Author Topic: Egonomics and the Nikon F  (Read 1308 times)

David H. Hartman

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Egonomics and the Nikon F
« on: February 01, 2021, 09:06:59 »
Did the reader ever shoot a Nikon F under pressure, PJ, PR, Sports, Wildlife? What did you do with the film back while changing film?

Dave who was just reliving the wonder of the Nikon F2 with its hinged back.
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Ethan

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2021, 09:26:12 »
I don't exactly understand your question and which F series are you referring to?

Will you be using any film back or motor drive with the versatile F2?

Usually the film back stays attached when changing film and you can remove at will but has a time penalty.

Does this answer your question?

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2021, 12:22:20 »
The motorised Nikon F implied you had to remove the motor pack when inserting a new roll of film. Usually I crouched down  so could put the pack on my legs as support -- admittedly not an elegant maneuvre.

The motorised F2 was a great leap forwards in terms of user friendliness.

MFloyd

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2021, 15:45:52 »
With 36 exposures, you spend more time in changing rolls, than shooting.  ::)  Human memory has a big advantage ie. to privilege good souvenirs.

My first Nikon was a F2 of which I had about 3 I think.
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MILLIREHM

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2021, 17:19:02 »
F2 was my second camera and I aquired the MD2 "slash-bang" motordrive with 4-5 fps ,what a sound. Indeed an improvement when changing rolls not having to remove the back with the motor and keep it somewhere.
There were 250 and 750 exposure units - but expensive rare to get not very usable for action from handling and reduced fps  i'd say
Wolfgang Rehm

David H. Hartman

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2021, 19:18:28 »
My third camera was a Nikon F, chrome with DE-1 non-metered prism. Later I added a black F2 with the Photomic metered prism (DP-1?). I didn't need an MD-2 Motor for my PR work but I bought one anyway. One great feature of the MD-2 was power film rewind and with an accessory film back could stop the rewind leaving the leader out. I tore the leader off the film cassette so I would not mistake a used roll for a fresh roll. Power rewind saved a few precious seconds when changing film.

I was thinking about the ergonomics of cameras and the Nikon F's very unhinged back.  :D

Dave
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pluton

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2021, 03:20:54 »
My recollection is that handheld, I'd typically hold the camera in my left hand, turn the release handle with the right hand, and using the right hand, stuff the back under my left arm, against the body. Film could now be changed with both hands, and the back would be reattached and secured by the right hand.
On a tripod---these were the pre-Arca Swiss days--- the F had to fully removed from the tripod head to get the back off.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

David H. Hartman

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2021, 04:02:15 »
On a tripod---these were the pre-Arca Swiss days--- the F had to fully removed from the tripod head to get the back off.

I forgot this extra nuance nuisance. The Nikon F was a great camera but the Nikon F2 was the pinnacle of mechanical SLR camera design in my opinion.

Dave

I know Leica made some SLR(s) out of billets of steel but my vote goes for the Nikon F2.
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mxbianco

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2021, 08:41:29 »
Another problem with the Nikon F was the wasted frame every time you had to raise the mirror in order to swap the lens for a 2.1cm lens or one of those early fisheyes which also intruded the mirror box. Problem addressed and beautifully solved by Questar and Forscher with a neat little extra button near the mirror raise button. There were also other moddings by independent repairsmen which were only cosmetically different. The nicest one was the Questar modification, it was a very inconspicuous tiny button.

The motorised Nikon F made a rattling sound similar to a machine gun when used in continuous advance mode. You had three modes possible: locked, single frame, continuous.

Speaking of low ergonomics: the first motorised Nikon F-36 grips had a battery pack which you had to store in a pocket, connected to the motor by a cable! It improved greatly when they developed the cordless battery pack: you had everything attached to the camera, no cables getting disconnected at the wrong moment, easier to change the batteries, ...

For a more complete listing of the moddings, visit the "Nikon F Bible" Richard de Stoutz site: http://destoutz.ch/typ_mirror_pre-release.html

Including photos:
Nikon F (early NKK) with Forscher modification
Nikon F (NKK) with independent repairsman modification
Nikon F (Apollo) with F36 motor and Cordless Battery Pack

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Matthew Currie

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2021, 18:30:12 »
I have read of photojournalists who figured out how to change the film in an F with one hand.  Unfortunately, the story came without a diagram and in the 30 or so years I shot F's I never figured it out.  I figured I was doing pretty well if I didn't drop the back on the ground too often.

fish_shooter

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2021, 22:57:07 »
The trick is the wedge the back between the pinky and ring finger of the hand used to hold the body. Left hand in my case as I am right handed. The right hand is used to deal with the rolls of film.

Dogman

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2021, 17:43:25 »
I used a pair of Nikon F's at the beginning of my jobs in newspapers.  I can't remember much about it but I don't recall there being any significant problems changing film on assignments.  Since there was only 36 exposures per roll, I think we probably watched the frame count and changed film when there was a chance to do so rather than wait until the end of the roll.  I also used a Leica for a time during these years and you had to treat it the same--it had a removable bottom for film changes.

The F2 was a Godsend.  It fixed every annoyance of the Nikon F for me.  I quit using my two F bodies when I switched to F2's.  Sadly the F bodies were stolen in a burglary a few years later.
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Daniel Bliss

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2021, 23:46:09 »
Just a point of information, is this subject "ergonomics", as in the general awkwardness of opening the back of a Nikon F, or indeed "egonomics", as in the damage to your ego from loud swearing in public when trying to change film on the fly in a Nikon F goes horribly wrong because of the badly designed back?

David H. Hartman

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2021, 00:25:25 »
Just a point of information, is this subject "ergonomics", as in the general awkwardness of opening the back of a Nikon F, or indeed "egonomics", as in the damage to your ego from loud swearing in public when trying to change film on the fly in a Nikon F goes horribly wrong because of the badly designed back?

Your choice.
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Matthew Currie

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Re: Egonomics and the Nikon F
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2021, 03:30:18 »
When I first started using a Nikon F in 1970, I thought it was wonderful, because my previous machine was a Leica IIIb.  Compared to that the F was an ergonomic marvel!