Advent of Nikon F (Great Documentary)

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Thanks for posting! It's interesting to see the people who were involved in the original F design. But they almost make it sound as if they came up with the groundbreaking idea for an SLR camera and pentaprism viewfinder all by themselves instead of having copied it from Zeiss which was 10 years ahead of them.
 
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I am not a camera historian and although I am very well aware of the quality of Zeiss I would say it was the rangefinder SP which tried to closely imitate Contax although it had some features Contax was lacking at the time. I found interesting that these cameras also accepted Ernst Leitz lenses.
Nippon Kogaku from the beginning, around 1917, was an optical company. After the war they began the manufacture of cameras and their rangefinder cameras sold very well locally to the military forming the occupation army. The Nikon SP of 1959 was a great design imitating features found in Zeiss Contax and some of those features were built into the Nikon F, their first SLR camera.
From the beginning they wanted to build a camera with the functionality of a professional camera manufactured to the highest standards. It is my understanding it was the first camera with titanium shutter blades; it was not perfect but brilliant for those times. The use of interchangeable finders and lenses added to the functionality.
In my humble opinion, the Nikon F was a groundbreaking design and became a success immediately. Professionals fell in love with the camera.
Over the years the Nikon F went through a series of changes, mostly inside the body.
Eventually an exposure meter was added and although not 100% sure, I think it was called Photomic F and it was introduced in the Spring of 1962.
I hope you are aware that Zeiss could not compete or follow them with their designs. The Nikon F became the camera used by most professionals all over the world and it had the privilege of being the first 35mm camera used by NASA for their space travelings, along with the Hasselblad.
I said I am no camera historian and I am well aware of the quality of Zeiss rangefinder cameras and excellent optics. I am also well aware of the quality of Leica cameras, which was at the time the camera against others would be measured. The Nikon SP passed the test with flying colors. I will go beyond that and say that because of the SP Leica sales dropped significantly and as many of you know, after David Douglas Duncan returned to the USA, after documenting with Nikkor lenses the war in Korea, Life magazine shortly after that adopted Nikon as their official camera.
Let me repeat it again, Nikon groundbreaking idea was to build a high quality SLR professional camera and they succeeded. They were behind Zeiss that built the first SLR in 1936 in Dresden (Ihagee company) but it was Pentax in 1954 with its Asahiflex that took the honor of being the first SLR camera with an instant return mirror.
The Japanese cameras of those times were imitations of German cameras and Germany cooperated with Japan in the manufacture and development of cameras and lenses.
Enough for history, I am not that good at that.

William Rodriguez
Miami, Florida.
 
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Very interesting. I want to know more about this.

Got any recommendation for good documentaries on Pentax or Zeiss origins?
 
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Very interesting. I want to know more about this.

Got any recommendation for good documentaries on Pentax or Zeiss origins?

Pentax or Zeiss origins I imagine can be found by doing a Google search.
As for Nikon, I'd suggest for a start that you go to The Nikon Historic Society site (www. nikonhs.org), Rangefinder Forum (www.rangefinderforum.com), Steven Gandy's Camera Quest site (www.cameraquest.com) or the Nikon Links site (www.nikonlinks.com) where you'll find a ton of historical information on the Nikon rangefinder and SLR film cameras from the Nikon 1 through to the F6.
I hope this information is helpful.
 
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Thanks for the links. I lurk Rangefinderforum.

For sure, I'm already reading some articles on Zeiss, but a well-made documentary can have some interesting viewpoints.
 

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