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Sunday, 18 April 2021


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I also don’t need another film camera, in fact I need to sell much of my collection. Not that I’m looking at the Lomography Grafflok back for Instax Wide film. That’s not a camera, right?

I’ve had generally excellent experience on eBay in over 20 years. But recently I bought a fairly expensive record cleaning machine, described as new. It clearly wasn’t new, and the seller’s claims of innocence did not ring true. Eventually back. Having the manufacturer on my side helped me process a successful return for full refund, which eBay made as easy as possible. I think eBay has matured since the wild days of its inception.

I bought a high end Taylor guitar at a local used guitar shop. Never occurred to me to look in the battery compartment - I had never plugged in a guitar and had no plans to do so. Of course, there were two AA batteries inside, totally corroded. The original pickup system had failed, too. Cost a bunch of money to have it replaced when I wanted to sell the guitar. (In fairness, the shop helped cover the expense, proving that they hadn't looked in the battery compartment, either. Maybe no one ever does.)

Now I have let go of all but one small parlor guitar, and started working on a large collection of fiddles :) They are easier to carry around and don't require batteries.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. ;) Ive always loved your love of cameras, and photography. Stay strong, and by that I mean don’t do use the search on eBay.

I owned its successor, the 8008s (included spot metering), and used it (in lieu of my Leica M6) to photograph my Dad's retirement party in 1992. The family has prints I had made from the occasion, so it brings back fond memories of the event and of Dad, now that he has passed. I replaced that camera with the Leica R6.2, but since I gave up my darkroom days in 2009, the closest I want to get to the film experience, or film camera ownership, is with the M Monochrom. My current Leica SL2 would have been far more capable for shooting that 1992 family event had such technology been available, but I don't think I would have had any more fun or any better remembrance. It really isn't about the gear; but prints still matter to me.

The Nikon 801 as it was called here in Europe is probably my favourite camera amongst all those that I have owned, including the digital ones.

I used two of these cameras for performing arts photography in the late eighties, early nineties.I took thousands of frames and they never let me down. I still have them because they are too bruised and battered to be sellabile, and I cannot bring myself to chuck them out.

I took these Jazz and Classical shots with a 801 ,plus an equally battered Tamron 300 2.8 or the lovely Nikkor 180 2.8


Moving from the FM2, the crystal clear focusing screen was a big step forward for manual focusing. It was a camera that I quickly learnt to use "blind" in dark theaters.

Happy days.

I have a lovely FM2n that would make a great junior partner to your 8008. It's a perfect camera to throw in your trunk and forget about for years because the little meter battery lasts forever, and when it finally dies, the camera still works. Let me know. I'll give you a TOP discount. : )

Oh, the memories. Circa '91 I bought the N8008's updated version, the N8008s. It was the best deal I ever got on a new camera -- roughly half price at a camera shop's going out of business sale in the DC area. $500 for the camera (I also bought a 180mm f2.8 AF Nikkor at the same time, same deal -- $500). I "needed" the 8008s's spot meter. The 8008s was a fine camera, one-hundred times more sophisticated than any other I'd used up to then. It was solidly built but I never got used to the plastic feeling and in '99 I bought an F100, which remains my favorite AF film SLR. But have you noticed the used Nikon film camera prices lately? Through the roof.

Timely post. I recently bought a lens on an auction site. The lens also came with an EOS 650 (1987), manual, case, and filters. Tested the lens on a digital camera and it functions well. Put a battery and a roll of film in the camera and didn’t find any issues. Waiting to get the film back from the lab.

The 650 being the first EF camera this brought up the question, how much did Canon support the FD mount after the release of the EF mount? Is Canon taking the same approach with EF/RF as they did with FD/EF?

Compulsive impulse.

I get it, Mike. I still have three 120 roll-film cameras, one 35mm film camera, and four Polaroid cameras that I can't quite get around to letting go of. I actually do use a couple of the Polaroid cameras every so often. But I just don't expect I'll ever shoot another roll of film again. I know I could double my money with at least two of the 120 bodies but I just couldn't care less. I'll always have them. So there.

The gadget-ness of photography can infect even the most devoted-to-the-results-not-the-tools curmudgeon. Just over a year ago at the last social event I attended before the pandemic I had the great honor to have an intimate small group dinner with one of the most recognized and highly awarded living documentary photographers. After spending most of the evening talking projects and works, the photographer shared a recent phone snap showing her with a small digital camera. So I asked what it was. Whoosh! She was clearly passionate about her gear history, although also proud of having kept it very simple for decades.

So just enjoy fondling that new old Nikon, Mike. Luxuriate in its industrial-era mechanicalness. Why not run a roll through it ever so often?

