Photographica Pages

An online guide to collectable cameras and related stuff

Nikon S3M

The last Nikon rangefinder model is by far the least common, with only 195 manufactured. It was a half frame camera, for 72 exposures on a standard 36 exposure cassette. The camera was designed to be motorized, and many are found with matching S72 motors, which allow speeds of up to 12 frames per second.

The "M" was believed to stand for "motor", but another theory that makes more sense to me is that it stands for "Microscope". Later microscope cameras include the M-35, M-35S. And, after all, the S3 already was a motorized camera, and much microscope work is done in half frame.

Seial numbers are in the 66xxxxx range, which were later duplicated by the Nikon F.