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Digital Nikonos RS

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#1 davichin


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Posted 29 May 2008 - 01:01 AM

Today I saw in a spanish forum a guy that has digital nikonos rs modified by kodak. Another one said:

"In 1996 and 1997, Kodak made 3 digital models based on Nikon's Nikonos RS underwater camera:

DCS 425c - 1012x1524 Bay RGB-100-400 ISO
DCS 425ir - 1012x1524 IR-200-800 ISO
DCS 435 - 1012x1268 Bay RGB-200-1000 ISO

These cameras are not listed on Kodak's website, or anywhere else, for that matter. Asking Kodak, I received this reply:

'I'm sorry but those cameras never existed here at Eastman Kodak. We
never made cameras for that specific use. The information you have is

Strange thing is, I'm pretty sure my information is correct. Asking another Kodak source, I was told: 'I think the issue is who they were made for'.

I can only assume they were produced for some US military / intelligence organization. I can't really understand what the secrecy is all about, but I understand Kodak's position (the support people probably don't even know that such a camera exists)."

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#2 james


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Posted 29 May 2008 - 02:17 AM

That's fascinating! Thanks for posting David.

I wouldn't be surprised if they were used in military or covert operations. Nikonos made the olive drab Nikonos V for that reason right?

Nasa has been using Kodak DSLR's up until recently, when I think they upgraded to the D2X. Their astronauts use the cameras in space, using a thermal blanket around them. I met up w/ a few of their folks and let them have a look at my viewfinder - as they were looking for something an astronaut could look through from a high eyepoint (inside their helmet).

I wonder where the original poster got the Digital RS and/or the photos? that's one heck of a collector's item.

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#3 loftus


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Posted 29 May 2008 - 02:39 AM

I've always thought this would be a dream underwater digital camera.
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#4 Phil Rudin

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:35 AM

I would be interesting to know what size sensor was used for this camera. I always felt the better camera for this job would have been the Subeye Reflex made by a company in Switzerland and championed by noted photographer Chris Newbert.

The Subeye had a removable back and film insert, much like a Pentax 645 camera back which could have been ideal for adaptation to digital.

Since the lens mounts for the Nikonos RS lenses and the Nikon film lenses are the same the Subeye could be used with film lenses and a port or an adaptor (to accept the lens o-ring) and an RS lens.

The RS equipment is still retaining its value V. digital equipment and was the go to tool for many working photographers for years.

By the way James the Olive green Nik V cameras and the 80 mm Nikonos lens were a big hit with photojournalists during the Vietnam war because of the damp and humid conditions.



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#5 Lionfish43


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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:56 AM

By the way James the Olive green Nik V cameras and the 80 mm Nikonos lens were a big hit with photojournalists during the Vietnam war because of the damp and humid conditions.

Phil Rudin

I think someone has been pulling your leg. The only Nikonos models available during the Vietnam War were the I and II.
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#6 Phil Rudin

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 06:24 AM

You are of course spot on regarding the olive color, the 80 mm lens however was widely used during the war due to the conditions.


#7 kitty



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Posted 29 May 2008 - 02:37 PM

I've got one of those olive green V's, along with a II and III, in my 'photo gear museum', just collecting dust in case anyone is interested in adding to their collection....

#8 DesertEagle


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Posted 09 June 2008 - 06:51 AM

You are of course spot on regarding the olive color, the 80 mm lens however was widely used during the war due to the conditions.


So someobody actually used the 80mm for something other than a paperweight? :D
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#9 davephdv


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Posted 09 June 2008 - 05:05 PM

It actually was a great closeup lens when used with the Nikonos closeup lens and framer.
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#10 Giles


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Posted 10 June 2008 - 07:18 AM

In those RS photos .. where is the storage ?

Memory wasn't as sophisticated back in those days I am pretty sure we should be able to see either drive, (I doubt those two batteries could power a drive) or quite a bit of Solid State memory.. either way it doesnt look removeable .. so wheres the usb socket ?

It wouldn't surprise me if this existed, but honestly Nikonos would have released this in my mind if they had a working version back in 1996.
The RS started being made in 1992 and then quietly just got stopped being made as digital came into being and the RS also went digital ? The RS was never made after 1997 .. it just doesnt add up as a story to me.

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#11 t-bohn



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Posted 06 July 2008 - 03:52 PM

Hi all,

I have been using KODAK Cameras based on different Nikon SLR models before.
They all used memory cards and hard drives in PCMCIA format.

On the pictures you can see a similar slot to slide in these big memory cards too.

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#12 shchae


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Posted 28 July 2008 - 01:17 PM

Maybe you need this pic as smoking gun ?

I found this pic in internet....US NAVY SEAL.


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Edited by shchae, 28 July 2008 - 01:19 PM.

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#13 Bentoni


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Posted 09 November 2008 - 01:21 PM

I just found this post today, but I found it fascinating. I have a friend who has been a pro shooter for nearly fifty years, and a Nikonos RS owner (and close friends with many Nikon insiders.) He has told me this history several times: According to his sources at Nikon, The RS was originally developed by Nikon for the US Navy and was designed originally to b a digital camera. Nikon, however was contractually forbidden to market it commercially. I always thought the story was merely wishful thinking, or legend, but the photo of the label inside the back cover lends some credence to it I think. In any case, I'm glad I found this link. I'm going to pass it along to my friend.
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#14 ikan



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Posted 22 November 2008 - 09:40 AM

I've just found this fascinating post. I do remember that when Nikon announced the end of commercial production of the RS they said it would still continue to be produced to fulfil government and military contracts.

I have always thought it a great shame that those wonderful U/W corrected wideangle/fisheye lenses are not available for digital use. Come on Nikon, let's have a digital RS using today's sensors.

#15 dzwiad



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Posted 06 May 2010 - 01:12 AM

here is a link to nikonweb article on digital nikonos