Every Monday, we’re going to present analogue eye candies to you! You may have already seen them in cinematic films, old school music videos, vintage advertisements, or other forms of visual media. Our second full feature for this series is a Nikon F camera seen on Full Metal Jacket!
Camera: Nikon F
Cameo-ed on: Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987)
On Stanley Kubrick’s war film, Full Metal Jacket, actors Matthew Modine and Kevyn Major Howard starred as combat photographers Private Joker and Rafterman, respectively, for ‘Stars and Stripes.’ In numerous scenes, their photography gears were shown — most of which were clearly seen as Nikon F’s.
War photography is definitely one of the hardest fields of photography. You have to go to the battlefield with two kinds of pistols: guns and cameras. In one of the film’s ‘interview’ scenes, Rafterman said, “Well, it depends on the situation. I’m here to take combat photos but if the sh*t gets too thick, I mean, I’ll go with the rifle.”
Additionally, Rafterman (Howard) is also a photographer in real life. He worked with Clint Eastwood and Frank Sinatra, among many others. He was also the brainmaster of the project Fueled by the Fallen, a non-profit project inspired by 9-11 stories.
And now, a closer look at our camera on spotlight! The Nikon F was Nikon’s first single-lens reflex camera and was produced in early 1959. It was known for its use by journalists covering Vietnam, Cambodia, and the general disquiet of the ’60s and ’70s. One of its most famous users was British photojournalist Don McCullin. During an ambush, McCullin was saved from injury by his Nikon F which stopped a bullet aimed for his head. The Nikon F was, indeed, born to kill!
*Camera Cameos* is one of Lomography’s editorial series which features different film cameras that appeared in different forms of visual media. Stay tuned for the next episode!