Sunday, October 23, 2011

#36 Nikon F-601

Nikon F-601
Nikon F-601 aka N6006

This one was a gift from my uncle, Jorge Sá Dantas.

When he knew that I was collecting cameras, he called me to his house and gave me this Nikon F-601, with the AF Nikkor Zoom lens 35-70 mm 1:3.3-4.5  and a beautiful Rollei A110, of which I will tell you about  in the next post.

Nikon F601

This camera was manufactured by Nikon from 1990, it's a middle term between the F-401 (N4004) and F-801 (N8008),  but as it was released two years later than the f-801, some features were enhanced, mainly the focus prediction.
It was the first Nikon camera to use lithium batteries, a 6V CR-P2 type. 

It's a nice usable camera with it's nice auto-focus, maybe a bit slow by today standards, but the electronic rangefinder, as manual focus aid, is quite useful in low light or other tricky situations, with the most of Nikkor lenses.
The metering system is excellent, five segment matrix reading, centre weighted or spot reading.
The exposure modes cover almost anything: full AE, with two option P and Pm, Shutter or aperture priority and manual. Unfortunately in manual mode there is no metering info.
The built-in flash may be used as a fill-in flash or as main flash at close range, if I have the need for real flash photos, I use my SB-28 that woks very well in TTL mode together with it, but you can also use a SB-23, SB-24,...   

Nikon F601 

As you can see above, the controls disposition is the one that we got used with the 90's Nikons.

Nikon F601  Nikon F601

If I can find a week spot in it is the film advance in continuous mode, only 2 fps, my F-301 (N2000) of 1985 had already a 2,5 fps performance. Anyway it's not a feature that I use much, film is too expensive nowadays for great performers.

Following some pictures taken with it:



Washing tank at a flea market

Nikon F601 Specifications:

From the Instruction Manual
Type of camera:Integral-motor autofocus 35mm single-lens reflex
Picture format:24mm x 36mm (standard 35mm film format)
Lens mount:Nikon F mount
Lenses:Nikkor lenses having CPU contacts, AI-S-type Nikkor lenses*, AI-Nikkor lenses* and AI-modified Nikkor lenses*
* with some limitations
Focus modes:Autofocus and Manual with Electronic Rangefinder
Autofocus modes:Focus-Priority Single autofocus and Release-Priority Continous autofocus
AF detection system:TTL phasse detection system using Nikon advanced AM200 autofocus module
AF detection range:Approx. EV -1 to EV 19 (at ISO 100)
AF lock:Possible once stationary subject is in focus in Focus-Priority Single AF mode; in Focus-Priority Continuous AF, focus can be locked by using AE-L/AF-L level when AF-L function is set
Electronic rangefinder:Available in Manual focus mode with AF Nikkor or other AI-type Nikkor lens with a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster
Exposure metering:Three types of exposure metering systems: Matrix metering, Centre-Weighted metering and Spot metering
Metering range (at ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens):EV 0 to 19 for Matrix and Centre-Weighted metering; EV 4 to 19 (at ISO 100) for Spot metering
Exposure meter:Activated by lightly pressing the shutter release button; stays on for approx. 8 sec., after lifting finger from button.
Exposure modes:Programmed Auto (Pm and P), Shutter-Priority Auto (S), Aperture-Priority Auto (A) and Manual (M) modes
Programmed Auto exposure control:Camera sets both shutter speed and lens aperture automatically; Flexible Program in 1 EV step increments possible
Shutter-Priority Auto exposure control:Aperture automatically selected to match manually set shutter speed; shutter speed can be set in 1/3 EV steps
Aperture-Priority Auto exposure control:Shutter speed automatically selected to match manually set aperture
Manual exposure control:Both aperture and shutter speed are set manually; shutter speed can be set in 1/3 EV steps
Exposure compensation:With exposure compensation button; +/- 5 EV range in 1/3 EV steps
Auto expsosure lock:By sliding the AE lock lever while the meter is on.
Auto exposure braketing:3 or 5 frames can be taken of the same subject using a variety of exposures (with compensation degrees of 0.3, 0.7 or 1 EV between each frame)
Shutter:Electromagnetically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter release:Electronicmagnetic type
Shutter speeds:Lithium niobate oscillator-controlled speeds from 1/2000 to 30 sec.; stepless in Programmed auto and Aperture-Priority auto exposure modes; 1 EV steps in Shutter-Priority auto and Manual exposure modes; Electronagmetically-controlled long exposure Bulb setting
Viewfinder:Fixed eyelevel pentaprism high-eyepoint type; 0.75X magnification with 50mm lens at infinity; 92% frame coverage
Eyepoint:approx. 18mm
Eyepiece cover:Model DK-5 (provided) prevents stray lights from entering viewfinder
Focusing screen:Fixed Nikon advanced B-type BriteView screen with cental focus brackets for autofocus operation
Film speed range:ISO 25 to 5000 for DX-coded film; ISO 6 to 6400 can be manually set
Film speed setting:Auto for DX-coded films and manual setting available
Self-timer:Electronically controlled; timer duration selectable from 2 to 30 seconds in one-sec. increments; blinking LED indicates self-timer operation; two-shot self-timer is possible; can be cancelled at any time
Reflex mirror:Automatic, instant-return type
Flash sync control:Normal sync, slow Sync, and Rear-Curtain Sync provided
Built-in TTL flash:Guide number 13 (at ISO 100, 20C and meters); angle of coverage: 28mm lens or longer; TTL auto flash including automatic balanced Fill-Flash is possible
Flash synchronisation:In Programmed Auto or Aperture-Priority Auto, shutter operates from 1/125 to 1/60 sec. (or 1/(focal length) in use at lens focal length less than 60mm) in normal sync or 1/125 to 30 sec. in slow sync; in Shutter-Priority Auto or Manual exposure mode, shutter fires at speed set, and when set from 1/250 to 1/2000 sec., shutter is automatically set to 1/125 sec.
Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash:Possible with built-ion flash or Nikon dedicated Speedlights such as SB-24, SB-23, SB-22, SB-20, SB-18, and SB-16B
Manual flash light output compensation:Can be controlled from +1EV to -3EV in 1/3 step increment
Flash ready light:Without flash: Blinks when using flash is recommended (with scene brighrness f`darker then EV10 at ISO100 or higher at ISO100 where the center portion is darker than other areas by more than 1 EV); With flash: lights up when built-in flash or dedicated Nikon Speedligh is ready to fire, or blinks to warn of insufficient light for correct exposure
Accessory shoe:Standard ISO-type hot-shoe contact; ready-light contact, TTL flash contact, monitor contact
Film loading:Film automatically advances to first frame when shutter release button is depressed once
Film advance:In S (single-frame) shooting mode, film automatically advances one frame when shutter is released; in CH (continuous high) or CL (continuous low) shooting modes, shots are taken as long as shutter release button is depressed; in CH mode, shooting speed is approx. 2.0 fps; in CL mode approx. 1.2 fps
Frame counter:Additive type; counts back while film is being rewound
Film rewind:Automatically rewinds by sliding film rewind lever while pressing film rewind button; approx. 26 sec per 36-exposure film roll or 19 sec. per 24 exposure film roll; stops automatically when film is rewound
Camera back:Hinged back, unchangeable
Number of 36-exposure film rolls per fresh battery*:With AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3-f/4.5
At 68oF (20oC)At 14oF (-10oC)
Without Flash:7522
With 50% Flash:163
With AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-80 f/4-f/5.6D

