The year is 2004. Digital SLRs have taken over the professional photography scene. Camera manufacturers are no longer concentrating on 35mm SLRs. Then comes the Nikon F6. The last attempt by a camera manufacturer to make a case for 35mm SLRs.
And this time, Nikon had a different target market.
Since many professional photographers had already switched to digital SLRs, Nikon built this camera for wealthy armature photographers who wanted nothing but the best.
And the Nikon F6 was nothing but the best. Every part and feature was designed to perfection.
Read on to find out why the F6 is considered the best SLR to use.
Features of the Camera
One of the most notable features of the Nikon F6 is its foolproof color matrix metering system. With this system, a photographer was able to achieve vivid and perfect exposure despite the lighting situation.
And unlike the F5, the F6 color matrix system also works impeccably with the manual lenses.
The F6 also came with spot and center-weighted metering systems, alongside the color matrix.
The second feature that makes the F6 such an excellent camera is its large and bright viewfinder that can achieve 100% coverage.
However, unlike previous Nikon professional SLRs, the viewfinder isn’t interchangeable. This is mainly because the camera wasn’t intended for the professional photographers’ market.
You can still change the focusing screen. With the Nikon F6, you get a choice of four focusing screens.
The Nikon F6 also featured a full EXIF data logging system—a first for 35mm SLR cameras.
This system records and stores all your exposure data to a CF card. If you’re like me (I manually log every exposure on paper), this camera will save you time and energy while making technical shooting easier.
Like the F5, the F6 is compatible with all Nikon lenses made from 1977. This includes more modern VR and G lenses. If you own lenses made between 1959-1976, you can either convert them to AI or pay Nikon $114 to retrofit your camera and make it compatible with all Nikon lenses.
What about the shutter?
Like the F5, the F6 came with a self-checking and self-correcting shutter able to achieve speeds of 30 sec to 1/8000sec.
And that’s not all:
The F6 is also a relatively fast shooter with speeds of up to 5.5 frames per second. With a motor drive, this speed goes up to eight frames per second.
The F6 also features four shooting modes: the shutter priority, automatic, manual, and program mode.
It also came with the quickest and most silent AF system.
Design and Physical Description
At first glance, you’d think the F6 is a DSLR. Its body resembles that of the D2 but without a vertical grip.
On the hand, the F6 feels like a brick covered in rubber. An ergonomically shaped block to be precise. It fits perfectly on the palm and feels comfortable to hold.
The lack of a dedicated vertical grip gives this camera a more portable look and feel.
The controls are also ergonomically placed with every button, dial, and control being located under the fingers.
The mode selector, AF and AE lock, exposure compensation dial, shutter speed, and aperture controls are all located around the horizontal hand grip. When shooting with this camera, there’s no need to stop shooting to change functions.
And that’s not all:
Thanks to the weatherproof magnesium alloy body, you can use the F6 in any weather.
Shortcomings of this Camera
One of the most notable shortcomings with this camera is its price. The F6 was built for a more affluent audience. A new one retails at approximately $2699 with a used one going for $900, making it out of reach for many hobbyist photographers.
The F6 is also not the lightest camera. It’s a bit heavy and weighs 1,006.3 g.
The Nikon F6 is a genuinely incredible camera.
All its features are designed to perfection, and unlike other 35mm SLRs, it’s still in production—if you hate buying used cameras, this is the SLR for you.
If your bank account allows, the F6 is a worthy addition to your vintage classic camera collection.