To minimize download time, thumbnails for each model is provided in this core page.
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A Pictorial History...
The Rangefinder || The Nikonos || Compact Cameras
SLRs -
1959/1979 | 1980/1990 | 1991/1999 | y2k/2003 | 2004 ~

Nikon FG20, 1984

Nikon FG-20, 1984
Alternate Source Instruction Manual for Nikon FG20 in PDF (External Link @ CLICK HERE

Additional info on Nikon FG20
With link to download instruction manual

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Questions, issues & Answer(s)

Even today, the FG-20 can still be regarded as the most compact, if not lightest Nikon SLR that Nikon has ever produced. It weighs only 440g, 50g lighter than the multi-modes FG and it is even lighter than the 1979's EM by 20g ! The programmed auto of the FG in 1982 was removed from the spec sheet, where only aperture priority AE and manual exposure control were retained. The beeper feature first introduced in the EM was still available. Shutter speeds range from 1-1/1000 sec and it came with a lifesaving mechanical back up speed of 1/90 sec. in case the battery fails to function or depleted. Both the earlier MD-E for the EM or the MD-14 for the FG are usable with this Nikon. New accessory design specifically for this camera includes a very compact Nikon SB-18 & SB-19 speedlights.

Nikonos V, 1984

Another time-proven Nikon classic was actually an underwater camera. Introduced in 1984, the Nikonos V was one of the rare Nikon model that is still serving (as at 2005) all underwater photographers worldwide. This all-weather Nikonos was perhaps the most successful model among al the Nikonos family. It inherited many basic features of the IVa with other refinements made to its features. Quartz-timed, stepless shutter speed range from 1/30 to 1/1000 sec., a time-exposure B setting with back-up mechanical shutter speed (M90). TTL center-weighted metering, Aperture Priority AE and Manual exposure control. TTL auto flash exposure control with SB-102, SB-105 etc. was offered in an underwater camera for the first time. Great camera. More info..

Nikon L135AF, 1984

The Nikon L135AF was the second mass production Nikon compact model. It has a differed appearance from the earlier hot selling Nikon AFL35(QD). The flash, all black model was longer in length and the ASA is a witch type. The lens came with the camera was also a fixed type Nikon 35mm f/3.5. The flash has a manual switch and you can override for flash OFF. The polycarbonated body made one felt as if it was not as rigid as the earlier Nikon.

Nikon L35 AF2 1985

The Nikon L35AF-2 QD was an upgrade from the original Nikon AF L35. It has its distinctive texture on the grip as well as the front section which can be easily distinguished from the original L35AF. Personally it was not as elegant but the feature list of automatic function has increased to 11. The lense used was still a Nikon 35mm f/2.8, similar to the previous model. This camera was introduced in 1985. In some regions, this model was also called Nikon "One-Touch".

Nikon F301, 1985
  Nikon F301, 1985

Nikon F301/N2000, 1985

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Questions, issues & Answer(s)

This was the first Nikon that came without a conventional film advance lever to advance film. The launch of the F-301 or N2000 (in US) also signified versions for the US market and the rest of the world were detached in their respective model designations. Many observers believed the F301 was a product resulted from a hurried sales room decision as the market place during this period was rather quite confusing where all the Companies involved in the trade were sandwiched between directions on future direction on camera design - mainly due to the emergence of interest in autofocus. The built-in power winding introduced with this Nikon also has given a clue where all subsequent SLR models may not require a motor drive as accessory at all. Anyway, the built-in, body integrated film advance motor was capable of enabling automatic film advance rate at an impressive 2.5 fps - mid between performance of a Motor Drive and Power Winder. Another major feature included with the F301/N2000 was the use of DX film recognition - where it was the also a first in a Nikon SLR. However, the extensive use of polycarbonated for construction of Nikon cameras was also began from here, but despite with this unpopular decision, the F301 was surprisingly, still considered to be quite rigid. Shutter speeds range was electronically controlled from 1-1/2000 sec. Various exposure modes available were aperture priority AE, manual and a dual program modes (High Speed and Normal Program). It also embodied with many useful features. A very well laid-out top panel on the camera easily navigates user to access various camera control/functions. The camera uses either AA or AAA cells to power all its functions and it was sadly omitting the traditional old Nikon mechanical back-up speed feature. But it has laid a foundation for the first autofocus Nikon in the F501 in its basic core design.

