Nikon N6006 Review

This may be the best 5 dollars I ever spent on eBay for a camera body.  My test roll of film on this Nikon N6006 seemed horrible.  But the film developers at the discount pharmacy assured me there was something wrong with the film.  I didn’t believe them.  They lied.  This is what the Nikon N6006 can do.

Nikon N6006 - Golden Leaves Looking North

Nikon N6006 – Golden Leaves Looking North

Do I really like a 1990 camera with nearly auto everything?  It’s like a point and shoot SLR.  Perhaps I need to get to know it better, read a manual, and learn how to use it manually.

Purchased Oct 30, 2011 for $5.50 and $5.55 shipping it was an impulse buy.  Surfing eBay I saw the auction was ending, I had wanted a Nikon N6006 for a year, so I snapped it up around 8 PM.

Nikon N6006 Err Problem?

You need to know one very important feature/problem regarding this camera from Matt Denton, N6006 rescue:

BIGGEST TIP: the lens *must* be set to the smallest aperture for the camera to shoot at all in auto mode. This gives the camera the lens’ capability. You will get a somewhat inexplicable flashing E error if the aperture ring is not set to the smallest aperture, and this is the first place you should look if the camera doesn’t fire. Other than that, the N6006 (and N8008) has more features than you can shake a stick at, best bet is to keep in PM mode and fire away

Provenance or History

No fancy provenance on this camera.

Purchased Oct 30, 2011 for $5.50 and $5.55 shipping it was an impulse buy.  Surfing eBay I saw the auction was ending, I had wanted a Nikon N6006 for a year, so I snapped it up around 8 PM.  It came from Kentucky, I have no idea on the history of the camera.

My Repairs for the Nikon N6006, None

No repairs needed.  Frankly, I’m not terribly good at repairs.  What I am good at is persistence and the ability to keep learning how to use old cameras.

Nikon N6006 Battery

Most battery powered cameras purchased on eBay or Craigslist long distance are a risk.  You don’t know what you have in the camera until you power it up.  It’s not fun purchasing a battery and then it fails on you.

Although its cheaper purchasing batteries on the Internet that doesn’t help when you don’t even know if the camera will power up.  You can buy a cheap battery on the Internet and be stuck with that battery.  My solution has been to visit my local battery store and purchase batteries with this verbal agreement.

If the battery powers up the camera, I’ll buy the battery.  If not, I’ll give it back to you immediately.  Agreed?

My local battery store has agreed to this method.  I’d rather pay a few dollars more for a battery that powers up my camera rather than be stuck with an Internet battery for a camera that will not power up.  Makes sense to me.

The Nikon N6006 takes either a 6V lithium CR-P2 or 223A for a battery.  As I recall, the battery cost me $14 a few weeks ago in October, 2011.

How does the Nikon N6006 feel?

It feels like a professional SLR:  heavy, solid, it even makes a nice sound when it advanced the film automatically..

But after one botched roll of film, my confidence was shaken in the camera.  But in every regard, the Nikon N6006 felt good in my hands and seemed to work properly.

Nice features of the Nikon N6006.

  1. Solid, but not horribly heavy.  Yes, that sounds like a disadvantage.  But as long as I’m not hiking on some long walk, carrying the solid weight of the Nikon N6006 wasn’t a problem.
  2. Loud but comforting.  Again, I am using a strange description.  Don’t expect to take family photos of children unnoticed with this camera.  But the sound of the shutter and the automatic film advance seems re-assuring.
  3. Feels good.  Yes, it feels good when you shoot it.  It also has a hand grip on the right side so you can hold it with one hand down at your side without fearing you will drop it.  But always have a strap around your hand.
  4. Point and shoot mode.  The Nikon N6006 does have a point and shoot mode.  It makes decisions for you, and those decisions are good generally.

Problems?  Yes.

