Nikon F-801

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Nikon N8008 front view

The Nikon F-801 (sold as the N8008 in the US market) is a 35mm SLR of the late 1980s. Although its autofocus mechanism is slow in comparison to modern standards, it was an improvement on Nikon's first attempt at an autofocus SLR - the F-501 (N2020 in North America), and proved to be reliable and durable, typical of Nikon's cameras.

Features[edit]

Despite being designated in the number range usually reserved for amateur cameras (indicated by the F- or N prefix), the F-801 was built to a high standard and incorporated a number of professional features:

  • A Depth of Field preview button allows temporary stopping down to the shooting aperture to check DOF.
  • A Multiple Exposure facility allows up to nine shots within one frame.
  • A unique 'two shot' self-timer. This allowed a second shot to be taken by the self-timer a couple of seconds after the first, giving a more 'relaxed' and unposed picture.
  • Fully programmed automatic exposure, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and fully manual exposure control.
  • 30-second to 1/8000-second shutter speed range with bulb mode.
  • Film-speed setting from DX code or by manual override (ISO 6 to 6400).
  • 1/250-sec. flash synchronisation.
  • Evaluative 2D Matrix and 75% Centre-Weighted Average metering modes.
  • Compatibility with the Nikon Multi-Control Back MF-21, allowing freeze-focus, data imprinting, and automatic exposure bracketing.

Compatibility[edit]

Nikon N8008 top panel View

Like the Nikon F4, the F-801 is broadly compatible with most Nikon AI and AF F-mount lenses, though some features are unavailable depending on the lens type. All features are available when used with AF-type lenses. Non-CPU (AI and AI-S) lenses are supported, but only Manual and Aperture-Priority exposure programs are available, using centre-weighted metering. Autofocus is not supported with AF-I and AF-S lenses, and Vibration Reduction (VR) is not available regardless of the lens. Newer G-type lenses are usable with the Program and Shutter-Priority exposure programs (though it is possible to use them in Manual or Shutter-Priority programs, but only at minimum aperture).

The F-801 continued the trend established by earlier Nikon cameras such as the F-301/N2000 and F-501/N2020 in not being provided with an ISO-standard cable release socket. Instead, all remote interaction with the camera is carried out via the two-pin remote terminal on the front of the body. One can use an ISO cable release with the body by purchasing a Terminal Release MR-3 and fitting it to the remote terminal.

Despite the camera's complexity (900 parts, two microcomputers, and eight ICs), both the F-801 (N8008) and its successor the F-801s (N8008s) enjoy an enviable reputation for extremely reliable performance and durability, a weak point of many mid-level AF SLR cameras.

Related models[edit]

The F-801 provided a semi-professional autofocus successor to the manual-focus Nikon FE2 SLR, which had been manufactured until 1987. The success of the F-801 led to an updated version of this camera in 1991, which was designated the F-801S/N8008S. It had improved autofocus performance and incorporated spot metering, but retained the original model's reputation for reliability.

During the early 1990s, the F-801s sat at the top of the company's consumer range of autofocus cameras, which also included the F-401 and F-601. More advanced and expensive professional autofocus SLRs included the Nikon F4.

External links[edit]