Review (+ video, + examples on rare lenses) of Nikon’s TOP film SLR camera - Nikon F6

According provided by huge Nikon F6 camera thanks to the store you can find a huge number of different used photographic equipment, including similar cameras.

I do not review film cameras, Nikon F6 (from this review) and Nikon AF N8008s are exceptions.

Nikon F6

Nikon F6


Briefly about Nikon F6

Nikon F6 is the sixth generation of professional film cameras. The first cameras in this series date back to 1959 and are updated approximately every 8 years:

  • Nikon F - 1959
  • Nikon F2 - 1971
  • Nikon F3 - 1980
  • Nikon F4 - 1988
  • Nikon F5 - 1996
  • Nikon F6 - 2004

Nikon F6 is one of the best film SLR cameras from Nikon. Many photographers consider it to be the very best in the entire Nikon film SLR lineup. Of course, the Nikon F6 may be inferior to some other TOP or highly specialized SLR cameras from other manufacturers in details, but overall the Nikon F6 is simply gorgeous.

The Nikon F6 camera was announced on September 16, 2004 and became Nikon's latest film professional SLR camera. I prepared this review at the beginning of 2016, at this time on the official website camera Nikon F6 was still listed as current modern camera. At the same time, among the film cameras that are still being produced (or sold new), Nikon had only two Nikon F6 models (worth $ 2.669) and Nikon FM10 (worth $ 569).

Prior to the announcement of the Nikon F6, Nikon DX series digital crop cameras were already released: Nikon D1, D1h, D1x, D100, D2h, D70 и Nikon E Series Full-Range Digital SLR Cameras: E2, E2S, E2N, E2NS, E3, E3S. The world of digital photography has practically supplanted film from many genres of photography. First of all, reportage photography was increasingly drawn to digital cameras and few expected that Nikon would take and release another reportage film camera.

Along with Nikon F6, an excellent digital camera was also announced. Nikon D2x, which became the first camera with the classic CMOS sensor, setting the tone for the further development of Nikon cameras.

In short, the Nikon F6 is interesting in the following features:

  • Protected enclosure
  • Focusing system with 11 points (9 of which are cruciform)
  • Maximum burst speed - 8 fps
  • CompactFlash memory card support (CF)
  • Large LCD on the back of the camera
  • Advanced metering system exposure with 1005 pixel RGB sensor
  • Support Nikon CLS
  • JVI with 100% field of view coverage
  • Data imprinting about shooting directly on film (on the frame itself, or between frames, or on the zero frame).
  • A lot of nice little things

Unlike Nikon F5 (previous model), the new camera was aimed a little at other users.

Nikon F6

Nikon F6


When getting acquainted with the camera, there is a clear feeling that in the hands is not Nikon F6, but Nikon D200... The control of these cameras is almost the same. If you delve into the technical characteristics, then we can summarize that the Nikon F6 is a cross between the Nikon D2h / D2x and Nikon F100.

Camera control is easy. For those who shoots a lot of D1-D5 and D200-D810a lines on the camera, there should not be any inconvenience in controlling the Nikon F6. All buttons are in their usual places, setting all the shooting parameters is simple, the menu of the camera is organized at an intuitive level. Unfortunately, the Nikon F6 menu lacks the Russian language.

Nikon F6 is very pleasant and responsive during real shooting. There are 41 items in the menu, with which you can very easily set up the camera for comfortable work, or for the desired scene or shooting style.

Nikon F6

Nikon F6

Build quality

The Nikon F6 has a very high build quality and the Nikon F6 is water and dust resistant. However, in the manual for Nikon F6, I did not find any indication of the level of camera security.

The camera body consists of a cast chassis made of aluminum alloy. The lower and upper parts are made of magnesium alloy. The back (lid of the film compartment) is also made of aluminum alloy. The case has many rubber seals. If you examine, feel and work with Nikon F6, you can quickly come to the conclusion about a very high-quality assembly. Due to the large amount of metal in the case, the camera was not light and weighs as much as 975 grams.

The camera shutter is rated for a minimum of 150.000 shots. The shutter is made of the mysterious 'KEVLAR' material combined with an aluminum alloy. These shutter materials make the shutter curtains very light. Also, in the official press release of the company it was indicated that the shutter has a self-diagnostic function, but what it is and how it helps in real life I could not figure out.

