Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Coffee With Mentors > Nikon Historical Society

Nikon Historical Society Jason Schneider is perhaps the world's most famous expert on camera collecting.  Over the course of his long career he has been a photojournalist, a commercial photographer, and a camera test lab manager.  For 18 years he wrote his incredibly influential Camera Collector monthly column at the still deeply missed MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY magazine where Jason was also Editorial Director. Modern was followed by his 16 year stint as Editor-Chief of Popular Photography, then the world's largest imaging magazine. Along the way many of his Modern Camera collecting articles were republished in the wonderful 3 volume set JASON SCHNEIDER ON CAMERA COLLECTING.

Focusing on a wide range of interests, Jason has been an avid photography enthusiast, writer, and lecturer amazingly enough since his early teens.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Washington Square College of New York University, where he majored in English Literature, minored in Classics, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Schneiderís poetry and critical essays on poetry have been published in the NYU college literary magazine and in various collections.  He's currently working on a book on Emily Dickinson's poetry "Understanding Emily Dickinson. A Reader's Guide To The Enlightened Master."

Jason is an expert on most things photography:  no only camera collecting and analog photography, but also digital photography, the history of camera design and technology, the business of photography, what it is to be a photographer, and as he once proved to me, the best place to buy bratworst at Photokina in Cologne. If all of that was not enough, Jason is genuinely one of the nicest, most knowledgeable and interesting human beings you will ever likely have the good fortune to meet on the net.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

Old 08-01-2019   #41
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: CA
Posts: 8,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Thatís an accurate description. There was energy in the niche at the time, but none of it generated by Leica.
And yet Nikon felt to note Leica's 'energy' as the reason why they brought the S3 2000 to market.

https://imaging.nikon.com/history/ch...index.htm#id03

Quote:
In the spring of 1994, driven by the surge of enthusiasm for Leica and other classic cameras, Mito Nikon initiated a new project to reproduce a Nikon's rangefinder camera which had once enjoyed great popularity for its outstanding performance.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #42
css9450
Registered User
 
css9450's Avatar
 
css9450 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,095
I have a hard time believing Leica had any "energy" in the 1990s. Didn't they almost discontinue the M line some years earlier? The author of that article could have just as easily said "Contax" instead of "Leica" so I suppose if he did, we'd now be thanking Contax for the S3 2000. We don't even know if the author knew any other "old camera brands" besides Leica.
__________________
Nikon S2, S3, F, F2, F3, FM2, FA, N90S, D80, D7000, D750, Sony a6000, Canon IIf, Leica CL, Tower type 3, Zorki 4, Vito B, Perkeo II, Rollei 35....
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #43
micromontenegro
Registered User
 
micromontenegro's Avatar
 
micromontenegro is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Posts: 620
But we need to thank Contax for the S3 2000...
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #44
splitimageview
Registered User
 
splitimageview is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2,314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
And yet Nikon felt to note Leica's 'energy' as the reason why they brought the S3 2000 to market.

https://imaging.nikon.com/history/ch...index.htm#id03
Leica wasn't behind the energy directly, per se; it was consumers "driven by the surge of enthusiasm for Leica and other classic cameras"
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #45
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: CA
Posts: 8,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Leica wasn't behind the energy directly, per se; it was consumers "driven by the surge of enthusiasm for Leica and other classic cameras"
Weird then that Nikon directly mentions Leica.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #46
splitimageview
Registered User
 
splitimageview is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2,314
Why is that weird?

The quote refers to consumer enthusiasm for classic cameras; other companies noticed it too at about the same time, such as Konica, who introduced the Hexar AF in 1993 and the RF in 1999. And then came the 'rangefinder renaissance' that is well-documented on the cameraquest site.

Leica during most of the 90s wasn't doing much related to Ms, other than special edition M6s for the collector market. Very late in the decade they started offering the 0.85 viewfinders in the M6 Classic, but that was one of the very few technical changes during that period. Right after this the TTL was released.

