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Black Nikon S3 with Motor $1700 - Good Deal or Bad Deal ?
Old 08-25-2013   #1
CameraQuest
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Black Nikon S3 with Motor $1700 - Good Deal or Bad Deal ?

An interesting black paint Nikon S3 with motor sold yesterday on Ebay for $1700. I was watching it carefully and decided I like my $ more than the bidding price. How is that possible when a working motor in nice shape alone is worth $4k or more with battery pack ?

see http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-S3-w-5...p2047675.l2557


Why?

Read the super accurate description carefully. Its a repainted camera and an expertly converted F36 to S36 conversion.

Extremely interesting, but worth the money to you?

PS. that auction won't be on ebay forever.
Remember to save the pics if you are a Nikon collector.

Stephen
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Old 08-25-2013   #2
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If it were expertly done, maybe if it were an original black S3. Not a repaint. Maybe because I know I can do it myself for cheaper.
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Old 08-25-2013   #3
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Someone bought the camera.
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Old 08-25-2013   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickko View Post
If it were expertly done, maybe if it were an original black S3. Not a repaint. Maybe because I know I can do it myself for cheaper.
Can you convert a F36 motor to an S36 style motor and make it look that good? The backs and base plates are different sizes.

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Old 08-25-2013   #5
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I'd be mounting onto a RF back. It would be a fun project if I had the time.

For a while, I had bought an S back and an F36 to give it a try.

Ended up selling the motor; I might still have the back.

I do have a nice fake black SP that might enjoy being run with a motor.

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Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
Can you convert a F36 motor to an S36 style motor and make it look that good? The backs and base plates are different sizes.

Stephen
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Old 08-25-2013   #6
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Why use a Large and heavy motor when one of the main advantages of a RF camera is compactness for street photography?
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Old 08-25-2013   #7
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If the S3 experience you want to relive (or just try on for size) is something like news photography rather than street photography, the motor could be very nice.
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Old 08-30-2013   #8
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Whoever did the F36 to S36 conversion apparently did a great job, at least cosmetically. Hopefully the conversion works as well as it looks. I've looked for a tech who could do that conversion well, did not find them.

Raid, you just don't understand Nikon Rangefinders. Spend a few days going thru Bob Rotoloni's big book on them, then you will begin to underestand why someone would want to add the motor.

Nikon got the professional rangefinder motor right the first time in 1957 with the S36. Leica NEVER got a the film M motor right!

Stephen
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Old 08-30-2013   #9
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For a brief period of time before the F was introduced, a motorized Nikon RF would have been a mainstay of some kinds of photojournalism. Shooting sports, fast-moving news action, and press events, a motor can make all the difference. It's big and loud, yes. But you never have to take your eye off the action or recompose after rewinding.
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Old 11-10-2013   #10
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IIRC Marty Forscher of NY used to convert F36 motors to fit the S3/SP in the '70s. It might have been his work.
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Old 11-16-2013   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raid View Post
Why use a Large and heavy motor when one of the main advantages of a RF camera is compactness for street photography?
Raid,
The motor only adds a couple of inches to the bottom of the camera, the battery pack goes into your pocket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CameraQuest View Post
....
Extremely interesting, but worth the money to you?

PS. that auction won't be on ebay forever.
Remember to save the pics if you are a Nikon collector.

Stephen

As for the Value, a reproduction black S3 does $1700 in a heartbeat, this is a working S3 with a motor, I would think it was a bargain. It would make a centerpiece for someone's collection too. May be not a die-hard-Nikon-Collector but hey there are LOTS of camera collectors...

As for originality, the seller quoted:
Quote:
It is definitely an S3 Olympic chassis. Correct foil shutter, all top mounted controls and self timer are correct. The top and front plates have been repainted as seen by a few nicks on the edge by the eyepiece in which it shows chrome not brass underneath.
first note:
6303444 is NOT from a black batch.

The seller sent this Camera to Bob for authentication, if Bob thinks it's an "Olympic" S3, I have to believe him but who would replace the top and front plate of an Olympic S3(which is black) with repainted chrome ones?
Another interesting point about this camera is the dial in feet not meters like most Olympic S3 cameras.
IMHO all this and having a working motor-drive to boot make this outfit a lot more interesting than a reproduction Black S3.

Kiu
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Old 02-04-2016   #12
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Wow, I have had this sort of project on the "backburner" for a while.

I've restored S36 motors with F36 parts.

Would be a bit more involved to do a full S36 recreation with an F36, but not entirely unfeasible.
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Old 02-04-2016   #13
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Yes, pretty much. And find a scacrificial S3/SP-body back.

And time.

I don't have much of that, these days.

.....Vick

Quote:
Originally Posted by photomoof View Post
Easily. All the holes line up, just a matter of saw, solder, and paint.
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