  1. Nikon N6006 Err Problem.  In program mode, the camera with its AF lenses doesn’t work unless the lens is set to the smallest aperture possible.  Understanding the Err problem is the first thing you need to learn about a Nikon N6006..
  2. Battery cover.  This wasn’t a problem for me but I have read others have lost or broken the battery cover on the camera.
  3. On/Off switch.  You need to turn the camera on and then off with a switch on top of the camera.  Why these devices do not have an automatic timed turn off feature I don’t know.  Leaving the camera on for hours will cost you another battery.

Digital cameras give us disposable photos and consequently, we think we are better photographers.  I do own and shoot with digital.

I write this blog post wondering what teenagers and adults of the digital era would say if they took photos with a Nikon N6006.  It sure feels like a real camera.  It even sounds like a real camera.

Nikon N6006 Sample Photos

Testing a film camera is inherently a dicey proposition.  You don’t know if the film camera works or how well it works.  For that reason, let me introduce you to Kraneis Photography Rule #1.

Take a dependable camera with you.  Wherever you go, whether you’re testing a camera or not, take a camera that will work dependably.  You never know when you’ll come across the Pulitzer photograph of a lifetime.

My first roll of film through the Nikon N6006 had some photos of my homeless friend Oly at Kilbourn Park that I will never see.  I’ll never see those photos because a film developer department at a discount pharmacy botched my first roll.  Those photos are gone forever.  It’s not a nice feeling.

The discount pharmacy on Milwaukee and Pulaski in Chicago said the film had a problem.  I didn’t believe them.  My second roll of film through the Nikon N6006 proved me correct.

My Second Roll of Film

This was fun.

I took a roll of ASA 400 expired film from the summer (purchased twenty rolls for about twenty cents a roll at a garage sale) and inserted it into the Nikon N6006.  I used programmed mode on the Nikon N6006 for everything.  All I did was focus my zoom lense as needed.  Basically, I used a Nikon N6006 as a glorified point and shoot camera.

Nikon N6006 - IPUMC Church

Nikon N6006 – IPUMC Church

My duck photo on a downed tree at the pond is a bit overexposed.  The best of cameras seem to have trouble with light metering reflections on a pond.

Nikon N6006 - Ducks by the Pond, Overexposed

Nikon N6006 – Ducks by the Pond, Overexposed

If a camera comes with flash, I try it.  The Nikon N6006 has an onboard flash that worked fine in my four test photos.  Here my smiling wife.  I think its a nice photo of her.

Nikon N6006 - Smiling Wife, Indoor Flash

Nikon N6006 – Smiling Wife, Indoor Flash

Nikon N6006 Review – Summary

This is a very nice camera.  I look forward to learning how to use its different functions.  I shot the first good roll in programmed mode.  Just imagine what I can do when I actually learn this camera.

As for the photos,  I am delighted.  Below is a photo I took at 5:30 PM on a weekday this November.  A night photo, bracing the camera on the top of my car, just pressing the shutter until it did something.  Wow.  This Nikon N6006 can even do night photography.

Nikon N6006 - Amazing Photo at Night

Nikon N6006 – Amazing Photo at Night


Sometimes a camera returns a lot of joy for what little money you put into it.

  1. Cost of Camera – $5.00
  2. Shipping – $5.50.
  3. One ruined roll of film – $2.00
  4. Fresh battery – $14
  5. Expired film – 20 cents
  6. Costco developing – $5.00

A total of $31.70 to test a Nikon N6006 camera.  Is that expensive?  I could probably sell the camera right now on eBay and recoup my costs.  If I keep the camera I have a wonderful image maker ready at my disposal.

Thanks for reading my Nikon N6006 review today.  If you find one with a lens, I hope it turns out as well as my Nikon N6006 from Kentucky.

Thanks for visiting What is a Film Camera today.


Nikon N6006 Review — 8 Comments

  1. Hello,
    I just bought this camera but noticed in auto the pictures looked like they were blurry. I shot in manual and liked the shots a lot better.
    Where do you get expired film for 20 cents?

