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CAMERAS OWNED
BY TAK

CAMERAS OWNED BY TAK

 

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CAMERAS IN THIS SECTION

 

NIKON COOLPIX3100

NIKON D100

NIKON F2 PHOTOMIC AS

NIKON F3HP

NIKON F4

NIKON F4S

NIKON F4E

NIKON F501

NIKON F601QD

NIKON F801S

NIKON F50

NIKON F60D PANORAMA

NIKON F70D

NIKON F90S

 

 

NIKON COOLPIX3100

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Indonesia

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

2003 March

SUGGESTED PRICE

open

TYPE

Lens shutter compact digital auto focus camera

LENS MOUNT

Fixed Lens:

3x zoom Nikkor lens, 5.8-17.4 (equivalent to 38-115 mm in 35 film), F2.8-4.9, 7 elements in 6 groups

CCD

1/2.7 inch CCD

RECORDING PIXELS

3.34 megapixels (2048 x 1536)

MEDIA

CompactFlash

LCD MONITOR

1.5 inch TFT LCD

SHUTTER SPEEDS

auto

BUILT-IN FLASH

yes

BATTERIES

2 x Type AA lithium batteries

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

87.5 x 65 x 38 mm

150g (w/o batteries and media)

 

  I renewed my driver's license in October 2003. I withdrew 50000 yen from the bank for it, since I thought I would need new glasses to pass the vision test (I wonder why I keep on renewing my driver's license. I don't own a car. I haven't even driven for decade.). As it turned out, new glasses were not necessary. I was left with over 40000 yen in my pocket.

  My first impulse was to put it back in the bank, but then I decided, "What the hell, let's SPEND it." I decided to replace my Kodak DC280J ZOOM.

  I wanted the  Kodak DC280J ZOOM replaced, but I didn't want to replace other accessories, such as CompactFlash and batteries. I looked for a camera that satisfy my requirements, and came across Nikon COOLPIX2100. It was a perfect camera for me, with similar performance to the DC280J ZOOM, and costing only 16000 yen.

  But then I thought, "Why should I buy a camera with EXACTLY same performance? That's no progress."

  I checked the Nikon line-up, and came across the 3100. It's virtually the same camera as the 2100, but with 3 megapixels instead of 2100's 2 megapixels. Cost? 25000 yen.

  9000 yen difference was big, but not too big. I purchased the camera from the same on-line shop where I bought a notebook computer.

  It's serving me fine so far.

 

PROS

 

1. Small size, light weight. DC280J ZOOM cut in half.

 

2. Requires only two AA batteries compared to DC280J ZOOM's four.

 

3. Fine macro performance.

 

CONS

 

1. Small size. Too small. There's little space left for buttons, so Nikon decided to reduce the number of buttons to a minimum. That's sounds good, but it's not. All buttons are multi-function; or rather, million functions. The same button functions differently depending on the mode set. That's normal for most digital cameras, I know, but the 3100 takes it to the extreme. I found the D100, a digital camera supposedly for more advanced users, easier to use. Also, the small body leaves only room for one display, which also acts as a monitor. For that reason, the 1.5 inch monitor becomes cluttered with numerous indicators (flash, number of pictures taken, battery status, etc.), interfering with the electronic finder. There's an option that clears the indicators, but when you do that, you can't check the camera set up in a single glance.

 

2. Battery guzzler. The 3100 requires only two AA batteries instead of DC280J ZOOM's four. That makes the camera lighter, but on the other hand, the batteries only seem to last half as much. I was only able to take 80 pictures (set at minimal size) from fully recharged batteries (more pictures can be taken when the monitor is turned off).

 

3. Made in Indonesia. I've nothing towards Indonesia; I believe it's a nice country, but my past experience (Minolta Vectis S-1) say "buy MADE IN JAPAN".

 

 

With power on

(Advertising sticker still on grip)

 

 

With power on

(Advertising sticker still on grip)

 

Rear view. The monitor is the only LCD display in this camera.

I rarely use the optical finder.

 

Top view. No LCD display.

The mode dial doesn't lock into place as solidly as I like. I often find it in the 'p' position when I take it out of the pouch instead of the intended 'M' position.

 

 

Front view.

To be honest, it's not an attractive looking camera. There are cameras that are better looking. But this is one of the very few compact cameras that enable the use of CF.

