Back to the basic F

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by John Austin, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    There are fires south of us, so when I went with my daughter to pick up more stuff from her place 8Km from the fire containment line I took a 35mm camera and 35 & 21mm lenses, my usual kit

    The Leica is away for yet again for yet another repair, which is sad as I love the 35mm late Summicron

    So, back to the ancient and battered kit I have always known I can rely on, Nikon Fs with 35 and 21mm lenses, the kit I used for the Karri Forest Protest portfolio in the mid to late 1990s, and sitting in my safe unloved since then - This kit was what I used for my artists portrait doco in the 1980s and early 1990s in Perth, except for the portraits with a Rollie

    jbaphoto120222d1485.JPG

    jbaphoto890618C10.jpg
     
  2. stavrosk

    stavrosk Member

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    Wow! Amazing! So how is the Summicron 35 compared to the Nikon 35?
     
  3. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    The Summicron is an almost symmetrical design, so has a different "drawing" to the 35mm Nikkor - I prefer the, Summicron, but my Leica M2 is totally shagged - Before it was given to me it was used for London newspaper work and Observer Magazine and Paris Match photography all over the world in some nasty situations - Perhaps I am asking too much of it and it should be put out to grass

    I have never found a 35mm Nikkor that is really sharp, but it must be born in mind my Nikon lens set is from the 1960s with a couple from the 1970s, so they are now getting toward middle age - However, while 35mm Nikkors only provide negs that are only just good enough to make 20x16 inch prints they have always delivered useable negs to that size

    John
     
  4. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    That's an awfully purdy camera you got there. I like it's fundamental appearance.
     
  5. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    Nothing in the world like the Nikon F, except for my Nikkormat FTN.

    A couple of other lenses you may want to use are the 28 3.5, excellent saturation, and the 105 f2.5. Those are mainstays in my FTN kit, alongside my 50 1.4 Nikkor-S

    I've got a scratch-and-dent 35 f2.8 Nikkor that's been AI'd and it regularly produces images as sharp as my Canon L-series lenses, so maybe I have a really good copy.
     
  6. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    That's one Sexy Nikon!!

    What's your Leica may I ask?
     
  7. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    The Leica is an antiquated M2, given to me by a former photojournalist who now lives on coffee, red wine, his reputation and a very augmented memory

    As well as 3 Nikon Fs I have a couple of black Nikkormats and one remaining black F2 and almost all the lenses from the first 20mm to 200mm except 24, 28 and 135mm, all from my commercial photo days
     
  8. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Which Nikkor 35 and which Summicron 35 (there were 4 pre-Asph versions)?

    My Summicron 35 (type IV) at f/2.0 is similar to the Nikkor 35 2.0 AIS closed down to between f/2.8 and f/4.0:about a 1.5 stop advantage. It also vignettes less and is far less susceptible to flare.
     
  9. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    My 35mm Summicron is the forth of the pre-asphecical versions - I shall be giving the Leica M2 back to my friend for his dead camera shelf, but am thinking about keeping the Summicron in case I have a print sale when we don't have to do repairs to the house or car - (Houses and cars are good at knowing when real money is coming in)

    My Nikkor 35mms are late 1960s f2 and f2.8 and a mid 1970s PC Nikkor - The PC is the sharpest, but was used with my F2s kit with a 20mm Nikkor and the 55 and 105mm Micro Nikkors for art gallery and exhibition documentation slides

    I still have the Nikon gear - It is now worthless in terms of cash and there is no point trying to sell it
     
  10. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I've never seen an F with orange lettering... Interesting.

    Yet another dent in the Leica supremacy complex many seem to have :tongue:
     
  11. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Excuse my ignorance :smile: - what/why this viewfinder on nikon F? I never seen someone has separate viewfinder on SLR (except with mirror lock up and fish eye) ... what are the benefits (except looking very cool :smile: ) ?
     
  12. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    It is the viewfinder for the Nikon 2.1cm f4 wide angle, which is used with the mirror locked up, it was the symmetrical predecessor to the 20mm UD Nikkor - I like it a lot, it is very small and light weight - I used it for forest protest doco rather than risk violence to my UD Nikkor - Then I discovered what they are worth to collectors, but like all good equipment it is for use

    2.1cmNikkor.jpg

    The Nikon label colouring is with my first home made batch of sanguine etching ink, which I think is better than Charbonnel, but of course it is not - I found the white on black too strong and toned it down a bit with the etching ink
     
  13. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    thanks jbaphoto :smile:
     
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  15. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    I also use an "F"...built like a tank and fits the hand beautifully, qualities that seem to have been forgotten with modern camera manufacture. Use mainly with 20mm, 35mm & 85mm lenses. The 20mm 3.5 AI is wonderfully compact and sharp no need for separate viewfinder. The 35 & 85mm are both older models made for the "F", and very sharp.

    Since I gave up news photography, I've ditched all the plasticky digital stuff. Returning to my old Nikon and Nikkormat FT3 has been a revelation. I'm actually enjoying taking pictures again!
     
  16. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Bought a near mint, one-owner black '71 F Photomic FTn a few years back--and truthfully have put about 2 rolls through it in five years. I admire it as a piece of industrial design but find newer MF and AF Nikon bodies more flexible. It's basically Nikon's '50s rangefinder design with a mirror and prism. Sizing up selling most of my Nikon bodies this spring and the F will likely go, too.
     
  17. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    I've just resurrected my two Nikkormat FTn's from the late 1960's. Built like bricks, never CLA'd and everything works fine. I bought a couple of battery adaptors and can now use the commonly available SR44 batteries that also power the meters in my M6 and Bessa R4A.
     
  18. kivis

    kivis Subscriber

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    Ode to an F:
    Mon amour

    6082182885_afaab6171b_z.jpg
     
  19. dehk

    dehk Member

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    I've serviced an F last year and shot a test roll through it, incredible camera.
     
  20. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

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    Bugger, after all that I want one.....!
     
  21. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Sounds odd the M2 has had to have 2 repairs. Possibly it needs to go to a better experienced Leica repair tech. I've seen where a tech will simply attack the complaint and miss the cause of the problem and then needing a rework.

    Early slrs are sometimes a work of ingenious engineering and are extremely rugged, the F being 1 of them. I recently picked up a Ashahi S1a that predates the Spotmatic. I had a Spotmatic when they were in production and loved it but it finally was sold off. The S1a is a hammer and reminds me of how good these ealry slrs can be. I can not imagine any dslr working some 50 years later.

    I loved the F as it got right what so many early slrs did not quite get right, the ability to have several viewfinders including waistlevel and several prism finders. Add to the mix some very good lenses and it is no wonder the Nikon name became #1 in the market.
     
  22. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    This is very true. Cameras like the "F" were built at a time when long term reliability was probably the key factor in camera manufacturing. The current digital stuff has built in obselesance, designed to last 5-7 years, then on to the scrapheap, along with the laptop that goes with it.
     
  23. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Unfortunately, that is a true statement. I have had three (3) hard disk crashes on my "modern machines" in the last two (2) years, and I am wondering. Why do I wonder? Because my 1983 KayPro II (Modified) running CP/M or ZCPR for an operating system is still going.
     
  24. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    I have three F's, my dad's eye level prism F, a Photomic Tn and a Photomic FTn. I understand totally.
     
  25. clayne

    clayne Member

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    I collect Fs, F2s, and F3s like women collect shoes.
     
  26. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    What is your gut feeling about price trends? Panache and scarcity push them up but they won't last forever and repair costs must negate at least some up the uptick. For a while now it seems Fs alone may be had for less than a couple hundred US$, but if you want that plain prism...yikes!

    s-a