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HomeTop PickThe Classic Choice: Nikon's 35mm Film Cameras

The Classic Choice: Nikon’s 35mm Film Cameras

Even though Nikon’s primary concentration is on producing digital cameras at present, the Nikon 35 mm cameras they made in the past are among the most well-designed cameras ever developed by the company. Nikon has developed a variety of 35mm cameras that are appropriate for a wide range of users, from novices to experienced photographers.

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List of top Nikon 35mm camera

A Timeless Investment: Nikon’s 35mm Film Cameras
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Nikon F3HP

Nikon F3HP

The Nikon F3HP is a professional-grade, manual focus 35mm film SLR camera with a durable, high-precision metal body and advanced features.

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Nikon F6

Nikon F6

The Nikon F6 is a professional-grade, autofocus 35mm film SLR camera with a durable, high-precision metal body and advanced features, including a built-in motor drive.

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Nikon 35Ti

Nikon 35Ti

The Nikon 35Ti is a compact, advanced point-and-shoot film camera with a titanium body, built-in light meter, and a variety of automatic and manual exposure options.

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Nikon EM

Nikon EM

The Nikon EM is a compact, easy-to-use 35mm film SLR camera with a lightweight plastic body, automatic exposure, and manual overrides.

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Nikon FE2

Nikon FE2

The Nikon FE2 is a professional-grade, manual focus 35mm film SLR camera with a durable, high-precision metal body, manual and program auto exposure, and advanced features such as multiple metering modes and a built-in motor drive.

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Nikon N60

Nikon N60

The Nikon N60 is a 35mm film-based autofocus single-lens reflex camera that was produced by Nikon Corporation in the late 1990s.

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Nikon N55

Nikon N55

The Nikon N55 (F55 in some regions) is a 35mm film-based autofocus single-lens reflex camera that was produced by Nikon Corporation in the late 1990s.

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Nikon F65

Nikon F65

The Nikon F65 (N65 in some regions) is a 35mm film-based autofocus single-lens reflex camera that was produced by Nikon Corporation in the early 2000s.

Because each camera has its unique set of capabilities, there are a variety of alternatives available to you based on how experienced you are with photography and the use of 35mm cameras. In addition, the traditional and nostalgic appearance of images taken with 35mm cameras is becoming increasingly fashionable on social media, contributing to the rise in popularity of these cameras.

The photographs taken with 35mm cameras have a nostalgic and timeless quality to them; most digital cameras are unable to capture this sense of originality in their images. Because of this, many individuals are investing in 35mm cameras to capture one-of-a-kind photographs.

This piece will discuss the top five best Nikon 35mm cameras currently available. The designs of these cameras range from those intended for novices to those intended for professionals. This is the ideal article to read whether you are considering purchasing a new 35mm camera or just starting your adventure into the world of photography.

We will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the five most excellent Nikon 35mm cameras that we could locate, as well as the types of photographers for whom each model is ideal. In conclusion, we will walk you through a buyer’s guide so that you know precisely what it is that you should be looking out for when you are in the market for a Nikon 35mm camera.

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Nikon F3 / F3HP

For amateur photo use

Shutter speeds: 1/2000 to 8 seconds, plus a bulb setting | Lens Mount: Accepts all Nikon F-mount lenses | Flash: Built-in hot shoe and PC sync terminal for flash use | Viewfinder: high-eyepoint pentaprism viewfinder

Good For
  • Manual controls offer flexibility in shooting
  • The accurate, reliable metering system
Need Improvements
  • Battery dependent can be challenging to find replacement batteries.

In the middle of the 1980s, the Nikon F3 and the Canon F1 were the primary professional competitors in the single-lens reflex Nikon 35mm camera market. Back then, Nikon was the brand that captured the most of my interest, and I had my sights set on the Nikon F3 camera. Unfortunately, it was out of the question for me to purchase this camera brand new, so I diligently searched the secondhand market.

It was a dream until one day when an unauthorized person broke into my house and took my Contax MD 137 camera and a few lenses. I was fortunate enough to have comprehensive insurance to start again and buy the camera of my dreams after the accident.

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 Nikon F6

An excellent compromise between DSLRs and film photography

Sensor: cross-type sensors | Autofocus: Advanced 11-point AF system with nine | Shutter speeds: 1/8000 to 30 seconds, plus a bulb setting | Lens Mount: Accepts all Nikon F-mount lenses | Flash: Built-in hot shoe and PC sync terminal for flash use | Battery life: up to 4,000 shots on a single charge

Good For
  • Fast, accurate metering system
  • Advanced autofocus system with multiple AF points
  • Durable, professional-grade build
Need Improvements
  • The camera is no longer in production so it might be difficult to find parts and repair services.

Depending on the subject, I photograph many analog portraits with myThe fast M4 and a 50 or 90-mm lens. This combination exceeded my expectations, the images were taken calmly, and in the end, I was pretty pleased with the outcomes. I used a light meter which all engineered was a significant contrast in the lighting, and everything turned out perfectly.

