Canon F1n vs. Nikon F2? Really, is one better than the other?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by SchwinnParamount, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    So Nikon had to make one for the rest of us! :whistling::wink:
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    Pentax LX

    [​IMG]

    Some unique qualities of the Pentax LX, relative to the other interchangeable viewfinder body types that I have:
    1. Smallest
    2. Lightest
    3. Most weatherproof
    4. Most viewfinder options
    5. Shutter lock can lock out the shutter as well as hold the shutter down for long manual exposures
    6. Forward and backward accurate frame selection for multi-exposure
    7. Needs no viewfinder blind
    8. Metering is visible without any viewfinder attached
    9. Meter is active even in MLU mode
    10. Widest unassisted exposure range of EV -6.5 to EV 20.
    11. Aperture priority auto expose for as long as it takes - or batteries die, while monitoring the scene in realtime and adjusting shutter duration accordingly

    Pentax LX viewfinder options also have diopter adjustments
    [​IMG]

    Anything else to add?
     
  3. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    Les are all those cameras you post photos of yours?
     
  4. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    Martin, Yes as it's part of my immersion into the history of these magnificent machines. Have to use them to appreciate the design with respect to the timeline.
     
  5. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Love my LX but my MX is actually smaller and lighter.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk and 100% recycled electrons - because I care.
     
  6. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    I also know that the MX is the smallest fully manual full info but fixed viewfinder SLR with the largest magnification.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    Uhm........wow. That's one incredible collection you have. Favorites?
     
  8. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    I have many but leading the pack is the LX because it's extremely long aperture priority autoexpose allows me to take pictures when there isn't much light.

    For instance, in the first pic using the Canon EOS3, aperture priority autoexpose cuts off at 30 seconds. It turns out this is the case for all the Canon bodies with aperture priority I have tested - old and latest and greatest. Because of this, I was under the impression that all cameras do this until I discovered the Pentax LX.

    [​IMG]


    Using the Pentax LX, it autoexposed this scene for about 40 minutes.

    [​IMG]

    I've tested many other brands and models and none so far can do this and for this reason, the LX is one of my favorites.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2015
  9. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber
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    I think you mean the F1N which has a hybrid elerctro-mechanical shutter, the F1n has a mechanical shutter but they do both work without batteries..
     
  10. Dennis-B

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    I've used both the Nikon F2, Canon F1, and Pentax LX. I also own currently the Nikon F3. The F2 is a beast to behold, and my judgement on the Pentax LX has always been that it was too little (no pun intended), too late. I've also read a number of articles (well before the internet), which stated that the rewind clutch on the Canon F1 was weak, so I've pretty much held to Nikon. In the early 1970's I rented a Topcon Super D, and was very impressed, but being a poor accounting clerk, going to college, and starting a family, I managed only to buy a used Pentax SPII, then a Nkkormat FT3.

    That stated, you could do far worse than any of the subject cameras. My Nikon F4 is a superbly engineered SLR, but a bit on the clunky side.

    Great discussion, by the way!
     
  11. Since this thread has comments about both the original F-1 and the New F-1, I think it is at least somewhat important that we at least try to use the correct terminology for these cameras. The original F-1 is referred to, simply, as the F-1. The second version of the original F-1, which first appeared in about 1976, is referred to as the F-1n. Note the lower case "n". The New F-1 is referred to as the F-1N. Note the capital "N". If we at least try to adhere to this accepted form of reference, it will keep things clearer.

    Now, as for my opinion on the subject, here goes. I began using the F-1 in 1984. Ultimately I owned two of them,. Each with the rather big and heavy Motor Drive MF. I shot thousands of slides with those two cameras and rarely had a poorly exposed shot. The F-1's (and F-1n's) meter is just that good. But by 1989, I had become concerned about the lack of an upgrade path with Canon. There was that sharp demarcation between the older FD stuff and the newer EF stuff. With Nikon, this demarcation didn't exist, so I switched to Nikon. One of my first Nikon cameras was an F-2a. I really grew to appreciate the F2. It was an awesome piece of machinery -- Nikon's last hand-built camera. But as good as it was, it just wasn't the same as the Canon F-1. Years later, just because I continued to miss it, I bought an F-1n. And I loved it. Still do. I've since added another F-1n to my collection. But you know, I had always wondered what it was about the F-1N that folks liked so much. So I acquired one of these as well -- with the AE Finder FN. And I soon realized why folks liked it so much. It was a bulletproof tank! I felt confident that I could use it as a weapon if need be. And in a way, it reminded me of the F2, even though it was contemporary with the F3. These days I own a good variety of cameras from both systems: Canon FD and Nikon. In fact, I currently own two F-1ns, one F-1N, two F2s and one F3. I have motor drives for all of them, just because I like motor drives.