T O P

 


 

NIKON F3HP

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1982 March

SUGGESTED PRICE

194000 yen

TYPE

electronically controlled 35 mm manual focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

8 to 1/2000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

no

BATTERIES

2 x LR44

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

148.5 x 101.5 x 69 mm

760 g

 

  This was the first manual focus camera I ever bought. It's also the first camera I bought at a used camera store.

  Before deciding on purchasing Canon EOS7 in March 2003, the camera I seriously considered buying was Nikon F4S, sold supposedly brand new at a used camera store (F4S went out of production before 2000, so I have no idea how it was available brand new). But the F4S had a price tag of 120000 yen, which is not cheap. After contemplating for several weeks, I finally decided to buy it.

  Unfortunately, another customer beat me to it by a few minutes, and the F4S went out of my hands. So I bought the second camera on the consideration list, EOS7.

 Canon EOS7 is not a bad camera. In fact, it's a perfect camera for my purposes. But it's not a Nikon. I wanted a Nikon. Why? Canon is a fine camera manufacturer, sure, but it also is the manufacturer of laser printers at the office. To me, that was a no-no.

  So I ended up buying a Nikon F60, but it didn't quench my thirst for another Nikon. That was when I saw a supposedly brand new Nikon F3HP at another used camera store. It had a price tag of 130000 yen. If it was an F4S, I would have bought it on the spot, but I didn't know much about the F3 series. Going through a used camera catalogue, I learned that the F3 series is rated more highly than the F4 series.

  My first impulse was to go out and purchase the F3HP. What stopped me from acting on that impulse was the price. 130000 yen is no pocket change. In fact, it's a small fortune. I sat on it for a week before going back to the used camera store, promising myself that I would purchase it if it was still there.

  It was still there.

  After contemplating for several minutes, I entered the camera store and purchased it.

  The F3HP came with the original box, the original instruction manual, and the camera itself, brand-new (or at least in near-mint condition) as advertised. That's pretty amazing for a camera that went out of production several years ago.

  I bought the Canon EOS7 in March 2003, then bought the F60 the following month, and then the F3HP a month after that. Very few people do crazy things like this any more. Don't you try.

  The F3HP is a fine camera, in a completely league from F60 and Canon EOS7. I hardly ever touch it, though.

  Later I bought the MD-4 Motor Drive and the MK-1 Firing Rate Converter, though I have no plans to use them. Why I bought it, I'll never know. But the F3HP looks great with them.

 

PROS

 

1. Solid, high-quality construction

 

2. Made in Japan.

 

CONS

 

1. Hefty for its size, as with all professional cameras.

 

2. Out of production, and new accessories are getting scarce.

 

3. Although as not as much as the F4, every buttons and dials seems to have locking mechanisms that supposedly prevents accidents. This makes the camera cumbersome.

 

 

Front view, with Sigma 28-80 lens

 

Rear view

 

With rear cover open

 

Front view

 

 

Close-up

 

Detail

 

Detail

 

 

Shutter dial

 

Rewind knob

 

Rear view

 

Top view with MD-4 and MK-1 attached

 

 

Detail of the MK-1 Firing Rate Converter

 

F3HP is rather compact, but becomes gigantic with the MD-4 Motor Drive and the MK-1 Firing Rate Converter attached

 

 

With MD-4 and MK-1

 

Front view, with MD-4 and MK-1

 

Rear view with MD-4 and MK-1

 

Side view, with MD-4 and MK-1.

Note the angled profile of the MD-4

 

 

Side view, with MD-4 and MK-1.

Note the angled profile of the MD-4

 

 

Detail of the MD-4 and MK-1

 

 

T O P

 


 

NIKON F4

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1988 December

SUGGESTED PRICE

22600 yen

TYPE

motor drive integrated 35 mm auto focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

30 to 1/8000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

no

BATTERIES

4 x Type AA lithium batteries

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

168.5 x  x 76.5 mm

g (w/o batteries)

 

  To be honest, I did not buy an F4. I bought an F4S, then bought a Battery Pack MB-20 (brand new) and replaced the MB-21 Multi-battery pack and ...presto! I had an F4. That's the great thing about the F4 series. You can upgrade or downgrade the camera simply by exchanging the battery pack.

  F4 is more compact than the F4S, but it's a big and hefty camera nonetheless.

