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.