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Nikon Historical Society -- hosted by the founding member Bob Rotoloni and members of the society. The NHS, based the US, has a worldwide membership. Our "Nikon Journal," published four times a year, concentrates on the history of Japanese photo equipment from the perspective of the Nikon Camera Company. The Nikon Journal often includes Nikon information not published anywhere else in the world. This forum provides an opportunity for conversation between collectors and users of classic film Nikons. See forum “stickies” for more information about the Society. If you are a serious Nikon Collector, you MUST be a NHS member. Join at http://www.nikonhistoricalsociety.com/!

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Old 07-08-2010   #41
Brian Sweeney
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Lynn- The "Evil SLR" forum is the most logical lace for a Thread on the 5.8cm F1.4. I need to scan some more shots in, the ones scanned are tests and not "real" shots.

I'll look in the archives.
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Old 07-08-2010   #42
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http://www.destoutz.ch/nikon_f_all_bodies.html

I want just one.

btw great thread, love the stories how one camera serve for decades to one person, the perfect symbiosis.
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Old 07-08-2010   #43
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I got my first F in 1976 and still have it and a few other F's. I once owned the worlds ugliest F and even it still worked great. I shoot mostly M6 now but the F is much faster for me in brighter light. I don't even think about focusing the F, I just do it. With the M6, I think about where to focus and when my brain gets involved that really slows things down. Tough, wonderful cameras. They only ever let me down once. On my honeymoon the F lost all speeds above 1/60 but that's the only time in 34 years they have not come thru for me. Joe
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Old 07-08-2010   #44
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Nice pair of F's. I have an early Nippon Kogaku and a later Photomic Tn model.
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Old 07-08-2010   #45
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If you like F's then keep watch for the Nikon cassettes that fit them. In college I put hundreds of rolls thru four of those cassettes working for yearbook, newspaper and development. They work well in a Watson bulk loader and last forever. I recently got six for $19 on e bay. I'm not bulk loading now but plan to in the near future. Joe
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Old 07-08-2010   #46
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Here is another Nikon F story. When I was an Industrial/Scientific Photographer for Sandia National Labs, I was assigned to photograph a black project (highly classified) in 35mm. 99% of my work was done with 120 roll-Bronica or 4x5-Sinar. I was given a very large budget to purchase new gear. Was also told the photos had to come out perfect, no excuses and no second chances. I decided that I would use my personal Nikon F's since I knew they were in working order and was very familiar in using them. The project was so important, when I processed the film I watched it go through the Hope C41 processor with night vision goggles. Job came out perfect. Even to this day I have never considered the Nikon F as a "classic" or "old school". Maybe one day I'll upgrade to a F2. Hee Hee...
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Old 07-08-2010   #47
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Ok the plot thickens!

I've just done a comparison between my OM-2, which actually has a fairly battered standard screen in it, and the three Nikons I own: N90s, FM3A and my new D700!
Keith, I'm not that familiar with the OM-2, but I also like the older screens. They're darker, but finer in focus. I've never been happy with the screens on AF cameras for manual focusing. Here's a good page on how they evolved. They've turned into a plane of small lenses rather than a matte surface. http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...ns/screens.htm

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Old 07-09-2010   #48
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Let's keep the stories coming. Maybe we can get another generation of photographers hooked on the "F". I know the cameras are up to it.
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Nikon F screen
Old 07-09-2010   #49
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Nikon F screen

Great thread Lynn, need to ask a question about the post when you said you had F3/F4 screens in your F's, forgive my ignorance, but I didn't think they would fit. Can you explain please?

I've had a few F's over the years, a black 64 model being the most collectable I guess, anyone know more about the rarity of these? I'm left with one slightly battered but working black F Apollo with plain prism which I like very much. Though it doesn't get used much due to digital. Shame.
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Old 07-09-2010   #50
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Beautiful Nikon Fs, Lynn.


