F31fd: Is this still the magical camera? Locked

Started Feb 2, 2014 | Questions thread
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Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,428
Re: Nothing wrong with the F31fd

papillon_65 wrote:

Kim Letkeman wrote:

papillon_65 wrote:

Great little camera, amazing battery life, sharp little lens and the images hold up to 100% magnification surprisingly well at low ISO's. If you want a small pocketable camera which is easy to operate and does what it says on the tin then it's a steal.

Except that it is misleading to call it pocketable. More like coat or cargo pants pocketable.

It's as pocketable as any other camera known as such, as the Canon S120, at least mine is.

I owned the F11, which has essentially the same body. They did not start changing the body until the F40fd ... and this chunky and square body is all corners. Very uncomfortable unless you wear very loose clothing.

On the other hand, modern bodies like the XQ1 and F900EXR are small and rounded and fit quite nicely in a front pants pocket or inside coat pocket.

Still, I suppose if one had the right jacket, the F31 could be carried all over ...

Are there newer options that do better? of course but that doesn't mean the F31 can't take great images in the right hands. There are also newer cameras which are not as good as this one and will cost more.

It can take great images at low ISO. And if you avoid things that produce wicked CA, like trees or lights or windows or buildings ...

Up to ISO 800 is fine, 1600 in mono, that's not bad at all.

800 is fine ... 1600 is fine if you don't mind some water color ... and after that you have a painting. But it is nothing like the modern Fujis ... even the smaller 1/2" sensor is better as shown by the F900 comparison.

As for CA, mine has a little that is rarely a problem and when it is it's easy to remove.

Then yours is a rare bird indeed. It was a revelation when Fuji finally dumped that lens and started shipping lenses with vastly less CA. Sadly, the XQ1 has seen a return to a fair bit of CA again.

By the way ... the worst problem was PF ... it was horrid around lights indoors and ruined many an image.

It is slow, has poor range at the short and long end, and uses cards that are no longer manufactured.

It's F2.8 at the wide end, again, not bad at all.

But it's not wide ... 31mm. And it's not long .... it's just way behind ...

But otherwise, it is a gem.

It was widely raved about when it came out in all the reviews achieving an almost cult status overnight, it hasn't suddenly become a bad camera

Actually, that all started with the F10 and F11, both of which I owned. The F10 is still kicking around here somewhere.

The F series itself -- F10 (A), F11 (M), F20fd (A), F30fd (M), F31fd (M) where A=all auto and M=semi-manual -- was a cult among people who understood the value of SCCD.

The F31fd had the best noise of the bunch according to the review on this site, but they failed to note the water color that came with the package. Others noted it though.

None of that stopped the collectors from paying ridiculous sums for years afterwards ....

But every one in the series is so far behind the state of the art today that they are only interesting as a museum piece. I stopped shooting mine in 2009.

Yes, they still take pictures. Yes, if you were satisfied in 2005 and never raised your standards, then they still take the same pictures.

All true ...

 Kim Letkeman's gear list:Kim Letkeman's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 990 Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR Nikon D600 Nikon D7200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 +17 more
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