Most of my film photography recently has been with a plain prism Nikon F. My usual walking around kit has been the Nikon F with a 50/1.4 lens, a second lens, and a Weston Master IV meter. The second lens is usually a 28/2.8 or a 105/2.5, depending on what I expect to be photographing.
We are now in the season where the deer that normally live on another part of the property sometimes come down the path immediately behind our home, looking for food. Last year I missed several photo opportunities because I didn’t have a film camera quickly accessible when they came by. I did photograph them with my iPhone but it wasn’t the same.
This year I was resolved to have a camera immediately at hand, loaded with a fast B&W film. And to increase the likelihood of getting some good shots I took our Nikon F6 out of storage, put the batteries back in and got out our entire collection of F-mount lenses, both auto focus and manual focus to see what would be a good focal length for the first quick shot.
The AF lenses I tried were a 24-8 AF-D zoom and a 50/1.8 AF-D fixed. We also have an 85/1.4 AF-D but that would be serious overkill for this situation. The MF lenses were a 105/2.5 AI, a 55/2.8 Micro AIS (by far my fastest focusing Nikon lens) and a 28/2.8 Non-AI. Nikon savvy readers can fill in the rest of my sad story right here.
Considering that we were more likely to have a group of deer rather that an individual it was quickly obvious that one of the 50mm lenses (or the zoom) would be a better choice than the 105mm. But just to be sure, I picked up the Non-AI 28mm and as I twisted it into place on the F6 I immediately realized that it didn’t feel right and remembered that Non-AI manual focus lenses were a no-no on an unmodified F6.
I removed the offending 28mm lens and put the 50/1.8 AF-D in its place. The viewfinder display showed EE for the aperture and a blank field for the shutter speed. I removed the 50/1.8 AF-D, put the 55/2.8 Micro AIS in its place and everything worked properly.
I was pleasantly surprised when a web search turned up the information that Nikon still repairs the F6 and a form for sending it to Nikon in Plainview NY. A quick trip to the UPS Store and it was packed and shipped.
To be continued…