During this time there were many users urging Leica to finally catch up with AE, but that was not until the 2000s.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #47
furcafe
Registered User
 
furcafe's Avatar
 
furcafe is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Age: 53
Posts: 4,310
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Semantics man, semantics! Classic cameras including (but not limited to) Leica. The early to mid 1990s was the peak of the bubble in Japan, and all the guys in their 40s and 50s who were feeling rich were buying up all the cameras they couldn't afford to buy when they were younger. Neither translation is referring to the M6

Interesting back story to this translation (well, as far as I'm concerned). I think it was about 2007 or so when this article and the one on the SP 2005 were posted in Japanese on the now defunct Nikon archives website (the articles have long since been deleted). Since the articles contained a wealth of information I expected English translations to follow soon after, but none did so almost a year later I translated them myself and posted them on the NHS website. Shortly afterwards, I casually mentioned my translations to the guy in charge of the Nikon archives, and he responded by telling me to take them down. Ooops, that didn't go as planned. Anyway, I did, but before I did, he copied them and used them as a base for his own translations, which are on the Nikon website to this day. Oh well, and least those translations turned out better than the translations that usually get posted.

BTW most Nikon collectors consider the SP to be the pinnacle of Nikon RFs. After copping so much flak for making a reissue of the lowly S3 instead of an SP, Nikon ended up having to appease its fans and make a reissue SP anyway. Oh and the SP has parallax correction.

Thanks for the backstory. I always wondered what the deal was with those article archives!
__________________
Five a Second. Chicago's Bell & Howell Co. (cameras) announced that it would put on sale this fall the world's most expensive still camera. Its "Foton" will take five 35-mm. pictures a second, sell for $700. Bell & Howell, which has found that "families of both low and high incomes now spend over $550" for movie equipment, hopes to sell 20,000 Fotons a year.
--Facts And Figures, Time magazine, Monday, October 4, 1948
My Photoblog

My Flickr stream

My RFF Gallery

My Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #48
furcafe
Registered User
 
furcafe's Avatar
 
furcafe is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Age: 53
Posts: 4,310
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Weird then that Nikon directly mentions Leica.

Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Why is that weird?

The quote refers to consumer enthusiasm for classic cameras; other companies noticed it too at about the same time, such as Konica, who introduced the Hexar AF in 1993 and the RF in 1999. And then came the 'rangefinder renaissance' that is well-documented on the cameraquest site.

Leica during most of the 90s wasn't doing much related to Ms, other than special edition M6s for the collector market. Very late in the decade they started offering the 0.85 viewfinders in the M6 Classic, but that was one of the very few technical changes during that period. Right after this the TTL was released.

During this time there were many users urging Leica to finally catch up with AE, but that was not until the 2000s.

Agreed, granted the imperfect translations, but the quote is "enthusiasm for/popularity of Leica and other classic cameras", not "enthusiasm from Leica . . ." I suppose Leica should be given some credit for simply having stayed in business & continuing to make RF cameras, but that's not quite the same as them doing anything to re-energize or popularize RFs in the '90s or early 2000s.


BTW, being the owner of both the S3 2000 & SP 2005 sets, I've always felt that Nikon got the lenses wrong--I find the 35/1.8 to be easier to use on the S3 & the 50/1.4 "Olympic" easier on the SP.
__________________
Five a Second. Chicago's Bell & Howell Co. (cameras) announced that it would put on sale this fall the world's most expensive still camera. Its "Foton" will take five 35-mm. pictures a second, sell for $700. Bell & Howell, which has found that "families of both low and high incomes now spend over $550" for movie equipment, hopes to sell 20,000 Fotons a year.
--Facts And Figures, Time magazine, Monday, October 4, 1948
My Photoblog

My Flickr stream

My RFF Gallery

My Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #49
Filter Factor
Registered User
 
Filter Factor is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Weird then that Nikon directly mentions Leica.

You're reading too much significance into a single word taken from what otherwise is an extremely interesting article. Yes, they could have mentioned Contax instead, which actually might have been a more appropriate "inspiration" seeing how closely the Nikon rangefinders resemble those early pre-war Contaxes (including of course the lensmount and the lens' focusing direction). But Contax is long since dispatched to the dustbin of camera history and they instead have mentioned the "other" big German contemporary from the same era, Leica.


Had the article made NO mention of another camera brand at all, we'd all be laughing silly at any suggestion they built the S3 2000 because of all the surging admiration of the Leica.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #50
jonmanjiro
Moderator
 
jonmanjiro's Avatar
 
jonmanjiro is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Yokohama
Posts: 5,349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Weird then that Nikon directly mentions Leica.
I think my translation is closer to the original Japanese (which I'm pretty sure included the phrase "ライカなどのクラシックカメラ"). Yes, Leica is directly mentioned, but its just a qualifier that modifies "classic cameras" and the sentence still works as a sentence if "such as Leica" is removed, so "such as Leica" is not a part of the core sentence/meaning.