Focus system

The Nikon F6 focusing system is based on the Multi-CAM 2000 focusing module, which was first used in a digital camera Nikon D2h (date of announcement - 22.07.2003). Later the same module was used on D2hs cameras, D2x и D2xs. Multi-CAM 2000 includes 11 focus points, 9 of which are cross-shaped and located in the center of the frame, forming a 3x3 square.

I used two autofocus lenses with the Nikon F6: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4G SWM (with built-in focus motor) and Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8 ED AF Nikkor MKIII (without a built-in motor and without transmitting the distance to the subject). With these lenses, the Nikon F6 focused accurately and did not release the subject when moving it.

On the back side, the camera has a four-position lever for choosing the focus method: single-zone AF mode, dynamic AF mode, group dynamic AF mode, dynamic AF mode with the priority of the closest subject.

In the Nikon F6 menu, you can set the priority for working in S and C modes (focus priority, shutter release, and combinations thereof).

It is believed that the Nikon F6 has the best focusing system of all Nikon film cameras.

Nikon F6

Nikon F6

Metering system

The Nikon F6 inherits from the Nikon F5 its “3D Color Matrix Metering System” based on a 1005-pixel RGB sensor. This metering system exposure was used on a huge number of TOP and advanced digital SLR cameras: D1, D1h, D1X, D2h, D2hs, D2x, D2xs, D70, D70s, D200, D3, D3s, D3x, D700, D300, D300s, Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro, Fujifilm FinePix IS Pro. Truly legendary Nikon D3s and D3x use parts from Nikon F5 / F6 film “oldies”.

Measurement exposure works great. There are several settings that allow you to set the change step. exposure, select a measurement method exposure, select zone diameter for center-weighted metering mode exposure.

Key feature of Nikon F6 is accurate metering exposure while working with flashes. Nikon F6 Supports Nikon i-TTL Flash SB-600, SB-800 (apparently, all new flashes with i-TTL), as well as the SU-800 remote flash control unit. Also, Nikon F6 can work with the system Nikon CLS and remotely control external flash units (if only the Nikon F6 is equipped with a flash with the “master” function, since the camera does not have a built-in flash). Also, unlike the Nikon F5, the new camera supports Nikon FP high-speed sync. In normal sync mode, the minimum excerpt synchronization with the flash is 1 / 250s (versus 1 / 300s in the Nikon F5).

To prevent exposure metering flare by JVINikon F6 has a metal the blind of your eyepiece.

Nikon F6

Nikon F6

Work with manual optics

Nikon F6 works wonderfully with manual optics. On the basic version of the Nikon F6, you can install any lens with a Nikon F mount, released after 1977 and shoot for your own pleasure. With this Nikon F6, unlike all other Nikon film camerasallows you to use matrix metering with any lens for metering. Nikon F4 also knew how to do matrix metering, but only with AI manual lenses. AI-S type. Nikon F5 was completely deprived of such an opportunity. To use matrix metering, you need to set the focal length and maximum relative aperture of the manual lens used in the camera menu (Menu-> NON-CPU LENS -> set parameters).

For added convenience, you can set the FN programmable button to the 'LENS DATA' parameter (CSM MENU -> Controls-> FUNC. Button-> Lens Data). After this manipulation, if you press and hold the FN button, rotating the front command dial will change the manual lens stored in memory. Nikon F6 can memorize values ​​for 9 manual lenses. By the way, this was the first time such a function appeared in a digital camera. Nikon D2h.

Unfortunately lenses NON AI (PRE AI) cannot be used on this camera. But there is one very good news, you can upgrade for Nikon F6 and replace the diaphragm rheostat ring with another... The replacement of the rheostat is provided by the design and is done at the official Nikon center. After replacing the diaphragm rheostat will have a rotating mating lever that can be “hidden” during operation with NON AI (PRE AI) lenses. This is the same rotating arm technology used by Nikon in its retro digital camera Nikon DF. I had a review of a non-upgraded Nikon F6 camera, so I could not use an old manual lens on it. Nikon Nikkor-SC Auto 1: 1.4 f = 50mm NON-AI (I hoped that the TOP camera should support all native lenses at once in the basic kit).

For successful focusing on the manual lens in the lower left corner there is a green dot, which serves as confirmation of successful focusing. Also, an electronic range finder in the form of two arrows near the green dot helps to focus. The arrows indicate which direction it is best to rotate the focus ring for quick and accurate focusing.

