Rare Nikon F camera with original cloth-type shutter curtain for sale on eBay

Nikon F camera with cloth shutter curtain4 Nikon F camera with cloth shutter curtain5
Nikon F camera with cloth shutter curtain2 Nikon F camera with cloth shutter curtain3
Long time [NR] contributor Ron Volmershausen sent me a note about this very rare Nikon F camera currently listed on eBay (last bid $2,204):

This listing on eBay is going to create a bit of a 'stir' amongst the collectors; the 87th Nikon F to roll off the production line, way back in 1959. The seller didn't know what they had until a few eBay members started asking for more photos and info.

While early examples like this come up from time to time; this is one of the rarer examples as the body still has the original cloth-type shutter curtain... a feature leftover from the rangefinder days:

Nikon F camera with cloth shutter curtain1
Nikon F camera with cloth shutter curtain6
It's not known exactly how many F bodies were supplied with the cloth curtains but I've read some estimates that put it at only around 100 or so.

Everything else on the body appears to be original, as per the period.
It's going to be interesting to see what happens with this listing as it's a *real* eBay auction... with no hidden reserve and a starting price of only 99 cents.

Last time I saw an F this early (that was up for sale) was when Gray's of Westminster listed one for around US$250,000... that one turned out to be a forgery, forged by someone in Japan.

What's lovely about it all is that the camera is part of the seller's grandfather's collection. The grandfather passed away several years ago so the seller has been slowly selling off what he left behind.

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  • T.I.M

    is that shutter washable ?

    • Victor Biro

      Only on the gentle cycle

    • Ric of The LBC

      use Woolite

    • Micha

      Maybe it will loose its color from black over grey to white… ;o)

  • nwcs

    That is really cool. I hope it sells well for the seller. Amazing how many hidden treasures people have.

    • T.I.M

      that’s what I always says about my wife !

      • nwcs

        I say that about mine as well 🙂

  • ZoetMB

    This seller has hundreds of cameras available for sale on eBay. Unless his grandfather owned a camera store or a pawn shop, it’s hard for me to believe that they all came from him, especially if the listings are only a segment of the holdings.

    Only 14 bidders so far, so there isn’t all that much interest, a bit surprising. But if money was a non-issue for me, I might have tried to buy it.

    • IronHeadSlim

      Read the eBay description. Explains it all.

  • Photobug

    I am watching this item and the last minute bidding will be fun to watch. Terrific collector camera.

  • Joe Friday

    Just not worth any kind of money like this

    • T.I.M

      The highest bidder have only 5 feedbacks, looks like an inside job to me….

    • It’s “worth” what someone is willing to pay for it.

  • T.I.M

    From what I remember of my photography classes back in the eighties, that kind of shutter can create weird images when shooting a moving subject.

    • Blacksyrium

      Can you explain “weird”?

      • T.I.M

        fast subjects been “stretched” horizontaly

        • Spy Black

          Still happens today, only vertically.

  • Eric Calabros

    Good old days.. when DSLR designers didnt have to make it bulky as tank.

    • T.I.M

      I had a Minox 35GTE, best and worst camera ever made !

    • saywhatuwill

      Did you ever hold a Nikon F? It weighs a ton, so it has the heft of a tank.

      • Ya know I was thinking that as well, but then I went and took the lens off my F and compared it to my FE2 with no lens and they aren’t hugely different in size or weight. Then again, I ditched the hefty Photomic finder for the much lighter waist level one so that’s probably why.

      • T.I.M

        heft of a tank maybe, but it’s a Nikon, so no canon ! (I know that’s a bad one but I could not resist !)

  • Ric of The LBC

    I’d like the lens

    • Spy Black

      If you’re interested in having a lens like that, the Nikkor-S is readily available, many in excellent condition, if you hunt around ebay. I picked up an immaculate S-C model (identical but with the first Nikon multicoating process) last year for $120. If you’re interested, check out the Japanese sellers. Many have immaculate condition gear. In all honesty, I have no idea what the Japanese do with their gear, because some of their the stuff looks like it was never used!

      • Ric of The LBC

        That is the one that sits on my Df most of the time. Plus 16 other Non-ai, Ai, AIS and/or factory Ai lens. 🙂

        • Spy Black

          If you’re not familiar with him, there’s a fellow out in Ohio named John White who does Ai conversions of non-Ai Nikkors, allowing you to meter and record EXIF data once you’ve set your non-CPU setting. Mr. White converted this 50mm lens I’ve shown here, as well as my 20mm f/4. He does quality work, and is quite reasonably priced. If you never heard of him, check out his site: http://www.aiconversions.com/

          • Ric of The LBC

            Yes, he has a great reputation. Having the Df I don’t feel the need to have lenses Ai’d.

