Nikon N75 – Meet the Twins

One night on eBay…

I think we all know where this story is going. I decided I had too many Pentax film bodies, and with the recent inheritance of several new Nikon lenses and a D7000 body, I wanted a way to use all these lenses for film photography as well as digital. In order to keep the camera body collection under control I sold the Pentax ME Super (though I kept the sweet Seikanon lens it came with) and then used those funds to purchase a compatible film body. I still have the Pentax MV for the K-mount lenses so I’m not really giving anything up.

I didn’t need anything glamourous. I certainly didn’t need a top of the line professional body such as the F6, which goes for $1000 and beyond. All I needed was a body that supported the collection of Nikkor “G” lenses. For that, I chose a considerably less expensive ($50 versus $1000+) Nikon N75 from the early 2000s in amazing mint condition. I also considered the N65, the “consumer-level” model that amazingly has all the same knobs and buttons but is silver colored. In this good a condition and matching black, bundled with two fresh rolls of Fuji Superia 400 and free 2-day shipping, the deal couldn’t be beat.

At first glance it bears a really strong resemblance to its digital sibling and amazingly light being all plastic. The rubber-coated magnesium of the D7000 is quite durable and nice, but it adds a good deal to the weight.

The Bad

Firstly, I have the same gripe about the light metering on this camera as I do on the Nikon D7000 – under exposed is to the right and over exposed is to the left. This is not easier, it’s not better. It’s backwards. This is some sort of weird Nikon tradition that I’m just not going to understand.

Secondly, I got the “N75QD” model which features the option of putting the date on the film negative. We’ve all seen those photos from the 90’s where the little stamp is in the corner.

This is a stupid trend that was very short-lived in the 90’s and 2000’s. Nobody misses it. If you want a date on your image then use the software of choice to add it in. But please, don’t put it on your negatives and prints. I keep this turned OFF.

Lastly, I don’t like how this camera handles ISO. If you put DX-coded film in, it uses that ISO and that’s fine. Except you can’t change it. If you want to “push” or “pull” your exposure, you’re out of luck. If you put a film cassette in that doesn’t have any DX coding, such as a plastic bulk film cassette, it defaults to ISO 100 and, unlike Canon, there is no way to manually change it. There are some film things I will still have to do on the Canon or Pentax cameras just because of that.

The Good

It feels great to use. It is light in weight and it has a really comfortable grip that a guy with a big hand can really hold on to.

The shutter, even with the mirror moving up and down, is butter smooth.

It takes CR2 batteries which are both easy to find and cheap at Wal-Mart.

The motorized film advance is surprisingly quiet.

Modern second-hand prices can’t be beat.

The big question – what do images look like? All of these were shot at a local car show using the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G lens.

CyberViewX v5.16.55 Model Code=46 F/W Version=1.67
CyberViewX v5.16.55 Model Code=46 F/W Version=1.67

Except this one, which is our rabbit Gracie’s first appearance on film.

CyberViewX v5.16.55 Model Code=46 F/W Version=1.67

Shoot photos, not each other!

3 thoughts on “Nikon N75 – Meet the Twins

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