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Nikon FM2

The Nikon FM2 filled my desire for a fully mechanical Nikon SLR camera. I purchased mine in 2008 and used it a good bit during that year, and a bit in 2009. However, when I left for Thailand and China, I decided to take the N80 over the FM2. I actually regret that decision a bit but it might just be because I haven’t been able to use it for a long time.

While in China in 2008, I decided to try developing my own film. In this shot I used Lucky 100. It is an OK film, but I don't really care for it now. I much prefer Ilford Pan 400.

I don't think there are many buses like this one left in Guangzhou. They have probably all been pushed out by more modern looking buses to avoid making China look backwards.

Note the wooden floor in the old bus. I've never seen a bus like this in GZ since.

It is a fun camera to use as there is something really exciting about winding the  film through with the thumb lever. The flipside of that of is the very bizzare sensation when I push the shutter button: just a loud, thunking “click” sound. No winding motor  makes its whirring noises after each shot. I’ve purchased a motor winder for it, but I’ve never actually seen this winder, nor used it yet, so I can’t comment on the changes the motor winder will bring. I’ll update this at a later time when I have a chance to use it.

These guys are still all over the place at this time (2011) but they might not be visible 5 or 10 years from now. Who knows?

While in Guangzhou in 2008, I took a picture of a delivery bicycle used by Mcdonalds!Can't remember the film type, but I think the photo lab really boosted the colors. I've never seeen anything quite like it before.

A crew of rowers set out for a fun outing up the Pear River.

As for lenses, I’m also unable to say that I have a lot of experience with Nikon’s great MF lenses while using this camera. I recently picked up some Series E lenses (the 28, 35, and 50mm primes, along with the 36-72mm zoom) but like the motorwinder, I’ve never seen them or used them. Most of my shots with the FM2 have been taken using the Nikon 35mm f2D. I also use the Nikon 50mm 1.4D lens, but since I prefer the 35mm focal length in general, that’s the lens I use more often. Seems to focus just fine to me. While I did grab the Series E lenses, and many people love their MF Nikkors, I think it makes a lot of sense to use the D type AF lenses since they will work on so many different cameras.  I think I’d still like to get my hands on the 50mm f1.2 but I doubt that will happen soon. Regardless, I’ve taken some sharp shots using the AF lenses and will keep using them.

Despite being a MF camera, I can still shoot fast moving skateboarders. The trick is to pre-focus on where they will be and then shoot when the guy gets there. The film used in this shot is the Kodak BW400CN. It is ok, but I"m not thrilled with it.

Almost the same shot, but this time in color.

The FM2 is also a very rugged camera. I once leaned over and the camera swung around and hit the pavement, but kept working quite well. And since it is a fully manaul film camera, if the batteries fail only the meter goes. I would really like to shoot it with my F4 some time. My F4 has never left me without a working battery, but what if. . . .? It would be fun to take the FM2 on a trip somewhere and feel a certain freedom from batteries and electricity.

Double exposure using the FM2. Nice little feature. Played with it a bit one day, but I don't have much experience to really understand what happens during double exposures.

I hope to shoot my FM2 for years to come, and shoot more often with it . I would certainly recommend this camera to anyone wanting a manual film camera. Nikon still makes the FM-10, but I see them here and there and they don’t look very good after a few years. This FM2 looks great and works well, too. I think one could find a good FM2 for a better price than the newer, plasticy FM-10.

I've shot some slide film through my FM2. This is a shot of my Mom's flowers.


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