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Nikon F w/F2 features the so called "Apollo"
Old 08-18-2009   #1
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Nikon F w/F2 features the so called "Apollo"

Hello,
I have a question about the Nikon F w/F2 features the so called "Apollo", does anyone know when Nikon started the production of this variation? I know from visiting Richard de Stoutz web page that he has one with serial # 737xxxx . I did not find a mention of when these began. So, if someone knows or can point me in the right direction to find this data, I would appreciate. If not, then I will start a data collection for these cameras.
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Old 08-18-2009   #2
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generally the 73 and later F's were the so called Apollo, or F's with F2 improvements.

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Old 08-18-2009   #3
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Notwithstanding serial numbers, F "Apollo" is distinguished by F2 style plastic winder tip, self-time tip and viewfinder eyepiece housing.
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Old 08-18-2009   #4
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Production started some time in 73. See http://www.cameraquest.com/nfapol.htm
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Old 08-18-2009   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSU View Post
Since the final Apollo Lunar mission was in 1972, I have to wonder why the 1974 Nikon F's are called the Apollo F?
For no good reason, other than collectors and dealers fantasies.
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Old 08-18-2009   #6
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They are called Apollo Nikon F's because of the wind-lever tip, developed for the Apollo mission. I've seen the phrase applied to the wind lever of the Nikkormat FT2 in the 1970s. Interesting enough: the early tapered wind lever tips for the Nikon F2 were made of metal, not plastic. After the 1600th or so Nikon F2, they switched to plastic.

There is a photo of a late 72xxxxx SN with the F2 cosmetics, ie Apollo, in a Nikon F owners manual.

My early Apollo Nikon F is 7303xxx. Production of Apollo and "regular" Nikon F's went on for a while. By about 737xxxx or so (I do not have a reference), the switchover was complete.
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Old 08-18-2009   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSU View Post
The Nikon F had a coded serial number in that the first two numbers indicated the year of production. The F cameras were last produced in 1974 hence their serial numbers begin as 74xxxx....
This is NOT true and most times does not indicate the year of production.
Records show the Nikon F production stopped in 1973, those 74xxxxx cameras were actually made in 1973( lots of replacement top panels exist within the 74xxxx batch), 64xxxxx cameras started production in 1959!

The second issue is that the break is not clean, there are many samples within the 72xxxxx batch that do not have the "Apollo" characteristics, yet are numbered higher than the "Apollo" samples!

Large batches of overlapping numbers are discovered within the 73xxxx cameras.

mynikonF2, you don't need to start the collection of numbers, Uli Koch has already done it in his book:
http://www.nikon-f.de/

Kiu

Last edited by NIKON KIU : 08-18-2009 at 14:17.
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Old 08-18-2009   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney View Post
...By about 737xxxx or so (I do not have a reference), the switchover was complete.
I have an Apollo F s/n 7381xxx so it must have gone on a little bit longer.
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Old 08-18-2009   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIKON KIU View Post
mynikonF2, you don't need to start the collection of numbers, Uli Koch has already done it in his book:
http://www.nikon-f.de/

Kiu
Thanks Kiu for pointing me in the right direction. I will look in Uli's book for the serial numbers.

The camera I own with the F2 lever, self timer, flash sync terminal & rewind was made sometime between Sept."73" to Oct. "73" (serial #74126xx). The last "official serial # is 7451052 with others, as you pointed out, being spare tops numbered up to 7464xxx.

Again thanks for everyones responce. The Nikon F is the camera that started my love of photography and the gear we use while photographing.
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Old 08-18-2009   #10
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It should be noted that the 66xxxxx block was mostly skipped, very few Nikon F's built in that range. They are considered collectible by those that have everything else Nikon. The S3M also used the 66 block.
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Old 08-18-2009   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevo View Post
For no good reason, other than collectors and dealers fantasies.
Not entirely!
I thought a lot before replying to this post.
Let me tell you something about those collectors, most do not even care about the so called "Apollo" version, over by the NHS, we are ashamed to even call them that. Hence the term, Nikon F with F2 cosmetics!
Why? Because some of the members do own real "NASA" models that were flown in space missions! funny is, none of those cameras have the plastic tipped stuff!!

However, back in the early seventies the USA distributor came out with the followin logo:

This sticker was put on or included lots of boxes(camera and lenses) at the time. Ironic is, Nikon did take a production model off the shelf(factory shelf that is), but upgraded it with many things before it was used in space, the original advertising was kinda misleading.

The dealers were having a ball selling "Photomic" finders at the time, this was icing on the cake, from that point on---> it was "Apollo"...poor dealers had all this late Nikon Fs sitting on their shelves, everybody was looking for the F2 so they had to do something to get rid of them!!

But funnier is, these days, for every one NHS member, there are a dozen Photo hobbyist looking for the so called "Apollo" Nikon F, most of them after reading many on-line articles concerning this subject.
Soooo, don't blame the poor collectors, we refuse to pay a premium for these cameras...Have you seen what a nice one in the box sells for today?


Kiu

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Old 08-18-2009   #12
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Mine was $100 at a show, and it had the motor plate on it.

The near mint 7444xxx was $150 with a 35/2.8 Nikkor.
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Apollo
Old 08-19-2009   #13
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Apollo

A day or so ago A Nikon "Apollo" F , a beautiful black model sold for $1325 on e bay . It was from New Zealand . I have a lovely black F from 1970 and I wondered just what the Apollo model has that mine didn't . Thanks for your inputs .
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Old 10-02-2009   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
Notwithstanding serial numbers, F "Apollo" is distinguished by F2 style plastic winder tip, self-time tip and viewfinder eyepiece housing.

... and the oft forgotten vastly improved F2 style strap lugs. These can be identified by their stainless steel inserts. The original F lugs were one piece plated brass, as were almost all lugs at the time, and were prone to wearing thin.
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Old 10-03-2009   #15
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The first 1600 or so Nikon F2 bodies did not have the stainless steel insert for the strap lugs. So much for the term Nikon F with F2 cosmetics! I have two of these early F2 bodies, both bought at a camera show. No premium paid for them, just dumb luck. One was $125 with the early DP-1.

I prefer and use the term "Apollo Nikon F" as I have since the 1970s when the term was coined. Or we could use the phrase Nikon F2 with Nikon F cosmetics for these early F2 bodies.
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Old 10-03-2009   #16
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It is the two Nikon F2 bodies that do not have the stainless steel inserts. These are F2 7101xxx bodies, very close in number. The 7303xxx F "Apollo" body has the inserts. The only difference that I can see between the two Nikon F "Apollo's" is on the flash contact: the early 7303xxx has white insulating plastic on the flash connection and the late 7444xxx has black insulating plastic. The most unique feature of the early F2: the tip for the wind lever is metal, not plastic.
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Old 10-15-2013   #17
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To add confusion to the mix, it appears that some earlier F's were updated, perhaps by Nikon. I have a very beat-up, obviously very heavily used black F body which was sold without back or finder on KEH as "ugly" for 39 bucks a few years ago, supposedly lacking winder and with a broken finder frame. What actually came is a body with some chips where the back was inserted (no problem), no cracked viewfinder, and a late style rewind crank. It also has reinforced strap lugs. But it is serial number 7175498, with white flash contact insulator and old style timer lever. Clicking the shutter, I suspect that it was sent to Nikon for repair. Its ugliness is defnitely only skin deep. I had another silver FTn with a good finder that had taken a little swim, or perhaps been stored in the damp, to the detriment of its shutter train and self timer, so now I have, among others, an absolutely horrible looking FTn, all brassy, chipped and mismatched, which of course works like new. And I did not have to put little rivets into the worn out strap lugs!
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Old 10-15-2013   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Currie View Post
To add confusion to the mix, it appears that some earlier F's were updated, perhaps by Nikon. ... It also has reinforced strap lugs. ...
When Nikon introduced the reinforced lugs they stopped making the older style. Any body (F, early F2, Nikkormat of any type) sent in for repair which had excessively worn lugs would get the new ones.
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Old 10-15-2013   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
When Nikon introduced the reinforced lugs they stopped making the older style. Any body (F, early F2, Nikkormat of any type) sent in for repair which had excessively worn lugs would get the new ones.
That was my assumption, and I 'm guessing that after a certain point the same occurred with the wind lever.
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Old 10-15-2013   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwig View Post
When Nikon introduced the reinforced lugs they stopped making the older style. Any body (F, early F2, Nikkormat of any type) sent in for repair which had excessively worn lugs would get the new ones.
That's what happened to my 681XXXX F when I sent it to Nikon Japan for a repair in about 1971
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Old 10-22-2015   #21
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Reviving an old thread.

I have a Nikon F so-called Apollo but it has a 72xxxx serial number. I was thinking it may have had a top cover replacement at some time but the original owner who I got it from (I am the second owner) says it is all original and has never had any changes..

Any input on this??
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Old 10-22-2015   #22
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What about s3 Apollo
15fbpics3appollo_1 by f4saregreat!, on Flickr
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Old 10-22-2015   #23
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Looks like they were made at least starting in 1972 according to the site below, plus the film wind lever was recorded in body numbers between 7350161 and 7450960.
http://www.destoutz.ch/nikon_f_7350613.html
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Old 10-22-2015   #24
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Looks like they were made at least starting in 1972 according to the site below, plus the film wind lever was recorded in body numbers between 7350161 and 7450960.
http://www.destoutz.ch/nikon_f_7350613.html
According to the serial number range this particular camera was made in early 1971..
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Old 10-22-2015   #25
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Colyn, does yours have the plastic covered advance lever, the plastic self timer lever, and the newer F2 style flash sync? I've seen cameras listed as "Apollo" F's that have only one, or two or all three of those features. I wonder if the changes were filtered in piecemeal over time, and I wonder if dealers could just put the plastic tip advance lever on non-Apollo cameras they had in stock to make them look more like the F2 and therefore easier to sell. Both the advance lever and the self timer lever would be simple swaps for any shop that had a decent service department.
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Old 10-22-2015   #26
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Quote:
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Colyn, does yours have the plastic covered advance lever, the plastic self timer lever, and the newer F2 style flash sync? I've seen cameras listed as "Apollo" F's that have only one, or two or all three of those features. I wonder if the changes were filtered in piecemeal over time, and I wonder if dealers could just put the plastic tip advance lever on non-Apollo cameras they had in stock to make them look more like the F2 and therefore easier to sell. Both the advance lever and the self timer lever would be simple swaps for any shop that had a decent service department.
It has the plastic tipped selftimer lever and advance lever but has the old style non-screw-in flash cable socket. I read where many early models did not have the flash socket change..

The problem with a swap is neither Dave (the original owner) nor me have ever sent it in for service. He only owned it a couple of months before I bought it off him in 1972. I did however service it myself in 2004 but made no changes..
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Old 10-22-2015   #27
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I failed to mention the reason I can vouch for this camera is because a friend bought it new in late 1971 at the Navy exchange (EP marked). I bought it off him in early 1972..
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Old 10-22-2015   #28
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One other thing I noticed is this camera does have the stainless steel inserts in the strap eyelets which was introduced with the Apollo and I was wrong in a previous post when I said it did not have the threaded pc socket. It in fact does have the threads..
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Old 10-22-2015   #29
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You will find a lot of answers in these books:
www.nikon-f.de/
The author is from Germany, but the trilogy is written in English.
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Late Apollo F
Old 02-18-2016   #30
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Late Apollo F

Hi,

I’ve got a question. I just bought a Apollo F from KEH and it serial number is 7451390. There are several mentions on the Cameraquest site that the last official number 7451052 may not be in fact correct. See www.cameraquest.com/nfapol.htm. The camera as far as condition and details looks a lot like the one shown at www.cameraquest.com/NikonFL.htm. If anything maybe a little cleaner, with wear on top cover consistent with the rest of the camera.

