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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Nikon S3 Year 2000 Millennium Model
    the S team was formed to implement the project and then the project got into full swing Back to top Procurement of Component Elements A key factor for the reproduction Attention paid to faithfully reproduce even a single machine screw The project was formally initiated although it ran up against various barriers as the reproduction advanced The reproduction of S3 Replica model involved three main processes checking the original design drawings making available the component elements and training for assembly Mito Nikon started the project with the acquisition of design drawings and the purchase of vintage S3 cameras from a used camera shop for reverse engineering Mito Nikon made every effort to achieve as faithful a reproduction as possible Its fastidiousness about faithful reproduction was overwhelming In order to make the parts identical to those in the original S3 the production facilities from press dies to die casting dies were all newly designed Special attention was paid one could say to the point of obsession to the camera s external appearance the shape of the machine screws for the outer casing and other parts the texture of the matte finish upper cover surfaces the paint color and gloss the etching line thickness and depth the color of the letters on the shutter speed dial and the grain of the artificial leather Fortunately for the grain of the artificial leather the workmanship identical to the original finish could be achieved thanks to samples stored at the subcontractor s factory Thus long standing efforts were continued for the reproduction with attention paid to even a single machine screw Complicated gear mechanism revealed in the helicoids when dismantled S3 was designed with very complicated internal mechanisms and it was necessary to manufacture and fabricate component parts identical to those incorporated in the original S3 in order to reproduce a smooth operation similar to that attained with the original S3 One of those component parts was the focal length adjusting gear unit at the top of the body which was one of the features of S3 The gear unit was incorporated to move the focusing ring at the lens side and it was composed of many special fine pitch gears which are not used at present In actuality an identical gear unit was successfully reproduced and fabricated but the gear unit failed to move when the lens assembly was mounted Then by trial and error the operation of the gear unit was adjusted repeatedly and eventually an almost perfect copy of the original operation could be achieved The number of major component parts of S3 is 554 and the total number of component parts including smaller parts reaches 816 Reproduction of the S3 was a project requiring enormous efforts to faithfully reproduce so many component parts one by one It was supported not only by the technical capabilities of Mito Nikon but also by the subcontractor companies which have consistently supported Mito Nikon over the years In every subcontractor company only a handful of employees knew the original S3 and they were all of advanced age but they could use their brains The S3 Replica model was developed with the in house identification code of M200 The uppercase M meant Mito though M200 was the designated code since there was once a product identified with the model number of M100 In the placement of orders for component elements to subcontractor companies relevant drawings were identified with the model number of M200 However the staff involved in the project was able to understand which camera the M200 referred to According to the persons concerned the greater part of engineers in the subcontractor companies who noticed the model number of M200 understood the significance of the project and provided the greatest possible cooperation for the reproduction work without worrying about making a profit The S3 reproduction project evolved into a significant project demonstrating the affection the engineers had for it Component parts not manufactured as expected Orders for component elements were sent out smoothly and the project was advancing successfully However problems occurred in the component parts delivered from the subcontractor companies Dimensions and shapes of component parts were found to be incorrect This was attributed to the drawings distributed to the subcontractor companies Sample drawings and component parts for S3 Today drawings are based on the third angle projection in which an object is drawn as a top view as it is viewed from the top However in the days when the original S3 was developed the first angle projection was used for drafting in which an object was drawn as a bottom view by projecting the top view Mito Nikon distributed the first angle projection drawings to the subcontractor companies with the instructions to convert the drawings into third angle projections for the actual manufacturing However the subcontractor companies did not know the differences between the first angle projection and the third angle projection and manufactured the component parts by reading the drawings as drafted based on the third angle projection In addition it was found that the coating color of the finished component parts varied between lots Component parts were subcontracted to several factories for manufacturing and a uniformly beautiful appearance could not be attained at the final assembly if the color of the chrome coating on the outer surfaces of component parts was not uniform Everyone involved was fully aware of the difficulty in making the coated parts look identical in color However no compromise was made for even slight differences in color Half of supplied upper covers ruined Another problem difficult to deal with was the etching of serial numbers on the upper cover The etching process was based on the specifications for the original S3 and the etching had to be made immediately after pressing the upper cover parts in the working procedures This step was followed by the processes of blasting caulking and coating but blasting immediately after etching was extremely difficult It was a high degree of difficulty