At 68oF (20oC)At 14oF (-10oC)
Without Flash:6029
With 50% Flash:173

* For Focus-Priority Continuous autofocus operation with the lens covering the full range from infinity to the closest distance and back to infinity before each shot, at 1/125 sec or faster shutter speed in C film advance mode
Note: Frequent use of the flash, or exposure meter, AF motor, etc. (activated by lightly pressing the shuuter release button) may weaken the battery faster than indicated above.
Power source:6V lithium battery pack (Duracell DL-223A/CR-P2 type)
Battery power confirmation:Battery power is sufficient if shutter speed and aperture indications appear on the LCD panel and viewfinder by turning on or by lightly pressing shutter release button, and remains on for approx 8 sec. after finger is removed from the button; battery power is insufficient if these indications turns off immediately after finger is removed from the button; if LCD blinks and shutter does not operate, battery is exhausted or improperly loaded
Dimensions (WxHxD):Approx. 154.5 x 100 x 66.5 mm (6.1 x 4.0 x 2.6 in)
Weight (without batteries):Approx 650g (23.0oz)


  1. Just picked a mint F-601 today for $25 with a 35-80 mm Nikkor lens. All of the other F-601's I've been reading about seemed to have the 35-70 mm lens. i am guessing that Nikon perhaps substituted the 35-80 mm in the last year of production. The only thing missing was a camera strap (so I picked one up at a camera store). I've loaded my first roll this evening and plan to try the camera out in the morning.

    1. You are right the 35-70 are more common.
      Hope that your pictures come nice.

  2. Just got myself one of these myself :) Nice piece of kit and it works well with my Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 D lens, loaded iLford HP5 black and white film and im off to use it over the weekend!!

  3. I read your topic and the i bought one from ebay in mint condition.
    my best friends father saw my camera and tell's me ''i want that one''
    He loves photography so much that in the 90's he dreamed to have one good SLR.

    So today me and my best friends dad thanks you for sharing so good info

  4. I had one of these back in the 90s. It was a great camera and served me really well until I move to digital.

  5. Excellent information thank you