Where Is The Serial Number On A Nikon Range Rangefinder? – Overview

Are you looking for the serial number on Nikon Rangefinder?

Read this article to find out.

Where is the Serial Number on a Nikon Range Rangefinder?

The serial number on Nikon rangefinders can vary, however, generally, they are located on the bottom or behind the rangefinder.

Nikon Rangefinder Film Cameras (1948 – 1957)

During the height of their success, Nikon produced eight different variations of their flagship rangefinder cameras in just twelve years.

Regardless of whether the improvements between each new Nikon rangefinder were big enough, they did indeed churn them out at a blistering pace.

They not only gave us a new DSLR camera, but they also gave our company a new film SLR camera.

Nikon Camera (Nikon 1), 1948

Nikon’s first compact-size rangefinder (RF), 135mm format camera, the Nikon 1, was released in 1948.


The first Nikkor camera lenses were the Nikkon 50 mm f/3.5 (1934) and the Nikkor 35 mm f/2.8 (1935). These two specifications were probably inspired by the Leica Elmar 35 mm f/2 (1933), which had been released 14 years earlier in 1933.

Picture Format

The Nikon 1 camera had a smaller picture format (24×32) than what was standard for 35 millimeters (35 m) photography at the time, which was 36×48. It could produce up to 40 images per roll of 36 exposures.

“MIOJ” (Made in Occupied Japan).

With the maximum shutter speeds set at 1/500th of seconds, with Bulb mode and Time mode, without flash sync on the camera’s built-in shutter, which is normally labeled “Mijo” (Made in Occupied Japan), the maximum exposure time was one minute.

The base plate of the cameras also had etched into it “Made in Occupied Japan”. Only a few thousand were ever made, and most were chrome. A handful was black.

Nikon M, 1950

The second RF camera has a 24×34 picture format.

Two years after releasing the first version of the Nikon rangefinder, Nikon released the second version of the camera called the Nikon M. It had an increased picture size from 24×32 to 24×34.

Nikon S, 1951

RF camera, built-in flash synchronization (‘F’ and ‘S’ contacts)

Production Units

From 1,643 units to 37,746 units.

Flash Sync Contact

The main difference between the 1951 Nikon S and the later models was the addition of a flash synchronization contact.


The standard zoom was replaced by the new Nikkor 10–24 f2.8 ED AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor. It has an aperture range of F/2.8 to F16 and is one of the most versatile lenses available for Nikon DSLRs.

Two new lenses were added to the Nikon S lineup, the C 25mm f/2.8 and Nikkor-C 85mm f/3.5.

Nikon S2, 1954

After six long decades, Nikon finally released the fourth generation of its rangefinder camera, the Nikon S2, in 1954.

Production Units

After producing just 36,746 cameras in its first two generations, Nikon has finally found its groove.

Picture Formats

From the odd image formats of the Nikon 1, M, and S cameras to the more popular 36×24 mm (or 135mm) image size, the Nikon S2 became the Nikon Z6.

Shutter Speed

Moreover, the fastest shutter speed was increased from 1/500ths of a second to 1/1000ths of a second.

Magnified Viewfinder

It was Nikon’s initial rangefinder cameras with the delightful 1:1 magnifying viewfinders enabling photographers to get a true to lifelike scale when viewing their images through the viewfinders and also be able to utilize them with both eyes open

It was later used by all its future cameras as well as Canon in 1960 with the Canon EOS series cameras, and Cosina in 2005 with the Voigtländer CineXenars rangefinder.

Battery-Powered Motor Drive

The Nikon S2 includes a number of “firsts” including the ability to attach the first ever motor drive.

Film, Advance Lever and Rewind Crank

The S2 was the first Japanese camera to feature a built-in flash, a manual focus lens, and a rewind mechanism. These three features made for a faster shooting experience, which meant getting from one photo to the next as fast as possible.


Nikon rangefinder cameras were popular among photojournalists, journalists, and war photographers because they had to keep up with the technical advancements of other camera manufacturers in the industry.


  • A 24×36″ picture format
  • Lightweight and strong aluminum die-cast body
  • A 1.0x magnification lens
  • The first Japanese cameras with an integrated film advancement system and a rewind crank were introduced in 1891.
  • S2E has accepted the world’s first motor drive powered by batteries.

Nikon SP, 1957

A few years after its release, Nikon released yet another rangefinder camera called the Nikon SP. It was designed specifically for professional photographers.

The Nikon SP was the first camera to provide noticeable improvements over its predecessor, the Nikon 1. It would soon be replaced by a more traditional design for the next generation of Nikon cameras.

Those who aren’t familiar with the Nikon SP may be confused by its futuristic appearance, which seems almost sinister.

Titanium Shutters

Non-cosmetic features include faster shutter speeds. They were first introduced in the Nikon F3 camera (1987), and they’ve been improved upon ever since.

Bright Line Illuminator

More technologically advanced features were added to the Nikon SP camera system in 1957, which included an illuminated viewfinder frame line feature.

Built-in Frame Lines

It was the world’s first camera to feature a rangefinder design that included six different focal length settings, beautifully crafted so that they don’t distract from the image when displayed in full view.

Dual Viewfinder

The Nikon SP camera was designed to be similar to the screw mount Leica cameras, except that each had its own frame lines instead of having both dedicated to focusing.

Secondary Viewfinder

To the immediate left was a secondary view­finder at a lower magnification allowing for a display of a constant focal length of 28mm and 35mm.


The Nikon SP also includes a self-timer for the first time and has a smaller production run than its predecessor models at a respectable 22,000 units manufactured.


  • With dual viewfinders, you get 50, 85, 105, and 135-millimeter lenses plus a 28-millimeter lens.
  • Built-in timer
  • The later version has titanium shutters.
  • Coupled to Nikon Meters
  • It accepts batteries powered motors (3 frames per second).
where is the serial number on a nikon range rangefinder

Where Is The Serial Number On A Nikon Range Rangefinder?


The Nikon Rangefinder is a line of 35mm single-lens reflex cameras produced by the Japanese camera manufacturer Nikon.

The rangefinder was introduced in 1954 as an alternative to the Leica M3 and has been continuously manufactured since then. It is one of the most popular range scopes on the market today.

Feel free to comment if you have any questions.


  • Sarah Wilson

    Sarah is a content consultant at The Outdoor Stores where she is ready to guide you through the features of a good firearm for your outdoor activities and hunting hobbies. Her expert knowledge and intellectual skills have helped The Outdoor Stores greatly.

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