Hi everyone, Azriel Knight here, and today I’m going to give you my first impressions on the Nikon F50. In case you didn’t know, I picked up this camera on my last episode of the $25 camera challenge,
I bought it off of eBay for under $25, and it came all the way from Lithuania so it took a little while to get here. So I’m going to head into the darkroom now, pop a battery, a roll of film, a lens on this thing.
I gotta tell you, Canadian winters are not ideal for basement darkrooms. The temperature in here right now is 5 Celsius, with 40 percent humidity. Like I said, not ideal conditions. Now I’m not doing anything too darkroomy in here right now.
I’m just basically setting the camera up and giving it some tests and for the most part it’s easier to show you it on video in here than it is in the studio cuz it’s brighter, but later on when I develop the film it’ll be a little harder.
The camera came body only, but I do have a lens from another broken F50 that I bought last summer. This is a 35 to 80 4 to 5.6 Nikon lens. Pretty much just a kit lens. The F50 takes a single 2CR5 battery. I have a few batteries here in case one goes, and when I test cameras.
I don’t shoot an entire roll because it’s a waste if the camera’s busted anyway. So I have a couple of partials here, I have no idea how many frames I’ll get out of them, but in case I don’t get a lot out of one, then I have a second one here to finish it off.
So I tend to fiddle with a camera first before I look at the manual, I don’t check the, I don’t check its history or anything like that, I just pick it up and figure it out, and then if I can’t figure it out, or can’t figure out something specific, that’s when I’ll look online for a manual.
This camera kind of reminds me of the T70 in the sense there’s no dials only buttons, whirring noise, ooh that’s a really sensitive trigger, I actually didn’t need to take that shot.
Okay, I’m ready to take the camera out for some test shots, and it’s just gonna be a few test shots today because the last time I checked the weather it was minus 33 with the windchill, and if you don’t know what wind chill is, consider yourself lucky.
I cannot believe how cold it is out here right now. It’s supposed to warm up later in the week, but that’s really hard to believe. Judging by, judging by the fact that just how much snow there is on the ground.
Okay, I have to admit that was a less than pleasant experience. Um… it’s really hard to explain how cold it is with just a number but minus 33 with the windchill it’s like five minutes and you’re done.
So basically I just found something I wanted to take a picture of, and then kinda walked down a block and back and that was it cuz it is crazy out there and it’s really hard to shoot with gloves on so stupid I didn’t bring my gloves but I’m gonna move to one more location, get a couple of shots, and even if the roll’s not done, I am calling it a day.
Okay I lied I’m back home now. I did drive around for another 20 minutes or so looking for other stuff to shoot but there is a method to my madness why I came home before my roll was up.
I’m at about shot number 11 but what I’m gonna do is take it into the darkroom here and unload it from the camera without rewinding. I want to ensure that the film actually uptook and advanced, and the only way I’ll know that is if I open up the camera in pitch black and pull the film from the other side.
If there’s nothing on the other side the I know this was all a waste of time, but if it’s wound up a bunch then the film advanced and I probably have images.
So these photos are probably not gonna be stellar. I just kind of like saw something that I photographed before, stopped there, took a few snaps of it, and then I walked down the alley and I took a few snaps there, so really nothing like.
Five minutes was my tap out time. You’d think because I’m Canadian I can handle the weather, but it doesn’t mean that I like it. Actually as kind of a confession, to be honest with you, I don’t shoot in the winter a lot at all. So I’m gonna hit the lights and pull the film out and we’ll know in a second if everything’s A-okay.
Okay it looks like a success, it was rolled around the other end a bunch of times just as I had hoped, and in fact it was the end of the roll anyway, so like I said before it was a partial roll, and if I had hit the shutter again it would have rewound regardless, so I picked a good time to call it quits I think. It worked out.
So now I’m gonna get this thing developed and see how everything turned out.
Okay I’m all done developing, that’s just a simple develop, stop, and fix. No hypo clear no spot rinse nothing like that. I haven’t even washed it yet, there’s really no point until I find out whether or not the camera actually worked.
Yeah… I honestly feel like… I actually feel like this camera might have light leaks. There is some streaking and it’s extra dark, and I think I know where it’s coming from too. Yeah, definitely some light leaks coming from this window here.
Basically what happened is when the camera pulled the film, there was enough space here between the canister and the padding to let light in. I also got minor leaks on the edge, and I suspect that if I had been out in the sun longer, it probably would have been worse.
After the film dries back there, I will take it to the light table and give you a closer look.
Okay, my film has had some to dry and I’m gonna have a closer look now with you. The first thing I noticed is that it’s really curly. It’s probably due to the fact I didn’t wash it properly, it might also be in part because my darkroom wasn’t climatized today. Like I said, I’m just looking to see if the camera works or not, and to be honest I’m glad that I saved myself a bit of time today by skipping these steps.
I have a piece of anti-Newton glass that I can use to flatten out the negative. You can see the lines right there streaking across the top and bottom, and there’s an overall fog. This part of the negative is definitely darker than the next strip.
Here’s the next strip for comparison, so you can tell there’s definitely some serious fogging here. Also very faint, but there’s some edge leakage here, and it’s possible that this would’ve gotten worse. There’s also some light leaks here actually.
Yeah, so I think the evidence pretty much speaks for itself here.
Even though that was kind of a bust, I do have another camera set up already, and I’m pretty sure that one’s gonna work. I also paid less than $25 for it. So keep an eye out for that.
A couple final thoughts on the F50 itself, even though this one was broken. It had a decent grip. I don’t know if I… I don’t prefer buttons over dials, I definitely prefer dials. It was really simple to use, it’s one of those cameras that I don’t think really requires a manual, it’s pretty intuitive if you’ve shot with a few cameras before.
If I was gonna do a real review of it, of course I would want one that’s completely functional, but nothing… there was nothing spectacular about this camera, but there was nothing super annoying either. It’s your average run-of-the-mill electronic camera, and I’ll always complain about cameras that use expensive batteries, so there’s that.
I hope you enjoyed this episode, please remember to like, share, and subscribe. And until next time, stay classic.
Transcript by Jason Ganz