Nikon F4s

Nikon F4s

AKA the camera you want to have when you’re in a war zone and you don’t have anything to use as body armor!

I managed to snag this weapon for what I think was a good price. Hopefully I don’t ever find out if it more than it was worth.

I have been using this cam for a week or 2 already and I tell you this, the matrix metering is only so-so. So do not expect matrix metering like those found on today’s DSLR. This I believe is actually the prototype for matrix metering. Although it can be used with ais lens.

Aside from this, this is also the last Nikkor that offered a 100% viewfinder, subsequent models started to reduce the viewfinder percentage with the F5 model.

This also consider the final fusion of electronic components along with manual knobs and control before they went all electronic with F5.

Why I got this? Well after I started using fm2n, I heard many good things about this, so I took the plunge and got this. I didn’t when another deal would come by this good.

Here is my first observation about the Nikon F4″S”

  1. Controls are good and durable
  2. It’s heavy
  3. Body is tough like nails!
  4. It’s heavy
  5. Focus speed is slow but good.
  6. Matrix metering seems a bit whacked which I can conclude as it’s the first one used by Nikon, it seems to be stingy on the shutter speed. I usually shoot at anything above 1/60 and open the aperture further if I need more light but with any of the program modes or aperture mode, the camera seems to rather risk getting a blur picture rather then a sharp one which is a bit underexposed.
  7. Good points, the design is REALLY modular, if I could find the parts I can actually swap out a lot of the components to suit my needs. Say viewfinder, battery system can be also swapped out (with either more power, bigger size or less power smaller size).
  8. Did I mentioned that it’s heavy? It’s sooo heavy in it’s default F4s form. My Fujifilm s5 pro with the MB-200 using alkaline batteries with my Nikkor 17-35mm mounted would be lighter then it! >_<

Note there is a solution to the weight problem, by getting the MB-20 attachment (the Nikon F4s is equipped with the MB-21, replacing this battery grip with the MB-20, converts the Nikon F4s to the Nikon F4, they should have done that in the first place and instead made the MB-20 an optional purchase!) which dramatically reduces the size as well as the weight of the camera. Although it shorten battery life as there would only be 4 batteries instead of 6 then, but hell that thing is heavy!

Aside from the weight, this camera has enough good points to make it a worth while purchase if you can get at a price and condition you like. I’ll update later with some photos once I get them back from the lab.

I’ll have to hand it to Nikon for one thing though, they really looked forward in their design, while the focus speed on this camera won’t break any records for speed and sound but Nikon had actually included the connections that would allow an AFS lens to be mounted and use it!

I tried it with a Nikkor 70-200mm VR/Nikkor 17-35 AF-S as well as a Sigma 70-200mm HSM and they all work perfectly! Even though AF-S/HSM lens only became available a few years later after the Nikon F4s was released! The only thing that does not work is VR, I confirmed this with the Nikkor 70-200mm VR lens. So what do I have here? A camera that works with a huge catalog of lens except no VR

Though for G lens, you can only use program mode and shutter mode as there is no way to manipulate the aperture without an aperture ring.

If you want an even more extensive detail article on this camera, take a look here and an FAQ here

Wow! Two post in one day, I must be damn bored at work! Anyway, pleasant dream!

6 thoughts on “Nikon F4s

  1. Hi there!

    I’ve inherited a Nikon F4, which looks a little chunkier than the one in your photo, and is certainly heavy as hell πŸ™‚

    As a digital girl for the last 7 years I am rather foreign to anything film other than when I took photography in high school – and I didn’t have a nice SLR like this one. I’m at a loss at where to start, even with just how to open the film door (I know! I’ve been looking online for hours!). If you have any favourite websites to suggest for rookies, I’d love to hear from you about them.

    Also, if you can tell me how to open the film door too…


    Thanks in advance,

    PS – I’ve got a photojournalist buddy who will show me around the camera soon, but I”m dying to try taking some pictures!

  2. Okay, to open the film door, look to the nob on the top left of the camera with the back of the camera facing you.

    look for a small arrow that points clockwise on that nob. Then turn it clockwise and lift up the top nob which has a retractable handle and the film back should open.

  3. You have probably already figured it out, but in case someone else comes along….You have to remember to have the R1 & R2 buttons in their original starting positions to open the film door!

    great blog! I'm jealous of your D700!

  4. Yeah, that too. Thanks for the comment! Yeah I like the D700, but right now my wallet is really hurting as a result

  5. Pingback: Operation Chiaki « dreaming Artemis

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