You've made me want to go fondle my Rolleiflex and Fujifilm GF670! (Sick.)

people buy pencil sharpeners with the full intention of writing ... maybe drawing ... estate stores are filled with best intentions at discount

2nd comment, to talk about prices. I do the same thing -- in my head, a car costs $10K and a house is $60K. LOL

When your N8008 was $850 back in the 80s, a top of the line pro Canon New F1 was just over $2000. Now the midline enthusiast cameras are $2000, and the top level pro cameras are $6500 (1Dx, alpha-1, D6, GFX100s, etc.) The range seems pretty much the same, in constant dollars. But of course, today's cameras (like cars) are significantly better in all ways for the same (real) dollars.

I've never been acquisitive. My motto is: He who dies with the least toys wins.

In my neck-of-the-beach, it's 96 degrees Fahrenheit at 1:20pm. That's OK, t-shirt and shorts are all I own anymore 8-)

You might say I’ve been in a bit of a rut myself lately. To borrow a phrase, due to unfortunate events I find myself with fewer prospects ahead. Travel beyond the front porch is no longer an option. Fortunately I have a large archive from twenty years of obsessive camera use.

I’ve always had an unconventional way of seeing so with no regrets I push ahead. My viewpoint is off kilter and limited with little technical finesse but it's only personal expression. More like trading cards from a fringe world.


Good luck with your square images.

There's something to be said about consumption of calories in whatever form they come in. What's debatable is the formula for calculating the calories in yet another camera.

Removable battery holders in expensive gear are so wonderful. For reasons like being able to take them out and soak them in vinegar, if necessary! (And even, possibly, to replace them entirely. I think if one cared enough, a 3d scanner and 3d printer plus some sheet metal and a bit of minor soldering would let one fabricate a new one from an old one.)

Oh, and...did you get $100 worth of pleasure out of this impulse purchase? Possibly you did! Did your budget have $100 available for doing something simply because you wanted to?

I know I regret not having a display case full of my old cameras—but I also think it was wise of me to pass them on to where they could still be used, even if my economic recovery was fairly small, sometimes nothing.

You beat me by 15 years or so with your impulse purchase. I grabbed a low-click E-3 this week. I've been test-driving a few 43rds lenses (14-54ii, 40-150 and 70-300) to try out on my µ43 kit.

Yes the E-3 is a bulky beast, but the E-3 +14-54 =foul weather kit! OK, a kit with 10mpx CCD and xD card slot. Ah well.

Kudos to those who make CF card/shells with an SD card slot within!

Did you say 35mm AFD F2? I just happen to order a copy yesterday used from one of the big New York stores. It will share duties on my D610 and the old F100. I can’t deal with the size of my Tamron 45mm 1.8. It is the same size as my AF 85mm 1.4. Normals should be compact, not tanks.

I have to admit that right now I have a Nikon D300s, D700, and F100. These all can use the same flashes, remotes, lenses (the F100 can use G series and VR lenses just fine). It's a fantastic system.

And when I look thru the viewfinder, the F100 is still the best.

"It's hip to be square ... " It must be catching. I got a Hasselblad 500 c/m last month – film at 11.

Is this street photography fan wrong to think that now all my new camera (a Nikon DSLR) needs is an AF-Nikkor 35mm ƒ/2 D? Not gonna do it, not gonna do it, not gonna....

Oh, the 14! I saw one at a very good price, it looked like new so I bought it. It broke a few habits for sure. My favourite print so far is 10x30 vertical. I have a small number of other ideas to try with it and I know even the failures will fun.

My first SLR was an N90, the N8008's replacement. I haven't put a roll of film in it since I got a Coolpix 950.

Congratulations, Mike. Of course this could end up being a very expensive purchase if you start lusting for AF-D Nikkors which, by the way, aren't yet compatible with Nikon's Z-series mirrorless cameras because the FTZ adapter doesn't support screw drive lenses.

This decision left a lot of Nikon users mystified, myself included. Folks with a bag full of newly orphaned AF-D lenses looking to buy their Last Camera suddenly have less reason to stick with Nikon. In marketing speak I'd call this an own goal.

Thom Hogan mentioned Nikon have heard the rumblings and may release a screw drive to Z mount adapter sometime this year. I hope so. They have a lot of loyal users out there.

I guess all that doesn't matter if your 8008 will be a shelf queen...

I knew more than one fashion photographer that favored the 8008 over the F4. They first bought them as back-up, and then just started using them as their primary!

I try never to buy anything any more: my problem is that people keep giving me film cameras I send in to get spruced up! I've ended up with two Pentax K-1000's (which I don't even like, rather have a KM or KX), a Pentax screw mount Spotmatic (which I love), a Canon FT (which I just used this weekend), and about 4 or 5 other old "lost dogs". I don't even like the 35mm format! Why aren't people giving me old Zeiss Ikontas and Rolleis?

