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Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Maeda, Nov 28, 2011.
So I just inherited a Nikon S Rangefinder with this super sweet 50mm f1.4 on it.
An S1? Not an F1?
Nikon S.. sorryy im trying to edit that.
Looks just like this.
Sweetness! You should use it for the unique rangefinder experience, though I'm sure you can also find a Nikon S-Mount adapter as well for your :43: body.
Nikon 50mm f1.4 85mm f2 to Leica M3 M8 M9 adapter ring | eBay
I found this.
Holy moly is it pricey for an adapter.
And this is why...
Nikon S is a shameless rip-off of the pre-WWII Contax rangefinder system. The system is notorious for having 2 bayonet mounts - the inner mount for normal and tele lenses and the outer mount for wide lenses. Lenses for the inner mount don't have their own focusing helicoid, this is what makes adapters so complex and expensive.
BTW, Nikon S is also a perfect example of intentionally crippled design - they copied the Contax mount but changed the focusing helicoid slightly, making the lenses not interchangeable between Nikon S and Contax.
I just noticed that now that i've taken the lens off the camera.. :/
Looks like i'll be collecting a few more S lenses.
No- if you have ever taken one apart, it is nothing like a Contax. The mechanics of the bayonet mount is similar, but that is all.
The rangefinder mechanism is very different optically and mechanically. It uses an RF follower wheel at the back of the mount rather than a gear system that is linked to the mount. It is impossile to adjust the vertical alignment in a Contax, very easy in a Nikon. Hard to adjust the horiontal alignent on the Contax- it usually only needs to be done after taking off the mount.
The shutter of the Nikon is based on the Leica III, and is far more reliable than the roller-blinds of the Contax.
As far as the lens incompatibility: Nikon started out making optics for the pre-war Canon. This was built to the Leica standard focal length, used a different mount. Nikon had computed the optical formula for the 5cm f2 before the war, and used that with the Nikon rangefinder. It was a matter of expediancy, and it saved them from having to recompute the prescription for the lens. The original Nikon was a 32mm by 24mm format, unique to Japan. Note that is a 4:3 ratio, like mu43.
SO: the 4:3 format is quite old. Just back in style.
If you are interested, there are good articles on the Nikon Rangefinder here:
Thank You Brian S!
That's a helluva lot of good information there.
A little background on the camera..
I was told that my grandfather visited Japan right after the war, sometime in the 40's (we're a Japanese family), and brought this camera home with him, and it has been in his possession ever since.
..now the 64,000$ question... is it worth 300$ to adapt this puppy?
I believe you can get an adapter for mu43 with the helical for under $200. Amedeo makes one. The adapters for M-Mount (Leica) are more expensive as they require "RF Coupling". When rangefinderforum is back up, I will post a link back for his adapter. I have an M-Mount adapter, and use that with an M-Mount to mu-43 adapter.
This is with my Leica Mount Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.4 on the EP2, wide-open.
Optically identical to yours.
More on the EP2 here:
And an album of shots with my Nikon RF's here:
Including this one, Nikkor 5cm F1.4 wide-open on my Nikon SP, Kodachrome 64- my last roll.
and, just to add: I converted one of my Nikon S2 bodies to be compatible with Zeiss Contax lenses. Custom shimmed the helical and adjusted the Rangefinder. I keep a Zeiss Opton Sonnar 50mm F1.5 on it. I also have several Zeiss Contax cameras, but prefer the viewfinder of the Nikon.
can i buy you a beer?
Amedeo Contax Nikon RF mount lens to Micro 4/3 mount camera adapter | eBay
No connection with this seller: an Amedeo Nikon/Contax to mu43 adapter being sold used on Ebay.
Amedeo works out of South America- I have two of his Adapters for Nikon and Contax to Leica Mount.
This is a Carl Zeiss Jena 5cm f2 Collapsible lens, wide-open with the Amedeo Adapter, with the Olympus EP2.
I shimmed this particular lens to focus correctly on my Nikon RF's.
Nikon's Archive of specifications for discontinued cameras covers the full line of Nikon Rangefinder cameras.
Nikon | Imaging Products | Product Archive
I do NOT own a Nikon I or a Nikon S3M. But I have all of the others.
If I were you, I'd just keep the rangefinder and run film through it. Don't burn your money buying additional lenses for the Nikon S, or waste your money for an m4/3 adapter to put those lenses on your camera. Keep them as separate systems, you can get so much more for your money. 50mm lenses are a dime a dozen, and you can get yourself a newer, multicoated and better-performing lens PLUS adapter for the cost of only the adapter for S lenses. If you eventually find yourself using the Nikon rangefinder a lot, then you might consider getting additional lenses for that. But given the system's collectibility, you will save yourself a bunch of money and service/repair-related hassle by just buying an older Leica M/M2/M3/etc. camera if you find that film rangefinders are for you.
As a film shooter, I envy you....
There are a couple of things to check on the camera: mostly regarding the shutter. Take the back off, check for light leaks. Advance the film using the Knob, check to second curtain. A few wrinkles will not hurt anything. Run though the shutter speeds, check the fast speeds for "capping"- meaning the curtains do not open properly. You should see a flash of light through the curtains as they move.
"Fast 50s" for manual focus SLR's are fairly cheap, but lenses for rangefinder cameras command a much higher prices. My Nikkor 5cm F1.4 in Leica Mount was $95 seven years ago. Now- it would get closer to $500~$600. S-Mount and Contax mount lenses are not as expensive as the same lens in Leica mount, probably due to the Leica M9.
The lens you have is a Sonnar formula lens, and was not practical for SLR's. The "look" is different. My EP2 usually has a Nikkor or Zeiss Sonnar on it.
On your camera- look for an "M" near the serial number. Early Nikon S and late Nikon M cameras are difficult to tell apart. The 5cm F1.4 also went through some changes. The lenses with serial numbers starting with "5005" are from the first batch done in May, 1950. Lenses marked "Tokyo" are also slightly different than later versions.
Post some pictures of your camera when you can.
Online Nikon S User manual here:
I have an original manual for it- post any questions on using the camera.
i'll be travelling for the next couple days, but i'll snap some pics when I get back!
I'm pretty sure this is a S and not an M. It's also made in japan, not MIOJ.
Thanks for your help everyone, especially you, Brian.
I'm so glad I can use this lens since it's been in my family for so long. My aging grandfather (89 and counting) is extremely happy I can use it on my camera, and I think that is worth the extra expense.