Accuracy of Nikon FM2n's Higher Speeds

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by FilmOnly, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I have seen this subject mentioned, and even debated, elsewhere. Thus, as I am considering adding an FM2n, I thought I would query the APUG 35mm panel experts. I have read that the 1/4000th and perhaps even the 1/2000th speeds are fairly inaccurate. I recall reading that the 1/4000th setting really fires at about 1/2750th. Has anyone heard this? Can anyone confirm, deny...or discuss? I really like my FE and FE2, and I would not want to be disappointed with the FM2n.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2010
  2. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Mechanically-timed shutters tend to be slow at their fastest speeds. I have only used 1/4000 a couple of times on mine, but I find 1/2000 to be accurate enough that I don't need to apply compensation.
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Tolerance is +/- 25%. You can get an electronically timed shutter close and a mechanical shutter dead nuts on at 1/000 but 1/750 to 1/1250 is still within tolerance.
     
  4. Carl V

    Carl V Member

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    My advice would be to shoot a roll of film of the same subject at all shutter speeds and adjust your aperture to compensate; if there are any major differences in speeds, this will show up when you process the negatives.

    Personally, I've never heard of this problem specifically with FM2's and have been using them for years. However, as John Koehrer mentions, any camera model/manufacturer's shutter may produce a speed with a slight variation on what it's supposed to be firing at, but it won't be significant enough to produce over or under exposure.
     
  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Good advise and best done with slide film.

    For the technically minded, there are shutter-speed testers available, even as DYI kits.
     
  6. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    If your shutter speeds aren't a problem in practice, it isn't a problem. Using a shutter speed tester will only make you paranoid - the truth is that it's very unlikely that any shutter you own is dead on accurate at all of it's speeds. As long as it isn't enough to be noticeable in practice, there's nothing to fix.
    As for the FM2/FM2n, I can only really comment that I've used a Nikon FM2n for the last 4 years and never encountered a problem with it's high speeds.
     
  7. Galah

    Galah Member

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    I was very happy shooting with an Asahi Pentax MX, which to my eye was giving me very good exposures.

    Then I had to have it serviced (for some other problem) only to be told that the shutter speeds were all in need of adjusting as they were all out.

    This has now been done, and there is very little if any apparent difference in the result.

    Go figure:confused:
     
  8. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I built a shutter tester last year to check the accuracy of an old leaf shutter - I found out that 1/500 of a second was much closer to 1/100 of a second. That kind of information is pretty useful. Finding out my Canon AE-1P's 1/250 of a second was closer to 1/300 wasn't worth worrying about though...
     
  9. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    As I recall, some shutter testers yield inaccurate results with leaf shutters. From what I understand, they start timing from the moment the shutter starts to open, which leads to inaccuracy at the higher speeds when the opening and closing phases comprise a significant amount of the total elapsed time. A way to measure total light through a known aperture would give a more accurate number.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2010
  10. budrichard

    budrichard Member

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    If your are concerned about accuracy at higher speeds, then purchase an Fm3A, the shutter is controlled electronically with batteries installed and reverts to manual if no batteries. Best of all the Fm type Nikons.-Dick
     
  11. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    Good suggestion, Dick. I have actually done something similar: I have opted for an FE. Overall, I prefer an electronic shutter. Also, I rarely need 1/2000th and 1/4000th, especially with film of ISO 100 or slower. There are some other "little" things I prefer in the FE. I was a fool to have parted with this excellent camera.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2010