Nikon SLR Lineage

film lineage chart

The above chart shows the general relationships between the more recent Nikon film SLRs. On the left is the professional line (F3 through F6). As you move to the right you'll see prosumer then consumer models. At the far right are the basic barebones mechanical-only SLRs. 

Time runs from top to bottom, and I've grouped rows of cameras approximately how they relate to together (even though they might have appeared in different years). For example, the F4, N8008 and N6006 were a "family" of pro, prosumer, and consumer SLRs in the late 80's. The most recent complete family was the F5, F100, N80, and N65/N75, which are all related cameras in technology and interface. The arrows show the basic design progressions.

The 70's and early 80's were still manual focus products. The F4/N8008/N6006 was the first full autofocus family, and the prosumer and consumer models were updated in the early to mid-90's. The F5/F100/N80 generation was a stronger move to more sophisticated autofocus and matrix metering technologies, as well as the start of the move away from the old shutter speed dials and aperture rings, and the full incorporation of Custom Settings and data capture. 

The F6 is unique amongst the Nikon film SLRs in that it is actually derived from a digital camera, the D2h. Thus, it incorporates most of the digital era additions to Nikon's SLR-type designs. 

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