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Both the F and F2 have their devotees: I have a beautiful black F which is so immaculate that it is doomed to be a shelf queen. It was an early model and is just a few numbers off being 6543210. Imagine the premium on that one(!) it did not have a red dot however, but was skillfully widened at the back of the viewfinder to accept the upgrade Photomic Tn meter. Probably ruined it as a collectable. So: 64 series carry a premium for being original, 65 series a premium for the old style "Nippon Kogaku" in a lens logo 65 red dot carry a premium for the dot which indicates factory built acceptance of the new Photomic. Apollo Fs have the F2 cosmetics(imagine Nikon produced the F and F2 side by side for a while... You would expect that from Leitz or Zeiss, but not the Japanese)
I still love my F: feels like a Contax IIa with a pentaprism
How is putting an F2 Photomic head on an F a simple modification when the F2 battery is on the bottom plate and the on switch is the window lever, unlike the F where battery switch and meter are one unit????
If you didn't already know, this is another excellent Nikon F site -> http://www.destoutz.ch/nikon-f.html
The F2 does indeed use the method you describe.
Condolences for your loss in Thailand. Sometimes 40 years is not that long, is it.
I love the F's with straight prism finder. I have the older style, plus the later with plastic wind lever tip; both are fine, but I probably slightly prefer the older metal lever. I've never really liked the Photomic heads; in addition to other issues mentioned, the Photomic makes the aperture adjustment and lens changing fussier. The straight prism camera is a lean, all business, machine.
F's and many of the lenses are bargains now. In general I'm not as thrilled with the lenses as the bodies, but there are some that are exceptional and others that are incredible performers for their price.
I used to really want an F. Then I got a Miranda. The F2 is everything the F was but better too.