focuses very well and very fast - especially
with the newer "S" lenses with the motors in the lens. The camera takes
lithium batteries and they seem to last through many dozens of rolls of
film - not as cheap as alkaline but very convenient and much lighter to
carry. The high eyepoint finder works great for me and my thick eye
glasses. The controls are where Nikon has put them over the years so
long-time users should have no trouble working fast with the F5. Mine has
seen rugged use here and in Europe and it has never failed me. The only
gripe I have is that the removable prism does let in dust but every Nikon
I have has the same issue. It's simple to eliminate the dust with a soft
brush or some canned air so it's a pretty small gripe. I think the Canon
EOS 1V cameras and lenses focus a tad faster (I tend to use them more for
my motor racing assignments) but the F5 is such a joy to use and the Nikon
glass is so sharp that I look for assignments where I can use this camera.
The F5 remains for now in the product line, despite the introduction of
the new and more expensive F6. The F6 looks like a winner and handles well
too. But its $2400 price tag and the fact that the majority of the market
for a high powered pro camera has already turned to digital, makes me
wonder who but a serious amateur with deep pockets will pony up the bucks
for one. My final warning to you camera junkies out there is that once you
handle the F5, you will not want to put it down. And that's not a bad
One of Nikon's Best Autofocus SLRs, October 27, 2004
Reviewer: John Kwok
Without question, the Nikon F5 is one of the best conceived, well built
professional quality autofocus 35mm SLR cameras I have come across. True
to the tradition of ruggedness expected from a Nikon F series camera, the
F5 is truly built like a tank. In a sense, it is the autofocus equivalent
of the old Nikon F and F2 cameras, which made Nikon's reputation for
building a first-rate professional quality SLR system. Indeed it is the
only professional grade autofocus 35mm SLR which comes with
interchangeable finders and screens, harkening back to its F and F2
predecessors. I've handled the F5 in camera stores and also at trade fairs
such as Photo Plus East; it may be the best handling autofocus SLR I've
come across. However, it is about to be replaced by the newly introduced -
and much lighter - Nikon F6, so potential purchasers should look carefully
at this camera and the F6, before making their purchase.
Nikon's Pro 35mm Camera, March 20, 2004
Reviewer: Eric V. Dixon
I take better pictures with the F5, let me clarify, at an air show, while
whale watching and of course all the people shots I would have missed if
it were not for the speed of the auto focus and the wonderful metering
system. I think it is one of the attributes of this camera the ability to
get the shot, quickly and accurately.
Battery Consumption: Battery consumption has not been a problem for me. My
purchase is a late model production camera and I am aware that the earlier
models did have a battery consumption issue.
Weight: The F5 is a heavy camera but I like the weight and feel of the
camera. I think because of the weight the camera balances nicely in your
hands and the F5 is a dream to hold. I am able to hand held this camera at
a lower shutter speed than I could with other cameras. The craftsmanship
is superb and I enjoy how well the F5 is made.
Familiar Controls: I like the ability to go from one Nikon to another and
most of the controls seemed familiar.
Weather Sealing: I have taken the F5 while on a sailboat in Kauai in 15
foot swells hanging on to the boat with one hand and just pointing the
camera with the other (program mode) and guess what I got some good shots.
I don't hesitate using this camera in adverse weather conditions and just
wipe and clean it.
Some comments lead to believe that some people have walked in from the
street and purchased a two thousand dollar camera. That the person never
picked the camera up and realized how heavy the camera is.
Not that the F5 is that heavy look at
some medium format cameras. If you are looking at this camera I'm sure you
already are aware of peoples comments good and bad. It would hard for me
to believe that someone will purchase the F5 as a first Nikon camera. I
would assume that the person who made this purchase has an assortment of
Nikon products and knows what they are doing.
The F5 was introduced in 1996 and was a top of the line 35mm camera and in
2004 it still is the top of the line. I know other manufactures make great
cameras but eight years later this camera is still at the top of the list.
This camera will be that last film camera that I own. It is not because
I'm going digital, because I'm not at the moment. It is because this is
simply the best film camera you can purchase from Nikon and it just might
be the best film camera you can own.
Negatives: I wish the focus area brackets in the viewfinder illuminated in
red similar to the N80 and F100
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