This Nikon S3 Rangefinder Is a Special Limited Edition, and It’s Beautiful

There aren’t many of these cameras out there. For the record, the Nikon S series of cameras aren’t spoken about that often. The reason why is because they’re super hard to get your hands on. Once you’ve got one, you’re not letting go of it for sure. And in the Rare Camera Store, we’ve got a Nikon S3 Y2K edition. Trust us folks, this is a truly special one!

Welcome to the Rare Camera Store: a joint initiative of The Phoblographer and the wonderful folks at Blue Moon Camera. We work to bring you some of the coolest and rarest items for a great price.

The Phoblographer partners up with Blue Moon Camera for the Rare Camera Store initiative. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from folks who don’t touch the product. Sometimes you can’t trust eBay. But we trust Blue Moon for sure! Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Nikon S3: A Rare Camera

The Nikon S3 is a very rare camera, and this one is the Year 2000 Limited Edition that comes with a 50mm f1.4 lens. The whole kit costs $3,000. Nikon’s rangefinder cameras are very well regarded for good reason. Arguably, they’re the only ones to make good rangefinders in 35mm besides Leica. Zeiss and Voigtlander rangefinders tend to have problems, but cameras like the Nikon S3 are very solid. To be frank, I’m not sure I’d run film through this beauty very often; it’s a collector’s piece. But you’d be missing out not to shoot at least a roll or two with it.

Here’s what Blue Moon Camera says about the camera:

“This Nikon S3 Rangefinder Year 2000 Limited Edition Black (serial number S3302251) is an interchangeable lens 35mm rangefinder camera.  It is the precursor to the Nikon F SLR camera. This camera is an all mechanical workhorse with shutter speeds ranging from 1 second to 1/1000th of a second as well as a bulb and time mode. 

This camera is one of the Year 2000 Millennium Limited Edition production run. It is in pristine, like-new condition and is ready to shoot.

The boxed set includes:

(1) Nikon S3 Year 2000 Limited Edition Black camera body

(1) Matching Nikon 50mm f1.4 Nikkor-S lens with shade and front cap 

(1) Nikon Camera Case S3 in brown leather

– All original packaging and paperwork, including the original paper shutter cover. 

This exceedingly rare Nikon is the perfect addition to your collection! “

Fun Facts About the Nikon S3

Here are some fun facts for you about the Nikon S3:

  • We featured the Nikon S3M variant of this camera with a battery pack a while back.
  • Nikon affectionately referred to this variant as the Nikon S3 Y2K edition. For those of us who’ve now realized that we’re old and remember the Y2K time period, this is a nice chachkie. That’s especially the case if you want your childhood back. Just think, only a year after orders were accepted, the world was thrust into the War on Terror: nothing would be the same again.
  • This camera came in a silver variant and a black variant. The silver edition had 8,000 pieces. The black version had only 2,000 pieces. Obviously, this is the harder to find version.
  • The lens that comes with this camera is a re-production of the Olympic version.
  • Nikon said this camera had a “whispering shutter.”

Check out the listing for the Nikon S3, and pick it up if you’re inclined!

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.