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Nikon F Camera


This is a Nikon F 35mm film camera. The camera’s body is roughly rectangular with a large round opening on the front where a lens could be attached, although there is no associated lens. Next to this there is a small round button that releases the lens. To the left of the lens opening there is a small rotational switch and a second round button whose purpose is unknown.

On top of the camera there are several dials. Looking from the back of the camera: on the far left side there is a rotating dial with a central piece that can be lifted to enable faster turning of the dial an arrow indicating direction; this is the rewind crank. Next to this there is a raised section with a black lid. This black lid can be raised to reveal a pair of translucent glass panels mounted horizontally above the lens opening with a transparent round spot in the middle; these are focusing screens. Above these, visible in the top of the lid there is a circular lens that can be flapped open to sit above the focusing screens. To the right of this there is a small dial with a number of settings visible on it, including “T”, “B”, “1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000”. Next to this there is a smaller round button; this is the shutter release. On the far right there is a dial with a long lever to advance the film. This dial has small triangular windows visible showing small numbers to indicate the position in the film.

The whole back of the camera is a door to get at the film. This is released by a rotating latch on the base of the camera that can be turned into open and closed positions. Also on the base of the camera there is a hole for a screw for attachment to a tripo, and a small rotating dial with “ASA” in the centre, and black and red indicator arrows. The dial can switch between “E” “10” “16” “32” “50” “100” “200” and “400”.

Accession Number: 2019.ast.144 (DAA-0099)

Alternative Name: 35mm Camera

Primary Materials: Metal: Iron Alloy, Plastic, Gass


On the front of the camera above the lens: “Nikon” “F”

On top of the camera, engraved: “NIPPON

On a plastic label affixed to the rear of the camera: “Nikon

Engraved into the top of the camera by the rewind crank: “6747413”

Engraved on the base of the camera: “MADE IN JAPAN”

On a sticker affixed to the base of the camera: “UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Dimensions (cm): Length = 14.5, Width = 5.5, Height = 9


This is a hand-held camera for capturing images onto 35mm film. This is a Single Lens Reflex Camera.


Very Good: The camera does not have a lens. Otherwise, the camera is in very good condition, with only slight wear on the camera’s surfaces. The camera appears to mechanically function as expected.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Nikon, Tokyo, Japan

Date of Manufacture: 1959-1972


This object was likely moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2008, upon the sale of the observatory. It was stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017, when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: