When a buddy of mine said I could have his Nikon N60 for $20 (and if I met him for lunch and paid), I said yes. It wasn’t because I’ve always dreamed of owning an N60 – I’m more into old-style, all-metal, all-manual film SLRs, and the N60 is a modern, plastic, auto-everything SLR. No, it’s because I can’t resist a stray camera. Heck, I even have a camera very much like this one already – the Nikon N65, which was the N60’s successor. The N60 was made from 1998 to 2001, and the N65 picked up from there.

Nikon N60

I’m going to skip my usual rundown of this camera’s features because, really, just go read my writeup of the N65. The N60 is slightly less camera than the N65, with less sophisticated autoexposure and autofocus systems, no depth-of field preview, and no way to fire the shutter remotely.

Nikon N60

But who cares? This camera is tricked out just fine for the easy automatic shooting it’s meant for. Set the dial atop the camera to Auto and the N60 is a giant point-and-shoot that makes you feel like you’re a real photographer.

Nikon N60

If you like auto-everything SLRs, also check out my reviews of the Nikon N65 (here), the Nikon N90s (here), Canon EOS 630 (here), the Canon EOS A2e (here), and the Minolta Maxxum 9xi (here). If you’re a Nikon fan see my reviews of the F2 (here), F3 (here), and FA (here). Or just check out all of my camera reviews here.

My N60 came with a couple of Quantaray lenses, one at 28-80mm and another at 100-300mm. I took only a few photos with the Quantaray lenses, not expecting much from them. I also loaded a roll of expired Kodak Gold 200 I found at the bottom of the bag the camera came in. I did have to get the two 123 batteries out of my N65 to power the N60; without them, the camera is inert. As so often happens, I started shooting in my front yard. My tiger lilies were in bloom.

Tiger Lily

The photos from the Quantaray lenses show a fair amount of noise and some barrel distortion. This is the best shot from the Quantaray lenses. The black areas were pretty noisy, but I fixed that in Photoshop.


I used the AF Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6 off my N65 for the rest of my photos with the N60. Noise disappeared and sharpness and color rendition improved. You’d never guess this shot of the main drag in Morgantown, IN, was shot on expired film.

Downtown Morgantown

This is the entrance to the Methodist church in Morgantown.

Morgantown United Methodist

When I finished the expired film, I dropped in some fresh Fujicolor 200 and kept shooting. This is the Story Inn, a little restaurant and bed-and-breakfast in Brown County, just off State Road 135.

Story Inn

Here’s the inside of the renovated Medora Covered Bridge. The N60 handled this challenging lighting situation pretty well.

Medora Covered Bridge

On the other hand, the N60 struggled with the blazing sunlight contrasting with deep shadows from overhanging trees on State Road 45. It favored the shadows; lit areas were a little blown out. This spent thistle bloom stood along the roadside there.

Roadside flowers

If you’d like to see more photos from this camera, check out my Nikon N60 gallery.

I wasn’t very enthusiastic about my N65 when I shot it last year, but I rather enjoyed shooting this N60. When I shot the N65, I farted around with it in old familiar places. But I took this N60 along on a road trip as my primary camera. As such, I used it as a tool, and it handled easily. Except for the challenging light on State Road 45, it performed well, especially after I ditched the Quantaray lens for a Nikon lens.

If you like old film cameras, check out all of my reviews here!
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34 responses to “Nikon N60”

  1. Merrie Avatar

    Jim, The Methodist Church you shot is currently pastored by a former Memorial Associate Pastor, Jill Howard.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s a small world after all!

  2. davidvanilla Avatar

    And the blue ribbon goes to– choice down to the church entry and the thistle. Both very special.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Glad you like ’em!

  3. Geraldo Avatar

    These are rather lovely. Regarding the noises in the shadows, I would assume that’s either the fact that the shot was underexposed, or far more likely, the auto software on the labs scanner assumed the shadows meant that the shot was underexposed and lightened the shadows, revealing noise. Or I could be totally wrong, which statistically is the most probable. In any case, lovely shots.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Gerald! The camera may have struggled with the lighting on the carnation shot; it was a challenging situation. And you’re right; it could have been a processing or scanning foible as well. Whatever; Photoshop can overcome.