 

PROS

 

1. Solidly built, able to answer to any punishment from professional use.

 

2. Superb MF capability. Some professionals regard the F4 series as the best MF camera ever manufactured.

 

3. Made in Japan.

 

CONS

 

1. Plastic casing. The predecessor, the F3 series, is regarded as a classic, while the successor, the F5, is considered a masterpiece. The F4 series is viewed inferior by F3 users, who never forgave Nikon for giving it a plastic casing. Plastic casing, when used for certain period, gives off a cheap sheen that is considered an undesirable type of aging.

 

2. AF is a joke. The F4 series is viewed dated by F5 users because of its slow and noisy AF. It's probably passable for non-professional use, but even entry-level cameras these days have faster, quieter, and more accurate AF.

 

3. Being a professional camera, every buttons and dials seem to have locking mechanisms that prevent accidental operation. That might be good for professionals, but for a casual user, it makes the whole camera cumbersome.

 

 

Front view. A very wide camera

 

 

With Sigma 28-80 lens

 

With Sigma 28-80 lens

 

Detail. Lots and lots of dials. No LCD display can be found.

 

F4 (left) and D100 (right)

F4 body is huge (although it might be hard to tell because the Tamron 28-105 lens on the D100 is huge)

 

T O P

 


 

NIKON F4S

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1988 December

SUGGESTED PRICE

239000 yen

TYPE

motor drive integrated 35 mm auto focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

30 to 1/8000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

no

BATTERIES

6 x Type AA lithium batteries

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

168.5 x 138.5 x 76.5 mm

1280 g (w/o batteries)

 

  I had owned and used cameras before, but I never considered camera as a hobby. This camera changed all that. I've been collecting cameras ever since.

  I first learned of its existence when I visited a used camera store looking for a 35mm SLR to replace the defective APS SLR ( the Vectis S-1). It was there in the display case, with the tag (price of 120000 yen) right in front of it claiming that it was brand-new. The fact that it was brand-new captured my attention. After all, why buy a risky used camera when you can buy a brand-new one at a substantially lower price?

  The camera was stark contrast to the Vectis S-1. It was huge, with lots and lots of dials. It looked menacing. It was black. It looked unlike any camera I had seen before.

  It was beautiful.

  Unfortunately, 120000 yen is no pocket change. Before heading to the bank, I had to see if it suited my needs. I exited the store, and headed to a book shop. Finding a used camera catalogue, I checked under F4. I learned that it was one of the first professional cameras featuring auto focus.

  The catalogue stated that the AF was dated by current standards, but since I'm no professional, there was no need for a top-of-the-grade AF.

  A bit on the expensive side (very, very expensive side, rather), but I thought it was perfect for my needs. I began to shore up funds. It took me several weeks. I was worried that it would be sold to someone else, but it was always there, sitting in the display case, just waiting for me.

  Or so I thought.

  One day in March 2003, I headed to the store with 120000 yen plus tax in my pocket. I took a look at the display case. Of course, the F4S, with my name virtually printed on it was...

 ...not there.

  I checked the store. Another customer was examining the F4S that I had planned to buy. I told myself to calm down; that guy is just checking the price; he won't dare buy MY F4S.

  The store owner showed himself at that moment, holding a box with "F4S" printed on the side.

  I had to face the fact that someone beat me to it by about ten (perhaps five) minutes. I went to a different camera store and bought a brand-new Canon EOS7.

 Canon EOS7 turned out fine, perfect for my needs. As I learned more about the F4S and other professional Nikons, and as I also learned that the particular used camera store in question for some reason sell camera bodies as "brand-new" even without original boxes and manuals, I convinced myself that it was best that I did not shelled out a fortune to purchase the F4S.

  It made me become interested in cameras nonetheless, and the first thing I did when visiting used camera stores was to look for an F4S. F4S wasn't a hard camera to find. Unfortunately, being a professional camera, many that I found were in poor condition.

  September 2003. I visited a camera store to pick up developed photographs. The store sold new cameras and accessories mainly, but it sold used cameras as well. I took a look at the display case and...

  There is was.

  The F4S.

  A tag in front of it claimed that it was in near mint condition, with the original box and instruction manual.

  It was priced at 135000 yen, not including tax.

  Too expensive, was my first thought.

  But being immediately after being payday, I just happened to have the cash. After contemplating for about an hour (the store clerks must have wondered why I was walking in and out of the store), I decided that this was the last chance I'll ever have of getting my hands on an F4S complete with the original box and manuals.

  I took the F4S home that day, 141750 yen poorer.

  Nikon F4 is the fourth professional camera produced by Nikon (often referred to as the F single-digit series), and the first in the series with auto focus integrated from the start.