Perfect up to the point where I had a conversation with a friend of mine who does landscape and street photography using a Nikon F6. We discussed the positives and negatives of these two well-known companies and the myths surrounding them. He suggested I do my following portrait photos with his Nikon F6 and a Nikon D 1.8/85 lens instead of my standard equipment. When he handed me the camera, his parting words were, “Come on, forget this thing about the right time, producing your shot through the viewfinder, focusing, pushing the shuttler” (and a 188 pages manual). “Also, do not bring your light meter with you.”

This is not a legitimate camera examination using various lenses, evaluating distortion, frame rates, etc. However, during a portrait session, I used a Nikon F6 and a single 1.8/85 lens, and this report is a highly personal account of my experiences with those tools.

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Nikon 28/35Ti

lens: 35mm f/2.8 or 28mm f/2.8 lens respectively | Autofocus: Advanced autofocus system | Exposure: Automatic exposure control | Shutter speeds: 1/500 to 8 seconds, plus a bulb setting | Flash: Built-in with red-eye reduction | Build: Durable and rugged titanium construction

Good For
  • Automatic exposure control
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Built-in light meter
Need Improvements
  • No built-in flash
  • Limited manual controls
  • No zoom lens

The Nikon 35Ti is an outstanding photographic instrument. Unfortunately, when I first purchased it, I had an entirely erroneous perception of its capabilities. I felt a twinge of resentment at being forced to spend almost as much for a Nikon as I would have for a Contax. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that the Nikon 35Ti is one of the most advanced Nikon 35mm cameras in our comparison.

Please permit me to elaborate: the Nikon 35Ti utilizes Nikon’s SLR technology at its core. Nikon created the 35Ti with the intention of it becoming the most advanced small camera in the world. Unfortunately, I don’t believe it did exceptionally well in the sales department. However, you could purchase two Nikon SLR cameras for the cost of a single Nikon 35Ti.

What makes this camera more advanced than others like it? It is the only camera in our comparison that provides information on the precise shutter speed and aperture that it is utilizing. The top’s analog dials are stunning and remind one of a Swiss watch that costs ten thousand dollars. No other tiny camera can match the simplicity and precision of the analog dials found on this camera. They inform you of the aperture, the focus distance, the number of frames captured, and the exposure correction. Too bad you must move the camera away from your eye to see what’s happening here. Because the shutter speed is shown in the viewfinder, you must move the camera around to see both simultaneously.

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Nikon Em

 an entry-level SLR camera

Shutter speeds: B, 1/2000 to 1 sec. | Metering system: Center-weighted averaging metering | Lens mount: Nikon F mount | Viewfinder: Pentamirror | Film advance: Manual lever | Flash sync: X-sync at 1/90 sec. | Battery: 2x S76 (silver oxide) or LR44 (alkaline) batteries

Good For
  • Good image quality
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Easy to use
Need Improvements
  • No manual exposure mode
  • No built-in light meter

At the time of its release in 1979, the Nikon EM was the single-lens reflex Nikon 35mm camera (SLR) model that offered the lowest price point. To protect themselves against the likes of Canon, Minolta, and Olympus, the company provided cheaper cameras of comparable quality to those Nikon offers but at a more affordable price point.

Imagine a campaign like that being run in modern times. There would most definitely be a social media uproar directed against Nikon. It would appear that Nikon’s plan was unsuccessful since the Nikon EM did not become a commercial success despite the company’s best efforts.

I have a confession to make. This was not my camera; instead, it was the one we selected on a hot July day in Toronto in 1984 for Diana, who would become my wife one day. Di had no option but to join the ranks of photography enthusiasts at the time because she had been hanging out with her boyfriend, a photography geek, for almost an entire year. This is how she ended up with the Nikon EM.

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Nikon FE2

Vintage 35mm Film Camera

Shutter speeds: 1/4000 to 8 seconds, plus a bulb setting | Lens Mount: Accepts all Nikon F-mount lenses | Flash: Built-in hot shoe and PC sync terminal for flash use | Build: Durable and rugged construction | Viewfinder: Eye-level pentaprism viewfinder with 92% coverage

Good For
  • Shutter speed range of 30 seconds to 1/4000th of a second
  • Wide range of compatible lenses
Need Improvements
  • No built-in flash

1983 saw the introduction of the Nikon FE2 camera. My senior year of high school was also when I first met the woman who would become my wife. Ole, a fellow student and a personal friend owned a Nikon FE2 when I was having a lot of fun with my first single-lens reflex camera, a Canon AV-1.

I have a clear recollection of this. Ole and I would spend a lot of time in class reading picture magazines and paying little attention to the lectures. Maybe it wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but in the end, we both graduated, I became a photographer, and Ole is doing great, as far as I can tell.

