Nikon FM2n: A Lifetime Companion


Nikon FM2 is somewhat of a legend, in the world of photography, with a reputation of being a great lifetime companion of any photographer. I was lucky enough to find one in my parents' house. Considered to be, even if only for some, the holy grail of cameras, it is for most at least, a very respectable camera.

Manufactured at the growingly far ending days of production of analogue cameras, it is said to be an admirable work of craftsmanship, with a flawless and robust mechanism, source of its reputation for reliability and durability. Some even claim it to be bullet-proof. Although I never tried this feature, I have, unfortunately, dropped it to the ground a couple of times, but it is still shooting away as before.

Manufactured in Japan from 1982 to 2001, the Nikon FM2n is a 35mm film, single-lens reflex camera, with interchangeable lens that accepts all Nikon F lenses that support the Automatic Indexing feature. It remained in limited production until 2001, outliving many of the initial designs of the new electronic era. Time has proven the FM2 to be very robust and reliable and the camera has built a legendary reputation as one of the best built mechanical 35mm cameras of all time.

The prodigal son of its predecessor – the Nikon FM and a descendant of a long line of work by Nikon, it incorporates in its robust body, some of its best features: high-strength hardened metal gears, an innovative light meter sensor and, most famously, a precision, high-strength vertical metal shutter, reaching a top speed of an unprecedented 1/4000th second.

The “n” in model version FM2n is said by some, to stand for “new”, with some slight technical improvements like a higher flash-sync speed, although both versions are labeled as FM2 on the camera body, so look out for the red 250 setting on the shutter speed.

I find it to be a very handy, robust and efficient camera. Easy to use, with a large set of quality lens available and although still a bit heavy, it’s quite lighter than a few of its counterparts. And indeed, it never gave me any problems. Currently, I happen to use it mostly for black and white, but it performs well no matter the grains in the film I use.

Perhaps it won’t provide you as much fun moments and interesting results as most lomo cameras, but if you are so lucky as to find yourself capable of owning such a legend, don’t miss out on the opportunity, and you will find yourself a precious life-time photo companion.

written by photohuggers on 2012-04-18 in #reviews #camera #nikon #nikon-fm2n #review


  1. alex34
    alex34 ·

    Awesome and legendary camera. Not my own particular thing-prefer M42 mount East German or Soviet-but still nothing less than impressive. Great article.

  2. anafaro
    anafaro ·

    Love this camera - also have it! E que bonitas fotografias da minha cidade! :)

  3. coolsigg
    coolsigg ·

    You can actually have fun with FM2n like a lomo cam as you can do MX and fit on a DIY splitzer!

  4. photohuggers
    photohuggers ·

    @coolsigg: that is true, the MX works really good, i have used it sometimes. I also did a DIY splitzer using a old broken lens filter mount and some black cardboard but in fact haven't really use it on my nikon but i use it on my holga... ;)

  5. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Very good article and excellent B&Ws

  6. basstah
    basstah ·

    yeah fm2n is one of the best 35mm cameras, true! =D

  7. photohuggers
    photohuggers ·

    @ alex34: also have a camera with M42 mount and also like them but I what can i say, there's a special place in my heart for the nikon... thank you for your feeback!
    @ anafaro: muito obrigado! =)
    @ neanderthalis: thank you, glad you like it!
    @ basstah: i sure like it! ;)

  8. clownshoes
    clownshoes ·

    A Nikon back is great platform. Awesome review.

  9. clickiemcpete
    clickiemcpete ·

    Nice review and love the b&ws especially.

  10. megalithicmatt
    megalithicmatt ·

    I was given one of these by a colleague yesterday. When the photography department burnt down several years ago the FM2n was caught in the blaze and fell off a shelf. It has dents, scratches, a smokey 55mm lens, scorch marks and the film memo holder has curled up - but, other than the lightmeter and the depth of field preview button, it's working normally. A testament to Nikon engineering!

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