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  1. #71
    dhosten's Avatar
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    This has been a great thread and I have really enjoyed reading all of the opinions. I'm a former OM user, and after I lost my equipment due to an unfortunate incident in London UK in the early 90s, I was forced to start over. Over the next 20 years I owned a Maxxumm 9000, a Nikon 801S, an M3 DS, a Nikon F2A, a Nikon F3HP, and a couple others, but kind of ditched them and went to digital when I found the digital camera that best suited my needs. Still, film kept calling to me, so this year I decided to get back into 35mm film in a serious way and ended up with an N90S and a trio of MF lenses recommended by Mr. Rockwell.
    What I have found is that the Nikon stuff does appear a bit sharper at the very edges, but also warmer. I think, in the case of the F, F2 and F3 with drive, the the mirror return is dampened by the extra mass and gives sharper results. Although I must say that I found the mirror dampening on the OM to be second only to the Minolta XE5/Rolleiflex SLRs...
    Anyway, I'm enjoying a Nikon now, but none of the pictures I have taken with my Nikons surpass my best taken with my OM' gear.
    fwiw I used to work at the old Camera Exchange store in Ottawa in the 90s and had access to almost every film camera available and was encouraged by my boss to take them for testing.. and took full advantage of that rare benefit.

  2. #72
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    After using Leica rangefinders for many years and a Practica and a Miranda briefly, I finally added a Nikon F in 1967. I still use both systems. Each has advantages. Nikon offered an incomparable range of accessories. Sometimes accommodating these accessories made the camera awkward for basic use. Consider the removable back and bottom plate. It was sometimes inconvenient, but did permit the use of a 250 exposure back and Polaroid film. The early Photomic prisms made the camera top-heavy. However, several other finders were available. So were user-replacable focusing screens. The Nikon and Nikkormat were not just fine cameras, they were small parts of an extensive system of bodies, lenses, and accessories. My Leica M4 is a better camera than any Nikon SLR for those tasks it is designed to do. The Nikon is great for everything else.

    An aside: about 30 years ago I did a quick, but critical, test on 30 lenses in 35mm format. Three of the four best were by Nikon: GN-Nikkor f/2.8 45mm, EL-Nikkor f/2.8 50mm, and Micro-Nikkor f/3.5 55mm. These surpassed all 50mm Nikkor and Leitz lenses by a modest amount. This spoke well for the diversity of the Nikon line. Nikon bodies and lenses are fine for most shooting, but that's just the tip of a huge iceberg.

  3. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by philosomatographer View Post
    Thank you for all the complimentary replies


    To kitanikon, I did exactly the same thing: I fitted the B focusing screen which has none of the focusing-aids graffiti of the others, just a pure, clear focusing experience. Mine is dirty (some strange subtle liquid stains, need to clean it in an ultrasonic cleaner I think) but even so, it's a great user experience. The contrast on this screen is just insanely good.
    Your welcome.....one thing about using the B screen is that it prepares one for focusing/shooting with the much more difficult dSLR focusing screens....

  4. #74
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    I bought a Nikon F Photomic T when they came out in 1965. I was inn the USAF in Japan, and bought it with their standard 50mm f/1.4 for $189.00 in Yen equivalent. (There was 360 Yen to the dollar back then; now it's about 80-90). That might sound cheap but I think I was earning about $100 a month as an Airman 2 Class. They were going for around $469.00 or so in the States at that time. The airbase (Fuchu) had a great photo lab with many enlargers, developing tanks, driers, etc, as you can imagine since we were in Japan and photography was popular with a lot of people. I did some B/W with it but turned to color slides which I enjoyed more (Kodachrome then Ektachrome)> I'm not an expert so I cannot say anything about the quality. But the "expert" reviews at the time pointed to the Nikon so it was a natural for me to buy since I was over there. It was the top newest model in 1965. I also picked up a 135mm Nikkor. Unfortunately, I lost the camera and lenses a few years later on a NYC Subway. Reminder: Don't go out partying and drinking with your good camera equipment, but that's another story.

