Nikon 8008 body
I am a Photography student and have owned a Nikon 8008 for about a year now. I bought it used for a price of $250, and have loved it ever since. In my opinion, and some of you more "mature" users may feel differently, this is the best value Nikon has made in the autofocus line yet.
Layout: Important, Great
- The control layout on the N8008 is awesome. This are four main buttons on the left that control mode (A, M, P (3 different program modes), and S), multiple exposure (1-9), ISO (DX and 6-6400), and motor drive (Single shot, continuous low (2 fps) and continuous high (3.5 fps). There is a dial right near your thumb that makes it easy to toggle between these options. Also next to the thumb is a convenient auto-exposure lock. The rewind botton is on the right of the prisim and is anly activated when it AND the multiple exposer botton are pressed, eliminating rewound film caused by an accidental push of a botton. Next to the rewind botton is the EV conpensation button, where you can compnesate for the meter in 1/3 stops up to -5 and 5. Insdie the LED display in the viewfinder is the mode, shutter speed, aperature, and exposure compensation of you are in manual mode. The only troublesome part of the layout would be the autofocus-lock, which is located near the bottom left of the lens. I usually strech my pinky on my right hand down from the shutter realease to enage it. Near the bottom right of the lens there are three focus modes: manual, servo, and continous servo.
Bang for your Buck
- For a camera that came out in 1988, this is feature-packed. Sure, it's not going to have some of the bells and whistles that a new EOS or the F5 will have, and it won't come even close to those. But, if you are a student like me on a limited budget, and would rather spend some serious money on glass rather than a fancy body, then look into the 8008. There are two meter modes that can be toggled through. One is a 5-segment matrix metering mode that rearely fails me. The other is a centerweighted mode, that I rarely use because it seems to meter just like the matrix. One thing that this camera could use is a spot meter. One very convienit thing is that you can set the self timer for 2 to 30 seconds, giving you many options to set up or what not. The shutter speed range from 30-1/8000 still hasn't been outdone in the Nikon line.
Autofocus...UsefulAs far as autofocus goes, it holds its own but nothing more. With newer lenses you will be getting some fairly good autofocus speed. Useing the new 28-70 and just about all lenses made recently your autofocus will be good. It's not quiet, but it is accurate and, depending on the lens, somewhat fast. Don't even think about using this with the older 80-200 f/2.8 in autofocus mode. It's SSSSOOOO slow and noisy it's not even worth trying. The newer "D" version of the 80-200 works well with it in autofocus mode, however. If you are looking for very fast autofocus SLR and can live without some of the other things, then buy a EOS. But if you can live with a decent to fairly good autofocus motor and would like some added perks, then go with the 8008.
- Unfortunately I don't really work with flash unless I absolutely have to (I like working with availible light) so I can't really give you a good idea of how the N8008 does with a flash. I can tell you that all flash pictures I have taken with it have been very nicely exposed and/or filled.
F4 School of Ruggedness
- It's not as light as the newer, more plastic SLR's nowadays, but the 8008 will take a beating and keep on ticking. I recently had a 400mm f/5.6 lens on it at a water polo match and it fell about 5-feet from the monopod it was on to the concrete pool deck. The only thing that happened to the camera,which I belive took the most imact form the fall, was the morror hinges had to be fixed and the autofocus realligned or something like that. Things couldhave been a lot worse. I will admit that I try but don't succeed in treating my camera equipment like children. The N8008 I belive was built to be a backup for the F4, so it's going to be able to stand some knocking around.
And the Verdict is...
- Buy this camera if:
- You are on a limited budget and would like a quality Nikon AF SLR for a good price
- Autofocus isn't your number one priority, but instead the quality, taking all into consideration
- You enjoy the having luxeries but also like to accasionally "get back to basics"
- Would rather spend money on optics than a body
- Enjoy features, but don't want to get bogged down in menus or custom functions
- Don't buy this camera if:
- You are able to afford a new, top-of-the-line autofocus SLR body and quality lenses
- You put a high priority on very fast and quiet autofocus
- If you want ALL the bells and whistles of a new AF SLR.
-- Joe --, December 13, 1996