Sunday, March 04, 2007

Nikon F Classic Beauty


Nikon F beauty
Originally uploaded by mfophotos.

The estate sale is over, and time to reflect on one of my purchases -- this very minty Nikon F with a plain prism, for example. One of the classiest of SLRs, this particular camera was made in 1965. It hardly looks worn. If it had been used to take 360 images a year (that's 10 rolls of 36 exposure film) - that would be a little over 144,000 exposures. I doubt it was anywhere near that.
The Nikon F was introduced in 1959, and quickly became the PRO camera of choice. If anything, it also signalled the soon to be dominant Japanese camera industry. Even though Minolta, Pentax, and Canon had SLRs with similar features, none had the "system" that Nikon introduced. None of them had the ruggedness and other features that have been the hallmark of the Nikon "pro" line of cameras. Sure, the Nikon F might not be the feature-laden wonder that we see today, but it doesn't need batteries, gives 100% coverage in the viewfinder, and takes an enormous array of lenses.

I have wanted one of these plain-prism Fs for quite a while, and ebay prices for them are ridiculously expensive. So, I was pretty amazed to see a bunch of them for sale from the Naslanic estate, and because I had been sorting cameras all day, I got it at a very good price. I can carry a little Gossen Scout light meter with me for tricky lighting situations, but otherwise, I don't need to have a meter on the camera. Yeah, this is almost like wearing bearskins and using spears for some of you out there...

5 comments:

TheGoat said...

I have a camera that looks very similar; only it's a Ricoh.

It was my Dad's and he used it during the Korean war. He gave it to me back in the 70's to use.

Any thoughts on the value?

Thanks

Bob

Mark said...

If it's a Ricoh SLR, it was not from the Korean war era. Vietnam, yes. Those were not produced until the early 1960s. Early 1950s SLRS were available from Exakta, Ziess-Ikon, and Carl Zeiss Jena. The Ricoh is not worth much in today's market, less than $35.

TheGoat said...

Mark

I rechecked the camera last night

At the top of the camera it says

RICOLET

Around the lens it reads:

C.Ricoh Anastigmat 1:3.5 F=45mm

Towards the bottom it says:
RIKEN

Definitely used during the mid to late 50's as I have photos of my Dad holding the camera while in the military.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

Bob

Mark said...

Bob: Well, that is a far cry from being an SLR! The Ricloet was a cheapie camera even then. You can read more about it, here
http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/index-frameset.html?RicohRicolet.html~mainFrame

TheGoat said...

Mark,

Thanks for the information.

It still works.

Bob