Selling the Nishika N8000

Imagine a product that is in such high supply and such low demand that it is still widely available as New Old Stock (NOS) 20 years after it was last manufactured. Now consider that it started out as an inferior version of a product that had already failed!

Sounds like a tough sell, doesn't it?

You might think that anyone trying to unload this product, the Nishika N8000, would do their best to exxagerate the benefits and downplay the faults of the product, and might even lie about how it compares to similar products. You'd be right!

The hype about the N8000 shown below can be found on almost all wepages trying to sell the camera and half the listings in eBay. It appears word for word in many different places. It is difficult to determine where this description came from orginally, but it seems to have been widely plagiarized. Considering the deceptive nature of this description, it is hard to see why anyone would want to take credit for it anyway.
The Universal hype:
Great for wonderful 3-D pictures for use with standard 35mm color print film. Long considered the ugly duckling of the consumer lenticular cameras,

...and it still is!

the Nishika is now in high regard

If it is in such high regard then why is it still available as New Old Stock (NOS) and New In Box (NIB) 20 years after it was last manufactured?

as the most versatile of the breed, because the camera features three aperture settings,

The aperture settings are f/8 f/11 and f/19. The smallest aperture is only 2½ f stops smaller than the largest aperture. That's a really tiny manual adjustment range vs the much broader automatic adjustment of the Nimslo.

unlike other lenticular cameras, which are only point and shoot cameras.

That's not true, the N9000, for example, has an adjustment range two f stops wide (f/8 and f/16). The 3D wizard has 3 manually selectable fstops. Also, you can make the Nimslo overexpose 2 stops by changing the ASA setting to 100 when it is loaded with ASA 400 film or underexpose 2 stops by switching it to 400 when it is loaded with ASA 100 film. This is like selecting f/19 when lighting conditions call for f/8 or vice versa. Given the extreme lattitude of color print film, the 1½ f stop difference between f/11 and f/19 won't make much difference in the prints.

And now as technology is making personal lenticular print making possible and affordable, there is a rush to get a camera or two before the price of a lenticular camera catches up with this new demand.

If there is a rush to get them, why are they still being offered on eBay for $9.95?
(In october 2009 a seller offered 10 at a "buy it now" price of $9.95 and sold none)

As for personal lenticular printing, such a concept has been speculated on for over 15 years, but nothing has seen the light of day, don't hold your breath!


Here is a special opportunity: A factory sealed vintage Nishika N8000 35mm 3D camera, camera strap, owner's manual/instruction book, all this, still priced at a bargain you should not miss.

A great oppurtunity to pay $25 to $77 for an item you could get for $9.95!

[The later model, N9000, is only an economy priced point and shoot, without variable aperture settings]

That's a flat out lie!
Anyone who has read the instruction manual, looked at the specs or even looked at the camera itself knows that the N9000 has a variable apertue with f/8 and f/16, an adjustment range 2 f stops wide. Given the lattitude of color print film, that is essentially the same range as the N8000.

The Nishika N8000 stereo lenticular camera uses standard 35mm color print film. When viewing lenticular prints, no special glasses or viewers are needed.

That's true of any camera designed to make lenticular prints, many of which are widely available. Also, there is no guarantee that lenticular printing will still be available in the future.

The camera takes four photos simultaneously from four slightly different angles using a 30mm Quadra Lens System of four identical lenses that are precisely aligned.

There have been many complaints about the lenses of the Nishika being misaligned, it was a common quality control issue.

The lenses have a fixed focal length and have such great depth-of-field that they are focus free.

That could be said of any fixed focus camera. Nothing special there!

In addition, the following specs are often shown:
* Exclusive quadra lens system incorporates four precision-matched lenses to produce 3D prints that rival other 3 lens lenticular cameras.

At least four other cameras have the quadralens system, it could hardly be considered exclusive!

* Uses standard 35mm color print film - ISO/ASA 200 for outdoors or 1600 for indoors.

