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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 12-12-2019   #81
Erik van Straten
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The problem with the FTn meters is that they usually do not work anymore. The Nikkormats had the same meters, but these were more practical arranged and usually are still going strong.

Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor H Auto 50mm f/2, TriX/D76 printed on Adox MCC110.

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Old 12-13-2019   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The problem with the FTn meters is that they usually do not work anymore. The Nikkormats had the same meters, but these were more practical arranged and usually are still going strong.

Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor H Auto 50mm f/2, TriX/D76 printed on Adox MCC110.

Erik.
I remember seeing this picture years ago. I loved it the moment I saw it and still think it is a classic.
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Old 12-13-2019   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The problem with the FTn meters is that they usually do not work anymore. The Nikkormats had the same meters, but these were more practical arranged and usually are still going strong.

Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor H Auto 50mm f/2, TriX/D76 printed on Adox MCC110.

Erik.
Fabulous capture.

Not yet a Nikon user but I keep looking on the Bay for an FM2n, which I perceive to be very solid all mechanical (bar the light meter) camera. Is the FM2n a good choice, or should I broaden my search?
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Old 12-13-2019   #84
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Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
Fabulous capture.

Not yet a Nikon user but I keep looking on the Bay for an FM2n, which I perceive to be very solid all mechanical (bar the light meter) camera. Is the FM2n a good choice, or should I broaden my search?
“Sexy” image indeed. Not just usual back

Why not F2, I finally got one and it is just how Nikon is. Heavy, but not annoying, simple, but not primitive. It has elegance of Japanese heavyweight bulldozers and price of which makes it easy to carry on without worrying.
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Old 12-13-2019   #85
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FE2 followed by F100. F100 is great camera and great buy now
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Old 12-13-2019   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
“Sexy” image indeed. Not just usual back

Why not F2, I finally got one and it is just how Nikon is. Heavy, but not annoying, simple, but not primitive. It has elegance of Japanese heavyweight bulldozers and price of which makes it easy to carry on without worrying.
I know it's a bit passé but I'm looking for double or multiple exposure. I can do it digitally but it's not the same.

Looking at the F2 spec 840g without lens. What a 'tank' of a camera, but great for self defence on the street I'm thinking. One whack and it's set of dentures required. 😂
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Old 12-13-2019   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
“Sexy” image indeed. Not just usual back

Why not F2, I finally got one and it is just how Nikon is. Heavy, but not annoying, simple, but not primitive. It has elegance of Japanese heavyweight bulldozers and price of which makes it easy to carry on without worrying.
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FE2 followed by F100. F100 is great camera and great buy now
Dan
Yeah FE2 looks a good option to consider even though I prefer mainly electronics free cameras. I've never really taken to film cameras without the usual mechanical film advance lever. I find it quite therapeutic clicking and winding on - I know, sad init!
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Old 12-13-2019   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
...

Not yet a Nikon user but I keep looking on the Bay for an FM2n, which I perceive to be very solid all mechanical (bar the light meter) camera. Is the FM2n a good choice, or should I broaden my search?
I had all of the F, F2, F3, FM, FM2n, and FE2 bodies over the years. The F was always my favorite, the F3 the one I had the longest, and an FM pair (FM and FM2n) the most used.

The FM became the FM2, then the FM2n, with subtle upgrades over the years. The FM2n itself was upgraded silently two or three times, so a late FM2n is what I'd pick were I buying another FM series body. I never liked the FE2 information display as much as the FM's simple three diode metering readout and was content with match needle, manual metering. The optional/detachable MD12 motor drive for the FM/FM2n was also a peach and I used that a lot.

I only have the one plain prism F and two lenses in Nikon gear now. It's all I want, and I barely have the motivation to use it anymore: I'd rather shoot formats other than 35mm format in film most of the time. 6x6cm film is probably my favorite film format, and after that Minox 8x11..

G
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Old 12-13-2019   #89
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Thanks Godfrey. Reading about the evolution of the FM2n from titanium to aluminium (alloy?) it seems the shutter was less problematic once the durability of the aluminium had improved.
I understand the FM2n requires the Ai or AIS lens to work properly, and fitting a non AI can damage the camera.
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Old 12-13-2019   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
I've owned most all of them and still do. My go to for film is the Nikon FE (not the FE2). It just works.
Why not the FE2? You've never tried one or just prefer the FE for some reason?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
...
If memory serves, the Canon F1 did not come along until much later, toward the end of the 1970's but it could have been earlier.
1971, but by then, everyone had Nikon for 12 years, so it was hard to make the case to switch to Canon.

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Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
Fabulous capture.