  In any series, odd numbered ones are often praised, while even numbered ones are blasted (take James Bond actors for example: Connery is considered the best, Lazenby is forgotten, Moore revived the series, Dalton is ignored, and Brosnan revived the series once again). F single-digit series is no exception. F4 is treated more like a bridge between the classic F3 and the masterpiece F5, by both Nikon and its users.

 

PROS

 

1. One of the best looking cameras around. Giugiaro, the designer who also designed the F3, is a genius.

 

2. Solidly built, able to answer to any punishment from professional use.

 

3. Superb MF capability. Some professionals regard the F4 series as the best MF camera ever manufactured.

 

4. Made in Japan.

 

CONS

 

1. The battery compartment of the F4S's MB-21 battery pack is divided into two sections, so changing batteries (six AA batteries) is a cumbersome and tedious process. When I first took the batteries out, it took me about an hour to put the whole thing back together.

 

2. Plastic casing. The predecessor, the F3 series, is regarded as a classic, while the successor, the F5, is considered a masterpiece. The F4 series is viewed inferior by F3 users, who never forgave Nikon for giving it a plastic casing. Plastic casing, when used for certain period, gives off a cheap sheen that is considered an undesirable type of aging.

 

3. AF is a joke. The F4 series is viewed dated by F5 users because of its slow and noisy AF. It's probably passable for non-professional use, but even entry-level cameras these days have faster, quieter, and more accurate AF.

 

4. Being a professional camera, every buttons and dials seem to have locking mechanisms that prevent accidental operation. That might be good for professionals, but for a casual user, it makes the whole camera cumbersome.

 

 

With Sigma 28-80 lens

 

 

With Sigma 28-80 lens

 

Rear view

 

Rear cover open

 

 

With instruction manual

 

Front view

 

Front view

 

 

Detail

 

Detail

 

Manual reminder, tradition of F single-digit series

 

Various dials, which makes it look like an MF rather than an AF camera.

 

T O P

 


 

NIKON F4E

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

19

SUGGESTED PRICE

yen

TYPE

motor drive integrated 35 mm auto focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

30 to 1/8000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

no

BATTERIES

8 x Type AA lithium batteries

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

168.5 x  x 76.5 mm

g (w/o batteries)

 

  To be honest, I did not buy an F4E. I bought an F4S, then bought a Battery Pack MB-23 (brand new) and replaced the MB-21 Multi-battery pack and... presto! I had an F4E. That's the great thing about the F4 series. You can upgrade or downgrade the camera simply by exchanging the battery pack.

  In the F4S, the battery compartment was divided into two sections, so exchanging batteries was a chore, but in the F4E, there is only one battery compartment, so exchanging batteries is relatively easy. Problem with the F4E is that it is huge. It's the largest commercially available 35 mm film SLR in Nikon's history.

 

PROS

 

1. One of the best looking cameras around. Giugiaro, the designer who also designed the F3, is a genius.

 

2. Solidly built, able to answer to any punishment from professional use.

 

3. Superb MF capability. Some professionals regard the F4 series as the best MF camera ever manufactured.

 

4. Made in Japan.

 

CONS

 

1. Plastic casing. The predecessor, the F3 series, is regarded as a classic, while the successor, the F5, is considered a masterpiece. The F4 series is viewed inferior by F3 users, who never forgave Nikon for giving it a plastic casing. Plastic casing, when used for certain period, gives off a cheap sheen that is considered an undesirable type of aging.

 

2. AF is a joke. The F4 series is viewed dated by F5 users because of its slow and noisy AF. It's probably passable for non-professional use, but even entry-level cameras these days have faster, quieter, and more accurate AF.

 

3. Being a professional camera, every buttons and dials seem to have locking mechanisms that prevent accidental operation. That might be good for professionals, but for a casual user, it makes the whole camera cumbersome.

 

4. Size. It's larger than the current flagship, the F5, which is a huge and heavy camera. You'll need a muscle-bound assistant to lug this around.

 

 

Front view

 

 

Detail

 

Detail of the MB-23 Multi-battery Pack

 

F4E (left) and D100 (right)

F4E body dwarfs the D100.

