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New/Old Camera

Last week I received this camera in the post - The original Nikon F. Here are a few of my thoughts...

Nikon F

Having avoided this camera for a while because I wanted aperture priority I ended up getting one without any metering at all (basic prism) and I absolutely love it! I can't quite describe why I love this camera so much. It's depressingly pretty (depressing because things aren't made like this any more). The mechanics are as wonderful as they are tank-like.

The removable prism is a joy, even when you don't have a waist level finder to put on it. I know all Nikon F cameras (1-5) have this, but this is my first so I've just discovered how great it is.

Pairing this 1959 body with a 2016 lens is oddly brilliant. Another nice aspect of this is that both are made in Japan and have similar levels of build quality.

It struck me on first use how many elements of this camera design are more like an old Leica than a typical Nikon SLR.

  • The three dials rotating when winding

  • The shutter button being at the back

  • The base of the camera coming off to load the film

Using this camera makes me wish that Nikon still made mechanical film cameras. I would love to have a new camera with many features of this one. I really like the back sliding down rather than swinging open for example. It makes the camera so much more rigid.

I encourage anyone thinking about getting one of these to not worry if the camera has seen a bit of use. As long as they still work they're great and a little wear will make you not so precious about using it as you should.

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