How much is a Nikon F camera worth?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Brent, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Brent

    Brent Guest

    Someone has one for sale and I'm thinking of buying it. The model is
    6825306. Anyone know the year of that one?
    Brent, Jun 7, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  2. Brent

    Photodad Guest

    Is it just the body, or is there a finder too? If so, which finder? If it
    is a photomic finder, does the meter still work? Is there a lens with it?
    What is the overall condition?

    Depending upon the answers to these questions, the camera could be worth
    everywhere from nothing to several hundred dollars (US).

    Give us more information and we can help more.

    Photodad, Jun 8, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  3. Brent

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: "Brent"
    Check ... they list the price they'll pay if they buy one from you
    and the cost if you want to buy a used one from them. You should expect to pay
    somewhere in between if buying from a private seller. Note the KEH definition
    of "excellent" is likely more strict than a private seller too :)
    Bill Hilton, Jun 8, 2004
  4. Brent

    Matt Clara Guest

    I don't see the original post, so I'll reply from here:

    I have two F's, and I'm thinking of using them for astronomical photography,
    but other than that, they sit on a shelf. The meters are cantankerous (with
    age), the batteries need substitutes, and there are no new parts for these
    Matt Clara, Jun 8, 2004
  5. Brent

    Bob Hickey Guest

    From my reading, that one was made in "68, as indicated by the first 2
    digits of the S/N. But I also read that that number system fell apart after
    the first couple of years. Bob Hickey
    Bob Hickey, Jun 8, 2004
  6. Brent

    Brent Guest

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the reply. Here is some more information that I recieved from
    the seller and a picture of the actual camera :

    Nikon F camera with working FTN exposure meter.

    I took the picture myself with my digital is a recent
    photo of the actual camera for sale. The original vendor appears to
    be "Olden, 1265 Broadway, NYC".

    The lens is a Nikkor-S Auto 1:1.4 f=50 mm No. 579301. There is a
    Soligor 1A filter, 52 mm filter, and a non-original lens cap. There
    is also a screw-on converter for a cable release, and a new Nikon

    The lens is optically flawless, but the exterior is a bit scuffed and worn.

    The shutter blind has some slight indentations, but the shutter
    (totally mechanical) seems to work fine.

    The major fault with the body is that the reflex mirror is a bit
    sticky, and often does not return when the shutter releases. It will
    drop down when "encouraged" with a finger tip. I believe that this
    can be repaired by a knowledgeable (or courageous) person.

    I bought the camera to use for astrophotography, as it has a bright
    viewfinder and a good, fast lens, and I only wanted to use the "B"

    Brent, Jun 8, 2004
  7. It was continued on the F2...

    Chris Loffredo, Jun 8, 2004
  8. The year is 1968.
    Great camera! Despite a few ergonomic quirks, it really is a joy to use.

    The meter will probably need some work and the sometimes sticking mirror
    is likely caused by a decomposing foam baffle. Replacing the baffle is
    DIY job, and even CLA-ing the Photomic could be (if you're mechanically
    competent - also several web pages explain how to).

    A slight crinkling of the shutter curtains is no problem: Mine looks
    like it was hit by a bullet, but the speeds are perfect (well as good as
    the F can be...)

    Apart from the meter and the foam, there isn't much that can go wrong on
    these cameras.

    Chris Loffredo, Jun 8, 2004
  9. Brent

    Photodad Guest

    First, let me mention that the first two digits of the serial number DO NOT
    directly correspond to the year of manufacture. This is a commonly held
    misconception. Here is a quote from Michael Grandy's excellent site:

    "The F started production in 1959. The serial # of the first F was 6400001.
    So the years and the bodies don't match to begin with.   By 1967, to the end
    of production in May of 1974, serial numbers COINCIDENTALLY matched, at
    least part of the time, the year of manufacture.  It was a rough match, not
    an exact one.   

    Nikon F production ended after 862,600 F's were made.   Last number was
    7451052.  Note not all serial blocks were used."

    Go to his site for a good historical review:

    That said, it sounds like you are looking at a fairly average camera. The
    market is pretty soft for Fs right now. You can find decent examples in
    nearly every pawn shop. The larger stores, like B&H and Adorama, won't even
    buy them right now.