 

T O P

 


 

NIKON F501

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1986 April

SUGGESTED PRICE

89000 yen

TYPE

35 mm auto focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

1 to 1/2000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

no

BATTERIES

4 x Type AA lithium batteries

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

148.5 x 101.5 x 54.5 mm

625 g (w/o batteries)

 

  I first saw this camera in a display case of a camera store that also sold used cameras. I also saw an F401. They were priced 12000 yen and 18000 yen, respectively. Both were in fine condition, so I decided to buy both.

  In late-August 2003, I went to the store with 30000 yen in my pocket. I checked the display case. F501 was there. F401 was not. I was a bit surprised. I thought the F501 would be gone first.

  F501 was in near mint condition. It would have been perfect had it came with the original box and manual (I also bought the F90S on the same day).

  F501 is quite simply an F301 (the first manual focus Nikon with plastic casing) with auto focus stuffed into the body. For better or for worse, it showed a new direction for Nikon, a company viewed and praised by the public as being very conservative.

 

PROS

 

1. Solidly built.

 

2. Nice, square design, which some say resembles the F3.

 

3. Made in Japan.

 

CONS

 

1. No built-in flash.

 

2. AF is slow and noisy by current standards.

 

3. Plastic casing.

 

4. Tripod mount is located in an awkward place, probably to accommodate the four Type AA batteries.

 

5. A coin is required to open the battery compartment at the bottom.

 

 

Front view

 

 

Rear view

 

Rear view, with cover open

 

With Sigma 28-80 lens

 

With Sigma 28-80 lens

 

Front view

 

 

Shutter button and shutter speed controller

 

 

Rewind knob. The film must be rewound manually.

 

Detail

 

Detail. Note the 'AF' printed on the body.

With AF being the standard in cameras these days, there are very few cameras now that advertise the fact that it has an AF.

 

T O P

 


 

NIKON F601QD

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Thailand

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1990 September

SUGGESTED PRICE

80000 yen

TYPE

motor drive and strobe integrated 35 mm auto focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

30 - 1/2000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

yes

BATTERIES

1 x CRP2DP

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

154.5 x 100 x 66.5 mm

650 g (w/o batteries)

 

  I bought this camera, along with the F50 and F801, in a used camera store for a total of 85000 yen in July 2003. The store claimed that this camera was new, but it only came with the original box and no instruction manual, so it wasn't as new as the store claimed.

  When I bought the F3HP at another store, the major deciding factor was that it was brand new. It came not only with the original box, but also with the instruction manual and an application form for the Nikkor Club, so it was new (or at least in near-mint condition).

  It seems that condition 'new' vary from shop to shop.

  F601QD is camera for mid-level users, similar to F80 in the current line up (or so I thought).

 

PROS

 

1. Built-in flash.

 

CONS

 

1. Requires batteries that I have never heard of. So I haven't turned it on yet.

 

2. Plastic body.

 

3. Not made in Japan.

 

 

Front view with Sigma 28-80 lens

 

 

Rear view

 

Rear view with cover open

 

Front view

 

 

With strobe raised

 

Shutter button and the LCD display

 

Mode buttons

 

 

Rear view

T O P

 


 

NIKON F801S

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1991 March

SUGGESTED PRICE

98000 yen

TYPE

motor drive integrated 35 mm auto focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

 

BUILT-IN FLASH

no

BATTERIES

4 x Type AA lithium batteries

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

153.5 x 102.5 x 67.5 mm

695 g (w/o batteries)

 

  I bought this camera, along with the F50 and F601QD, from the same store for a total of 85000 yen in July 2003. This one came with the body only.

  F801S is a camera for advanced users, similar to F100 in the current line up (or so I thought, since it has no built-in flash).

  This model was sold as N8008s in the United States.

 

PROS

 

1. Uses Type AA batteries (four).

 

2. Made in Japan.

 

CONS

 

1. No built-in flash.

 

2. AF nosy and slow by current standards.

 

3. Plastic body.

 

 

Front view with Sigma 28-80 Lens

 

Rear view

 

 

Rear view with cover open

 

Front view

 

 

Rear view. Extremely bland

 

Mode buttons

 

Shutter button and the LCD display

 

Detail

 

 

Detail

T O P

 


 

NIKON F50

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1997 September

SUGGESTED PRICE

68000 yen

TYPE

motor drive and strobe integrated 35 mm auto focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

30 to 1/2000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

yes

BATTERIES

1 x 2CR2

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

149 x 96 72 mm

590 g (w/o batteries)

 

  I bought this camera, along with the F801 and F601QD, from the same store for a total of 85000 yen in July 2003. This one came with the body and the Sigma lens (28-80 F3.5-5.6 MACRO, my first Nikon F mount lens).

