Nikon F

  • Year : 1959
  • Dimensions : 14.8 x 10.3 x 8.5 cm
  • Weight : 870 g
  • Shutter speed : 1 s to 1/1 000 s + B
  • Iso : 6 to 6 400 ISO
  • Lens : Nikor 50 mm f/1.4 to f/16
  • Focal Range : 0,6 m to ∞

The Nikon F is an iconic Camera. It’s the first Nikon reflex, and was extremely successful. It was made from 1959 to 1973 before being updated to the F2 and then the F3. This camera was used by many great photographers and known to be the camera of the Vietnam war. It is also the camera that was featured in the 1966 film by Antonioni : Blow Up. 

The Nikon F has a big, heavy metal body. It’s entirely mechanical and manual (no battery needed) and is the first camera to feature the F lens mount. The F mount become the standard for Nikon’s reflex cameras and is still used nowadays. Therefore lenses from a Nikon F can still be used on a modern digital reflex camera. 

The Nikon F features everything needed from a manual film camera : a film advance lever, a shutter speed dial, a view counter, a flash hot-shoe,  a timer, a depth of field preview and a shutter and mirror locker. But what makes this camera special is it’s removable viewfinder. When removed the camera can be used like a waist level camera. The image appears on top of the body but the left and right are inverted. Several viewfinders can be added. The one I have is the original F bulky looking eye level viewfinder, which give the Nikon F its iconic look. 

I was amazed by the perfection of the resulting images. They are extremely sharp and have a great contrast between highlight and shadows. 

I found this Nikon F online and picked it up in Lyon in 2019 for a bit more then 100 euros. Here are some shots taken with it in Lyon and Grenoble in 2019 on Agfa vista plus 200 :