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  1. #1

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    Nikon F and the vietnam war

    Over the weekend I watched a documentary on the Vietnam war and in a few scenes I saw some footage of a photographer carrying 2, maybe 3 Nikon F's. I couldn't make out the lenses because it was only for a brief second. I'm assuming one was a 50 f/2 or f/1.4 The other one was a but longer, maybe a 135mm or 200mm. But regardless what do you think the lens compliment would be for a photojournalist in Vietnam following the troops on patrol?

  2. #2
    PDH
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    For the F, 105s were common, some PJs carried a 28m, 50mm and 105mm a few a 200. I have seen a number of guys that carried a F with 50 and 105 for long with a Leica or Nikon SP with a 35 or 28mm for wide. I also saw a number of Spotmatics.

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    ...and some illustrations to corroborate the above: http://miles.forumcommunity.net/?t=54366847

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDH View Post
    For the F, 105s were common, some PJs carried a 28m, 50mm and 105mm a few a 200. I have seen a number of guys that carried a F with 50 and 105 for long with a Leica or Nikon SP with a 35 or 28mm for wide. I also saw a number of Spotmatics.
    Thanks for the info! I've seen a bunch of PJ pics where they are carrying an M4 and an F, that makes sense now.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDH View Post
    ...and some illustrations to corroborate the above: http://miles.forumcommunity.net/?t=54366847
    Great link, Thanks a bunch

  5. #5
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I had a college photo professor that was a photographer in the Vietnam war. The soldiers used to call them "armpit Fs". The whole back came off when the user loaded film. In the field, you put the back under your arms when you load film.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aAfifHouFg
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDH View Post
    For the F, 105s were common, some PJs carried a 28m, 50mm and 105mm a few a 200. I have seen a number of guys that carried a F with 50 and 105 for long with a Leica or Nikon SP with a 35 or 28mm for wide. I also saw a number of Spotmatics.
    The SLR for normal/long lenses and an RF for wide lenses was almost a standard combination in that era. You see it stateside too.

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    A bit off the subject, but I got a Nikonos II back when it was current, to use when diving. I knew that an 80mm lens was also available for it.

    I once mentioned to a guy I worked with, how odd it seemed to have such a long lens for an underwater camera. He had done a couple tours in Vietnam as a Marine Corps photographer, and said that it had been very useful as an above-water lens in Vietnam - they could muck the Nikonos through any weather conditions with no problem. Up 'til then, military use of such gear had never occurred to me.

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    Thanks for the link Vilk.

    I'm surprised to see a Leicaflex: http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/2...ser0002fl2.jpg (guy on the left) and a Contarex camera: http://img843.imageshack.us/img843/6...tographer1.jpg in combats.

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    That explains the loads of 105s and the relative rarity of the wides

  10. #10
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    An acquaintance who did photography as a civilian in VN used his Nikon F with a Sun zoom lens. This was before even the Nikon zooms were really good, and the Sun zoom was worse. Combat photography is hard on equipment: the Sun was cheaper to replace as needed. Sometimes getting any photo is more important than missing the best possible photo.

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