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Batteries for Nikon F4

Steven Zell , Jul 20, 2000; 11:21 a.m.

I have just acquired an F4 with the MN-20 grip, that is, the grip that holds only 4 batteries. While the other grips that hold 6 batteries say it is ok to use NiCds, the instructions for this grip only speak of alkalines. Does this mean you cannot or should not use NiCds in this grip/camera configuration? How about NiMH?

Finally does anyone know if there are Lithium batteries recommended for the F4?




John N. Wall , Jul 20, 2000; 03:44 p.m.

The F4 came out before Lithium AA batteries were introduced. When they went on the market, Nikon said, and continues to say, that they do not recommend use of AA Lithium batteries in the F4, that damage may occur.

No one knows what they are concerned about, but there is much speculation that centers on the fact that AA Lithiums have a little bit extra charge when the camera is turned on.

On the other hand, the manufacturer of AA Lithium batteries promises to fix or replace any unit damaged by use of these batteries. Pop Photo ran an article a couple of years ago in which they addressed this matter. They said they checked with NYC camera repair places and found no record of any damage showing up. They said they could see no reason not to use them in Nikon F4 and other older bodies that use AA batteries.

My local camera repair guy says he sees no reason not to use them. Several times on the 'net in recent years, people have asked for credible evidence of danger, with no response.

I use 'em in my 2 F4 bodies, and have for a while -- no problem. Your mileage may vary.

Azrul K. Abdullah , Jul 21, 2000; 09:42 p.m.

Hmm... I've used Lithium AAs in the MD-4 for my F3 and no problems either. However, try them at your own risk of course. I've never had problems with lithiums.

John Guarnieri , Dec 28, 2003; 09:19 a.m.

Any further update on the use of lithiums with the F4 ?

There seems to be a lot of speculation about whether lithiums will damage an F4, but has anyone seen any proof ?

I know the standard answer from Nikon is that Lithiums are not recommended, but I wonder if this answer is not just another way of giving F4 owners with aching necks a reason to "step-up" to a F5 or F100 for which Lithium use is not an issue. Let us not forget that Nikon also warns against using non-Nikon brand flash guns. Hear that, users of Vivitar, Sunpak & Metz flash units !!!.

How about studio flash ? Why does Nikon provide a PC connection socket on the F4, F5 and other bodies, but only endorses Nikon flashes. Guess you should not be using studio flash either.

Back to the battery issue, at least in the case of Everready, lithium batteries are guaranteed not to damage a product. Does Everready know something Nikon doesn't.

Also, is the use of Lithiums with the MB-20 not a problem according to Nikon ? From what I have seen in the threads, many users use lithiums with the MB-20 while not using them with the MB-21.

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