To minimize download time, thumbnails for each model is provided in this core page.
click on it to go to a Bigger view with a short summary attached. 

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

Nikon S2 rangefinder model Nikon S2 top control panel view   Nikon S2, 1954
Nikon S2, December 1954

| Message Board |
Questions, issues & Answer(s)

NEW:- MIR's Nikon (Nippon Kogaku KK) Rangefinder RF-Nikkor lens Respurces

The first Japanese made camera to incorporate a film advance lever and a film rewind crank. (Two views are provided). The S2 is the first fully redesigned Nikon rangefinder to truly conform to 36 x 24mm format. From the Nikon M, the advance step of the film is modified to adapt with auto film cutters (which cut film every 8 perforation hole). The format was modified to 34x24 simultaneously, but no space remained to enhance to the standard 36 x 24mm. The basic components and construction of Nikon I, M, S were common. The Nikon S2 has also began picking up in its production, a total of 56,715 Nikon S2 were believed to have been produced.

Nikon I -- 32 x 24 40 shots
Nikon M, S --
34 x 24 36 shots
Nikon S2 -- 36 x 24 36 shots

The developed film taken by Nikon S can be distinguished easily because of the wider black area between each shot. Shutter speed range has been improved to 1/1000 at the top shuuter speed scale. Other improvements were also being made. Such as a 1:1 finder, sync speed dial, film reminder and a single lever for film back. Most early versions were silver chrome finished but there were prbably 1000 units were produced in black. In between a black dial shutter speed ring were also being produced. A known variation of the Nikon S2 was a S2-Motor that shown in IPEX, Chigaco in 1957 which can accept a motor drive but probably it has never actually went into mass production.

S2 Link to other images   S2 Black Dial Link to other images
Some Images of the Nikon S2 contributed by Adorama, US; another few images of a RF-Nikon S2 Black Dial contributed by Mike (Black S2)

Nikon I, Nikon M and Nikon S
Nikon S2
Camera Body
Aluminum sand cast
Aluminum die-cast
0.6x with no Frame
1.0x with Bright Frame
Film Advance
Film Rewind
Sprocket-free when rewind
Lever in front of the Shutter Release Button
Collar around the Shutter Release Button
Film Counter
Base of the Film Advance Dial
At the top of Film Advance Lever and the weight of the body was also reduced compared with earlier models.

* Source: Nikomat Club, Japan.

The fastest Nikkor lens ever produced for 35mm photography, the
RF-Nikkor 50mm/F1.1 also appeared with the Nikon S2 era.

Nikon SP, 1957


| Instruction Manual for Nikon SP Professional Rangefinder camera |

Nikon SP, September 1957

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Questions, issues & Answer(s)

A professional quality rangefinder camera based on the S2. Also the first within the Nikon line to use a Titanium shutter curtain (Early batches of Nikon SP's 14,000 had cloth shutters) as well as a self timer. Switchable frame lines - Bright frame lines (colored) for lenses from 28mm to 135mm (50, 85, 105 & 135mm) and eliminates any need to use the zoom finder, Bright line Illuminator (AA battery powered) which illuminated projected frame lines in low light. Other highlights: indication window for flash sync selection (Max. 1/60 sec. sync speed), self reset frame counter, film type reminder etc. Models spited between silver chrome or black version. It was also the Nikon that supplied with an optional world's first battery powered professional quality motor drive for continuous shooting up to 3 fps (frames per second). Offering the longest lens range of any 35mm rangefinder system, enables lenses to be used from 21/4 to a 1000/6.3, It was also the only rangefinder system during that era to offer a dedicated optional choice of a true macro lens, the RF Micro-Nikkor 5cm f/3.5. The RF-Nikkor family was also expanded fast to supplement the camera. It has effectively putting the Leica and Contax rangefinder in a very difficult position to compete as the German manufacturers were still struggling to recover from the war-torn industries. By then, the total numbers of Nikon SP (black and chrome combined) reaches 22,348 - making Nippon Kogaku a respective camera manufacturers for professional and serious users. Credit:- Production numbers reference: Robert Rotoloni


MORE: Eight fabulous images contributed by Mr. Ron King


Nikon SP Limited Edition, 2005
(approx. Yen 690,000 = USD 6,800-00)


as well as a few images of a rarer Nikon SP Black. version by Mr. Emanuele

Nikon SP-x


Mysterious Nikon SPx, with Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 and Nikon F type Shutter SPeed dial as highlighted by a Japanses S magazine with the launch of Nikon S3 Y2K. It has a White and Black Dial version. Never went into production but solely served as additional info only.

| Instruction Manual for Nikon BCB |
| Nikon BC-5 | Nikon BC-7 | Nikon SB-1 |

Nikon S3, 1958

Nikon S3, March 1958

A simplified version based on the SP, where some selected features in the Nikon SP were removed. The frame lines was not switchable but there were three fixed framelines for popular focal length such as 35mm, 50mm and 105mm. However, it can still accept and share the many accessories designed for the SP, such as S36, S250 Motor Drives etc. Two known versions exist, one with cloth shutter and another with a Titanium shutter curtain. A special version was being produced to commemorate the XVIII Tokyo Summer Olympic Games - strangely, it was produced a few years after its discontinuation. Lastly, in year 2000, Nikon has strangely revived the Nikon S3 with a replica Y2K model (see below) - so, the S3 has quite a few variations and somehow, Nikon was quite sentimental about it. According the references, a total of 14,310 of the Nikon S3 were being produced by Nikon.

