N60 Concise Instructions

The following information is transcribed from Thom Hogan's Nikon Field Guide, no longer in print (Copyright 2000 Thom Hogan). Copies sometimes are still available used on eBay.

N60/F60 LCD Error Messages

HI — Current settings will overexpose shot.

LO — Current settings will underexpose shot.

FEE blinks — Lens not set to smallest aperture.

battery symbol blinks — Replace batteries, they are low.

E — No film is loaded in camera.

E appears and O__ blinks — Non-DX-coded film in camera; replace with DX-coded film.

E appears, ERR and O__ blink — Film is loaded incorrectly.

O__ blinks — Rewound film remains in camera.

ERR and O__ blink — Battery is too weak to rewind (or temperature is too low to rewind).

F-- blinks — Lens has no CPU to support metering (in M exposure mode, F--  appears without blinking).

-- blinks — Shutter speed was set to long time exposure in S exposure mode (should be M).

ERR and flash symbol blink — Flash mode selector on Speedlight is not set to TTL (required for S or P modes).

LCD all black — Camera is too hot (but likely still operable).

LCD slow to update — Camera is too cold (but likely still operable).

N60/F60 Viewfinder Error Messages

• symbol appears — Subject is in focus.

• symbol blinks — Autofocus not possible; focus manually.

HI — Current settings will overexpose shot.

LO — Current settings will underexpose shot.

FEE blinks — Lens is not set to smallest aperture.

F-- blinks — Lens has no CPU to support metering (in M exposure mode, F--  appears without blinking).

ERR blinks — Film not loaded correctly; reload film.

-- blinks — Shutter speed was set to long time exposure in S exposure mode (should be M).

flash symbol blinks before shot — flash recommended. 

flash symbol blinks for three seconds after shot — flash may not have been sufficient to provide exposure.

ERR and flash symbol blink — Flash mode selector on Speedlight is not set to TTL (required for S or P modes).

N60/F60 Instructions

Turning the Camera On and Off

1. Move the power switch surrounding the shutter release from the Off to the On position.

To turn the power off, move the power switch to the Off position.

Note: When the camera is on, pressing the shutter release halfway turns on the exposure meter, viewfinder illumination, and, when appropriate, autofocusing. 

Resetting the Camera to Its Default Settings

1. Press the +/- and Aperture buttons simultaneously for more than two seconds. The camera reverts to the following settings:

• Flexible program is cancelled

• No exposure compensation.

• Self-timer is cancelled.

• Flash sync is set to normal sync except in Night mode

Loading Film

1. Open the camera back using the camera back release on the side on the camera.

2. Insert a roll of film into the film chamber.

3. Pull the film leader across to the red index mark in take-up area.

5. Remove slack from film, if any, so that it lies flat.

6. Close the camera back; the film automatically advances to the first frame.

Verifying the ISO

The N60/F60 sets the ISO automatically, requiring DX-coded film. It does not allow you to set the ISO manually or override the set ISO. 

1. Verify the ISO by pressing the +- and Iris buttons. Do not hold the buttons for more than two seconds, or the camera will be reset to default settings.

Tip: You can fool the camera into exposing to a different ISO value by setting an exposure compensation value. For example, if you load ISO 100 film and want it exposed at ISO 200, set the exposure compensation to -1 stop (e.g., doubling the ISO value is the same as underexposing by one stop; halving the ISO value is the same as overexposing by one stop).

Rewinding Film

Normally, film is rewound automatically when the end of a roll is reached. If you’d like to rewind film prior to the end of a roll:

1. Use a small-tipped tool to press the mid-roll rewind button on the bottom of the camera.

Setting the Film Advance Mode

You cannot set a film advance mode on the N60/F60. The camera’s normal film advance mode is single frame mode. You must press the shutter release button for each exposure. However, if set to Sports mode, the N60/F60 will continuously advance the film at about 1 frame per second while the shutter release button is held down. 

1. Turn the exposure mode dial on the top of the camera to the sports mode icon.

To cancel, select any other exposure mode—Auto, P, S, A, M, or any of the other vari-program modes other than Sports.

Setting the Metering Method

You cannot set a metering mode on the N60/F60. Generally, the camera uses matrix metering to calculate exposure. The metering mode will change from matrix metering to center-weighted metering when you:

• Press the AE-L button on the back of the camera. 


• Switch the camera to manual (M) exposure mode.

Setting the Focus Mode

Move the focus mode selector on the camera body (on the front of the camera) to:

  • AF Camera body autofocuses the lens.
  • M Manual focus, with electronic confirmation.