In the camera menu, you can enable or disable the backlight of the active focus point while working with manual optics.

Nikon F6

Nikon F6

CF card support

Like a digital camera, the Nikon F6 records shooting parameters to its internal memory for each shot. You can set different amounts of recording data for shooting. At the time of recording the maximum amount of data, the Nikon F6 can store data for 31 films of 36 frames. In the maximum version, the frame number is recorded, excerpt, aperture, focal length, maximum relative lens aperture, metering method, exposure mode, flash sync mode, exposure compensation amount, flash output compensation amount, flash mode settings, mode multiple exposures, VR mode, shooting date and time, etc.

In fact, Nikon F6 stores in its memory EXIF filmed data. And the best part is that using a special Nikon Data Reader MV-1 reader, data EXIF can be transferred to CF memory card and view it on your computer. The same function is supported by two more cameras: Nikon F5 and Nikon F100.

If you do not even use MV-1, then the shooting parameters of any shot frame can be displayed on the camera display. The output of information about the parameters of the previous frame is sometimes very, very useful.

Nikon F6

Nikon F6


Nikon F6 without additional accessories can shoot at maximum speed 5.5 frames per second... If you buy an additional Nikon MB-D40 battery pack, then the F6 accelerates to 8 frames per second. Unfortunately, as I wrote in my post 'Confrontation systems Nikon / Canon. Part 2. Performance', it's too bad that Nikon cameras require the purchase of additional accessories to achieve maximum burst speed.

The camera itself is very responsive, with instant response, low shutter lag, and fast blackout. The only annoying thing at times is the freezing of the LCD on the back of the camera when working in the cold.

Nikon F6

Nikon F6

My experience

Me really liked the Nikon F6 camera. After my Nikon AF N8008s this camera seems to be the peak of perfection.

However, I still want to highlight a few points that I would like to improve or refine on the Nikon F6:

  • I do not like that in order to reach 8 fps, you must definitely buy a Nikon MB-40 battery handle. Nikon F5 (previous model) had a built-in battery handle and could immediately shoot at a speed of 8k / s.
  • I don’t like that the camera does not have a shutter button lock. When I carry the camera not in a photo bag, but in my usual bag for the city or in a regular backpack, the camera often turns on automatically, and sometimes the shutter is released. More than once my camera Nikon D700 turned on independently and took hundreds of "black" frames. If for a digital camera an extra frame is not a problem, for a film camera it is a wasted valuable film.
  • don't like rare CR123A batteries. I found such batteries only after visiting the fifth store.
  • the CS (Continuous Silent Slow) mode, which is supposed to provide “quiet” shooting, does a very poor job.
  • rear monochrome display poorly displays information, sometimes you have to look closely at the displayed data. The upper information display is much better.
  • Nikon F6 uses a stupid eight-position selector (joystick) with a very inconvenient central button. The central button is pressed as uncomfortably as in models Nikon D2h, D2hs, D2x, D2xs, D200 и D300.


Sample photos were taken using lenses Nikon 180mm 1: 2.8 ED AF Nikkor MKIII и Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4G SWM... We used Kodac color 200 film. It was digitized in a photo lab, what exactly is unknown.

Also, Vitaly Raikovsky shared his examples of photographs with Radozhiva; the shots were taken with the camera shown in the review. Vitaly used a lens for shooting Nikon 50mm 1: 1.2 Nikkor (AI-S)

Lens Nikon Nikkor 105mm 1: 1.8

And more examples

Video review

Video review can be viewed at my new YouTube channel - subscribe and like!

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Prices for modern Nikon cameras in popular stores can look at this link.

In comments Can I ask you a question on the topic and you will answer, and you can also express your opinion or describe your experience. Many little things for a photo can be found on AliExpress.


Nikon did its best - Nikon F6 turned out to be just a gorgeous camera. It's nice that the F6 ended the Nikon film era.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 211, on the topic: Review (+ video, + examples of rare lenses) of the TOP film SLR camera from Nikon - Nikon F6

  • anonym

    as for me, absolutely not worth the money spent! For example F100 - perfectly copes with any task of the photographer for significantly less money! Well, F5 and even more so!

    • 1Ds_mk3

      And what can we say about the plastic F65 and F75.
      New on Avito full, on ebee even more and are worth a pittance.

  • Oleg

    F100 - sometimes pulls dust through the back cover.
    I have F4S. I am very satisfied. and what kind, and how it lies in the hand. legend.

