The Nikon F6 was the last SLR film camera produced by Nikon or anyone else. It is considered by many to be the best SLR camera ever made. The F6 was discontinued in 2020.
Recently, I was indulged by a few great companies to go play cameras in the Boneville Salt Flats and make a short promotional video a bicycle collaboration between Betty Designs and Open Cycles.
With a frame rate of 8 frames per second, this film was was shot with a Nikon F6 and 37 rolls of Kodak Proimage 100 film over the course of about an hour at the Boneville Salt Flats during the smoke filled summer of 2021.
32 rolls were developed. 5 rolls were lost to user error and miscommunications.
Show notes for camera geeks
- The AF on the Nikon F6, even upwards of 20 years after release, is remarkable.
- The metering on the Nikon F6 is also remarkable. Given that I was using consumer-grade film (Kodak Proimage100) and the white landscape was a difficult lighting situation, the results were impressive.
- At the time the Nikon F5 was released, a similar film short was made as a promotion for that camera. That promotion was 31 seconds long. This project is something of an homage to those 31 seconds of video. This one is also 31 seconds because geeks will be geeks. This is the OG Nikon commercial.
- If you look closely there is a glitch in the closing sequence with the cameras. I removed a sequence with a Petri Racer rangefinder. The athlete in the video was clicking the top of the camera because the director (me) forgot to show her that the shutter release is on the front of the camera. At the time of shooting, we were working in window of only a few hours during a break from the unrelenting smoke from the Caldor fire in California. In some of these images you can see the smoke in the distance and it was closing in on us fast. By the time I got to the camera sequence, the smoke was rolling in so fast I couldn’t take time reshoot the Petri Racer sequence. We were able to shoot the M7 but the smoke was so thick the images turned to mud and we called it a day. I couldn’t bear the harassment of the film community for the Petri Racer transgression so I removed the Petri Racer from the camera. For the record, the Petri Racer is an underrated camera.
- The Leica M7 is adorned with a Kamerakraft grip. You need one #notsponsored
- I don’t know if the F6 is the best SLR of all time because the answer to that question is unknowable. It is, however, my favorite modern SLR. The FE2, FM2, or FM3A win my vote for the best traditional SLR so there is that. If you disagree, I am happy to debate this with you over on my instagram accounts @leicalensesfornormalpeople or @themattwphoto
- The first camera in the closing sequence is a Revere Stereo 33 camera. It was my father-in-law’s camera. He was a stereo image freak with slides to prove it. The Nikon in the closing sequence is a Nikon FE with fully functional electronics. Electronics are not a crime against humanity. The Olympus 35SP is overrated. The Leica M7 is underrated. See #7 if you are feeling twitchy and would like to discuss.
- I used Kodak film for this project. You can read more about my feelings on choosing color negative film at https://www.35mmc.com/16/08/2021/picking-your-color-negative-film-stock-an-alternative-approach-by-matt-wright/.
This video made possible by Betty Designs (bettydesigns.com), Opencycle (opencycle.com), Enve Composites (enve.com). Monster Energy (http://www.monsterenergy.com), and IRC tires (https://ircbike.com). I am not sure why they allowed me to do this but they indulged me. Thank you.