Author Topic: The Nikon F!!!  (Read 1689 times)

richardHaw

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The Nikon F!!!
« on: May 05, 2020, 12:00:02 »
https://richardhaw.com/2020/05/05/repair-nikon-f-part-1/

finally :o :o :o

after this it's the F2 and I'm done! ::)

mxbianco

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2020, 07:53:49 »
https://richardhaw.com/2020/05/05/repair-nikon-f-part-1/

finally :o :o :o

after this it's the F2 and I'm done! ::)

Liked your article, I have 59 Nikon F bodies, either working models or self-repaired. I haven't tested shutter accuracy  [short times], I don't use them to expose film anyway...
I test shutter times from 1/8" to 1" by comparing to a digital camera in M mode, it's easy to see if timings are on the short or long side.

I have invented an evaluation system of the period correctness of Nikon F variations, it's called the Frankenstein Level

Basically when I inspect a "new" old Nikon F, I look for period correctness of the various components, and add a +1 for every non-period correct piece.
Starting from zero, the Frankenstein Level can reach beyond +20, which would mean a camera assembled with random pieces not corresponding at all to the number plate period.
Ideally a completely period correct camera will have a Frankenstein level of 0 (or +1 for borderline models)

I use the parts classification from Richard de Stoutz' site [typology: https://www.destoutz.ch/nikon_f_typology.html ], a real gold mine for Nikon F enthusiasts!

Attached: one Nikon F with EP logo (see rewind mechanism), and very dry leatherette, before doing anything. Approximate period jul 1960-jan 1961. Mirror box is period correct, not allowing mounting of the T/FT/FTn prism, only the F type prisms (button switch or flag switch) are allowed.

Ciao from Massimo
Since evolution has given us TWO ears and ONE mouth, we are supposed (me included) to be doing more listening than talking.

Erik Lund

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2020, 09:51:13 »
Thank you! Very valuable both of you  ;D Good luck on the F2  ;) will be waiting patiently  8)
Erik Lund

mxbianco

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2020, 10:40:53 »
Thank you! Very valuable both of you  ;D Good luck on the F2  ;) will be waiting patiently  8)

Since you like it, I'll add a few notes.

What I described above is Frankenstein Level v.1, a simplified version of version 2.

Version 1 was giving an excessively compressed scale. When I developed version 2, the period incorrect items are given a +5 value, and period correct items a -1 value.

I start from 23 (instead of from 0, which was version 1)
I have 23 criteria, if they all pass I reach Frankenstein Level 0 ( = perfectly correct camera)
Even if I have only 2-3 incorrect pieces, the Frankenstein level rises rapidly (to 10 or 15 in those cases).
There are more criteria to account for, removable pieces don't count for Frankenstein evaluation (but if present and correct, they will award a -1)
The real TOP Frankenstein camera will have a +110 evaluation

Removable pieces are film back, prism, focussing screen, and lens. This is why you can reach +110 maximum!

BTW, the Nikon F sn 6402999 has a Frankenstein level of 2. Not zero, because it has no prism and no lens. The rest is perfect. Could reach a FS level of 0 by adding correct pieces.

The Frankenstein evaluation is done by using an automated formula on an Excel sheet. I insert my observations into the sheet, the number is green if it's correct by the de Stoutz typology, it's pink if it's correct by the mxbianco typology (which I call a deStoutz extension, extending Richard's own findings with my personal findings), and it's red if it's incorrect.
Green and Pink columns give a -1 contribution each, red columns give a +5 contribution. The formula simply counts the cells by colour, and also evaluates the Best F'stein attainable
[sometimes there's no time to take a camera apart -some features require a partial dismantling-]

On a side note, when disassembling a Nikon F, it's nice to take note of the TWO body casting numbers, one engraved on the front apron upper R corner with a sharp object, and the other printed with yellowish ink in the back, normally on the side where the rewind lever is placed. But you have to remove part of the casing to read them. Normally the body casting #s correspond, but in some instances de Stoutz has found them to differ, probably a sign of a camera that has been repaired, with parts from two different cameras. In the disassembly by Richard Haw, you can see the rear body casting # (one before the lastpicture, only first 3 digits visible: 927x, last digit is maybe a 3)

Ciao from Massimo
Since evolution has given us TWO ears and ONE mouth, we are supposed (me included) to be doing more listening than talking.

