Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F5 Series SLR models - Basic Camera Features - Index Page

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The radical change of the Nikon design actually started with the Nikon F3. The Nikon F3 was heavily redesigned to accommodate all the advance features with backward system compatibility in mind. The new design was a combination of traditional dials and buttons instead of being LCD-dominated.

LCDtop.jpg   The Nikon F5's incredible list of features demands a different level of control and along with its display. So LCD is extensively used to accommodate these functions. One of the MOST important areas of change is the operation of the camera by the user. The conventional method of input was changed to an unconventional method (for a Nikon) of using a Main/Sub Command Dial's with a focus area selector located on the back of the camera to handle the five autofocus sensors.

rearLCDA.jpg   The Nikon F5 employs a dual LCD display system. One larger located at the top and a smaller one located at the rear section. Both can be illuminated by rotating the power switch. The displays are in a contrasty indigo-yellow color. Note: The rear LCD displays ISO film speed, flash Sync modes, Auto Bracketing sequence and Custom Setting selection.

FULL LCD Displays for BOTH.

Another feature that affects the method of the operation is the built-in Custom Settings feature. There is a separate input system via buttons that are positioned at the rear / bottom section of the camera. Naturally the decision of incorporating the power pack as a unit within the camera has made it the most bulky professional Nikon F body ever. It may require a Nikon user to start adapting to all these changes which can be very different from any of the previous Nikon F models. You may need to acquire some skill in operating a digital device (such as a digital watch or calculator to get use to these). But fundamentally, once you have mastered some of its essential operating sequences, the camera is quite easy to operate. The location of MOST of its various controls are logically placed for easy access. We will go through the camera's BASIC operating features one by one and explain the pros and cons where it relates:-


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Focusing   Advanced Autofocus System New Multi-CAM1300 sensor with five focus detection areas
Newly designed CPU provides enhanced detection speed and accuracy
Choice of Dynamic AF and Single Area AF model High-speed Focus Tracking synchronized with 8 frames per-second* film advance
Metering   New RGB (Red-Green-Blue) sensor with 1,005 pixels
Evaluates scene colours to provide optimum exposure value
Algorithmic patterns from a database of more than 30,000 scenes for exposure evaluation
Flexible Centre-Weighted Meter
Spot Meter corresponds to the focus area selected
  P, S, A, M, Flexible Program, Exposure Compensation, Auto Exposure/Flash Bracketing-all built-in
Shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec.
1/3 EV step control for shutter speed and aperture
  3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash
5-segment TTL flash sensor
Unique Monitor Preflash system with Nikon Speedlights SB-26, SB-27, SB-28, SB-28DX and other followed up models.
Distance information integration
Advanced Performance Flash System
Flash sync of 1/250 sec.; 1/300 see. sync TTL flash control also available via Custom Setting #20
FP High-Speed Sync capability with sync speeds from 1/250 to 1/4000 sec. (with Nikon Speedlight SB-26) Slow Sync
Rear-Curtain Sync
Reliability   Tough-durability Design
Floating mechanism for quiet operation
Titanium viewfinder housing
Strong die-cast body and aluminium-alloy housing for optimum reliability
Enhanced resistance to rain
Self-diagnostic double-bladed shutter, featuring Nikon's exclusive Shutter Monitor, tested to 150,000 cycles
Interchangeable viewfinders | Focusing Screens | Multi-Control Back MP-28 & standard Data Back MF-27


<<<--- Credit: Image courtesy of my fellow countryman. Kenny Goh® who is also an active member of the Photo Malaysia community - a local photographic forum. His personal portfolio is available at where you can access many of his other creative travel photographic works. Image copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

B r u n e i   M o s q u e Religion is a facet of our lives. A very important element that becomes each and everyone of us. Those who are not part of the mainstream beliefs have a religion that is centered around themselves. Each of us look at another religion like neighbours in a global community, sharing and learning from each other. The reflection of Brunei's Mosque on the water, reminds me that religious structures do not just sit quietly on the earth that they stand on, but extend beyond that in many directions by the beliefs of its devout followers.

