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  1. #11

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    The "Best of Nikon" is the Nikon SP

    Even among historical masterpieces such as the Nikon F, and high-class models like the Nikon F4 and F5, it is apparent that the camera most worthy of recognition as the "Best of Nikon" is the Nikon SP.

  2. #12
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I am still tempted to try out the Nikon range finders myself, but there is just no way, everything in that system is pretty much Leica priced and/or hard to find. But for those who would like to use some of the lenses without an old body, CV made the R2S to accept the lenses without adapters.

    http://www.cameraquest.com/voigt_r2s_r2c.htm

    Unfortunately they are sold out, but I have seen them pop up from time to time on the auction sites.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Sarile View Post
    I'm not very sure of that, I think the F is every bit as well made. The SP was the first to use the titanium shutter, too. I think, given the choice (and cost not a factor), I'd take an SP over an M series Leica.

  4. #14
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    Never had SP in my hand - but comparing M3 with original Nikon F: Leica is much more smooth, precise and gives better all around feeling in operating a camera. For example wind crank mechanism on Nikon is little loose, focusing is not that smooth (same age nikkor vs elmar), finishing details like frame counter, final processing of materials ...

  5. #15

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    Read all about the SP right from Nikon itself. From the Nikon history website:

    http://imaging.nikon.com/history/leg...sp-e/index.htm

    Jim B.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkosaric View Post
    Never had SP in my hand - but comparing M3 with original Nikon F: Leica is much more smooth, precise and gives better all around feeling in operating a camera. For example wind crank mechanism on Nikon is little loose, focusing is not that smooth (same age nikkor vs elmar), finishing details like frame counter, final processing of materials ...
    I've had two M3s and a IIIg. They're gorgeously well made cameras, but when you get inside they're no better than an F and probably an SP. As far as film counters go, the Nikkormat Ftn has a more elegant counter than the F.
    The main reason I got rid of the Leicas was that rangefinders don't suit my way of working as well as SLRs. Leica SLRs at the time (early 90s) were (SL, SL2) no more expensive than the Nikon, though they lack several features I consider essential. So about 1994 I settled on the F system and got rid of most of the rest of my 35mm gear - I've found no reason to regret that choice.
    I've had a couple Contaxes, too, and there's no choice there at all, the SP is far and away the better camera.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    I'm not very sure of that, I think the F is every bit as well made. The SP was the first to use the titanium shutter, too. I think, given the choice (and cost not a factor), I'd take an SP over an M series Leica.
    BTW, that quote is a link to the Nikon site from whence it came. I am not much of a RF guy and prefer the SLR. No doubt the SP - and other lightboxes, have acheived legendary status.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Sarile View Post
    BTW, that quote is a link to the Nikon site from whence it came. I am not much of a RF guy and prefer the SLR. No doubt the SP - and other lightboxes, have acheived legendary status.
    I know, I'd read the Nikon article before. Hardly an impartial source...
    Many things have legendary status, relatively few deserve it. See the recent thread here on "legendary lenses" - http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/1...ry-lenses.html

    Which is not to knock the SP, it's a great camera and one of the few I'd like to acquire.

  9. #19

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    I shoot with a Nikon SP, and I love it. First, the SP is very solidly constructed. The Nikon F is legendary for it's toughness, and the Nikon F shares much of it's parts with the SP. In fact, many parts are interchangeable between the two camera. The 1-1 viewfinder is wonderful to use, and though the yellowish tint and focusing patch aren't as bright or defined as a Leica M, the selectable frame line dial, and the built in finder for 28mm and 35mm lenses makes the SP very flexible indeed. All that's missing is parallax correction.

    Mechanically-speaking, the Nikon SP is simply much better made than the Leica M. The Nikon rangefinders do not require the regular service which Leicas need to keep them in top shape. I can't count how many times I have had to readjust the rangefinder after bumping one of my M's into something. A Nikon SP in good condition is as smooth and quiet (sometimes more so) than a Leica.

    As for the lenses, it has not been 50 years since Nikon last made a lens for their rangefinder cameras, new 50mm and 35mm lenses were manufactured with the S3 and SP cameras which were re-released a few years ago. These are not cheap, but they are much less expensive than the Leica equivalents.

    The Nikon rangefinder lenses are no slouches, they are great performers, and compared to those made by other manufacturers, they more than hold their own.

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