How old is my Nikon F ?? (Looking for Feb. 67 for a small project)

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by TheToadMen, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Hi,
    I have a chrome Nikon F with serial number 6843981.
    According to this site http://www.destoutz.ch/typ_production_data_f.html my camera was built in AUG 1967 to OCT 1967.
    However, all the ranges on this site are overlapping, what seems strange to me. For instance:
    679xxxx DEC 1966 to MAR 1967
    680xxxx FEB 1967 to APR 1967
    681xxxx APR 1967 to JUN 1967
    682xxxx MAY 1967 to AUG 1967
    683xxxx JUL 1967 to SEP 1967
    684xxxx AUG 1967 to OCT 1967
    685xxxx OCT 1967 to DEC 1967
    It seems unlikely that Nikon used two series of numbers at the same time? Like 682xxxx in August and 683xxxx in July?

    The reason for my question is that I would like to have & use a Nikon F that is as old as I am (Feb. 14th. 1967). It doesn't have to be a
    perfect one, as long as it is in good working order. Preferably with a single lens (like a 35 mm) from the same period. I want to shoot a project with it: I want to make a series of my life (the first 46 years) with this camera on Tri-X film. One camera, one lens and one (type of) film.

    My camera seams to be from the right year, not the right month. :-(
    And mine is with a sports finder. I would also like a working Nikon F Photomic Tn (from 1967.) Are these still around & working, without having to sell an arm and a leg? If not, just a regular prism and I'll use my lightmeter.
    This is what it would look like:
    nikon1967fphtomictn.jpg
    (source: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photograph...aeliu/cameras/nikonf/ffinders/fmeterprism.htm)

    I haven't checked my old lenses yet, but I'm guessing they aren't from the right era as well. Does anyone know a site to date my lenses?

    Thanks for the help!!
     
  2. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    Bert, I think it is entirely possible that there could have been late 679 and early 680 serial numbers being produced at the same time. I would think that if you got a 6799xxx or 6800xxx you can reasonably expect it was made right around February 1967.

    I can't help you with lens dates.
     
  3. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    There was a story that Nikon F's and F2's serial number corresponded with the date of manufacture, but I have it on good authority that this was not always the case. (From a Nikon engineer) so getting one that corresponds with your date may be a bit of luck and guestimate to get it right'
     
  4. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Hi Nick,
    A late 6799XXX or an early 6800xxx seams a logical guestimation to start with.
    Hi BM,
    I heard this story also, but I heard (too) much prove otherwise.
    Bert
     
  5. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Are you going to use Tri-X from Feb 1967 too? Of course not. :smile:

    What you have really is close enough I think, especially since there's nothing that says that website is to 100% correct.
     
  6. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    I don't think I'd be the least surprised if someone here chimed in that they had a couple rolls of exactly that. :laugh:

    s-a
     
  7. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Hey no kidding! One groggy morning I woke up and glanced at my email on my iPad. There in my saved eBay searche email alerts was a bulk roll of Ilford HP3 with the can dated JULY 1963 stamped in big letters and numbers. THAT is my exact year and date of birth. It had a BIN for only about $30 so I nailed it. I've actually loaded some up and have been shooting it. I do have to rate it at about ASA 12 and it's fogged and grainy as can be but it has a very interesting look and I've done nice portraits with it.
     
  8. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Exact there too, perhaps? :smile:

    '54 for me; introduction of both Tri-X and Leica's M3. I have a '59 M3 but suspect the Tri-X is well out of reach, alas. But, better than Kodachrome (1939?)

    s-a
     
  9. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Hi Rich,
    You might be right in the end about the camera. But I would still like to at least replace the sports finder with a normal prisma finder or even the
    F Photomic Tn.
    About the Tri-X: I still have some of the old Tri-X (from before the big change in 2004?) but I don't think it's the same as in 1967? Still, it is Tri-X
    and I used Tri-X mostly all these years.

    BUT: I do have an original box with 12 unused HP3 glass plates (9x13 cm = 3 1/2 x 4 3/4 inch).
    ilford-HP3-glassplates-1.JPG ilford-HP3-glassplates-3.JPG ilford-HP3-glassplates-2.JPG
    Probaly from the 50's of 60's? See: http://www.photomemorabilia.co.uk/Ilford/Chronology.html
    How about that?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2013
  10. fstop

    fstop Member

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    It was explained to me that the over lap was due to serial number range being assigned to a production run, Its entirely possible to start a new batch while the previous batch was being finished.

    lens serial data

    http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html
     
  11. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    I would keep the camera you have. It's a known quantity. If you absolutely must have a serial number that was from that month, look for a junker with a 6799xxx or 680xxxx serial, and swap the rewind side top cover. Pretty easy to do, actually.

    I'd look for an eyelevel finder, since the Tn finders are usually in poor shape these days. Cosmetically, no, but electrically, yes. Frequently, the battery check button's mechansim will fail and prevent the meter from turning on. Most of them also have dirty/broken ring resistors, so the needles are erratic when they do work. Only once have I come across a T or Tn finder that was actually in good working order. Was on my second Nikon F body that I purchased from a camera repair shop in March or April 2007.

    -J
     
  12. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I found a nice site about the F (and F2) meters and finders:
    http://www.cameraquest.com/nfinder.htm

    I now have a waist level finder like this one:
    nikon-f-waistlevelfinder-type-2.jpg

    I think I'll try to find a chrome prism finder for my camera:
    nikon-f-standard-finder-chrome.jpg

    I might even try my F2 Fhotomic S metered finder sometimes, but then: that wouldn't be an original set from 1967, would it?

    So, anyone has a F Eye-level Finder lying around he wants to "donate" to my small project? I'm open for suggestions ;-)
    Or a broken Nikon F with a serial number from February 1967?
     
  13. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    You know, non-working metered prisms for the F are relatively inexpensive. Is there any reason why you cannot use one of those and a handheld meter?

    As for donations, have you looked at the prices of eye-level prisms? :laugh:
     
  14. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Why didn't I think of that ??? How simple can it be ....
    The camera even looks even better with a metered prism.
    And are cheaper to donate/trade/find ;-)
     
  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Also, those non-working metered prisms very often come back to life if you clean all the contacts, including the potentiometer. I'm 3 for 3 so far, that is of the three I have owned since about 1995 all have come back to life and remained reliable. I use an Ftn finder for when I must have TTL metering, I overhauled it in 1998 and it's still going, the other two I sold.

    A waistlevel finder is on my want list, go figure. :laugh:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2013
  16. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I'll let you know if and when I find a prism for my camera and my waistlevel finder will be looking for a new good home :smile:
    A pity you already sold the other two Ftn prisms ....
    Bert
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Well, the two I sold had cameras attached to them, and it was quite a while ago... I wish I still had the black one with the 55/1.2 lens, they're going for a pretty penny these days. I had to ask my self, just how many nearly-indestructable cameras do I need? :laugh:
    You might want to retain that WL finder, sometimes it's very useful when you can't get your eye behind the regular prisms.