A few useful internal/external web links for this Nikon SLR model:
Nikkor lens compatibility chart with F301/N2000
Nikon MF-21 Multi Function Data Back prepared by N8008 Headquarters
Technical Specification from Nikon Links
Nikon F301 OR N2000 Keyword Search at Ebay


External Link:- Instruction Manual for Nikon F301/N2000 is prepared by
Mr. Miquel A. Checa.
Password required but you can mail and ask or simply type "
free" and "manuals" on the two fields and see if it still works. Don't thank me, Thank him.

Alternate Source Instruction Manual for Nikon F301/2000 in PDF (External Link @ CLICK HERE

Nikon F501, 1986

Nikon F501/N2020, 1986

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Questions, issues & Answer(s)

 Nikon's first commercially viable body integrated Autofocus SLR model (Nikon F3AF, 1983 have a different configuration in its autofocus system but whatever it is, it was still an AF camera, so, I won't label the F501/N2020 as Nikon's first AF camera model here). The F501 heavily resembles the non-AF F301/N2000 but it was Nikon first attempt to bring an AF camera to the mass market. Other features include:- interchangeable focusing screens (3 types were available), single-point AF which can shoot in singular frame (S) as well as continuous (C) AF mode were provided. Generally, everything was things were real "slow" during this period for Nikon - AF speed as well as development of AF-Nikkor for the camera. The first batch of the early versions of AF Nikkor was not actually very well received by users - much due to Nikon inconclusive decision in deciding the final look and feel, appearance and design of the early series of AF-Nikkor lenses. The interim measure for Nikon on their slow responsive to market expectation for more AF Nikkor lens type was actually via the use of an AF Teleconverter TC-16 where it can be match in using it to "convert" the many manual focus Nikkor optic as an AF lense (such combination would resulted with a 1.6X extension in focal length for the prime lense used). Eventually, Nikon began to respond positively with series of updates where slowly, newer AF Nikkor began to surface ..... Outside the Nikon camp, the hugely successful Minolta Maxxium 7000 which successfully kicked off the AF ball rolling had a commanding lead in this do-or-die new playing field (for manufactures). As far as the period between 1984/87, Nikon trailed behind the competitions heavily in its AF development until the first serious AF Nikon model, Nikon F801 emerged. Sorry .. if this remark has hurt the feelings of some Nikon die-hards.

A few useful web links for this Nikon SLR model:
One page but a good Quick review
Technical Specification from Nikon Links
Nikon F501 OR N2020 Keyword Search via Ebay
Alternative source:- Download a free instruction manual in PDF (8.7MB), courtesy of Mr. Jim/ pls send a thank you note on my behalf.

Alternate Source Instruction Manual for Nikon F501/2020 in PDF (External Link @ CLICK HERE

Nikon F401, 1987

Nikon F401/N4004, 1986/7

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Questions, issues & Answer(s)

The Nikon F401/N4004 was the first Nikon camera that equipped with a built-in TTL speedlight. It was the first among the many AF Nikon camera models that adopted a new facelift in its exterior where a prominent hand grip with vertical Nikon name as well as the shutter release button locates at the top of the grip. It was also employed with a three-segments Matrix metering system. The AF sensor used was an AF AM200 module where Nikon developed a method called "Image Master Control" software to monitor all its exposure control and various AF functions. Shutter speeds was a moderate range between 1-1/2000 sec. It uses only 4 x AA size batteries. The F401 does not carried with a high end spec (kill me..), the finder only display simple information such as in/out focus, under or overexposure & a flash ready light (when operating in Program AE, information on shutter speed used or even aperture selected will not be shown). There is no exposure compensation or manual film speed override, so it was strictly for casual shooters. A variant available was a Quartz Date (QD) data back version. On the Nikkor lense section, Nikon began to patch the early AF-Nikkor with better cosmetic as well as improving their handling with extended manual focusing grip etc.

A few useful web links for this Nikon SLR model:
A quick personal review prepared by Dan Knight
Comparing notes with other Nikon bodies prepared by Photozone
F40a OR N4004 Keyword Search via Ebay
Alternative source:- Download a free instruction manual in PDF (12MB), almost the same except for the addition of a spot emtering operation.
Works courtesy of Mr.
Jim/ pls send a thank you note on my behalf.

Nikon SVC Model 1.jpg

Nikon Video Still Camera Model 1 prototype, 1986.