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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Nikon SP Limited Edition
    of the viewfinder was not discovered right away However the accuracy of the SP viewfinder is the biggest feature of the SP The engineers were reportedly struggling to find the solutions for a half year while examining the viewfinder The viewfinder was assembled basically in accordance with the charts remaining in the drawings though there was no clue regarding the assembly procedure The engineers could not find any approach to define a position as a reference simply by looking at the drawings In addition even though they dismantled the purchased pre owned SPs for reverse engineering this could not help the engineers to define the references due to the individual differences between the used cameras Engineers used to take charge of adjustment at their own discretion Adjustment of the viewfinder It is not known how the cameras were fabricated and the accuracy was insured in the days of the original SP when there were none of the lasers and other equipment for adjustment and testing and inspection of optical systems that are available today When the engineers were trying to fabricate the viewfinder they found that no document existed referring to the tools and materials used in those days It was believed that back then the manufacturing staff might originally prepare the required tools Moreover individual engineers would have also made adjustment of the viewfinder separately Based on the fact that a total of 23 000 units of SP later appraised as an excellent machine were shipped even under such circumstances clearly the technical expertise of that time in the manufacturing division must have been outstanding Every stage of the reproduction project pointed to the signs of the greatness of the technical skills in those days Mito Nikon eventually fabricated and installed an original system for the adjustment of the optical axis using a collimator and laser and improved the accuracy of adjustment and also saved man hours Even so individual tasks involved manual detailed operations and it still took a great deal of time to assemble and adjust the viewfinder Ghost caused by high optical performance Some prisms incorporated in the viewfinder Looking into the viewfinder of the SP repro model we find that the subjects look brighter and clearer than through the original SP This can be partly attributed to the deteriorated visual performance of viewfinder on the original SP due to secular changes though the reproduction model takes full advantage of the significantly enhanced performance of prisms and lens elements incorporated in the viewfinder compared to the original model The viewfinder on the repro model is superior to the original in visual performance and visibility However surprisingly there was a hidden trap caused by the enhanced optical performance Light rays can pass through the viewfinder more smoothly and this causes the unexpected generation of ghost flare in the visual field of the viewfinder Even any slight misalignment between prisms incorporated can be reflected as ghost flare For the ghost a solution was established after much trial and error through fine position alignment between prisms by manually trimming some prisms constituting the viewfinder The trimming involved hard work to achieve prism adjustments in the order of only 0 2 mm Any excess trimming would deteriorate the principal optical performance The solution was reinforced by coating the prism corners with black ink using a brush to block any detrimental stray light due to light reflection This demonstrates the high level of technique achieved by elaborate hand work Viewfinder field frame plate In addition it took much time until the colors of the field frame in the viewfinder were determined The couple finders were reproduced with the right side frame colored in white for focal lengths of 5 cm to 8 5 cm yellow for 10 5 cm and red for 13 5 cm However when examining an existing original SP the frame colors are found changed due to aging and the original colors cannot be identified The frame colors cannot be represented in any simple colors and the trial and error method was used by mixing various colors This shows how the engineers were stuck at such details because they aimed to achieve a faithful reproduction to the original Back to top Procurement of equipment and materials attained by drawing on the experience gained in the reproduction of the S3 Serial numbers from 0001 through 2500 without any omission Serial numbers matched between body and lens Based on the experience gained in the reproduction of the S3 the procurement of component parts other than the viewfinder was started in due course Again in this project cooperation was received from the subcontractor companies that helped Nikon in the S3 reproduction project The SP repro model was developed with the in house identification code of M400 The experienced engineers in the subcontractor companies should have noticed to a certain extent what the code meant The trend of the present times is increasingly moving toward digitalization Nikon has also been devoting its main efforts to the development of a digital