View Full Version : S3 2000 vs. vintage
I've read several opinions that the reissues are not as sturdy as the originals - specifically the top plate is thinner and dents more easily. Can anyone clarify?
Also, is the 50 f/1.4 reissue the same as or better than the '60s-'70s F-mount version?
I think I read that in a Simon Larby (sp?) post. I've also read on the Cameraquest site that the vintage S2 and 3 finders have become hazy with age. One con for each. I have also read that the new 50mm f1.4 is amazing. Hope Nikon Kiu posts here, he's the man on Nikon RF here at RFF.
Kiu picked one up for a song (read very low price) a while a go. Somebody did some testing with one here recently, can not remember where or who. The new 50/1.4 is said to be too contrasty by several posters I have seen of late.
If I had the funds (I have the desire), I would go with the new camera. Just from the point of view that I will be dead before it fogs up. I know the shutter will be accurate and it will not need a cleaning or tweaking for MANY years.
I have only ever dropped one camera (read kocking on wood). It was a Nikon CP 950 from two feet high, never again will I spend so much a so little metal. I would not worry about the thin. There are many differences between strengths of metal and IMHO, there is no way for you to easily know much much less strong the new top is than the old. It might be a stronger grade of the same metal. Only way to know is to work for Nikon or trash to great cameras (one old and one new) in some tests.
I own and use both a vintage S3 and an S3-2000. The metal on the top plate and face plate seems to be of a slightly different type on the new one. I switched the face plates on the two cameras, and they seemed about the same weight and density. I used the vintage S3 professionally for more than a decade, and it had a dented top plate before I even got it.My SP also has dents. So I think the old cameras can dent, too. For the most part, the build on the cameras seems nearly identical. The vintage S3 has a kind of smooth "broken in" old car feel, especially on the shutter advance, whereas the new camera just feels very new. I've had the old camera apart, and it's got a lot of greasy gunk in that probably helps with that broken-in smooth feelling. I've owned the vintage S3 since 1989 and have run thousands of rolls through it. I've owned the S3-2000 for about a year and have run about 50rolls through it. I don't shoot newspaper work any more, so it doesn't get knocked around like the vintage S3, but I still travel often and carry it as my daily camera. The finder of the vintage S3 has not aged badly at all. In fact, the new and vintage finders are nearly identically bright. My S2 is also bright. The SP is the only Nikon whose finder doesn't age well. (I'm in the minority of Nikon RF users who prefers the S3 over the SP -- I love the S3's enormous bright finder).
I've also done a considerable amount of newspaper work using the 50mm lens from the 1960s/early 70s (I own two chrome-barrel ones that I AI'd and have used all the way up to digital bodies). My sense is that the Millenneum 50mm lens lens that comes with the S3-2000 is at least as good as the 60s SLR lens, probably better. It has better coatings. It seems to produce richer images.
Here's an earlier thread on this lens.
I disagree with the small number of people who recently claimed the 50mm Millenneum lens is too contrasty. I think that's mainly a subjective Leitz versus Nikkor thing. Letiz lenses have always had less contrast. Someone with thousands of dollars worth of Leitz gear is going to be attuned to that level of contrast. yet that's also a typical buyer for the Nikon S3-2000, and they suddenly find themselves with a camera with backwards controls and a lens with a different look and feel -- not better or worse, just different. I've got thousands of dollars worth of Nikon gear and am attuned to Nikon's level of contrast. As an ex-newspaper photographer, I like contrast and used to do most of my B&W printing on #4 and #5 paper. So there's a good chance I would consider the Leitz glass to be too flat. But, unless you're shooting slide film, contrast is something that can be modified in the darkroom or on the computer.
EDIT: Film choice also has a huge effect on contrast.
Attaching a couple of recent photos taken with the S3-2000 and 50mm Millenneum lens.
Talked to Tim Abrahamson last week regarding some LHSA stuff and we talked about his trip to the Nikon meeting earlier this summer. He told me at one point while talking about 50's that the version that came out with the Millenium S3 is every bit as good as the 50/1.4 Summilux Pre-ASPH, so in a sense the re-issue in terms of optics is much better than the originals.
I hope this helps
I am always interested in threads on the S3-2000. Frankly, if I ever succumb to the attraction of any Nikon it will be this one. A nice chrome one, please ... :)
So anyone with experiance, please post it.
Have you seen this?
50mm f1.4 shootout (http://www.imagere.com/edsarticles/fast50shootout.htm)
I am sorry I sounded mean, I didn't mean as such!!
I am dumb-founded when it comes to this new stuff!!! I am not kidding....I am a Nikon idiot
It will give the Sonnar(It is made in Japan by Cosina!!!) a run for the money...your ZM lens I mean. Hopefully it is included in Raid's test.
I've had my S3-2000 for a year now and not shot fifty rolls but have tested it side by side with my previous tabbed late Summicron 50. The Nikkor takes the prize, no question. I now have the 50 asph summilux and feel the Millenium Nikkor is the closest thing I've seen to the summilux asph. It's a very fine lens but I like crisp detail and very low flare. These are the qualities of this new Nikkor.
I have mine sent to Raid so he could have it compared to the other 16 or 17 lenses he is testing.:cool:
We still need a Leica Nocti....
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