  4. Derek Avatar

    I used one of those years ago, might not be sturdy, however it’s light and it takes good photos.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s very light. You almost don’t know it’s hanging around your neck. I’m still partial to Pentax glass, but this camera really worked for me on my road trip.

  5. pesoto74 Avatar

    I think Nikon is about the only brand of SLR that I have never used. I guess I used Canon for so long that it would feel odd to use a Nikon. Although it is tempting to get on like your N60, I think that bridge shot shows well an advantage of negative film. I don’t think digital could have handled that exposure so well unless there were some kind of hdr thing going on.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I have my sights on some ’70s Nikon SLRs, but they go for big dough compared to what I’m used to paying. I’m thinking Nikon FE.

      I did shoot the inside of the bridge with my iPhone; here it is. The iPhone’s lens is essentially wide angle, which explains the weird foreshortening compared to the shot from the N60. But point is, the iPhone handled the light okay, for a less moody shot.

      Medora Covered Bridge

      1. pesoto74 Avatar

        The thing is that with the digital a lot of the highlights are blown out. That doesn’t seem to be the case with the film. And with the right techniques you could pull some more detail out of the shadow on the film.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Good points!

  6. Ron Avatar

    I bought my wife a Minolta Maxxum 5 in 2003, and everything you said about the N60 applies to the later Maxxums. I now have over a dozen different models, from the beginning to end of the series. The bonus is I can buy a new Sony dslr and still use all my lenses. Except, maybe not the Quantaray.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve shot a couple Maxxums and they’re fine cameras. And yes, it’s really cool that the lenses fit right onto the Sony DSLRs.

  7. Bernie Kasper Avatar

    Greats shots Jim…gotta love the thistle and skipper !!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That one did turn out all right, didn’t it.

  8. amelia Avatar

    Hi what is the model number of this camera?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m confused by your question, because the answer is in the post title: N60.

  9. shannon Avatar

    How did you upload these photos on to the computer?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I upload them to Flickr, http://www.flickr.com, and then paste the html for the image into my blog post.

  10. Tracynda Avatar

    I myself own a N60 i got mine last summer as a birthday gift it came with b&w film and it was a lil beat up i took care of it and developed my film…not to impressed but only because im used to digital lol and im a beginner photographer i enjoyed seeing your photos it gave me more hope for both…me XD and the camera and i hope the next roll comes out better than my first

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Keep at it and you’ll make it happen!

  11. Darimondé Avatar

    I realize that my comment is years late but I’ve only just discovered your post and thought I would comment anyway. I hope you don’t mind.
    I bought my Nikon N60 new back in 1998 for $300 when they first came out. It was my first 35mm camera and had the most bang for the buck at the time. While I have gotten several other cameras over the years, I continue to use my my N60 because it is so small and light compared to my Nikon F4 (although my Canon AE-1 is smaller and lighter) but still provides me with very powerful choices from from fully automatic to fully manual exposure and focus control. In addition, the preset exposure settings really pay off when I’m in a hurry or just feeling lazy but still want a beautiful photo.
    As your camera came with a Quantaray lens, mine came with a Tameron, which met it’s end when I dropped my N60 onto an uncarpeted floor and the plastic mounting ring of the Tameron lens broke into several pieces. Thankfully, the metal lens mount of the N60 was unfazed by this and continued to operate normally. I have used metal mount Nikkor lenses since then (and avoided dropping my camera).
    One of the other things that I have always loved about film photography is that, the quality of your photos has little to do with the quality or expense of your camera. A used $15 Nikon N60 can make photos that are just as beautiful as a brand new $2000 Nikon f6 if you use the same lenses and film with each and you understand how your camera works. This is one of the reasons I hadn’t jumped into digital as many others had. A $300 digital camera’s photos looked nothing like those of $2000-$5000 high-end digital cameras. Also, as the technology matured, early top of the line digital cameras began to pale in comparison to newer cameras. With digital the camera IS your film and is not variable in the way film cameras are. Add in the insane prices of newer digital camera prices versus the then falling prices of used film cameras that were still in mint condition, film cameras are a steal and I put my money into cameras I could never afford when they new, i.e., the aforementioned Nikon F4 at $2000 when sold new from 1988 to 1996 which I bought three years ago for the price of my N60 new twenty years ago . Even older lenses are cheaper, though not by the same margine.
    One of the critiques I’ve read about this camera in a couple of reviews is the lack of a deph-of-field preview button. When I first bought this camera, I was new to photography and didn’t even know what that was. Since then I find it is still meaningless as even when I have such a control, I rarely ever use it because knowing how and why it occurs (apeture, focal length and, film or sensor size) is much more useful to me than a button to tell what it looks like.
    Well, it looks my comment has turned into a comment has turned into an additional review. Obviously, I like my N60 very much and still use it on a regular basis. It has never failed me and continues to work like a champ to this day. For people just getting into film photography, I think the N60 is a great camera to start with as it is inexpensive, lightweight, small, but still with a full line up of exposure controls and able to use all of Nikons autofocus lenses up to the very newest, albiet with certain limitations such as using vibration reduction on lenses that have it. Thank you for your review of the N60.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You are right on all counts here! It’s great to be able to shoot all the formerly expensive film gear for reasonable prices today — and to pick up something like an N60 for 20 bucks on eBay and make wonderful images out of the box.

