No other 35mm single reflex camera enjoys the reputation of the Nikon F. When the Nikon F was first introduced in 1959 the only competition for pro 35 mm cameras was the Leica rangefinder. Built like a brick, the Nikon F, designed for professionals, rapidly captured the global market. The Nikon system included interchangable viewfinders, viewing screens and a great selection of outstanding high quality lenses. Add to this a host of accessories able to tackle the most demanding photographic assingment and you will soon understand why the Nikon system led the market.
The Nikon bayonet "F mount" permits reliable and quick lens changes. Modified for adaptation of electronic lenses, the F mount is still in use today. Compatibility of lenses and camera bodies have ensured the longtime success that Nikon deserves.
All Nikon F bodies are basically the same with the variations being identified by the viewfinder:
F eyelevel prism viewfinder 1959-1962
F Photomic built-in meter 1962-1965
F Phototomic T (1st thru the lens metering) ‘65-‘67
F Photomic FT-center weighted metering '67-'68
F Phototomic FTn-quick lens coupling 1968-1973
Other finders included action and waist level.
The last model of the original Nikon F was nicknamed the "Apollo" after its use by NASA in space missions. Nikon F cameras are still extremely usable. There are no electronics in the body, shutter or focusing mechanism. Batteries were only required for the exposure metering or accessory battery motor drive.
1968 - 1973 Nipon Kogaku K.K., Japan
Nikkor-S.C Auto, 50mm, f/1.4
Focal plane (cloth) shutter, T, B, 1.0 - 1/1000 second
Nikons were sold as a body and lens combination