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Nikon N80 and N90(s)
Old 11-27-2015   #1
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Nikon N80 and N90(s)

Been stuck indoors due to the cold constant rain so I did a bit of googling and am a bit surprised at what I found.

The N90(s) which came out in 1992 seems to be more popular than the N80 which is a newer model having been introduced in 2000.

I've used both and the N90 just feels "old style" to me.

Can somebody give a few pro's and con's of each model??
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Old 11-27-2015   #2
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After the F5 came the F100, which was soon known as the Baby F5. Then, after the F100 came the N80 (also known as F80 overseas); soon afterwards, it was also called the Baby F100.

I don't know about the N90, but the N80 was Camera of the Year at some point, and also could take older glass. Problems with that: didn't meter, didn't do AF (of course, they were manual focus). However, one could use them in this camera. It also had a very tough polycarbonate body that made it nicely strong, but not heavy. Since it had the same layout and control style of the F5 and F100, it always seemed like the first step in a logical progression. At least, that was my case; my very first AF SLR was an F80 (grey model of the N80), followed by the F100 and closed with the F5. All the later AF bodies had a similar control layout, which was later transferred to the digital bodies.

Granted, the AF motor in the F100 and F5 was far better, but when you compare the light body and reliability of the N80 with other bodies... it wasn't too bad. Mine went out with me under rain and snow, and it always came back ready for more adventures.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-27-2015   #3
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Let me add that only once or twice in my life I held an F90 (same as N90?) body in my hands... and couldn't make heads or tails out of it. I must admit that I'm very partial to the stuff that came AFTER this camera rather than WITH it. In fact, I really don't know whether you could use G lenses on it, because it doesn't seem to have two control wheels (like the F5 and F100... and N80). Hence, a bunch of fairly new lenses could not be used with it. I imagine you can use AIS glass... but, again, probably with an external meter or sunny-16 only.
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Old 11-27-2015   #4
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I owned a N80 several years ago and liked it a lot but when I tried the N90 it felt cheap to me even though it did a good job..

I'm thinking about getting another N80. The D lens and AF-S lens are both fine lens and work on the N80..

The F100 was a dud in my opinion since it had a thin plastic rewind fork. Mine broke twice before I finally got rid of it.
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Old 11-28-2015   #5
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If it matters to you, the top shutter speed on a N80 is 4000. The N90s is 8000. Another difference is the N80 can take an old fashioned cable release , the N90 is eletronic release. I have the N80 and really like it.
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Old 11-28-2015   #6
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The N90s (not the N90) is a fine camera. Works great. Fast. Accurate metering. Amazing how cheap they go for these days.
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Old 11-28-2015   #7
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I have both, got the N90 from my dad and bought 2 N80s off craigs list both like new for only $20 each. I never use the 90. seems like trying to program an old VCR. but the results from it are very good. But I prefer the N80. just seems to let me take better pictures and doesn't get in my way the way the 90 does. You cant get much lighter than an N80 and a 50mm 1.8d lens when I need a light auto focus system.

The N80 also has one of the smoothest mirrors I have used in a nikon camera. I have taken many usable pictures at 1/30 with a 50mm lens. if it breaks, no big deal just get another one as they are so cheap. but same goes for an N90. at the price they are selling for, just get both. I have seen many n90's with sticky backs selling for $10 each. 20 minutes with some rubbing alcohol and its fixed. again, just get both.
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Old 11-28-2015   #8
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F100 rewind forks were replaced by Nikon for the updated version. All the F100's I had used the newer flat bladed fork instead of the pointed early type.
The F90x was a great camera but as mentioned earlier feels old and clunky.
F100's can be bought so cheaply now that I'm picking another up for sea holidays.
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Old 11-28-2015   #9
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F80 is so inexpensive and widely available that I can't see any reason not to own one. Add a 50mm/1.8 AF-D and you have a perfect small and light setup for €150 or so.
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Old 11-28-2015   #10
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Quote:
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F80 is so inexpensive and widely available that I can't see any reason not to own one. Add a 50mm/1.8 AF-D and you have a perfect small and light setup for €150 or so.
F100's can be had now for 70-100 euro and 50 1.8 Af's for 50!
I prefer the round eyepiece Nikons as you can attach a DK17m magnifier and get an awesome viewfinder.
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Old 11-28-2015   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SolaresLarrave View Post
In fact, I really don't know whether you could use G lenses on it, because it doesn't seem to have two control wheels (like the F5 and F100... and N80). Hence, a bunch of fairly new lenses could not be used with it.
G lenses work in P and S modes. There is no way to control the aperture.

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Originally Posted by SolaresLarrave View Post
I imagine you can use AIS glass... but, again, probably with an external meter or sunny-16 only.
Ai and AiS glass operate the focus confirmation and can be used in M and A modes. You lose matrix metering. Ai-P lenses give you everything apart from autofocus.