RFNikonS3sml.jpg RF Nikon S3 Motor link  

Some images of the S3 contributed by Mr. Shelton from Shelton-Classic-Co | A few images of a RF-Nikon S3 with Motor-drive Drilling courtesy of Mr.Emanuele


Nikon S3 Chrome & Black Y2K (2000)

UPDATE: Photo Gallery on Chrome/Black paint Nikon S3 Millennium Y2K Edition

| Instruction Manual for Nikon BCB |
| Nikon BC-5 | Nikon BC-7 | Nikon SB-1 |

Nikon S4, 1959Nikon S4 top view

Nikon S4, March 1959

Simplified version of the S3 with only cloth shutter, without the self timer and motor drive capability. The 35mm frame line in the viewfinder was also being eliminated and must be reset manually (bright light frames for 50 & 105mm only). Quite a short run in production as it was discontinued in July, 1960. No black version surfaced thus far. The Nikon S4 was only one third of the production number as compared to Nikon S3, a total of only 5,898 of the Nikon S4 were being produced.

Nikon S3M, 1960

Nikon S3M, April 1960

The first and only 1/2 frame camera ever produced by Nikon and highly source by collectors worldwide as it was known to be only 195 units being produced by Nikon thus far. It shares the same Nikon S3 chassis, but comes with a modified 72 exposures with format size of 18mm x 24mm and thus, the film counter has also been modified with 72 exp. Only available with cloth shutter curtain. Accepts the same motor drive like the SP & S3 for up to 6 fps (half frames) and most factory shipped cameras were supplied with the equally rare Nikon S72 Motor Drive. The same year, Nikon's first Reflex Mirror lens, the Reflex Nikkor 1000mm f/6.3 for the Nikon-S series was produced.

Nikon S3M black top panel view

| Message Board |
Questions, issues & Answer(s)

Nikon S3M motor drive

Instruction Manual for Nikon S3M (Japanese)

Instruction Manual
(Japanese version only)

Usually this was removed by 1957 or 1958 and can be used as a guide to date lenses in black mounts.

One other item to remember is that Nikon would lighten their lenses as time passed. The only fault that Duncan and the others could find with their new Nikon equipment was weight. They thought that most items were too heavy and would benefit by losing some weight, and Nikon obliged. Some lenses were lightened only when changed to black but others had even their chrome barrels changed, especially those made from the Occupation on. A rule would be that a lighter lens would be a later lens.

In an effort to graphically simplify all of the above the author has constructed a table as a guide. Listed is every lens Nikon made plus its proper nomenclature, number of elements, MIOJ or not, if the red'C'was ever used and whether or not it was made in chrome and/or black.

Nippon Kogaku / Nikon RF- Nikkor lens Resources:- Main Index Page
| Back to Nippon Kogaku / Nikon Rangefinder camera models - Index page |

W-Nikkor-O 1:4 f=2.1cm
W-Nikkor.C 1:4 f=2.5cm
W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f=2.8cm
W-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm
W-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm
W-Nikkor 1:2.5 f=3.5cm
W-Nikkor 1:1.8 f=3.5cm
Stereo-Nikkor f=3.5cm

Micro-Nikkor-Q 1:3.5 5cm

Nikkor-H 1:2 5cm
Nikkor-S 1:1.5 5cm
Nikkor-S 1:1.4 5cm
Nikkor-S 1:1.4 5cm (Olympic)
Nikkor-N 1:1.0 50mm-Nikkor-N prototype
Nikkor-N 1:1.1 50mm

Note A:- Shown is a Nikon rangefinder wideangle lens W-Nikkor-C 1:4 f=2.5cm lens. Lenses with a "C" indicates improved lens coating used. Further, at later stage, focal length changed to use "mm"" rather than "cm". The brand name in general still uses Nippon Kogaku, Japan. --- >>>

Preparing a new RF Nikkor Main Index (New)

Nikon old rangefinder lens 25mm by

Nikkor-P.C 1:2.0 85mm
Nikkor-S.C 1:1.5 85mm
Nikkor-T 1:.4 105mm
Nikkor-P.C 1:1.2.5 105mm
Nikkor-Q 1:1.4 135mm
Bellow-Nikkor-Q 1:1.4 135mm
info-reflex type)
Nikkor-Q 1:1.3.5 135mm

Nikkor-H 1:1.2.5 180mm
Nikkor-H 1:1.4 250mm

Nikkor-T 1:1.4.5 350mm
Reflex-Nikkor-T 1:5.0 500mm
Reflex-Nikkor-T 1:6.3 1000mm

Note B;- Some links shown are either briefly shown, discussed or just using the templates of lenses for reflex photography. However, early lenses may make use of the Nikon N-F tube to interchange between rangefinder and reflex lenses.

Under construction:-


Fixed Focal length Finders | Variframe / Varifocal / Sports Finders | Reflex Housing | Motor Drive | Close-ups | Nikon RF Flash System
Accessories: Lens caps, Hoods/shades, Cases/Compartments, Filters, Packing/boxes, & Others | Instruction Manuals | Original Price Lists


Others: Generally, Nikon Guru collectors believed there was also a Prototype TTL Metering, code named: SPX existed in 1959, a rangefinder based on the F body, with a 35-135 zoom finder, a new bayonet style mount, and TTL Metering. The immediate success of the F SLR system when first launched forced termination of the project. No one has seen this model (and some other military/naval models), if it ever exists and is presented, it will be very nice to complete this page of Nikon rangefinder models.

Nikon F, 1959

The great rangefinder system from Nikon has to give way
to another great camera, the SLR (Single Lens Reflex) system camera,
Nikon F in 1959.

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|| Index Page ||

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:-
Nippon Kogaku KK Rangefinder RF-Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses- Main Index Page
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 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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