- Browse Reviews:
Nikon F90X 35mm SLRs
The Nikon F90x was a camera that caught my imagination when I first heard about it. It seemed that most everyone that I asked talked of the F90x in very respectful terms. Even though it was not a true pro calibre camera in the Nikon line up, it appeared to be a pro favorite. The fact that my favorite photographer at the time, Galen Rowell, used one in conjunction with his F4s helped to seal my fate of eventually owning one.
Submitted by Jan Volkman a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: March 1, 2014
Strengths: Very Fast Autofocus, Great Meter, Great Flash Camera, Very Good in low light, Great MF-26 Back
Weaknesses: Somewhat heavy
I had two n90s Nikons. I used these primarily to photograph at Figure Skating shows, with low available light and constantly changing light. I bought the MF-26 back for both of them, which provides a little trick called "Focus Priority". This means that when you click the shutter, the camera waits the very small interval it took to get in Focus with the skaters "who were moving targets", before it would activate the shutter. I shot in Shutter Priority with a fast lens and fast film. The result was 95% of the shots were in focus and metered correctly. This camera was well regarded, even by Pros, and Nikon kept producing them for over 10 years, shipping them until about 2004, not long before they switched to nearly all DIGITAL production. In the film era NIKON line, it was surpassed only by the F5, and F100
Similar Products Used: Nikon FA, Nikon N2020, Canon T90, Nikon N8008s, Nikon F100
Type of photography: Sports
Submitted by neorebel1 a Professional
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2011
Strengths: It's a well buildt Nikon.
Weaknesses: It's a boat anchor.
Slow searching auto focus even with high contrast and great lighting.
Terrible results on film even with a sturdy tripod.
Couldn't wait to sell it.
I hate to say I sold my F3 and bought a N90. I liked the idea of fast focusing with Auto Focus lens.
This camera was junk from the beginning. Focus was slow and searched all of the time. Nothing like my F4s!
The meter was junk as well. I sold this boat anchor as soon as I could and upgraded to the Nkon F5,
The F5 was just a Nikon F4s with dial instead of dials and the F4s metered with my older lens which the F5 wouldn't without sending it into Nikon.
I still have my Nikon F which has paid for itself multiple times, My F2 which was just a better Nikon F.
I still shoot with my F4s and get fantastic results with all of my older and newer lens.
If you just have to have a N90 go buy it..but if you want a camera that leaves the N90 in the dust..........buy the F4 it's ten times better!
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Similar Products Used: All Nikon Professional products!
Type of photography: Fine Art
Submitted by Bob Kildare a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: October 30, 2010
Strong construction and weatherproofing
Superb and flexible metering
Fast motor drive
Extended flash capabilities
Low price for used examples
It doesn't have mirror lockup
A special coating on the back wears off of some early units
You can't take it with you when you die
The Nikon N90S/F90X is as advanced as any film camera needs to be. You can get more bells and whistles on an F100 or F5 or F6; but all you really need is on the 90. It has fast autofocus, matrix metering, rapid motor drive, and top-level flash capabilities. You can add more features by adding a special back; but that would complicate unnecessarily an easy to use machine. It cost over a thousand dollars in the 1990s; now you can get a hardly used example for around fifty dollars! If you like a hefty camera, you can add a special base to the 90. The base steadies the camera and also gives you a vertical-release button.
If you have a backlog of Nikon MF lenses, you can use them on the 90 in Aperture-priority and Manual modes. You don't lose matrix metering by doing this, and you don't lose all the functions of autofocus. With Nikon's AF "D" lenses, you can exploit the 90 to its fullest.
I am most impressed by the 90's flash capacities. You can put an inexpensive SB-23 gun on it, put the camera in Program mode, and flash away in the confidence of getting superb results. The 90 is especially effective a providing fill-flash in outdoor light. The results look natural, which is quite a trick. You can also slow-sync the flash when you want to retain background details indoors; and you can use rear-curtain flash to give natural-looking blurs when you drag the shutter. The 90 synchronizes with flash all the way up to 1/250, which gives you a lot of choices in even Manual mode. All the dedicated flash guns for the 90, including the low-cost SB-23, will emit a beam of almost infrared light so the camera can focus in the dark or near dark.
When I get negatives back from the lab, I hold them up to see if they are evenly dense. With the 90, they always are. Except in very difficult circumstances, the matrix metering is dead-on. If you like to spot-meter a scene and decide on the exposure itself, the 90 will spot-meter in any mode. Use the camera and leave the meter at home.
Autofocus will track subjects moving toward or away from you. It actually takes into account the speed of the subject and anticipates where the subject will be when the shutter opens. If you put the AF into tracking mode and rapidly fire several frames, you cannot miss getting a razor-sharp frame. Yes, the 90 can fire two frames a second or four, if you wish. You can also set it to fire only when your subject moves into focus. I once tried this feature by standing near a wall, facing it, with the shutter release pushed. The camera didn't fire. I started slowly backing away from the wall; as soon as the wall was in focus, the camera fired. It did the same when I backed up rapidly.
The 90 is a professional camera. It would overwhelm a beginning photographer. The serious amateur, however, would be perfectly comfortable with the camera and enjoy getting professional results.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Similar Products Used: Nikon F3
Type of photography: People
Related F90X Forum Posts
Hello I've just bought a Nikon F90x and woulfd appreciate somw advice on suitable lenses. Before this camera i was using a canon rebel with a sigma 70-300mm as my main lens. I would like to find a similar length lens in the mid price range I've also been looking at a "Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4. ... Read More »
Check out our holiday gift suggestions for these categories!
See All Holiday Gift Guide coverage - Click Here »