Nikon S3M Rangefinder Camera, chrome with S72 motor drive

£35,000.00

The item photographed may not be the actual model but is used for illustrative purposes only.

The Nikon S3M was released in March 1960. It was the last Rangefinder camera made by Nikon and remains unique in that it is the first, and only, half-frame Nikon camera ever made.

According to Robert Rotoloni in his magnum opus, ‘The Complete Nikon Rangefinder System,’ only about 100 Nikon S3M ‘sets’ ever existed (S3M plus motor drive). Not only is the S3M the most unique of all Rangefinder cameras but also the rarest, with a complete set including proper motor even rarer.

In stock

Description

The Nikon S3M was released in March 1960. It was the last Rangefinder camera made by Nikon and remains unique in that it is the first, and only, half-frame Nikon camera ever made.

According to Robert Rotoloni in his magnum opus, ‘The Complete Nikon Rangefinder System,’ only about 100 Nikon S3M ‘sets’ ever existed (S3M plus motor drive). Not only is the S3M the most unique of all Rangefinder cameras but also the rarest, with a complete set including proper motor even rarer.

In US price lists from 1960, it is described as follows: “An S3M camera, specially adapted for 18×24 single frame photography. Takes 72 pictures on a standard 36-exposure roll. Viewfinder provides correct viewing field for 35mm, 50mm and 105mm lenses. Other features are the same as the Nikon S3. The S3M is equipped with with an (S72) electric motor drive taking single, 2, 3 or burst exposures up to 72 frames at the rate of 4 per second.”

The ‘M’ designation meant that it was designed for motorised use. Only 195 units were produced of which only 50 were made with a chrome finish.

The viewfinder of the S3M is unique to this model. Each etched frame line is keyed individually by sliding the chrome lever on the back of the camera next to the viewfinder. It is click-stopped for each frame line and the focal length is also visible below the frame.

Additional information

Second-hand grade

Second-hand Grading Description

  • NEWAn item that has not been removed from the box or protective wrapping.
  • UNUSEDAn item that may have been removed from the original packaging, but has never been used.
  • MINT100% as new
  • MINT-98%-99% as new
  • EXC++95%-97% as new
  • EXC+90%-94% as new
  • EXCOriginal finish may have slight scratches or rubbed. No dents or deep scratches.
  • VGMay be slightly scratched, scuffed or worn, but in good mechanical order with clean optics
  • VG-An item that falls below our regular level of gradings. Items in VG- condition will have excessive signs of use.

Please note that the following important points when you see our grading description. When applied to lenses it means that the optics are in perfect condition. What we are describing is the cosmetic condition of the lens barrel. When it applies to cameras, motor drives, speedlights etc. the understanding is that the item is in perfect working order and the description would mean the exterior appearance. In other words we are judging cosmetic appearance.

“Grays of Westminster, where mint is also a highly prized English adjective.”

– Professional Photographer magazine