SLR Possibly this project would be the last attempt to reproduce any classic camera this was the feeling of not only Mito Nikon but also of the subcontractor companies that had been supporting Nikon for a long period of time For the etching of the serial numbers on the upper cover which had been one of the difficult problems to deal with in the S3 reproduction project the shipped SP was marked with serial numbers from 0001 through 2500 without any omission Certainly individual engineers enhanced their skill levels through their experience with the reproduction of the S3 replica model Even so it was a tough task to finish both the body and the lens up to the serial number 2 500 without any omission We can imagine how necessary it was for all the parties involved including Tochigi Nikon that took charge of the lens to pay special attention to details in doing the jobs In particular as the unit with

    Original URL path: http://chsvimg.nikon.com/history/chronicle/history-sp/index.htm (2016-02-17)
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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Nikon FM3A
    July 2001 the single focal length manual focusing lens went on sale simultaneously with FM3A It features a thin and lightweight design with a distance of 17 mm from the mount surface and a weight of approx 120 g It is commonly called pancake lens for the external view Due to the newly designed Tessar type optical system configuration of 4 elements in 3 groups and the 7 blade circular diaphragm it provides excellent imaging characteristics In consideration of the proper matching to the FM3A it was finished with a quality metallic appearance The filter hood and cap were also designed specifically for this lens system and particularly the hood was equipped with a specific function to allow installing a cap over the hood and a novel conical dome design A CPU was integrated in the system to allow all exposure control modes programmed aperture priority shutter speed priority and manual In addition to the silver finish the black finish system was released in November 2001 at 48 000 yen tax not included Back to top Major Specifications of AI Nikkor 45mm f 2 8P Type of lens Nikon F mount CPU integrated P type manual focus lens Focal length 45 mm Max aperture ratio 1 2 8 Lens configuration 4 elements in 3 groups Angle of view 50 when mounted on 35 mm 135 format camera 41 50 when mounted on an IX240 format camera 34 50 when mounted on a Nikon digital camera D1 series Object distance information Unavailable output of object distance information into the camera body Focus adjustment Rotating system with range ring Shortest object distance 0 45 m Aperture control Automatic aperture control Diaphragm 7 blades circular diaphragm Attachment size 52 mm Dimensions Weight Approx 63 Max diameter 17 mm Length measured from the bayonet reference surface to the tip of the lens 120 g Accessories Dedicated 52 mm spring loaded front cap dedicated rear cap camera back dedicated 52 mm NC filter dedicated hood HN 35 and dedicated soft case Back to top Receiving unexpected favorable reviews Market debut Nikon FM3A went on sale in July 2001 At that time digitization was proceeding in full swing The camera industry was no exception and Nikon released the digital SLR camera D1 in 1999 for professional use In 2001 Nikon put the D1X and D1H on the market in May and July respectively Just at the time when digital cameras were going to the mainstream Nikon made the conscious choice of placing the FM3A on the market as a manual SLR camera In those days some users were moving over to digital cameras while others were using auto focus SLR cameras In addition there were those who loved the traditional manual Nikkor lenses It was a period of transition to digital cameras and diversified needs crossed with each other Can you imagine selecting the appropriate exposure manually and adjusting the lens focus each time you take a photograph In this camera Nikon should have placed a message about going back to the basics of camera and photography The camera was initially scheduled to go on sale in April 2001 but it was released in July three months behind schedule The delayed date of sale was forced by the rush of orders for the product after the announcement of introduction and the failure to secure an adequate supply due to a great deal of manual operations involved for assembly and adjustment Development team by selecting the finest staff The development of FM3A was launched in December 1998 Unlike the conventional approaches for product development the engineering staff from Mito Nikon an group company joined the engineers in the Ohi Plant from the very beginning of development to form a project team Mito Nikon had been primarily involved in the manufacturing of the Nikkormat series and other mechanical cameras The Mito Nikon staff assigned to mass production joined the development team from the start in order to prepare for many required manual operations for assembly and adjustment in the fabrication process and ensure a high level of quality control throughout the entire process from development to mass production The team was first formed with seven members Though later was increased to twelve the select few worked for development in a room in the Ohi Plant Back to top Implementation of a hybrid shutter Successful combination of aperture priority AE and battery free operation Around April of 1999 when a rough product concept of FM3A was established after about four months of discussion the project went into full swing The manual exposure and mechanically controlled New FM2 had long been a best seller since its first introduction in 1984 enjoying a persistent popularity It was favorably used by