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Old 07-09-2010   #51
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I have an F2 but have sold my F with its FTN finder. It is too late to say I wish I had not, but my camera was a user's camera and not shiny as the ones I see posted here.
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Old 07-09-2010   #52
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Great thread Lynn, need to ask a question about the post when you said you had F3/F4 screens in your F's, forgive my ignorance, but I didn't think they would fit. Can you explain please?
I can answer that. I have F4 screens in my 2 F's. I love how much brighter and easier to focus they are. The screens themselves are the same thickness, it's the frames that position them just enough "off" to be inaccurate for critical focusing. 4 screws + brackets around the plastic frames that secure the screen. It's easy to transplant the F4 screen into an F screen frame, just handle the screen carefully because the matte surface is very easy to scratch. (BTW I used the F4 screen with split-image and microprism donut rather than the standard "B" screen with just AF brackets).
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Old 07-09-2010   #53
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...The screens themselves are the same thickness, it's the frames that position them just enough "off" to be inaccurate for critical focusing. 4 screws + brackets around the plastic frames that secure the screen. It's easy to transplant the F4 screen into an F screen frame, just handle the screen carefully because the matte surface is very easy to scratch. (BTW I used the F4 screen with split-image and microprism donut rather than the standard "B" screen with just AF brackets).
Great information here. I shall have to give it a go.
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Old 07-09-2010   #54
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...I've had a few F's over the years, a black 64 model being the most collectable I guess, anyone know more about the rarity of these?
Check the Head Bartender's page for info on the black "64" F. http://www.cameraquest.com/nfbl64.htm

Here's a photo of my black "64" F standard prism with a 58/1.4 attached.


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Old 07-10-2010   #55
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Always wanting to march by myself :- a story in reverse.I worked in a camera store in Ilford Essex UK at 14 years old during school holidays and at weekends,something that would never be allowed these days. I shot the passport pics and swept the floor,cleaned the shelves etc. They let me, God bless them buy a Leica M2 and a 35 'on the drip'. I didn't get paid any money for years but my M2 earned me a few pounds from the local papers and I learned my tradecraft. After some parentally enforced military service I joined an American news agency in London. All the other guys were using Nikons and Pentaxes. Slung it the rear of the camera closet was a battered black Leica MP2 that nobody wanted to use. That was for me ! The agency closed a few months later. They owed me back pay and the boss said you can have that in lieu thats if you really want it . I still have it. I keep it in the bank vault now .Maybe as part of my pension. LOL.
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,,,continued
Old 07-10-2010   #56
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Thumbs up ,,,continued

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsec1 View Post
Always wanting to march by myself :- a story in reverse.I worked in a camera store in Ilford Essex UK at 14 years old during school holidays and at weekends,something that would never be allowed these days. I shot the passport pics and swept the floor,cleaned the shelves etc. They let me, God bless them buy a Leica M2 and a 35 'on the drip'. I didn't get paid any money for years but my M2 earned me a few pounds from the local papers and I learned my tradecraft. After some parentally enforced military service I joined an American news agency in London. All the other guys were using Nikons and Pentaxes. Slung it the rear of the camera closet was a battered black Leica MP2 that nobody wanted to use. That was for me ! The agency closed a few months later. They owed me back pay and the boss said you can have that in lieu thats if you really want it . I still have it. I keep it in the bank vault now .Maybe as part of my pension. LOL.
Has to be my favorite Leica story!!! Would love it if you could post some pic's of that treasure.
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Old 07-10-2010   #57
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Has to be my favorite Leica story!!! Would love it if you could post some pic's of that treasure.
OK will try and do so next week. Am in Hospital at present (See story in tomorrows Mail on Sunday ) .Had thyroid cancer and radiotherapy ,iodine 131 a couple of weeks ago. Set off radiological alarm at Dover on return from Dunkirk France on monday LOL....... Mind you high security state as anniversary of London 7/7 bombings so pleased the authorities are on the ball. Am in remission now so fingers crossed. Sorry to Roger as I was unable to make Arles as we (Pauline) and I had hoped.

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Old 07-10-2010   #58
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I like the parsec1 story very much. All the best with your recovery.

