The year of 1988, at the time where Canon was slowly building a presence with their new EOS based AF-system; Minolta Maxxum's ambitious debut of the AF Maxxum 9000 did not seemed to stamp its deserving presence in the professional users' market. Canon's first professional EOS SLR, Canon EOS-1 was eventually realized a year later in 1989 to take on the early supremacy of the Nikon F4.
<<<- ----- Credit: Image of the Maxxum 9000 Copyright © 2002 Courtesy of Mr. LEONID.SL<firstname.lastname@example.org>. All rights reserved.
However, the basic strength of Nikon F4 system at the early stage really has made other 35mm SLR camera hard to keep up with what it has to offer. In the area of AF - although choice of focusing technique can be an entirely a personal preference, but there is not doubt even to any hard-core MF system user that autofocusing can provide absolute advantage even beyond human ability in many photographic situations that demand both speed and precision. In this case, Nikon F4 was introduced at a time bridged from MF to autofocusing which involves a great deal of consideration when designing components that can also adapt between the two MF/AF systems. Thus, Nikon has ensured the camera offers a selection of focusing methods to help meet the ever-changing demands of professional photography as well as it provides an extensive backward compatibility with older components such as MF Nikkor lenses.
AUTOFOCUS SYSTEM. The main technical highlight of Nikon F4 is still centered around its autofocus system offers a few advantages which include: 1. High speed focus response; 2. Focus detection capability in light as low as EV minus 1 (under Nikon inspection conditions); 3. Low-contrast scenes and minute subject details can be detected. Autofocus* works at an incredibly high speed due to integration of Nikon's "Advanced AM-200" autofocus sensor module which houses a highly-sensitivity CCD sensors, a 8-bit microcomputer that delivers high-speed computation and highly-responsive and efficient "coreless" autofocus motors.
<<< ---- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Philip Chong®, Photo Editor of AdvanceImages.com.my. Philip has an online portfolio on his own and can be contacted via his e-mail. Image copyright© 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
* The F4's main reflex mirror transmits approximately 30% of the light rays coming through the picture-taking lense reflects off to the sub-mirror and is directed down to the Advanced AM200 autofocus module, which consists of an optical block and CCD line sensor package (see illustration below)- this was a far improvement from Nikon's first AF SLR model, F-501 (N2020) which uses a 96 sensors CCD but presents no advantage from the F801 which also uses the same AM200 AF-module. The built-in 8-bit microcomputer unit in the F4 uses special autofocus software that quickly processes all the focus information obtained by the 200 CCD sensors. Three computers in all - two in the camera body and one in the AF Nikkor lense - integrates with one another using exclusive Nikon software. They process all autofocus data precisely to ensure fast, responsive AF operation. The F4 also has an improved coreless motor from previous ones used on other AF SLRs such as F-801. Despite the motor's compact size, it is powerful enough to drive any AF Nikkor lens, including the large telephotos. Super-fast and precise autofocus is available with higher torque, quicker acceleration and higher efficiency. Compared with the F-801's coreless motor, the Nikon F4's coreless motor has been improved in torque and rotation speed by 15% - all these factors combined and integrated one another to form the basis of the autofocus system designed in the Nikon F4.
There are even two switchable filters ensure accurate autofocusing in every shooting situations.
On the other hand, the "Switchable Filters" comprise of two filters which are incorporated at the base of the mirror box which switch automatically according to the shooting situation. In normal shooting, a filter that cuts infrared light is employed to prevent erroneous focus detection due to the chromatic aberrations of the lens in use. The other filter, which transmits infrared light, is employed when shooting with the infrared light emitting AF illuminator. The presence of these two filters improves autofocusing accuracy in every shooting situation. Dust removers are provided to remove dust from the surface of filters.
NOTE: "Advanced AM200" Autofocus Module" is a one-piece optical block with 200 high-sensitivity CCD (Charge Coupled Device) sensors. By comparing the electronic output of two line sensors, the system detects the amount and direction of deviation. The sensitivity characteristics of CCD sensors can quickly store sufficient brightness data even in dim light conditions or with low contrast scenes. These CCD sensors offer excellent signal-to-noise ratio and full discharge, assuring correct focus detection without interference from outside sources. The AM200 was shared with the F801 model as well.
Automatic focusing is perfect for quick-changing situations, remote photography, or when you simply want the fastest, most precise focusing possible. Use it creatively, or choose not to use it. It's simply another of the F4's main feature and it is anytime available at your discretion. The AF system, which based on the AF module addressed earlier, runs singularly or enables the camera for rapid firing continuously - it can operate like given a choice in convenience of point-and-shoot fast autofocus, or continuous operation for tracking moving subjects; to aid the both options, there's also an autofocus/exposure lock handily provided for even more demanding situations.
a) Single Servo Autofocus ("S") In Single Servo Autofocus mode, the shutter cannot be released until the subject is in focus; once the subject is in focus', the focus stays locked for as long as the shutter release button is lightly pressed up until the moment of exposure.
