Modern Classic SLRs Series
Nikon F - Camera Controls Part III


This Section covers: Film Advance Lever | Frame Counter and Film Load Reminder | Film Rewind Crank | Film Guide Rails and Pressure Plate | Serial Number and Film Plane Indication | Film Speed Reminder | Shutter Speed Dial | Shutter Release Button | Shutter Curtain | Camera Back | Tripod Socket

Previous Part I covers: Film Transport Controls | Shutter Controls | Flash Sync Selector | Self Timer
Previous Part II covers: Depth of Field Preview | Mirror Lock-Up
Lens Bayonet (Bayonet) Release | Prism Release

Film Advance Lever

With a stroke angle of 135°, the film advance lever winds the film, cocks the shutter and operates the frame counter simultaneously in a single sweep or in a series of short strokes.

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A built-in locking device prevents the shutter tripping before it is fully cocked. The lever swings back to its original position when released. A 15° clearance angle affords ample room for the thumb, facilitating smooth winding of film. The lever is also milled along the thumb grip perimeter for non-slip operation.

Frame Counter and Film Load Reminder

Both indicators are located in the hub of the film advance lever. Numbered at intervals of 5, with index marks for each exposure, the frame counter automatically indicates the number of frames exposed.

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It resets itself to two frames before "0", as the camera back is removed. On the other side of the frame counter is the film load reminder which serves to remind the photographer whether the film loaded is a 20- or 36-exposure roll. It is set manually by means of an indicator pin.

Film Rewind Crank

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The film rewind crank is for rapid rewinding of film. It may be folded into the rewind knob when not in use. A red dot on top of the shutter release button rotates while the film is being rewound, and stops when the tongue of the film is pulled out of the take-up spool. At the base of the film rewind knob is an accessory shoe featuring an insulated contact for the Nikon cordless flash unit. The accessory shoe also accepts the Fisheye Finder and the Flash Unit Coupler.

Film Guide Rails and Pressure Plate

High speed (large aperture) lenses, used as standard lenses for the Nikon F, possess a shallow depth of field, and consequently show narrow tolerance limits with respect to film flatness. For this shallow depth of field, Nikon engineers have given special consideration to the maintenance of film flatness in the camera body.

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Two sets of film guide rails, with their surfaces precision ground, are positioned just in front of the film, the inner rails being slightly lower than the outer rails. The outer rails come into contact with the oversized pressure plate as the camera back is closed. The film pressure plate is precision finished to ensure utmost flatness, and anodized for surface hardness.

The film is brought under the take-up spool so that the film perforations are engaged firmly by the sprockets. The slit in the take-up spool is equipped with a small lug which catches the leader securely.

The two film guide rails and the film pressure plate together thus form a narrow slot through which a film is transported, maintaining the unmatched flatness of the film plane, and ensuring smooth film transport without risk of scratching. (The same consideration has been given to the Nikon F2 and Nikkormat cameras.)

Serial Number and Film Plane Indication

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The position of the film plane is not indicated, but it coincides with the top line of the serial number engraved on the top plate of the camera. It is at a distance of 46.5mm from the lens mount surface. It is very important when exact film-to-subject distance must be measured, especially in close-up work. (The same with the Nikon F2).

Film Speed Reminder

Located on the baseplate of the camera, the film speed reminder can be set for "E" (empty) and ASA speeds from 25 to 1600. In addition, there are two index points - the black index for black-and-white film and the red index for color film.

Shutter Speed Dial

Shutter speeds: 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1 /15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 second plus B and T. Provided with click-stops, the shutter speed dial can be turned 360° in either direction (when the Photomic FTN finder is not attached).

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The shutter speeds are marked clearly in large figures with fluorescent paint and color-coded to match the color-coding on the synch selector. The 1/60 second setting is calibrated in red to indicate the maximum speed at which X synchronization takes place. The higher speeds are marked in green.

The dial may be set before or after winding the shutter. It does not turn while the shutter is being cocked or released. Located in the recessed center of the shutter speed dial is a black dot which rotates as the shutter is wound and lines up with the preset speed in the nine o'clock position. When the shutter is released, the black dot turns back to the seven o'clock position. By checking the position of this dot, the photographer can check whether or not the shutter has been wound. The dial is also provided with a pin for direct coupling with the shutter dial on the Photomic FTN finder.