    • Zhenya

      Same topic, I own f4, happy as a boa constrictor

  • Ira

    Please tell me how you can measure the exposure, i.e. How to correctly determine the expocouple on a film mechanical medium format camera?
    On Nikon F80 / 75/65 / 55it, everything is very simple.
    But on the mechanical? Well, I set the aperture, brought focus, a film with ISO200 in the camera, the target is motionless.
    How to determine shutter speed?

    • Ivan

      Is there no built-in exposure meter in the camera? Then you need an external light meter (separate device). After measuring, he will show the desired shutter speed, and expose it on camera.

      • Ira

        You can google it through the application on your phone or buy an external photo exposure meter.
        The camera is completely mechanical, I think there is nothing there. Fuji 690. Recommend a model of an external photo exposure meter.

        • Michael

          It would be nice to know the price ceiling

          • Ira

            In $ 100 I will keep within or more? At least tell me the models or the brand of a good photo exposure meter.

            • BB

              A Soviet "analog" exposure meter can be bought for a penny - about $ 4 to $ 10.
              A modern high-quality flash meter (can also measure pulsed lighting) costs about $ 400.
              I did not come across intermediate options.

            • Basil

              Find "Sverdlovsk-4" - it costs a penny now, God forbid everyone works.

        • Oleg

          What "Sverdlovsk"? What to measure on a yak? Oh, they will advise you. Take this device and forget all these tambourine dances:

    • Yuriy

      If you take a photograph on the negative side, then there are no problems to put the exposition “on the eye”. 1-2 trips to go to the beginning, and far away on butter, and you will not spend an expensive fraction of a second on an exposure meter. If you use a camera "Smena-6" without an exponometer for 36 frames, as many as 2-3 "went into the tube".

  • Gordey

    An interesting review, but very superficial.
    Now on the points:
    - Limiting the shooting speed. Bo1, this is no longer a reportage camera, but just a camera for advanced amateurs and professionals. After the release of the F5, the company already realized that it would most likely be the last professional DSLR. Actually, the first steps were already on the same F5 and were made, for example, in cooperation with Kodak. B2, limiting the shooting speed is a matter of batteries used and ergonomics. Because here the batteries are 3V each, then the total voltage is limited to 6V, and in the additional unit there can be either a lithium battery or 8x1.5V, which will give 12V and allow the camera to be turned “to the fullest” for those who need it. This is just a rational decision to get away from the monstrous default F5 sizes.
    - Kevlar was used as one of the components of the shutter curtains
    - Dust and moisture insulation of that time meant that all joints and nodes had appropriate insulation and, say, work in the Amazon or Sahara would not be disturbed. All these newfangled IP68 indications for newfangled phones and other accessories are pure marketing. even if the phone gives a hole under these conditions, there is no guarantee. Canon and Nikon at the same time guaranteed the declared characteristics, CPS and NPS programs operated, and so on.
    - The non-Ai lens conversion theme has been typical for absolutely all cameras since 1977, with the exception of a few that supported forced mirror up just to work with these old lenses.
    - And the funniest thing: shutter self-diagnosis. The device inherited this function from the F5 and it is described in many articles and manuals. The bottom line is this: during each actuation of the shutter, special sensors record the real speed of operation and make adjustments, if necessary, for accurate working out next time. Those. regardless of weather conditions or wear of the shutter, the shutter speed will be worked out correctly.
    PS: I own both F5 and F6. These are the best representatives of professional cameras of their time and in general. F6 is still (2020) produced in small batches and is serviced in the official Nikon service in Moscow (other authorized ones are sent to Msk themselves). Just this week, I got back a camera with a full diagnosis and alignment of AF sensors, mirror unit, etc. Alas, no other brand of film cameras has such a thing.
    PPS: ask if you have questions. But most of the answers are in the official manual in Russian. Googles and downloads for free;)

  • twm

    A very nice set for 105-ku: the choice of lens, film, model and framing - everything came together. Great job.

    • Wertel

      You are radlojuveer

  • alexanberni

    a photo for fifty dollars can be thrown into the trash, for the sake of such a waste of film ... ..

  • Sergei

    File a review on the F100 adit? From Russia, do you mind?

    • Rodion

      Don't ask, just drink. Of those who ask, did at least one end up writing with steel?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      F100 is not from the Russian Federation

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