Nikon F80 Single Lens Reflex
We think the Nikon F80 is a great camera. An absolute bargain at their price today. Provided you don’t drop them, store them in a dry place and use them regularly they will last for decades. The F80 is at the very upper end of Nikon’s consumer product range. Appearing in the Nikon line up in 2000 then disappearing in 2005. Prosumer is the modern term. For the price the F80 is well built and offers many pro features. It is mainly plastic for a reason – if you are out all day in Paris you will appreciate this camera compared to the tank like super robust F4. ½ kg compared to close to 2kg. There is no weather sealing but not many of us use our valuable cameras in seriously adverse conditions and if you knew this was where you were headed then pack the F4 and leave the F80 at home. Shoots full manual, shutter or aperture priority plus some program auto modes. Also lots of custom features which can be manually set by the photographer. Read and understand the manual to check these out. The custom setting menu (CSM) has 19 custom functions which can be selected by the photographer. A setting we really like is the on demand grid lines which can appear in the viewfinder when this option is selected. A real help with horizons. Set these to your choice prior to any photography.
Lens compatibility is wide but limited to auto focus. All F mount lenses will mount but manual focus lenses will not be able to meter exposure. Use exposure judgement and/or a hand held meter. The focus system is quite advanced, offering single and continuous focus with release priority subject to selection in the custom settings menu. In S setting the shutter will only release when the focus confirmation dot appears in the viewfinder whereas in C setting the F80 continues to focus on a moving subject until the shutter is released. Af operation also requires the AF area mode to be selected. This is either single area or dynamic area. A careful read of the manual is recommended to get a firm grip on the focusing set up. The exposure metering system is equally advanced, offering 3D matrix, centre weighted and spot. Again, a good read of the manual pages covering the metering system will ensure clear understanding.
Shutter speeds from 30secs to 1/4000th with B available when shooting manually. Film speeds; DX coded ISO (ASA) 25-5000, Manually set 6-6400.
The F80 needs 2xCR123A 3volt lithium batteries which if fresh should be good for about 50x35 frame rolls depending on shoot locations. Less battery life in cooler conditions. We have experienced the data imprinting versions – F80D and F80S – but don’t favour these as the data is printed within the image frame. Data imprinting can, of course, be turned off but the selector buttons and small screen make the film chamber door more cluttered and cumbersome. The straight up F or N80 is the model to go for. The F and N are the same cameras except the F was produced in 2 tone silver and black body as well as all black and the N80 was only ever black.
The rubber covering on the body can become sticky over time which then is quite unpleasant to handle. This seems to occur over time not having much cause from storage or useage. If your F80 has this problem and the rubber is not lifting or otherwise in poor condition the stickiness can be rectified with isopropyl alcohol. The rubber covering can also be replaced. Quite an expensive process and not really worth the cost for this level of camera. Finally, the F80 is a really strong camera with lots of pro features and coupled with a Nikkor AF prime lens such as 35mm F2, 24mm F2.8, 50mm F1.4 you have an impressive image machine.