Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1997/12/18

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Subject: [Leica] Talking Nikon F
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 14:05:36 -0500 (EST)

The Nikon F is probably the best no-nonsense reflex ever made. What you see
in the viewfinder is what you get. All the interior optics are heavy duty.
The mechanics follow the same standard. The shutter runs horizontally and
keeps its accuracy. The mechanical self-timer runs like a fine watch. The F I
bought in '69 has a novel flash adaptor that slides over the rewind knob and
becomes a hot shoe without use of a cable. Those adaptors are still available
aftermarket. They placed the flash unit where it should be for most work. 

I looked at a Leica SL at the time and found it didn't measure up to the F.
There weren't all that many lenses available for it then, and I had bad
experience with new Leitz equipment in those years. 

Frankly, I don't think Nikon can afford to build cameras like the F in the
1990's. Incidentally, the back and bottom plate comes off the F in one piece.
One ancillary item I'm sorry I didn't get was the F motor. I also didn't buy
the meter-prism because I thought it unbalanced the camera. I still use the F
with a Zeiss Ikophot hand meter. The only successor to the F in today's
Nikons is the FM series. And they're even more convenient, if much lighter
and more compact -- which is a plus. So the manual F tradition continues at
Nikon -- and for good reason. 

Yet my Leitz M lenses have a precision and solidity about them that not even
Nikon can match. I have no opinion about present Solm's Leica reflexes and
lenses because I never used them.