Advice on acquiring a Nikon FM2 camera body

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by stvv, May 31, 2013.

  1. stvv

    stvv Member

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    HI everyone! I am new to this forum

    Here is my issue: I have been looking to buy a Nikon FM2 camera for a couple of years now. Turns out a close relative of mine told me he owned one FM2 and was looking to sell the body only. I wanted to ask for advice on buying this sort of camera: what signs of wear should I look for especially? Is it a good idea to have it sent to a specialist to check? Signs of fungus? etc..
    I know it's a pretty tough camera but maybe some of you own it and can tell me something about its week spots. Would be very appreciated!

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    How close is this relative . . . :wink:
    Very simple camera. See link for manual -> FM2 manual
    Put batteries, compare meter readings to a known good reference - varying shutter speed and aperture settings. Put in 'B' mode and fire the shutter varying the lens aperture and check to see it changes accordingly. Listen for differences using different shutter speeds. Fire a flash - on and off camera. Check viewfinder so that you can see clearly. Use the self timer - raises the mirror prior to firing the shutter. If everything works then try it with film. Good luck.
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    If you haven't bought FM2 yet check out KEH. BTW welcome to APUG.

    Jeff
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    ^^^^^Also SOLD listings on the Bay
     
  5. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Also, when you check the camera out, set the shutter speed dial to both 1/8 and 1/15. Adjust the aperture of your lens so you get the correct exposure "o". Move the shutter speed dial back and forth without setting it to a different shutter speed. Any twitchiness in the meter readout? If yes, expect to have the meter overhauled eventually, since it will get worse. If not, then you're good to go. The issue is that the FRE (Functional Resistance Element) is beginning to fail when it doies that.

    -J
     
  6. M Carter

    M Carter Member

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    ...and run a roll of film through it, and make sure to use every shutter speed. It's really optimal to shoot a scene with a little white board or note cards noting the shutter speeds so you can verify when you get prints or negs. I went through 3 Canon FTQL bodies before finding one that worked decently - their shutters just don't last like the Nikons, but I still love that big brick-like shape. One of my favorite bodies.
     
  7. stvv

    stvv Member

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    Thanks so much for all the advise everyone!

    Will bring a speedlite, a couple of lens and a roll of film to try all the things you suggested.
    The camera looks in really good shape and I am really looking forward to see how it performs.
     
  8. oms

    oms Member

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    Look closely also at the foam seals around the film back and the mirror box. These tend to rot after a few decades and may necessitate foam replacement/camera cleaning at some point.
     
  9. ransel

    ransel Subscriber

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    What oms said - foam seals do rot. I have had three FM2's. Fantastic cameras. I lost my first one...was in a camera bag that fell of the back of my motorcycle. I replaced it with two more. Both need seals replaced. But...great camera.
     
  10. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    I got mine from KEH and I love it. Had it out with me walking just a couple hours ago.
    New seal kits were recently available here on APUG for $8. Mine has just a bit of a light leak, but it only seems to get the very edges, outside the sprocket holes. Still, time to replace the foam.