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Nikon S2, would you buy one with slow SS issues?
Old 02-02-2018   #1
Crumpet8
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Nikon S2, would you buy one with slow SS issues?

Hey,

Iíve been lurking a while and enjoy reading. Mainly an slr user until now, but thinking of buying an S2. The owner said the slow shutter speeds (below 1/30) donít work and that itís an independent problem?

Or is it a sign that other stuff will shortly not work?

He wants a little under 400 usd. Iím in Europe.

Thanks
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Old 02-02-2018   #2
TerryMcC
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Too much money. About half that is a fair price. There need not be any other issues, but as with any thing that old there are no guarantees.
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Old 02-02-2018   #3
Paul T.
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Is that $400 with or without lens? If with... that's OK but hardly a bargain considering the price of a service.
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Old 02-02-2018   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crumpet8 View Post
The owner said the slow shutter speeds (below 1/30) donít work and that itís an independent problem?
Yes, most likely the slow speed governor is gummed up and not working. Have a read through this thread below for more on that.

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=149161
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Old 02-02-2018   #5
Larry Cloetta
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Too much money, just wait for a better one. I sold a close to perfect S2, which had been CLA'd, for less than that here in the last year (though I must admit, I regret doing so. )
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Old 02-02-2018   #6
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Seems high, especially with no lens.

Here in the States, DAG does a really good job servicing the S2, and no matter what camera you buy, it would be a good idea to have a CLA, especially if you don't know the history of the camera.

Once properly serviced, they are an absolute joy to use.

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Old 02-02-2018   #7
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There are too many nice S2 that work, for around the same price, even with lens
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Old 02-02-2018   #8
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Hey sorry everyone I forgot to mention it’s with a 50,ppm 1.4.
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Old 02-02-2018   #9
Crumpet8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryMcC View Post
Too much money. About half that is a fair price. There need not be any other issues, but as with any thing that old there are no guarantees.

Sorry I forgot itís with the a 50mm 1.4. Still expensive?
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Old 02-02-2018   #10
Crumpet8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Yes, most likely the slow speed governor is gummed up and not working. Have a read through this thread below for more on that.

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=149161

Yep I’ve read that thread not sure id be up to trying that service, but I was also unable to ascertain I first it’s a problem that’s separate from other possible issues or a sign of something worse... thanks for the help!
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Old 02-02-2018   #11
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The market of Nikon rangefinders has really fallen over recent years. With patience, $400 US should get you a working S2 and lens, even one recently serviced. As with all old cameras, don't chase, let the deal come to you. Just monitor that big auction site over the next couple weeks and you'll surely find a working camera and lens that fits your budget. Check the completed sales for an idea of current values. Good luck.
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Old 02-02-2018   #12
Beemermark
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Slow speeds don't work because no one ever used them. Will you? Exercise may get them working. I have a Canon IV that the slow speeds aren't working and I never knew it until I was checking it out to sell here in the classifieds.
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Old 02-02-2018   #13
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Not a difficult problem to fix for somebody experienced with vintage Nikon repair . Certainly not a simple DIY job for people who are new to this.

Main suspect is the slow governor or gear train. The slow lever will also have to be cleaned if this doesnít fix it.

Too expensive.
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Old 02-02-2018   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
Slow speeds don't work because no one ever used them. Will you? Exercise may get them working. I have a Canon IV that the slow speeds aren't working and I never knew it until I was checking it out to sell here in the classifieds.
Admittedly itís rare I would use slower speeds as anything that warrants that tends to end up being shot on medium or large format... for 35mm I currently shoot an f3. Cant remember the last time I used the slower speeds.

Thanks to everyone that has chipped in. SUunds like this particular camera might be a little expensive, might pick it up if itís super clean. Iíve only seen one image of it as itís currently off with a friend whoís shooting a final roll through it.
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Old 02-02-2018   #15
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While it may seem high it depends upon how many are near by, Europe is a big place. You might try to travel to a location with more camera stores, but the time involved vs other things you might be doing may not be a good trade. Besides, you might not find that much better of a deal.

Try an offer of $350 because of the time it will take to fix and see what happens. Perhaps you might meet in the middle ($375, that would pay for a great set of tools).

B2 (;->
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Old 02-02-2018   #16
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Short answer - the slow speeds are a separate "department".

My Dad got an S back in the late 1960's, with the 50 f:1.4, and the slow-speeds did not work even then.

Between the two of us, we shot thousands of Kodachrome slides and Tri-X images, w/o issue on the main shutter-speeds.

The camera was finally sidelined by the shutter-curtains becoming porous.

That said, the other responses are probably valid in terms of present market value.

See what sort of condition the body and lens are in. If it looks well-worn, perhaps wait for a nicer one.
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Old 02-02-2018   #17
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The Nikon S2 was my first experience in the Nikon RF system. I bought my first one in 2011 and since then have had close to 10 come through my hands.

In the last few years, every single S2 I have bought came to me with the slow speeds not firing right - either sticking open or firing at the same 1/30th speed regardless of setting. I've usually gotten these in lots with lenses and resold the camera and whatever else I didn't want. Anyway, I personally think the S2 cameras are coming up to an age where they all just seem to have issues in the slow speeds, due to failing lubricant or who knows what. BTW, some of these have come from dealers who advertised them as working properly...so there really isn't any guarantee here.

In terms of value, I have seen S2 prices creeping back up, especially for ones without issues which are apparently becoming more uncommon. With the 5cm f/1.4 lens, that's actually not a bad price IMO. I've sold cameras with slow speed issues for around that, without the lens. Let's not forget the 5cm f/1.4 lens has become a real cult classic.

