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Nikon Collectors / Older Models

Amanda Ferrao , Dec 16, 2007; 06:32 a.m.

Hi,

I'm a Nikon moron, actually a complete photography moron. My uncle left me his very old Nikon camera and I was wondering how do I check:

1. What model it is. 2. If there are any collector or dealers out there who buys old cameras. 3. And if it's even in good condition to sell off.

As I said, i'm not a photography person so it will just collect dust if I keep it. But I rather not throw it away. So anybody know of anywhere which buys in these "old" cameras?

Cheers!

Responses

Breogan Gomez , Dec 16, 2007; 06:48 a.m.

I know www.keh.com buys old/collector gear, but I don't know if this is the best place to get a good deal. You will always have ebay...

Check this web for vintage nikon http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/htmls/models/

If you could post some pictures I know many forummates will be able to help you with the model id and pricing.

Jan Van Laethem , Dec 16, 2007; 09:24 a.m.

Depends what you call "very old". Try to identify the camera model, it should clearly be mentionned on the front, for instance, Nikon F, Nikon F3 etc.

If it is listed here

(link)

or on the following pages (pages go by production year) you have a Nikon single lens reflex camera, also known as SLR. The first Nikon SLR was the F, manufactured in 1959.

If it is listed here

(link)

you have a Nikon rangefinder camera.

Both SLR and rangefinder cameras take interchangeable lenses, so you need to identify the lens(es) as well. The correct information about focal length and aperture can be found on the lens itself.

If you have a digital camera, please post us some pictures and we can try and identify the camera. If you think you'd like to sell it, the next step is finding out a correct price.

Robert Lai , Dec 16, 2007; 09:48 a.m.

Amanda, the oldest models - the rangefinders - have a big cult following of collectors. A good condition model SP or S3 will bring a large amount of money ($1000+).

Single lens reflex (SLR) used prices have not been very high (low hundreds), due to digital (almost completely) killing off the 35mm SLR.

Ironically, old digital cameras are about the most worthless of all. Rather like a computer, few people want a 386SX computer when there are quad-core Pentiums in the world.

Craig Shearman , Dec 16, 2007; 08:42 p.m.

What model is it? Tradtionally, SLR cameras have simply been considered used cameras rather than collectibles, very unlike Leica rangefinders for example. Some of the early Nikon F models have shown a little bit of interest from collectors if in pristine condition but we're talking maybe $400-$500 at the very most and I'd say that's rare. If you don't know the model, look at the serial number on the right side of the top of the camera by the film advance level. Generally the model number is just before the serial number. It should say F, F2, FM etc. If it's an early Nikon F, it will have a big letter "F" on the front of the prism (viewfinder assembly).

Amanda Ferrao , Dec 17, 2007; 01:15 a.m.

Hey thanks guys for your replies! Loads of help.

I was able to find out it's a FM2. (link)

Anyone know hom much it would be worth now? If it's still in good condition, which, I am not sure how to check, but how much would I be able to get for it?

Juanjo Viagran , Dec 17, 2007; 12:34 p.m.

best way to find out how much you can get for it is putting the camera in an auction (eBay).

Jan Van Laethem , Dec 17, 2007; 03:54 p.m.

You can check www.keh.com for current prices. Search for "Nikon manual focus" and then "camera bodies". Scroll down until you find the FM2.

The FM2 came in a black or a chrome version. The black cameras may fetch a slightly higher price, as they are somehow more desirable. I'm not sure if this has something to do with the chrome cameras being produced in larger numbers than the black, or just a general preference for black cameras.

Keh lists the black FM2 for $ 415 in excellent plus condition and for $ 179 in bargain condition. The chrome FM2 goes from $ 349 in excellent plus condition to $ 179 in bargain condition. To describe a camera as mint or excellent plus, it should be in perfect cosmetic condition and fully functional, with no flaws. Of course, dealers like keh and others will give you a lower price for the camera than what they would sell it for, so selling on ebay may be a better option for you.

How can you check the condition of your camera? First check the cosmetic condition: are there any scratches or bumps on the top or bottom plate? A lot of marks on the lens mount? Open the camera back and look inside the camera. A heavily used camera will fetch a much lower price. Next you will need to check if everything is still working fine. The best option would be to put a roll of film in the camera and take pictures at different shutter speed settings. That would of course require you to have a lens with the camera, which I'm not sure you have. If you don't have a lens, make sure there is a working battery in the camera, open the camera back, rest the camera on a flat surface and trip the shutter. When you trip the shutter, you should see the shutter blades open and close. Important, never touch the shutter blades! Try to use all shutter speed settings from fastest to slowest, you will clearly see the difference when you get to the slower settings.

Another option would be to ask someone with sufficient knowledge of Nikon manual cameras to test the camera. The FM2 was produced in fairly large numbers and over a long period of time, so there are plenty of cameras available on the second hand market. You need to give a fairly accurate description of the camera and make sure it works properly before you can sell it for a fair price.

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