experienced amateur photographers students of photography fundamentals and other users deeply interested in the operations and processes for taking photographs In addition it offered the major benefit of shooting being possible even when the battery was exhausted On the other hand however there was an increasing demand to provide the New FM2 with the aperture priority AE and automatic flash control of Speedlight The project team studied over and over how to meet the demand Eventually in order to address the primary concern of users that is the simultaneous availability of aperture priority AE and battery free shutter operation the project team decided to adopt the mechanism called hybrid shutter Hybrid shutter Shutter unit of FM3A The hybrid shutter electronically controls the shutter in the aperture priority AE mode while it provides mechanical control of the shutter in the manual exposure mode This means the shutter can be operated in the manual exposure mode even without a battery This design means that one shutter must properly operate with two control systems resulting in a complicated shutter mechanism Furthermore the number of required component parts and also the size of the shutter unit had to be increased accordingly To install the shutter unit it was essential to increase the space for mounting In practice however since the FM3A was considered as a successor to the New FM2 the upsizing of the camera was not permitted A method for mounting the unit in a limited space had to be devised In addition the fabrication of shutter units had been assigned to subcontractors although the development of the shutter unit operating on special mechanical and electrical combined designs was limited to some experienced expert engineers The experienced engineers repeatedly offered advice to younger engineers In general it is difficult to ensure the accuracy of mechanical shutters as they are designed to offer higher operating speeds In addition it was extremely difficult to develop a shutter unit with a complicated mechanism for hybrid operation and in the early stages it was thought that the highest speed of 1 4000 second would be impossible to realize However finally after careful adjustment the demanding criteria were successfully cleared Back to top Traditional style indications within finder Intuitively easy to understand exposure meter with indicator needle Field frame in viewfinder showing a montage photograph The hybrid shutter was an innovation for the FM3A On the other hand FM3A adopted the traditional exposure meter with indicator needle which had been continuously applied from the Nikkormat EL released in 1972 Looking at the viewfinder several pieces of exposure related information are indicated on the left side of the screen For the analog meter a rough estimate of needle position helps to intuitively understand the shutter speed in the aperture priority AE mode Thus this model was highly regarded especially by experienced users Ammeter located at the root of needle for exposure meter The meter with needle indicator is an ultra compact ammeter similar to those used in level meters for audio equipment However there was no Japanese manufacturer in those days that could fabricate an ammeter that was small enough to install in the camera and satisfy the specified precision The request for fabrication was rejected because We are not competent to fabricate such a small and high precision product After a long search a manufacturer specializing in the production of ammeters was discovered in a foreign country However satisfactory accuracy was not achieved then after repeated consultations with the on site engineers and with patience finally a satisfactory level of product accuracy was attained A used FE2 was procured from a second hand camera shop and it was dismantled and the ammeter was removed It was found that the compact sized and high precision ammeter that Nikon was seeking to design was built largely based on hand work The real ammeter removed from FE2 was shown to the engineers in the subcontractor and specific instructions were repeatedly provided Enhanced visibility of shutter speed indication The indication of exposure related information within the viewfinder was based on Nikon s longstanding practices though the visibility of information was enhanced due to improvements The enhancements would be clearly understood by comparison though the numeric characters vertically arranged to show that the shutter speeds are considerably larger compared to those adopted in FE2 The size of the numeric characters was increased to improve the visibility for experienced elderly users However that caused the misalignment between the needle on the shutter blue frame showing the selected shutter speed and the numeric characters to be more conspicuous Smaller size numeric characters are easy to fit in the blue frame though larger numerical characters are not Then improvements were made including a wider blue frame and adjustment by manual operation was added in the fabrication process In addition special consideration was given to ensuring the smooth motion of the pointer on the ammeter without any interference from static electricity and a balancer was incorporated to keep the pointer in balance without any effect even if the ammeter becomes slanted due to the tilted camera Back to top Major difficulty of control section Hybrid compatible control section The shutter dial in the FM3A has the numeric characters of a series of multiple numbers from 1 through to 1000 2000 and 4000 and the alphabet letters A and B inscribed When the individual characters are aligned with the indicator the shutter is set at aperture priority AE for A 1 4000 sec for 4000 one second for 1 and bulb for