|My Lockheed HR F2 camera system|
Since the Lockheed HR Nikon F and F2 systems were probably classified and restricted, I thought I would never find them let alone own one. However, I kept searching as there was a chance that they could be later declassified and sold to civilians. In 2015 a complete Lockheed HR Nikon F2 system was listed in two successive German auction sites, but no one was interested. I of course bought it as I knew precisely what it was. The German dealer told me he obtained it from a collector in Belgium, and they correctly thought it was a military system.
My Lockheed HR Nikon F2 system comprise of the following items :
1) A customised F2 camera body #7812403 with a steel screw mount instead of the Nikon mount, and a metal cap
2) A customised 180mm f2.8 lens #81735 with a steel screw mount instead of the Nikon mount, and a metal cap
3) A MD-2 motor drive #451807 and MB-1 battery pack
4) A MF-1 250 bulk back #303152 and two cassettes
5) A customised Swift K model focus free Huntscope No. 722 #720131 that mounts onto the F2 camera hot shoe
6) A DE-1 eye level finder and a DA-1 action finder
7) A MH-1 charger and two MN-1 rechargeable batteries
8) A metal carrying case with a Navy insignia, and a metal tag with MENOUX M 065 7719 stamped on it
The metal Navy carrying case was later confirmed as standard issue in the Dutch Navy. (Maybe it’s the standard issue in NATO Navies as well?) However, I am unable to confirm that my system once belonged to the Dutch Navy, as it came without any documents.
The 50mm lens described in the draft user manual was not included in my system, but an action finder was included instead, probably because the 50mm lens was not very useful at high attitudes and the operator had to wear a helmet.
Also, the MD-2 hasn't got the extended handle shown on the draft user manual cover page. Maybe it wasn't very useful in practice, and hence withdrawn.
I found the stainless steel lens mount is slightly wider than M44, as the accurized 180mm lens cannot be fully screwed in a Miranda camera with a M44 thread, but a M44 Miranda lens can be fully screwed in the accurized camera mount. The focus ring on the accurized 180mm lens was only calibrated from 180ft to 5000ft and infinity (one full turn), so this lens was purposely made to focus on distant targets from a plane or helicopter. There is also an extra ring at the back that locks the focus ring to a set distance.
The accurized 180mm lens has an odd name, Telesport, and a high serial number, 81735. Maybe it or its barrel was made by a subcontractor, so a code name and false serial number were used to disguise that it was made for military applications. The accurized 180mm lens weighs 1kg, 200g heavier than the standard Nikkor 180mm lens.
My Lockheed HR F2 system is the only one found so far. An actual Lockheed HR F system hasn’t been found yet. There could also be later Lockheed HR systems based on the Nikon F3 or F4 cameras, but that’s just a wild guess. Please contact me if you have any further information, or actual photos taken with these special cameras.
|Carrying case||Navy insignia|
|Case contents||Customised F2 body and 180mm lens|
|Camera and lens mounts||Customised 180mm lens in accurized barrel|
|Customised Swift Huntscope||The complete HR F2 system|