Nikon F 80

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Nikon F 80

Camera, Analogue Cameras - SLR - 135mm - without Zoom - with Built-in Flash - with Red Eye Reduction

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97% positive

12 reviews from the community

Review of "Nikon F 80"

published 11/04/2013 | mc_uk100
Member since : 20/08/2010
Reviews : 33
Members who trust : 8
About me :
Graduate in Media and Spanish.
Pro Ease of Use, Image Quality, Options, Shooting Modes, Compatibility
Cons Flash sync speed, Film (disadvantage for some), Developing Costs, A couple of buttons
very helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use

"Best AF Film Camera for Amateurs"

Buying the Camera

When it comes to talking about film cameras, the Nikon F80 (also known as N80 in the states) is particularly new as it came onto the market in the year 2000. In terms of camera models, that may seem like a long time ago, but with the rise and dominance of the DSLRs, Bridge Cameras and Compact cameras in recent times, it is no surprise that the film camera business is diminishing. Therefore, less of these kinds of cameras are currently in production. Many companies have even halted production altogether.

The reason I wanted to buy a film camera in the first place was because I am only in my early 20s and I have not really been able to get my hands on one of these before. I admit I have taken photos with a disposable £5 Kodak camera from Boots, but I really wanted to discover what it would be like to get to grips with a film camera intended for multiple purposes. Moreover I wanted to recreate the process from film to print in the lab as well as experimenting with different types of film and what effect they have on the picture. Film cameras in general are also a really good thing to invest in if you are interested in the workings of how a camera operates. Almost all cameras nowadays (at least digital) operate a point-and-shoot function which is great if you just want to take casual photos like holiday snaps or birthdays etc. However, for those that want to go beyond that and are really interested in photography, then I suggest film or a DSLR. DSLRs give the consumer a lot more options with regards to setting up the shot and because of their technological advances, there is a lot more room to maneuver than on a film camera.

Initially, I bought the F80 after the Pentax K1000 (also a great camera!) because I had done a lot of research and it seemed like the ideal camera for me. I could not have made a decision any better myself.. To be totally honest, the first thing that attracted this camera to me was the price. As mentioned earlier, because there are now so many more people buying DSLRs, film is slowly dying out, and so prices have decreased dramatically. I picked it up for £40 (body only) used but in perfect condition. Just to give you an idea of the specifications, here they are:


Exposure Control: P (Program) mode, A (Aperture Priority), S (Shutter Speed Priority), M (Manual)
Shutter Speed: 1/4000 to 30 seconds. 1/125 flash sync speed.
Single Shot, Continuous, Self Timer, Multiple Exposure
Exposure Metering: 3D Matrix, Spot, Centre Weighted.
ISO Sensitivity: 25-5000 (Set the ISO the same speed as film speed.)
Built in Speedlight and built in flash
It takes two CR123A or DL123A lithium batteries.
Viewfinder field of View 92%
Depth of Field Preview
Continuous Shooting 2.5 fps.
AE/AF lock


There are more specifications that I could go into but I figured there is already a huge compilation of specs on numerous different websites so I just thought I would include the most important ones. Whenever I look for a camera review and the majority of the review just contains what it does, it frustrates me because I would like to know their opinion of it. So here is my opinion and if it is of any use to you, I am very happy I could be of help.
Initial Reaction

At first glance, I could tell that this was going to be a camera I would treasure. It is pleasing on the eye and fits perfectly in my hand. This is very important when buying a camera because finding one that feels right is just as important as one that takes good pictures. As I bought this online and for very cheap, I took a gamble and it paid off. Now depending on what level photographer you are depends on your demands from the camera. As I am by no means a professional but merely an enthusiast, I was inspired to learn what all the buttons did and this was perfect for me.