    • Elissa,
      You find your best deals for expired film at garage sales.
      At garage sales I always ask, “Do you have any cameras in the house.” Many times people have said yes, bringing out their old cameras.
      Last summer I asked that question and someone brought some very expensive cameras and a bag of expired film. I couldn’t afford (and didn’t want) their fancy cameras but they had 20 or more rolls of film in a bag. I believe I purchased that bag for $4.
      Go to enough garage sales in wealthier neighborhoods, ask if they have camera gear or film in the house (but not in the sale), and you’ll find a wealth of cameras, tripods, and expired film.
      Thanks for visiting my website.

  2. Your comment, “…On/Off switch. You need to turn the camera on and then off with a switch on top of the camera. Why these devices do not have an automatic timed turn off feature I don’t know…” might be a bit off. Here is why, with a digital the camera turns goes off on its own making extended exposures all but impossible, whereas a film camera can stay on (shutter open) until the battery dies. My N80 I turn it on set it to automatically take a photo when a object comes in range, sometimes hours, whereas my DSLR will turn off.

    I went from film to ten years using DSLR, then back to film. Here are some of my many film cameras, N6006, N2000, N80, F100, and more. For me the price of a film camera along with film and processing is much less expensive than the new DSLRs. Shooting two rolls of film a month would take me years to amortize a DSLR. Also, I have gotten off the DSLR upgrade bandwagon and yes, I do still own a high priced DSLR that now is rarely used. Film is what I am sticking with.

    Thank you for your article.


    Bubba Jones

    • Bubba,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I enjoy film cameras also, obviously.

      I own 4 digital cameras but only use one as a backup. I do think some fantastic film cameras are now affordable and still in good condition.

      I’d rather own a great film camera than a mediocre digital camera.


    • I totally agree with your comments. I have a Nikon 6200 digital for convenience purposes only. I just won an auction on e-bay for a Nikon 6006 for $5.50, body only. I have a number of Nikon SLS’s with an abundance of older AI-AIS lenses that I will use on this 6006. I would rather take the time to compose a shot with my FT2 or FG than waiting for my Nikon digital to turn back on after turning itself off. I’ll eventually purchase an auto/manual lens for the 6006 but for now I’ll have some fun composing and taking my time.

      • Tom,

        Thanks for your comment.

        I did enjoy the Nikon N6006 I used. One disadvantage of owning so many nice cameras (they’re not Leicas, but they’re good) is that I don’t use each one as often as I would like.

        Yes, digital cameras are always useful. But more importantly, I keep a film camera handy for when I’m thoughtful and reflective in taking photos.

        Thanks again for dropping by.


  3. I saw your Nikon N6006 Review and had to add my two cents worth. I don’t recall when I bought my N6006 but it had to have been prior to the 21st century. It has served me very well and I still use it today. I love film, period! I also own the N8008S, N90S and D80. My next investment, I hope, will be a good used D600, then all my FX lenses will be right at home.

    I use the Nikon AF Nikkor 35-70mm 1:3.3-45 lens on the N6006 and D90S.
    I use the Nikon AF Nikkor 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.5D on the N8008S
    I use the Nikon AF Nikkor 24-50mm 1:3.5-4.6D on the D80.
    I use the Nikon AF Nikkor 70-210MM 1.4.0-5.6 on all the afore mentioned bodies.

    I don’t ever think I will understand what the D80 camera is capable of doing but it’s fun to expose, expose, expose and see just what I have once downloaded. Some of the photos are not too bad.

    Like many who have owned the N6006, one drop resulting in a broken door latch and I learned a camera has strap loops on it for a reason. A N6006 listed on ebay for parts became a valued acquisition.

    A lot of Velvia and kodachrome was feed through the N6006 and 8008S. Being a point and shooter, many photos were taken in program or Aperature preferred modes. A few of my photos even won me some awards at local art shows.

    Nothing fancy, the old N6006 or N8008s, just good dependable photo relics that I hope will serve me as long as I live and still enjoy tripping a shutter.

    • Kenny,

      I was carefully reading through your reply when I found your comment: “a camera has strap loops on it for a reason”.

      Yes, the loops are there for a reason.

      I sometimes run a plain old fashioned “shoe laces” through the strap loops just to put it safely around my neck. But even then I don’t trust the makeshift camera strap.

      Best Wishes,


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