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“Perhaps the most recognized cameras of the late 1950's...”

Written on: 21/06/2002 by Moderntech. (1 review written)

Good Points
Standards of manufacturing very high. Interchangeable focusing screens and prisms. Tons of accessories (including a Polaroid back!) Great glass on the factory lenses!

Bad Points
These cameras are the fertile field for fanatics, expect to pay very high prices for them and their accessories. The exposure meters get jumpy and useless with time, (can be repaired.) Be good at cleaning dust and dirt out of them!

General Comments
Perhaps the most recognized cameras of the late 1950's through the 1960's, the Nikon F 35mm SLR camera was the 'King of the Photojournalists.' The cameras were well made had tons of interchangeable backs, prisms, focusing screens and of course those superb Nikon lenses. Early models (C.1959) had standard non-metered eye level finders. There were 4 metered prisms added: the Photomic in 1962, the Photomic T in 1965, the Photomic Tn in 1967 and the classic Photomic FTn in 1968. Although I have had good experiences with the Photomic finder, be aware that just about everyone wants the 60/40 centerweighted Nikon F with the Photomic FTn finder. (Note: serial numbers under 6900000 need to be modified to take the FTn finder. (Serial #s 6500000 through 6600000 with red dots next to their numbers have already been modified for the larger finders at the factory and are collectable.) Nikon F's have the capability of taking wonderful 35MM pictures! They are not auto focus or auto exposure or even plastic. They are heavy solid and require a steep learning curve; but there are few cameras as capable of teaching one the basics of exposure and depth of field and just good old basic photography. Few things in life will pay the kind of dividends the Nikon F's will to the dedicated photographer. The meters get 'jumpy' and need repair and calibration. Perhaps a cleaning lube and alignment (CLA,) and replacement of light and vibration baffling foam would be prudent. The main hit you will find on these solid old war-horses, is the price. Collectors and nostalgian's have caused prices to skyrocket. Repairs can be costly as these have an aura of big dollars spinning around them. Nothing about these cameras are inexpensive. Are they worth the high price tag? To collectors, yes. Oh, I guess I should confess they are worth it to me too! And if you look at it as an investment, the right Nikon could be worth more in the end paying the dividends of great photos before gracing some rich collector's shelf. (Best time waster for the kids, how many times will the Nikon F pop up in the movies in a month? Our high score so far-57, thank you Apocalypse Now.)

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