I’m 57 now and I have been shooting film since I was a teenager. I can’t say I’m terribly faithful to any one format or camera, since I use cameras ranging from half-frame, to medium format and large format, using rangefinders, SLRs, TLRs, and view cameras. I do have a special place for the F6, however, for the following reasons.
1. Sophistication. The F6 is the only way you can shoot film and have the kind of technological aids that you might expect on a modern DSLR. Rapid autofocus in various modes, clever metering and flash modes, and the icing on the cake is the way it can leave the film leader out which suits my daylight loading tanks. Sometimes I like to use a simpler camera, and feel more responsible for every aspect of taking the photograph, but I don’t mind a bit when the F6 can take over some of that and leave me to concentrate on composition
2. Solid construction. Just pick it up and you can feel right away that as long as Nikon is in business this camera can be serviced and will last and last. No nasty plastic construction here.
3. Excellent choice of affordable lenses. There’s no excuse not to get the lens you need to go with an F6. There are so many examples out there from consumer models to pro versions.
4. What a beautiful bright viewfinder it has! No sense of a dark tunnel, just you and the photo you’re about to take.
5. The ergonomics are pretty good. It allows a nice solid grip, and the controls are easily reached with fingers and thumb.
6. Programmable options. It’s worth spending a little time with the manual and going through the custom menus. It’s remarkable how much you can change to suit yourself.
I’m never quite sure what to make of claims that the F6 is the ‘ultimate film camera’ though. In the sense of having more modern technology onboard, I suppose so. My 10×8 view camera is an ultimate camera too, but it’s going in a different direction! What is undeniable is that the F6 is a fantastic bargain. It’s half the price of one of my rangefinders, and is capable enough that I know I’ll never be limited by it!