Not yet a Nikon user but I keep looking on the Bay for an FM2n, which I perceive to be very solid all mechanical (bar the light meter) camera. Is the FM2n a good choice, or should I broaden my search?
FM2n is a good choice, but if you don't need the 1/4000 s shutter speed or 1/250 flash sync, you can save a LOT of money by going for an FM. The FMs had better fit & finish. Also, if you have pre-AI lenses, they will work on an FM, but not an FM2 or FM2N.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
Thanks Godfrey. Reading about the evolution of the FM2n from titanium to aluminium (alloy?) it seems the shutter was less problematic once the durability of the aluminium had improved.
I understand the FM2n requires the Ai or AIS lens to work properly, and fitting a non AI can damage the camera.
Correct. On the FM, the ring with the AI tab was made of metal and the tab could be folded down out of the way for mounting pre-AI lenses. On the FM2 and FM2N, it was made of plastic and would break if you tried to force a pre-AI lens on.
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Old 12-13-2019   #91
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Is it possible to swap the ring with the AI tab from an FM onto an FE2?
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Old 12-13-2019   #92
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I was more a Canon FD user, but I kept a Nikon F2, FM2, and FE (I think). I sold an F and FM. The F2 is now matched with the Nikkor 21/4 with mirror lock-up.
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Old 12-13-2019   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmrider View Post
... If memory serves, the Canon F1 did not come along until much later, toward the end of the 1970's but it could have been earlier.
Canon F-1 - 1971
Canon F-1n - 1976 (has something like 12 improvements to F-1)
Canon New F-1 (F-1N) - 1981 (totally new camera)

The F-1 and F-1n were essentially all-manual-exposure cameras. The F-1N offered aperture priority if you added the AE head and you could get shutter priority if you added the motor drive. The analog (!) viewfinder display changed accordingly - very clever. These are very solid, rugged, reliable cameras.

An F-1N on the day I bought it:
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Old 12-13-2019   #94
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I’d pass on the F100. There are so many on ebay w broken doors for a reason. Incredible that Nikon made the latch out of plastic when even their lowly EM has a metal one.
I sold my F100 while it was still ok.
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Old 12-13-2019   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
...
FM2n is a good choice, but if you don't need the 1/4000 s shutter speed or 1/250 flash sync, you can save a LOT of money by going for an FM. The FMs had better fit & finish. Also, if you have pre-AI lenses, they will work on an FM, but not an FM2 or FM2N.

... On the FM, the ring with the AI tab was made of metal and the tab could be folded down out of the way for mounting pre-AI lenses. On the FM2 and FM2N, it was made of plastic and would break if you tried to force a pre-AI lens on.
Another subtlety within the FM production itself is that early FM's had a shutter release lock around the collar - which means you can still release the shutter if the wind lever is flush with the body. That happens to be my preference. These early FM's are identifiable by a knurled (rather than smooth) shutter release collar.

Like so:
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Old 12-13-2019   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The problem with the FTn meters is that they usually do not work anymore. The Nikkormats had the same meters, but these were more practical arranged and usually are still going strong.
...
At this well-known wonderful site there is a table on this page which implies later Nikkormats incorporated an improved variable resistor:

https://www.mir.com.my/rb/photograph...ml/history.htm

... and more details here, mid-page:

https://www.mir.com.my/rb/photograph.../features3.htm
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Old 12-13-2019   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor H Auto 50mm f/2, TriX/D76 printed on AdoxMCC110 (1974).

Erik.


Beautiful. Where is that?
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Old 12-13-2019   #98
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Near Richmond, London. Nowadays the three on the right is gone and the path is straight and tiled. The posts are still there.


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Old 12-13-2019   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pál_K View Post
At this well-known wonderful site there is a table on this page which implies later Nikkormats incorporated an improved variable resistor:

https://www.mir.com.my/rb/photograph...ml/history.htm

... and more details here, mid-page:

https://www.mir.com.my/rb/photograph.../features3.htm

Thanks, my favorite is still the FTn, but then in black. I'm so happy that I've never gave in for a Nikkormat EL. The FTn is still a beauty with the leather on the prism and no speed dial on top. The same leather as on the rangefinders.

Erik.

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Old 12-13-2019   #100
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Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Thanks, my favorite is still the FTn, but then in black. I'm so happy that I've never gave in for a Nikkormat EL. The FTn is still a beauty with the leather on the prism and no speed dial on top. The same leather as on the rangefinders.

Erik
I totally agree. A great reliable camera. Meter still accurate! It sees more use than my black plain prism F. The only downside is that the screens are not interchangeable. A black Ftn with an E screen would be perfect.
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Old 12-13-2019   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Thanks, my favorite is still the FTn, but then in black. I'm so happy that I've never gave in for a Nikkormat EL...
You are stronger than I am. The jewel-like finish of the EL captivated me and then one look through the viewfinder, revealing its coloured analog scale (similar to FE2 and FM3a), was all that was needed for me to buy one.

I started using it straight away, both in metered manual and aperture priority - exposure was good, though with the battery I was using I may have had to compensate on the ISO setting.
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Old 12-13-2019   #102
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We're getting a little side-tracked with Nikkormats and non-F bodies. (FM, FE, etc)

We can start another thread on non-F bodies, if you want.
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Old 12-13-2019   #103
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Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor H Auto 50mm f/2, TriX/D76, printed on AdoxMCC110.

Erik.

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Old 12-13-2019   #104
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I still miss my old FTn Photomic, a camera I used in college in the early 1980's. Sadly that camera was later stolen.
Ten years ago when I decided to replace it I opted for an F2 Photomic (DP-1) as the original mercury battery used in the F was problematic.
I have since added an F2SB (DP-3) and most recently an F4.
The F3 never interested me due to that awful LCD panel in the viewfinder, and later F models are far too electronic for my liking.
I also own a couple of FE bodies as well as a Nikkormat EL and an FT-3. I'm currently looking for a nice FT-2.

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Old 12-13-2019   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
We're getting a little side-tracked with Nikkormats and non-F bodies. (FM, FE, etc)

We can start another thread on non-F bodies, if you want.
What are Nikkormat Fxx, FM and FE if they are not F bodies?
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Old 12-13-2019   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
We're getting a little side-tracked with Nikkormats and non-F bodies. (FM, FE, etc)

We can start another thread on non-F bodies, if you want.
Eric and his professional FTn, please!
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Old 12-13-2019   #107
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This thread reminded me I always wanted to get an EL2. Perhaps a black one; I generally prefer cameras with the leatherette on the prism but at least on the EL-series, the lack of leather isn't so obvious on a black body.
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Old 12-13-2019   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
We're getting a little side-tracked with Nikkormats and non-F bodies. (FM, FE, etc)

We can start another thread on non-F bodies, if you want.

Fair enough.

It's interesting that among the pro F cameras, we hear mostly about the plain-prism F, the FTN, the various F2's, etc., but we hear little about original Nikon F cameras with the other three heads: Photomic, T, or TN. Perhaps after the FTN was introduced, everyone dumped their earlier metering heads.

Having that narrow horizontal slot in the head showing the maximum aperture is a good 1960's artifact. Having the angular asymmetrical "slice" on the head creates the archetype Nikon profile. Among Nikon fans I think it has become a sexy characteristic.
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Old 12-13-2019   #109
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Fair enough.

It's interesting that among the pro F cameras, we hear mostly about the plain-prism F, the FTN, the various F2's, etc., but we hear little about original Nikon F cameras with the other three heads: Photomic, T, or TN. Perhaps after the FTN was introduced, everyone dumped their earlier metering heads.

Having that narrow horizontal slot in the head showing the maximum aperture is a good 1960's artifact. Having the angular asymmetrical "slice" on the head creates the archetype Nikon profile. Among Nikon fans I think it has become a sexy characteristic.

The T and TN meter heads are very rare AFAIK.


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Old 12-14-2019   #110
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F4.......................
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Old 12-14-2019   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pál_K View Post
...
It's interesting that among the pro F cameras, we hear mostly about the plain-prism F, the FTN, the various F2's, etc., but we hear little about original Nikon F cameras with the other three heads: Photomic, T, or TN. Perhaps after the FTN was introduced, everyone dumped their earlier metering heads.
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The T and TN meter heads are very rare AFAIK.
The F was introduced in '59, the F Photomic with meter built into the head in '62, the F Photomic FT with TTL meter followed very soon after (either one or two years), and the F Photomic FTn came along in '68. The F line ended nominally in '72 with the introduction of the F2. The FTn head has substantive upgrades over the FT head, like the semi-automatic indexing and center weighted metering. So the Photomic and Photomic FT models came and went quickly, within a span of six years; I suspect they didn't sell that well. The FTn head was an instant success because of the new-found ease of setting it up for the lens and the better metering provided. I know a lot of folks who converted their Photomic FT cameras to Photomic FTn.

G
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Old 12-14-2019   #112
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The focusing screens are worth a study in themselves. How many different types were made?


The Nikkormat FTn was made with two different focusing screens, one with a small circle of microprisms and the other with a central focusing wedge. I remember that in Europe only Nikkormats were available with microprisms and in the US only with the wedge. The reason for this geographical difference remains until this day a mystery to me.


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Old 12-14-2019   #113
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I don’t think the meter less heads that are all the rage now were the primary choice back then. with the F2, the DP 3 and 12 heads were the most expensive and desirable for working professionals.
Today most people use these cameras for leisure and enjoy the simplicity and style of the meter less heads. I have both the DE1 and DP12 heads for one of my F2 cameras and while the DE1 is cooler it is a much better camera using the DP12. Especially after Sover Wong replaced the ring resistor!
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Old 12-14-2019   #114
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If you look at the cheapest of F cameras on eBay... most come with either the T or Tn.

