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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 11-03-2013   #161
ray*j*gun
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Well, I'm a war torn USMC non-hero and we were issued F's (which I love to this day) but the better field camera was the Nikkormat which had less chance of getting jammed up with dirt. As soon as we could we got Nikkormats in place of the F's. Seldom used the meter (f11 and be there lol).

I still favor Nikkormats which are basically free these days I have 4 including the Nam unit. But the black F is like a mistress to me and love her anyway.
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Old 11-03-2013   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray*j*gun View Post
Well, I'm a war torn USMC non-hero and we were issued F's (which I love to this day) but the better field camera was the Nikkormat which had less chance of getting jammed up with dirt. As soon as we could we got Nikkormats in place of the F's. Seldom used the meter (f11 and be there lol).

I still favor Nikkormats which are basically free these days I have 4 including the Nam unit. But the black F is like a mistress to me and love her anyway.
Raymond,
Interesting info. I guess sometimes less is more! I always felt the viewfinder on Nikkormats a bit dim but the F5 spoilt me for all other NIkon finders,
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Old 11-03-2013   #163
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goodtimes--wow! Very nice! Quite a spread you have there.
Thanks for sharing...
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Old 11-05-2013   #164
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Great advice indeed. I'd used my father's Brownie initially, but wanted something of my own (and that was more reliable). Hence, the F which had a storied past from my readings in Life Magazine. My F was my first camera that I'd saved for with over a year of paper route money, and I carried it around on my many treks on the Trombly bus from the suburbs into Boston exploring the city. I still have 8x10 prints from way back then (gosh, over 40 years ago) and I'm amazed at the sharpness and clarity of those shots. Since those halcyon days, have added another F with F36, two F2s with MD-2, F3 with MD-4, FA with MD-15, and EM with winder all which get used...along with the D100 and D300. Each camera I can recall experiences and shots I made with them, so they are like avatars of the past, very similar to the experiences of other posters here. And only two repairs on this anecdotal collection - shutter on the second F (stuck at lower shutter speeds) and manual advance on one of the F2s. Not bad for '69 and '77 vintage mechanical devices, respectively.
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Interesting John - same story for me. In 1968 I was debating Miranda or Nikon and a good friend said "buy what you really want otherwise you'll never be happy" great advice and I bought my first F - still have it and I also still follow this advice. Have 3 more F's and 3 F's
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Old 07-06-2016   #165
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I have to respectfully disagree with those who find the Nikon F too sharp edged and the shutter button to be in the "wrong" place. I find it very comfortable in my hand, and happen to like the shutter button location better than that on the F2 I used to own.



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Old 07-07-2016   #166
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Good cameras, but never much a fan of the Nikon F and F2 offerings. I've owned a couple over the years, and uniformly found them unergonomic, and loud (at lest the F2). I much preferred the Leicaflex SL to either. The shutter dampening on the Leicaflex is something special. I think part of it too is that I have big hands.
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Old 07-07-2016   #167
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I have two plain prism Fs and four F2s, two with MD2, two without. The F2s are easier to hold and use - rounded corners, shutter button at the front of the camera, and opening back vs. one you take off. That said, there's something special about an unadorned F. BTW, I wouldn't want the motor for the F - it's tough to hold and has, according to a friend that has one, a tendency to fire the whole roll of film when you want just one shot. Wonderful cameras and the pre-AIs lenses are cheap.
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Old 07-07-2016   #168
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Well, since someone dug this thread up, I'll have to add that I finally got an F plain prism. Will pair it up with the S2 (when that one finally arrives).

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Old 07-07-2016   #169
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Quote:
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... BTW, I wouldn't want the motor for the F - it's tough to hold and has, according to a friend that has one, a tendency to fire the whole roll of film when you want just one shot. ...
I agree that the later "Professional Battery Pack" didn't have very good handling due largely to its thing vertical grip.

The transport issue you friend notes is due to poor tuning of the motor and body set (or failure to properly tune the pair). With the F, and the SP, the motor needs to be adjusted to properly mate with a particular body. The motors are not interchangeable between bodies. Also when a motor/body combo has seen extensive use or the body's shutter/transport has been serviced for any reason, they motor will need to be readjusted to work reliably with that body. When properly adjusted, they body and motor are quite reliable.
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Old 07-07-2016   #170
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The F - at the beginning of the seventies in the lat century my first love and third eye.
All those terrible photographs from Vietnam, mostly shot with the F or Nikkormats, I had to support THIS brand - Nikon - and got the F. Only the body because money was tight for me at those times (22 years) and after two months the cheap f2/50mm Nikkor H was added. This cam inspired me, punished me and delivered pics without any effort. I don't know why…..

