Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon Interchangeable Prisms DE-1/T Titanium Eye Level Finder - Part XVII

 
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In 1976, about the same time when an much improved F2SB was introduced with an exciting DP-3 prism which extends metering range dow to minus EV2; Nikon also took the oppurtunity to introduce two Titanium version of Nikon F2 with a standard Eye-Level DE-1 finder. One was an extact replica of the original F2 with an eye level finder which remained in Nikon's product list until 1980 while the other was a special limited production model which was sold along with a dedicated high speed Motor Drive.

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The Titanium finder has never been officially given any designation but since the standard eye level finder is referred as DE-1, some Nikon users hence added a "T"(Titanium) behind the DE-1 thus, making it be called as DE-1/T to differentiate it from the standard finder. Shown at left is a special version Nikon F2/T which has a letter "Titan" inscribed at the front of the body. Many of the standard F2/T which has sold throughout its life cycle from 1976 to 1980 did not bear with this inscription.

I was not so sure whether the DE-1/T finder was also adopted as the standard finder for the non-metered Nikon F2 high speed motor drive camera (with MD-100) because the F2H was also indeed based on same tough Titanium shell. As with the Nikon F2/T, titaninium was used for the entire mechanism at the top, bottom panels and as well as the film back! But based on the original images sent to me by my friend, Robert Johnson, a veteran photojournalist based in Nashville, US. the F2H prism looks identical to the DE-1/T, in particular the distinctive and unique exterior texture which has a heavy coated paint while exhibiting a strong feel of tough industrial look. Hence I can safely conclude that it must be a similar Titan DE-1/T finder.

Designation.jpg DE-1sideillus.jpg
HOW to differenciate standard non-metered DE-1 finder from the Titanium version DE-1/T ?

Standard DE-1 finder offers in either chrome or black paint version; the Titan finder is only available in black. The model designation "DE-1" under the finder remains similar for all the three finder units used in respective bodies. I have been checking the visual differences since I was being questioned once regarding this. The ONLY safe way to distinguish between basic DE-1 with the Titanium DE-1/T version is by means of the finishing of the non-leathered covering.

Titan Finish.jpg
The normal DE-1 exterior is smooth without any crimple-finished. The Titan finder, as with the top, bottom and the film back,has a typical rough finish which are quite populary used in the exterior of many "high-end" rare earth Nikkor optic. (see left picture and compared it with image at the top)

Can the DE-1/T be used on other F2s ? Why not ? But I don't intend to question the wisdom of why one would do that unless your other F2's finder is not working; or for any other personal reason or requirements. Firstly, I don't understand WHY there wasn't a dedicated Metered Prism made of Titanum designed specifically for the F2/T.

f2titandp12.jpg
Somehow the meterless DE-1/T (or rather the F2/T) is less attractive to use as a functional camera as regardless of whether we like to admit or not - a convenient metering aid in many ways is always helpful for any photographer; TTL metering does provide a level of convenience very hard to compared with heldheld meters. Thus, it is not unusual to see photographer adding a metered prism on a F2/T and seldom see it happen the other way round.

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<< ---Can a DP-12 mounted F2/T can be regarded as a F2AS/T ? ha !

| Finished.. ? | 17/17 Yeap.. could have cause many stomach upsets, if continues..

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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/nikonfmount/lens2.htm
http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html

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Credit: Chuck Hester, US for his patience, encouragement and help to setup the various content in this site; Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD appeared in this site; my ex-staff, KiaSu for his superb 3-D logo appeared in this Nikon F2 site; Marc Vorgers from Holland who generously provide me with some of his images of F2AS; MCLau®, who has so much time with me to re-edit the content in this site and not to mention buying a Nikon Coolpix 990 just for this site. Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; again, Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; hawkeye.photographic.com for their images on the Speed Magny film backs; Sean Cranor for his image on Nikon F2 25th Anniversary Model; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input on some of the early Nikon bodies; CYLeow ® , photo editor of the Star newspaper, Malaysia for some of his images used in this site. Ms Rissa Chan, Sales manager from Shriro Malaysia who has helped to provide some of the very useful input. HiuraShinsaku®, Nikomat ML, Japan for some of his images on various F2 models; my staff, Wati, Maisa, Mai and my nephew, EEWyn®, who volunteered and helping me did so many of the film scanning works. Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell Corner.com.), Mr "Arsenall" and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. Dedicated to KU Yeo, just to express our mutual regrets over the outcome of a recent corporate event. Made with a PowerMac, broadcast with a Redhat Linux powered server.

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