Wednesday, June 10, 2020


I wish I'd grabbed an F4 back when the film camera market was at its bottom, back around 2014 or so. Secondhand camera sellers like KEH were knee-deep in good condition used ones for not much over a hundred bucks. Now it's looking like even scuffed ones, like, "well-loved" sample above from Roberts, are going for $200 and up.

The reason I wanted one is because it's a neat camera to have if you like Nikon's pro cameras; it's the first Nikon pro body with autofocus and automated film handling.

The reason I didn't want to pay much for it is because it wasn't going to see a whole lot of use. I already have an F5, which has an autofocus system that is loads faster and more accurate and is my most frequently used film camera.

Also, while the F4 still has old-school dials for things like shutter speed and exposure compensation and you still need to use the aperture ring to adjust the aperture manually rather than spinning a control wheel, it's still way automated and electronic so it doesn't scratch the same itch as my MMM* Nikon FM2n. So it's more historically interesting to me than anything; it's like having a black powder revolver that you take to the range only rarely because it's a hassle, but it's still neat.

Right now I'm waiting on the test roll to get processed down at Roberts. I'm not a huge fan of plain old Fujicolor 200, but they carry 3-packs of the stuff at Meijer's, CVS, Walgreens...heck, even at Amazon, so it makes for a reasonably inexpensive and easy way to check a new film camera for light leaks or shutter issues.

If the test roll turns out good, I'll throw a roll of Ektachrome in it and go have some fun.

*Metal, Mechanical, Manual