Nikon SP, September 1957
A professional quality rangefinder camera based on the S2. Also the first within the Nikon line to use a Titanium shutter curtain (Early batches of Nikon SP’s 14,000 had cloth shutters) as well as a self timer. Switchable frame lines – Bright frame lines (colored) for lenses from 28mm to 135mm (50, 85, 105 & 135mm) and eliminates any need to use the zoom finder, Bright line Illuminator (AA battery powered) which illuminated projected frame lines in low light. Other highlights: indication window for flash sync selection (Max. 1/60 sec. sync speed), self reset frame counter, film type reminder etc. Models spited between silver chrome or black version. It was also the Nikon that supplied with an optional world’s first battery powered professional quality motor drive for continuous shooting up to 3 fps (frames per second). Offering the longest lens range of any 35mm rangefinder system, enables lenses to be used from 21/4 to a 1000/6.3, It was also the only rangefinder system during that era to offer a dedicated optional choice of a true macro lens, the RF Micro-Nikkor 5cm f/3.5. The RF-Nikkor family was also expanded fast to supplement the camera. It has effectively putting the Leica and Contax rangefinder in a very difficult position to compete as the German manufacturers were still struggling to recover from the war-torn industries. By then, the total numbers of Nikon SP (black and chrome combined) reaches 22,348 – making Nippon Kogaku a respective camera manufacturers for professional and serious users.