The camera that set the trend for SLR cameras: If you are even slightly serious about film cameras then you should have one of these…
This is the camera that started it all, the first professional SLR on the market which came out in 1959. Although there had been other SLR cameras, none had the combination of ease of use, speed and perfect balance. There really was nothing that came close to it at the time and it very quickly became the choice of professionals worldwide. Up until this point the Germans had completely dominated the world photo market. Now it was the turn of the Japan.
The influence of this camera cannot be underestimated, it changed the way we use and buy cameras. To hold one is to hold a pivotal part of photographic history in your hands. And not only that, it looks absolutely stunning.
Just look at how pretty that is…..oooooohhhhh
The list of what this did to change the way photographers use their cameras is numerous, but most notably it was the first SLR with a full 100% viewfinder, the fastest motor drive, the largest range of lenses, the first full professional system….I could go on for a long time. This camera completely destroyed the competition, leaving only devastation in its wake. Not only that, this camera had the build quality that was usually associated with German cameras, as the Japanese had a reputation for cheap cameras.
Not only was this camera beautiful and very very capable, it was also built like a tank and would happily stand up to the worst punishment. It was no wonder that this camera was the choice for war photographers, as it would outshoot most weapons of the age.
I don’t feel that I can truly give justice to such a wonderful piece of photographic history, but I can try to convey how I feel through this post and these pictures.
Please feel free to leave comments and contact me about this camera or anything really, it is always nice to hear from you.
Oh yes, especially nice in black too (I feel like in classic chrome it’s almost too edgy).
The F seems to be pretty popular amongst film users in Japan too if the pictures on tokyo camera style are anything to go by.
It is definitely a historically significant camera, the first SLR that could really steal the thunder from Exakta in professional work. The Praktina though revolutionary was largely ignored when it was new – and dated by the time the F arrived. Not that the contemporary Asahi and Miranda cameras weren’t nice either, they just weren’t above and beyond the Exakta system in terms of adaptability – but the F was.
In your travels around the camera shops, if you find a nice chrome or black Nikon F with eyelevel finder and a serial number starting with 699xxxx, let me know!!!
Back in 1970 I was 17 and started working with cameras and photography. I had an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic – changed it to Nikkormat FTn and I was wondering when I could buy Nikon F. But I didn´t want to buy it with Photomic-viewfinder – but justa a plain Nikon F.
It was 49 years ago. The next cameras were not Nikons (don`t know why). They were Rolleiflex and LeicaM4.
A good combination at that time for me.
2019 I have a Rolleifelx from the 60`s and Nikon F without Photomic that looks like a hammer and I still use it…