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Nikon digital rangefinder: “prototypes have been seen around Tokyo”

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TomA (why is every knowledgeable and well respected person in photography called Tom or Thom?) wrote this comment in rangefinderforum.com regarding our Nikon digital rangefinder post:

Prototypes have been seen around Tokyo, so something is afoot!

This comment becomes even more interesting after the "BIG" Rangefinder magazine ad.

Some more speculations: 
  • The first Nikon rangefinder was produced from March of 1948 to August of 1949 (source), which means that the 60 years anniversary is this year (or next year if you consider the end of production).
  • Nikon F was introduced in 1959 (source).
  • Also, a reminder that Nikon produced a limited edition rangefinder in 2005 (source) which was reproduction of the original 1957 Nikon SP (except for minor details). Nikon rangefinders (in general) go for few thousand dollars on ebay:

Nikon Rangefinders on ebay


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  • Blog Admin

    Correct – I was calculating the Nikon F anniversary, while I was writing it

    Good that I am not a doctor!
  • Ghargh

    ” The first Nikon rangefinder was produced from March of 1948 to August of 1949 (source), which means that the 50 years anniversary is this year (or next year if you consider the end of production).”

    Which means that the 60 years anniversary is this year ;)

  • LeftSpin

    I have not used a range finder camera. Why are people interested in range finders? Is it just because they are smaller than an SLR?

    I would be much more interested in a digital view camera for the tilt/shift. Why don’t they make a small view camera? The live view is ready now. Put a large OLED screen on it, and you’re in business. You won’t even get the upside down and backwards problem.

  • sloma_p

    Well it’s not only a size – even though it’s pretty important as rangefinders let you go unnoticed when you need it. They are also much quieter – no mirror slap, some still have very quiet cloth shutter. Then there’s a blackout issue – in RF you see the picture at all times; today’s SLRs are pretty good in this respect, but you still get some blackout. Also, becaouse there’s no mirror, the lens can protrude into the camera much more enabling easier to design/higer quality/smaller (choose the one you need most :) lens, especially at wide angle. Then there’re some RF with 1x finder magnification, thus enabling you to photograph with both eyes opened – it’s kinda weird to see the focusing spot in front of you, but it allows very intuitive shooting. In general they’re brilliant for PJ work as let you capture THE moment with ease (well easier than SLRs anyway ;).

    As for digital vie camera – you can buy adapters to attach MF backs to LF cameras, enabling you to do any movements you’d ever dream of ;)

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