Nikon S3 began production in 1958. Basically, it's a Nikon SP with a simplified viewfinder. The price of the camera at the time of release was 86000 yen, while the Nikon SP sold for 98000 yen. The main difference is the simplified viewfinder.

Probably due to the cost of these cameras, the closest competitor Canon P with characteristics close to the Nikon S3 was more popular (Canon P produced about 87,8 thousand copies in 3 years, Nikon SP - 22 thousand in 8 years, and S3 - ~ 14 thousand copies from 1958 to 1967)

Camera Description

The camera was originally shipped with a focal plane gateohm, but already in 1959 the models began to be equipped with a lamellar, with titanium curtains. Lenses with focal lengths of 35, 50 and 105 mm and bayonetohm Nikon RF. It was also possible to work with electronic and flash lamps through the connector on the camera body. Prized by collectors.

The dials on the S3 are extremely legible in all lighting conditions, and the mechanics are made of metal. The rangefinder spot has less contrast than, for example, the Leica M3. It has fuzzy edges, but moves in the direction of rotation lens... Sound shutter quiet, much quieter than DSLRs, the release button is soft. After pressing the button, you can hear a barely perceptible "clack". On top of that, the Nikon S3 is lighter than any rangefinder Leica.

nikon s3 1

In 2000, Nikon released a commemorative batch of replica cameras, calling the Nikon S3 2000 series.


A type 35mm rangefinder camera with focal gateohm
Frame size 24 x 36 mm
Lens included Nikkor 5 cm-SC f / 1.4
Bayonet mount Nikon S
Shutter Focal gate horizontal stroke with silk double-layer curtains (1957-1958), titanium (1958-1963 as on Nikon F). Shutter speeds T, B, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000 seconds. Timer 3-10 seconds.
Flash sync X-sync flash via shoe (electronic, 1/60 second), PC-Sync connector for FP-flashes, up to 1/1000 second.
Viewfinder Rangefinder, base 60,5 mm. Frames 3 pieces for lenses 35, 50, 105 mm. 1x magnification, no parallax correction.
Focusing Manual, through the viewfinder rangefinder
Metering and exposure control External exposure meter, inserted into the shoe.
Food no
Loading Film Film spool is inserted under the rear hinged cover
Frame counter Yes, automatic reset
Film rewinding On-camera folding handle
Dimensions and weight 139 x 85 x 48 mm, 590 grams


Adapters for cameras and lenses

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