So what would the consensus be, was it just a replacement top cover, a very late unit pulled together from parts, or is the 7451052 end number wrong?

Joe
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Old 02-22-2016   #31
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No opinions out there???

Quote:
Originally Posted by jszokoli View Post
Hi,

I’ve got a question. I just bought a Apollo F from KEH and it serial number is 7451390. There are several mentions on the Cameraquest site that the last official number 7451052 may not be in fact correct. See www.cameraquest.com/nfapol.htm. The camera as far as condition and details looks a lot like the one shown at www.cameraquest.com/NikonFL.htm. If anything maybe a little cleaner, with wear on top cover consistent with the rest of the camera.

So what would the consensus be, was it just a replacement top cover, a very late unit pulled together from parts, or is the 7451052 end number wrong?

Joe
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Old 02-22-2016   #32
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No opinions out there???
I'm short.

B2 (;->
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Old 02-22-2016   #33
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Old 02-23-2016   #34
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Quote:
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No opinions out there???
If you're looking for opinions, I'd say your Nikon F Apollo is a production model (if you post pictures it would be easier to tell).

From things I've read numerous places, Nikon was not like the German camera manufacturers, where they kept track of every single serial number and have lists published. The serial numbers on the Japanese cameras were not as carefully tracked back then. And I think the numbers listed on Cameraquest are taken from cameras that the site producer has seen or people have written in to him about. Your camera is probably just on the high end of the production of Apollo's and the reason Cameraquest has cut off at 7451052 is because that is the highest number camera he's seen or someone has told him about. I would recommend taking good pictures of your camera and sending them to him. Maybe he'll update the site.
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Old 02-23-2016   #35
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Nikon must, in various places across the globe, have had some inventory of replacement bodies for service purposes past the official clearance - after all, they still were under legal obligations to service cameras sold in 1974 or the preceding years for several years (the actual number depending on local regulations). So there might well be cameras with higher numbers than the last one shipped to a shop.
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Apollo Pictures
Old 02-23-2016   #36
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Apollo Pictures

Here are some pictures of 7451390;

Nikon (1 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Nikon (2 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Nikon (3 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Nikon (4 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Nikon (5 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Nikon (6 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Nikon (7 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Nikon (8 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Nikon (9 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Nikon (10 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Nikon (11 of 11) by Joe Szokoli, on Flickr

Joe
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Old 02-23-2016   #37
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There you go; the repair sticker inside indicates a Nikon servicing so most likely the top left body casing was replaced with new higher serial number.
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Old 02-23-2016   #38
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No opinions out there???
It's hard to prove otherwise unless there is a warranty card or registration proof.

All of those last cameras recorded are chrome!

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Old 02-24-2016   #39
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Joe,

You are a dog. LOL.

Really nice camera, mucho interesting, and with a sense of both history and mystery.

Kinda like my Wetzlar M6 with a Ti/zinc top plate that predates the limited edition Ti M6 by 5 years. BTW Ti M6 have brass top plates that were Ti plated.

I have a sweet spot for cameras that stand as individuals. BTW that Nikon F looks evil.

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Old 02-24-2016   #40
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Cal,

It's funny how stuff just drops in your lap sometimes.

From what I can find on the web the second type of flash terminal found its way on to cameras mid '72. So even if this camera has had a replacement top it's quite late in the run. From the limited wear on the camera and that both left, and right tops, as well as that the rest of the camera shows constant wear patterns, the only way I could see this being a replacement top was if the camera was damaged very early on in its life. How else could a top with a a number so low get on it. As noted in an earlier post there is no proof that it's original but with more than 860k F's made at that point what would the chance of such a late camera being the one to get a replacement top with such an early number. (or is that a late number?? Depends how you look at it seems)

I know I had said no more film cameras, but I'm glad I had a moment of weakness, caused by a 15% off web offer from KEH.

I had expected that there would be something a little crude about the F compared to the F2 I have, but it's so nice...

Joe
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