When I left school I worked in a small camera shop for a while. I knew little about cameras then and when a customer once asked for a "synch plug" (flash cord in hindsight) I thought he was looking for something hand basin related and sent him to the hardware dept'.
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Old 07-10-2010   #59
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I like the parsec1 story very much. All the best with your recovery.

When I left school I worked in a small camera shop for a while. I knew little about cameras then and when a customer once asked for a "synch plug" (flash cord in hindsight) I thought he was looking for something hand basin related and sent him to the hardware dept'.
Ahhh.... Fork handles or four candles, 0's (Zeros) or Hose (for watering the garden)...a famous comedy sketch from one of our English T V shows. The Two Ronnies' One thing we Brits can do well is make people laugh intentionaly or otherwise !

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Old 07-10-2010   #60
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Here's my Nikon F Apollo, fitted with a 35mm f2 lens. It has a fair dent on the finder, but is still clear and free from prism separation lines.
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Old 07-10-2010   #61
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Sarah and Mike. Leica M6 28mm Biogon Praysaac market France. Friday morning coffee.
XP2 processed at local lab in C41 machine
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Sarah and Mike in Praysaac market France copy.jpg (71.9 KB, 43 views)

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Old 07-11-2010   #62
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Too bad we couldn't talk Nikon into making a limited-production digital back for the F.

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Old 07-12-2010   #63
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I just put a CPU chip on my 5.8cm f/1.4 over the weekend so now I get full functionality out of every Nikon SLR made from the F on! Totally spectacular.
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Old 07-12-2010   #64
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My F's and F2, the Chrome Ft was a Dr's and came with spare unmetered, wlf prisms and also 50/2 H, 55/3.5 micro + M2, 105/2.5 (P 248***) and 135 looked like they had never been out of the surgery. Owned them collectively between 15 - 20 yrs.


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Old 07-12-2010   #65
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I only have a single lonely FTN. Got is as a gift, as below, and added some lenses. Really like that 55 - Roland.

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Old 07-12-2010   #66
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am THINKING about this EVIL SLR 'F' Experience
even though I am head over heels in LOVE w/ RF's and Leica M's

But the Prices are GGREAT & THE Kits Produce Phenomenal Results....

Which F would be the way to Go ...
I want it simple and Basic just like my Leica M6/M2
Just Look through the VF, select my f & shutter , Focus ...CLICK!

I have narrowed it down to F3 or FE ??? pros & cons Please

Two lenses: 55 1.2 and the 85 1.8 pros & cons

Thank You ...who knows I may be a 'F' Girl
(will NOT sell my M)

Cheers & Thank YOU in Advance for your Thoughts !
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Old 07-12-2010   #67
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Thanks to this thread, I transfered an F4 focus screen into my F screen frame. Unfortunately I did not have a spare screen with split image rangefinder finder, but its still an improvement.

Helen, if you are going to go down that route (like I did), I suggest the original F or F2 with non-metered prism. This will be most like the Leica M2 experience. Think of an Olympus OM1 on steroids.

Failing that, the F3 was a fantastic camera in it's day, and still is, for the silly cheap price (<$200) you can buy one for today.

Let me know if you want a 55f1.2 lens.
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Old 07-12-2010   #68
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Oh, these threads are a torment to me.. First I survived the zuikoholics thread without buying anything but I cannot resist any longer, just like helen. On my recent holiday I realized that I really NEED an film SLR system (for tele and close focusing things) and I think it will be a Nikon (F-something or FM something). Can anyone suggest a safe way to pick up a beaten one in a working condition for small money without buying ruined cameras from that big auction thing? There are almost none older nikons save few F3s round here, or at least I haven't discovered them yet.
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Old 07-12-2010   #69
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My walkabout pleasure kit :- an M6 with a 28 + 40mm in pocket or on bottom of camera and an F2 with a 105 2.5 Ais.
Anything else is IMHO superfluous.
My working kit D3s D700 and 14mm 2.8 24mm 2.8 50 1.4 70-200 2.8 300 2.8 2x etc etc etc ad nauseum ad back breaking tedium.
For delight :- a small surplus in my bank account. Not easy these days............
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Old 07-12-2010   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister E View Post
I just put a CPU chip on my 5.8cm f/1.4 over the weekend so now I get full functionality out of every Nikon SLR made from the F on! Totally spectacular.
Do you have a picture of the surgery... not much use to me since I do not have a modern Nikon DSLR to use... use a D70 when digital is called for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
Too bad we couldn't talk Nikon into making a limited-production digital back for the F.
Only a matter of time. If Nikon does not, I will. Just waiting for full frame sensors to become affordable.