My first pic and I was sold into "street" or people photography:

locked away by deandare06, auf Flickr

a bit later I got a 28mm f2.8 and this became my standard length for most portraits, a friend made a leather pouch for easy swapping the lenses:

My F & me by deandare06, auf Flickr

After 4 years I switched my hobby into windsurfing (around 1974) and the F had been sold which I regretted later after more than 35 years.

No camera later transferred this magic to me, no Leica, no Hassy, Ricoh or D300…..

Sleepy Hollow - the headless rider is fishing in Amsterdam by deandare06, auf Flickr

Four years ago I couldn't resist and got the 'Black Beauty' unfortunately with the f1.4 instead of the f2 Nikkor, but that's life….. ;-)

Old Love by deandare06, auf Flickr
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Old 07-07-2016   #171
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Quote:
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Old Love by deandare06, auf Flickr
That is a beautiful Black F.
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Old 07-07-2016   #172
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My favorite cameras by far. Took me many years to find 2 this mint in black and both run as well as anything that takes film. Heavy but wonderful!
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Old 07-07-2016   #173
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i'm just waiting for some chinese manufacturer to make replacement prisms for the eye-level finder. THEN the nikon f will be a viable option.
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Old 07-07-2016   #174
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Great cameras!
If I am not mistaken, isn't one of these an F2? Marvelous.
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Old 07-07-2016   #175
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i'm just waiting for some chinese manufacturer to make replacement prisms for the eye-level finder. THEN the nikon f will be a viable option.
why? My meterless prisms works great.
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Old 07-07-2016   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan View Post
i'm just waiting for some chinese manufacturer to make replacement prisms for the eye-level finder. THEN the nikon f will be a viable option.
Any non-working FTN finder could serve as a donor for any DE-1. Resilvering is a bit too complicated, I guess.

I've no idea whether the prisms inside the F2 finders are the same as the F ones.
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Old 07-07-2016   #177
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Made in '63, bought used in '74, Major prism dent in '82, new Griptac covering in 2005, CLA and shutter mod in 2008.

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Old 07-07-2016   #178
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Raymond,
Interesting info. I guess sometimes less is more! I always felt the viewfinder on Nikkormats a bit dim but the F5 spoilt me for all other NIkon finders,
Regards j
The F5 viewfinder is like magic...it's big, bright and a pleasure to look through...
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Old 07-07-2016   #179
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[IMG]G410 #3 Two classics by T&T and Mr B Abrahamsson, on Flickr[/IMG

One of my old Nikon F's. This one I have had for about 20 year - not the longest in my possession - still holds up well. The lens is a remake of the classic Nokton 58mm f1.4 that Voigtlander made some years ago.Most likely the best 'standard" lens for the Nikon SLR. It also has electronic contacts that enables it to talk to modern DSLR Nikons - though the old F doesn't care.
In the early 60's - the camera to have was the F. You could get lenses for every purpose, from ultra wides to super tele's - and macro/bellows set ups. Yes, M cameras were the standard for press work - but when you needed wide or long - or precise framing - out came the F's.
I agree, the F36 might not be the ergonomic wonder - and it was noisy. Fun to use at press scrums. You fired a burst close to the sound man of the TV crew and watched him jump! Admittedly, the F3 os smoother, quieter and the MD4 emits a quite "burp" when advancing film - but in my mind. the F reign's supreme as a classic SLR.
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Old 07-07-2016   #180
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F with a motor and powercon battery pack.
16fbpicnikonf_01 by f4saregreat!, on Flickr
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Old 07-07-2016   #181
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerevan View Post
Any non-working FTN finder could serve as a donor for any DE-1. Resilvering is a bit too complicated, I guess.

I've no idea whether the prisms inside the F2 finders are the same as the F ones.
huh? the de-1 is for the f2.

i know there was an old myth that the prism from an ftn finder could be used to replace the one in an eye-level finder, but i've never heard about this transplant.
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Old 07-07-2016   #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
why? My meterless prisms works great.
they're plagued by separation and desilvering.
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Old 07-07-2016   #183
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Thinking of living with only my F for a year with the help of my 3 Nikon lenses: 28/2, 50/1.4, and 105/2.5. Am I crazy? Oh and a whole bunch of Tri-X.
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"F" ing Olden Days
Old 07-07-2016   #184
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"F" ing Olden Days

My old man bought an F when I was still in high school, and a Bessler Topcon too. He fell in love with Nikons at that point, and they were the camera that introduced me to my first M, an M2R.