B shutter kept at full open respectively The mechanism to transmit the shutter dial settings to the shutter unit was called control section Control section of FM3A The control sections for FM3A FM2 and FE2 are shown below The control section for FM3A is much more complicated The control section for FE2 is the simplest and in terms of mechanical operation it activates the needle within the viewfinder and electrically controls the shutter The control section for FM2 is designed to provide mechanical linkage between the shutter dial and the shutter unit and the linkage is configured with three gears The control section for FM3A incorporates the mechanism of both control sections for FE2 and FM2 for the hybrid shutter Control sections for FM3A New FM2 and FE2 shown from left Switching between electronic control and mechanical control The shutter unit had to be provided with a mechanism to allow switching between electronic control and mechanical control in response to shutter dial settings such as aperture priority AE and 1 4000 sec in the manual exposure transmitted to the shutter unit from the control section A focal plane shutter is composed of front curtain and rear curtain The time difference from the start of traveling of front curtain to the start of traveling of rear curtain corresponds to exposure time In the FM3A in the aperture priority AE mode electronic control becomes active and when the timer expires the predetermined time setting the rear curtain stop shoe is released and the rear curtain travels completing the exposure In the manual exposure the mechanical governor instead of the timer reaches a predetermined time the rear curtain stop shoe is removed and the rear curtain travels Typical shutter units contain a single rear curtain stop shoe though the hybrid shutter in FM3A has two shoes for electronic control and mechanical control for proper use based on the settings on the control section In practice in the manual exposure mode other than A mode the shoe for electronic control is retracted and the mechanical control becomes active while in the aperture priority AE mode available by selection of A the shoe for electronic control pops out for activation The operational principle may seem simple when described but it was hard work to mount the complicated mechanism in a confined area and a part of camera body was depressed as a desperate measure Bypassing the ammeter In the FM3A the shutter becomes mechanically controlled in the manual exposure mode and the entire shutter unit is also set under the mechanical control of control section From the simple external view of camera it may be postulated that a shaft is located directly below the shutter dial and it extends to the shutter unit to allow direct transmission of shutter speed settings In practice however extremely complicated mechanical linkages were required As the ammeter lies just in the middle between shutter dial and shutter unit the mechanical linkages must be configured getting around the ammeter to ensure the interlocking between shutter dial and shutter unit The FM2 does not contain any ammeter therefore there is adequate space The FE2 contains an ammeter in a similar position though the interlocking is achievable simply by electrical wiring However the FM3A had to incorporate the mechanisms of both FM2 and FE2 in the same area of space Control section and shutter unit In the initial design there was no space left below the ammeter and an attempt was made to install a wire for interlocking The interlocking through wire was once adopted in the FM In actuality when a wire is installed as threading the way through several rollers to change the direction in a confined area the wire is too long and as a result due to the slack or looseness in wire caused by its extended length smooth clicking and interlocking could not be obtained There was no choice other than gear combined linkages Radical reassessment was made regarding the size of the ammeter and related peripheral component parts as well and a U shaped bypass linkage mechanism was found to allow successful interlocking However the increasing number of gears meant a new challenge for the developers to deal with backlashes Gears fail to move without any play Play however causes backlash A considerable amount of time was spent on tightening the dimensions and tolerances of gear component parts to the allowable limits and minimizing possible play Wire based interlocking design Bypass linkage mechanism FE2 After the successful reduction of backlash in the control section to the possible minimum level in the final gear engagement section with the shutter unit careful manual adjustment was carried out for individual cameras The tactile click touch dial and accurately responding shutter operation may be attributed to the diligent handwork by the workers in the process of fabrication The background described above indicates that the FM2 and FE2 look similar in the external view but they are independent of each other and there has been no camera developed uniting the two models This was a comprehensive compilation of manual SLR cameras and Nikon took on the challenge of implementing it as the manual camera for the 21st century Back to top Sophisticated body and refined capabilities Brass cover formed by drawing Top and bottom covers and body die casting For the FM3A the external frame parts were also very hard to implement The body top cover was formed by drawing a solid plate of brass which could be implemented fortunately based on the know how In the typical drawing method drawn to thinner portions are likely to be easily broken In actuality brass plate is drawn gradually based on a step by step approach rather than by a single action to form the