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Nikon F-501 favori envoyer Print
Photos by RR text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of RR
France Version française

Chronology of the Nikon brand  New window

Manufactured in Japon from 1986 until (After) 1989.
Index of rarity in France : Infrequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 5195

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Nikon F-501

he Nikon F-501, marketed in North America as N2020, was presented to European press on February 3, 1986 in Amsterdam. It caused a sensation thanks to its autofocus. Minolta, the leader of the time on the autofocus SLR market must have found this unpleasant.

The Nikon makes it possible to focus automatically not only with AF lenses but also with a lot of traditional Nikkor lenses. With the later, simply add a converter (TC-16 AF) which increases the focal length by a x1.6 factor. AF lenses contain a microprocessor which sends their characteristics to the camera.

Autofocus can operate in three different modes. The camera user chooses the focusing mode that suits him best. Modes are:
- Mode C  : the focus is performed continuously, as long as the shutter button is slightly depressed.
- Mode S  : focusing is done when the shutter button is depressed for triggering. Distance measurement and focus adjustment are done at the start of the trigger cycle.
- Mode M : this mode disengages the autofocus and the photographer carries out manually the focusing but assisted by the camera : a green diode lighting in the viewfinder indicates that the focus is correct on the target subject (on a specific point).
When C or S mode is engaged, if it is not possible for the camera to focus, then it rotates the focus ring over its entire course, until a possibility of sharp focusing is found. It then switches back to C or S mode.

This camera offers three programmed exposure modes:
- P         : normal program
- P-H i    : shutter high speeds preference
- P-Dual : automatic mode selection between normal or Hi program according to conditions (including focal length).