<<< ---- Credit: The birth of another Miss Malaysia on the stage... Image courtesy of Mr. Philip Chong®, Photo Editor of AdvanceImages.com.my. Philip has an online portfolio on his own and can be contacted via his e-mail. Image copyright© 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
This feature is great for handling portraiture and many kind of situations that require confirmation of absolute in-focus of subject matters. But for shooting action based photography, it may fall short of meeting such requirement and thus, the Nikon F4 also provides alternate focusing mode for shooting sequential, continuous frames.
b) Continuous Servo Autofocus ("C") The camera continues focusing for as long as you keep the shutter release button lightly pressed. The shutter release button can be fully depressed anytime as well, regardless of focus status, except when film advance mode selector is set to CL. i.e. Meaning to say, the shutter will fire away as per firing rates correspond to the shooting mode selected regardless if the subject is in sharp focus or not. However, Nikon incorporated a Focus Tracking feature to minimize such risk while improving success rate in such demanding operations.
Note: The feather touch shutter release button is engery saver type which has a locked setting to avoid accidental tripping for shutter release. The "S" signifies single frame advance; Continuous High ("CH") runs at up to 5.7 fps, Continuous Low ("CL") offer up to 3.4 fps and a Continuous Silent mode. The last is a self timer setting which emits a counterdown type LEDs at the front of the hand grips.
Note: in continuous shooting (CH, CL, CS) with the autofocus mode set to Single Servo, autofocus operates between exposures for as long as the shutter release button remains depressed. 11 the shooting distance changes during shooting in Cs mode, remove your finger from the shutter release button then press to start autofocus again.
• In Single Servo Autofocus, if in-focus indicator LED does not appear and X appears, shutter locks. • In Continuous Servo shooting, focusing sharpness depends on subject speed and direction; autofocus may not always operate fast enough to follow certain subjects, so automatic Focus Tracking may be recommended.
Taking Picture with Main Subject Off-Center in Single Servo Autofocus
1. Position focus brackets on subject and lightly press shutter release button.
2. Confirm in-focus indicator LED appears in the viewfinder.
3. Keeping the shutter release button lightly pressed, recompose, then fully depress shutter release button.
Continuous Servo Autotocus: The use of AF-L (Autofocus Lock) button.
1. Position focus brackets on subject and lightly press the shutter release button
2. Keeping shutter release button lightly pressed, Confirm in. focus indicator LED appears, then depress AF-L button and hold in.
3. With AF-L button depressed, recompose as desired and thsi time around, FULLY depress shutler release button.
* Continuous framing rates may vary vvith the autofocus mode set to Single Servo because the shutter is released ONLY when the subject is in focus. For prolonged shooting at low temperatures. set film advance mode to S or CL (except with autdocus mode at Continuous Senvo). In these modes, the shutter charging motor and filrn advance motor are driven sequentially to save battery power.
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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 |
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:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
W A R N I N G: The New G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have no aperture ring on the lense, they cannot adjust aperture(s) when operating in manual exposure control even with certain earlier AF Nikon SLR camera models. Similarly, not ALL features provide in a modern AF-S series AF-Nikkor lenses can be utilized fully with a Nikon F4. Please refer to your local distributor for compatibility issue(s).
Complimentary links are appreciative but it is not necessary, I have limited bandwidth here in this server... So, PLEASE don't distribute this URL to any bulk mailing list or unrelated user-groups, just be a little considerate, thank you. (The more you distribute, the slower this server will response to your requests...). I am NOT a Nikon nor Nikkor expert, so don't send me any mails, use the Message Board Instead. While the content prepared herein should be adequate for anyone to understand and evaluate whether you should invest into a used Nikon F4 pro-camera system for your kind of photography. Well, IF you like what you have seen so far, please help to perfect this site by reporting any broken links or any errors made.
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Credit: Chuck Hester, US for his patience, encouragement and help to setup the various content in this site; Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD appeared in this site; my ex-staff, KiaSu for his superb 3-D logo appeared in this Nikon F2 site; Marc Vorgers from Holland who generously provide me with some of his images of F2AS; MCLau®, who has so much time with me to re-edit the content in this site and not to mention buying a Nikon Coolpix 990 just for this site; Paul Armstrong (email@example.com) for his explantion of the FF2 Slidemagic and Nikon F2 Pin Camera Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; hawkeye.photographic.com for their images on the Speed Magny film backs; Sean Cranor for his image on Nikon F2 25th Anniversary Model; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input on some of the early Nikon bodies; Genesis-Camera for granting permission to use an image of the SS-F2 camera; Mr Sover Wong, Australia for those great images of his rare F2 Gold;CYLeow ®, photo editor of the Star newspaper, Malaysia for some of his images used in this site. Ms Rissa Chan, Sales manager from Shriro Malaysia who has helped to provide some of the very useful input. HiuraShinsaku®, Nikomat ML, Japan for some of his images on various F2 models; my staff, Wati, Maisa, Mai and my nephew, EEWyn®, who volunteered and helping me did so many of the film scanning works; Hong-sien Kwee of Singapore for all the Nikon F2 Pin camera images appeared in this site; Luigi Crescenzi for many of his images on the Nikon F2 Titan; John for two of his images of the Nikon F2/T used in this site; Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell Corner.com.), Mr "Arsenall", Yang Zi Xiong and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. 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" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Dedicated to KU Yeo, just to express our mutual regrets over the outcome of a recent corporate event. Made with an Apple IMac.