Nikon FM2n: A Lifetime Companion

10

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 #review #nikon #nikon-fm2n

10 Comments

  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!

More Interesting Articles

  • 11 Beloved Toy Cameras

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-12-09 in #gear #reviews
    11 Beloved Toy Cameras

    For some, it marked their first foray into the wonderful world of analog photography. Others consider it a trusty, go-to camera despite having a massive camera collection which sometimes include some of the best gear there is. Whatever the case may be, toy cameras will always hold a special place in the hearts (and shelves) of analog photographers everywhere, quirks and all.

  • Geoffrey Berliner On Photographic Processes, Old and New

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-06-07 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    Geoffrey Berliner On Photographic Processes, Old and New

    Geoffrey Berliner is the Executive Director of the Penumbra Foundation and the Center for Alternative Photography in New York. As the head of an organization whose goals are 'to be a comprehensive resource for photographers at any level' and 'to continue to publicize the impact photography has had and continues to have on culture, history and the arts,' his exposure to photographic materials -from 19th century gems to modern equipment- is so extensive, one cannot even begin to fathom just how much knowledge and experience this man has acquired. His collection of over 2000 vintage Petzval lenses is unparalleled, and the object of envy of both traditional and contemporary photographers. Although such lenses are reputed to require a certain level of skill to be used, Berliner seems to manage them with so much ease, producing splendid results.

    2
  • Pushing Boundaries: So I Heard You Like Multiple Exposures

    written by Amber Valentine on 2015-04-11 in #world #tipster
    Pushing Boundaries: So I Heard You Like Multiple Exposures

    My name is Amber Valentine and I have a confession to make: I’m not really a photographer. I have a website full of photographs, a bookshelf full of cameras, film waiting to be developed, and a wall full of framed pictures I’ve taken. Even so, I don’t really consider myself a photographer per se. I think that Lomography is more about the experimentation and the fun of film than it is about the photography, and that experimentation is part of the reason I have embraced Lomography so.

    3
  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

    1
  • Escaping Reality with Nathalie Daoust

    written by Lomography on 2016-02-11 in #people #lifestyle
    Escaping Reality with Nathalie Daoust

    Born and raised in Montreal, Nathalie Daoust is a Canadian photographer who uses her camera to explore hidden realms around escapism and female sexuality. Her projects have taken her to obscure places all across the world, from the US to Brazil, from Japan to China and currently to North Korea.

    2
  • Lessons from Vintage Photography: Leading the Eye In

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-11 in #world #lifestyle
    Lessons from Vintage Photography: Leading the Eye In

    Vintage does not have to be old hat. These archive samples serve as memos of where to direct the eye and how to create depth in a picture.

    1
  • Shop News

    Pixelstick

    Pixelstick

    The most incredible lightpainting tool is here! Consists of 200 full color RGB LEDs in a lightweight aluminium housing will color your analogue world in different way! Create and animate different shades and shapes with the Pixelstick!

  • Alixunderplatz is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by lomography on 2016-02-11 in #world #news
    Alixunderplatz is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to alixunderplatz is our LomoHome of the Day!

    1
  • Photo of the Day by jonkersy

    written by lomography on 2016-02-11 in #world
    Photo of the Day by jonkersy

    Today's featured photograph is an ode to an old technique of colorizing photographs.

    1
  • Ian Hobson: Lightpainting with the Lomo'Instant Wide

    written by Lomography London on 2016-02-11 in #world #lomoamigos
    Ian Hobson: Lightpainting with the Lomo'Instant Wide

    Self confessed "camera-botherer" and lightpainter extraordinaire Ian Hobson took the Lomo'instant Wide out after dark and captured some mesmerizing shots using a Pixelstick and some burning wire wool.

    2
  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • All is Fair in Love and Lomography: The Diana F+ Family

    written by Lomography on 2016-02-11 in #world
    All is Fair in Love and Lomography: The Diana F+ Family

    Ahh, the Diana. An eternal beauty! With so many different features, designs and accessories, the Diana F+ Family is making us see through rose-tinted glasses!

    1
  • Reflections: 15 Composition Varieties

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-10 in #world #lifestyle
    Reflections: 15 Composition Varieties

    Let's spread the world around the frame.

    4
  • Happy National Hugging Day Rumble Winners

    written by lomography on 2016-02-10 in #world #news #competitions
    Happy National Hugging Day Rumble Winners

    A big warm hug is in order for our rumble winners!

    2