Nikon N90

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Nikon N90

Postby Niner » Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:10 pm

Nikon was getting it's butt kicked by Canon in the start of the 1990's. Canon's noticeably faster auto focus with the new EOS system had Nikon on the ropes as professional photographers that had always been loyal started drifting away. The F4 professional system wasn't up to the fast focusing Canon product and the F5 was a ways off yet. So Nikon came out with the N90 in the US or F90 elsewhere in 1992. It had a competitive auto focus and all the capability that professionals could appreciate but Nikon aimed at the top end in the consumer camera market with this camera. The price in 1992 made it sell for around $1000...actual street value. It continued in production until 2001 when a slight upgrade in the N90s came out with an even slightly faster auto focus. Professionals are said to have taken a fancy to it least to the extent of using one for a backup. By the time the last one was sold new in 2004 the price had dropped to around $700 for the body. Today? This one was delivered to my door with a lens for $27.

At first glance it has a lot of buttons, dials and switches. The information window shows stuff that makes some sense but figuring out how to change some P for program to S for shutter preferred, or how to switch the the meter reading from matrix to center , or... other any number of other things is a problem for someone not a Nikon user. Ergonomic it isn't. You have to read the book to find your way around to knowing what to push and what to turn to do different things. But... this camera model has a reputation for above average matrix metering ability and various program modes that were ahead of the pack.

The best thing about this camera is that it uses common penlight batteries. And although it is basically a plastic wonder on the outside, maybe because of the batteries, it has a solid feel and heft to it.

Now days the $1000 wonder is lost among the many plastic , and not fantastic, cameras that Pentax, Canon, Minolta, etc., pumped out in great profusion in the late 80's and 90's. People tend to gravitate to the mechanical non auto focus heavy metal cameras today and those kind of cameras tend to go for more money than the N90. I've had this one a while. Just got around to running some film through it.

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