Last Updated on 02/08/2018 by Chris Gampat
Fancy a space photo walk with a rare NASA Nikon F3?
Been dreaming of expanding your vintage camera collection with something cool from NASA? We’ve once again spotted one such item that would make any aspiring cosmonaut-slash-photographer drool. One of the rare Nikon F3 cameras that NASA modified for taking out of this world photos is currently up for grabs on ebay. Time to break your piggy banks and see if you have around US $25,000 to grab this beauty.
Editor’s Note: The lens is not a space modified NASA lens
The Nikon F3 was introduced in 1980 and is still considered today as Nikon’s finest manual focus camera. Early in the decade, NASA collaborated with Nikon to modify the F3 for Space Shuttle Program. This partnership produced several variations for the so-called NASA F3 cameras, including the “small” and “big” versions. The former was fitted with a motor drive while the latter came with interchangeable film backs and longer film for bulk loading.
According to Denver-based ebay seller itsanamazinglifeforsure, this “small” NASA Nikon F3 is one of the only 50 units made especially for the Space Shuttle Program. It comes with a Nikkor 35mm f1.4 lens and five battery packs. The seller has also included an interchangeable 250-exposure film magazine back with dark slide for use with the “large” version.
The listing’s detailed description includes some info about the camera and the accessories included. Apart from the serial numbers, the camera in the listing also has a “cheat sheet label” at the back containing instructions for operation. This, according to the seller, is an indication that it was flown during one of the Space Shuttle Missions. Most of the NASA Nikon F3 cameras sold privately reportedly do not have these labels.
Meanwhile, the removable metal battery packs carry 8 AA batteries and were especially designed for the motor drive of the “small” NASA Nikon F3. Five of these battery packs were standard issue with the camera during the missions.
Ready to grab this rare and historic photography gem? Head to the ebay listing to prepare your $24,995 or make your best offer. Or, if you’d rather just read more about the NASA Nikon F3 cameras, check out this Camera Quest post and Nikon’s long history of making cameras for NASA.