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NEW F100



Rumors told to me that, after F6 that has replaced the F5, new F100 (F101 or F200?) will arrive one that it will be inspired to the F6. Someone knows something?


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> Posted by Danilo Janno (Daniloj) on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 10:10 am: > > Rumors told to me that, after F6 that has replaced the F5, new F100 > (F101 or F200?) will arrive one that it will be inspired to the F6. > Someone knows something?

The usual sources have been very quiet. However, I expect that there will be very few film cameras announced by anyone now. While a F100 successor could be a pretty good bet for Nikon, I suspect they are carefully assessing the marketplace dynamics before committing. At this point, I expect Nikon would have a difficult time justifying a film camera that is not also the base for a digital.

In fact, the F6 was pretty much a surprise for most Nikon watchers. However, development costs were shared with the D2X which shares a lot of the camera's tech. The D2H is such a specialized camera that there really would be no crossover to the F100 successor.

The D100 is getting a bit long in the tooth, and there may be some justification in building a D200/F200 pair. While the D200 is long overdue, the D70 and D70s are selling very well, and Nikon may not see a marketing niche for such a camera at the moment. It would fall directly in between the D70s and the D2X and compete with both. I suppose some will by the D2H on price, not realizing what it is and how narrowly its design is focused.

I doubt that there will be any more new entry and mid-level film cameras introduced. However, the F100 does serve the high-end enthusiast market and the dwindling low-end pro market. There may be enough buyers to justify an upgrade if it can be coordinated as a digital camera base as well. However, don't hold your breath or make large wagers on it happening or not happening.

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I tend to think that other than some small nitch market manufacturer, film slr cameras are history. The push is for digital cameras. I remember as a young child that on almost every street corner there were 78rpm records thrown out becuse the 33's were the new and more efficient thing. Later on CD's pretty much replaced LP's. It didn't matter that the sound quality of the 78's was greater than the 33's or that the sound of the 33's was warmer than the CD's -- this was the new technology and it was "better".


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It has been a number of years since I have had any need to use 35mm, however my medium format equipment and panoramic camera are fully in commission. This is to say that I am not of an either/or bias. I will continue to use film where it is clearly superior to digital - and vice versa.

I would not go so far as to say that there will never be an F100, nor would I go so far as to say that Switzerland will never be a supporter of terrorism as part of their fundamental political adgenda. I suspect that the latter is probably more likely than the former. Both QUITE unlikey.

So where does this leave the owner of a clapped out F100 who wants a more advanced camera? I think the answer would be an F5 - either a demo model or a used body. A demo will be slightly more money than a new F100 and a used camera less depending upon condition.

With the F6 now on the market, the F5 no longer represents the leading edge of technology, but still is more advanced than the F100 and is built like a tank. Unless it was owned by a newspaper or company that put hundreds of thousands of frames through it each year, chances it will last most enthusiasts a lifetime.

Unless one is buying the camera as an object of supreme veneration, a posession to be hung about one's neck as a symbol of status - with no intent to use it for the purpose for which it was created, a used camera can be a very good deal. The various F-series flagships were built robust enough to be reliable tools for shooters whose livelihood depends upon them. While a working photojournalist will wear them out, most buyers will not. Even a well used enthusiast camera may still have decades of service in them.

Lest you think that buying a used camera diminishes you, every pro I have ever known is always on the lookout for a good deal on a used camera.

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The strongest indication that there will be no future replacement for the F100, is that the replacement was launched last year. It's called the F6, and is obviously positioned to replace both the F100 and the F5. The size being close to the F100 until you fit the vertical grip, which actually makes it bigger than the F5, and the technology being a step up from both cameras.

While many of Nikon's customers, and probably other SLR users around the world, see a need for, or just the pleasure of using, a top spec film SLR, the market isn't big enough for two cameras. The fact that it's more expensive than the F100 isn't too important. The enthusiasts and the professionals who use these cameras will mostly buy lenses for many times the price of the body anyway, unless there are some purists out there who will only use it with a 50mm 1.4 (hmmmm... I think I'm a candidate for a concept like that, but an FM3A with a 1.2 would be even more purist, wouldn't it?)

A much more interesting question question is if there will be an F7 in 5-10 years. It sounds like a silly idea, but with KM, Contax and Pentax leaving the field, and Leica on very shaky feet, there really isn't much competition. Having the 35mm pro/enthusiast market more or less for themselves, except for a couple of Canon EOS1 customers, may be a good excuse to make another pro film-body based on the next generation pro-DSLR. Maybe not so much for the profit in it, as for the status it will give Niko n among its followers. It's like walking to the South Pole. It isn't very useful, but people will talk about you.

I agree with Larry about a used F5. Unless you think it's too big, it will last a lifetime. If you want the F100 replacement, buy the F6.