This article was originally published in Nikon Historical Society Journal Issue 87 (NHS-87 31 March 2005) . I beleive this was the first ever article written on this rarely seen self-timer lever variation. The article is reproduced here with updated information. In the original article, I called this self-timer Type 1A. Since the article was published, this new type has been well recognised and confirmed with the other collectors. I will now officially rename it Type 2 in the article below --- 27 Mar 09

In the photos below shown the 5 commonly known self-timer levers for Nikon F. I am sure most of you are already very familiar with them. If not, you may refer to the excellent article in NHS-53 written by NHS member Richard de Stoutz or the now legendary Nikon F Books by Uli Koch for a more detailed descriptions.

Traditional Self-Timer lever TYPES 1 to 5
However, what is not commonly known is the existence of yet another ‘production’ type self-timer which I will call (new) TYPE 2 from this point on. (See fig.1) By production, I am excluding special self-timer levers found on models like ‘UPI’ or ‘High Speed Fs’ etc. The (new) TYPE 2 self-timer has diagonal grooves and horizontal step in the middle, similar to the conventional TYPES 1 and 3. The spacing between the diagonal grooves on the (new) TYPE 2 lever, however, is noticeably wider than either the TYPE 1 or 3. The base of the upper section, just above the horizontal step, of (new) TYPE 2 has round corners. This feature is unique to this type because all the others have a straight flat base extending from edge to edge. The hollow cavity behind the (new) TYPE 2 lever is the same as the TYPE 3 ’s, but not machined like the TYPE 1. (See photos below for a comparison)

Left photo: TYPE 1. Middle photo: The new TYPE 2. (Note the rounded corners on the bottom edge of the diagonal groove plate just above the horizontal step.) Right photo: TYPE 3

This type of self-timer has actually been reported once in a Japanese camera ‘mook’ (magazine) before. Since there weren’t any other recorded serial numbers to compare it with, this type of lever was regarded as just an ‘odd one out’, and had not been recognized as a production type at all.

I have spent much time doing some research about it. Whenever I knew of any Nikon F with a serial number between 6409000 and 6412000, I would try to find out the type of self-timer it was equipped with. It often meant I needed to obtain a photo from the owner or to inspect the camera in person. I even went as far as visiting a very well-known Nikon dealer in London just to verify what kind of self-timer was mounted on one of their early Fs. Apparently, even the shop was unaware of that unusual self-timer on that particular Nikon F they were selling!

This type of lever seems to exist only within a small range around serial number 6410000. I therefore believe the (new) TYPE 2 was actually a production type used by the Nikon factory as a TYPE 1 replacement. (see the table of numbers below).


The list updated on 14 Oct 2011

Red Numbers are new additions since 27 Mar 2009

Serial Numbers Self-Timer Type Note
6409017 TYPE 1  
6409045 TYPE 1  
6409074 TYPE 1  
6409092 TYPE 1  
6409210 TYPE 1  
6409105 TYPE 3  
6409122 TYPE 1  
6409169 TYPE 1  
6409180 TYPE 1  
6409238 TYPE 1  
6409247 TYPE 1  
6409283 TYPE 1  
6409306 TYPE 1  
6409344 TYPE 3  
6409436 TYPE 2 Lowest serial numbers with New Type 2 found to date.
6409442 TYPE 2  
6409488 TYPE 1  
6409546 TYPE 1  
6409555 TYPE 2  
6409599* TYPE 4 See Note 1
6409627 TYPE 1  
6409649 TYPE 1  
6409702 TYPE 1  
6409740 TYPE 4  
6409764 (Black) TYPE 2 Provided by Mr Nobuhiro O-Zawa on 1 Feb 07.
6409796 TYPE 4  
6409900 TYPE 2  
6409913 TYPE 2  
6409929 TYPE 5  
6409972 ??? Self-timer lever is missing form this camera
6410015 TYPE 2  
6410029 ??? Camera has been dismantled. Only incomplete parts left.
6410040 TYPE 2 See Note 2
6410114 TYPE 2 Provided by Mr Colin Pettitt on 17 May 07.
6410381 TYPE 3  
6410409 TYPE 2  
6410447 TYPE 2  
6410474 TYPE 2  
6410491 TYPE 2  
6410495 TYPE 2  
6410555 TYPE 4  
6410634 TYPE 2 Provided by Mr Richard de Stoutz on 4 Oct 2008.
6410806 TYPE 3  
6410813 TYPE 3  
6410891 TYPE 2 Highest serial numbers with New Type 2 found to date.
6410920 TYPE 3  
6411157 TYPE 3  
6411208 TYPE 3  
6411224 TYPE 3  
6411358 TYPE 1  
6411431 TYPE 3  
6411551 TYPE 3  
6411555 TYPE 3  
6411654 TYPE 3  
6411693 TYPE 3  
6411757 TYPE 3  
6411824 TYPE 3  
6411993 TYPE 1  
6412033 TYPE 3  

Note 1: The number top plate of this F has probably been replaced because everything else on this camera is of much later vintage.

Note 2: This one was mis-identified as TYPE 1 by the previous owner (depsite of the fact that I sent him 3 very clear close-up photos of different self-timers and asked him to identfy what kind of self-timer was on his F!) It is now rectified by the current owner.

At around #6410000, Nikon was clearly trying to give the F a facelift. The self-timer lever together with the advance lever and film speed reminder, were among the parts being replaced. I guess Nikon initially was planning to replace the sharp-cornered TYPE 1 lever with this new TYPE 2, but was later unhappy with its look. They then rolled out the TYPE 3 very quickly. I believe there are only around 1000 or less Nikon Fs equipped with the (new) TYPE 2 self-timer, making it the rarest among the 6 production types. See photo below for two of my Nikon Fs equipped with (new)TYPE 2 levers.

Nikon F 6409436 & 6409900 both with new TYPE 2 self-timer lever
A line up of TYPES 1 to 6 self-timer levers

Updated on 14 Oct 2011