my Nikkormat has been my go to manual walkaround for years. Damn thing is a beast, I want to step into an F
5x7 Eastman-Kodak kit, under the knife for a bit
4x5 Graphic View / Schneider 180 / Ektar 127
RB67 Pro S / 50 4.5 / 90 3.8 / 180 4.5 / WLF / prism finder / polaback
Random 35mm stuff
I've been trying to stay away from my F's, but they just have some sort of magnetic power. I think I do better pictures with a Leica or Rollei for some reason, but just can't let go of the F's. No other SLR feels as good to me. And the simplicity of a prism F is right up there with the Leica M2.
I think a lot of the old photojournalists had it right when they carried a Leica for 50mm and shorter, and an F with a 105 (and often 200mm in reserve).
Op kickin it.
OP kicking some photographic arse!
Thanks for the replies so far, all. Just to be clear, I know about the pre-F SLR history, but the fact of the matter is, no camera before the F could match it in terms of features, and it really was the first successful SLR. Even the title of first "SLR system camera" has to go to Exakta Varex, who in 1950 already had a removable viewfinder prism, a full range of macro gear, etc. Still, they were slow and complex to operate by comparison, and did not fit the "mould" of modern, quick cameras.
Time will tell if I ultimately prefer the F system to the OM system (as a user, not a gear fondler) but I wanted to share my initial results and impressions with you guys and girls. The F is indeed a special camera - it has that something a little extra.
I love the Nikon F (and the 105mm). It's also a great 1960's icon.
It used to be my absolute favorite, though now, IMHO, there are even better classic cameras with much better viewfinders (and even better lenses than the 105).
As far as Grandads go, I'd also propose Pentax, though Praktina, with its motor drives and 250 frame backs was, in part, even more innovative.
About 1950's lenses, I'd say Zeiss was usually better than Leica (and, according to tastes, today is about its equal).
Other truly excellent lenses were being made by Zeiss Jena, Angenieux, Steinheil, Voigtländer and many others.
Yes, the Nikon F is definitely something to be happy and get excited about, but some perspective should be kept...
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa
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Dude, my daily cameras are an Olympus OM-3Ti, a Leica M3, a Mamiya RB67, and a Linhof Technika. I have quite a broad perspective I believe...
Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut
They are each a bit better at something than the Nikon F, yet I have never had such a percentage of perfectly focused quickly-made images than with the Nikon F. I am telling you, there is a reason why this camera became the photojournalism standard. They did something very right here.
I enjoy more using nikon F3 and F with 50 and 105/2.5 than any other cameras I have (including Leica M3 and M6 and bunch of other)... It was hard for me to realize that I spend so much money on Leicas, zeiss, rollei, minolta, yashica, voigtlanders, summicron, you name it ... and on the end nothing beats F/F3 and nikkors in personal joy of using it.
Originally Posted by philosomatographer
Last edited by darkosaric; 12-06-2011 at 07:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Why would the Exakta be slower to use ? Is use both systems Exakta Varex IIa and Nikon F and in my opinion they are equally fast. But then again I also somewhat prefer the ergonomics of the Exakta, which many people consider a disaster. Love the Nikon F and it's my main 35mm camera but the Exakta was already a full system including metering prism and up to 12sec exposure time, before the Nikon came to the market.
Look people, I am not trying to start yet another brand war here. Everybody has their favourite cameras. I'm not going to try and construct an argument over why I think the F is faster or better than an Exakta, etc. I, as a long-time Olympus user, am just giving the Nikon F some love, and backing it up with some images. Nothing more! Now all we need is georg16nik to jump in here and turn this into a proper flame war over Leica lenses, etc.
What I'm seeing, is that the Nikkor-H.C 50mm f/2.0 is as good a 50mm lens as I could ever need (my daily 50mm is the proven highest-performance 50 of them all - the Voigtländer Heliar 50mm f/3.5) and that the F is a magnificently accurate and precise tool to lay that image quality down on film. There are many other good cameras too, of course. I was just surprised at how nice the F is - I never even gave it a second thought.
I am excited at the prospect of various faster-than-f/2.0 lenses in non-50mm focal lengths. Olympus OM has a bigger f/2.0 range than what anybody has ever had, but they never went faster. If you love Ilford Pan F film like I do, lens speed matters a lot. Precise focusing and film flatness even more!
Interestingly, I played with the Cosina-made Zeiss ZF lenses at a shop the other day, and they are so mechanically inferiour to the 1950s Nikkors it's scary. They feel like 1970s third-party lenses. Not at all like the ZM (rangefinder) lenses, and definitely nowhere near either of the two beat-up nikkors that I have. The Zeiss 85/1.4 was particularly disappointing with it's stiff focus (I tried two new ones.) The ZF 35/1.4 felt of higher quality, but what a giant lens for what it is! The Makro Planar 100/2.0 again is no patch to the Nikkor 105/2.5 in construction quality.
The Nikon F is a great camera no doubt, as I've stated it's my main 35mm camera, I am astonished that the modern Zeiss lenses are not Nikon 1960's equal, but then very few lenses are.