Nikon FM2n

Top-cover view of a film camera
The shutter speed dial of a Nikon FM2n film camera
a Nikon FM2n film camera mount front-view
Top-cover view of a Nikon FM2n film camera.

Specs:

Manufacturer: Nikon
Model name: FM2 (n)
Mount: Nikon F (Ai) mount
Film format: 35mm (24mm x 36mm)

Top Shutter Speed:4000
Flash Contacts: Yes
Flash Sync Speed: 1/250
Shutter Curtain: Vertical-travel, metal focal plane shutter
Battery: 2 x LR44(1.5v) or SR44(1.55v)
Light Meter: Built-in LED in viewfinder.

CAMERA STORY

Nikon was the last big manufacturer I never had a lens or camera from. I was a bit stumped with all the different mount designations. (F mount, Ai, non-Ai). 

When I visited a local film laboratory to develop some film, one of the owners was an avid Nikon fan and praised both the cameras and lenses plenty.  From metering, to sturdiness, to lens quality. It was a long way coming, so I decided to give Nikon a try.

I did some research, set and set out some criteria. I wanted a camera that is:

  • Sturdy
  • Can operate without a battery
  • Well built and durable
  • Multi-exposure lever (I was fascinated by double-exposures at the time)

The FM2n fit all of the criteria and more.

After waiting and prowling online, a good copy popped up, checking with the previously-mentioned Nikon afficianado, the price was right, so I jumped the gun.

USING THE CAMERA

This camera feels great in your hands. I’ve grown to expect this small size and compactness from Olympus OM bodies, so I was pleasantly surprised.

It has a lot of nice features I quite fancy:

  • Back cover locking switch – You need to push it to open the back cover, it’s right next to the film rewind crank
  • Multiple Exposure lever – Right next to the film advance lever, you slide and hold it to take a double exposure (it disengages the film advance.) It’s easy to use I like it.
  • Top shutter speed of 4000 – This has got to be the highest shutter speed on any of my cameras. It makes shooting wide open with a fast film during the day easy!
  • Self Timer – Simple and easy to use, I like to have on my cameras if I fancy some night-time work or self-portraits.
  • Turning it on – You turn on the lightmeter by half cocking the film advance lever. It automatically turns on after a while and you can half-depress the shutter to reactivate it. It takes getting used to, but saves me from forgetting to turn the meter off. (Hi, Olympus OM1)
  • Lightmeter Visibility & Accuracy – The lightmeter is very easy to use. It has 3 symbols in the viewfinder – “+ O -” If the O light up it means the exposure is just right. I love this lightmeter, I feel like it’s the first time I’ve had a working and accurate meter on a film camera.
  • Viewfinder – Bright and good. My copy has a Split-Image rangefinder + microprism color screen, which is the one I find easiest to use.
Add to all that Nikon got the basics just right and you get an amazing camera. A camera that just makes sense. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m keeping this camera body. It’s a breeze to use and at the moment one of my go-to camera bodies, when I want to shoot film. I’ve paired it with a Micro-Nikkor 55mm 3.5 lens and the combo is both light and a breeze to use.

If you’re looking for a great camera that gets it justright, get a Nikon FM2n.