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Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) Finder Group of Accessories
for Nikon S-Mount Nikon Rangefinder (RF) cameras - Part II


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Part Three:- Multi-focal lengths (Universal) Nikon Variframe Viewfinder Models

Most of the Nikon rangefinder camera models after 1957 with the SP release have built-in bright-line frame as visual composition and focusing guide. There are cases where some model(s0 only supplied with scaled down frame lines and or for pre-SP era bodies that may not has one of the popular focal length lenses, special finder designed to suit the lens becomes necessary which can be easily installed on top of the accessory shoe for such purpose The basic option is to get a single focal length Finder type to suit the lens in use (Nikon referred them as "Individual Finder"). Some are supplied as standard accessory but most are sold as optional and usually, parallax correction is provided for longer telephoto finder on the specific type. While an individual viewfinder is good for single specific focal length only, an universal finder type is designed as multi-focal lengths from 35~135mm. There are basically two types of universal viewfinders: Variframe and Varifocal Zoom Finder.

Nippon Kogaku Tokyo Variframe /Universal Viewfinder for Nikon rangefinder cameras

Rear section view of a Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) early all chrome version of the Variframe Optical Viewfinder for Nikon  S-series rangefinde cameras Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) early all chrome version of the Variframe Optical Viewfinder for Nikon  S-series rangefinde cameras
Credit: Image courtesy of "Ebay - Mathew Duren" <ebay@ adorama> URL: Adorama. com, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.


The Universal Variframe Finder varies the picture frame area in accordance to the field of view of the lens in used. The Size of the image shown in the finder always remains unchanged. Just slip the finder onto the accessory show at the top of the camera. It has a dial at the base of the finder for adjusting to the focal length of the lens in use. Focus the lens first and then set the pallrax adjustment at the thumb wheel at the base in accordance to the focused distance set on the camera lens. Handling of the variframe finder is more of less the same with the Varifocal Finder introduced at later stage. EXCEPT the Variframe finder has NO graduation indicating 1X and 0.5X image magnification. Further, the magnification of the image DOESN'T vary as in the case of Varifocal finder type. Variframe finders are the earliest optical finder accessory that offer multi-focal lengths framing guides in a single finder. It varies the picture frame-size to conform to the field of view for Nikkor lenses from 35-135mm. They have a larger dimension than single focal length Finders. It was believed Variframe finder has been supplied as an optional accessory way back to the Nikon M. As the long production from then on, many variations could have been produced all these years as Nikon had kept on improving the models. Generally, you may use three stages to guess their rough year of produce. The early series may has "MIOJ", followed by "Nippon Kogaku Tokyo" and "Japan" as the closest to last quarter of the '50. Another small area which might be able to help as pre-Nikon S2 cameras had not adopted the 36x24mm format yet, you may see 32 x 24mm which may suggest they are the earliest versions.

Chromed, Nikon early version of Variframes Optical Finder for Nikon S-series rangefinder camerasThis was a Nikon M Variframe finder with S/N 902407 but has an early 24 x 36mm format indication along with "Nippon Kogaku Tokyo" + "MIOJ" -Rare accessory for the dedicated Nikon M Rangefinder Rare in the sense as you may also notice it also has a calibration of additional 10.5cm as well as 7.3 and 9cm settings. The shoe mount doesn't look Nikon fit either. These may suggest it was a produce for Leica but made during the M period. Calibrating focal length settings on a Chromed, Nikon early version of Variframes Optical Finder for Nikon S-series rangefinder cameras
Nippon Kogaku KK  MIOJ matking on an all  chromed, Nikon early version of Variframes Optical Finder for Nikon S-series rangefinder cameras
Credit: Image courtesy of camera$@EBAY®. He also operates a popular EBAY STORE where he often lists many used RARE pieces of Nikon, Leica and other old classic photo equipment, Images are also well taken for visual confirmation for buyers - he is also one of my favorite bookmark Ebay dealer. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
   
CLICK to view:- A Series of Variations/Models on Nikon (Nippon Kogaku K.K.) Variframe Optical Viewfinders by Mr. Richard Leon from CLASSIC Collectibles®.
   
Group of multiple versions/models on Nikon (Nippon Kogaku KK) Variframe Optical Finders


Black finished, Nikon late version of  Nippon Kogaku KK  Variframes Optical Finder for Nikon S-series rangefinder cameras
The shown Finder has a black finishing with almost similar configuration with the chrome version stated above. Obviously, with the different material used, it is lighter in weight. Nikon had produced variation with mounting foot for Contax cameras too but I don't have a Variframe version to show. Note the change of name to "Nippon Kokaku Tokyo and the 24 x 36 film format. I guess if we go into details, the entire page will not be able to accommodate the variations on this Variframe finder.

Credit: Image at the left courtesy of Mr. Kelvin Li from his popular gokelvincameras @ Ebay Store which retails for many hard-to-find Nikon, canon, Contax oldies. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Top view of a Black finished, Nikon late version of Variframes Optical Finder for Nikon S-series rangefinder cameras Focal length settings calibration of the Black finished, Nikon late version of Variframes Optical Finder for Nikon S-series rangefinder cameras Front section optical element
Rear section with eyepiece in a Black finished, Nikon late version of Variframes Optical Finder for Nikon S-series rangefinder cameras Black Veriframe Finder (Nikon) with original leather case Top view of  Nippon Kogaku KK (Nikon) black variframe finder type

A Nikon own version with most common Nikkor standard focal lengths marked on. This model shows "Made in Occupied Japan" (MIOJ) as well as Nippon Kogaku Tokyo at the back:-
An all chrome, early MIOJ  Nippon Kogaku KK  Tokyo version of Nikon Variframe finder with calibrating focal length settings An all chrome, early MIOJ  Nippon Kogaku KK  Tokyo  Nikon Variframe finder  top view

