Nikon S2 Oct 14, 2016 15:58:42 GMT -5
Post by conan on Oct 14, 2016 15:58:42 GMT -5
The S2 was an important camera for Nikon in 1955 as their first rangefinder with the 24x36 format and it sold extremely well in the USA and with the Pentax’s of the era was available in the UK in the late fifties when post war import restrictions were lifted.
A recently acquired Nikon S2. This is near mint – not even any small chips in the black paint. Seller claimed it hadn’t been used in over 30 years and it came with a couple of rolls of Kodacolor with a 1988 expiry date. The Nikon shutters have a reputation of being able to fire properly after great lengths of time in storage and this one did not disappoint. Operationally its fine, only problem is a small vertical misalignment in the rangefinder and a slightly dry focusing mount. There is a great deal of information online about realigning the rangefinder and even cleaning and relubing the focusing mount. This includes Nikons original recommendation of washing/soaking the focusing mount in petrol.
Designed to compete at the top end of the market with the Leica M3 and Contax IIa the S2’s main competitor was the Contax. The M3 had badly wounded the Contax and the Nikon S2 helped the process. With a 1:1 viewfinder with a 50mm frame line and lever wind it outsold the Contax despite the fact that the shutter was a wind on and lift and turn to set with a dual dial. Apparently the viewfinder and high speed winding were prime reasons. Contax never got out the Contax IV (several prototypes have been shown) because the Contarex was sucking so much development time and money from Zeiss. The release of the Nikon SP in 1957 which out spec’d the various prototypes of the IV meant the Leica M3 had a worthy competitor and Zeiss gave up on rangefinders – it was game over for the Contax rangefinders and Zeiss let the IIa die a slow death.