Nikon S2

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by tony_lockerbie, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Winter winds and rain have kept me inside so I am catching up with my posts...please excuse two in a row!
    The S2 is the improved version of the first Nikon rangefinder, having a rapid rewind crank and a better and bigger viewfinder...remember when improvements happened slowly and your camera wasn't outdated in two weeks?
    The Nikon rangefinders are of course a close copy of the Contax, but with a shutter more like a Leica, best of both worlds then!
    I'm not going to bore you with Nikon history, probably get it wrong anyway, but I really love the Nikon in use. The 1:1 viewfinder is just terrific, as is the long base rangefinder, and the whole camera has a solid well crafted feel. The family resemblance to the later Nikon F is obvious, just drop a prism on the S body and away you go!
    I have the 50mm 1.4 Nikkor, 28mm 3.5 Nikkor and 85mm F2 Nikkor plus a 28mm S-Skopar from Cosina Voigtlander. Naturally one has to have accessory viewfinders for anything other than the 50mm.
    Photos here were taken at the Port of Eden in the far south of Australia, and I used the 50mm and 28mm for these.
    First the camera:
  2. First image.
  3. Film was Fuji Across developed in Pyro-Cat HD 1:1:100.
  4. Tony, a wonderful post as usual; you also have a very good "eye"...
  5. The S2 is lovely as are your photographs. I had an S2 for a while but sold it to a collector who doesn't use the damn thing. What is it with people that collect but don't use ?
    I can think of precious few things more boring and pompous than camera collectors that talk about their cameras (usually Leicas) but don't know the difference between a lens opening and an anal opening.
    My S2
  6. Really nice work with a real classic by anyone's standard.
    I am officially envious. ;)
  7. Let me voice my admiration, and envious feelings, for your fine Classic Nikon RF outfit. A lovely shooting instrument. Beautiful images round out an excellent post. Thanks, Tony!
  8. Another fine series of images, Tony, from a wonderful kit. Far nicer camera than the Contax, with the rangefinder base shortened to place the window in a far more practical situation! Thanks for another excellent post.
  9. Tony, you really make me regret(as have others) that I sold my previous Nikon rangefinder collection. I did use my cameras and loved every one. Over the years I had 3 SP's (both cloth and titanium shutters), 1 S3, 4 or 5 S2's(both chrome and black dials), 3 S's and 1 M. I had most of the common lenses, 25mm chrome, 28 mm both black and chrome, almost all the 35's, 35mm f3.5 MIOJ, 35 f3.5 Tokyo, 35mm f3.5 chrome Japan, 35mm f3.5 black Japan, 35mm f2.5 chrome , 35 mm f2.5 black, 35 mm f1.8 black, 50 mm f2.0 chrome, 50mm f2.0 black, multiple 50 mm f1.4 chrome and 50mm f1.4 black, 50mm f1.0 first version, 85mm f2.0 chrome Tokyo MIOJ, 85mm 2.0 chrome Japan, 85mm f2.0 black Japan, 3 versions of the 105mm f2.5 black, several versions of both 135mm f3.5 chrome and 135mm f3.5 black. Both Variframe finder and Varifocal finders and most of the individual finders, SP/S3 meters two versions, multiple flashes, cases, bags etc. Not trying to brag, but still a collection that many people would have drooled over--all of which I did use. The stimulus for acquiring all that was having passed up a spectacular mint black SP/1.4 for $200.00 in 1967 when I was a poor graduate student and was just acquiring my first Nikkormat. I didn't appreciate professional rangefinder cameras at the time. Later, I was "nudged" toward the "Leica bug" and sold the collection back to Japan to help pay for my kids' college tuitions(and my start in Leica!) Oh well! I am still tempted when I see the S2's on the auction sites but shudder to think what that mint black SP would sell for now. I can only congratulate you on your fine camera and enjoy!! Many people don't know that the S2 was one of the few cameras that could be handled one-handed, cock, focus and fire!
  10. Well, once again thanks for your encouragement, and one thing that I derive here is that we should never sell anything!
    Gene, that one you had looked wonderful..and F I don't remember is the one I use most.
    Floyd, you really don't want to know the price of any SP, let alone a black one! If only we could glimpse the future.
    Quite right about the one handed thing too, although, like the Contax, I don't use that focus wheel. Of course the 1:1 viewfinder lets you keep both eyes open, quite effective.
  11. Outstanding results, Tony. Additional information on the Nikon rangefinder: Nikon (according some old photography magazines I have) got a foothold on the rangefinder lens market by offering their Nikkor lenses in LTM and Contax mounts as well as Nikon. Some Nikkors, notably the 85 mm, IIRC, was quickly adopted by photographers, including photojournalists who used them with their Leicas to provide coverage of the Korean conflict. At the time the first Nikon RF weren't quite full frame: they were initially 24 x 32 and 24 x 34 mm rather than later standard of 24 x 36 mm. Nikon's innovative features, though, quickly won them a substantial share of the market. Please forgive any omissions or inaccuracies as its been a while since I've consulted my old magazines.
  12. Quite correct Mike, and the S2 was actually the first full frame (24x36) Nikon RF. Journos found the Nikkors, notably the 50nmm 1.4 and 85mm F2 superior to the Leica optics of that time.
  13. Tony, you are quite right about the black SP's. A less than stellar body just sold for about $4300 on the "bay." I must also compliment you on all your excellent photography with your seemingly extensive collection.
  14. Tony,
    Another fine post with an impressive set of pictures. I think I will read up on why Nikon followed the Contax model while Canon copied the Leica.
    I think I found an appropriate ad to show for this post. Most ads focus on the technical side but this one, from Popular Photography Aug. 1957, I think is fitting for this post.
  15. Thanks again Marc, that is one excellent Ad, almost brings a tear to your eye. Constantly amazed at your never ending reference library...much appreciated!

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