Monday, November 17, 2008
My First Camera, the Nikon F601
This is my first camera which I bought with my own money. I purchased it while in College. Many a roll of film has gone through this Nikon.
I hardly use this camera anymore since I acquired my FM3a. Still, if I need Auto Focus and have an urge for getting a nice roll of Fuji Velvia out, I will use this camera. One great thing about this camera, if you can get one used is that it meters with MF lenses. On the downside it doesn't work with G lenses in A or M mode. And it doesn't auto focus with AF-S lenses. Ironically, always wanted the 17-35mm AF-S but never got one until I got my D70, glad I didn't because I would have been very annoyed that it didn't auto focus.
This camera is fairly well built and very simple. This was one of the last consumer cameras before Nikon got into putting scene modes in place of actual useful controls. It has all the controls you need and still use today on my D200. The built in flash is useful in a pinch. The focusing is slow and noisy but that never bothered me. Lack of depth of field preview and focus assist is annoying. It only has one cross type auto focus sensor in the middle with spot, center weighted and matrix metering.
This camera can be had for $50-100 on eBay and I highly recommend it for someone looking for a film camera but doesn't want a fully manual camera all the time. If you are fine with manually focusing then get one of Nikons excellent FM series like the FM3a.
The viewfinder is huge compared to todays DX digital SLRs. It's bright and great for manual focusing. It's not like an F# (single digit) series or the D3, but still much better than any cropped sensor viewfinder.
The lens in this picture is also my first lens. It's a 35-80mm f4-5.6D AF Nikkor. I bought it with my camera. It's only current benefit is it's one of the lightest zoom lenses ever made by Nikon. It was also very cheap at the time, I was in college after all. Shortly after leaving College I got the 24-120 f3.5-5.6D. Strangely I still have this lens but not the 24-120mm even though I never use it. Probably because it's worthless. I think Henrys offered me $10 for it a few years ago.
See shots taken with my F601.