external frame Also for this drawing process the advice of elderly experienced engineers was useful The raw material for the external frame of FM3A is 0 7 mm in thickness which is drawn to the thinnest portion of only around 0 2 mm In those days when metal body cameras were in full flower it was a common practice that metallic materials were mechanically stamped to form the camera body However in recent years as the molding of plastic materials becomes predominant the mechanical pressing of metallic materials is a vanishing technology falling into disuse The engineers who have experienced the age of the traditional technology contributed to the successful implementation of FM3A Brilliantly shining details like handicrafts Beautiful lathe turning patterns At first glance the FM3A looks the same as the FM2 though the pointed section of the pentaprism is designed taking a cue from the Nikon F as the starting point of Nikon s SLR cameras In addition in contrast to the FM2 which adopted the black shutter dial for the chrome body the dial was changed to a chrome finish in the FM3A to better fit the chrome body It was a design of exquisite taste In addition the release button ring and the film windup lever are designed with lathe turning patterns on the top surface showing the designer s care with texture The attention to every detail of the product produced such refinement as that of craftwork To the camera functionality is not necessarily everything It also demonstrates how eager Nikon was to manufacture the camera as the costs incurred were very high due to the previously unimaginable details Supporting the TTL flash control of Speedlight and automatic setting of film sensitivity DX contact The FM3A manufactured as a manual SLR camera in the 21st century has made steady progress also in the details with cutting edge specifications One of the enhancements includes TTL flash control of Speedlight which has

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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Legendary Nikons / Vol. 1. Nikon F4
    reflex SLR cameras This had been under development in parallel with matrix metering and finally reached the actual test stage The results of the trial shots taken by the engineers were highly promising The TTL phase difference detection method sensed the degree to which the image was out of focus The new technology delivered excellent performance even in continuous photography of moving subjects which is difficult to do manually The Nikon F3AF released in April 1983 featured this new technology From these experiences the camera development department recognized that a top level SLR should feature an AF system in the future As we ve seen there had been a constant demand from users for Nikon to combine a high speed shutter with matrixt metering The AF system itself however also had to be developed and extended As a result it became apparent that a full model change for the F3 was in the offing Back to top The F4 is not a high grade version of a fully automatic point and shoot camera When you look at the specifications of the F4 including auto film advance rewind AF and automatic exposure you might think its design is influenced by the development of full auto lens shutter cameras It is certainly understandable that some photographers believed that the Nikon F series is being developed under the same concept as a decision free camera However this was not the case The actual development concept for the F4 was this make a high end SLR camera that produces the finest quality pictures possible Of course development concerns took into account the analysis of current and possible future technological advances Back to top The first step build a better battery The first problem Nikon addressed was how much reliance to place on the batteries The priority issue of ultrahigh speed shutters could be implemented through mechanical means But with the implementation of automatic exposure however this meant that the shutter should really be controlled electrically And since the matrix metering system requires a microcomputer CPU the electrical circuit had to be quite large When you add autofocusing needs to the design an even larger circuit is called for But even if a purely mechanical system capable of functioning without batteries was used then that would demand the duplication of certain elements in the electrical and mechanical systems making it difficult to assure reliability Nikon engineers then realized it would vastly simplify design details to use only one system mechanical or electrical Back to top Wait there s more Another point to be considered was the film advance rewind mechanism The advance rewind mechanism consumed the most battery power at that time Systems with motor drives required eight 8 R6 AA batteries for high speed operation If the motor were built into the body to move the shutter and film directly it would probably be able to drive the system with only four 4 batteries While the result would be larger than a manual wind

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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Legendary Nikons / Vol. 2. Nikon F4 (part II)