Shutter Release Button

The shutter is designed to be release by the pressure of the finger that is neither too light nor too heavy. The ring at the base of the shutter release button is threaded for the Nikon Cable Release. Around the shutter release button is a fingerguard, which also serves as the A-R ring.

The ring is set at "A" for advancing the film and at "R" for rewinding the film. The red dot on the shutter release button rotates 360° when the film is advanced one full frame, a helpful feature for making double exposures, as it permits accurate rewinding of one frame.

Moreover, the dot stops revolving when the film sprockets become disengaged, a warning to the photographer to stop rewinding before the tongue disappears into the film cassette.

The Titanium Shutter

As the shutter release button is pressed, the mirror lifts up and the lens diaphragm, coupled to this mirror action, stops down to the preset taking aperture. Then, the shutter runs and a moment later, the raised mirror returns to its precise focus-viewing position and the diaphragm re-opens automatically.

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These sequential actions occur with high accuracy and speed.' At the shutter speed of 1/1000 second, they take only 100 milliseconds. The fast action of the shutter mechanism restricts the darkening of the finder field to only a fraction of a second. The shutter curtain takes 14 milliseconds to travel across the film gate. X synchronization takes place at speeds up to 1/60 second. The curtain, made of titanium-foil, shows high resistance against heat and corrosion, low heat conductivity, small thermal dilatation, high fatigue strength with good bending properties and non-magnetization.

The surfaces of the curtains are dimpled for high tensile strength with minimum elongation. The Nikon designed precision ball bearings incorporated on the main shaft further guarantee smooth and friction-free operation of the shutter.

Camera Back

The camera back can be attached to or removed from the Nikon F body by turning the O/C key on the baseplate to the "close" or "open" position. The precise and sturdy construction of the camera back ensures secure fitting. It is made dust-proof by the overlapping of the portions that fit together. The camera back is detached from the body for the purpose of film loading or mounting the Nikon Motor Drive Back F36 or F250.

Tripod Socket

The tripod socket (1/4" threaded) is located in the center of the base plate of the camera body for good balance and stability.

This Section covers: Film Advance Lever | Frame Counter and Film Load Reminder | Film Rewind Crank | Film Guide Rails and Pressure Plate | Serial Number and Film Plane Indication | Film Speed Reminder | Shutter Speed Dial | Shutter Release Button | Shutter Curtain | Camera Back | Tripod Socket

Previous Part I covers: Shutter Controls | Flash Sync Selector | Self Timer Previous Part II covers: Depth of Field Preview | Mirror Lock-Up
Lens Bayonet (Bajonet) Release | Prism Release

Main Reference map in HTML & PDF:
Body with FTN Finder | FTN finder | camera body |
External links for F & F2

| Back | to Nikon-F - Main Index Page
Michael C Liu's Nikons Classic Site

Other Nikon F Variations

logo.gif (3k)   | Message Board | for Nikon F Series SLR Camera(s)
| Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
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| Back | to Pictorial History of Nikon SLR / rangefinders / Nikonos / digital cameras.

The Eyes of Nikon:-
Nippon Kogaku KK Rangefinder RF-Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses- Main Index Page
Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm |
Lenses -
45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm |
Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |
Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm
MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm |
35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm |
100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E


Nikon F
| Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat |
Nikon FM
| Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

MIR Supports for Photographic Community: Various Message Boards/Community Forums
Nikon F-series| Nikon F2-series| Nikon F3-series| Nikon F4-series| Nikon F5-series|Nikkormat/Nikomat-series
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|Nikon FE-series|Nikon FA|Nikon Digital SLR series|Various Nikon Models|Nikkor Optic -shared

Others:- Free Trade Zone - Photography| Free Trade Zone - Business Community |Free To Zouk - Photographic Community
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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F - Index Page

Copyright © 1998. Michael C. Liu ®

Site rearranged by: leofoo ®. Credit: Hiura Shinsaku® from Nikomat Club of Japan for feeding some useful inputs on the introductory page. The great 3D logo by Kiasu; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input of early Nikon bodies. Stephen Gandy's Cameraquest; Marc Vorgers from Holland for his additinal images on Nikon F Apollo; Hayao Tanabe corrected my Red Dot and Early F assertions. Gray Levett, Grays of Westminster publishes an excellent monthly historical look at Nikon products, from where I learned about the high-speed F's. Made with a PowerMac, broadcast with a Redhat Linux powered server.

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