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  1. #11
    narsuitus's Avatar
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    Back in the late 1960s, when I had to replace my broken Miranda Sensorex with a more robust and reliable 35mm SLR, I selected the Nikon F. The F met my need for a dependable SLR. I would still be using the F if I had not replaced it with the F2, which I still use to this day.

    Back then, I primarily used prime lenses on my F. The 43-86mm f3.5 Nikkor was the first zoom I purchased. Its performance (image quality) was so poor that it soured me to zoom lenses for a long period of time. I hope you have one of the later production lenses because I understand that they performed better than the early ones (like the one I had).

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    First successful system SLR, huh? Exakta, anyone?


    I think the key word was "successful"... :-)


    I still have my first Nikon F which I bought just before I went to Art School in 1969. It still works well despite having been hammered for years! It is now in semi-retirement along with another F. My understanding is that the 43-86 zoom is a dog, the f1.4 standard was good, but the f2 was better, and neither was quite up to the standard of a Summicron. Not far short though. When I needed a standard lens I used the Micro-Nikkor which was/is beautifully sharp.

    Does your Photomic head work? Most don't, plus there is the problem of obtaining batteries...

    Still, it's a great camera, and at that price a steal!



    Richard

  3. #13
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Kelham
    I think the key word was "successful"... :-)
    My first 35mm SLR system was an Exacta with finders and lenses, tubes and bellows. And remember what 35mm SLR and telephoto lens Jimmy Stewart used in "Rear Window"?

    My Photomic finder works great (Thanks, KEH!). I just use silver batteries and compensate with the film speed setting.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Kelham
    I think the key word was "successful"... :-)
    <snip>


    Richard
    Um, Richard, you don't seriously mean to say that the Exakta was a commercial failure, do you? Until Nikon released the F and all of its accessories and lenses, the Exakta was THE SLR for scientific photography. Dig out your copy of Geoffrey Crawley's little book on the Nikon F and revisit what he says there about the Exakta system.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    Um, Richard, you don't seriously mean to say that the Exakta was a commercial failure, do you? Until Nikon released the F and all of its accessories and lenses, the Exakta was THE SLR for scientific photography. Dig out your copy of Geoffrey Crawley's little book on the Nikon F and revisit what he says there about the Exakta system.

    For a number of years the Exacta was indeed THE SLR as there was no competition. As soon as serious competition came along (in the form of the Nikon F) it rapidly became no more than a curiosity – scientific photography has always been a ncihe market! Still, the Exacta is great if you're left handed.

    Oddly enough I don't have Crawley's book...


    Richard

  6. #16
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I have a couple of Exactas in my collection and they are marvellous looking things, just don't try to use them them too quickly though! It is no wonder that the Nikons and Pentaxes swept all before them because of the sweet handling. I have both an F and F2, the F2 being the nicest of the classic Nikons. The Nikkormat is just as good to use and sems to be of the same tank like quality. My F has a working meter but I took it off and fitted the plain prism, handles and looks heaps better.

  7. #17

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    I don't have much experience with Exacta, Alpa or Miranda but in terms of a full professional system with interchangeable viewfinders, focusing screens, bellows, extension tubes, bulk film backs and a motor drive in a very rugged packet I think of Nikon as the first full system. I just stated to collect Miranda 35mms and I was very surprised in terms of the accessories that Miranda made.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Howell
    I don't have much experience with Exacta, Alpa or Miranda but in terms of a full professional system with interchangeable viewfinders, focusing screens, bellows, extension tubes, bulk film backs and a motor drive in a very rugged packet I think of Nikon as the first full system. I just stated to collect Miranda 35mms and I was very surprised in terms of the accessories that Miranda made.
    Oh, dear, the old not invented here, or perhaps invented before my time, syndrome.

  9. #19
    DBP
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    What made the Nikon special was the ease of handling, ridiculously wide range of lenses and accessories, and, most important, the instant return mirror, seven years ahead of Exakta. That made it the first 35mm that could claim to perform every task.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flotsam
    My first 35mm SLR system was an Exacta with finders and lenses, tubes and bellows. And remember what 35mm SLR and telephoto lens Jimmy Stewart used in "Rear Window"?
    Kilfit 400mm f5.6 (I think) - then again Kilfit was pretty much the only 35mm telephoto manufacturer at that time and the Exakta was the only real system SLR at the time which had a suitable range of lenses available. Funny, too how it was the Eastern Bloc that was to produce the first successful postwar SLRs - although in the case of Exakta there seems to have been a distinctly murky cross border agreement between West and East Germany with Exakta being one of the last remaining privately owned companies in East Germany.

    Lachlan

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