Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/10/27

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Subject: [Leica] Nikon Plans -OT
From: Larry Kopitnik <>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2000 08:13:53 -0500

The following was posted yesterday to the NikonMF (manual focus) 
list. And while it is admittedly off-topic in this group, much of 
what it discusses has been touched on by posts here in recent months. 
So I thought there might be enough interest here to repost it, with 

The November issue of "Asahi Camera" features an article titled "Sayonara F3".
It says the reason they are quitting production is because of bad sales and
the difficulty in obtaining the outdated electronic parts. The 20 year-old
computer that is used to check and adjust the circuitry is no longer
serviceable and I guess irreplaceable.  They expect it will take until
spring to finish the final lot of 4000 cameras. No special serial numbers
The good news is that they will continue to service the F3 for a minimum of
10 years starting next spring.  Whether they will continue repairs after
that as they have for the F and F2 is not clear but at least they will have
repair parts for that long. They also say they will sell the DE3 finder and
MD4 drive for another 6 years. The Nikon people interviewed do not say how
many  F3s were produced in total, but peak production was 14-15 thousand
units a month.  They say they are only starting to plan the F6 (they plan
one!), and because they expect most pros and the media to go digital, the
next "flagship camera" might be something aimed at serious  amateurs; that
is smaller, lighter,  and with a slower motordrive. They say  that a fully
mechanical one is unlikely because less sales for producing  such a "hobby
camera" would mean a surprisingly high price tag. They admit however that
they do get requests for a fully mechanical F6 even if it were to cost 500
thousand yen (almost 5000 dollars) like the S3-2000. They got 8000 orders
for the S3.


I found it interesting (if I'm not reading too much into the above), 
in relation to yesterday's wet-or-digital-darkroom thread, that Nikon 
is struggling with the extent to gear their next flagship camera 
towards pros such as photojournalists for concern that, by the time 
it's out, most of that group will be shooting digital rather than 


Replies: Reply from Mark Rabiner <> (Re: [Leica] Nikon Plans -OT)