I still have 2 N90s cameras that shot so much film it's scarcely believable. The shutters were rated to 150,000 cycles but both of mine have done way more than that and still work fine.

I agree with Nobbylon that an F100 makes a lot more sense; it does everything an N90s can do better, including the really functional aspects for use: viewfinder brightness, size, clarity and perception of focus, AF speed and accuracy, ergonomics and control continuity with the dSLRs. There is a place for the F80 because it is so compact, light and, more than anything, it's about the quietest SLR you can get.

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Old 11-28-2015   #12
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I thought my N90s was going south on me, so I bought an F100 to replace it. Wish I'd done that much earlier..

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Old 11-28-2015   #13
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In the end I have decided to get a N80 as a carry camera when I want something lighter than my Nikon F or F2. I also like the D autofocus lens and if I recall the G lens will also work..
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Old 11-29-2015   #14
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As chance would have it I picked up a late F100 complete with MB-15 for €75 euro today. It's mint! I can't believe these cameras are worth so little. I would like the standard battery holder to be able to use it without the MB-15 though.
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Old 11-29-2015   #15
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Had a couple of N90S back in the day, both bought new, and the camera was a work horse. I'd disagree that it felt cheap. As a working photojournalist, they were my main cameras for several years. My only complaint with the N90s was the ttl flash metering. In a word, it sucked! Nikon really dropped the ball on that particular feature. If memory serves, it was the first body featuring TTL flash. Ended up selling one body and buying the F100, which I still have and use, having sold the other N90s several years ago. Nikon definitely redeemed itself with the F100 as far as flash metering went. But, for general, multi-purpose work, the N90s was a sweet camera. Not too heavy, even with the extended battery compartment which featured a vertical release button. All in all, a great camera. But, I really can't compare to the N80 as the only time I ever held one was in a camera store.
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Old 11-29-2015   #16
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If memory serves, it was the first body featuring TTL flash.
No. The F3 already had some basic TTL flash (with arguably limited fill flash capability). The FA was the first Nikon to have TTL flash integrated into matrix metering - followed by the F4 as the first pro model.
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Old 11-29-2015   #17
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F90X ( UK version of N90s) is a great camera and available very cheaply especially ones with sticky back syndrome. This can be cured easily and is worth the effort involved. I also have an F100 and it is an awesome camera with all the features you could want. It was mint condition apart from sticky back but I went to town with the isopropyl alcohol and cured that as well. I prefer it to the F90x in that it has back button focussing, a feature that transforms a camera for me. So handy for portrature, focus once and shoot away.
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Old 11-29-2015   #18
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Quote:
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F100 rewind forks were replaced by Nikon for the updated version. All the F100's I had used the newer flat bladed fork instead of the pointed early type.
The F90x was a great camera but as mentioned earlier feels old and clunky.
F100's can be bought so cheaply now that I'm picking another up for sea holidays.
I've been looking at some of the F100's on eBay and so far the ones who have responded to my question say it has the older fork. If I can find one with the newer flat fork at a reasonable price I may give it a go..

I did see one with the newer fork but his BIN price is $699.99..
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Old 11-29-2015   #19
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Quote:
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I've been looking at some of the F100's on eBay and so far the ones who have responded to my question say it has the older fork. If I can find one with the newer flat fork at a reasonable price I may give it a go..

I did see one with the newer fork but his BIN price is $699.99..
Ebay prices seem to be dreamland to me. This one I picked up today is serial 224xxxx and has the later fork. It's been owned by an amateur photographer since nov 2006 and seen little use since he bought his D80! There are 2 advertised near me for 100 euro, one with battery pack, one without. I've had 3 F100's before this and only one had a problem. The last one I sold went for €130 boxed and was perfect. That was over 2 years ago and prices have dropped more. I did look on Ebay but the sellers are dreaming with those prices.
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Old 11-29-2015   #20
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stumbled on to this thread, funny enough have been shooting with my dad's F90X this afternoon, up until today have not used a nikon slr for many years, the F90X is a great camera (and available these days for silly prices), but the weight came as a shock to me, l had forgotton how heavy these beasts are compared to my Fujis
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Old 11-29-2015   #21
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Quote:
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Can somebody give a few pro's and con's of each model??
I own both. Most differences have already been mentioned.
I find the 90 much easier to focus manually than the 80 due to a very different screen and a slower focus confirmation indicator. The 90 takes AA batteries, the 80 needs two CR123A batteries. Both are really well made cameras. I like both. The 80 for its lightweight yet solid construction and very (!) quiet operation, the 90 for its big finder.
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Old 11-29-2015   #22
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Quote:
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My only complaint with the N90s was the ttl flash metering. In a word, it sucked! Nikon really dropped the ball on that particular feature. If memory serves, it was the first body featuring TTL flash. [snip] Nikon definitely redeemed itself with the F100 as far as flash metering went.
Most of the problems people had with ttl in these cameras was due to using flash units that were only partly compatible with the camera. The ttl flash in the F90x/N90s (the F90/N90 is different) is essentially identical to that of the F100 if you use the SB26 flash. With other units, not so good. I still have the 2 SB26s that came with my F90x cameras, and they still work.