    Anyway, I replaced it with a Nikomat FT3 with an 50mm f/2.0. After all, prices were considerably higher back in the states by then, and I just didn't want to go for the bucks for an "F". I stopped using it when I got married and bought my wife an Nikon N6006. But a few month ago, I pulled out the Nikormat, put a new battery in it and ran a dry run comparing the metering to other meters and cameras I had. And the Nikomat was right on. I didn't take any pictures with it but did try the 50mm Nikkor lens on my Olympus E-PL1 m43 (shoots as a 100mm due to the 2x crop), and the lens is pretty sharp. Here are a couple of shots.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/5345148224/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alankle...57625797001770

  5. #75
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    Gotta pimp in here... I got my cherry Nikon F kit over on the auction site.
    search "Nikon F kit".

    For me... I like the F100 or the FE-2 (thinking of selling that). And IF I were to replace it I still have a soft spot for the F3 sans motor drive.

    Last word from me... HATS OFF TO THE OP for making WET PRINTS SCANNING AND POSTING!!! THAT IS SOME WORK!!
    Last edited by vpwphoto; 12-07-2011 at 08:25 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #76
    darinwc's Avatar
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    FWIW I had the opportunity to handle a Nikon F recently. It had the photomic finder. In that form it seemed bulky and somewhat archaic.
    However one thing I noticed is the finder seemed to have much more contrast and a clearer picture.

    Does the F uses a condenser lens instead of a fresnel?
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

  7. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by kitanikon View Post
    Your welcome.....one thing about using the B screen is that it prepares one for focusing/shooting with the much more difficult dSLR focusing screens....
    I don't quite agree - I used to use various Canon DSLRs (starting with an amateur 350D, eventually ending up with a 1Ds MkII) before switching to film fully, and I find the focusing experience between different screens (I had about 4 for my Canon, I have 8 for my Olympus OM, and 3 for the Nikon F) much more significant than any generalisations about DSLRs (other than most DSLRs have poorer viewfinders for manual focusing, of course).

  8. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by darinwc View Post
    FWIW I had the opportunity to handle a Nikon F recently. It had the photomic finder. In that form it seemed bulky and somewhat archaic.
    However one thing I noticed is the finder seemed to have much more contrast and a clearer picture.

    Does the F uses a condenser lens instead of a fresnel?
    Better, it uses both :-) The focusing screen is a thick little sandwich of condenser lens plus fresnel. I disassembled and cleaned all three that I have last week before shooting this roll: it was as much a focusing/viewfinder test as it was a general camera test.

    As I said earlier, Nikon did something really right with the viewfinder of this camera. Made me realise that brightness isn't all there is to a viewfinder - contrast and clarity is more important for manual focusing; unless you're shooting in the dark, by which time it's best to pull your Leica (or even brighter, Olympus OM-3/4 with 2-series screen) out.

  9. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by philosomatographer View Post
    I don't quite agree - I used to use various Canon DSLRs (starting with an amateur 350D, eventually ending up with a 1Ds MkII) before switching to film fully, and I find the focusing experience between different screens (I had about 4 for my Canon, I have 8 for my Olympus OM, and 3 for the Nikon F) much more significant than any generalisations about DSLRs (other than most DSLRs have poorer viewfinders for manual focusing, of course).
    THAT'S what I was thinking of....that focusing without any center-spot focusing aid develops a bit of visual acuity needed to compensate for the more "finely" etched dSLR screens where the image doesn't pop in and out as it does on the B screen....at least on the crop cameras I've used thus far...I haven't yet had the chance to use a 35mm format dSLR....

  10. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by darinwc View Post
    FWIW I had the opportunity to handle a Nikon F recently. It had the photomic finder. In that form it seemed bulky and somewhat archaic.
    However one thing I noticed is the finder seemed to have much more contrast and a clearer picture.
    ...
    The Photomic metered finders always did seem clunky to me. The body with straight prism is a lovely handling package. The simplicity reminds me of an M4. No distractions.



 

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