  F50 is a camera aimed at beginners, similar to the U series in the current line up (or so I thought).

  This model was sold as N50 in the United States.

 

PROS

 

1. Uses AA batteries (four).

 

2. Built-in flash.

 

3. Made in Japan, which is amazing, since it's a beginner's camera.

 

CONS

 

1. Plastic body.

 

2. AF nosy and slow by current standards.

 

3. Big and heavy for a beginner camera by current standards.

 

 

Front view with Sigma 28-80 lens

 

Rear view

 

 

Rear view with cover open

 

Front view

 

With strobe raised

 

 

With strobe raised

 

Detail

 

Detail

 

 

Shutter button and the LCD display

 

Detail

 

 

Rear detail

T O P

 


 

NIKON F60D PANORAMA

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1998 August

SUGGESTED PRICE

62000 yen

TYPE

motor drive and strobe integrated 35 mm auto focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

30 to 1/2000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

yes

BATTERIES

2 x CR123A

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

148.5 x 96 x70 mm

590 g (w/o batteries)

 

  I bought this camera brand new from a nation-wide camera store chain which also operated an on-line shop, in April 2003 for 29800 yen (plus shipping and tax). This was the first camera I bought purely for collection purposes. It's also the first camera I bought using the net.

  This camera is a personal landmark for me, opening my door to internet shopping. I bought all new cameras (D100, COOLPIX3100, and BC1300) from the net since.

  F60 is a camera targeted to beginners. It's a successor to F50 and the predecessor to the current U series.

  This model was sold as N60 in the United States.

 

PROS

 

1. Built-in flash.

 

2. Made in Japan, which is amazing since it's a beginner's camera. The U series, its successor, is manufactured in Thailand.

 

CONS

 

1. Plastic body.

 

2. Big and heavy for a beginner camera by current standards.

 

 

Front view with Sigma 28-80 lens

 

 

Rear view

 

Rear view, with cover open

 

Front view

 

 

Front view, with strobe raised

 

Detail

 

Detail

 

 

Shutter button and the LCD display

 

Mode dial

 

Rear view

 

T O P

 


 

NIKON F70D

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1994 November

SUGGESTED PRICE

95000

TYPE

motor drive and strobe integrated electronically controlled focal plane shutter 35 mm auto focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

30 to 1/4000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

yes

BATTERIES

2 x CR123A lithium batteries

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

151 x 103 x 71 mm

600 g (w/o batteries)

 

  I bought this camera at an internet auction site. The exhibitor was a camera store, and not a private owner, so I decided it was safe. I was able to buy it for 33150 yen, in August 2003.

  The camera, although not brand-new, was in near mint condition as the exhibitor had claimed. This is amazing for a camera that went out of production long ago, and for a camera that wasn't viewed as a 'collector's item' like the F-single digit series.

  The F70 is a camera aimed at mid-level users, the predecessor to the current F80. It was introduced supposedly to pave way for future AF Nikons, but it is generally viewed as a failure both by Nikon and the public. The major reason was that its operation is totally different from previous Nikons, which Nikon users (rather a conservative lot) did not favor.

  One can tell that the F70 is different from other Nikons by looking at the LCD on top. It multi-colored, like the current G-shocks. Not even technology-crazed Canon manufactures such cameras (as of now).

  This model was sold as N70 in the United States.

 

PROS

 

1. Made in Japan.

 

2. Built-in flash.

 

CONS

 

1. Function buttons confusing.

 

2. Plastic body.

 

 

Front view, with Sigma 28-80 lens

 

 

Front view, with Sigma 28-80 lens

 

Rear view, with cover open

 

Front view

 

 

Front view, with strobe raised

 

Multi-colored LCD display

 

Function buttons

 

 

Rear detail

T O P

 


 

NIKON F90S

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1993 February

SUGGESTED PRICE

128000 yen

TYPE

35 mm auto focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

30 to 1/8000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

no

BATTERIES

4 x Type AA batteries

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

154 x 106 x 69 mm

755 g (w/o batteries)

 

  I bought this camera from a used camera store (the same store where I bought the F3HP), in August 2003, for 41000 yen. I also bought the F501 on the same day (although from a different store).

  The camera only came with the body. But the camera itself was in extremely good condition.

  F90S was aimed at advanced users. It is the successor to the F801, and also is the predecessor to the F100 in the current line up.

