Nikon SP chrome with matching Nikon exposure meter and NIKKOR-S 1:1,4 f=5cm lens
|Type||35 mm rangefinder camera|
|Film format||35 mm|
|Film size||36 mm × 24 mm|
|Lens||interchangeable lens, Nikon 'S' bayonet mount|
|Flash synchronization||1/60 s|
|Shutter speed range||1 s to 1/1000 s with Bulb and 1/60 s flash-sync|
|Exposure metering||no integrated meter|
|Exposure modes||Manual (M), and Bulb (B)|
|Focus modes||Split and superposed-image rangefinder|
|Continuous shooting||1 FPS manual wind, 3 FPS S-36 motordrive|
|Viewfinder||Dual brightline and etched frame viewfinder|
|Optional motor drives||S-36 motordrive|
|Dimensions||136 mm (w) × 81 mm (h) × 43 mm (d)|
|Weight||590 g (1.30 lb)|
The Nikon SP is a professional level, interchangeable lens, 35 mm film, rangefinder camera introduced in 1957. It is the culmination of Nikon's rangefinder development which started in 1948 with the Nikon I, and was "arguably the most advanced rangefinder of its time." It was manufactured by the Japanese optics company Nippon Kogaku K. K. (Nikon Corporation since 1988). Further development of Nikon's S series ended with the introduction and success of the Nikon F.
In 2005 2,500 models of a repro model were manufactured under the name of "Nikon SP Limited Edition". The camera was exclusively sold in Japan and came with a (modern multi-coated) W-Nikkor 3.5 cm f/1.8 lens.
The Nikon SP has dual viewfinders providing frame lines for a total of six focal lengths. The main viewfinder has 1x magnification and has frame lines for 50 mm, 85 mm, 105 mm and 135 mm (selected by rotating a dial under the rewind crank). The frames are parallax-corrected and the focusing patch appears in the centre of the viewfinder. A separate, smaller viewfinder (less than life size) to the left of the main viewfinder has non-parallax corrected frame lines for 35 mm. The entire window acts as a frame for 28 mm lenses.
The camera uses Nikon's 'S' bayonet lens mount which is a modified Contax 'C' bayonet and Contax 'C' lenses are physically compatible but do not accurately focus with the built-in rangefinder. In common with Contax, a small toothed wheel in front of the shutter release is used to focus lenses that use the internal bayonet.
The camera does not have a flash sync on its hot shoe. Instead a pc sync socket is provided. The shutter on early models is a horizontally running mechanically timed rubberized silk fabric curtain. In 1959 the shutter curtain was changed to titanium similar to the Nikon F.
- Shutter: Horizontal running rubberized silk fabric curtain type focal plain shutter
- Shutter speeds: T, B and 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500 and 1/1000 seconds (regular interval graduation)
- Range marker: M inscription (XXINF – 0.9)
- Self-timer: Connect time variable system (the graduation of 3, 6 and 10 seconds it is attached)
- Pc socket: Time lag variable system, it aligns the synchronizer socket attachment and the speed light/write in 1/60 seconds less than
- Finder: Rangefinder type fixed 1x magnification finder (wide angle finder for 28 mm and 35 mm finder)
- Framelines: Auxiliary window: 28 mm, 35 mm; Main window (parallax corrected): 50 mm, 85 mm, 105 mm and 135 mm
- Film wind: Hand operated lever system, 136 degree revolution (multiple winds possible), with 15 degree extra withdrawal angles
- Film rewind: Manual Crank system
- Film: 135 Film (35 mm film) with 36 mm × 24 mm image size
-  Nikon SP
- Nikon SP Limited Edition, by Nikon
-  Nikon Owner Issue 19 History of Nikon Part XVI by Gray Levett
-  Nikon S2, SP, S3, S4 and Nikon F Similarities
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