Australian Camera

SPECIAL FEATURE

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35mm SLR in their legions. It also significan­tly lifted the image of Japanese cameras overall. The Nikon F was ahead of its time in many other areas too, including a titanium shutter with a top speed of 1/1000 second (although the earliest pre-production models had cloth blinds), interchang­eable focusing screens and finders (which would lead to versions with built-in metering), and a diecast all-metal constructi­on much stronger than anything that had been seen before.

Estimates vary, but Nikon subsequent­ly built over 860,000 Fs in many variants and the camera remained in production until 1974 by which time its status as an iconic design – and one of the most important in photograph­ic history – was guaranteed. It would be 13 years before anybody came up with a competitiv­e system, by which time Nikon was ready to counter with its even more capable F2.

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