    28 27 26 25 24 23 22s 22 20 The accuracy of Nikon s Matrix Metering system works even for vertical format photography This means that even when you take vertical format shots you re assured accurate exposures just as in standard horizontal format shooting Finally there s the Continuous Silent CS mode While it is slow in rewinding it does so very quietly In brief these were the major features of the F4 camera Back to top Distinctive character distinctive merit Infrared IR cut filter The development of the above technologies was not widely undertaken at that time in the industry because this seemed unnecessary for conventional cameras However for the F4 project Nippon Kogaku K K forged ahead even though this incurred a longer development period and greater development and manufacturing costs On the other hand these features did not enhance the specifications of the product nor did they significantly increase functionality In short the features of the F4 that we just reviewed were not high profile elements that delivered high specification numbers or new modes except for the Continuous Silent CS mode There were no palpably new features for the user to explore However in the shooting process such as when adjusting exposure or when pressing the shutter release button these features were always working in the background This allowed users to take high quality tailor made photos Thus the themes behind the overall development of the F4 camera were 1 a focus on basic functions and 2 the technology behind the scenes philosophy which lets you concentrate just on shooting a picture Back to top Instinct and rationalism Shutter balancer Some people who work in camera technology development can see the problems that prevent the improvement of basic functions and try to do everything to solve the problems We can call this the instinctual approach These developers believe that any changes they make will definitely improve the quality of taking pictures and the ease of taking them During the development of the F4 camera a plan was made to include all improvements in the basic functionality of the camera Thus almost all of the technologies that were developed at that time were used However as opposed to instinct driven development there is always the matter of practicality Related to this is the concept of profit making Although it does not mean that profits mean everything it does dictate that improvements in specifications should be kept to a minimum to contain costs If there is no profit then it becomes difficult to develop and provide new cameras to the users Another practicality related issue that is highly important is do the improvements answer the needs of the users In the previous article I mentioned that the F4 was not produced only by the Nikon team but also by user demands But when you look at the camera s specifications did anybody ask Nikon to develop them Although it is a plus to improve basic functions how significant

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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Legendary Nikons / Vol. 3. Nikon F3
    viewfinder The electronically controlled shutter a breakthrough in camera technology took some time to develop due to the simultaneous development of the electromagnetic shutter release system This system released later disables the camera even during shooting when the battery has fully discharged This might have been a better solution to the above problem Anyway almost all of the problems were solved including those in the AE circuits and the F3 Photomic AE a name which might have been used if released camera was about to be released as a Nikon product This was considered to be a reasonable successor to the F2 It was solid practical and well conceived But it was never released Back to top A dream comes true The pin hole mirror The pin hole mirror The Nikon F and F2 s interchangeable Photomic viewfinder with its built in exposure meter could be improved accordingly as technology advanced But TTL metering cannot be performed with viewfinders that lack a built in exposure meter e g Waist level finder Action finder etc Nippon Kogaku K K was not to able to explain this problem but the Engineering and Development Group was working on a new technology Instead of metering from the viewfinder they worked on a way to perform TTL metering from the camera body camera body metering There were similar technologies available but some caused the viewfinder to darken while others shaded the field of vision There was also a problem with the actual metering function A new idea was necessary Then after years of research a pin hole mirror was developed On the reflecting side of the reflex mirror there are number of pin holes and the light that passes through the holes goes to the metering sensor By changing the placement of the holes the metering function becomes fairly flexible and there s no problem with the viewfinder s visibility Also the light is lead by the sub mirror to the bottom of the camera s mirror box and is then collected at the sensor through the condenser lens This sub mirror is a unique feature which condenses and expands light The design enables TTL flash control using the sensor Now a common feature TTL flash control was developed to control the light from the speedlight so that an adequate amount of light can pass through the shooting lens to the film Back to top A change for the better Printed Circuit Boards PCB The viewfinder can be made smaller by employing camera body metering via the pin hole mirror Body metering technology resulted in a decrease in size and weight from the Nikon F2 Thanks to this idea many of the camera parts both outside and inside became smaller and lighter Since this idea took shape mechanical efficiency optimization and downsizing have become predominant themes Nikon s primary hope for the F3 was that it operate smoothly However since the TTL metering and the AE circuit were moved to the camera body from the

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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Legendary Nikons / Vol. 4. Nikon F2