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Nikon F60 (N60)

Affordable cameras in the era of the ’90s

Autofocus: 3-area TTL sensor | Flash: Built-in pop-up flash | Shutter: speeds of 1/2000 to 30 seconds | ISO: range of 25-3200 | Exposure: Built-in exposure meter with matrix, center-weighted, and spot metering options | lens Mount: Uses Nikon F-mount lenses | Power source: 2CR5 lithium battery | Dimensions: 147 x 94 x 64 mm lenses | Weight: 540g

Good For
  • Built-in light meter
  • Good image quality
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Good low-light performance
Need Improvements
  • No manual ISO override
  • No manual exposure mode

The F60 replaced the F50 as the premier fighter model after the F50’s retirement. On the other hand, it features a mode and command thumb dial with a more traditional design, giving it a more modern appearance. Despite this, the A.F./exposure model now in use is the AM200, which was initially made available in 1988. This classic Nikon 35mm camera has a more user-friendly structure than the F50, which makes it a better choice for casual photography. Nevertheless, in terms of its technology, this camera was manufactured in the late 1990s, even though it appears to be from the 1980s.

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Nikon F55 (N50, U) 2002

Affordable cameras in the era of 2000

Autofocus: 3-area TTL sensor | Flash: built-in pop-up flash | Shutter speeds: 1/2000 to 30 seconds: range of 25-3200 | Exposure: Multiple exposures and exposure compensation features | Lens Mount: Uses Nikon F-mount lenses | Power source: 2CR5 lithium battery | Dimensions: 140 x 94 x 57mm | Weight: 440g

Good For
  • Built-in light meter
  • Good image quality
  • Interchangeable lenses
Need Improvements
  • No depth of field preview
  • No manual focus override

A vintage Nikon 35mm camera superseded the F60 with the more affordable pricing point of the two. However, it improves the specs by incorporating a new focusing and metering module, the Nikon Multi-CAM 530. This module is included in the package. Even though you only possess a 5-segment 3D matrix meter, this causes the focus point to increase from 1 to 3.

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Nikon F65

Advanced features and ease of use.

Autofocus:3-area TTL sensor | Flash: Built-in pop-up flash | Shutter: speeds of 1/2000 to 30 seconds | ISO: range of 25-3200 | Lens Mount: Uses Nikon F-mount lenses | Power source: 2CR5 lithium battery | Dimensions: 136 x 94 x 57mm | Weight: 440g

Good For
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Good image quality
Need Improvements
  • No motor drive option
  • No manual focus override
  • No depth of field preview

Although the Nikon F65 offers an outstanding value for the price, the delivery leaves much to be desired. One of two cameras that were created from the Nikon F60, and this one is the more costly of the two. However, it boasts impressive specs in every conceivable area. You canAF-D and AF-S in addition to supporting V.R. Five autofocus points (A.F.) and three-dimensional matrix metering with six segments are both inc in the Nikon Multi-CAM 900 module. The Nikon D50, D70, and D100 are all digital single-lens reflex cameras and use the same module.

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Buying Guide

How to find the best Nikon 35mm camera

When looking for the best Nikon 35mm camera, consider the following:

Purpose: Determine what photography you will be doing and choose a camera best suited for that type.

Build Quality: Nikon cameras are known for their durability. Look for cameras made with high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of frequent use.

Features: Look for cameras that offer manual controls, interchangeable viewfinders, a wide range of compatible lenses, an advanced metering system, etc, that meets your photography needs.

Price: Determine your budget and look for cameras that offer the best value for your money.

Reviews: Read reviews of different Nikon 35mm cameras from professional photographers and other users to get an idea of their pros and cons.

Availability: Some Nikon 35mm models are no longer in production. Look for cameras that are still available and have easily accessible repair and parts services.

Lastly, consider trying different models and lenses to find the best fit.

Remember, the best Nikon 35mm camera for you will depend on your specific photography needs and preferences.

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FAQs

FAQs for the best Nikon 35mm camera

Do people still use 35 mm cameras?

Yes, people still use 35mm film cameras, mainly for the unique aesthetic and creative control they offer, as well as for their longevity and durability. Professional photographers and film enthusiasts often favor them.

Are 35mm cameras worth anything?

Some 35mm film cameras can be valuable, particularly rare or limited edition models and those in good condition. Other models may not be worth much in monetary value, but they may be worth it to those who appreciate their nostalgia or the aesthetic of film photography.

What is the Nikon 35mm lens good for?

The Nikon 35mm lens is a versatile lens that can be used for a wide range of photography, such as street, landscape, portrait, and indoor photography. It offers a natural field of view similar to the human eye and is a great choice for capturing wide scenes with a shallow depth of field.

How long can you keep 35 mm film?

35mm film can last for decades if stored properly in cool, dry, and dark conditions. It’s recommended to use the film within a year or two of purchase and to keep it refrigerated to extend its shelf life. The properly stored film can last up to 20-30 years or even longer.

Do professional photographers use 35mm film?

Many professional photographers still use 35mm film for its unique aesthetic, creative control, and the technical challenges it poses. They often prefer the organic look and feel of film over digital for certain types of photography, such as portrait, fashion, and fine art.

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