Nikon F GAS attack
Okay, here's the issue - I found a very dirty but functioning Nikon F with a Photomic finder in a thrift shop - US$98.
Now, I didn't get it right then, but as I had never handled one, I did some research.
Thanks to the mir.com site, I am now having a serious bout of GAS for the Nikon F!
This led me to trolling the bay, Keh, etc.
Now, for background, I already have a Canon F-1N, a Bessa R3M, a Kiev IIa, a few Mamiya C-TLRs as well as a new Fuji GF670.
I really, really liked the build quality of the Nikon F I handled.
What I need from all of you is your advice on which version of the F to get as well as the best finder for a pairing and a general idea of how much I should pay for one in good cosmetic and functional condition.
This has all been discussed many places on the web. $98 for a dirty one?
They are not as valuable as you might think. I sold an almost new one (on e-bay) with lens 50mm F2 and prism for only $270.
There's really only one version of the F. There were several - 3 - versions of metered prisms, the FtN is the last and best IMO. BUT - the potentiometers wear and get erratic. They all can be calibrated to use silver oxide cells instead of mercuric (unavailable) oxide cells. My favorite is the plain non-metered prism, but these alone can cost as much as a nice body and lens.
Originally Posted by CuS
Any F will be at least 39 years old, plan to have to pay for a CLA on anything you buy. They're great cameras, one of the all-time finest SLRs ever made.
Don't forget to get a 105/2.5 Nikkor as well.:)
The Nikon F with an unmetered prism finder is neat. The Photomic finder made it a beast. However, the F did have its idiosyncracies, often due to providing for a very wide range of accessories. I still keep one around for times when only 35mm film will do.
My F with FtN prism and 20/3.5 Nikkor UD seems to weigh as much as my Linhof STIV.
Originally Posted by Jim Jones
I primarily use the plain prism and a LunaSix, reserving the FtN finder for close up work where TTL metering is handy.
Aside from the finders, later ones have a plastic grip on the wind lever, which is a little nicer. Also as I recall, somewhere in the history they went to putting the manufacture year in the first two digit's of the S/N. Not sure if the switchover year is documented though.
The meter finders are a bit ungainly, but I'm not sure the "value" of the plain ones matches the reported cost.
If you run into a chrome one with a plain finder and a black name plate, made in circa 1970, it may have been stolen from a house in Thailand 40ish years ago:(
Get the F2 with plain prism. It costs $150 to overhaul the meter prism when (not if) it goes dead, So the extra cost is worth it. The F2 is the best. The 50mm nikor f2 H is VERY sharp as is the Macro f3,5 and both are inexpensive. Add the 105 f2.5 and 28mm f2.8 both extraordinary lenses when you have the cash.... dream about the 180mm f2.8 ED in the mean time.... Bill
If dead-set on the F, I like the 'Apollo' body with either a plain or FTn prism. The plastic cover on the film advance is a nice touch for my delicate thumb. Yet I prefer the F2 for several reasons; faster shutter speed (2000th), stepless between 80 and 2000th (great for chrome), metering to 8 sec, timed exposure to 10 sec, meter-visibility in low-light (SB, AS, others?), hassle-free mirror lock and better ergonomics. I have two F's, incl one Apollo, and a weakness for F2's.
Oh by the way, Google Sover Wong to learn everything you need to know about repair and use... someone on APUG turned me on to him and I'm grateful ... you will be too if you end up with an F2.... he's the BEST.
+1 for Sover Wong. He brought my F2 to like-new condition. He only works on the F2
and he knows everything there is to know about it. He also has repair parts.
F2 > F because you can still get the meter batteries for the F2.