Let me start off by saying that I am garbage at camera reviews. I don’t know how to write them, and I’ve never really given it much thought. The technical aspects of a camera are far less important to me than how it feels in my hands. Does it make me want to go shoot? That’s what I care about most. All that being said. Here are some thoughts on my newly acquired Nikon F4. Enjoy!
I’ve had my eye on one of these bad boys for quite a bit now. Although, I was always torn between the F4 and the beloved F100. I did my research and decided that I would be happy with either one. I’d just buy which ever one I could find a solid deal on first.
Fast forward a bit to me walking into work at the shop one day and seeing, both, this beauty and a pristine F100 in the used case. What to do? Well, obviously, I took them out and admired them for quite a minute. Honestly, it didn't take long after holding them to make up my mind. I’m not one for menus on cameras. It’s one of the big reasons I prefer to shoot film. Menus slow me down. More importantly, they take me out of the moment.
The F4, while being much larger and bulkier than the F100, is an analog camera. I mean this in that it has actual knobs and dials. No digital menu to fool around with. I’m not saying it’s better, but it works for me.
After making my decision, it was time to load some film and test it out. To play it safe I decided to load up a cheap roll of Kodak ColorPlus 200 for the tester. Normally, I’d wait to develop the test roll before shooting anymore with the camera. That wasn’t the case her. I was having a blast using it, and everything seemed to be working just fine.
My main point in getting this camera was for shooting live music and portrait work. Nikon’s matrix metering is famous for being one of the best in camera metering systems you can use. Couple that with the single point auto focus, and I was convinced this was more than capable of getting it done.
There was a band playing at a local spot that I was pretty excited to check out. I decided to grab a roll of Lomography 800CN and Ilford HP5 and put it through the ringer. In order to really test out the metering system, I decided to shoot in aperture priority for the evening. I usually stick to full manual shooting, because I don’t trust the camera meter to get the exposure that I’m looking for. This is not the case with the F4. Every shot was pretty much spot on.
I’ve used it for quite a few different shoots this week, and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. It’s safe to say that I’ll be holding onto this one for a while. I’ll post some photos from the show below. I hope that you’ll check them out.
Feel free to leave any comments or questions for me. Have you shot with an F4? Did you love it or hate? Let me know in the comments.