The Nikon F6
is a camera I often discount as just Nikon saying, “Hey, we are still the King when it comes to film cameras”! But it’s not. It is truly a marvel. In fact, it’s the only camera I know of on the B&H website, including Leica’s, that has more than 30 or 40 customer reviews and is still !00% 5 star rated. You’d expect at least one 4 star review! Nope. (Nikon’s latest digital wonder has nothing on an F6,….uhh, except a sensor)
Nikon F6 Review Lite
This is not meant to be an in-depth review. Probably the best full review I’ve seen is over at ByThom.com. It’s extensive and accurate.
Still in Stock
The Nikon F6 is Nikon’s flagship film camera. You can still buy it new. (although Nikon lists it as backordered) The advance design, including an 11-area super accurate AF perfectly melded with Nikon’s awesome Creative Lighting System (iTTL flash) and 3D Color Matrix Metering. Plus a built-in shooting data memory, (my favorite), plus the ability to program custom functions and all the other stuff data backs do.
So, you can customize your shooting preferences with 41 Custom Settings. It also has a greatly improved algorithm 3D Color Matrix metering, a flexible Center Weighted metering and Spot metering that you can assign to any one of 11 focus points. The new AF uses the Multi-CAM 2000 AF Sensor Module and has 9 AF sensors. It has the normal Single Area AF, plus some pretty advanced Dynamic modes, including Focus Tracking with Lock-On, Closest Subject Priority and Group.
Just Like Nikon’s Latest High End Digitals
When using Auto FP High-Speed sync, you can go all the way up to 1/8000 sec! Regular sync is 1/250 sec. You’re also capable of i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash and Wireless Advance Lighting,…just like Nikon’s latest high-end Digital cameras.
The shutter is some KEVLAR and special aluminum alloy. Super lightweight and super accurate. (should you require that type of accuracy) The data back memory can be downloaded to your computer with the Data Reader MV-1. I didn’t measure the shutter decibels, as I only had the loaner for one day. But I did compare it to an old Leica M, and it’s quieter. How they did that with an SLR is beyond me. It’s a ‘floating design’. I don’t know what that means,…but it’s extremely quiet. The video is interesting because it’s talking about an earlier stage of digital, and even the Mac used is basically now sorta defunct. (to tech heads) In fact, the “Fuck Your Pixel Count” mug is meant for digital photographers who are constantly arguing how many pixels are enough. It was never meant for film photographers,….who don’t care for the most part.
- Type of Camera: Integral motor autofocus 35mm SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera with electronically controlled focal-plane shutter.
- Exposure Modes: Programmed Auto, Flexible Program, Shutter priority, Aperture Priority and Manual
- Picture Format: 24mm x 36mm (standard 35mm film format)
- Lens Mount: Nikon F Mount (With AF coupling, AF contacts)
- Usable Lenses: All AF-D, AF-G, AF-I, AF-S and AF VR Nikkor lenses provide full AF and metering operation. AI-P lenses provide manual focus w/electronic rangefinder and full metering operation. AI lenses provide manual focus w/electronic rangefinder, aperture priority and manual exposure mode, C/W and Spot Metering operation.
- Viewfinder: Fixed eyelevel pentaprism, built-in diopter adjustment (-2 to +1m-1)
- Eyepoint: 18mm (at -10m-1)
- Focusing Screen: B Type BriteView clear screen Matte II, interchangeable with six other optional focusing screens
- Autofocus: TTL phase detection, Nikon Multi-CAM 2000 autofocus module
- AF Detection Range: Approx. EV -1 to EV +19 (at ISO 100)
- AF Area Mode: Single Area AF, Dynamic AF, Group Dynamic AF or Dynamic AF with Closest Subject Priority
- Metering System: Three built-in exposure meters; 1005 Pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix II, Flexible Center Weighted and Eleven Spot meters
- Metering Range: (at ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens) EV 0 to EV 20 in 3D Color Matrix II and Center-Weighted, EV 2 to EV 20 in Spot
- Exposure Compensation: With exposure compensation button; + 5 EV range, in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
- Auto Exposure Bracketing: Built-in; Number of shots; 2-7 compensation steps 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV steps
- Auto Exposure Lock: By pressing AE-L/AF-L Button
- Film Speed Setting: ISO 25 to 5000 for DX-coded film; ISO 6 to 6400 can be manually set
- Shutter: Electromagnetically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter with built-in shutter monitor
- Flash Synchronization: In Programmed Auto or Aperture-Priority Auto, shutter operates from 1/250 to 1/60 sec. in normal sync. 1/250 to 30 sec. In slow sync; in Shutter-Priority Auto or Manual exposure mode, shutter operates at speed set, or at 1/250 if speed is set between 1/250 and 1/8000 sec. Auto FP High Speed Sync with Custom Setting in all modes to 1/8000sec.
- 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-600/800; film speed range in TTL auto flash: ISO 25-1000
- Ready Light: Speedlight attached, lights up in red when Nikon dedicated Speedlight is ready to fire, or blinks to warn of insufficient light for correct exposure
- Accessory Shoe: ISO518 hot shoe contact, digital data communication (sync contact, ready light contact, TTL Auto flash contact, monitor contact, GND) safety lock provided
- Self Timer: Electronically controlled; 10 second duration; blinking LED indicates self-timer operation; cancelable
- Film Loading: Film automatically advances to first frame when camera back is closed
- Film Advance: Automatic advance with built-in motor, three modes available (S: for one frame advance, CL: Continuous low speed shooting, CH: Continuous high-speed shooting, CS: Continuous silent low-speed shooting)
- Film Rewind: Choice of automatic or manual; automatically rewinds at the end of the roll or when two film rewind buttons are pressed, rewind speed with 36 exp, roll of film Approx. 7 seconds (12 seconds in CS Mode)
- Multiple Exposure: Activated via shooting menu
- 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 NiMH batteries or one rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4); built-in battery back up
- Weight (without batteries): Approx. 34.4 oz
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 6.2 x 4.7 x 3.1 inches
A Solid Beauty
The Nikon F6 body is a combination of aluminum alloy and magnesium alloy, making it very light but solid. It is water resistant and dust resistant. It’s quite a film camera, and the back LCD is for the menus and provides shooting info.
The Nikon MB-40
The Nikon MB-40 Multi-Power Battery Pack takes eight AA batteries, alkaline, lithium, or Ni-MH. It also can take a rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4. Beside increasing speed to 8 fps, it also acts as a vertical grip with shutter release. I know that seems slow to digital guys, but remember you are still moving film along here.
This is a very beautiful camera. And you can still use you AI lenses! Nikon is really telling people with this camera that they are still a camera company. The biggest complaints I found on the net were that the Nikon F6 does too much. And to confess,…I still use the F4s and F5. Users have features they just may never access. Well, that’s a pretty good complaint. Find Nikon F6