Author Topic: Nikonos II  (Read 694 times)

Chip Chipowski

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Nikonos II
« on: April 11, 2021, 01:06:41 »
Just picked up a Nikonos II - very clever design!  I've never owned a Nikonos before.  First thought: I want another!  I am thinking Nikonos V is a better candidate for use in the field.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2021, 08:39:51 »
I have had - and used - all models of the Nikonos. You are right in assuming the Nikonos V to be the pinnacle in this line. Give it the minimum of maintenance it requires, such as lubricate or change the O-rings when required, and the camera is almost indestructible. I prefer the orange-red version as it is less easy to misplace in the field :)

If you go underwater with an analogue camera, no better companion than a 15mm f/2.8 on a Nikonos can be found.

paul hofseth

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2021, 10:12:26 »
the early nikonos are reputed to be liable to body cracks if not opened correctly. My experience with the version V is very positive: the ideal camera to operate in driving rain or heavy snow with gloves on and no worries about the device conking out. 

 Do observe that the lenses made for underwater use are unusable in air (except for the 35mm) - which if you perform some surgery  to remove the watertight fittings so as to use it on a "V-nex" is amazingly small-


p.

Jacques Pochoy

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2021, 13:15:21 »
I used a Nikonos V for a long time, mostly as an all-weather camera while riding my motorbike. I had a 28mm terrestrial lens on it. Had to sell it, but still regret it  :-X
It's a great learning tool to estimates distances, as the viewfinder is pure Galilléan !
“A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second. ” ― Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

Kenneth Rich

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2021, 17:55:56 »
I have an early Nikonos, purchased in West Germany in the late 1970s and labeled "Calypso", probably A Nikonos 1 or 11 in North America. It came with a 28mm lens intended for underwater use only, but it faithfully recorded pre-dive, dive and pos-dive activities in Europe and North America in the form of colour transparencies.   

Jacques Pochoy

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2021, 18:20:21 »
Fun fact: A Nikonos V is featured in "Stargate" (the movie), with the Marines group when on the new planet. It's the Khaki version and not the Orange one. Tough it's manipulated as if it had AF... :-)

I don't know much about the US Army and the Marine Corps, but did hear that, at one time, they pushed for the Leica M4 to be continued, as they seem to use it to record things ( small, efficient, no batteries). Maybe they do use the Nikonos V in though environments ?
“A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second. ” ― Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2021, 19:58:00 »
Nikonos III was the last purely mechanical model and would operate without batteries. The IV and V use a battery for their shutter, plus offer a "fall-back" speed of 1/90 sec (if memory serves) when the battery is dead.

A factoid for the V is that the shutter will happily operate at longer durations than the assumed end point of 1/30 sec, if the camera is in "A" mode. I availed myself of that hidden feature a lot when I did tripod-based underwater captures with my V.

Using the Nikonos V was faciltated by the special L-bracket I made for it. This allowed me to use a cable release.

(note to self: as usual, my picture framing is off true by approx. 1.5 degree ... seems that 'mishap' has haunted me for a long time)

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2021, 20:12:07 »
One of my tripod-based Nikonos V shots. The Canadian Pondweed Elodea canadensis under winter ice in a Norwegian lake. The photo was taken in January and getting the shot was an exercise in "cold" endurance. Well, I was younger then.

The lens used is the gen.2 of the UW-Nikkor 15mm f/2.8.

John Geerts

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2021, 21:00:19 »
Fascinating shot, Birna. And thanks for the interesting story.

golunvolo

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2021, 21:50:49 »
Fascinating indeed.

  Thanks for sharing it!

ColinM

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2021, 22:15:54 »
Thank you Chip for starting this thread, and to the rest of your for adding in your experiences.

I never owned one, but was once a qualified diver and did some underwater photography.
Hearing you talk about this makes me want to be down there again (but with some proper kit)

Quote
I availed myself of that ...when I did tripod-based underwater captures with my V.

Just when I think I've heard most of the ingenious solutions, Birna casually tells about another gem.
Outstanding!

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2021, 22:19:25 »
I spent a late autumn many years ago working with aquatic vegetation of heavily acidified lakes of Southern Norway. Some of these had extremely clear water due to the low pH, sometimes dropping even below pH 4 to reach the acidity level of raw citric acid (or Coke). Submerged bog mosses in particular Sphagnum cuspidatum and indunatum, were seen frequently. Some times a few specimens of Bladderwort Utricularia or Least Water-Lily Nuphar pumila made a change to the moss beds.

In order to take the capture below, showing fallen autumn foliage of Downy Birch Betula pubescens floating on th surface of one of these acid sites, the camera exposed the film for about 2 minutes on its 'A' setting. The water surface was dead calm and I had to behave like a drowned statue during the exposure lest the shot would be ruined. Not easy at subzero temperatures end of September in a subalpine area :(

I think the UW-Nikkor 15mm f/2.8N showed off its qualities in this photo.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2021, 22:23:33 »
The only "not safe for submersion" item  in the Nikonos lens arsenal is the 28mm f/2.8 LW-Nikkor. Still, it tolerates fairly wet conditions, as witnessed below.

Chip Chipowski

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2021, 03:34:05 »
Birna these are inspiring images!  As I have been immersing myself in Nikonos I found these to be nice overviews of the history:

https://imaging.nikon.com/history/chronicle/history-nikonos/

https://casualphotophile.com/2018/04/17/nikon-nikonos-retrospective-review-film-camera-blog/

Akira

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Re: Nikonos II
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2021, 03:50:17 »
Amazing underwater (below ice?!) images.  The quality of the scanned data from the 135 frames is also admirable...
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira