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Unusual or Rare Nikon SLRs
This list is not represented as being complete...no one knows all of them except maybe Nikon, and they are not talking.
Nikon F rarities See Separate Profile
Nikkorex F in Black Though common in chrome, black Nikkorex F is very rare. See Profile The same camera in black with the Ricoh Singlex name is even rarer.
NIKKOR J, a Nikkorex F made for the German market, see Separate Profile
Nikon F2 Titanium, F2 Titan See Separate Profile
Nikon F2 High Speed 10 fps Titanium Body, extra battery pack fitted below first battery pack, fixed pellicle mirror, MD-2 based MD-100 motor, no auto diaphragm, 36 exposure back and 250 exposure back versions, no self timer or mirror lock up, black finish only, production unknown but probably in the 200-300 range. Most sources do not list or recognize 250 back version. See Separate Profile
Nikon F2 DATA See Separate Profile
Nikon F2 NASA Made in very limited quantities, with special modified lenses. Kind of a gray dull finish. Never sold to the public. Production about two dozen cameras.
Nikon F2 25th Anniversary. This was a great idea which went tragically awry. It was not a Nikon factory product, but the brainchild of the New York EPOI office -- the American importer of Nikon at that time. Unfortunately, the idea was all they got right. Rather than an engraving, EPOI New York GLUED ON a cheap ugly gray plastic "25th Anniversary" plaque on the left front top plate of the camera. Besides looking ugly and stupid, the plaque is also easily broken off. Bonehead of the Year award to the nitwits that managed to screw up this great idea. The camera was also engraved on the bottom plate with its special 25th Anniversary number, apparently between 1 and 2500. The camera also came in a special "25th Anniversary" silver box. I have also seen one wooden plaque, stating that Nikon F2 Anniversary number whatever, went to whoever. As Nikon collectibles go, I do not consider this a good investment. I got these emails:
"Just to say enjoyed your info page I laugh at your F2 25th anniversary edition which I agree with 100%. I worked at Nikon at the time and one day I walked through the Garden City repair shop at EPOI's headquarters, and there was the gentleman gluing on the stickers on the F2 bodies and several where not even straight. I said it was a gimmick that will never sell and I was told to shut up about it, because so and so at EPOI thought of it.
"I just read your commentary on the "25th Anniversary Nikon F2" I had to laugh out loud, it brought back memories of mine and I sure could relate! I received mine as part of standard issued gear while working for a newspaper in 1977. My boss didn't see any collectors value in it, so we had a drawing in the office that day for who would get to use it, I won. Big deal, there were only seven of us at that time. That night I was on assignment at a "professional wrestling" match when the first guy that got thrown out of the ring landed on me and my new F2. That little glued-on plaque popped right off and that was the last time I ever saw it again. I remember there was a form in the box for registration to get the special commemorative wooden plaque suitable for hanging on the wall, I still have that to this day. It came engraved with my name on it and the serial number of the camera. As for the camera? Who knows...I left there in 1981 and turned it back in to the equipment pool. Do you think my plaque is worth anything?? (just kidding)"
Nikon FM Gold 60th Anniversary w/ matched Gold 50/1.4 These were made to commemorate Nikon's 60th corporate Anniversary and the introduction of Nikon's first compact camera in 1976. They were never sold to the public, being given to VIPs and being used for displays. They came with a special 50/1.4 AIS lens which had a GOLD rather than silver ring on it. Production unknown, but VERY limited See Profile
Nikon FM Notre Dame Football Sometimes Nikon presents special cameras to dignitaries at special events. One such special presentation Nikon was the red lizard skin FM presented to the head of Notre Dame University, at a special Notre Dame exhibition football game in Tokyo in the late 70's. This is a ONE of a kind Nikon. This one is literally as rare as it gets. I believe this is the first time this camera has ever been listed in any Nikon collector's list.
Nikon FEA These are black FE's with a factory added F3 type action finder. Made for underwater work by special order of National Geographic. See Separate Profile
Nikon FMA Two of these were made by the National Geographic staff, from water damaged FEA's.
Nikon FA Gold European Camera of the Year 1984. In its own special walnut case. Production 2000 cameras. See Profile
Nikon F3 NASA Made in very limited quantities, with special modified lenses. Kind of a gray dull finish. Never sold to the public. With special lenses, 250 back, and motor. Special NASA lenses were also made. See Separate Profile
Nikon F3 Half Frame. No one is supposed to know about these, but my Nikon spies came through. Two of these were made on special order for OLYMPUS. It was very hush hush because Olympus was embarrassed at not using the OM4 for their in house documentary work.
Nikon F3 Half Frame for Movie Industry. At least four of these were made, three were fitted with 250 backs--which became 500 backs.
Nikon F3 Titanium Champagne Presentation: The first 300 F3 Champagne (silver color) Titaniums were issued with special certificates, in a special walnut presentation case, with a matching number 50/1.4. I have never seen this listed in a Nikon reference book, but I have owned the camera. Any F3 Titanium Champagne is rare, since it was replaced after the first couple of years with the more durable black finish.
Nikon F3 Titanium Black: Though this camera was only recently discontinued, it is still relatively rare.
Nikon F3P intended for Photojournalists under extreme weather conditions. While it had special weather seals and a hot shoe on its finder, it was missing the self timer, multiple exposure lever and viewfinder shutter. see Separate Profile.
Nikon F3 Limited similar to F3P, hot shoe on the prism finder. The "F3 Limited" label is on the top plate. The self timer and multiple exposure lever are missing like the F3P. The shutter speed dial is higher, and the focusing screen is a fixed "B." See Profile
Nikon F3 High Speed See Profile Although referred to as the F3 High Speed, it was made for the 1996 Nagano Olympics. For years it had been said the F3's electronic shutter was not rugged enough for a High Speed version. Nikon finally made the F3 High Speed --AFTER the F5 was introduced! Production said to be 300 cameras, speeds to 13.5 fps --the fastest Nikon. Original price 500,000 yen. The most interesting thing about the price is that ALL F High Speeds, the F/F2/F3 had an original list price of 500,000 yen! Nikon insiders say that that this was planned as the LAST of the Nikon High Speeds. Part of the reason may be expected changes in digital technology which will eventually make high speed digital cameras very practical.
Nikon F3 AF This was the world's first production autofocus 35 SLR. Only two AF lenses and an AF Teleconverter were made for it. Fast and accurate focusing it was not. The F3AF is one of Nikon's few failures, but it was successful in pointing to the future of SLRs. F3AF's are not usually considered collectible, but they are hard to find. My advice: don't buy it for an investment unless it is cheap and like new in the box. The ungainly and large F3AF prism can be thankfully replaced with a standard F3 prism, turning it into a useful camera.
Nikon FM-2 Half Frame made in very limited quantities by special order of Norwegian Police SEE Profile
Nikon FM2n Titanium Year of the Dog for 1994, production only 300! See Separate Profile
Nikon FM2 Titanium Though this camera is relatively common compared to the rest of the cameras on this page, it is rare compared to regular production Nikons. New in the box examples are sure future collectibles.
Nikon FM2n Millennium Year of the Dragon Sold only in Asia for the year 2000. Production said to be 2000 -- though some sources say total production may be 3000. Until I saw one, I did not think I would like it. Profile in a few days. It is the standard FM2n finished in a champagne gold color, with a gold plastic Chinese style Dragon plastic emblem glued on the front above the self timer (why didn't they engrave it on the top plate?). It is sold with a special 50/1.4 AIS Nikkor matching 0000/2000 serial number with gold colored metal ring on the lens barrel, instead of the traditional chrome. On the back top plate below the advance lever "Year 2000" is engraved on the line above the 0000/2000 serial number. It comes in a special presentation box, with a special Nikon Year 2000 Millenium certificate. My thanks to Shannon Hong and to Koichi Nimura for providing info. See Separate Profile
Nikon F4 NASA Made in very limited quantities, with special modified lenses. Kind of a gray dull finish. Never sold to the public.
Nikon RS Underwater SLR What's this? How could this camera be rare? It was only introduced in 1992 amid much fanfare as Nikon's new underwater system SLR......only to be quietly discontinued in 1996. The story that I heard from Nikon reps is that it had too many leaks, the repairs were eating up the profits. The question is whether the leaks were really the camera's fault, or the divers who simply plunked the camera in the water rather than allowing it to gently submerge and compress the seals. Estimated production: 4,000. The Nikon RS is no longer represented at Nikon's corporate web site. This is the only instance in Nikon's history where a major system line failed in the market and was soon withdrawn. Others say the price was just too expensive to compete, but considering the prices of F5 housings, I find this rather difficult to believe. Another problem is the AF module, based on the lowly 5005. The RS is Nikon's most embarrassing failure since the woefully inadequate and laughably slow focus reply to the remarkable Canon EOS, the Rover 2020, eh I mean the Nikon 2020. Everything you could probably want to know about the RS you can find at these excellent sites: Camera Tech (look under Articles) and Paul Janosi's review (look under Articles).
Nikon F5 50th Anniversary: To commemorate the Nikon camera's 50th anniversary (Nikon was originally the name of their first 35mm camera, not the corporate name, in 1948). It went on sale June 1st 1998 in Japan, and quickly sold out. Production only 3000 units. See Separate Profile
Revised: November 26, 2003 . Copyright © 1998-2002 Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved. This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.