Other Important features: -

Nikon F lens mount One of the MOST important features for all Nikon photographers is the decision Nikon made during the mid 80's, when the Nikon AF-frame work was still adapting to the old, trusty lens mount that actually was first used in 1959 ! Although arguably this has limited the development of some possible exotic AF-Nikkor's due to its smaller diameter. But for all the Nikon users this came as an important decision because virtually all the Nikkor lenses ever produced* can be used with all the Nikon SLRs produced since. The lens mount for the F5 has a flaw that calls for a factory change if you intend to use some of the older version (modified non-Ai Nikkor).

Although this may sound strange, it SHOULD have been included as standard feature. But Nikon feels that in order to bring out the optimum performance, the F5 should be used with newer series of AF-D lenses. Instead of limiting its full capability with backward compatibility of older MF Nikkor's. Nevertheless, you can still use MOST of these MF-Nikkor's on the F5, the compromise is only limited to some of its available features in the form of its advanced metering systems as well as a few of its sophisticated exposure control modes.

<<<--- The famed 3-claws F-mount, with its thick, robust stainless steel lens mounting ring, is securely mounted via its 5 screws to the camera body, it will sustain even with a long, heavy super-telephotos (however, most tele-Nikkor are designed with a separate tripod collar that you should always use. Instead mounting the body on the directly on the tripod with the lens attached ).
The three claws-lens mount (A) with five locking/positioning screws (B) also has a tiny lens positioning pin (a) to lock a Nikkor lens when mounted. A lens drive shaft coupling (b) for driving either AF-S/AF-1 or standard AF Nikkor. Inside the mount, there is an aperture stop-down lever (c) hidden at the side that activates during an exposure (stops the aperture to preselected value while disengages for maximum aperture for bright viewfinder view/focusing. 3 buttons and a lever beside the lens mount are the lens release button (d) (with a lens mounting index) (D), Shooting-mode selector (e) (AF(C & S), Manual). On its its left (picture above is inverted), the top is the electronic depth of field preview button (f) and Mirror Lockup lever (g). The fixed ridge (h) is for maximum aperture indexing (the optional ring has a retractable-type for older lenses). The reflection (i) shown on the reflex mirror is the 8 electronic contacts with a Nikkor lense for data communications critical for focusing as well as metering (3D Matrix would require an AF-D Nikkor lens type).

shutreleasefront.jpg rearDIAL.jpg
The F5 has two Command Dials and two LCD panels that display settings. The Main- and Sub-Command Dials are used alone or in combination with other buttons to select/set various functions or modes.

Holding the F5 will naturally find your thumb resting on the Main Command Dial at the rear while your index finger is on the front. The Main Command Dial controls a number of camera functions. The direction of the dial can be altered by using custom setting #6. In many ways, it works in conjunction with the the three MODE, AF Mode Selector and the Exposure Compensation Buttons that are located on the top panel. These are for a combination of functions like Exposure mode selection, P*, S, A or M. , adjusting the -5EV to +5EV (1/3 stop increments) Exposure Compensation and Multiple exposure operations. They also activate/deactivate the Dynamic AF (AEB as well), selecting Custom Setting No., ISO film speed (Overrides) etc. * which also includes Flexible program adjustments.

MF28focusBTnillus.jpg   With the MF-28 Back attached, other combinations are provided, refer to MF-28's Instruction Manual for MORE info. The Sub-Command Dial provides control of the aperture, shutter speed values along with selecting a particular number in Custom Setting or Auto-bracketing. Both dials have a very positive click stop actions and I think there are approx. 15-16 clicks per rotation. For Detailed operations on various combinations between the Main/Sub Dials and other buttons/levers, read Page One of the Nikon F5 Instruction Manual section.


