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Great season for hunting Nikon S4!
Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
goliathus
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Great season for hunting Nikon S4!







It looks like prices for Nikon S4 is lowered and good to get and So I did.


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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
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Oh now that is a real beauty, Congrats on the nice find!

I always confuse this, now what are the exact differences from the S4 to the S3 apart from the obviously missing selfie lever ;-)

Does it have a Ti shutter and F sourced cosmetic parts?
Any quirks special to the S4 ?
What frame lines?
Was there ever made a black paint S4?

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
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most likely only available in metric
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
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The S4 does not come with titanium shutters and is not motor drive coupled. As already stated, it does not have a self-timer and the frame counter must be manually reset. The S4 viewfinder has bright line frames for 50 & 105mm only.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
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Thanks Mike ;-)
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
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What a pretty camera. Best of luck.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mynikonf2 View Post
The S4 does not come with titanium shutter and is not motor drive coupled. As already stated it comes without self-timer but also the frame counter must be manually reset. The viewfinder has bright line frames for 50 & 105mm only.
How is the frame counter reset, do you just keep winding util you reach zero then load the film?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
How is the frame counter reset, do you just keep winding util you reach zero then load the film?
Manual reset of course, like on the Contax I/II/III, Nikon I/M/S/S2, Leica I/II/III, Leica M2.
You load the film and you both expose the proper amount of blank frames (according to your own habits) and close the back, then manually set the frames counter to 0. There is a dot to grab the frames counter disk and make it turn.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
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very cool camera
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
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menos,

Forgot to mention that the S4 was not intended for export to the U.S. market. With a total production run of 5,895 units, starting
with serial #6500001 in March of 1959, & ending with serial #6505900 in July 1960, there were no black S4 versions in the series.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
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Thanks Mike, thats good info ;-)
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goliathus View Post
It looks like prices for Nikon S4 is lowered and good to get and So I did.
Congrats Park! Your collection must be quite comprehensive by now

Quote:
Originally Posted by mynikonf2 View Post
The S4 viewfinder has bright line frames for 50 & 105mm only.
They're supposed to have only 50mm and 105mm bright lines but I have seen a few in Tokyo that also had a 35mm bright line. No idea if they were modified after purchase or the guys on the assembly line accidentally (or intentionally?) installed S3 finder parts. Interesting variation regardless.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
They're supposed to have only 50mm and 105mm bright lines but I have seen a few in Tokyo that also had a 35mm bright line. No idea if they were modified after purchase or the guys on the assembly line accidentally (or intentionally?) installed S3 finder parts. Interesting variation regardless.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Congrats Park! Your collection must be quite comprehensive by now



They're supposed to have only 50mm and 105mm bright lines but I have seen a few in Tokyo that also had a 35mm bright line. No idea if they were modified after purchase or the guys on the assembly line accidentally (or intentionally?) installed S3 finder parts. Interesting variation regardless.
Very cool, that sounds like a desirable modification to a S4 back in the day ;-)

I like the clean look without self timer resetting the frame counter manually shouldn't be a big deal (if one doesn't forget it, and even if, not a big deal either).

But then again I also equally like the look of a S3 (strangely enough the S3 is now my favorite Nikon RF although the SP finder for a 50mm is just wonderful on it's own).
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 61 View Post
Manual reset of course, like on the Contax I/II/III, Nikon I/M/S/S2, Leica I/II/III, Leica M2.
You load the film and you both expose the proper amount of blank frames (according to your own habits) and close the back, then manually set the frames counter to 0. There is a dot to grab the frames counter disk and make it turn.
I see it now the counter is just like the s2 sitting on top of the wind on lever.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardHaw View Post
most likely only available in metric
I have just bought a Nikon S4. It's one of the rare 10% of the S4's which were produced and scaled in FEET rather than metres.
See Cameraquest (Stephen Gandy's two excellent articles) on the Nikon S4:-

https://cameraquest.com/nrfs4.htm

https://cameraquest.com/nrfs4DDD.htm
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #17
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what's the going rate for an excellent S4 w 50/2? I see prices for all the nikon S cameras all over the place, but interested in testing the H2O -

Many thanks.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUJINON View Post
I have just bought a Nikon S4. It's one of the rare 10% of the S4's which were produced and scaled in FEET rather than metres.
See Cameraquest (Stephen Gandy's two excellent articles) on the Nikon S4:-

https://cameraquest.com/nrfs4.htm

https://cameraquest.com/nrfs4DDD.htm
I love my old retro glass to have the distance scale marked in feet only. Love the uncluttered look and being an American feet is best for me.

My 35/1.8 Nikkor in LTM is in feet only.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #19
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Wasn't this one issued around the Japan Olympic Games? I always thought it was one of the hardest to find. And it's true... the Nikon S4 rangefinder prices are surprisingly low these days.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SolaresLarrave View Post
And it's true... the Nikon S4 rangefinder prices are surprisingly low these days.
The S4 is a lesser S3 : no 35mm framelines in the viewfinder but for the variations noticed by Jon in Tokyo (otherwise it has the same viewfinder magnification and eyepoint), manual frames counter reset, no selftimer. As "rare" as it might be, it's not particularly interesting for users. There might not always be a surprise behind prices.

