Nikon F7 - Imported from the past

Hi all,
Am I the only one who is underwhelmed by Nikon's 100th Anniversary announcements? Could it be that they REALLY have some surprises in store for us (pun intended)?!
My specific interest is a Nikon F7, and the reason why I think the time is ripe for one now is the quiet resurgence of film manufacturing (or it's unwillingness to simply die!). Theough choice is still limited in the digital age quite a few players have rejoined the fray. Now admittedly with probably 200 million film cameras in the used market it doesn't look good for a new film SLR, but that would be to ingore the strength of the micro-market. What?! You know... Those sites that brought you Peak design Bags and Petzval Lenses and Hasselnuts "digital" backs.. And let,s not forget that Nikon is a relatively small company concentrated on imaging. I believe they have enough resources to do a budget build taking the chassis of a D810, sticking in a film transport engine from the F6, updated af from the D5 and a digital back option from a patent they had in 2012 and voila'... Small volume but HUGE publicity that is going to make Canon cringe. Sure we're looking at a global demand of 20,000 units (total guestimate... But have a look at F6 serial numbers as a guide). Fairly easy to limit your losses - only accept pre-orders making it easy on dealers.. Comments?

Comments

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,103Member
    edited February 11
    But would you pay $6000 for it ? Wasn't that the price for the F6 ?

    Maybe an updated F100 ?
    or FM or FE .. FE100 ?

    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,786Member
    I understand your sentiment, none of Nikon's film cameras will work with Nikon's newest E lenses, the ones with the electronic apertures. It would be great if their film cameras got an update.

    Then again, financially, it makes absolutely no sense.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • Jd1566Jd1566 Posts: 3Member
    The price of the F6 is around $2500 new at B&H. If we're talking a pure film camera it wouldn't cost them anything more to make an F7, considering all they have to do is raid their parts bin! The digital back is more complicated and expensive I agree - I'm just stating that thry COULD do it with patents they already have and parts they already use on other cameras.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,103Member
    "The price of the F6 is around $2500 new at B&H" The F6 was released in 2004 ....
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,786Member
    edited February 11
    You'd have to run very limited production and cater to the Leica crowd for this to make this work, the price would absolutely be astronomical.

    Even when the F6 was made people were fairly surprised that Nikon put it through production, and even then film cameras were already on their way out.

    Again, I share your sentiment, but I sure as hell wouldn't be able to afford it, it would easily be over $4,000.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,474Member
    edited February 11
    Considering the R&D, and other resources needed to design and manufacture a high end SLR, making a modern F film camera would be huge waste of time and effort for Nikon. It would have to be a very limited production line, maybe 1000-2000? Price? $10,000 each to even come close to covering the cost of R&D. I just don't see the demand being there for a modern film SLR.

    There are plenty of fully capable film SLR's, and compatible lenses that totally out resolve the available 35mm film stock on the market. Why bother buying an expensive camera, to put lenses on it that are not even going to be fully taken advantage of?

    If Nikon really wanted to make a 100th anniversary film camera, just make a limited run of brand new F1's for $25k each and call it a day.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • SnowleopardSnowleopard Posts: 237Member
    edited February 12
    I really don't get the cost of some of these things Lets take an F1,F2,F3,F4,F5,F6 or even a potential F7.

    What cost do they have in building the thing anyway. For instance, An F7 would share 99% of the parts with an F5 or F6. There is none or very little cost in re-tooling a plant to build the thing. Their engineers have already been paid and the minor electronics in a potential F7 is not going to be $3000 more than what was in an F100 that sold for $999.

    I can almost bet on the fact that Nikon's factory workers are not making $100/per hour to work in the plant. Even with inflation these cameras do not cost anywhere near what they are charging for them even with a handsome profit margin.

    Same with the D3,D4, and D5. There are only minor electronics changes to the internals of the camera, the most expensive part being the sensor. Nikon has to be realistic about the cost of this stuff.

