View Full Version : Digging up a Nikon FM2...

12-07-2011, 11:20am
Hi guys,

I am about to do something that's out of fashion.... digging up my dad's old FM2, take it for a spin on the weekend, print the photo and compare the pics to the one I took in a DSLR, and see how crap I have done without all the digital aids :lol:

Just wonder anyone would care to know the difference? If so I would post it here, otherwise it will be just my self experience thing :th3:

12-07-2011, 1:40pm
Back to the days where cameras only had a couple of buttons, a few levers and a mechanical shutter button.

While a lot of these old film cameras are pretty well worthless today, I reckon in the future that they will be worth some $$$.

Just think, in a few decades, when we have no electricity, we may have to go back to mechanical cameras and film after all! :lol:

12-07-2011, 2:00pm
except... people already lost the technology to make and manufacture film rolls :p

12-07-2011, 10:05pm
I'll be interested to see the results of the FM2!
Don't be so hard on yourself... you might be surprised!!! :th3:

13-07-2011, 9:43am
Thanks smallfooties - but just don't know my ratio of "photo taken - deleted (a lot) = possibly usable" :lol:

Will give this a try this weekend anyway - but will also post the result if you are interest :)

13-07-2011, 10:17am
Good luck - that was my all-time favorite film camera and I regret ever getting rid of it. It was pretty much indestructible and with the right lens took some pretty nice pics. The 1/4000 second max shutter speed meant you could really freeze the action.

13-07-2011, 1:30pm
Have fun with the film camera :)

For best results buy a roll of Velvia and shoot for bright, vivid colours :)

15-07-2011, 12:13am
Crap... they don't sell film in CBD anymore :p

Need to try Photo Cont. on Saturday!

15-07-2011, 12:31am
What's wrong with this picture? :D


15-07-2011, 12:34am
Just realise the lens is a Vivitar 28-210 f/3.5!! Wow, can't believe they already have such super zoom back in the time! 210mm at f/3.5 still pretty fast :D

I think I will go for a ASA400 film, make life easier (no VR)

15-07-2011, 12:50am
of cos i'll be interested in seeing the results! And if you're feeling guilty about sitting on the fence with the brands of your cameras, you could always pass the Nikon on... to let's say.... ME! kekekekeke :p

15-07-2011, 1:14am
Not guilty at all!! :D the more of the camera the marrier ;)

It was belong to my dad, so I will keep it as long as I could, chances are it will out last my rugged 1D :D

15-07-2011, 1:37pm
The only thing wrong with that photo, is that you have a Minolta strap on a Nikon camera!

Don't they fight each other? :lol:

Haven't our new cameras become HUGE compared to the older film cameras.

I handled an old Canon FT (SLR) a while back, and couldn't believe how small and light it is, and it is a full-frame 35mm.

15-07-2011, 2:44pm
Correct! :D

I know (re camera size). I guess the (requirement of bigger) size of the LCD plays it's role too. Dad was an "whatever works" person, he thinks this strap works better, so he have this one on when he was using it.

Correct me if I am wrong, but FM2 was like the pinnacle of the Nikon range? (Like the D3/1D for the Nikon/Canon). It wasn't heavy at all compare to my 1D!! (Might probably weight less than 500D?!?!)

15-07-2011, 6:47pm
Correct me if I am wrong, but FM2 was like the pinnacle of the Nikon range? (Like the D3/1D for the Nikon/Canon).My film gear is Oly but I've recently been looking into getting a Nikon film body (F100). The FM2 was considered a semi-pro camera, probably the equivalent of something like the D300 these days. The top pro bodies were F, F2, F3..., up to the current model F6. From what I read the FM2 was, and still is, a highly-regarded camera, I think due mainly to its solid build and manual-everything operation. There should be tons of info on the net...


16-07-2011, 11:25am
Fillum - pull the trigger on the F100. I got one recently and loving it, and the only fly in the ointment has been non-TTL compatibility with the SB700/SB900 flashes. It takes almost all Nikon lenses - AI, AI-S, D, G. If you can, try to get one with the battery grip - it's quite hard to find and I was lucky to score it with the camera.

