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My beautiful Limited edition black Nikon SP
Old 04-09-2016   #1
Nick De Marco
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My beautiful Limited edition black Nikon SP

Just back from a first ever trip in Japan and I could not help picking up this little beauty as the best souvenir possible.

My Nikon SP with an original Nikon meter I picked up in Tokyo by Nick De Marco, on Flickr


Please take a look at my blog where I review the camera and discuss its history, as well as revelling in some hard core camera porn.

Part 1: http://rangefinderchronicles.blogspo...rom-japan.html

And Part 2 (more of the history): http://rangefinderchronicles.blogspo...m-japan_9.html

One of Tokyo’s crossings – with SP and Nikon meter by Nick De Marco, on Flickr

The shots from the camera will have to wait, I am afraid, until I have gotten through having 38 rolls of films developed and scanned...

Nick
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Old 04-09-2016   #2
dave lackey
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Wow! Nick, way to go, that is beautiful!!!'
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Old 04-09-2016   #3
mdarnton
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Yes, that is sufficiently sexy! I don't much care for the way RF Nikons handle, but to my mind it is certainly the most beautiful camera design of all time, and the SP is the pick of the litter. And black....just icing on the cake.
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Old 04-09-2016   #4
wayben
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Wow, great souvenir!! Congratulations on a great camera.
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Old 04-10-2016   #5
ChrisLivsey
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Always good to see one in safe hands, nice camera. (Nice is an English way of actually meaning WOW)
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Old 04-10-2016   #6
jonmanjiro
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Congrats! A lovely souvenir from Japan indeed I read through your blog write up. Sounds like you had a great time here. The SP 2005 was my first rangefinder (was a Nikon SLR shooter up to then) and the amazing IQ of the wonderful reissue W-Nikkor 35/1.8 is what started me on my rangefinder journey.

Let me point out a few errors in your write up regarding Nikon's history.

> You wrote "Formed in 1917 it was originally known as Nikkor"

* Nikon the company has never been called Nikkor. That's a brand name for lenses that was introduced in 1932.

> You wrote "Nikon actually started as a lens manufacturer for these screw-fitting rangefinders"

Nikon (Nippon Kogaku back then) was formed through a merger of three smaller optical companies via significant governmental input with the main intention of making Japan fully self sufficient for its military-related optical glass needs. The Japanese government wanted the ability to make quality optical glass domestically instead of relying on overseas suppliers. As such, Nikon was from the get go an integral part of the Japanese military-industrial complex. Nikon certainly also manufactured consumer oriented products such as screw mount lenses from early on, but that's not how they started.

Also, the story on cameraquest.com about the lottery is not really how it went down. Most SP 2005 sets didn't sell at the initial asking price and ended up being heavily discounted (more than %40 off!) to try and move them. In early 2007, I remember one time seeing eight or so brand new SP 2005 sets lined up under the counter at Fujiya Camera in Nakano, Tokyo. Other times only four or five. Fujiya must have sold dozens of them, because they turned over new sets well into 2008.

So, lets not add any further to the "Nippon Kogaku was making lenses and cameras out of a garage when they were discovered by some Life magazine photographers" misinformation that floats around the internet, ok The Life Magazine photographers certainly helped promote Nikon's products overseas but that so called garage was actually the Nikon 101 building, which at the time was a 4 story above ground 1 story below ground concrete building completed in 1933 (one of just a handful of concrete buildings in Tokyo back then) with three wings making it look like the letter "E" when viewed from above. Quite a big garage that, being concrete rather than wood, was one of the few buildings to survive the fire bombing of Shinagawa Ward in 1945.

http://camerafan.jp/cc.php?i=464
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Old 04-10-2016   #7
lxmike
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what a stunning camera, congratulations
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Old 04-10-2016   #8
Fraser
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Talking

I could do with that lens hood

Now you just need to make it into an apollo SP!
15fbpics3appollo_1 by f4saregreat!, on Flickr
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Old 04-10-2016   #9
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Congrats Nick!!!
My story is not too different. Went to Tokyo last october and came home with a chrome SP and a chrome S3 2000.
Being mainly a 35mm shooter, I scoured the web for a used 35mm f1.8 but they are scarce and costly. Also, having had the opportunity to see a black SP 2005 in life. What a gorgeous camera!

Guess what, took the plunge and got myself a SP 2005 which is due to arrive anyday now.
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Old 04-10-2016   #10
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Credit goes to Japan Camera Hunter for his list of camera stores in Japan. Helped me a great deal
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Old 04-10-2016   #11
Nick De Marco
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Thanks for the comments guys - yeah credit to JCH
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Old 04-10-2016   #12
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Nice story Nick - look forward to part 2
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Old 04-10-2016   #13
farlymac
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An outstanding purchase for sure, Nick. Can hardly wait to see the photos.

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Old 04-10-2016   #14
Fraser
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Nice artlcle and good to see someone else using a Nikon rf. If you think re-issue sp are rare, there was only 2000 s3 olympics made in 64 I wonder how many of these are around today. Couldn't help but notice your 35 is a 1.8 not a 1.4
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Old 04-10-2016   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
there was only 2000 s3 olympics made in 64
This has been repeated so often that its become internet fact (I'm not giving up, Nikon Kiu!)

The S3 Olympics were released in September 1965 a year after the Tokyo Olympics. Many apparently sat languishing on store shelves well into the 1980s. Perhaps the "Olympic" designation came about as a marketing gimmick to try and sell them.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...01&postcount=4
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Old 04-11-2016   #16
Fraser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
This has been repeated so often that its become internet fact (I'm not giving up, Nikon Kiu!)

The S3 Olympics were released in September 1965 a year after the Tokyo Olympics. Many apparently sat languishing on store shelves well into the 1980s. Perhaps the "Olympic" designation came about as a marketing gimmick to try and sell them.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...01&postcount=4
i'm only going by Rotoloni 'it was made as one batch of 2000 cameras in 1964'. 'It arrived on the scene in time for that major event' Tokyo Olympics the summer of 1964.
No internet sources have been used.
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Old 04-11-2016   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
i'm only going by Rotoloni 'it was made as one batch of 2000 cameras in 1964'. 'It arrived on the scene in time for that major event' Tokyo Olympics the summer of 1964.
No internet sources have been used.
Haha ok then. I know that Rotoloni has been made aware of the Japanese newspaper clipping I linked. I think his response was something like "ah well the Olympics factor makes for a good story but we'll probably never know for sure". Perhaps he'll add the Japanese newspaper clipping info in his next book
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Old 04-11-2016   #18
Tom A
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The "Olympic" designation was never an official one.It is somewhat handy now to differentiate between the "regular" black and the Millennium black - and the specific lens for the Olympic also sets it apart.
The re-make of the 35f1.8 2005 is very good. The improved coating really shines - compared to the older version. I don't think resolutions is better - but the contrast gives it an edge. I have both versions and the 2005 version is one of my main 35's in Nikon Rf's.
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