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Originally Posted by ferider View Post
I only have a single lonely FTN. Got is as a gift, as below, and added some lenses.
That lonely FTn has beautiful mate called a Helios 85/1.5... now that is a lens I want to get my hands on as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
am THINKING about this EVIL SLR 'F' Experience
even though I am head over heels in LOVE w/ RF's and Leica M's

But the Prices are GGREAT & THE Kits Produce Phenomenal Results....

Two lenses: 55 1.2 and the 85 1.8 pros & cons

Cheers & Thank YOU in Advance for your Thoughts !
Helen,

I buy most of my Nikon gear from eBay, with occasional local purchases. You should not have to pay over $200 for a working F with a screen and finder. I have bought most of mine for far less. The good thing about the Nikon F is that is hard to buy one that is not working. Talk to Rover, he had found a local seller with some Nikon kits priced quite reasonably.

I suspect with your very defined tastes in tools, that you would be better served to find someone local, such as a RFF member, that would be willing to let you use a Nikon F for an afternoon, day or two. You may not find that you like them at all and prefer that Canon F1, F1n or the Pentax LX or whatever. There is no doubt that the Nikon F is a great camera, but not for everyone.

As for lenses, I would not jump into the 55/1.2 straight away, it is a big and heavy lenses, makes the Nokton 35/1.2 seem like a flyweight. I would recommend that you buy a Nikkor-SC 50/1.4 and a Nikkor-PC 105/2.5, both can be bought inexpensively and are legendary. There is a thread about the 105/2.5 that is quite hot at the moment.

Do not over pay... I suspect a price jump in Nikon F's and old Nikkors after this thread. But remember there were 800,000 or so Nikon F's made and millions of Nikkor lenses as well, so you should be able to pick up an F, 50/1.4 & 105/2.5 for $400 or less in very condition.

And remember... it is not the tool but the craftsman that produces the result. But there is no doubt that the Nikon F is a very fine tool.

On holidays at the moment... so this is my walk-about kit for today.


Nikon F with Nikkor-S 3.5cm f2.8... film choice not yet made.
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Old 07-12-2010   #71
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Do you have a picture of the surgery... not much use to me since I do not have a modern Nikon DSLR to use... use a D70 when digital is called for.
Actually no surgery was required on the 5.8cm which is why I used it over a different lens. I'll post some links to the instructions later. It would make the lens meter and work completely on your D70 which might be nice.
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Old 07-12-2010   #72
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Helen, I have a couple of FE2s and I love those cameras. I have a black one that I am going to keep but I have a chrome one that's very nice and CLA'd last year and hasn't been used since. I am planning on selling it if anyone is interested. It will probably be a few weeks before I list it anywhere. - Jim I"m sorry if this is inappropriate for this thread.
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Old 07-12-2010   #73
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Helen,
I can't praise the 85/1.8 enough, it is one of my favorite Nikkors. The way this lens pulls & isolates your subject out from the backround & creates a smooth & pleasing out of focus area from it, rivals anything Leica has produced. Another good thing is the prices for this lens, in mint condition, have fallen to the $200-190 level. I'd go for a non-AI version, you can have it AI'ed later if you find you need to. Good luck & good light
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Old 07-12-2010   #74
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Yeah for me the stock screens in any of those cameras are unusable. I have I think the D screen in my Nikon F and F2 with the grid matte screen in my FE, FE2 and FM3A. Much better, but the F/F2 sets the standard. I can focus any fast lens spot on with it every time while my FE2 is a bit too ambiguous and the D700 is worse.
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Old 07-12-2010   #75
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There are some beautiful old Nikons here. I bought my Nikon F, Ftn, in 1968 and still have it. It's showing quite a bit of wear and the slower shutter speeds are slow now. I bought a used black Nikon F FTN around 1980. It shows some wear an brassing but it still works great. It's really nice seeing these old cameras.
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Old 07-12-2010   #76
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Old 07-12-2010   #77
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I'd love a black paint Nikon F with the Nippon Kogaku logo (not the later Nikon logo type).