I used his various F iterations a lot, but they were just to damn bulky and clunky to a kid who rode a Triumph Bonneville to get around. But, if it weren't for the F I wouldn't have my Olympus OM and Leica collection.
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Old 07-07-2016   #185
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Akiva--nope! Not crazy--go for it and congrats--will be a very freeing experience--
Paul
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Old 07-07-2016   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
Thinking of living with only my F for a year with the help of my 3 Nikon lenses: 28/2, 50/1.4, and 105/2.5. Am I crazy? Oh and a whole bunch of Tri-X.
If it wasn't Tri-X yes, but as it is you are on the good side of the line for Crazy or not.

Myself I'd go with the 28/2.8 AI-S, but I'm crazy.

B2 (;->
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Old 07-09-2016   #187
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People complaining about prism problems should try the waist level finders. I'll never understand the people who brag about the flexibility of the F system, but then never take advantage of it - live a little, try something different.
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Old 07-09-2016   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
Thinking of living with only my F for a year with the help of my 3 Nikon lenses: 28/2, 50/1.4, and 105/2.5. Am I crazy? Oh and a whole bunch of Tri-X.
Don't know about "for a year", but I like to take my F with 35mm OC and 105mm f2.5 on adventures. And lately I've been partial to Eastman Double-X.
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Old 07-09-2016   #189
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Thinking of living with only my F for a year with the help of my 3 Nikon lenses: 28/2, 50/1.4, and 105/2.5. Am I crazy? Oh and a whole bunch of Tri-X.
That's too easy. It's essentially a full kit from back in the day. Pick just one lens..



Crazy is one camera and either a telephoto lens, or a super wide angle.
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Old 07-09-2016   #190
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The eyepiece doublet on my F plain prism decemented. Luckily Authorized Photo Service in Morton Grove, IL still had NOS replacements.

The foam packaged around the prism eats the silver off.
Most of the F prisms that I've seen today have desilvering problems. All of my prisms for the F and F2 have been "defoamed" and new foam seals placed at the appropriate points by Sover Wong. Most repair people don't tackle the old deteriorating internal foam. Sover does.

BTW, the deteriorating foam is great fungus food.
Keeping your F prisms in plastic bags is a great way to go mushroom farming. Sover had to clean off a lot of internal fungus that was growing on the internal foams, some of which had started to eat away at the black protective paint over the silver coating of the prism.
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Old 07-09-2016   #191
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I owned once one Nikon F with FTN finder, and I sold them many years ago.
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Old 07-09-2016   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lai View Post
The eyepiece doublet on my F plain prism decemented. Luckily Authorized Photo Service in Morton Grove, IL still had NOS replacements.

The foam packaged around the prism eats the silver off.
Most of the F prisms that I've seen today have desilvering problems. All of my prisms for the F and F2 have been "defoamed" and new foam seals placed at the appropriate points by Sover Wong. Most repair people don't tackle the old deteriorating internal foam. Sover does.

BTW, the deteriorating foam is great fungus food.
Keeping your F prisms in plastic bags is a great way to go mushroom farming. Sover had to clean off a lot of internal fungus that was growing on the internal foams, some of which had started to eat away at the black protective paint over the silver coating of the prism.
Does anyone know of a tech in the States that would do the foam update on the F prism?

Thanks
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Old 07-09-2016   #193
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Does anyone know of a tech in the States that would do the foam update on the F prism?
You should save yourself some dollars and do it yourself. Contact Jon Goodman for a kit ([email protected]). I did it a year or so ago and the kit was about $8, maybe $10. Jon dropped the kit in the mail even before he received my payment. The process is pretty easy - you just need to make sure you remove all the previous foam/goo before installing the new seals. Jon provides very good instructions.
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Old 07-09-2016   #194
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dasuess, I am referring to the foam in the Finder Prism... are we on the same page here?

Thanks
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Old 07-09-2016   #195
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There's a guy in Nevada or Utah that does FTN repair. $85 for an average repair and he can fit replacement prisms if needed. I'll try to find his name and address. Joe
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Old 07-09-2016   #196
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Great thanks Joe!!!!
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Old 07-09-2016   #197
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FTN repair.

Robert Decker
2180 South 5900 West
Mendon Utah 84325

It's been about a year since I used him so I hope he is still working but he did nice work on my FTN and adjusted it for modern batteries too. Joe
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Old 07-09-2016   #198
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Thanks Joe I will reach out to him.
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Old 07-09-2016   #199
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I think Robert Deckers e mail is [email protected]

He rebuilt a meter for me and it has worked well. Joe
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Old 07-10-2016   #200
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Quote:
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dasuess, I am referring to the foam in the Finder Prism... are we on the same page here?

My F has a plain prism - the only foam I see is a small strip where the eyepiece fits onto the body. That strip, as well as the strip that the mirror hits when the shutter is fired, were replaced with the kit I purchased from Jon.

If you have an Ftn finder, it's probably different. Check with Jon. If you have an Ftn meter that needs to be serviced, that's another matter.

Good luck !!!



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