Nikon's first real autofocus slr
Still nearly a legend even 20 years later. The N8008 and its fraternal twin the N8008s were the first good near pro level Nikon AF slrs. With a fast 1/250 second flash sync, decent motor drive speed, depth of field preview, compatiblity with every lens made by Nikon Ai or later , for its time good autofocusing speed, interchangeable screens, AA battery compatibity, High eyepoint viewing and a better then average ruggedness, the N8008 led the way for more advanced successors like the F4 series, the N90 series, the F100, F5 and F6.
Unbelievably cheap today, they offer much more value then almost any other mid level or lower later made film Nikon (like the N50,55,60,65,75 and 80. The N70 is okay, albeit, harder to use at first because of its interface ).
Sporting an excellent user interface, the N8008 was both sophisticated yet intuitive. Its controls easy to get to and quick to respond.
The only weaknesses which were addressed in later Nikons were center point only autofocus, lack of built in autobracketing, lack of built in flash (its kid sister, the N6006 addressed that, another excellent camera), and limited compatiblity with later autofocus Nikon lenses.
If you stick with standard and AF D Nikkors you won't have any problems.
AF-I and AF-S Nikkors will mount but won't autofocus. G Nikkors will mount and meter but can't be used in aperture priority or manual modes, only shutter priority and program.
My first one was an S model with faster autofocusing and spot metering (which I rarely ended up using). I paid $600 new New York Discount store in 1990.
Today, they are rarely listed over a $100 making a good example a true bargain.
Mine lasted over a dozen years. I put it through hell and it still worked. It finally broke so I got four more both standard and S models along with a trio of N90s slrs).
Whether you're a student learning photography who wants a film slr which will grow with you, a digital pro who needs an inexpensive compatible body to accomodate the occasional film shoot (there's actually a review of a working pro who switched back to film from digital after the N8008 saved his bacon in a paying assignment listed among these reviews) and wide angle capability to a complete novice who wants a cool looking slr which will just take better pix then the dinky digital point and shoot they have, the N8008 and S will more then fill the bill for a fraction of the price of what it used to cost.
For those requiring faster autofocus (particularly action shooters), off center focusing capability and 1/3 stop shutter speeed controls to use for slide film, I strongly recommend the vary similar (if you know one, you can learn most of the controls of the other with no manuals) and somewhat more expensive N90s (avoid the regular N90, can't stand that camera. I know a pro who had three, all of them had extensive problems. The 90s is better and more advanced, the 8008 is more reliable) But for most purposes, the 8008/s should do the job most of the time.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Nikon N8008 Film Camera
Even though I have a top of the line digital SLR, I love my film SLR cameras, some of which date back to 1965. The N8008 is a little heavier than my other AF bodies but has bells and whistles that offset the weight. One can pop off consecutive frames at the rate of about 3.3 frames per second which can be a true asset when shooting sports. This, of course, should not be made a habit on successive frames unless you own stock in Kodak or Fuji. At the 1/2000 shutter speed, try mutliple exposures on a single frame. You cannot match that little gem. Next 4th of July fireworks show you will get some shots that will beat the pants off the others. The 8008 is the automated answer for those who understand how to do things manually but enjoy leaving some of the more mundane tasks to the microprocessor.
Being able to use 4 AAs instead of CR-2 or CR-123 like my others is a plus. Pop 4 of those Lithium Ion guys (around $9 for the package of 4 locally) and you will be good for months.
I managed to find a MF-21 back (which, by the way has an 81 page manual) and, if you can do so also, you will be really ready to rock-n-roll.
Other revewiers bemoan the fact that the 8008 has no cable release. Not so.. the MC-12A shutter release plugs into the front of the camera and operates just as a cable release would. They are usually around $15. The 8008 has no popup flash which can be a bother but I rarely find the popups powerful enough.
You have a good time.
Blue Ridge, GA USA
The N8008 did a splendid job with the July 4th Fireworks display. I used the MC-12A remote shutter release with the camera on a tripod. I set the shutter to BULB. Open the shutter @ a lull and keep the lens open for (I like) three fireworks launches. Hopefully, they will explode at different spots in the sky. Release the shutter, the film will advance to the next frame and then repeat as long as the show (or your film) lasts. I used ASA200 film, the lens was set two stops down from wide open and set to infinity with the AF off.