The location of where your index finger naturally rests is the same area that many of the picture control and camera functions are located. All buttons and controls for general operation are located so that smooth operation is ensured while holding the camera and looking through the viewfinder.

Custom Settings With Custom Settings, you can create a combination of functions that are different from the initial factory default settings. You can create any of the 24 optional settings that are built in the Nikon F5. With the previous Nikon F4, some raw forms of a similar custom settings feature is also available. Such as Freeze Focus, etc.. But you have to purchase a MF-23 Multi-Control Function Back or the 250exp. Bulk Film Multi-Control Back MF-24 to enjoy some of its features. However, Nikon Custom Settings are more in numbers and they are now a built-in feature. Some of the settings are very useful, among them are #24 AE/Flash Bracketing, #20 Top TTL flash Sync, #19, Prolong shutter speed 40 sec ~ 30 minutes, #14 Variable Center-Weighted Metering Patterns, #9, Film Advance Speed 6 fps, 8 fps etc. . To set Custom Settings on the Nikon F5 | CLICK HERE |

The entire series of 24 settings can sometimes be quite confusion in their arrangement along with being quite difficult if not impossible to remember. Thus, I have included a Custom Settings Menu for you to download for reference. To operate the Custom Function, open the protective cover located at the mid-bottom rear section of the camera and follow the sequence to find the Setting Number you require. IF you have set wrongly or get lost in the act, DON'T WORRY, just press the Two button reset (simultaneously pressing the green buttons for over 2 sec., the camera will revert to its factory default settings).

DOWNLOAD Custom Setting Menu (356k Jpeg)

RearLCDpanel.jpg customeLCD.jpg




OFF TOPIC: Basically, the Custom Setting Function allows you to setup or program your camera to suit individual needs with all the variables. If you thought the F5's 24 settings was to hard to remember one by one, the current Nikon F6 is even more awesome in its numbers. A mind boggling total of 41 custom settings are available as a built-in feature. However, Nikon designed a rear LCD which can help to itemized them one by one and it is less confusing in comparison.

AF start buttons - for horizontal and vertical shooting with an alternate shutter release button for vertical shooting. There are TWO AF-Start Buttons for instantaneous startup of the Autofocus operation. The most frequently used startup button located just beside the Sub-Command Dial, it is quite easily reached by your thumb but positioned too close for comfort with the AF-/AE-Lock button. An alternate is located next to the Film Rewind 1 cover. It may seem odd at this position but once you hold the camera for vertical shooting, it becomes quite logical with your thumb automatically resting at that position. Since the power pack and the camera is a integrated piece as opposed to the design of Nikon F4 where this feature is only available via attachment of the MB-21 power pack, Nikon also provides an alternate shutter release button at the bottom of the hand grip for vertical format shooting. It is locked and released by turning away from the index to avoid accidental releases. The only flaw is the reach to the Focus Selector is TOO FAR for operating comfort and selection of individual focus sensor spots. Nevertheless, vertical format shooting is easier with this alternate shutter release.

rearviewAFillus.jpg alternateBTN.jpg

Focus Lock When operating in Single Servo AF mode, focus remains locked as long as the shutter release button is kept lightly pressed (any of the 5 focus areas selected). However, in Continuous Servo AF mode, you have to use AE-L/AF-L button which is located at the rear section of the top panel, next to the AF-ON button to lock focus. In this case, both exposure and focus are simultaneously locked. Note: With a moving subject, focus cannot be locked.
Note: When Single Area AF mode and Spot Metering are selected, correct exposure can be achieved by choosing a focus area which corresponds to your picture composition. Aperture in Aperture-Priority Auto and shutter speed in Shutter-Priority Auto can be changed even while pressing the AE-L/AF-L button. You cannot change the metering system while pressing the AE-L-AF-L button. Pressing the AE-L/AF-L button locks exposure only in manual focus mode.