Viewfinder symbols:

  • — Focus has been achieved. Camera will refocus if subject moves.
  • blinking • — Autofocus is not possible.

Note: The AF assist illuminator has a range of 1.6 to 9.8 feet (.5 to 3 meters). The AF assist illuminator is automatically activated and cannot be cancelled (but does not function in Landscape or Sport program modes).

Setting the Exposure Mode

Turn the exposure mode dial to the desired exposure mode:

  • AUTO General-Purpose Program mode—The camera chooses both shutter speed and aperture; you cannot override settings.
  • P Program mode—The camera chooses both shutter speed and aperture; you can override settings using the command dial.
  • S Shutter-Priority—You choose a shutter speed using the command dial, the camera chooses the aperture.
  • A Aperture-priority—You choose an aperture using the command dial, camera chooses the shutter speed.
  • M Manual—You choose both aperture and shutter speed.
  • Sport program icon—Camera typically chooses fast shutter speeds (1/250 or higher). Also switches camera into 1 frame per second continuous motor drive; autofocus stays locked on subject until you let go of the shutter release.
  • Portrait program icon—Sets a relatively large aperture for shallow depth of field to isolate the subject from the background.
  • Landscape program icon—camera selects both shutter speed and f/stop, typically choosing a small aperture, although often only f/8).
  • Close-up program icon—camera selects a mid-range aperture, typically f/5.6 or f/8, even though the manual says it chooses large apertures.
  • Night program icon—camera selects slow shutter speeds for low-light scenes and mid-range aperture for relatively wide depth of field; automatically sets slow-sync flash.

Setting Exposure Manually

1. Set the camera to manual (M) exposure mode.

2. Select a shutter speed using the command dial. Select an aperture by holding the aperture button and turning the command dial. (Do not use the aperture ring on the lens.) 

The viewfinder’s metering display: 0 indicates a correct exposure, while each bar underneath the indicator indicates a 1/2 to 1 1/2-stops under- or overexposure; an arrow indicates more than 1 1/2-stops under- or overexposure.        

Setting Exposure Compensation

Compensation is indicated in 1/2 EV stops. A + value overexposes, a - value underexposes.

1. Hold down the +/- button (on the top of the camera).

2. Use the command dial to select the desired compensation value.

Example: Meter white snow and compensate by adding 2 stops of exposure. Without compensation, the meter sets exposure as though every subject were neutral gray.  (A white subject is 2 stops brighter than neutral gray, therefore the exposure needs to be adjusted accordingly.)

Note: Exposure compensation only works in P, S, A, and M exposure modes; you cannot override exposure in Auto or any of the vari-program modes (Sport, Landscape, Night, Close-up, or Portrait).

Setting the Self-Timer

1. Press the self timer button. You should see the self-timer icon appear on the top LCD.

2. Cover the eyepiece to prevent stray light from affecting the exposure.

3. Press the shutter release.

4. The AF-assist illuminator on front of camera blinks until last second prior to exposure, when it lights continuously.

To cancel, before pressing the shutter release, repeat step 1. To cancel after the shutter release has been pressed, turn the camera Off and back On.

Setting a Long Exposure 

To take an exposure longer than 30 seconds:

1. Set the camera to manual (M) exposure mode.

2. Rotate the command dial until a shutter speed of -- appears.

3. Set the desired aperture by holding the aperture button down and using the turning the command dial.

4. Press the shutter release button to start the exposure. Note that the LCD is turned off during exposure to conserve power.

5. Press the shutter release again to stop the exposure.

Note: Long exposures exhaust the camera’s batteries! With fresh batteries, the longest possible exposure is about 15 hours. 

Activating the Flash

Hold in the flash release button on the side of the prism and the flash will pop up and be activated.

Setting Slow-Sync Flash

1. Make sure the camera is set to program (P) or aperture-priority (A) exposure mode. (Slow sync is also set automatically in Night mode.)

2. Hold down the flash button on the right top of camera and turn the command dial until the flash and SLOW icons appear on the LCD panel.

3. If using an external flash, set the Speedlight to TTL mode.

To cancel slow-sync flash, repeat step 2 and set another flash setting.

Setting Red-Eye Reduction

1. Hold down the flash button on the right top of camera and turn the command dial until the flash and eye icons appear on the LCD panel.

2. If using an external flash, set the Speedlight to TTL mode.

To cancel red-eye reduction, repeat step 1 and set another flash setting.

