Also Check:- Pre F-mount period Finders for Nikon rangefinder cameras

Nikon F5 without Finder Pix
All those interchangeable finders for the Nikon F series professional cameras

Relative: Nikon Focusing Screens for Nikon F, Nikon F3, Nikon F4, Nikon F5 & Screens for MF-Nikon Mid-compact Bodies.
Viewfinders for Nikon F Series cameras

Nikon F5 could well be the last remaining professional SLR camera that provides an option to use interchangeable finders. (Other than Nikon, Canon has given up this design on their flagship EOS model, the EOS-1 way back in 1989. I heard the Asahi Optical Co.'s manual focus Pentax LX has also retired from service). Dated back to the days of Nikon F in 1959, all Nikon F models have an interchangeable finder system. During the early days of the Nikon F and Nikon F2, the bare bone F & F2 with the standard eyelevel prism was essentially a meterless camera. The role of the finders was to provide metering. Thus, various function of viewfinders were also used to differentiate model designation. Other than some special application finders such as: waist level finder, high magnification finder and the action finder, these finders has their respective spec, metering sensor used, metering patterns, metering range, different sensitivity and it even affects how the viewfinder displays the information inside when look through the eyepiece.

Beginning with the F3, things were getting a little bit different. Why ? Because the Nikon F3 has a
single SPD sensor built-in the camera body, locates at the bottom of the reflex mirror to perform ambient and TTL flash metering. The biggest advantage for this was, regardless of the change of viewfinders, optical devices, lenses, the metering yields is active and TTL. This means the role of the viewfinder was far less important than the era of the F & F2.

Note: TTL OTF (Through the Lens, Off the Film Plane - a revolutionary technique first seen in a Olympus OM2(n) in 1975, which has the metering cell locates just in front of the shutter curtain, facing backward to measure the light reflects from the film surface during an exposure to determine duration of shutter opening or termination of the flash output (Similar to the 1980's F3 modified principle). Nikon currently leads in the flash technology, where it adds a layer to that with their pioneered Matrix metering with distance information, color temperature, and multi pattern metering into calculation for ambient/flash exposure.

F3Press Finder.jpg (8k) DP20.jpg
The Nikon F4 and F5 are essentially an autofocus camera, they are design and made far complex than the manual F & F2 and even the hybrid F3. The respective standard prism has a renewed function. These two cameras have to handle sophisticated, complex and advance operation for metering and autofocus.
The optical block where it housed the CCDs AF sensor required higher tolerance in precision than metering and the earlier location of the metering cell in the F3 has to give way for the AF sensor (Spot sensor is still here in the F4, while the F5's spot is handle by the AF spot sensor). Nikon decides both mirror box and the prism are used to share individually or combined to handle all the important task in both metering and autofocus.

F5 Mirror Box.jpg (25k)
This is the mirror box of the Nikon F5 that I took during an "disassembling operation" by a few friends. Complicated ? I thought so, worried ? You might not have many choices either. From a top notch professional camera body like a Canon EOS-1n, Minolta 9xi, Leica R8 to an entry camera model like a Nikon F-60, Canon EOS-888 or even a Pentax's MX-5 will almost look identical with clusters of wiring, circuit boards, pins and contacts beneath the exterior shell. Give up ? Don't be, after all you will never notice it anyway.

* Note: The AF sensor, TTL OTF metering sensors for both F4 & F5 are still located under the main mirror box, so does the spot meter. But the sensors that handle matrix metering are located at each side of the eyepiece (F5's color sensor is also there in the prism). For instance, we take the multi-metered prism DP-20 for the F4, the metering in spot meter mode is not handle by the prism (The spot sensor is at the camera's base). But apart from metering, modern viewfinder design does has various functions such as displaying viewfinder information, diopter adjustment, metering selectors etc. Somehow, the importance of the viewfinder is back, it provides a flexible way to control and assist a photographer in a more responsive way to handle personal photography.

The Nikon cameras are acknowledged to be one of the few 35mm SLRs with a truly accurate viewfinder system. It shows virtually 100% of the picture area to be recorded on the film (Canon finally made it after few decades later with the EOS 1 in 1989). The main advantage is the precise coverage allowing accurate framing right to the edges, and offering a distinct advantage in scientific, precise reproduction works, astronomy, macro works etc. We should treasure this feature and hope there are more innovative applications to apply on the concept of interchangeable viewfinder.

Note: I have seen some "innovative" prism before, unfortunately made by other manufactures, click (1) for Canon New F-1's Speed finder & a highly impressive Pentax LX's SB-1 System Interchangeable Finder (2) and compared Nikon's own Action finder, where the basic design has not been changed or upgrade since the days of the Nikon F in 1959. If you ask me what I would like to see in a potential popular viewfinder model in a camera such as the F5, well, I don't think it is impossible to bring us a viewfinder with a sophisticated built-in flash such as the F-601. Amateuristic ? Oh, we use to think programmed AE are meant for amateurs in the late seventies...and they are here in the F5, EOS-1n and 9xi.

F without Finder .jpg

The Nikon F finders

Action Finder

Standard eye level Finder

Photomic FTn finder

Waist Level Finder

Magnification Finder *

Other related finders of F other than the standard versions

F Photomic, F Photomic T, F Photomic Tn Finders can be accessed here.
* The 6x focusing finder was originally designed for the F2.
To use it on the Nikon F, the name plate must first be removed.

Go to the Nikon F site for further details.

F2 Side View Pix

The Nikon F2 finders
(Featured sections (17 parts) on various
metered prisms for Nikon F2)

High Mag (6X) Finder

Waist Level Finder

Standard DE-1 Finder

Action Finder

Other related finders of F2 other than the standard versions


DP-2 /DP-3



Viewfinder Info within |

|Viewfinder Info within |

|Viewfinder Info within |

|Viewfinder Info within |

Go to the revamped Nikon F2 site for further details.


The Nikon finders for respective models: Nikon F3, F4 & the current F5 series can be first start by clicking here.

Other Nikon resources within this site:
The Nikon Models, lenses & Motor Drives

Classic Nikon Bodies:
Nikon F, F2, F3, F4, F5
Nikkormat | FM series | FE series | FA

| Finders for Nikon F |
| Finders for Nikon F2 | DP-1 | DP-2 | DP-11 | DP-12
| Finders for | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 |

| Message Board | for your Nikkor optics ("shared" because I want some of you to expose to other's perspective as well, it is sad to see photography has to be segmented into different camps from the use of various labels).

weblibrary.gif   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

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

Nikkor Link.jpg

Index Page
  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

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

Recommended Reading Reference on Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses
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Credit: To all the good people who has contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough granting us permission to use their images appeared in this site Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures, sales manuals or publications published by Nikon over the years and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.