What the F

Last January I bought a Nikon F6, the most advanced film SLR camera ever created. Over the past few weeks I have been tracking down a Nikon F, Nikon’s original film SLR, camera on eBay. The F6 has fully electronic control and a self-diagnosing shutter. The F is fully mechanical and is not at all self-aware. I am obsessed with the F6’s ability to capture data about exposures and write information to a CF card and to the film itself. So, why would I want a Nikon F? For me the Nikon F represents a certain beginning to modern photography. Since the end of the Kodak APS era I have been a Nikon user and have fully adopted the Nikon culture (not to mention the F-mount lens system). I can’t say that its nostalgia because I wasn’t alive with the Nikon F was released, but there is a desire to touch history and to experience using a fully manual camera, learning to calculate exposure values and becoming more aware of the dynamics of focus selection. I also have some apprehension about approaching a method of photography that has absolutely no electronic assistance or guide, which I have been dependent on since I began photography when I was 5.

My Nikon F is due to arrive around April 4th.

  Nikon F6 Nikon F
Exposure Control Manual, Shutter, Aperture, Program Auto Manual
Aperture Control On-Body Electronic Drive Manual
Shutter Speeds 1/8000 to 30 min + Bulb 1/1000 to 1” + Bulb
Power Source CR123 or EN-EL4 Manual
Auto Focus TTL phase detection, Nikon Multi-CAM 2000 autofocus module Manual
Film Loading Auto Crank (Manual)
Film Advance Auto Manual
Film Rewind Auto Manual
Multiple Exposure Yes – 2 to 10 Manual
Self-timer 2, 5, 10, 20 seconds 3-10 seconds (manual gear timer)
Intervalometer Electronic Program Interval None
Remote Cable release, ML-3 Wireless Cable release
Weight 975g (34.4 oz) 1049g (37 oz)
Released 2004 1959