Nikon first attempt on digital imaging was showcased at Phototokina 1986. But it never actually went into production. Used floppy disk as storage medium for black-and-white images and has a QV-mount (can be converted into Nikon F-lens bayonet via an adapter). The lens was a Nikkor 6 mm f/1.6. More info...

The years between 1986 & 1987 was also one of the most active period for Nikon at the P&S compact camera market. Mainly due to the lackluster performance commercially with the limited number of Nikon SLRs to take on competitions. Below are a summary page to illustrated some of the models launched during this period:-

Nikon TW35 AF 1986

If I can recalled it correctly, the Nikon TW AF introduced in 1986 was the first* Nikon portable P&S compact camera that equipped with a zoom lense. This was not surprising as the popularity of zoom lenses in 35mm SLR was beginning to get popular. The camera's design was kind of odd, primarily due to the zoom lense and the hand grip was protruding much further outward. The zoom lense supplied was a Nikon 38~65mm with Macro capability. The model TW also stands for TELE-WIDE. * The first fixed zoom on a Nikon was the Nikkorex Zoom 35, 1962/3.

Nikon AW AF 1986/7

A masterly stroke by some genius at Nikon Japan has enabled Nikon's first underwater P&S compact camera to be realized in 1986. This all-weather (AW) Nikon L35AW AF compact has a sleek, colourful & stylish look. Basically, it was a combination in using the popular L35 AF compact with Nikon's experience in developing underwater cameras to enable this P&S compact to take pictures up to approx. 3m underwater. The focusing on land is autofocus but it has to be operate manually underwater. The lens was the same, Nikon 35mm f/2.8.

Nikon TW2 AF 1986/7

Barely a year after the commercially less successful original TW series, the Nikon TW2 came with a revised design. The heavy plastic casing of the original model was less apparent which made Interest of the consumers back again to take a look at this new Nikon compact. After all, P&S with a zoom was a new thing during that time. The zoom lens supplied with this camera was quite similar to the earlier mode, 35-70mm f/3.5~f/6.8 and camera with a built-in soft focus filter. The camera also began to use lithium battery as power source (1x 6V CR-P2 or DL223A.

Nikon AF L35 AF-3, 1987

Just when you though the year was finished with all these streams of Nikon compacts, Nikon revealed another model, Nikon L35 AF-3 in 1986. As its name suggests, it was the third upgrade for the popular L-35 series of P&S compacts. Improvements made was relating top its AF functions where a 16 steps AF was now incorporated. The Nikon 35mm f/2.8 lens was redesigned with a Macro capability that enables shooting as close as 0.45m. It uses a 6V DL223 Lithium. This camera has one of the best finishing among all the fixed lens L35 series models.

Nikon RF/RD, 1987

Another Nikon compact that flooded the market during mad rush of compacts was the Nikon RF/RD model. This is a cheaper entry than the earlier AF-3 where the lense was an alternate f/3.5 version where the built quality again was reverted to a less rigidly felt construction The close-up feature enables it to close focus to approx. 1 meter. But surprisingly, it sold very well in numbers, much due to its modest entry price..

TW Zoom 2D, 1987

The TW-Zoom has an upgrade in 1987 called Nikon TW ZOOM 2D (sounds a little odd in its model name). Basically other features remained the same with the earlier model in 1986 except now it came with a standard Data back for simple encoding of data such as date and time. This mode was also called Tele-Touch Delux in some regions. The lense was a 35-70mm with a Soft effect filter built-in.

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The Rangefinder || The Nikonos || Compact Cameras
SLRs -
1959/1979 | 1980/1990 | 1991/1999 | y2k/2003 | 2004 ~

Nikkor lenses Link to pages.jpg

The Eyes of Nikon:-
Rangefinder RF-Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page | Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page

Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:-
Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm |
Lenses -
45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm |
Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm

MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm |
35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm |
100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E


Nikon F
| Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat |
Nikon FM
| Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

MIR Supports for Photographic Community: Various Message Boards/Community Forums
Nikon:- Nikon F-series| Nikon F2-series| Nikon F3-series| Nikon F4-series| Nikon F5-series| Nikkormat/Nikomat-series
Nikon FM-series
| Nikon FE-series | Nikon FA | Nikon Digital SLR series | Various Nikon Models | Nikkor Optic - shared

Others:- Free Trade Zone - Photography| Free Trade Zone - Business Community |Free To Zouk - Photographic Community
Mac Public Community Message Board | Windows based PC & Apple/Mac Public Community Trade Exchange Centre

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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