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Camera Reviews

Nikon F6: First Look

Jeremy Bourassa (Balls007)

Keywords: nikon, f6, camera, bodies, film

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FIRST LOOK... continues

Anyway, having drooled over the D2x and the F6 was a great chance to see that Nikon has their act together once again. So I guess it is true what I hear: they always eventually do, showing everyone else how it is done right.

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The Nikon F6 without its MB-40 motor drive


They must be saving a fortune by using the same magnesium chassis for all pro models now, not to mention the shutters, pentaprism accessories and everything else.

Its absolutely the lord and master of Film Bodies Nikon has moved to cross platform.

Anyway, I am sure most of you have seen all the goods on it but for those like me that hadn't for god sakes look: it is pure heaven.

Someone asked if the body is shared with some digitals the answer is yes this camera as far as I can tell from eyeballing it is almost identical in layout to the D2h and D2x bodies. You could infer that Nikon has reduced R&D costs by making a common line in terms of the magnesium aluminum body, the control layouts and ergonomics. I can't say about the internals at all, because, well, no one is talking about that; but I would think the prism and the shutter and some of the internals are shared to a large extent.  

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It is worth it! Well, that's simply my opinion, but I am convinced that -unlike some of the people posting- Nikon has upped the bar significantly in the pro film market.


This is not a "get an F6 instead of a digital" but, to those contemplating a D70 instead of an F6 because they have an F5 I have to disagree. Considering the 8 years in the making, they were well worth it. Silent mode, 8 fps; but the option to drop some weight and take off the grip and go into power save mode is cool, not a bad thing as some would say. The new layout is really clean and comfortable to hold and it is a true Nikon pro that dwarfs the F5 just to a large extent, like the F5 did to the F4.  

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If I had the bucks for a D2x or D2h I would buy either in a second, but when contemplating an F6 versus a D70/D100 there is no contest; the F6 -all the way- is pure engineering beauty.

About the silence mode questions, I don't want to be misunderstood: it is no more silent than the D2h since it is "the same body, basically" as stated above; however, when in comparison to an F5 -or anything else that has film- it is super quiet.

Bottom line is that there are some who are slamming the F6 hard making painful statements like "I'd rather keep my F5 and buy a D70". I have to say to those out there that they would be missing a lot in the higher echelons of current technology of which the F6 has plenty to offer.

It is a tank, it is quiet, it is still wicked fast, and can now be packed down without the grip for easier shooting. Still has all the toys any F series pro model needs but they have basically tried to clean it up and say to the users out there that Film innovation may have slowed since the turn of the century but it is not done.

Anyway, I can't afford one, I am an amateur and lucky to have a F80 with some nice glass. For me it would be an absolute treat to own one F6, knowing it would take me years to fully learn and appreciate it. But to anyone out there with the dime to spare, this would be the last film body you would ever buy, just like so many have posted the F5 was in its time. To compare specifications check this chart.

If anyone needs a pool boy for the cost of an F6 I'll dance for it

It is beautiful. If you have the money, it is like cheating on your old cameras, it is so hot!

Now, you don't have to believe me, but make sure you pick one of this babies in your hands.

A Nikonian who has taken delivery of one, said: "Handling and response: This thing is a speed demon. It focuses very, very fast. It's viewfinder is brighter. It is brighter than my F5. For speed and control you can't beat the look and function of the 11 zone "red" focus indicators. Very positive and precise indeed.

Lastly, the ability to manipulate the custom settings thru the menu is super. It encourages you to set the camera to "your" style of shooting. It starts to feel very right in your hands much the same way that the early F models did. Once you know the controls you almost instictively begin manipulate the camera on feel.

If you apreciate the size and weight of the F100, the robustness of the F5 build and the speed and positive handling of the controls of a D2H you will simply love the F6."

Nikon beats them all!

More on the F6

To follow the latest discussions around this new baby, visit the Nikon F6 forum

(4 Votes )
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Originally written on December 10, 2005

Last updated on January 25, 2021

Jeremy Bourassa Jeremy Bourassa (Balls007)

Awarded for his contributions to the Resources

Ottawa, Canada
Basic, 28 posts