Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/04/26

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: Nikon vs Leica
From: (Thomas P Myro)
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 1997 05:18:19 EDT

Good Day!!!

The Nikon rf in the Nikon I and Nikon M models is a leica dichroic rf TO
A TEE -- with the small exception of a longer base, which made it more
accurate, but a little more fragile -- a small amount of maladjustment
caused a bigger problem.  That's why Leica has kept to the short base
these many years.

The model I was not permitted to be exported by the MacArthur
Occupational Government, because of the format being 24mmX32mm  Their
logic was that it wouldn't be mountable in Kodaks brand new Kodachrome
mounts, and American consumers would feel cheated.  There was never any
regulations prohibiting the import of these into the US.  That's why
there were a few, from tourists, soldiers who didn't declare them in
Japanes customs etc, which entered the US .  The OG was sure that Nikon
would doom itself to extinction if they tried to market this thing. 
Oddly enough, the short Nikon format would have more closely matched our
common enlargement sizes, and all those years of "cutting of your
mother-in-law's head" wouldn't have been such an issue.  What you got on
the negative, you would have got  on the print.  It is only recently that
we have adopted "full frame" enlargements-- 4X6, 8X12 etc.

Almost immediately. Nippon Kogaku began producing the model M  which was
a I with a newly designed shutter "cage" to accomodate the larger, but
still not standard, 24mmX34mm format.  The Occupational government tested
these, and they did fit the Kodachrome mounts, albeit barely, and were
permitted to be exported.

The model S was the first to offer the 24mmX36mm format, and came 2 years

Lenses up to this point fit either contax or Nikon.

A short time  after the M3 came out from Leica, Nikon released the SP-  A
camera with framelines that varied with the lens you put on them, as the
M3 did.  The S3 offered permanently superimosed frame lines for several
lenses, and just cluttered up the viewfinder completely.  -- Imagine an
M3 with all framelines showing -- UUUGGGG.

Contax lenses, I believe would always fit on the Later Nikon RF's but not
conversely, as the Tabs for the SP frame selector wouldn't allow it.

The technology behind the cameras certainly was that of both Contax and
Leica, but the combination was of a genius all its own.  

Good Day All,

Thomas P. Myro