    I also own a decent selection of Canon FD and Nikon manual focus lenses. And you know what? I don't really have an overall preference. There are lenses in each system that I prefer, for sure. I like my Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 SSC better than my Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AIs,for example. I definitely like the FL 35mm f/2.5 better than my Nikon 35mm f/2, although the Nikon is very useful with the extra stop of speed. The 50s are a toss-up. Canon has Nikon beat with the 85s. Nikon doesn't have anything that will touch the Canon 85mm f/1.2. The Nikon 105/2.5 clearly outdoes Canon's 100/2.8. And the Nikon 180/2.8 ED is vastly superior to the Canon 200/2.8. So why should I limit myself to a single system? I like both systems' cameras, and I like both systems' lenses. Being able to dip into either system as I choose is just more fun.
     
  12. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    One of the Canon newsletters years ago had an article where a photographer was in the Philippines during an attempted coup and was shot with a 7.62 round by a sniper. The bullet hit the lens, deflected, and took off the battery pack of the motor drive; in the process saving his life. The body still worked perfectly once the lens was changed. Maybe almost literally a bulletproof tank!
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber
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    Neither the Nikon F, F2, F3, Canon F1, F1n or New F1 pro cameras are perfect in every way I've owned and sold them all when I worked at a professional dealer, to me, it's just a matter of personal preference they are all first class reliable professional quality instruments engineered from the best materials to the closest tolerances available at the time of their manufacture .The fact is that professional cameras have never been a great money spinner for either company because of the high development costs of research and development it takes to bring out a new system, for example, the Canon New F1 system R&D work took ten years, the major amount of money that camera manufacturers make is out of mass-market consumer models .
     
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  15. blockend

    blockend Member
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    Same here.
     
  16. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber
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    One thing that I've come to appreciate about the F-1N is how modular it is: a photographer can tailor the camera to only what's needed, both in functionality and in size and weight.
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber
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    Suffice it to say that that the Nikon and Canon manual focus F series professional cameras are much better cameras than most people are photographers.
     
  18. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
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    The Nikon F2 is without question the better camera, I know this to be an incontrovertible fact.
    How do I know this?
    I have a pair of F2s. :wink:
     
  19. George Mann

    George Mann Member

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    It's amazing how people are completely ignorant of the Zeiss Contarex!
     
  20. Theo Sulphate

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    Indeed. The Zeiss Contarex is vastly superior to the Contax G1 in the realm of exquisite shiny doorstops.
     
  21. chip j

    chip j Member
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    Contarex lenses are as good as hasselblad lenses.
     
  22. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber
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    Probably because Zeiss makes Hasselblad lenses and Contarex lenses.
     
  23. jwd722

    jwd722 Member
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    Don't know which one is better, depends on your preference. I sure they are both/all good. My preference is the F2 but I also like the F (maybe better), I also have several other Nikons and like them all.
    I like the Pentax MX very much but also have several other Pentax as well that I like.
    The only Canon I own is a rangefinder Model 7 and like it very much too.
    None are better or worse...just different.
     
  24. George Mann

    George Mann Member

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    I personally like the F2AS because it was the best of the F2 series (better lens coupling and metering), and I subjectively prefer the rendition Nikkor lenses as well.
     
  25. blockend

    blockend Member
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    The Nikon F2 and Canon F1n have a major deficiency. They are too heavy for modern tastes. There was a reason people moved towards smaller, lighter 35mm cameras. Some people think a Land Rover V8 is perfect transport to the convenience store at the end of the road.
     
  26. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber
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    These were not meant for "the people" they were working tools for professionals designed and manufactured to withstand the rigours of professional use not intended for the mass market, there were plenty of lighter and capable less expensive consumer models available made at the time by both manufacturers at the same time for people needing lightness.
     
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