As most of you probably already know, the original F first saw the light of day in 1959, but its serial numbering started with 64. I have a somewhat early F, with a S/N of 648xxxx. I think the rumor first got started with the F since, by later in its production run, the first two digits began to approximate the year of manufacture. And then Nikon continued this with the F2. It was first released in 1971 and its serial numbering began with 71. I have an F2 with a S/N that has 71 as its first two digits.
I also have an F2 with 74 as its first two digits. It almost seems to me that, while the S/N did not necessarily coincide with a manufacturing date, that Nikon was at least paying some attention to this 'coincidence.' Else, why start the F2's S/N at 71? Another F2 S/N tidbit that I'm sure some of you already know. Odd numbered S/N 'dates' are found on chrome bodies and even numbered 'dates' are found on black ones.
E.g., my '71' is chrome and my '74' is black. This one characteristic tends to reject the notion that an F2's S/N's first two digits correspond to a year of manufacture, unless Nikon was in the habit of building only chrome bodies for one year and then black ones the next. That just doesn't make sense.
^It's actually the opposite. And, prior to the 75xxxxx serial block, they were intertwined, just like F bodies and Nikkormat/Nikomat FS, FT, and FTn bodies. Nikon used that practice on FM bodies above the 21xxxxx block, FT2/FT3 bodies, the EL series, and everything else through the lower 8xxxxxx serial ranges of the FM2/FM2n bodies. When Nikon switched to the 85xxxxx serial, Nikon started using even/odd serial numbers for both black and chrome bodies again. F3, F4, and F5 bodies didn't follow the even/odd second digit convention, nor did the EM, or the N-series bodies, since they were 99% of the time black.
This page lists every Nikon lens version and sub-version I know of. The Earliest and Latest serial numbers are from lenses I have seen. Many years of independent research and from details forwarded by readers. F, 28/3.5 H Auto NKJ, LMIJ, 5-, Ai kit 29 won't fit FG, FA, F4, 625611, 625733 - 675561, 49951, - 1971.
After the 74xxxxx serial block, Nikon F2 bodies beginning with 75, 77, and 79 are all black. Bodies beginning with 76, 78, or 80 are chrome. My original F2 was a body in the 713xxxx serial range. I owned another 713xxxx serial body that came from BradleyK. I've owned six 72 serial F2 bodies. Fmv 830mg drivers.
Three were chrome, three were black. I've owned one 74xxxxx body. It was black.
Nonton anime streaming. But, I've seen a few chrome 74 bodies in person. If I go above the 74xxxxx range, I've owned one 75 serial black body (now belongs to Ralph Javins), 10 77 serial black bodies, a 78 serial chrome, 5 79 serial black bodies, the latest one being a body built in January 1980 and being the one I own today, and one 80xxxxx serial chrome. My bodies, by breakdown of month/year, as per Sover's site: F2 by period of year: 1972 (period unknown): 7131xxx; 7134xxx; 715xxxx 19/12: 7208xxx; 7217xxx 19/1: 7221xxx 1973/2-1973/4: 7244xxx; 7249xxx 1973/5-1973/8: 7280xxx 1974/6-1974/8: 7424xxx 19/5: 7556xxx 19/2: 7715xxx 1977/2-1977/5: 7729xxx; 7730xxx; 7731xxx 1977/4-1977/7: 7745xxx; 7747xxx 1977/8-1977/12: 7874xxx 1977/10: 7760xxx; 7766xxx; 7768xxx 1978/4-1978/7: 7792xxx 1978/7-1978/10: 7902xxx 1978/9-1978/12: 7910xxx; 7915xxx 1979/6-1979/9: 7941xxx 1979/7-1979/12: 8050xxx 19/1: 7960xxx Yes, I've owned a few F2 bodies. F3 and FA/FE/FM series bodies made after early 1980 have a four digit code inside the film back area. On the F3 bodies, it's behind the hinge, on the other bodies, it's in the film chamber. First number is usually the month (1-9, O, N, D), second number is the last digit of the year, third is a letter signifying what version a camera is, and the final digit is the revision. Newer bodies, like the F4, F5, etc, require some calculations to be made to figure out when they were made.
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