Ultimately it's up to you...like already mentioned, the slow speeds aren't necessarily important depending on how you shoot. Factor in the repair if you need them and decide what it's worth to you...but I wouldn't bet on finding a similar camera/lens kit without issue for that price these days.

I still have one S2, a black-dial, to go with my SP 2005. It also has the problem. One day I will get it repaired and repainted just for fun.
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Old 02-02-2018   #18
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I think it's too much, even with the 50/1.4. I was able to get a perfectly working Black Dial with the 50/2 for under $300. Granted, I did a lot of looking before pulling the trigger on it. The better deals are usually found in the newest listings, before someone else beats you to it. The more expensive ones are still hanging around weeks after their first listing.

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Old 02-02-2018   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crumpet8 View Post
He wants a little under 400 usd. I’m in Europe.
I agree with Corran. S2 prices have been creeping up, and a little under 400 USD (I assume the actual price is in Euros) is not a bad deal, especially in Europe where Nikon RF gear is harder to find and prices are higher than elsewhere.

The non-working slow speeds isn't a big deal. Its a very common issue with all the Nikon RFs and the Nikon F.
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Old 02-03-2018   #20
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Hmm, now I’m torn... i am willing to pay a little more due to the reasons b2 states. Weirdly enough some prices are lower due to the market being so small here (Norway), but it goes in waves as well.

I’ll see how the rest of the camera is in a couple of days. I saw an excellent example sold by a Japanese seller on eBay yesterday for about 400usd after shipping and import taxes so if that’s an indicator I’ll probably wait.

Luckily I have time on my side as this is more of a collector/shooter buy. I currently shoot the f3 with 50mm 1.2 ais. Anybody have a comparison of the two lenses?
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Old 02-03-2018   #21
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Comments on price should bear in mind the poster states "Europe" Nikon rangefinder prices over here are a step up on the USA, prices from the States and Japan look attractive but our customs will put on the VAT due and a hefty fee for doing that, in the UK the puts 20% on the cost + fee.
£375.00 is about the asking price for a body with those problems and that lens in the UK, they are uncommon here.
Would I buy it, no, for a little more a camera in full working order will turn up, the extra cost will be less than the minimum of £150 for a CLA here.

Just seen the new OP post: Beware those that say all taxes included, the importing countries inspectors don't read that!! That e-bay "all inclusive" p&p and taxes is a lie, personal experience.

IMHO the only reason to shoot the Ais f1.2 Nikkor is f1.2 beyond that it is as good as the other 50mm lenses, the f1.4 and the f2 in the rangefinder series are all very good to excellent, the later SLR series have, in my experience, more variability between lenses some are outstanding, particularly the f1.8 in some examples.
Beyond f1.2 that is a big heavy, although impressive, lens to carry the rangefinder glass is the equal in performance and the winner in weight.
Bear in mind the S2 is a fantastic 50mm shooter 1:1 viewfinder, uncluttered frame lines but stray into other focal lengths and you are into other finders, that may not bother you.
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Old 02-03-2018   #22
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Originally Posted by Crumpet8 View Post
Anybody have a comparison of the two lenses?
Comparing these two lenses, and necessarily the two camera types, is simply an exercise of SLR vs. RF and old vs. new designs.

The f/1.4 RF lens is almost a soft-focus lens at f/1.4, with so much spherical aberration you might think it was broken. This cleans up a stop or so down. Contrast is lower overall, and center performance is pretty good but the corners are never great. It's best at f/5.6 or so in my opinion. The f/1.2 SLR lens also has some spherical aberrations at f/1.2 but not nearly as bad, but by f/2 is incredibly sharp on all but the highest-resolving digital sensors.

The f/1.4 RF lens has very little distortion while the f/1.2 SLR lens has gobs of barrel distortion that will noticeably fatten up a model or drive you crazy on buildings.

The f/1.4 RF lens is a tiny, lightweight lens (if you get the newer black-barrel version) while the f/1.2 SLR lens is humongous, with dangerously exposed glass. The RF lens can get lost in a pocket...the SLR lens will make your pants sag.

Of course the cameras are like night and day...manual vs. electronic, size is a factor, etc. But the S2 has a lot of charm, beautiful ergonomics and 1:1 finder that can be a joy to shoot in comparison.

It's all relative to how you want to shoot...
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Old 02-03-2018   #23
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This all depends on other things than the slow speeds, which are not a problem to fix.

Overall cosmetics (chromes, black trims), condition of the main finder prism (clear and intact or desilvering spots), condition of the RF patch (contrasted or faded), "black dial" or "chrome dial" S2, black and chrome or all chrome lens, oil or not on the lens aperture blades, actual condition of the lens optics (front, rear, innards), condition of the shutter curtains, condition of the film rails in the film chamber...
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Old 02-03-2018   #24
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Nikon s2s do seem to be going up in price especially in the UK, as said already UK/Europe is a funny place to buy Nikon rfs as you just don't see that many.
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Old 02-03-2018   #25
Erik van Straten
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The S2 is a great shooter, the best of all the Nikon RF's because of its great finder/rangefinder. The S Skopar 50mm f/2.5 is a great lens that sometimes can be had for a song.

Nikon S2, S Skopar 50mm f/2.5, 400-2TMY.

Erik.

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Old 02-03-2018   #26
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Bravo Erik !
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Old 02-03-2018   #27
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The last five Nikon S2 with lens sales on that big auction site -- $581, $345, $379, $365, $304 (US dollars). Then some more costly sales. Prices seem to be all over the place.
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Old 02-03-2018   #28
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Thank you, Nicolas!

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