I checked an online review of the N8008 and (according to that) this jewel retailed at around $750 (no lens) when first marketed.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
I bought the N8008 to replace an N6006 that I owned since the cameras were first offered to the public. Originally I did not want to pay the extra money for the bells and whistles of the N8008, but on Ebay as a replacement, why not?
And what a camera I got in the N8008. It is elegant, smooth, and well uses all of the F series lenses I already had. It gives me that smooth comfort of the curchink of mirror snapping up to allow for the image to hit the film. A sound I have loved all of my life. And it allows me to use film, which though very retro, produces colors far more true than digital. This is the real thing. And if you have been using a digital you will have to get used to the speed of focus, shot and another shot and another shot. Faster than you can think.
Mine came with the original owner's manual and I still have the tape video tutorial of my old N606, which unfortunately lost its ability to keep the film door closed. The repair would have cost more than the N8008 so I simply moved up to the master level camera body.
Mine does not have the fill flash device on the top of the prism housing. And I find that to be a good thing. I only want to shoot in natural light and with amazing film speeds available, the quality of a picture in natural light is far superior to a fill flash any day (or night for that matter).
Camera manufacturers are in the business of making their own products look obsolete with new products. Don't be fooled. A great Nikon lens (or a Leica lens, my other tool) is a state of the art lens and the camera body plays a very small role in al of this.
One last thing in defense of film: Cartier Bresson was known for never cropping a photo and shooting for the precise moment. Digital photography, with its trash basket and ability to fool mother nature is about ignoring such a rigid standard. However, if you stay within the rigid standard you will be a far better photographer. And black and white film is still the great challenge, the hight of the art form.
A new generation has discovered the quality f vinyl recordings and film cameras are sure to follow. Not everything new is better. Most is not, unless you are lazy or have no eye for composition.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Nikon N8008 - A super camera!
When I started Brook’s Institute of Photography in 1965, being young and wanting to be like everyone else, I made the mistake of a lifetime by trading in my Lica M3 for the original Nikon F Photomic model. Of course, I was never happy with the sharpness of the Nikon F because, in those days, the difference between Lica optics and Nikon optics was comparable to the difference between a Rolls Royce and a Chevrolet. By the mid 70’s I left the photographic profession and presued other areas of interest. In fact, between the mid 70’s and last year I did not own a 35mm camera.
Last summer, I was on vacation with my daughter in a rainstorm, when the pouch containing her expensive new digital camera fell off the strap on my video camera gadget bag in the middle of a busy intersection. By the time we got to our destination, discovered the loss and retraced our steps, the camera was run over by every car and truck in the state of Michigan (you would not believe what the remains looked like. When we went to a camera store to replace her camera, I saw an n4004 with a 28-105 mm AF lens at a price I would have been foolish to pass up. After shooting my first roal of film, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the modern Nikon lenses. My impression is that the quality of the images equaled or even surpassed that of the Lica pictures of my early days.
When I returned to California, I immediately bought an SB-25 strobe light on e-bay. However, I was never happy with the awkwardness of the n4004 body; epically with the difficulty, I was experiencing reading the shutter speed and f-stop dials, the lack of provision for a cable release or remote shutter switch and auto-focus that is so slow as to be useless.
So I completely solved the problem by purchasing an n8008 body on E-bay. What a difference! I no longer worry about the “little things”, like will the shutter be delayed so long that I miss the shot or will it even function at all because I may have inadvertently set something out of range. I can even use the auto-focus function in high-speed sequences without worry.
After I bought my n8008, I added an AF 70-300 mm ED lens to my bag. Since it is extremely awkward to work with two dissimilar bodies, I am in the process of buying a second n8008 body on E-bay, while selling the n4004. I am now completely hooked on Nikon.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Nikon N8008 AF film camera
I was looking for a good-quality film camera for my daughter, whose interest in photography keeps increasing exponentially. She wanted a pure manual-focus camera, but given her many and varied interests in different kinds of subjects for picture-taking, this camera (which does both manual and auto-focus) looked like a good bet. It was. She is completely delighted with the camera, the many features, and the excellent quality of the photographs. I like that it's solidly built and is used enthusiastically by professional as well as amateur photographers. (The one criticism I have heard from others, that the shutter is "noisy," seems really silly and inconsequential to me.) I also like that the manual is easy to follow. I am NO camera expert, but I think this is an outstanding camera that transitions between the ease of auto-focus and the best features of manual focus, and it produces excellent photographs.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.