The legendary Nikon F was the first truly professional caliber SLR that was conceived, from its inception, as the basis for a high quality professional SLR system. The Nikon F remained in production, with relatively minor changes, for nearly 14 years, during which time it established Nikon as the leading professional 35mm camera, a position not seriously challenged (by Canon) until the autofocus era. A handsome, rugged, and reliable camera of modular design, its removable pentaprism and external meter-coupling system allowed the Nikon F to be retrofitted with the latest advances in metering technology by upgrading the meter prism, and its F mount has endured, with some relatively minor changes, into the present digital era—a remarkable example of non-obsolescence. While the Nikon F is not really a technological breakthrough (other than its being the first SLR with an electric more drive accessory, and first to offer a perspective-control lens), it is the camera that marked the coming of age of the 35mm SLR. Its features include: Titanium foil focal-plane shutter with speeds from 1-1/1000 sec plus B and T, interchangeable finders and screens, and removable back. An extensive range of lenses and specialized accessories was available.
This is the ultra-compact 35mm SLR that initiated the compact SLR revolution of the ‘70s and ‘80s, a movement that caused all SLR makers to downsize their cameras, especially those not specifically aimed at the professional market. The jewel-like OM-1, first released as the M-1, is a handsome and beautifully made, through-lens-metering, match-needle camera generally conceded to be the first full-featured, full-frame (24x36mm) modern ultra-compact SLR. Designed by a team headed by the legendary Y. Maitani, its features include a cloth focal-plane shutter with speeds from 1-1/1000 sec plus B, two-CdS cell metering system, fixed pentaprism with interchangeable viewing screens, single-stroke wind lever, mirror lock-up and motor/winder compatibility. Standard lens in OM bayonet mount is a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 Zuiko, and an extensive system of lenses (8mm to 1000mm) and accessories was available.