    A was also designed to offer an overall increase in quality The plans for the A further included the adoption of a multiple exposure system and a shutter speed of 1 2000 of a sec not part of the Nikon F The A was to be an easier to use but tougher version of the Nikon F After careful review of the basic design while bearing the above concept in mind it was determined that a design plan based on the Nikon F was not going to fly the design had to be completely redone It was from this point that the lessons learned after the release of the Nikon F would finally begin to take effect Until this point each of Nikon s cameras from the Nikon M to the F had been revised versions of their predecessors This was the first time since the Nikon I that they d been required to formulate an entirely new design It was not the last however as the F3 F4 and F5 all resulted from original designs The body of the A contained many unique ideas the shutter s charging mechanism the release mechanism the construction of the driving spring cylinder and more These new features were not at all influenced by the old Leica Through the use of titanium Ti in the reflex mirror frame the mirror which caused virtually no finder vignetting could be driven faster than with the Nikon F The engineers were determined to make the A the ideal camera in terms of mechanics Furthermore the application of the most advanced technology available accelerated the camera s operation overall Reliability was high but it took some time to achieve an acceptable degree of durability Back to top The Motor Drive Revolution Nikon F2 Photmic with the Motor drive MD 1 We seem to have veered slightly off the topic Returning now to the discussion of the Nikon F another aspect of this camera that was held in high regard was the motor drive This was probably the feature that put the Nikon F ahead of its contemporaries The combination of the Motor drive F36 and the direct connecting battery case truly represented the dawning of the motor drive era in photography The motor drive gained worldwide popularity due to its mobility Later the noise it created would become a problem nonetheless the motor drive was established as a symbol of high class among more experienced users The F36 along with the 250 frame motor drive F250 were employed in the maintenance of scientific records as well as in a number of different industries The powers that be decided that for the A a motor drive that performed at a higher level and simplified operation was necessary It would be designed exclusively for the A model Among its new features were quicker film advance five 5 frames sec up from four 4 electronic film rewind and auto frame counter reset A feature of the A that stood out

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  • Nikon | Imaging Products | Legendary Nikons / Vol. 5. Nikon F
    stagnated and viewfinder technology wasn t progressing as quickly as they would have liked For example focusing was impossible with accessory viewfinders for interchangeable lenses and the views were not clear To solve these problems once and for all Nippon Kogaku s engineers decided to undertake intense technological study of SLR cameras Among the goals they set for themselves were that the new SLRs had to offer a shooting speed as fast as the SP and be just as easy as the SP to operate In this way planning for the Nikon F started while the SP was still being developed For the first time Nippon Kogaku was developing two 2 cameras simultaneously Priority was given to the SP as the F became a secondary project for the company By 1957 development of the Nikon SP had been concluded In February of that year Nippon Kogaku began concentrating all its energies on developing the F At that time however the Asahi Pentax had been introduced right on the heels of the Miranda the first pentaprism SLR in Japan Other new generation SLRs including the Minolta SR 2 and Znow had appeared in succession and offered the three major SLR technologies pentaprism viewfinders quick return mirrors and fully automatic diaphragms Just as important their operation was as easy as the rangefinder cameras Some of them were big hits in the market Some unique ideas that would be applied to the Nikon F were included in these other models With the unveiling of these new competitors development of SLRs at Nippon Kogaku which began early but had progressed slowly accelerated Back to top Designers of Nippon Kogaku were unhappy with the Nikon S series Rear view of the Nikon F 1959 It looked like Nippon Kogaku would be the last company to develop SLR cameras However its ideas and designs were ahead of the competition a reflection of how serious and earnest the company was about SLR technology When Nikon s first camera appeared many professional photographers entrusted it for their most important photos Again when talking about the history of Nikon it is important to note that the development of the Nikon F was directly affected by the input and influence of professional photographers For example in Japan Nippon only Nikon cameras offered interchangeable lenses in the true sense of the word For domestic cameras compatible with interchangeable lenses there were in reality only normal lenses available Problems that would probably occur when using wide angle or telephoto lenses did not affect those cameras For the Nikon S or S2 conversely 2 8cm and 10 5cm lenses were available in addition to 3 5cm lenses This reflects the fact that accurate composition and focusing were very important for Nikon cameras and the people who designed them and would use them Nippon Kogaku lavished its power and energy on developing the Nikon SP to create an extremely elaborate and super high grade camera with built in viewfinders with a range of 2

    Original URL path: http://chsvimg.nikon.com/history/chronicle/rhnc05f-e/index.htm (2016-02-17)
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