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Nikon SP body, chrome + 5cm f/1.4 Nikkor lens (black finish)


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

This item has recently had a full service.

The Nikon SP emerged at the end of the 35 mm Rangefinder Era as arguably the most advanced  rangefinder of its time.   It competed directly with the other great rangefinder systems: the Leica M3, the Zeiss Contax IIA, and the Canon 7sZ.

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This item has recently had a full service.

The Nikon SP emerged at the end of the 35 mm Rangefinder Era as arguably the most advanced  rangefinder of its time.   It competed directly with the other great rangefinder systems: the Leica M3, the Zeiss Contax IIA, and the Canon 7sZ.
The SP Achieved Many Firsts:
1) The Nikon SP was the first 35mm Rangefinder with SIX built in framelines. The combined RF/VF window had projected parallax frames for the 50/85/105/135. To the left of the main window was the wide angle window, showing non parallax corrected views of the 28 and 35. This was in 1957! It took Leica 23 YEARS to equal this feat with the M4P in 1980.     The SP has a unique look due to its very large RF/VF window.   It stretches across half the camera’s  face.  SP’s are instantly recognizable.
Many don’t realize that the SP’s viewfinder is in some ways superior to that of the M3. The 35mm and 28mm frames are largely useless in the M2/4/5/6 for glasses wearers. In contrast, the SP’s 35mm and 28mm frames are easily seen wearing glasses.
The  photographer selects the 50, 85, 105 or 135 frameline   by rotating the frameline dial which rotating around the rewind crank.   Each frameline is color coded (unlike Leica), and each succeeding frameline coexists with larger framelines, creating kind of a tunnel effect which can quickly be followed.   For example, if you are using the 50 frame, only the 50 frame will be visible. Switch to the 85, and it appears in addition to the 50..and so on. The selected frame is thus always the smallest frameline visible.     While the framelines in the Leica M2 have an elegant simple three position finder with no frame overlap, the later M4-P and M6 finders are relatively cluttered and confusing with two noticeably different framelines being visible at all times (28/90, 35/135, 50/75).   The SP’s finder system appears to us to be more pleasing and less confusing.
2) The Nikon SP was the first Japanese camera to have a single, non-rotating shutter speed dial.
3) The Nikon SP had the first reliable professional quality motordrive. This was a really big achievement at the time, and one of the milestones of 35mm Photography.
4) The Nikon SP had the first and we understand the ONLY Brightline Illuminator (AA battery powered) which illuminated projected framelines in low light.
5) The Nikon SP was the first 35mm camera  with Titanium shutter curtains(over the last half of its production).  Though untried at the time, Titanium curtains  proved  themselves incredibly tough and durable.
6) During its production, SP boasted the longest lens range of any 35mm Rangefinder System, from 21/4 to a 1000/6.3!
7) Nikon was the first (and for many years the only) rangefinder system  to offer a Macro lens in the 50/3.5 Micro-Nikkor.   Other interesting and now rare lenses included the 21/4, the 25/4, the 50/1.1, the 85/1.5, the 85/2 Black, the 105/2.5, the “mountain” 105/4, the 180/2.5 for reflex housing, and the huge 500/5 and 1000/6.3.
The earlier Nikon RF lenses were all chrome. They match up with the earlier Nikon I/M/S/S2 models. Towards the end of the S2 production, Nikon started switching to lighter weight black lenses. Some lenses were made in both chrome and black, a few were made in black only.

Additional information

Second-hand grade


Serial number

6203058 (body), 385805 (lens)

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

Returns and Refunds

All second hand equipment comes with a 14-day Sale or Return period and a 6-month warranty. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with a second hand item you have received from us you may return it for a full refund within 14 days of purchase, the only stipulation being that the item is in the same condition as it was purchased.

If an item is found faulty at the time of purchase your shipping costs to return the item to us will also be refunded.

Where the item has been used within the 28-day returns period, we may make a deduction from any refund if the value of the goods has been reduced

You may return a second hand item for a refund if it is no longer desired or required but please note that your shipping costs will not be refunded under these circumstances.

Special Grays of Westminster extended warranties on both new and second-hand Nikon equipment are included on certain Nikon Owner magazine subscriptions which can be purchased via our online shop.

This returns policy does not affect your statutory rights. Details of your statutory rights are available from the Citizens Advice Bureau or Consumer Direct.

Delivery Information

Orders placed Monday to Friday before 12pm will be shipped the same day. Orders placed after 12pm or on the weekend will be shipped the next working day.

If your item is out of stock or on pre-order we will contact you as soon as it becomes available to make delivery arrangements.

Courier delivery estimates:

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  • UK Remote 2-3 working days
  • Europe 3-4 working days (customs and duties permitting)
  • ROW 5-7 working days (customs and duties permitting)

For standard Royal Mail shipping please note that delivery times vary.

Cost of delivery:

Orders for delivery in the UK over the value of £200 are delivered free of charge.

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