Adjusting the Viewfinder’s Diopter Setting

1. Move the lever just to the right of the viewfinder eyepiece up for + settings, down for - settings.

Note: The N60/F60 allows settings of -1.5 to +1.0 diopters with the built-in finder; -5.0 to +3.0 diopters with optional eyepiece correction lenses.

N60/F60 Program (P) Mode Settings 

Exposure — Value Setting 

  • EV0 — f/1.4 at 2 seconds
  • EV1 — f/1.4 at 1 second
  • EV2 — f/1.4 at 1/2
  • EV3 — f/1.4 at 1/4
  • EV4 — f/1.4 at 1/8
  • EV6 — f/2 at 1/15
  • EV8 — f/2.8 at 1/30
  • EV10 — f/4 at 1/60
  • EV12 — f/5.6 at 1/125
  • EV14 — f/8 at 1/250
  • EV16 — f/11 at 1/500
  • EV18* — f/16 at 1/1000
  • EV20* — f/16 at 1/4000

*exceeds limit of matrix metering capability

You have full control over the Program mode, and can easily “shift” (alter) the above program by rotating the command dial until the desired shutter speed or aperture appears. If * appears above P on the N60/F60’s LCD panel, this indicates that the exposure has been shifted from the basic program; the camera maintains this alteration as long as the meter is on. 

Built-in Flash Specifications

The guide number for the built-in flash of the N60/F60 is 49 (in feet) 15 (in meters) at ISO 100. The built-in flash unit provides adequate coverage for lenses with a 28mm or longer focal length. The fastest sync speed is 1/125 second.

N60/F60 Aperture and Flash Range

(in feet, at ISO 100)

Aperture — Flash Range

  • f/1.4 — 6.6–35 feet
  • f/2 — 4.6–25
  • f/2.8 — 3.3–17
  • f/4 — 2.3–13
  • f/5.6 — 2.0–8.9
  • f/8 — 2.0–6.2
  • f/11 — 2.0–4.3
  • f/16 — 2.0–3.0

(in meters, at ISO 100)

  • f/1.4 — 2–10.6 meters
  • f/2 — 1.4–7.5
  • f/2.8 — 1–5.3
  • f/4 — .7–3.8
  • f/5.6 — .6–2.7
  • f/8 — .6–1.9
  • f/11 — .6–1.3
  • f/16 — .6–.9

When the ISO value is doubled, read the flash range above the aperture you are using (e.g., with ISO 200 film, use the flash range for f/4 with an aperture of f/5.6); when the ISO is halved, read the flash range below the aperture you are using.

Maximum Aperture for Using Flash in Program Mode

With the N60/F60’s Built-in Flash

ISO value — Maximum aperture

  • 25 — f/2
  • 50 — f/2.4
  • 100 — f/2.8
  • 200 — f/3.3
  • 400 — f/4
  • 800 — f/4.8

With an external Nikon Speedlight

ISO value — Maximum aperture

  • 25 — f/2.8
  • 50 — f/3.3
  • 100 — f/4
  • 200 — f/4.8
  • 400 — f/5.6
  • 800 — f/6.7

At ISO 100, the N60/F60 automatically programs apertures from f/2.8 to the minimum aperture of the lens (typically f/16) when flash is used. There is no benefit in using a lens faster than f/2.8 for flash photography with an N60/F60 in program mode with ISO 100 film.

Note: For red-eye reduction, the AF assist illuminator on the N60/F60 is used instead of the one on the Speedlight.

Nikkor Lenses That Can’t Be Used with the N60/F60

Lens — Comments

  • non-AI — N60/F60 requires AI coupling
  • 6mm f/5.6 — protrudes into mirror area
  • 10mm f/5.6 — protrudes into mirror area
  • 200-600mm f/9.5 — serial #s 300490 or smaller incompatible
  • ED180-600mm f8 — serial #s 174166 or smaller incompatible
  • ED360-1200mm f/11 — serial #s 174087 or smaller incompatible
  • 400mm f/4.5 — doesn’t work with Focusing Unit AU-1
  • 600mm f/5.6 — doesn’t work with Focusing Unit AU-1
  • PC 28mm f/4 — serial #s 180900 or smaller need modification
  • PC 35mm f2.8 — serial #s 906200 or smaller need modification
  • Reflex 1000mm f/11 — serial #s 142361-143000 need modification
  • Reflex 2000mm f/11 — serial #s 200310 or smaller need modification
  • AF TC-16A — may damage camera
  • Medical Nikkor 200mm f/5.6 — requires Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15

Note: If you use lenses without CPUs on the N60/F60 (e.g., non-AF and non-P lenses), you must put the camera into manual (M) exposure mode and set the aperture on the lens.

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