I've decided that before I buy any more photo gear, all the gear I own that needs repair must get fixed.
As of today, that would be 1) 4x5 Sinar Norma 2) Soligor spot meter 3) one Dyna-Lite flash power pack has just given up 4) Gossen Luna-Pro F needs calibration 5) Pentax H3V needs resurrection 5) MacBook Pro needs replacement (too old now) 3x4 Speed Graphic needs help.
You get the idea.

The book is great, I finished it a few weeks ago.

I also have an F3HP for about 6 weeks, and I do take pictures with it. Maybe what I like the most aboutit, besides its incredible viewfinder, is that it is a camera without menus.

Been thru the whole gamut of digitals. When I finally experienced GAS exhaustion, I am left with a Nikon D610 for folks that gotta have it NOW! But most of the time I use my Leica M-A with a CV Nokton 50mm f1.5 and Tri-X film.

We all need another film camera.

The F-801 (I think that is the non-US 8008) was the first serious Nikon I ever used. My cousin had one and let me handle it for a couple of minutes.

It was perhaps even the first serious autofocus camera I used. What I remember: the heft of the camera (not too heavy, but solid), the viewfinder (it was bright, large) and the focus reticle ... and the magic of the autofocus!

Of course at the time I was a teenager without any money to speak of, but it was a feast for all my photographic senses for a frame or two.


So, I was so proud that I had come to the realization that my GFX100S and lenses had to go and I sold them. Tried not to think of how much I frittered away in that whole endeavor. I decided to use the proceeds to get back into a digital M camera. After all I still had my trusty 35 and 50 summicrons that I’d bought with my M6 30+ years ago... I really needed a lightweight kit...yup.

The impulse and compulsion that followed was so bad, I am too embarrassed to share details.

The N8008 wasn't pretty, it didn't feel good in the hand, but man did it get the job done. Especially with flash. I was doing commercial work with speedlights, and the 1/250th shutter sync speed was a delight. I also had an F3HP, but its 1/90 sync limit relegated it to outdoor work. I had no AF lenses, just a Series E 75-150, a 55 micro and a 35/1.4 Nikkor, which is what you should look for next. Just a marvelous lens!

I echo the praise for the 8008.

Having learned to shoot with a used Yashicamat in the early 70's, I lusted for a 35mm SLR as a teen, but they were out of my price range then. Later, when I had some spare cash and had not been shooting much for a few years, the 8008 was my first 35mm camera. I used the bejesus out of it, to the point that there was a wear spot in the plastic where my nose rubbed against the back. That camera kept me sane in the few off hours I had early in my career.

These days in retirement, I have continued to shoot a lot of film, but with grander Nikons, Leicas and Hasselblads (my camera collection and quality grew as my career did, and my wife is a tolerant woman, bless her). Still, that 8008 was a very, very good camera, and for many purposes matched the F6 that is the last of the Nikon film breed. I probably used the 8008 longer than any other film camera I own. The lenses I bought for it are still usable on the Nikons that succeeded it. You should shoot some film with that new gem.

Also, shooting square comes easily pretty fast; keep at it. I have been shooting mostly 6x6 for a few years now, and it feels weird to go back to the 2:3 aspect ratio when I shoot 35 mm or digital. Each aspect ratio has its uses though.

Thanks Mike, I enjoyed your recent Nikon posts. Bought the 105mm f/2.5 a week ago, and now the F-801S. Just because I can, and they're so damn cheap (also, I recently sold most of my digital gear for $$$ - one Fujinon finances a complete analog system). Looking forward to the next post ;)

Enjoy your new acquisition Mike,
I just picked up an FM2n plus a 75-150e from repair shop - only took about 3 years to replace bent shutter & do CLAs. And an AI converted 105/2.5 P C Auto arrived in the post Mon.
Now it’s time to accessorise (for the wider collection) - I need some more body caps, rear & front lens caps, plus eye-cups for the FM2n & FM3a ;~)
Who knows, I might even get time to use the lenses on my D750. Need to work up to putting some film through the SLRs.

Did the Nikon 8008 really cost $857 or was that it's list price. I seem to recall paying something more like $500 or so for mine. You didn't pay list for it I hope? By then even a local retailer could pretty much match New York prices. And the idea of a 30 day trial had just been instigated. So I bought the 8008, 35mm f2 85mm 1.8 and 180 f2.8. Sold off my Nikon FA with similar, though faster lenses. Not much out of pocket.

It was OK, though I was making my living in large format so it didn't make financial sense. And then I noticed that my Leicas produced clearly more pleasing prints.

I almost traded my 8008 on an F-100. Now that was a camera! So much nicer than my worn plasticky 8008. Somehow I never pulled the trigger. So glad. I never would have taken a picture with the F-100.

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