So, I finally got a non-metered eyelevel prism for my Nikon F. Yikes! These things are so pricy, even in poor condition. The one I bought looks and is described as "good" condition, not the "minty" that I see so misused in descriptions. Even still, wow. Sticker shock! Are they really that sought after? Not sure if I would tag them as "rare". But, what a premium. I got my F body with the FtN metered prism, which works, and is accurate, for about as much.
I have had one on my F for years. Other than having to use an external meter, it is great - nothing to stop working! I am lucky in the silvering on the prism is still like new, but it does have a dent that does not effect it.
No, like Art said, you're not nuts. And, yes, they can be quite expensive. I got my current one, which is in fair condition, from the Pete Smith estate eBay auctions... Got it for ~$60 or so. Couple tiny dings in the front, a line, and a chip. Still prefer it to the big lump (the FTn finder).
What really ignited my wanting the plain prism was watching the NHK video on YouTube about the original designing of the F, and its influence on the camera world. The plain prism is so beautiful and elegant. Happy now to be able to shoot either way. I can meter with Sunny 16, my iPhone, or my Gossen Luna Pro F. Or, pop the Ftn prism back on.
The video claims that the triangle, square, and circle (prism, body, and lens mount) play nicely with Zen principles.
Fri 14-Jun-13 10:53 AM | edited Fri 14-Jun-13 11:01 AM by ArthurNikonF
Pocket Light Meter rocks. I have used it to measure exposure, as well as validate the accuracy of my Photomic head. One thing about it that amazes me that more folks don't rave about is that you literally can preview exposure on the fly. Instead of vague, general photographer catch phrases like "expose for the highlights", you literally can see if you are doing so or not, and the recommended shutter speeds. It really is a manual camera owner's best friend. I like using my Gossen, but why not carry one less piece of gear? And, I don't think there is any harm in metering in such a manner. Some may look down on it- not me.
Not nuts at all. I've been wanting a plain F for quite a while. Finally got one and it does have slight silvering issue. Not a big problem now as it is not very noticeable when I put my eye to the viewfinder. I'm sure you are enjoying your plain prism.
I see a lot online about how particular people are about the condition of prisms. Truth be told, I was not going to pay upwards of $400-500 for one. It's insane. I was able to haggle with the online dealer, and get for what I thought was a fair price. It's in good, not mint condition.
I bought my first brand new Nikon F, black body, with standard eye-level prism and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 lens in March 1970 for about $275 (overseas U.S. Navy commissary.) That's half the price that a beat up finder goes for now! Unbelievable!
I really learned photography with that Nikon F, and it's the best-looking camera ever made.
For a while I've wanted a meterless F or F2. I've found it's strangely more satisfying to use a meterless camera than it is to use a a metered camera and ignore the meter. (But I'm not denying that you're nuts ).
+1. Two years ago i bought my first Nikon F, from birth year 1970. Bought it in B&H. Love shooting with it,... and it's so nice having all the people staring at me, with weird faces, like i was an alien from other planet. Still record the pictures like old days: camera/lens/ASA/aperture/speed.
Nikonians!!! My best investment made after my camera!!!
Sorry I'm late to the party but I have always wanted a plain prism F! But the prices have kept me from even attempting to ask my wife for one. But I agree it has such a simple yet classic look that it just say pure photography!
Congrats enjoy and post a pic of it when you get a chance.
My original configuration, the FTn, was very inexpensive. The plain F prism was as well. The owner had done a great job of gluing the leatherette on the top of the prism. The optics are gorgeous, with no sign of mirror silvering at all. That was one thing I had read about, to avoid. He even included the plastic prism guard, which I have seen selling for like $50-60 on its own. So, I am indeed happy.
Both of the ones I currently have are round eyepiece versions. The chrome one is for sale, whereas the black one was sourced to replace the chrome one. Depicted below is the F with its black finder attached.