An In-depth Analysis of the Nikon F70: Understanding Its Features and Capabilities

The Nikon F70 | by Bertrand Labévue

The Nikon F70, also known as the Nikon N70 in the US, is an auto-focus 35mm SLR camera that was introduced in 1994. During its time, it captured the attention of both beginners and advanced photographers with its advanced features and reliable performance. In this comprehensive review, we will explore the Nikon F70’s design, functionality, and its compatibility with different lenses. Whether you are a photography enthusiast or someone considering their first film camera, this review will provide you with valuable insights into the Nikon F70’s capabilities and help you make an informed decision.

Recommended Film for the Nikon F70

When it comes to shooting with the Nikon F70, selecting the right film can greatly enhance the quality and aesthetics of your photographs. The camera is designed for 35mm film, which is readily available from various manufacturers and can be easily obtained from online retailers. One highly recommended film option is the Kodak Gold 200, known for its enchanting color reproduction and versatility in capturing different lighting conditions. For those seeking brilliant black and white shots, the Ilford HP5 is an excellent choice, producing stunning results with rich contrast and fine details. Additionally, many other film producers offer options suitable for the Nikon F70, providing photographers with a wide range of creative possibilities.

Battery Requirements

To power the Nikon F70, it requires two CR123A lithium batteries. These compact batteries are widely available and can provide sufficient power to keep your camera operating reliably. It’s recommended to keep a spare set of batteries on hand, especially during extended photography sessions or when traveling to ensure uninterrupted shooting. With the right batteries in place, you can confidently explore the features and capabilities of the Nikon F70, knowing that you have a reliable power source to support your photographic endeavors.

Design and Interface

The Nikon F70 boasts a unique design that sets it apart from other cameras of its time. Its ergonomic construction ensures a comfortable grip, allowing photographers to hold and operate the camera with ease during extended shooting sessions. The placement of buttons on one side of the camera, along with the thumb dial on the opposite side, offers quick access to essential settings, enabling intuitive adjustments while composing shots.

One notable feature of the Nikon F70 is its circular interface on the LCD screen, where users can easily view and adjust various settings. This circular design provides a clear and concise display, allowing photographers to quickly navigate through different modes, exposure settings, and other camera functions.

Lens Compatibility

The Nikon F70 is compatible with a wide range of lenses, providing photographers with flexibility and creative possibilities. The camera features the renowned Nikon F lens mount, ensuring compatibility with various Nikon lenses. Here are the main lens types and their performance with the Nikon F70:

  • AF, AF-D, AF-S, and AF-I lenses: These lenses offer full compatibility with the Nikon F70, enabling autofocus and all camera functions. They are ideal for capturing fast-moving subjects, achieving precise focus, and maximizing the camera’s capabilities in various shooting scenarios.
  • VR lenses: While VR (Vibration Reduction) lenses are compatible with the Nikon F70, it’s important to note that the Vibration Reduction function is disabled on this camera. Nonetheless, VR lenses can still be used effectively for manual focus and other camera functions.
  • AI, AI-S, and converted AI lenses: These manual focus lenses are compatible with the Nikon F70, although they won’t function in the camera’s matrix meter mode. However, they can be used with the center-weighted and spot meter modes, along with the A (Aperture Priority) and M (Manual) program modes.
  • G lenses: G lenses are also compatible with the Nikon F70, but they have some limitations. They can only be used with the P (Program) and S (Shutter Priority) program modes, as the camera lacks the necessary controls for aperture adjustment.

Film Transport and Silent Rewind Feature

The Nikon F70 features a motorized film transport system that allows for smooth and efficient advancement of the film. In high continuous mode, the camera can advance film at up to 3.7 frames per second (fps), while in low continuous mode, it achieves approximately 2.0 fps. Additionally, when using focus tracking, the camera maintains a rate of approximately 3.1 fps in continuous servo AF mode.

One noteworthy feature of the Nikon F70 is its silent rewind function. By reducing the speed of the film rewind, this feature minimizes noise, resulting in a quieter operation during the rewinding process. While the silent rewind feature contributes to a more discreet shooting experience, it’s important to note that rewinding may take a slightly longer time due to the reduced speed.

Autofocus and Exposure Options

The Nikon F70 excels in its autofocus capabilities, providing photographers with reliable and precise focusing for their shots. The camera offers two autofocus modes: single and continuous autofocus. In single autofocus mode, the camera locks focus when the shutter button is half-pressed, allowing photographers to recompose their shots without worrying about focus shifting. Continuous autofocus mode, on the other hand, tracks moving subjects, ensuring sharp focus even when the subject is in motion.

When it comes to exposure options, the Nikon F70 offers a range of versatile settings to suit different shooting scenarios. Photographers can choose from program automatic, aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual mode to have full control over their exposures. These options enable photographers to adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and other exposure parameters, allowing for creative expression and precise control over the final image. Additionally, the camera provides eight scene modes to simplify the process for beginners or those who prefer a quick setup for specific shooting conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Nikon F70 a Good Camera?

Yes, the Nikon F70 is widely regarded as a good camera. It offers advanced features, reliable performance, and a user-friendly interface. It has received positive reviews for its autofocus capabilities, exposure options, and compatibility with a wide range of lenses.

What Lenses are Compatible with the Nikon F70?

The Nikon F70 is compatible with various lenses, including AF, AF-D, AF-S, AF-I, AI, AI-S, and converted AI lenses. Additionally, G lenses can also be used, although they are limited to P (Program) and S (Shutter Priority) program modes.

How does the Autofocus Perform on the Nikon F70?

The autofocus performance of the Nikon F70 is highly regarded. It offers two autofocus modes: single and continuous autofocus. The single autofocus mode locks focus when the shutter button is half-pressed, while continuous autofocus tracks moving subjects for consistent focus.

Is the Nikon F70 Suitable for Beginners?

Yes, the Nikon F70 is suitable for beginners. It offers intuitive controls, scene modes for quick setup, and a user-friendly interface, making it accessible to photographers who are new to film cameras.

Can I Still Find Film for the Nikon F70?

Yes, film for the Nikon F70, which uses 35mm film, is still available. There are several film options offered by various manufacturers that cater to different shooting preferences, including both color and black-and-white films. These films can be obtained from online retailers and specialized photography stores.

Technical Specifications

Technical Specifications
Type of CameraSingle lens reflex camera
Film Format35mm
Film TransportAutomatic
Picture Format24 x 36 mm
Lens MountNikon F lens mount
Exposure Times1/4000 s to 30 s, Bulb
Bulb ModeYes
Light MeterYes
Exposure ModesProgram automatic, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Manual mode
FlashBuilt-in flash
Flash ConnectionHot Shoe
Tripod MountYes
Cable Release ThreadNo
Power Supply2x CR123A batteries