"In the spring of 1994, the popularity of classic cameras such as Leica was extremely high, so Mito Nikon started a new project to reissue a camera recognized as the pinnacle of Nikon, a rangefinder camera."

"In the spring of 1994, the popularity of classic cameras was extremely high, so Mito Nikon started a new project to reissue a camera recognized as the pinnacle of Nikon, a rangefinder camera."
__________________
flickr
Instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #51
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: CA
Posts: 8,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filter Factor View Post
You're reading too much significance into a single word taken from what otherwise is an extremely interesting article. Yes, they could have mentioned Contax instead, which actually might have been a more appropriate "inspiration" seeing how closely the Nikon rangefinders resemble those early pre-war Contaxes (including of course the lensmount and the lens' focusing direction). But Contax is long since dispatched to the dustbin of camera history and they instead have mentioned the "other" big German contemporary from the same era, Leica.


Had the article made NO mention of another camera brand at all, we'd all be laughing silly at any suggestion they built the S3 2000 because of all the surging admiration of the Leica.
Not relevant because Nikon on their own volition mentioned Leica.

Nikon introduced the S3 remake in 2000. The same era the Leica was making and selling the M6.

The denial that this is what happened is kinda funny, because that is the reason Nikon gave. And everyone can see that. I'm not making this stuff up peeps! It's on Nikon's website.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-01-2019   #52
Huss
Registered User
 
Huss is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: CA
Posts: 8,841
Quote:
Originally Posted by furcafe View Post


BTW, being the owner of both the S3 2000 & SP 2005 sets, I've always felt that Nikon got the lenses wrong--I find the 35/1.8 to be easier to use on the S3 & the 50/1.4 "Olympic" easier on the SP.
This I agree with.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-02-2019   #53
Filter Factor
Registered User
 
Filter Factor is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post

Nikon introduced the S3 remake in 2000. The same era the Leica was making and selling the M6.

The denial that this is what happened is kinda funny, because that is the reason Nikon gave. And everyone can see that. I'm not making this stuff up peeps! It's on Nikon's website.

Where in the article does it mention the M6?
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-02-2019   #54
Filter Factor
Registered User
 
Filter Factor is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 83
If the M6 really had anything to do with the re-issue Nikon rangefinders, why then did Nikon faithfully recreate a camera from the 1950s? Why not a Contax G2 or Konica Hexar-style modern rangefinder instead? Had they done that, I'd have no problem agreeing the M6 was the inspiration. But no, they recreated one from the 1950s instead. You know, just like the classics.... Leica M2 and M3 and screwmounts, Contax I and II, Canon and Nicca's excellent LTM clones, etc. I'm just not drinking enough Leica Kool-Aid to specifically "thank" Leica for the S3 2000.
  Reply With Quote

Old 08-02-2019   #55
splitimageview
Registered User
 
splitimageview is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 2,314
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Semantics man, semantics!


I’m just glad that Nikon green-lighted the project.

Something similar is unlikely to ever happen again...
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-25-2019   #56
bayernfan
Registered User
 
bayernfan's Avatar
 
bayernfan is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 746
Just purchased an S3 2000 (new in box). I'm very familiar with classic Ms (2,3,4), having used them for several years now. This will be my first Nikon RF experience and I'm pretty excited.
__________________
M_V instagram
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-25-2019   #57
MikeL
Go Fish
 
MikeL's Avatar
 
MikeL is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,208
Quote:
Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post


Iím just glad that Nikon green-lighted the project.

Something similar is unlikely to ever happen again...
Wait, R, no SPX 2020? Arrrgh!
  Reply With Quote

Old 10-27-2019   #58
RObert Budding
Registered User
 
RObert Budding is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Arlington, Massachusetts
Posts: 1,402
Inspired by Leica? If so, then Iím relieved that we didnít get a HermŤs Edition S3.
__________________
"We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true."
~Robert Wilensky

"He could be right, he could be wrong. I think he's wrong but he says it in such a sincere way. You have to think he thinks he's right."
~ Bob Dylan
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:23.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.