18-07-2011, 11:41pm
I used FM2's for years and never wanted anything more electronic. If you're well practiced, the manual cameras are very quick to use.
Some things to consider - you won't see the potential using a 400 ISO film. That's about like 3200 ISo digital, grain-wise. Go Velvia or Provia. I would guesstimate that a 400 ISO colour print film is about like a 4 megapixel digi, and Velvia like about a 10 megapixel, albeit a bit grainier.
Also, you won't see it's potential with that old Vivitar zoom. If your Dad had the 50mm standard lens, use that one. Otherwise all you're doing is comparing old, pioneering, second rate superzoom technology with the mature technology of today's zooms. I had a Vivitar 28-105 of about that era. It was awful.
Phil's right about the market placement of the FM2, but it was a pretty-well unique camera, being fully mechanical, not just manual. No battery needed, except for the lightmeter. Only Pentax (K-1000), Oly (OM-1) and Leica made fully mechanical cameras then. The FM2 was the best, and most pros had one on hand, especially for remote or cold climate work. Yes, magnificently small and light for the image quality, and fast flash sync, too.
In my h, o., the finest hand camera of them all, ever, red dots included. Have fun.

18-07-2011, 11:55pm
Thanks guys - onto photo #21 at the moment... still another few to go :p

For someone never really put the head into the fully manual, it was quite a challenge. First thing first, this is the 1st time I feel having VR/IS is sooo handy!

And the funny habit of click the shutter and look at the camera back (LCD) - even my missus laughing at me: "what are you looking at? There's no screen" :lol:

I didn't have a chance to get a Velvia - only find myself some Fuji ISO200 3 pack to start with. My dad is not letting me touching his lenses collection.... especially that 50mm 1.2.......

19-07-2011, 2:05am
My dad is not letting me touching his lenses collection....Andy if you decide to keep using the FM2 it might be worth keeping your eye out for old manual Nikkors - they sometimes turn up quite cheaply on ebay etc. For example I picked up an AI-S 24mm f/2.8 quite cheaply off ebay and it's a great lens. (Of course check compatibility and do some research before any purchase).


19-07-2011, 2:10am
Fillum - pull the trigger on the F100. I got one recently and loving it, and the only fly in the ointment has been non-TTL compatibility with the SB700/SB900 flashes. It takes almost all Nikon lenses - AI, AI-S, D, G. If you can, try to get one with the battery grip - it's quite hard to find and I was lucky to score it with the camera.

Thanks for the info nightbringer, good to know. I actually went off on a bit of a tangent and bought a TLR instead. I think I'll see how I get on with that before making any more filmic purchases.


19-07-2011, 7:45am
would love to see your results :th3:

20-07-2011, 12:47am
Don't think I will be able to finish the other 3/4 so I will just roll it up and develop it tomorrow. Will upload the result tomorrow.


20-07-2011, 10:55am
that is today now will keep coming back :)

25-07-2011, 10:40pm
Sorry for the delay - was a little busy an then AP was down due to upgrade or something....


First thing I realise from this experiment is - without VR, telephoto is difficult!

Out of 24 photos, only probably 14 is sharp (6 of them were completely destroyed due to me stuff up when try to reverse the used film back into the roll) Only 18 were developed.

The flare control of the lens is not exactly exceptional, but having say that - it seems film can record more dynamic range? Some of the sample were pretty much facing to the sun, but instead of complete dark shadow, I got quite a bit of details in the picture

27-07-2011, 11:29pm
I like the last two, the portraits turned out really nice.

28-07-2011, 1:15am
Yep, I am kind of surprise how well the pics turn out. But I was hoping the neg scanner would be better. When I zoom in more the pixel is terrible :D

28-07-2011, 11:10am
Get a holder and then take a digital photo of the transparency and you won't lose as much quality. :cool:

28-07-2011, 12:41pm
Good idea :D But I think I will just leave it as it is. A bit of learning experience and a bit of fun. Learn a few small things about how to achieve proper exposure - something we all read all the time in any photography technical article, but never really remember to do so :D

Got another 2 rolls to muck around with - but missus is not happy about the $13.95 cost for each roll to be processed.... plus she only kept the pics I took with the Canon on the same day :lol: