Back in 2017, I reviewed the Nikon N80. By that time, it was already an old camera. It’s not as well known or as spoken about as many of Nikon’s other cameras. However, your parents, aunts, or uncles, probably owned one. It was a very popular and affordable camera that could do everything the F100 was capable of — for the most part. More importantly, it used the same lenses that so many photographers highly regarded and loved. With that in mind, is it worth buying in 2023?
About the Nikon N80
Introduced in the year 2000, the Nikon N80 is just barely a vintage camera. To clarify that statement, vintage refers to anything that is at least 20 years old. Comparatively speaking, antiques refer to anything that is over 100 years old. I wear vintage clothing pretty often — my closet is filled with a few vintage jackets that are well-made. I also own an antique watch that went to World War 1. With this in mind, the Nikon N80 is a vintage camera.
Nikon gave it a lot of good features for the time. The Nikon N80 had program, manual, aperture, and shutter priority modes. It was also capable of doing 3D Matrix metering. What made it so great for beginners are the various grid lines that could be displayed in the viewfinder. Nikon did all this at a great price point too!
These days, you can find the Nikon N80 on Amazon and eBay for good prices. Quite honestly, it’s easy to pay more for a meal these days if you’re eating out. A meal will only last so long, but the N80 has already lasted over 20 years! Of course, take that with a grain of salt — pun intended!
Photographers Using It
The Phoblographer has a very rich history of not only being a gear website, but also interviewing several photographers. We often ask them about the gear they’re using because folks are curious about that stuff.
Photographer Kacper Zapalowski told us that he used to own a Nikon N80, but that he got rid of it because it was collecting dust. Instead, he cared more about the 24mm lens on there. So he mounted it on a digital camera and got to shooting!
Photographer Atur Lahoz uses his Nikon N80 for what he describes as more versatile work. A while back, we featured a stunning surreal photography project he did on film. You should check it out!
Should You Buy One?
Should you buy a Nikon N80 in 2023? That’s a complicated question to answer. I know a lot of folks who would tell you to buy whatever you want. But at 36 years of age, I’m at the point where I want to buy things for life. With that said, I’m sick of most analog cameras that really need a battery to work. And the N80 needs a battery to power the shutter and the film advance. Don’t forget the light meter, either!
If you want an old school, analog Nikon SLR film camera, this isn’t the one. Sure it uses film, but if it doesn’t have a battery, it isn’t going to work at all. This camera is the best bet for anyone that wants a cheaper alternative to the autofocusing SLR cameras that aren’t the pro-level, high end options. And for those people, the Nikon N80 is really a great choice.Our Nikon N80 review
For the price point, the Nikon N80 is cheap enough to buy just for the heck of it. But I’m not a fan of disposable products, personally. So I’d rather reach for a Nikon F2 or something like that instead. The Nikon N80, however, has autofocus. And lots of photographers want that. It can only be used with a certain number of lenses, though.
In the end, get the Nikon N80 if you want an autofocusing alternative to many of Nikon’s much better cameras. But don’t expect it to last for forever the way you can with their mechanical cameras.