About AE Lock With the F5, pressing the AE-L/AF-L button locks both exposure and focus, but it can be changed to lock only exposure (or focus) using the Custom Setting, Center-Weighted or Spot Metering is recommended when using AE lock.

Extra Notes: AE-L/AF-L button can be set to lock only focus or exposure by using Custom Setting #21. AE-L/AF-L button can be set to lock camera's controlled shutter speed and aperture instead of detected exposure value using Custom Setting #5. Autofocus can be deactivated and lens does not start focusing when the shutter release button is lightly pressed using Custom Setting #4..

| Previous | NEXT | 1/2 Electronically controlled depth-of-field preview, Mirror lock, PC-Sync terminal, ISO film speed setting, Film Load / Fast film rewind / Manual Film Rewind / Multiple Exposure, Self-timer, Shutter speed / Aperture / Focus Area Lock Button, Metering Selector, Dioptre adjustment, 10-pin remote terminal, PC-Links & Two buttons reset

| Back | Main Index Page - Nikon F5 Professional SLR camera

The Camera - Background, Issues & Summary

Basic Features | Focusing | Metering Systems | Exposure Control | Reliability Issues | Nikkor lens Compatibility

Nikon F5A 16mm Fisheye.jpg
Prisms/Finders - Index page - 2 parts
Film Backs:
Index Page - 1 parts
Focusing Screens -
Index Page - 1 part
Flash System -
Index Page - 3 parts
System Accessories: |
Power Sources | Cases | Remote Control | Miscellaneous

Macro Photography - Related info on Micro-Nikkor lenses

Specification for Nikon F5
Main Reference Map / Nomenclature

Resource Centre
: Instruction Manuals
Nikon F5 Camera Body - 18 parts
MF-28 Multi-Function Back HTML - 8 parts
PC Links - Photo Secretary - 2 parts
AF-TTL Speedlights: SB-28 / SB28DX | SB29(s) info | SB30 | SB50DX | SB80DX | SB600 info | SB800

F5 50th Anniversary Model | Nikon/Kodak DCS-620 | DCS-720 Digital Still SLR camera | NASA-modified Nikon F5

| Back | Index Page of Digital Nikon SLR cameras
| Back | to Pictorial History of Nikon SLR / rangefinders / Nikonos / digital cameras.

weblibrary.gif   Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat | Nikon FM | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

The Eyes of Nikon:-

Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:- Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

Nikkor Link.jpg

Index Page
  Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm

MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst
Howkiat 3D F5 logo.gif
| Message Board | for Nikon F5 Series SLR model(s) |

Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon/Nikkor Photographic Equipment

W A R N I N G: The new G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have removed the conventional aperture ring on the lense barrel, they CANNOT adjust aperture(s) when operating in manual exposure control even with certain earlier MF/AF Nikon SLR camera models. But they are FULLY COMPATIBLE with the Nikon F5 featured here in all usable metering systems and/or exposure modes. Please refer to your local distributor for compatibility issue(s).

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A resource dedicated to my kids, Alvin Foo & Esther Foo- one day, BOTH might need to use all these information for his/her Nikon F5A camera.

Credit: Mr. Chuck Hester, US for his text reediting skill for this site; Our staff, HowKiat® who created the 3D-Nikon F5 logo. Mr. Lew Chee Wai of YL camera for lending his F5 for me to take some shots appeared in this site. All those nice folks who have contributed their images, in particular Mr. Mike Long, Edwin leong, Palmi Einarsson, Sergio Pessolano, Fred Kamphues, Harry Eggens, Curtis Forrester, fellow countrymen, Vincent Thian, KOH KHO KING, Philip Chong, CY Leow etc. and contributions from a few nice folks from Photo Malaysia Forum Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their own work to publish in this site based on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such possible dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" "Silent Wave", "Focus Tracking Lock-on" & "Nikkor" are registered trade name of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Made with an Apple IMac.