What's Nikon's best camera of all time? Apparently, it's the Nikon F

Nikon F
(Image credit: Nikon)

It's official: the Nikon F is the Big N's best camera ever. Well, according to our sister website TechRadar, anyway. 

Our homies from other folkskies published an article over the Easter weekend breaking down the 10 best Nikon cameras of all time, featuring everything from the Nikon Z9 and Nikon Z7 to the Nikon Z and Nikon F4. 

So why, exactly, did TechRadar name the F as Nikon's greatest camera of all time? It is, after all, a 63-year-old, 35mm film camera – and one that didn't really do anything new even in 1959, when it was new (other than being Nikon's first single lens reflex camera).

"It became the definitive 35mm camera of the era and established the SLR as the future," says TechRadar, quite simply.

"Over 14 years, almost one-million Nikon F units were made, plus it was superseded by more advanced models over the following decades, during which Nikon enjoyed a virtual market dominance until the autofocus era. Every existing Nikon SLR, DSLR and mirrorless camera since has taken some design cues from the Nikon F."

Obviously, naming the greatest anything of all time – whether it's a camera or a car or a sportsperson or whatever else – is always going to have to come with a whole bunch of asterisks. 

Nobody in their right mind would say that the Nikon F is a better camera than the Nikon Z9, for example, but context is king. Is Michael Jordan better than LeBron James? They each existed within and dominated their own eras – but the Nikon F, like Mike, dominated its era in a way that the Z9 has yet to do.

"Famously used to cover everything from the Vietnam war to NASA space programs (the F-Mount is the only ever lens mount used by NASA), the Nikon F is a reliable, bullet-proof modular 35mm camera, concludes TechRadar. 

"When we think of Nikon, this is where things truly began." And honestly, that's a sentiment that it's hard to argue with.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.