  This model was sold as N90S in the United States.

 

PROS

 

1. Made in Japan.

 

CONS

 

1. No built-in flash.

 

2. Plastic body.

 

3. AF slow and noisy by current standards, but shows improvement over the F801.

 

 

Front view

 

 

Rear view

 

Rear view, with cover open

 

Front view, with Sigma 28-80 lens

 

 

Front view, with Sigma 28-80 lens

 

Front view

 

 

Detail

 

Detail

 

Shutter button and the LCD display

 

Mode buttons

 

 

Rear view. Extremely bland

T O P

 


 

NIKON D100

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

2002 June

SUGGESTED PRICE

300000 yen

TYPE

strobe integrated auto focus digital single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

CCD

23.7 x 15.6 mm CCD

RECORDING PIXELS

6.1 megapixels (3026 x 2018)

MEDIA

CompactFlash

LCD MONITOR

1.8 inch TFT

SHUTTER SPEEDS

30 to 1/4000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

yes

BATTERIES

1 x proprietary EN-EL3 Li-ion rechargeable battery

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

144 x 116 x 80.5 mm

700 g (w/o battery and media)

 

  This was my first digital SLR. I bought this camera from an on-line shop for 183004 yen in July 2003.

  Before deciding to buy this camera, I had considered purchasing Nikon COOLPIX5700 or Canon EOS 10D.

  COOLPIX5700 was attractive in terms of its price (only half that of D100), but when I went to a camera store and tried the 5700 displayed, I found the AF slow and unreliable, and learned that it was a battery guzzler. So out went the 5700.

  Canon EOS 10D, introduced few months later than the D100, was attractive in terms of its performance (buffer capacity), and an aluminum body. But Canon replaced the D60 with this camera only after one year (Canon introduced the EOS KISS DIGITAL only six months after the introduction of EOS 10D). I was afraid that I would be left behind from Canon's rapid progress, like most other Canon users (or so I thought).

  The D100, despite the plastic body and slightly inferior performance, was attractive to me because every media that touched the D100 praised its long battery life. Being sold for nearly a year, I thought that glitches have been worked out. Also, it was a Nikon. I wanted a camera that was designed to last, in terms of the product itself as well as in terms of product line-up.

  The D100 is the first digital SLR from Nikon that was not aimed for professional use (although many professionals use it). D100 became an instant hit, out-selling its rivals, despite being a late-comer and despite being dated compared to newer rivals.

  D100, when introduced, was hailed as the smallest and the lightest digital SLR on the market, but that crown went to Pentax *istD introduced a year later.

  I later purchased the MB-D100 Multi-Function Battery Pack. It makes the camera huge.

 

PROS

 

1. Extremely long battery life.

 

2. Made in Japan.

 

3. Simple-to-use interface.

 

4. Built-in flash.

 

CONS

 

1. Plastic body. The surface finish is quite good, and I feel that it looks better than Canon EOS10D, which have a metal casing. But one have to wonder about its durability. Also, the fit of the CF slot lid of my D100 is somewhat loose. Although it's no trouble at all for regular use, it cheapens the feel of the camera. Other D100s I touched at shops did not have this problem.

 

2. Small buffer capacity (up to 6 frames only).

 

3. The 'dust problem'. I knew about the dust problem before I bought it, but still, it was quite a shock when I saw a huge amoeba-like shadow in all the images I took in an outing. I had to rush out and purchase the AC adaptor (service center, which happened to be close to where I live, was closed for summer holiday). After blowing the dust off, I reattached the Tamron 28-105 lens and I haven't detached it since. Sometimes I wonder why I bought a SLR in the first place. Like, what's the point in buying it if you're deathly afraid of exchanging the lens?

 

4. AC adaptor, a necessity for dust cleaning, is not included in the set.

 

5. High price. Spend a little more and you can buy Nikon's flagship 35mm SLR, the F5.

 

6. The angled CF slot. D100 is fairly compact. And one of the consequences for that compactness is the fact that the CF slot is slightly angled. It takes a while to get used to, and is sometimes irritating when you're scurrying to exchange the CF. I believe that cameras should be as compact as possible, but not at the expense of basic ergonomics.

 

 

D100 with Tamron 28-105 mm

 

 

Rear view

 

 

With strobe raised

 

 

With strobe raised

 

Front view

 

 

Top of D100

 

Nikon Logo

 

Strobe pops up really high.

