The Nikon S3 was introduced in 1958 as a less expensive version of the Nikon SP rangefinder. In fact, the two camera models are identical except for one feature, the viewfinder system. As opposed to the projected, moving frame lines used in the SP, the S3 has etched frame lines for only the 35, 50, and 105mm lenses. This eliminated the need for a second frosted window to illuminate the projected frame lines in the SP.
Out of 9 batches of S3's made, only 2 were made in black, totaling only about 250 pieces. Different from the Black S3 'Olympic', the original Black S3 has the older style winder (shorter and hollow) and self timer, and used a cloth shutter curtain instead of a titanium one.
To add to its rarity, the Jacobson battery pack was introduced around 1963, 5 years before Nikon had even come out with their version of a cordless battery pack. Jacobson Photographic Instruments was a California company founded by Irving Jacobson that produced cordless battery packs called "Powercons" for Nikon's F series cameras. They also produced at least one type for the Rangefinder S series, the 36SP model, which is also an extremely rare item.
Nikon S3 Black (marked in feet), with motor, Jacobson Powercon Model 36SP, 35mm rangefinder manual focus camera body. In BGN grade condition, $9,799. Find it here.
- Mollie Clark