners and enthusiasts (I believe Canon and Nikon are both very good camera makes) I just want to put things in perspective as to how things were in the latter-day era of 35mm film photography, and how adaptable some of those cameras might be today to the owners of current same-make DSLR lens systems. (y)
 
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Nod

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#25
Thanks Dave, unfortunately I'm down in Devon! It looks like the D80 is a firm favourite for a cheaper good performer. I'm used to manual focus with my pentax - I quite like manual focusing(!) though it might mean fewer shots where I miss focus...
If you're after the film experience, the F80 is a better bet than the D80 ;). IIRC some of the early Nikon DSLRs were built around the F80 chassis. Only disposed of my F80 because somewhere was doing a really good deal on trade ins against (IIRC) Fuji bodies which meant that I got well over £200 for a body that was worth about £50 (at the time). Had sticky rubbers too.

WRT manual focussing on "modern" AF bodies.
I've never really got on with it, especially using AF lenses in MF mode - their focus ring throw is shorter than an MF lens's and the lack of a proper MF type focus screen (split prism/microprism etc.) makes it difficult - the green dot focus confirmation light helps BUT only tells you that something in the selected AF zone is in focus.
 

Woodsy

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#26
You aren't going to find an FM3a for under £100, nearer £500. I paid £150 for my F100. The F80 is great, and light and can use AF, D or G lenses. An F501 is inexpensive and can use MF, AF and D lenses.
I didn't say you could get an FM3a for £100... I was referring to the F100. I was making a seperate point in the sperate sentence.

I've seen F100's go on ebay and on here relatively recently for around, or slightly under, £100. You'll notice I did say it was rare.
 

ChrisR

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#27
It’s rare, but you could pick up an F100 for ~£100. While it maintains the plastic look, but certainly doesn’t have a plastic build. Otherwise the F80 is a great camera.

Don’t get me wrong, give the choice of a single camera, I’d probably use an fm3a over most things modern.
Was it a F80 you fixed by banging on a table at the lakes, Jonathan? Or maybe the, um, magic spells you were uttering (!) did the trick? ;)
 

Woodsy

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#28
Was it a F80 you fixed by banging on a table at the lakes, Jonathan? Or maybe the, um, magic spells you were uttering (!) did the trick? ;)
Heh, no. It was my mamiya 645 Super that I fixed with the table :D. It obviously recognised who's boss, as it's worked flawlessly since!
 
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