An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff
A chrome dial Nikon S2 body
The Nikon S2 was a great leap in design from the Nikon S. It features lever wind, crank rewind, a bright 1:1 viewfinder, a top speed of 1/1000, and an accessory shoe with a hot post for cordless flash. All of this, and the camera was five ounces lighter in weight.
This was also the first camera they sold with 24x36 image size. And it was the first regular production camera that could be fitted with an electric motor drive (the Leica Reporter was built in very small quantities for the German military, but was not a normal production item). The motor drive S36 was introduced in March of 1957, nearly half a year before the SP. The S2 could be modified for the motor just like an SP. However, the S36 was not heavily promoted until the introduction of the SP, and motorized S2s are very difficult to find.
After the introduction of the SP, the S2 was given a facelift. The formerly chrome dials on the shutter speed, film counter, synchro delay selector, and distance scale were finished in black. The early version cameras are referred to as "chrome dial" cameras, the later are called "black dial" cameras.
The S2 was also the first Nikon to be available in black without special order. The black cameras were made in both the chrome dial version, as well as the black dial. They can be distinguished by the distance scale, which remains chrome on the black cameras. black S2 cameras are very scarce.
Serial numbers started at 6135000. Black dial cameras appear at 6180000. The last S2 serial number is in the mid 619xxxx range, for a total of over 56,000, 15000 of which are black dial. The camera was discontinued in 1958.
The Nikon S2 chrome dial in black finish.
A bottom view of the same camera.
The S2 case in black finish.