 

 

The rear monitor

 

D100 with MB-D100 Multi-Function Battery Pack

 

 

 

D100 with

Zoom-Nikkor AF-S VR 24-120 f/3.5-5.6G

 

D100 with Zoom-Nikkor AF-S VR 24-120 f/3.5-5.6G

and Nikon's original Shooting Cart

 

 

 

T O P

 


 

NIKON F2 PHOTOMIC AS

MANUFACTURING COUNTRY

Japan

DATE OF AVAILABILITY

1977 July

SUGGESTED PRICE

126000 yen

TYPE

mechanically controlled 35 mm manual focus single lens reflex

LENS MOUNT

Nikon F mount

SHUTTER SPEEDS

8 to 1/2000 seconds

BUILT-IN FLASH

no

BATTERIES

2 x LR44

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT

152.5 x 102 x 64.5 mm

840 g

 

  Nikon F2 series was introduced as a follow-up to the legendary Nikon F.

  F2 is superior to F in almost every aspect, and even Nikon engineers admit that F2 is the most robust in the professional 'F-single digit' series.

  Following a legend is no easy task, and the F2 series, despite its capabilities, was for a long time disregard by traditional Nikon fans as a filler between the legendary F and the classic F3. Nikon fans changed their opinions toward the F2 only recently, reappraising the fact that the F2 series is the last professional camera produced by Nikon that sports a mechanically controlled shutter.

  Despite the fact that the F2 Photomic AS is the top-grade camera (and therefore the most expensive) in the F2 series, it's not a rare camera in second-hand stores, probably because it's also the latest in the series. Avid Nikon fans these days rate (and treasure) the F2 with the basic eye-level finder more highly (working photomic finders are getting hard to find, and can not be repaired any more).

  Being a professional-grade camera, many second-hand F2s found are in satisfactory condition at best. So the one I found is extremely rare for the fact that it was in near-mint condition.

  I first saw it in the shop window of a second-hand camera store where I purchased the F3HP. It was priced at 100000 yen. Being strapped for cash, I was not able to purchase it. I visited the store a few weeks later, and it was gone.

  I revisited the shop a few months later (February 2004), and saw the black F2 Photomic AS, priced at 90000 yen. It was not in near-mint condition, but it was in better than satisfactory condition, so I decided to purchase it.

  Upon entering the shop, I checked the display case for other cameras.

  And there it was.

  The near-mint F2 Photomic AS, priced at 100000 yen.

  The camera wasn't sold; the shopkeeper had simply decided to move it in a better display case.

  Now, I had to make a decision.

  Should I purchase the black Photomic AS which is rarer, but only in better-than satisfactory condition?

  Or should I purchase the silver Photomic AS which is more common, but in near-mint condition?

  The former would cost me 90000 yen. The latter would cost me 10000 yen more.

  I contemplated for a moment, and decided to go for the near-mint one.

  100000 yen price tag was without the value-added tax, but when I offered to pay in cash, the shopkeeper agreed to sell it for 100000 yen including tax.

  So now I have the F2 Photomic AS.

  For obvious reasons, it's light years ahead in terms of build quality than the Russian F mount SLR that I have, Kiev 19.

 

PROS

 

1. Solid, high-quality construction

 

2. Made in Japan.

 

3. Although designed totally in-house and not by a famous industrial designer like its successors, it's a handsome camera nonetheless.

 

CONS

 

1. Hefty, as with all professional cameras. In terms of dimensions and weight, it surpasses the F3HP in every way except depth.

 

2. Went out of production nearly 25 years ago, and practically all accessories must be obtained second-hand.

 

3. Although as not as much as the F4, every buttons and dials seems to have locking mechanisms that supposedly prevents accidents. This makes the camera cumbersome.

 

4. Nikon decided not to incorporate the exposure meter in the main body of the F2, for that reason, exposure meter had to be incorporated in the detachable finder. This is fine for users who want cameras with different specifications, but it makes the entire body large and heavy.

 

 

Front view

 

 

Rear view

 

Top view

 

Bottom view

Rightmost knob opens the camera back

 

 

With camera back open

It opens like most cameras.

For Nikon F series, one had to detach the camera back after each film change

 

 

Film rewind knob

 

Eyepiece

 

 

Shutter and ISO adjust dial

 

Comparison with KIEV 19

With Sigma 28-80 lens

 

With Sigma 28-80 lens

 

With Sigma 28-80 lens

 

T O P