    I mean, yes you can make the stuff so expensive that only 1% of the population can afford it, but at that point you are putting your self out of business because 3 people a year might buy one.
    Post edited by Snowleopard on
    ||COOLPIX 5000|●|D70|●|D700|●|D810|●|AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED|●|AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D|●|AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D|●|AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G|●|AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D|●|AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED|●|AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED (Silver)|●|AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III|●|PB-6 Bellows|●|EL-NIKKOR 50mm f/2.8||
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,103Member
    edited February 13
    I think you may be underestimating the effort to build a "state of the art" SLR. I think an f7 with d500 af is no small matter.. they may pull back a bit and use the old d810 af and electronics .. that's much more "feasible ". but even then the bodies of the f6 and d810 are very very different due to the space needed for the film. then again what do I know.. it may be plug and play LOL!
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,474Member
    edited February 13

    I really don't get the cost of some of these things Lets take an F1,F2,F3,F4,F5,F6 or even a potential F7.

    What cost do they have in building the thing anyway...

    Parts are likely one of the smaller costs of developing a camera. Someone needs to design the camera body, or have you not noticed that each camera has differences from generation to generation? A team comes up with that, then 3D animators put them into a computer. Then they need physical models to test for feel. They might need to cycle through several designs before getting the right one.

    Then the camera needs firmware and other software to work, and the people that develop those two things get paid a lot of money. You cannot just slap a bunch of parts together and call it a day, even with a camera like the F6, because they are highly computerized. Each camera uses different processors, chips etc, because over time the parts get phased out by the manufactures (Nikon doesn't make most of the micro chips used in the cameras). Then you need to make all those different chips, from different manufactures to talk together, and do what you want them to do.

    Then you need to pay people to test it, setup manufacturing rigs, program automated CNC machines to make parts, train people to assemble the camera, train people to fix it (throughout the sales/repair network), marketing, front line sales etc. Nothing is free, just as good photos are not cheap, good cameras are not cheap to make either.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,786Member
    If Nikon was in decent financial standing, I could see them doing this project out of love and nostalgia for the format overall. With the new DL cancellations and forced retirement of employees, it looks like they're in dire financial straits.

    From what I read (mostly Thom Hogan), Nikon didn't really move to modular-style cameras until recently, with the Nikon 1 to cut costs. I don't know if the D750 is a modular camera, but you still need to modify the sensor to accept a film back and all that. I guess you could leave the AF system mostly intact, but that's some serious re-engineering involved.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • AndrewzAndrewz Posts: 106Member
    This is an interesting proposition and Nikon has done it in the past, sort of, the S3 2000 limited edition of the classic S3. Only 8000 units were made and they were all pre-sold in Japan only.

    Could it be done? sure. Would enough people buy them to make it a commercial success? I doubt it.

    I think to do it successfully Nikon would have to make it a limited edition F6, with updated electronics, in other words an F6 that can use all the modern lenses. You get the nostalgia crowd and pick up the people who want a modern film camera. No need to reinvent the wheel the F6 chassis is more then fine for film transport and the shutter mechanism really wouldn't need updating, just the metering and auto-focus.

    Are there any other examples of this in the industry? Yes - Leica, they figured out they couldn't compete with the Japanese camera companies and turned into a boutique manufacture. Leica shooters (snobs, JK) love Leica, regardless of the product, so there is a market.

    I like the idea of a Nikon sub-divison, lets call it Nikon - Classics, that concentrates on re-manufacturing old designs. I'd really love an F2 with just a prism (no meter) in black.

    BTW - I also want Nikon to make a Full Frame mirrors-less that looks just like the S3 and I'm going to start holding my breath right now......

    D750, P7000, F100 80-200 f2.8 AF-S, 24-120 f4, 50 f1.8D, 85 f1.8G, 14-24 f2.8

    Old friends now gone -D200, D300, 80-200 f2.3/D, 18-200, 35 f1.8G, 180 f2.8D, F, FM2, MD-12, 50 f1.4 Ais, 50 f1.8 Ais, 105 f2.5 Ais, 24 f2.8 Ais, 180 f2.8 ED Ais
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,103Member
    edited February 16
    LOL


    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • flipflip Posts: 64Member
    I graduated from scanning 35mm slides in 2005.
    Sold my 4000 dpi scanners except for epson 750 which I still use for LF.
    Was never happy with "C" prints made from dedicated slide scans. Preferred "R" prints along with Cibas.
    Bought drum scans for my best work. Prints from epson scans of 4x5 chromes can be excellent, but not a good choice for 35mm.

    Love film especially LF (4x5) chromes but not at $7 per sheet total film and E6 processing.

    If my interest was b&w film I might opt for a used Leica M4 or M7 rather than look for a mythical Nikon F7. Of course there is the Leica M Monochrome which mimics B&W film, but it is beyond reasonable price. Tri-x is fun film but digital has easily eclipsed results.