  12. hwbarclay@gmail.com Avatar

    Found a used but like new Nikon N60 in my garage when cleaning out stuff recently. After mentally saying to myself “What’s this ???” in a cardboard box along with a stash of other stuff, I remembered it was an almost new N60 but which I had never used, (too lazy and/or busy then to get new batteries it needed), and I most probably bought it just before we moved to Ireland in 1985, or on a trip back some subsequent year) and had nonetheless left it behind in the USA upon my return. We were there for 17 years, and my regret is that I saw many things truly old there, but all I have now are mental images, and no photographs.

    From what I have seen of Jim’s images taken with a Nikon N60, I am aghast at my loss of the opportunity I had to record images I witnessed, but which are now seemingly have faded into the mists of the Irish time warp; perhaps unseen in that warp, but still there for in Irish hearts, that time there really contains no past and no future; just a living, vibrant and pulsating ever nowness. And I have not the vaguest idea even now, how anyone , or I could ever capture “THAT” on film.

    At almost 81 now, I may stay well enough for a few more years yet to be able to go back, and try to capture perhaps just THAT in wonderfully silent images with my Nikon N60 resonating the pulsating truth of just THAT for I at least know now where to look, and may thereby be able to leave clues for others who wish to follow me into that uncanny, living NOWness. Then again, perhaps not as my words alone may be the best clue of all.

    Ahem, ahem.

    Hartley Barclay
    926 Hamilton Way
    Warwick, PA. 18974-6169

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Hartley, even now the N60 would be a lovely tool for a return trip to Ireland.

      I shot a Nikon film camera all over Ireland two years ago: https://blog.jimgrey.net/2016/10/28/experience-report-nikon-n2000-on-vacation/

      I’m considering self-publishing a book of my Ireland film shots. So many of them turned out great!

  13. seatacphoto1951 Avatar

    I have a Nikon N75 but it stays on the shelf. I should put the 50mm 1.8G Lens on it and shoot a roll.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’d really like to try an N75. It’s on my to-buy list.

  14. Chris and Carol Avatar

    Nice review and excellent images! I just purchased a super sharp N60 from the original owner fitted with the AF Nikkor-Zoom 28-80mm kit lens and a nice Tamron Tele-Macro 100-300mm lens for – $25! I also own the Canon Rebel 2000 since new and they are very similar to me. I’d love to test them against one another but who can afford film these days? LOL

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you! You got a good deal on that N60 kit. The 28-80 is a great knocking-around lens.

  15. […] For reviews see Jim Grey’s Down the Road […]

  16. Ian McRoman Sr. Avatar

    Hi, Just Invest in a Nikon F60, 70-300 mm Tamron Lens, Great Camera, BUT anyone who knows how this AE-L works, when push it after Auto ZOOM (AF Mode) the Shutter not work and take a photo, fiddle for a couple of day’s but still a BIG ? – Mark.

    Ciao /// McRoman

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The manual says to press AE-L while also lightly pressing the shutter button. Then while keeping AE-L pressed, recompose and press the shutter button the rest of the way. Seems clunky.

  17. Ian McRoman Sr. Avatar

    THX Jim, I see that but NOT work for me , but great you send anyway, see if I figure it out, long the road U; more I use the F60… /// Ian

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