Erik Lund

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2020, 11:58:03 »
Thank you for the further details ;)
Interesting grading  ;D Mint Frankenstein F2 Titan Grade 0 Please  8)
Erik Lund

richardHaw

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2020, 13:44:53 »
i have seen many franken F's :o :o :o

some are results of previous repairs ::)

Mike G

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2020, 15:04:44 »
Many years ago in another life, whilst in Singapore I tried to but a Nikon F + 55mm f2, I needed the dealer to down 25 S$, he wouldn’t do it, so I ended up buying a Pentax SV and 55mm Takamur, the camera and lens later swapped for a vacuum cleaner, the lens had rusty IRIS  blades!
The wife was pleased, I wasn’t!
Sorry the anecdote sprang to mind
Nikon Z7, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

richardHaw

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2020, 15:34:50 »
Many years ago in another life, whilst in Singapore I tried to but a Nikon F + 55mm f2, I needed the dealer to down 25 S$, he wouldn’t do it, so I ended up buying a Pentax SV and 55mm Takamur, the camera and lens later swapped for a vacuum cleaner, the lens had rusty IRIS  blades!
The wife was pleased, I wasn’t!
Sorry the anecdote sprang to mind
:o :o :o

Birna Rørslett

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2020, 15:55:16 »
Pleasing your wives can have ramifications .... And dangerous.

The 55 must have been the 55 f/1.2  by the way. No such animal as an f/2 version of any 55mm in the Nikon line-up.

Mike G

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2020, 16:15:40 »
Birna, it was a loooooong time ago, it was as I thought, it was a 55, but it could have been a 50mm! And it might have also been an f1.8! Super Takamur. Of course that is a Pentax lens!
Nikon Z7, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

MFloyd

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2020, 18:21:00 »
I this is also the place for F2s (otherwise remove), my last F2 AS, bought new in 1978 with MD2 motor and 20mm f/3.5 UD.


_6104417-Modifier.jpg
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Mike G

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2020, 18:25:19 »
Pleasing your wives can have ramifications .... And dangerous.

The 55 must have been the 55 f/1.2  by the way. No such animal as an f/2 version of any 55mm in the Nikon line-up.
Forget Nikon lenses, instead think Pentax Takamur
Nikon Z7, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

mxbianco

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2020, 19:53:58 »
I this is also the place for F2s (otherwise remove), my last F2 AS, bought new in 1978 with MD2 motor and 20mm f/3.5 UD.


_6104417-Modifier.jpg
Was it already AI converted out of the box, or did you have it converted later?

Ciao from Massimo
Since evolution has given us TWO ears and ONE mouth, we are supposed (me included) to be doing more listening than talking.

MFloyd

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2020, 21:54:11 »
Was it already AI converted out of the box, or did you have it converted later?

Ciao from Massimo

Hello Massimo. I had it converted later, by Nikon.  ;) Take care. Christian.
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Matthew Currie

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Re: The Nikon F!!!
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2020, 23:17:36 »
I love the mighty F, and have four,  but I'm likely the opposite of mxbianco and Mr. Destoutz (though I find his website fun).  Mine are all users, and at least one is an utter Franken-F, courtesy of KEH's "as is" sale: a latish black body, which came without prism, screen, lens, or back.  It's really beat up, with chips where the back was inserted, and shows signs of having been sent back for repair at a date late enough to have gotten anachronistic reinforced lugs and an "Apollo" style winder.  It now has the chrome FTn prism, back and screen off another similarly late F that ingested a fatal dose of moisture.  If you were to go by sound alone you'd swear the thing was new.  It sounds better than any of my others. I'm guessing some photojournalist used this one and had it professionally refurbished.

One of my others is a black body plain prism 65xxxx one with a bad flash contact, but otherwise working though a bit shabby, which I got from a $5.00 bin at a now defunct store.  I put a lens on and took a roll. My kind of collection! I could probably fix the flash contact, as I know there's miles of room in there, but haven't bothered. 

I should mention that I opened up and partly disposed of parts from the fatally corroded F mentioned above, and holy ****!  What beautiful construction.  I mean, aside from details like the microscopic ball bearings and functional layout, every part of this, whether it needs it or not, appears to have been finished as if it were on the front of the camera.  I get the impression that once upon a time, at least, the Nikon folks were like some other engineers we rarely now see, who did things not because they had to but because they ought to.