The P R O side of F801S
I have been looking for a cheap ($$$) but good condition Nikon F801S for quite some time. There are quite a number of F801 non S version in the market, but that's not what I want. What's the different between the S and non S model? Later...
What so good about the Nikon F801S that I am still looking forward to get one in the year 2003? The camera has been discontinued for more than 10 years; to be exact it is actually a Year 1991 model. Nikon F801S is one of the professional model back in Year 1991, or the advance amateur or semi-pro model. The only "better" model in Nikon range back on that time is the Nikon F4 which is still 2 years older than the F801S. Nikon F801S has almost all the features you want in an advance camera, what it lacks as compare to the professional model is just the mirror lock up, which most of us rarely use. The features that attracts me so much are:
1. Metering pertain with manual lenses. This is the most important attraction as the current F80 can't have metering when you mount a non-cpu lens to the camera. This includes extension tube, bellows...etc.
2. 1/250s highest flash sync speed (Nikon F80 is only 1/125s)
3. 1/8000s highest shutter speed (Nikon F80 is only 1/4000s)
4. DOF preview (F60 doesn't have this feature. Important for macro photography...or should I say...all photography)
5. Spot, Center Weighted and Matrix Metering (F60 only has Matrix metering, and Center Weighted metering is automatically used when you use Manual Mode. No user selectable button in other mode)
6. Self selectable self timer time from 2 to 30 seconds.
7. Multiple exposure
8. Automatic flash zoom synchronization with AF lenses (Nikon F60 doesn't have this feature, which I find is a waste of flash power)
Note that I made the comparison above with F60 and F80. The reason is because I used to have a F60 and it must be significant enough for me to upgrade to F801S if I were to upgrade, and F80 is the camera I plan to buy NEW if I were to upgrade from F60.
The above features are basically all you need in a camera. Of course, if there is a Mirror Lock Up (MLU), then this camera would have been perfect! but...but...but...this feature only incorporate in the best model in Nikon...or the single digit F model. Even Nikon F100 doesn't have MLU.
The S t o r y . . .
Saw a sale of the Nikon F801S in the internet in July 2003. Initial price stated by the seller is around S$800, which is definitely not a good price for me to pay for. The usual market price for this camera is around S$400+- depends on condition. Personally when I buy 2nd hand stuff, I will try to bargain tillBELOW market price. That's just to make sure that if I resell, I won't lose or lose very little money. Knowing that how much I am willing to pay for the camera, I give the seller my offer. Bang! He counter offer me slightly higher than my offer. Agreed...and we arrange time to meet up. Met the seller...checked the camera...80% new condition, offer the seller my original price, he is ok with it...paid...together bought another Nikkor AF 180mm f2.8, went home HAPPILY! :-) ~ 19th July 2003
My Nikon F801S has a very harsh and high pitch sound during focusing. First I thought it is the metal in my lens that produce the harsh sound, but later I discover that it is the motor inside the camera. The focusing also seems a bit passive. It didn't wanna start focusing when there is not enough light. It didn't wanna even hunting.
Sent my F801S to Nikon Malaysia together with the other items that I bought from the same seller (including the Nikkor AF 180mm lens). Nikon Malaysia did a great job to clean up the camera (previously there was a slight fungus in the viewfinder) and they make the F801S ALIVE again! No more harsh sound (although the focusing is still quite loud) and focusing seems more responsive now! How much do they charge me? It's FREE!!! Yes...you read me right, It's FREE! I guess maybe they charge me RM$$ for the lenses that I sent for servicing already, that's why they give me the free CLA for the F801S. It is really good to see the F801S perform GREAT again! My ideal cmera at an ideal price! I would grade it 85~90% new now. :-)
25th May 2005
Today I sold off my trusty Nikon F801S. Why? I foresee myself shooting film lesser and lesser nowadays, thus instead of keeping the camera unused and drop further in value ($$$), I decided to offload it from my drycabinet. Another reason is that the ability of the camera to focus in low light is poor...and my newly acquired F80D is better than that. The F801S simply hunt too much with my Sigma AF 400mm f5.6 lens.I posted the camera for sale in the internet at the price of only RM450 (US$118), and within an hour it is sold. I believe it is at a very good price as the condition is still tip top.