Front lens element in an all chrome, early MIOJ  Nippon Kogaku KK  Tokyo  Nikon Variframe finder  RAR section view with eyepiece  in an all chrome, early MIOJ  Nippon Kogaku KK  Tokyo  Nikon Variframe finder  top view Top view of the Nippon Kogaku old, antique Optical Finder variframes type
Credit: Image at the left courtesy of Mr. Kelvin Li from his popular gokelvincameras @ Ebay Store which retails for many hard-to-find Nikon, canon, Contax oldies. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
MIOJ early version Nikon (Nippon Kogaku) Variframe FINDER with added tiny eyepiece Rear view of MIOJ early version Nikon (Nippon Kogaku) Variframe FINDER with added tiny eyepiece
In most cases, the calibrating focal length for a Nikon Variframe is provided for 3.5, 5, 8.5 and 135mm. Late models could also include 10.5cm. It was also a fact that early Variframe Finder are more like Leica copies. It closely resembles Leica VIOOH (1940~64) Imarec model and VIDOM universal finder series. Many of these early series of Nikon Variframe Finder made for Leica may be able to verify via inclusion of odd focal lengths such as 7.3cm and 9cm which are not available in the Nikkor lens series.

A Nikon Variframe Finder with MIOJ marking. This one has an additional eyepiece for further image magnification Quite an interesting add-on.


Nippon Kogaku K.K. variframe finder for  Nikon rangefinder cameras BLACK version ype 9 top view showing  various focal lengths (Nikon) & colored close focus scales Nippon Kogaku K.K. variframe finder for  Nikon rangefinder cameras -   black variframe Type 9 last version without the accessory shoe
Nikon black bodied Variframe Finder Type/ Variation/ Model 9 showing various popular Nikon focal lengths Nikkor lenses. This version has NO accessory shoe. It has a similar design with DUAL dials/rings control for parallax / focal length adjustment (the close focus compensation are also color-coded) . This has almost the same design with the last version of the Nikon VARIFOCAL Finder model.
Some were also being produced with a Contax accessory shoe mounting foot. So far, I have found An illustrated history of Nikon rangefinder cameras by R. Rotoloni has the best description to absolute details in version history. IF you have special interest in the versions, you may consider getting a copy of his journal as reference.

Car Zeiss JENA Finder type for 2.8cm, 3.5cm, 5 cm, 8.5 cm and 13.5cm settings

Zeiss IKON 440 Turret Optical Finder - LINK

LEICA VIOOH finder

LEICA VIOOH / Imareact optical finder - LINK to webpage

LEICA VIDOM optical finder - LINK to webpage

Zeiss Jena Finder (left) with provision for 2.8, 3.5, 5, 8.5 and 13.5cm. The Zeiss Ikon's 440 Turret (above right) has an ultrawide 25mm with 35, 50, 85 and 135mm calibration.

Leica VIOOH Finder
with 35, 50, 85-90,135 mm settings.

Leica IMAREACT VIOOH Finder
| LINK |

Leica VIDOM Turret Finder
| LINK |

         
NOTE:- Comparing Nikon designed Finder Types with some of the popular Contax Carl Zeiss Jena / Zeiss Ikon Finders (NEW)

Canon  camera mounted Varifocal finder
previous | NEXT | Part Four Universal Finders - Nikon Varifocal Finder

Section 1 - Index Page w/Special Finders | Section Two- Variframe Finder | Section 3 - Varifocal finder | Section 4 - Sport Frame Finder / Others

| Message Board | lenses | Relative:- | Message Board | Rangefinder cameras
| Back to Main Index Page |

<<<-- Shown are two Canon RF typical variframe finder models, the Canon sport frame finder was very similar to Nikon but the varifical finder was leaning more towards to Leica design.


 

Nikon RF Lens Finder Group

Nikon RF variframe / varifocal Finder Group

Nikon RF Sports Finder Group

Nikon RF Lens hood Group

Nikon RF Reflex Housing for Telephoto lens Group

Nikon RF close-up accessories Group Nikon RF automatic film advance devices (motor drive/winder) Group

Nikon RF Lens misselenous accessories Group

Fixed fens Finders

Variframe/Varifocal

Sports Finder

Lens Hoods

Reflex Housing

close-up

Motor Drive

Miscellaneous

 

 

Fixed Focal length Finders | Variframe / Varifocal / Sports Finders | Reflex Housing | Motor Drive | Close-ups | Nikon RF Flash System
Accessories: Lens caps, Hoods/shades, Cases/Compartments, Filters, Packing/boxes, & Others | Instruction Manuals | Original Price Lists

 

Nikon RF lens group:-
2.1cm f/4.0 (21mm) | 2.5cm f/4.0 (25mm) | 2.8cm f/3.5 (28mm) | 3.5cm (35mm) lens group | 5cm (50mm) lens group
RF
Micro-Nikkor 50mm f/3.5 | 8.5cm (85mm) lens group | 10.5cm (105mm) lens group | 13.5cm lens group
18cm f/2.5 (180mm) | 25cm f/4.0 (250mm) | 35cm f/4.5 (350mm) | 50cm f/5.0 (500mm) | 100cm f/6.3 (external Link)

RELATIVE:-
Nikon Rangefinder (RF) Models | Pictorial History of Nikon | A small visual library on Nikon Ultra-Micro-Nikkor lenses
Manual Focus Nikkor lenses | Autofocus Nikkor lenses

For other issues, you may use the relevant
| Message Board | lenses | Relative:- | Message Board | Rangefinder cameras

 

LInk to Instruction Manual Section

 

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