The Nikon S2

Posted on by Bellamy

Look at this…Isn’t it pretty? Now why wouldn’t you want this? Yesterday was a very fortunate day for me, as I was given this camera….YEAH!!!!

Though to be fair, I wasn’t given it to keep. You see, one of the things that I love to do is clean cameras. I find it very therapeutic and it gives me the opportunity to learn something new about a camera.

This camera was given to me by a friend who said her father no longer uses it and could I take care of it, perhaps run a few rolls through it to see how it goes. I mean, how much thinking does that really require? “Er, yes, OK.”

So I cleaned it, polished it, gave it a bit of TLC and put it in the tent to see how it comes out, and here are the results, and I hope you agree, they are wonderful.

This is the Nikon S2 Rangefinder camera. It was released in 1955 and came as a replacement for the original S rangefinder. This was the most heavily produced of all of the nikon rangefinders with over 56,000 being made. Whilst this was a very well thought out camera for the time, it was woefully lagging behind the great Leica M3. One of the big things about this camera was the 1.1 life size viewfinder, a vast improvement on the old S camera. It also has a 1/1000 shutter speed, which is double of the original S.

This is an early model which can be seen by the silver dials, the later models having black dials. Considering that this is basically a 50 year old camera, it is stunning condition. I don’t think I will be looking that good at 50!
Whilst this is a very pretty camera it is still a very capable camera, using 35mm film I can go out shooting with it without any problems. The only consideration for a camera like this is that you do need a light meter, as there is nothing quite as fancy as that built into this camera.

The lens on this camera is a very old fashioned W Nikkor C 3.5cm f/3.5 which was originally designed for the Zeiss contax bodies. This is one of the earliest versions, as evidenced by the silver ring on the aperture setting. There is some speculation that the earliest versions were actually re-branded Zeiss lenses.

I couldn’t really comment on the optical qualities of this lens, as I have not actually used it….yet. But as sure as eggs are eggs I shall, and when I do I shall put up some shots.

I think one of the things I love about this camera, and other like it is that despite it being an antique, it is a useable antique. There is something beautiful about the strength of construction in a camera like this, they really like don’t build them like this anymore.

This really is why I love what I do, I get to see and use wonderful classic items like these. There is plenty of life in these old horses and it really sets you apart to have something like this around your neck.
Come and see my flickr page or contact me if you have any questions or want to know more about these and the other cameras that I have.

Cheers

Japancamerahunter

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