Nikon Photographica — 1951-1980

by Jeffrey M. Dean

My home was burglarized in June 2012, when we were away, and six vintage Nikon cameras were taken, among other things. The cost of the replacement of cameras stolen in the burglary, when noted below, was partially covered by my homeowner's insurance policy. However, in the future they will be listed separately as personal property and not just covered under "content" in the regular homeowner's policy. I recommend that all owners of vintage equipment take the same approach.


The Nikons SP (1957-1965) in the photo below was stolen from my home in June 2012, but was recovered. Click on the photo to read about Nikon rangefinder cameras.

To view the original 1957 Nikon SP owner's manual, click here.

Here is the ebay ad of the alleged felon trying to sell my stolen Nikon SP. I was able to track him down. Using the information I gave him, a local sheriff's detective finished the recovery.

The vintage Nikon S3 (1958-1960) in the photo below, left, was stolen from my home in June 2012. I acquired a replacement vintage Nikon S3, from Camera West, photo below, right.

To view the original 1958 Nikon S3 owner's manual, click here.

 

The Nikon S3 2000 in the photo below, left, was stolen from my home in June 2012. I acquired from Camera West the Nikon S3 2000 in the photo below, right, to replace the stolen Nikon S3 2000.

 

The Nikons S (1951-1954) and black-dial S2 (1954-1958) in the photo below were stolen from my home in June 2012. The Nikon S, below left, was recovered in September 2012 by the sheriff's detective from the ebay purchaser in Germany, who bought it from the same man that sold the stolen Nikon SP above on ebay.

I acquired the Nikon S2 black dial in the photo below to replace the S2 stolen from my home.

To view the original 1954 Nikon S2 owner's manual, click here.

The Nikon FTN (1959-1974) in the photo below, left, was stolen from my home in June 2012. I acquired the Nikon FTN in the photo below, right, to replace the FTN stolen from my home. Click on the photo to read about the debut of the Nikon F.

The camera below is my Nikon F2 (1971-1980) Photomic. This was the last all-mechanical Nikon SLR. Some feel it was the most beautiful Nikon ever made. Personally, I would choose the S2 or S3 above, or perhaps the F3 HP. It was not stolen. Click on the photo to read about its debut.

Introduced in 1980, the Nikon F3 "was Nikon's first truly modern camera, with an electronic shutter, a built-in LCD meter, and automatic exposure control" (Brian Long). Below is my Nikon F3 HP (high eyepoint), which was introduced in 1982. In my film days, the beautiful Nikon F3 HP was my favorite and most reliable camera. Click on the photo to read about the debut of the Nikon F3