    Would prefer to see Nikon produce a FF compact with AF which can use F mount lenses and which competes with the Leica Q but with interchangeable lens options.
  • Jd1566Jd1566 Posts: 3Member
    Thanks to all for your comments.. Quite interesting the balance between those that think it's cost-prohibitive (and therefore impractical) and those that think it's possible. Of course we compare the F7 to whatever came before it and apply those economics for the present day. But consider this.. Pentax is producing a FF camera for $1600 with some AMAZING features. Sony has a FF mirrorless camera going for $1700. And they're making money. We are hung-up on Nikon's pricing, but let's be real here, they gouge the market, especially at release prices.. Who doubts this need only look at the D3x and it's then $8000 price tag. Today? About the same as a D3s.. a $1000 and change. The intrinsic value and the marketing pricetag are two different things, and the cost of manufacturing an F7 is not out of this world. Let's remember that until AT LEAST 2014 the F6 was still being assembled in a Nikon factory in Japan. Someone noted that electronics are updated (yes, cheaper and more capable!) and that engineers and programmers need to be used to make the newer electronics and focus modules and whatever interface with a film transport mechanism (they're on the payroll already!). How many cameras does Nikon produce and projectmanage at any one time?! A film body can SURELY slip in the cracks as a pet project just the same way the FM3A and the F6 did back in the day. And doing a limited production run does not need to break the bank, concentrate resources or be a massive drag on their structure.. Hell, all they need to do is cancel a few 18-XXX zoom lenses and they have the tech staff to make a camera.. Anyway, I for one would love to see it, but more than that, I think that Nikon needs some positive publicity and goodwill, because it is hemoraging it everywhere else.. Release a fantastic FORWARD looking product like a killer mirrorless FF system and supplement that by looking BACKWARD (A hallmark for Nikon products that Canon CANNOT duplicate!) by keeping alive film for the 21st century and compatible with the newer E lenses.. For me it's not about how much the camera costs, or how many they sell, it's about capturing the imagination of the Nikon customers that can again think, Yep, this is Nikon. It is not going to solve their balance sheet. It is not going to sell more than 10,000 units. It will not make them massive money. But it will make them relevant with people that enjoy photography in all it's formats and forms, be it silicon or film. Heck, Fuji still makes Velvia! And look where they are going today.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 1,786Member
    Just to go talk about the $8,000 Nikon D3x, it was expensive to make any FF camera back in 2009, let alone a 24 mp FF Nikon camera. Kodak made a FF camera in 2002, that cost $4,000, discounting inflation. I think the Kodak camera handled more like a Frankenstein experiment, I'll bet you the read and write times were not practical, let alone the work flow. But the D3x was absolutely state of the art back then, held to the same standards as a D3.

    Again, I would love it for Nikon to make this camera. Like others have said, they made the S3 as an homage to their heritage. Now all we have to do is hurry up and wait.

    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • ShaulinShaulin Posts: 1Member
    An updated F6 with better AF, light metering and compatability to E lenses would make more sense than an all out new camera.
    as for producing the thing, AFAIK Nikon are making the F6 at a rate of 50 a month, so production will just need to be scaled up.
  • framerframer Posts: 427Member
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,279Moderator
    I would love to do some film work again, but this is a very deep commitment in terms of time and the approach to the subject. From my dinosaur mentality, I like the limitations of film, much narrower range of exposure, ISO very low, manual focus, at least for me, and thinking more in the Ansel Adams perspective or the f/64 group.

    If there are enough folks who want a new camera to reduce some of these limitations, so be it. As for me, my old F bodies and lenses from the 1960's are what I would use, and I suspect the results would be very difficult to distinguish from a new F7, except in some specialized venues.

    Oh well....
    Nikon F 1960's
    Msmoto, mod
  • DréDré Posts: 1Member
    It doesn't make sense at all, neither financially, nor for other reasons. Why would anyone want to make pictures with film? There is no advantage whatsoever and it is very bad for the environment. You might as well go back to steam ships, start writing on a type writer and make the plague popular again.
  • AbhinavAbhinav Posts: 44Member
    As a company it make no sense in making Film camera now .I heard it costs a lot to make manual lenses (see their catalogue )
  • AbhinavAbhinav Posts: 44Member
    As a company it make no sense in making Film camera now .I heard it costs a lot to make manual lenses (see their catalogue )
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