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Lomopedia - The Nikon F

After introducing the Canon F-1 to you on Lomopedia last week it's time to introduce its counterpart. Read on to find out more about Nikon's first 35mm film SLR camera!

Nikon’s first SLR camera, The Nikon F, was introduced in April, 1959. It was manufactured by Nippon Kogaku K. K.. Before producing The Nikon F, Nippon Kogaku planned to develop more rangefinder cameras which is why the Nikon I was released in 1948. Shortly after this, they realized that the SLR camera would be the future professional camera of choice so they decided to launch the Nikon F system camera.

The Nikon F is extremely durable and reliable which is why most reporters at the time were using it . With its high-quality, low-friction and close-tolerance mechanism, it got so much attention from professional photographers. And before launching The Nikon F2, they released The Nikon F Apollo which had some components that were actually the same as those in the Nikon F2.

  • Type: 35mm single-lens reflex
  • Picture format: 24mm x 36mm standard 35mm film format
  • Lens mount: Nikon bayonet type
  • Lenses: Lenses with Nikon F mount; AF lenses
  • Shutter: Mechanically governed, horizontal-travel, titanium foil focal-plane shutter
  • Shutter release button: Threaded collar accepts Nikon F and F2-type cable releases
  • Automatic exposure control: Depends on experience of photographer
  • Manual exposure control: Mechanical control for 11 shutter speeds from 1 sec to 1/1000 sec, including X (1/60 sec); B and T also provided; separate gear trains for slow (1 sec to 1/30 sec?) and fast shutter speeds
  • *Exposure metering: * Provided with metered prism assemblies (four available) and external clip-on meters
  • Metering range: EV 1 to 18 (i.e. f/1.4 at 1 sec to f/16 at 1/1000 with 50 mm f/1.4 lens and ISO 100 film)
  • Film speed setting: ISO 6-4000 (Model III Meter), 10-1600 (Photomic?, T, and Tn), or 6-6400 (Photomic FTn)
  • *Film advance lever: * Single stroke type; 30 degrees stand-off angle and 150 degrees winding angle; automatic film advance possible when motor drives F36 or F250 are used.
  • Self-timer: Slow-shutter-speed gear train-controlled, approx 3 to 10 sec delayed exposure; lever-type indicator
  • Viewfinder: Nikon F; Eyelevel finder as standard; interchangeable with 7 other types including 4 metering prisms
  • Focusing screen: Split-image Type A provided as standard; interchangeable with 16 other types
  • Finder coverage: Virtually 100%
  • Finder magnification: 0.8x (with 50 mm lens set at infinity)
  • Viewfinder illuminator: Via DL-1 accessory light for metered prisms
  • Multiple exposure control: Via shutter release collar and a bit of care/technique
  • Reflex mirror: Automatic instant-return type with kludge-y lockup facility
  • Depth-of-field preview: Via lever
  • *Frame counter: * Additive type; frame numbers from 0 to 40; automatically resets to S when camera back is removed
  • Film rewind: By crank provided after shutter release collar is switched to R
  • Flash synchronisation: Possible at all speeds up to 1/60 sec with electronic flash; sync terminal provided for off camera or multiple-flash photography; sync terminal is switchable to work with flashbulbs at speeds of up to 1/1000 sec (type 6 flashbulbs)
  • Accessory shoe: Provided; special Nikon F-type located at base of rewind knob; adaptors available to convert to ISO or F3-type shoes
  • Power source: One PX-625 1.3V mercury battery in Photomic, T, Tn prism; Two PX-625 1.3V mercury battery in Photomic FTn prism; Model I, II, and III Meters are self-powered by selenium cell
  • Motor drive coupling: Requires modification to base-plate of camera to add firing and winding couplings; couplings provided for automatic film advance, shutter release, and back opening for motor drives F36 and F250
  • Camera back: Slip-off; opens by turning O/C key to Open position and taking back off; interchangeable with 250 exposure magazine back (and motor) F250
  • Body finish: Black or chrome available
  • Body dimensions (W x H x D): approx 146.1 × 101.6 × 95.3 mm (5.75 × 4.00 × 3.75 in) with Tn or FTn finder
  • Body weight: 1049g (2.31 lb) approx with Tn or FTn finder

All information for this article were sourced from Nikon F Wikipedia, Nikon F Camerapedia, and Modern Classic SLRs Series

written by heiwa

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Italiano.