    I track Fs on eBay regularly. The body would probably only get about $100
    on eBay right now, and the lens about $75, if in truly excellent condition.
    Check the aperture blades for any sign of oil or any bends, and make sure
    the focus is smooth through the entire range. I just bought the same style
    photomic head, with working meter, for $55.

    Check the shutter carefully. While it is true that they are nearly bullet
    proof, it is also true that tiny light leaks can develop when the curtains
    are creased.

    The mirror is most likely the foam. Mine does the same thing, but returns
    on its own when I advance the film. Replacing the foam is relatively easy
    (kits are available on eBay), but any further repair can really start
    setting you back big money in a hurry.

    My best advice is to not jump at the first F you see. There are a lot of
    them around. Take your time and you can find some great deals. I wouldn't
    pay more than $200 to $225 for this one.

    Hope that helps.

    Photodad, Jun 8, 2004
  10. Brent

    Brent Guest

    Thanks for the info. He is only asking for $70 for everthing, so it looks
    like a good deal :)
    Brent, Jun 8, 2004
  11. Brent

    Photodad Guest

    At that price, it would be hard to go wrong. Welcome to the world of
    classic cameras. I still use my F nearly every day. Make sure he shows you
    how to load and rewind the film and index the lens. Fs do it differently
    than about any other camera.

    Photodad, Jun 8, 2004
  12. Brent

    Brent Guest

    Thanks again for the info. You've been a big help.

    Brent, Jun 8, 2004
  13. Brent

    Brent Guest

    How do I know if the meter is not working properly?
    Brent, Jun 9, 2004
  14. 1) Compare it to another at various light levels framing the exact same,
    evenly illuminated, subject. Keep in mind that no two meters will ever
    agree perfectly, but if they're within +/- 1/2 a stop of each other,
    that's pretty good.
    Also, keep in mind the battery being used: If the difference between the
    Photomic and the reference you're using is constant, that's ok too.

    2) Fiddle with the diaphragm & shutter speed dials: The meter needle
    should move smoothly & regularly. If not, turn the diaphram through its
    range a few dozen times and check again.

    Make sure your lens is "indexed" properly and the battery is ok (press
    top meter button down to check).

    Often the variable resistor and/or the on/off button contact inside the
    Photomic are dirty. This results in a "jumpy" meter needle and
    non-linear results at different light levels.
    This is a fairly easy fix for the dedicated fiddler, and there was a guy
    with a web page offering Photomic overhauls for $90 as well as a good
    how-to descrition.

    The worst case scenario is that the CdS cells have lost sensitivity and
    need to be replaced (though that's rarely the case). While new original
    parts are no longer available, any good repairperson should be able to
    get hold of parts one way or another (millions of these cameras were made).

    Chris Loffredo, Jun 9, 2004
  15. Brent

    Tom Guest

    The Photomic Ftn meter uses a wiper blade over a coil. This wears out in
    time. If you are lucky, a faulty meter MAY just need cleaning as the wiper
    was also prone to getting dirty and 'jerking' over its arc instead of making
    a smooth transition. If you are unlucky, you are REALLY SOL as there are no
    replacement rehostats, wipers or any other parts for this meter.

    I loved my old Nikon Photomic Ftn and shot with it for years. I bought it
    in 1971 and sold it last year. The leather hard case (which was unused, new
    in box) brought almost as much as the camera cost new.

    BTW. The meter needs mercury batteries that are no longer available in the
    US. Replacements using different technology can be had, but they are
    expensive and short lived. The meter can be recalibrated to use the higher
    voltage batteries available now, but exposure compensation works fine and is

    I have absolutly no idea how many hundreds of thousand of shutter actuations
    that old war horse had, but it was only worked over by Nikon once in the
    time I had it. maybe 10 years ago. CLA and speed adjustments were all the
    thing needed.

    Tom, Jun 10, 2004
  16. Brent

    EDGY01 Guest

    you can submit the meter to Robert Decker in Utah for repairs.

    EDGY01, Jun 16, 2004
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.