I would say they are rare in good working condition. Otherwise I just cannot subscribe to that opinion having owned a ton of Photomic, T, Tn, and Ftn.
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Old 12-14-2019   #115
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Fun question!

I have had an F and F3 in the past and I currently have an F2 and an F4.

To me the answer is no different than the answer to the question how long is a piece of string? It depends!

The F and especially the F2 are very satisfying to use. In every sense you feel that you are using a finely made tool. The shutter has a satisfying "clack". Both are all mechanical (if you can live without a meter).

I have a magnifying loop VF and speciality focusing screen for macro work for my F2. In the end I found it too difficult to do very close macro work with the F2. The meters available are too limited and don't work well with very close macro work where it can be difficult to calculate the effective aperture and the ttl prisms available are not sensitive enough. For everything else it's great.

For macro work, the F4 (and the F5 and F6 I'd imagine) is superior. Focusing and metering are greatly aided by the modern technology of the camera. Auto advance means you don't bump your shot in between. For everything else it is also fantastic. Easy to use and equipped with powerful and accessible features. The best part is that it uses batteries you can find almost anywhere.

The F3 will always hold a special place for me. I lusted for one when I was younger and had no money to buy one. One day I got lucky and snagged one that was beat to heck for $125 on eBay along with a 50mm f/1.8. I shot a lot of rolls with it wish I wish would have kept it but I think it's probably still out there being enjoyed by someone else.

It's all for the best since these days I hardly shoot any 35mm so I'd hate to see my old F3 collecting dust. I have been swept up by the tides of medium format and I'm not sure can give manual focus 35mm cameras the attention they deserve these days.
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Old 12-14-2019   #116
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Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor H Auto 50mm f/2, TriX/D76, printed on AdoxMCC110.

Erik.

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Old 12-14-2019   #117
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I was introduced to the world in the same year as the F4 and didn't start shooting film until 2012 so my experience with the range of Nikon bodies is limited relative to many who have posted here. I have shot a few AF-D lenses but predominantly use AI/AI-S lenses. The list of F bodies I've shot in rough order is as follows

F75 - Purchased based on Ken Rockwell recommendations. Actually a decent basic body for AF-D/AF-G lenses but I sold it in favor of a more ergonomic F100 and the better focusing screens of FM/FE series bodies once I decided I enjoyed shooting film.

F100 - This was my mainstay body for several years. It was a solid shooter that was good for AF/MF lenses. I avoided dealing with any of the film door latch issues, but ultimately decided to stick solely to FM/FE series bodies when I sold all of my AF-D lenses many years back (at the time, I didn’t have any AF-S lenses).

FM/FE - I got a few of these on the cheap for less than $50 and really enjoyed them. I actually agree with most that the fit/finish of the originals are slightly better than the newer FM2/FE2 but I have enough light that I have the need for the higher shutter speeds so I willingly sent these to new homes.

FM2/FM2n - I’ve used these several times. Consistent and reliable bodies and there’s really nothing that I can say bad about them.

FE2 - FM2 without the advantage of battery-less operation (not really an issue) but this is what I’ve ultimately settled on for all my MF Nikkors as I prefer the match needle meter setup to the three light diode.


One day I’ll probably buy an FM3a to go along with my FE2 for the best of both worlds and I’d also really like to try an F3T at some point to see what all the fuss is about. One of my neighbors growing up ran the local newspaper. He still has his original Nikkormat (can’t remember which model) and 35/1.4 and they’re both still in good shape! You just can’t go wrong with Nikon F series cameras.
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Old 12-14-2019   #118
Pál_K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor H Auto 50mm f/2, TriX/D76, printed on AdoxMCC110.

Erik.

Every little area of that photo has an interesting part. I like the play of the ball, the kid looking at the camera, the kids up beyond the wall. That bike - looks like a Schwinn Sting Ray of the 1960's.
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Old 12-14-2019   #119
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Given the proviso that i don't collect cameras.... if i were to stop using Leica M as my 35mm of choice and replace it with an SLR, i'd buy an F2 Titan and a few lenses; a micro nikkor 55, a 35 1.4 / 105 2.5 / 180 2.8.... but that won't happen. Be that as it may, the venerable F & F2 (or your choice) and matching lenses remain tools capable of delivering superb negatives.
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Old 12-14-2019   #120
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The 180/2.8 Nikkor of any type is a absolutely phenomenal lens.

I’ve owned 1 version of the Pre-Ai, Ai, and ED versions. The former suffering from extreme internal fungus damage. It’s the only lens that keeps me up at night because I do not currently own a copy.

That’s a big reason to own a Nikon in its own right... for me atleast.
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