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Archive 2012 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some inform...
  
 
lukeb
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


NightOwl Cat wrote:
I also have two F's here, one belonged to my dad, and he sent me all his gear, and one I got in a box of stuff from Craigslist, along with a bunch of the old movie cameras.

My Dad's gear



Haven't seen a Honeywell strobe for years. Loved those.



Nov 01, 2012 at 10:16 PM
DGC1
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


Airphoto wrote:
Just a heads up. IF the meter works you have an extremely rare and expensive camera.

This is a Nikon Photomic FTN and it is definitely NOT rare or expensive. It was state of the art in its day and there were probably tens of thousands made. Check eBay and you'll see they go for a few hundred dollars at best.



Nov 01, 2012 at 10:26 PM
keegan
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


Just tested the shutter with a 1 second test, it worked great. I guess all there is now is to get some film and test it out.


Nov 02, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Baywing
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


The meter finder does require an AI lens, though the original prism finder on the F does not. As the OP has the meter finder, AI or AIS lenses are recommended.


Nov 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM
carlitos
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


Don't know where Keegan is located, but I get color print film developed at the local CVS pharmacy for about $2 per roll. No prints, no scanning.


Nov 02, 2012 at 04:32 PM
NightOwl Cat
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


It still holds a charge and still flashes, too.

lukeb wrote:
Haven't seen a Honeywell strobe for years. Loved those.




Nov 02, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Wm. Manther
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


An older Nikon F will need to get the light seals checked. Most likely they are sticky from age and need replacing. Also, if the camera has not been used regularly, the shutter will stick, slowing the shutter speeds resulting in inaccurate exposures.

I have my Nikon F from the late 60's and have had to replace the light seals. APS in Morton Grove, IL does a good job. I'm sure there are other equally good Nikon repair centers that can assist you getting it back in working order.



Nov 02, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Ian Boys
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


Baywing wrote:
The meter finder does require an AI lens, though the original prism finder on the F does not. As the OP has the meter finder, AI or AIS lenses are recommended.


nonsense

the meter prism isn't ai-coupled but prong coupled. Please stop confusing the OP if you don't know what you're talking about.

There were no AI-coupled prisms for the F, only later on the F2.



Nov 03, 2012 at 10:03 AM
strembicki
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


I was given two old F's recently, one with a plain prism and one with the FTN meter finder. I had one back in my BFA days at the University of R.I. and I have since done a lot of shooting with it, mostly as I am still teaching the black and white photo elective here at Washington University. I'm shooting Ilford HP-5 and making 5x7 silver prints, totally old school. I am off to New Orleans this week and bringing my D800 and my Nikon F2 (which I also recently found for almost nothing, also with a plain prism finder). I've also shot some Ilford Delta 100, a very nice fine grained film.

Honestly, the FTN meter was only accurate to one stop even when it was new, it was never a super accurate metering system and I remember buying a Luna Pro in 1975 to improve my odds, so I'd tell you to not even deal with the meter. (BTW, I did some checking on the plane prism are fetching a seemingly high price on eBay).

For lenses, I have a 28 3.5; a 35 f2; a 35 pc; a 55 micro, a 85 f1,8, a 105 and a 135 all non AI lenses. If your looking for glass any of the non G Nikon lenses will work fine, even the older D auto focus works. But the best value for you is to look for a non AI lens, they are way less expensive than the AI or AIs glass that can be used with most of the DSLR's these days. KEH is a good guide to what they sell for retail then troll Craigs list for the deals.

Lastly, I recently downloaded a free lightmeter app for my iPhone, it seems to be as close as my old Luna Pro was and with HP-5, thats usually close enough.

Good luck to you, you'll get a lot of comments from people who see you lugging that hunk of iron around, people love the click it makes.



Nov 04, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Jay968
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


OK what the photo depicts is a Nikon FTN. The FTN was the last meter made for the Nikon F camera body and was sold up until 1972 when the F2 replaced it.You can tell what year it was manufactured by looking at the first 2 digits of the serial number (71 would indicate that it was manufactured in 1971). Nikon DID replace the entire top cover (and thus the serial number as well) though if needed so that number may not be totally reliable.

Unfortunately, it is NOT a very valuable Nikon as MANY were manufactured. IF there is a plastic cover around the film advance lever and it's not totally metal (making it look like the F2 film advance lever), it IS worth a little more as this was the absolute final Nikon F made and a bit rarer than the others. If it was all black and in really good condition, its value would be a different story.
If not plastic tip on the film advance lever, then it is worth anywhere between about $150 and $300 or so depending on dents, scratches and whether or not the meter works. If it's got the plastic tip and in REALLY good condition, it could be worth between $400 and $500 if really clean.
By the way, the Nikon F did NOT use a titanium shutter, it used a cloth one.
Ian Boys is correct...there was no such thing as an AI meter for the Nikon F. The FTN prism used a prong that extended down and coupled to a receptacle on the lens' aperture ring. Those receptacles were later removed from lenses years later. The AI meter was introduced on the later F2 meter bodies and on the lower priced FM, FE and FA bodies....also on a couple of the Nikkormats at the end of its lifespan.

BTW, if the meter does indeed work, always remember that when you put a lens onto the camera, you should put it on the body at its smallest aperture (highest number as marked on the lens) and then turn the F-Stop ring on the lens all the way to its maximum aperture. This will engage the prong that extends from the meter prism. This sets the meter, letting it know what the maximum aperture of the lens is. You can observe the little metal piece inside the small rectangular window on the front of the prism (just above that prong) and you will see that once set, it will slide to the approximate marking for that maximum aperture that you had just told it you are using. I got into the habit of always turning the F-Stop ring to the minimum aperture (highest number) when removing a lens so that it would always be ready to be put on again, and then I would just do a quick turn of the ring through its entire range to set the meter. This just less than a second to do each time.

Another tip...if you take the prism off, you will see that right above the shutter speed dial there is a window with some options, one of which is FX. This should be set to this FX (lift up on the outer ring surrounding the shutter speed dial and turn) when using electronic flash (as opposed to flash bulbs...the other settings are for various types of these).



Nov 05, 2012 at 12:40 AM
 

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Weasel_Loader
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


Great to see another F handed down. I'm looking forward to hearing your experience with your granddads Nikon F. Lots of people go nuts over Leica, but people must remember that those cameras were out of reach for most enthusiast back then. The Nikon F was ground breaking and totally changed the industry just as the Oscar Barnack Leica's did for 35mm film decades earlier.

Ironically, my father just found his first version F in their attic. It was still in the ever ready case I always remember it in. Has the T meter and too bad he lost the original prism finder. The lens is a non AI 50mm f/2 lens that he used for almost 75% of our family photos. He bought it slightly used at Henry's camera store in L.A. back in 1964. Used it for all of our family photos till the mid 80s.

Needless to say, I have the Nikon SLR bug now. It's been a busy weekend for me and I now own another F with eye-level prism finder and a 50mm f/1.4, F2AS, F3 with motor, flash and a crappy 43-86mm f/3.5. Also picked up a 50mm f/1.2 AI, 28mm f/2 AI. Should have everything by next weekend. I'm sure they'll need new seals, but I'll tackle that myself. Already got plenty of different types of film, Can't wait.



Dec 03, 2012 at 06:55 AM
ytwong
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


keegan wrote:
Thanks for the reply DocsPics. Do you have a suggestion on what film to get? I don't know what to look for, I started with digital cameras.


how about some slides? viewing B&W or color slides on a light table (maybe just an iPad with pure white picture, in full brightness ) gives great satisfaction.



Dec 03, 2012 at 07:39 AM
DaveOls
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


If you really want to check out the shutter speed accuracy, get some slide film which shows much more about the accuracy. Also, there is no machine or operator involved who may fudge with the exposures. Use a good meter too when you try this.
Make sure you try all of the shutter speeds also.



Dec 03, 2012 at 12:30 PM
henryp
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


I'm going to suggest a chromogenic b&w film -- makes b&w images but the film is developed like color neg film so anyplace still processing Kodacolor can develop it for you.

FWIW I used to own half a dozen of Nikon FTn cameras (and at first glance I think the meter-finder you have is the FTn, not the older Photomic T. CHanging film is a little tricky because the back comes off entirely -- no hinge. It's not hard to master but it takes a little getting used to. X-sync is a relatively slow 1/60th. There's a gadget you can attach over the rewind knob to provide a hot shoe but you have to remove it at the end of every roll of film.

If the meter works you want lenses with the little "rabbit ears" so the lens and meter connect. This tells the meter what the lens' max aperture is. Attaching and removing a lens with "rabbit ears" is easiest of you get into the habit of having the lens at f/16 when you do so.

Henry Posner
henryp@bhphoto.com
B&H Photo-Video



Dec 03, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Zebrabot
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


DaveOls wrote:
If you really want to check out the shutter speed accuracy, get some slide film which shows much more about the accuracy. Also, there is no machine or operator involved who may fudge with the exposures. Use a good meter too when you try this.
Make sure you try all of the shutter speeds also.


finding a shutter speed tester would be better, if the shutter speeds really matter.

most cameras have some play in the timing unless they have electronic shutters.

On a view camera, it's even safe to assume all the shutter speeds on every lense are just wrong. You make a lookup table for what's happening vs. what's marked on the shutter and work from there through trial and error.

For slide film, it matters, for other negative films, it doesn't seem to be a big deal, even if you're off by a couple stops.



Dec 03, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Betacamman
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


carlitos wrote:
Don't know where Keegan is located, but I get color print film developed at the local CVS pharmacy for about $2 per roll. No prints, no scanning.


My Costco will develop and scan on site for less than $5 a roll, if you happen to be a member.



Dec 03, 2012 at 11:28 PM
DaveOls
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


they just built a new Costco in Knoxville. Haven't been there yet. It's 60 miles away so I just can't pop in at any time.


Dec 04, 2012 at 12:17 PM
SoundHound
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


I too bought my first FTn from Harry's camera in L A. The SN is 68xxxxxx (for 1968). I still have 4 bodies. Startling to hold one with all the familiar sharp corners. I retain the muscle memory to remove the back to change the film.

I have about 10 old Nikkors. Worth keeping them just to hold and look at them they are so well made. A few retain their value.



Dec 06, 2012 at 03:25 PM
henryp
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


Jay968 wrote:
OK what the photo depicts is a Nikon FTN. The FTN was the last meter made for the Nikon F camera body and was sold up until 1972 when the F2 replaced it.You can tell what year it was manufactured by looking at the first 2 digits of the serial number (71 would indicate that it was manufactured in 1971).


Nikon USA has denied for years that the serial number on any of their cameras was related to the camera's date of manufacture.

FWIW the camera did undergo slight modifications during the last year or so most noticeably the tip of the film advance knob had a smooth plastic tip (instead of the toothed metal tip renown for mangling thumbs) and the PC socked was threaded. Earlier models lacked these features which I've seen called "NASA" or "Apollo" mods since rumor has it they followed modifications Nikon made to camera supplied to NASA.

Henry Posner
henryp@bhphoto.com
B&H Photo-Video



Dec 06, 2012 at 08:03 PM
papageno
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Got my grandfather's old Nikon F, looking for some information on it


If the shutter takes about 1 second to open and close, you're good to go.

Try 1/15. If it feels like a click...it shouldn't. You want to see and feel a very slight delay....



Dec 07, 2012 at 09:20 PM
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