Probably crazy but ...... anyone want to swap a mint one plus a few period correct lenses for a mint F6???
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Old 07-12-2010   #78
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Reading all the comments here, I should bring my F3 and FM back with me to Japan the next time I visit Germany ... On the other hand, there was a nice black F with motor in some shop here locally ...
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Old 07-12-2010   #79
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Ooh, so much to ponder here...

First trip to the Dark Side for me was a shiny, new Canon F-1, which reminded me of the (then-just-barely-current) Nikon F prism, but with a meter built into the body. As the F was the camera to beat, the Canon channeled a lot of F-goodness in their rival.

Some time later, I found myself with a gaggle of Nikon Fs: one black F body with both matching prism and barely-working FTn Photomic finders (the latter my sole remaining link to my Nikons, used the last few decades as a paperweight), an F2 Titan, an FM2, and, best of all, a pair of F3HP bodies. Of all my Fs, I really miss the F3s the most.

The only other SLR I have any warm fuzzies about is the Olympus OM series. I had most of the single-digit models at one time or another. My sole remaining SLR is an inherited black OM-2n with standard-issue 50 f/1.8 Zuiko and somewhat-rare Sigma 21-35 ultrawide zoom, which (together with a Vari-Magni finder) I use with the OM as a sort of ersatz miniature view camera.

The interesting thing about both the Canon F-1 and Olympus OM cameras is that both designs drew heavily on the Nikon F for an obvious reason: that was the camera to beat at the time, and I believe both cameras, along with the F, have stood the test of time for this reason. Other than the F3, I don't think much of the other SLRs I've used.

But then came the Hexars, eight years ago, and that was that. But the OM-2n still comes out for a project or two.


- Barrett
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Old 07-12-2010   #80
P. Lynn Miller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mynikonf2 View Post
...I can't praise the 85/1.8 enough, it is one of my favorite Nikkors...
The Nikkor-H 85mm f1.8 is the next lens on my 'to-buy' list. Well... there may be a very early 10.5cm f2.5 jumping the queue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mynikonf2 View Post
I'd go for a non-AI version, you can have it AI'ed later if you find you need to. Good luck & good light
Please do not take an F-mount 85 and modify it. There are plenty of 85's out there that have been modified to 'AI' that non-modified early 85's are getting hard to find. One of my pet peeves is photographers modifying early F-mount Nikkor lenses. I am not a proponent of shelf queen's, but hacking a lens only diminishes the stock of original lenses. In fact, AI'd lenses are usually cheaper than original lenses these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister E View Post
...fully programmable chips are available...
Thanks for the link, Nathan. I may have to modify some of my user lenses. I have some really mangled F-mounts and AI-s lenses that would be nice to be used on the D70.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSU View Post
...The F3 will have a better VF and screen than the FE...
With patience you can often find an F3 for the same money as an FE2. The F3 was the pinnacle of the F system camera, the number of finders, screens, and accessories is simply mind-boggling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
I'd love a black paint Nikon F with the Nippon Kogaku logo (not the later Nikon logo type).
I would like to have a really beat-up early black F at some point as well, but I am in no rush. Will get a few more lenses before I start chasing more bodies.

What I really want to know is where to get spare parts. I need a few parts for the 4-digit body, but cannot seem locate anyone with bits for sale. And unless a body is completely wrecked, I just goes against my grain to turn a working body into a parts donor.
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