The Nikon F5 is regarded as the forefather of the Nikon DSLR line because all designs and digital variations would soon be modeled after it.

First introduced in 1996, the nikon F5 was touted as the greatest technological breakthrough in photography at the time and gained instant recognition from photojournalists and sports photographers for its build and extensive feature list.

Build quality

In the 90s cameras were mostly built out of hard plastics and rubber materials but Nikon had different plans and made these cameras out of solid blocks of steel, this added to the overall size and weight but despite that the F5 is comfortable in the hand. The hand grip is lined with a comfortable rubber material and it makes holding the camera very comfortable, the F5 sits perfectly in the palm of your hand and feels balanced even though it’s a literal block of steel.


Most manufacturers at the time sold incomplete cameras in a sense, for example nikon itself sold the nikon F3 as a standalone camera then created a number of accessories including an autofocus system but with the Nikon F5 people were given a feature rich camera that felt like a complete package from the start.

The AF system had 5 sensors to track quick movement, the camera could shoot 8 frames per second and the lightmeter incorporated a color 3D matrix metering system. The F5 also had the world’s first self adjusting shutter for more accurate results and ran speeds between 30 Seconds and 1/8000 second.

Final thoughts
The F5 is an incredible camera that can do anything a digital camera could and that’s high praise, it is preferred for sports photography but in practice this camera is great for any and all genres of photography.
The only conceivable downside is how quickly batteries drain but the upside is that this camera uses eight AA batteries and those are extremely common, so with the aforementioned in mind this camera is a great investment regardless of the genre you shoot if you mainly use film for photography jobs, we’ve used it for mainly portrait photoshoots and the vertical grip and shutter button made our lives so much easier when shooting. We recommend you buy this camera while you still can. 

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