Alistair Maclean's Web Site
Nikon F100


Okay, it's not that I'm a professional photographer, it's that the camera certainly could be used by one. The Nikon F100 is one of the latest cameras in the Nikon stable. It's a big high-tech camera that offers many features of the top of the line F5 yet with a price that is only 'very high' not 'extremely high.'

I got the camera in 1998. It had just come onto the market. I had been looking at new cameras for a time and happened to find myself in a camera shop in Summit, NJ - ever notice how those two things follow: desire-presentation? Summit is probably not the cheapest place in the USA to buy cameras, but by 'eck there are enough rich folks around there to ensure there is a ready supply of the finest gear in the shop. At a time when the F100 was all but unobtainable to most people, I was working out what lens I wanted to stab on the front.

The new Nikon F100

This camera has a titanium skeleton to reduce weight while at the same time increasing strength. Details like this are nice in the brochure, I have not drop tested it to find the truth. It is a slightly larger camera than the F801/N8008, though slightly lighter. It has more features than you can shake a stick at. Everything you would expect a camera to have it seems to have, additionally there are widgets to flip between the metering modes, which autofocus sensor will be biased to, and a connector for an external computer unit. There are ways to change the system defaults (what settings the camera switches into when you turn it on.) To say that some of this is overkill for my paltry needs is to state the obvious. I'm not even sure some of the features are really all that safe - I stopped fiddling with the defaults when I realised that I could get the camera into modes that would make my life quite awkward.

The bits I like? A lovely shutter action; the ability to move the autofocus point around the viewfinder; a great programmed exposure mode (I hear those old photog's rolling in their graves again); the continued use of AA batteries.

Current lenses in use include:

  • Tamron 24-70mm f3.3-5.6 zoom (a nice lens)
  • Nikon 86mm f2
  • 80-200mm telephoto zoom of unspecified lineage
  • Nikon 300mm f4 telephoto
  • Tamron 500mm F8 mirror
The little Tamron is practically always on the camera, I find this lens is extremely flexible. When I go to races or airshows I tend to use the Tamron 500mm and ignore that it is neither autofocus nor autoexposure (though it will work in aperture priority mode!)

I hope this camera will keep me going for the next ten years, as does my wife!

Type Autofocusing 35mm Single Lens Reflex with Automatic exposure
Lens mount Nikon Bayonet mount
Standard Lens N/A
Shutter Electronic release, metal blinds, speeds from about 30s to 1/8000th, B sync @ 1/125th. Film speed could be set between 6 and 6400 ASA.
Meter Metering off mirror, electronic read out in viewfinder. Auto modes set exposure parameters.

© Copyright A. Maclean 2001 -
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