I mostly shoot in manual mode and occasionally in A or S mode as I want to earn the right to take a great photo. In manual mode, in order to change the shutter speed and aperture, there are two dials that can be turned. One by the right thumb and one by the index finger. The exposure compensation, depth of field preview and AE/AF lock can also be accessed without having to move the right hand off the camera. It is incredibly easy to use. Likewise, with the left hand you can open up the flash, change the type of exposure mode, bracket your photos, and alter the auto focus points. These are all great and can be altered without any effort at all. However I did find the shooting mode tricky to alter (single, continuous, self timer, multiple exposure) as you have to push a button down with the left index finger and rotate it with the left thumb. I found this quite tricky because it is in close proximity to the main command dial and it can get in the way sometimes. Also, changing the metering mode can be a bit clunky at times, but I am not sure whether that is just my camera. Something else I encountered was that when you are composing your shot and you do not touch the aperture/shutter speed ring dials for a couple of seconds, the screen light turns dim and the settings cannot be altered until you push the shutter button down halfway. I found this to be quite frustrating as it happened quite often whilst I was looking into the viewfinder. However, this is just a slight pickle.


When pressing down on the shutter, the clunky noise of the F80 felt great and it made me want to take more photos just to listen to its noise, but that would waste my film so unfortunately I could not do that. Although I am able to develop photos in the lab at my university, I was at home so I decided to take them elsewhere to get developed professionally. When they came back, I was very impressed with the results. Particularly because of the amount I paid for it and my lack of experience with film. It is excellent value for money. I have only gotten through a couple of rolls of film but if we were to talk about different types of film, that could easily create a new review altogether. Putting film into the camera is easy and it has a built in motor drive which automatically winds the camera on and rewinds itself. Some people do not like this but I do not mind it because I already have another film camera which does this manually. This camera is compatible with any of the D or G AF lenses in the Nikon range.

Nikon have done a fine job of creating a camera which not only rivals its film models, but some DSLRs too. If you are looking for a film camera which is easy to use and reliable and great image quality, then this is the perfect camera for you. If on the other hand you do not like the hassle of taking it to a store or to develop the film yourself, then you are missing out because this is one of the great inventions which is being washed away by new technologies, and as it is dying out, photos on film are becoming more and more valuable. I guess one reason I like taking photos on film is the challenge of it. You cannot take so many photos and then delete the ones you do not like, but instead you are limited and when the photos come back fro the lab you can evaluate it and think, how can I make that better? Also, another pro for film is that you forget what photos you have taken, so it becomes a nice surprise to see them when they come back from the lab. Overall 8/10. Great image quality, size and reliability but with occasional frustrations and better cameras out there.

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Comments on this review

  • JLRphotography published 16/05/2013
    I have an F55 - mainly because I managed to buy it off someone complete with a 28-100mm for £10, I sold the lens and use my higher quality lenses purchased for my digital Nikon's on it. I bought it last year and still haven't managed to finish 1 roll of film yet - I'm being picky so as not to waste processing costs! I'm one shot off finishing the roll in my Nikon EM too.
  • sammy_123 published 27/04/2013
    superb review!!
  • blissman70 published 12/04/2013
    excellent review and well worth the E
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Product Information : Nikon F 80

Manufacturer's product description

Camera, Analogue Cameras - SLR - 135mm - without Zoom - with Built-in Flash - with Red Eye Reduction

Product Details

Manufacturer: Nikon

EAN: 0018208802098, 5017362200561, 18208802142, 5017362200554, 8431016008216, 5017362200516

Film Format: 135mm

Compact / SLR: SLR

DX Coding: with, Yes

Exposure Regulation: Program-Reflex, Program Reflex

Automatic Loading (APS): w/o autoload

Motor: with Motor

Mini Type: no

Autofocus: with Autofocus

Built In Flash: with Built-in Flash

Bifocal / Zoom: without Zoom

Exchangable Lens: without Exchangeable Lens

Data Back: without Data Back

Red Eye Reduction: with Red Eye Reduction

Water Protection: without Water Protection


Listed on Ciao since: 25/07/2005