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Old 11-29-2015   #23
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Ebay prices seem to be dreamland to me.
So true...especially for the seller who is asking $30,000 for a Nikkorex F.
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Old 11-29-2015   #24
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The 90 takes AA batteries, the 80 needs two CR123A batteries
The N80 can use AA if the MB-16 is attached which is the route I'll go when I get the N80..
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Old 11-30-2015   #25
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in the last week i have seen 4 F100 for sale on craigslist all for under $130. to bad I already have one
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Old 11-30-2015   #26
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in the last week i have seen 4 F100 for sale on craigslist all for under $130. to bad I already have one
I did a search of craigslist for Nikon here and found a F100. The problem is the back door is missing and the shutter has obvious damage and he still wants $175.00 I also found a N80 that was listed 2 weeks ago for $50.00. When I contacted the seller he now wants $100 sight unseen. He wants me to mail the money and he will ship it to me.....yea right
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Old 11-30-2015   #27
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G lenses work in all exposure modes in the N80 (and F100). For the N90 and N90s, G lenses can only be used in Program and Shutter Priority modes; they work under Manual or Aperture Priority but only at the minimum aperture.

I'm very happy with my N80 and G lenses.
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Old 11-30-2015   #28
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Old 12-01-2015   #29
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G lenses work in all exposure modes in the N80 (and F100). For the N90 and N90s, G lenses can only be used in Program and Shutter Priority modes; they work under Manual or Aperture Priority but only at the minimum aperture.

I'm very happy with my N80 and G lenses.
Conversely the F90/F90x will meter with AI and AIS lenses and the F80 will not.

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Old 12-01-2015   #30
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The N90(s) which came out in 1992 seems to be more popular than the N80 which is a newer model having been introduced in 2000.
The S came later, I think? Like 1994 or 1995.

Differences over the "regular" N90 included 1/3 EV steps vs. the 1/2 steps of the N90... I don't recall what else.

My N90S was a workhorse for over a decade. I feel bad letting it sit ever since going DSLR. The N90S never missed a beat in all types of weather.

What was the camera with the green pie-shaped display in the LCD panel? I was thinking N80 but if that one came out in 2000 I am thinking of something earlier.
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Old 12-01-2015   #31
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I picked up a N80 off eBay that should be here Thursday and I found a reasonably priced F4s locally with 50mm f/1.4D and 35mm f/2D lens. I'm still learning this camera..
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Old 12-01-2015   #32
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Nikon N70. I don't miss that camera.
I had one a number of years ago but got rid of it soon after buying it..
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Old 12-02-2015   #33
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I just happened to receive an N70 a couple of days ago because I wanted the 28-80 D lens that was attached to it. It had the sticky back, and some gawd awful tape on the front to cover the cable port that was missing it's cap. Not many takers, so I didn't feel bad about the price on it with shipping. I've seen the lens alone sell for more.

Anyway, yes, the N70 has that green arc of a display, and yes, it is not worth a lot. But it was Nikon's entry level model, so act accordingly. The AF is much slower than the N90s, and hunts a lot in low light. I tried the lens on the N90s, and it was a big improvement (which it should be, as that was one of the upgrades over the N90). Then I put it on the F100, and well, it was just steps above what the N90s could do.

Lastly, the SB-26 works the TTL flash system to perfection on the N90s.

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Old 12-02-2015   #34
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But it was Nikon's entry level model, so act accordingly.
If I recall correctly, the N50 even sat below the N70 at the time.. Its mode dial had only two settings: 'simple' and 'advanced', where the latter worked in tandem with a diarrhea of button presses. The AF was even less agile that the N70 one, being a carryover from the N6006..

From the N50 point of view, the N70 was like a top-model..
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Old 12-02-2015   #35
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There were two more models issued after the N80/F80, perhaps in 2004: the N55 and the N75. Just to have an idea: both came in silver only. I was considering one for my wife but in the end I couldn't settle for either. Next to them, the N65 looked complex!
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Old 12-02-2015   #36
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the N55 and the N75. Just to have an idea: both came in silver only.
The F55 I've only seen in silver indeed, but the F75 that I had was black.. Maybe there were some regional differences as to color choices? Great camera by the way, that F75.. simplified interface from the F80, but it had almost the same feature set (albeit with some limitations like spot metering linked to M mode)..
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Old 12-03-2015   #37
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The F90 is nice and was a solid workhorse that can be had for pennies- It's technically more "advanced" than the FE2/FA that came before it, but you can get 4 for the price of a single FE2

The F100 is niiiiiiice, though- and if it came with a split screen, I'd almost consider ditching all my other film Nikons- there's always the F6 though...
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