The N8000 was specifically designed for ASA 100 film only, and the use flash indicator is valid only for that speed. This "spec" seems to have been lifted directly from the users manual or box for the N9000 which really does call for ASA 200 outdoors and ASA 1600 indoors. With the widest aperture being f/8 and the shutter speed fixed at 1/60, there will be many indoor lighting situations where there isn't enough light even for ASA 1600 film and you won't know unless you use a seperate light meter! Furthermore, using flash with ASA 1600 film would be a disaster!

* Built-in protective lens cover.

Really? Where?! Nobody has ever found this legendary built in protective lens cover and even Nishika never made such a claim! This seems to be a complete fabrication on the part of someone who never actually saw the camera, but the N9000 actually has this feature so once again, a nonexistant feature is claimed for the N8000 that actually exists in the N9000

* Film identification window.

No such feature exists on the N8000. Since it was designed to use ASA 100 film exclusively, this would not serve any purpose anyway. The N9000 really does have a film identification window, so once again an imaginary feature for the N8000 was pulled directly from the manual/box for the N9000!

* Very light weight compact design for maximum portability.

The N8000 is actually the the largest and heaviest consumer level 35mm lenticular camera ever made. This does accurately describe the N9000, however.

* Ergonomic design fits comfortably in your hands.

But not in your pocket! Even large coat pockets are seldom big enough for the N8000 whether the flash is attached or not. The N8000 was deliberately designed to be larger and bulkier than it needed to be unlike the more compact, sleeker and much lighter N9000, or the numerous other Nimslo clones. Many of these will easly fit in many pockets and most have built in electronic flash, at least two actually have a real built in protective lens cover, not just an imaginary one!

* Rotary film advance.

As opposed to...

* Film counter.

Have you ever seen a camera without a film counter?

* Standard flash shoe

A built in electronic flash would have been more apropriate, such a feature was rare when the Nimslo came out but was rapidly becoming a standard feature on consumer level cameras by the time the N8000 was introduced. A standard hot shoe was common on more sophisticated cameras, which the Nishika was meant to appear to be, so, once again, appearance was chosen over function!

Reccomendations
It isn't really productive to point out the downsides of a product without mentioning alternatives. If the N8000 isn't the right choice, what is? Well, that depends on what you're trying to do! If you want to actually take 3D lenticular pictures, then you might consider one of the many 3 lens lenticular cameras. Nearly all have electronic flash and some motorized film advance. The 2½ adjustment range of the N8000 doesn't make as much difference in the final print as you might think and, despite what the N8000 sellers would have us believe, several of them do have adjustable f stops. The 3 lens cameras give less depth but also have less ghosting and give more pictures per roll of film and may cost less per print for processing. However, as of November 2014, no known lab exists that will do consumer lenticular printing from film, though snap3d.com will make lenticular prints from digital stereo pairs.

If you want to make half frame stereo prints then any of the cameras will do for starters, but for better quality prints you may want to consider a Nimslo with its glass lenses. Though the Nimslo is no longer available as NOS, there is usually at least one on sale on eBay in mint condition. 3 Lens cameras will give more pairs per roll of film, however.

If you want to take stereo slides then the only lenticular camera with enough adjustability to cover a wide range of lighting conditions with optimal exposure would be the Nimslo. Slide film has more lattitude than most people think, but not enough for cameras with no adjustability or with a range of only 2½ fstops. However, considering the cost of and scant availability of both slide film and processing, you might want to consider one of the 1950s era stereo cameras such as the Realist, Kodak stereo, etc. they have a wider frame and will give you more pairs per roll than an unmodified Nimslo. They can usually be purchased in the $100 to $200 range in good usable condition. They had an old style hot shoe, but simple adapters are availble for modern electronic flash units.

On the other hand, if you want to go beyond film cameras and do direct digital stereo, I suggest the Fuji W3 as mentioned at the bottom left of this page. The cost is not much more than some of the higher quality 50s stereo cameras on eBay, and the money saved on film and processing will soon make up the difference!

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