            If you enjoy Manual Nikon lenses then check out the Manual Focus Nikon Lens tread at Fred Miranda. http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/929565
            5778 pages strong.

      • I’ve purchased several old Nikkors from Japan and been pleased with them all. Most have arrived as quickly as if purchased domestically. And they have been super clean and the optics are superb. I got a super sharp, mint 135mm f/2.8 Q (non-Ai) for $55.

        • Spy Black

          Yes, the Japanese sellers sell the most incredible gear. I also picked up a 135mm f/2.8 Ai from Japan to use when I didn’t feel like lugging around my old 135mm f/2 that I bought back in the late 70s. While I’ve taken very good care of my f/2, look at it f/2.8 next to it in the image below. The f/2.8 is in unbelievably mint condition.

          Similarly, look at the 200mm f/4 I also got from Japan. I’m at a complete loss as to what they do with gear over there, because none of these 3 lenses I purchased from Japan looked like they were ever used.

          • Eledeuh

            They usually take very good care of them and the domestic buyers value appearance probably more than in other regions of the world.

            What you get as a result is a second-hand market with lots of items in pristine condition.

          • Ric of The LBC

            Those are sweet. I have not bought from Japan, was not sure if there were any fees or duties with any sale. I’ve learned otherwise but have not purchased any lenses in over a year.

            Here is the collection

            [url=https://flic.kr/p/yScTty][img]https://c3.staticflickr.com/1/752/21571560770_096d9f670b.jpg[/img][/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/yScTty]IMG_3[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/9962699@N04/]ric_hammond[/url], on Flickr

            • Spy Black

              Nice collection!

            • T.I.M

              wait to see mine !
              (well, I can show you or my wife will kill me….)

            • Spy Black

              I have a somewhat smaller set myself…

            • Ric of The LBC

              Very nice. Are they garage queens or do they get used?

            • Spy Black

              Oh yeah. I was just walking around the other day with the 55mm and 105mm Micros. This was with the 105… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/79e7fce324c5349dadcd29f67ce6403c29538898fe39e59bfbfb40556e4794cb.jpg

            • Ric of The LBC

              That’s what she said.

            • So, what’s that 300mm f/4.5 like. I read remarks that it’s not that sharp.

            • Spy Black

              I think it’s a bit soft wide open, but stop it down and it’s fine. Pretty much the story of just about any Ai lens in the digital age. However even wide open I don’t think it’s horrible. Below are three images, the dragonfly is wide open, the butterfly is f/8, and the turtle is f/11. Mind you, all three are shot using a 36mm extension tube on the 300 to get closer focus, which can compromise a lens’s performance.

            • Those all look fine…thanks for sharing that. Yes, I’ve tried using extension tubes to get closer with my 200mm and see a little bit of softness. Pixel peepers wouldn’t like these, maybe…but I think they look good. Maybe I’ll look at getting the 300mm after all.

          • Very nice. I think those guys over there just use them as mantle pieces or something. There seems to be a never-ending stream of them for sale on ebay and many of them look mint or nearly so. And of course they’re all built WAY better than just about anything offered today.

  • saywhatuwill

    OMG, how much is it? A long, long time ago I could have purchased one for maybe $200. If I had known it would go up in price I would have purchased it and sat on the camera. Well, my uncle still has his maybe I’ll let him know it’s worth something.

  • Gilboa

    I have my father’s (RIP) Nikon F, I think its a standard one with the photomic viewfinder. In very good condition and with a period Micro 50/60mm macro lens…does anybody know how much they sell for nowadays?

    • Spy Black

      Dont know too much, but other than models like this, the titanium models, and possibly the final model before the F2, they’re standard Fs. Peruse ebay and see what prices of Fs in similar condition to yours are going for.

  • D810-D5200_user

    Current bid (out of 19): USD $4,050.00

    • D810-F2A_user

      Sold for USD $6,111 after 27 bids

      • Simon Abraham Ampudia

        Hey! I have a similar one, do you think i should sell it? I have lots of accessories for it.

      • Simon Abraham Ampudia

        Wow! I have a similar one, do you think it is worth something? With lots of accessories.

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