Like a beautiful, chunky sculpture of aluminum and steel, the Nikon F stands as one of the true classics. This isn’t your modern-day, feather-light point and shoot. Coming in at a hefty 2.31 lbs, it was heavy for all the right reasons. Heavy means a steady shot and a camera ready for action. Nicknamed “the brick” by many, the F put the Germans on their ear. Before the introduction of the F, you bought Japanese if you couldn’t afford a Leica or a Rollei. Completely mechanical, with no electronics in the body shutter or focusing mechanism, these Nikons are still extremely usable today. Batteries were only required for the exposure metering or accessory battery motor drive.
The Nikon F was made from 1959 to 1974 and was the true father of the modern-day SLRs. It established Nikon as the professional’s choice, from photojournalism to the camera of choice for the military. The F was the first true system camera. When it was introduced, it possessed capabilities such as interchangeable viewfinders, focusing screens, a comprehensive motor drive capability and the renowned interchangeable F-mount lens mount system. It is argued that the large variety of F-mount compatible lenses makes it the largest system of interchangeable flange-mount photographic lenses in history. Possessing such a significant degree of both backward and forward compatibility, many current autofocus F-mount lenses can be used on the Nikon F.