No selftimer may provide a cleaner look to the camera and the selftimer is often looked at as a useless gadget but during a recent trip to Berlin and Leipzig I used it extensively to shoot interiors at 1s and f/8 with the S3 and the W-Nikkor-C 35mm f/1.8. It was always easy to find something flat and horizontal to put the camera on, hence (what I think to be) acceptable architecture photos. No selftimer would have meant small tripod and cable release outfit, which would both have gathered attention on me. Plus, it was more easy to get the camera horizontal and in axis without any pocket tripod. I didn't even framed through the finder. The 10s selftimer delay allows the camera to be fully steady when the shutter fires.







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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #21
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Selftimers aren't just for selfies
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Old 1 Week Ago   #22
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from what I understand, the S4 was meant to be a newsman's camera as it was dictated by DDD himself on what would be a nice newsman's camera

this meant stripping things to the bare minimum like getting rid of the self time which can snag on a shirt pocket or the extra 35mm frame which cluttered the view. incidentally, I read that DDD liked the 50mm and 135mm FOV so this probably explained why 35mm was not included.

I was freelancing for the local newspaper a long time ago and my editor would not allow me to take pictures that are wider than 35mm for a few reasons. he is an old-timer. is it me or people in the journalism industry back then disliked wider focal lengths.

the reasons my editor gave me for not going beyond 35mm was it distorts the image, distorting facts, making small things look bigger and it made people look like caricature/cartoon characters when their face look distorted. this is probably why DDD didn't want the 35mm frame in?

on a more realistic note, omitting the 35mm frame line lowers cost which is the whole point of the S4.

the cloth shutter is also for lowering cost. If I am a newsman in the late '50s I would want to have a cloth shutter since it is less prone to finger-poking damage, can be fixed easily in the field when you get holes by using a rubberized paint and is quieter.

just some random thoughts...
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Great season for hunting Nikon S4!
Old 1 Week Ago   #23
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Great season for hunting Nikon S4!

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardHaw View Post
from what I understand, the S4 was meant to be a newsman's camera as it was dictated by DDD himself on what would be a nice newsman's camera
First time I've heard DDD and the S4 mentioned in the same sentence

In his latest tome, Bob Rotoloni starts his S4 section as below. No mention of DDD in there anywhere though.

"It appears that sometime in early 1959 the people at N-K decided to produce a new model that would make it easier for someone to enter the Nikon rangefinder system. This was not a new idea, as Leitz had been doing the very same thing for years."

You'll have to buy the book to read more

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolaresLarrave View Post
Wasn't this one issued around the Japan Olympic Games?
The S4 was announced in March 1959 and production was in three batches that date to March 1959, May 1959, and July 1960. The Tokyo Olympics were held in October 1964.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #24
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I can't see how an alternate frame line mask saves cost.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #25
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https://www.cameraquest.com/nrfs4.htm
this is from the english internet

I read something on a japanese site or MOOK mentioning it, too but I am unsure if they got the information from the CQ site

there is a more extensive one online, I will look for it
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Old 1 Week Ago   #26
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Quote:
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https://www.cameraquest.com/nrfs4.htm
this is from the english internet
... and on the head bartender's website no less First time to see that.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #27
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Old 1 Week Ago   #28
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That is an interesting bit of info - thanks for sharing!
I didn't know the article on the CameraQuest website and it does indeed show the S4 in a slightly different light.

Now how to find a nice condition S4 with meter scale for myself (feet scaled S4 might be more valuable but they are just soooooooo confusing)

Now if Nikon ever had made a few in black paint, THAT would be a very tasty camera to me ;-)
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Old 1 Week Ago   #29
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Quote:
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That is an interesting bit of info - thanks for sharing!
I didn't know the article on the CameraQuest website and it does indeed show the S4 in a slightly different light.

Now how to find a nice condition S4 with meter scale for myself (feet scaled S4 might be more valuable but they are just soooooooo confusing)

Now if Nikon ever had made a few in black paint, THAT would be a very tasty camera to me ;-)
if I recall, me and my friend saw one. it was not "official" and probably requested by a customer
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Old 1 Week Ago   #30
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Beautiful - a repaint then I suppose.
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Great season for hunting Nikon S4!
Old 1 Week Ago   #31
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Great season for hunting Nikon S4!

IIRC Tom A had a black paint Nikon S4, painted by Shintaro. I don't remember hearing about or seeing a factory black paint S4 though. DDD must have forgotten to suggest Nikon make black paint versions
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Old 1 Week Ago   #32
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DDD must have forgotten to suggest Nikon make black paint versions
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