Nikon F2, FE2 or FM2?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by abudhabiandy, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. abudhabiandy

    abudhabiandy Member

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    Hi, My Nikon FE has just died today, I want to use my original lensbaby on a similar camera and I see from the lensbaby site that I can use either an F2, FE2 or FM2 / I use the camera to mainly take candids of my kids, I'm not worried about advanced metering or complicated widgets just a solid camera I can sling in my rucksack! any advise gratefully recieved. Cheers Andy
     
  2. singram

    singram Subscriber

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    The lensbaby in a Nikon F-mount should work on any Nikon camera you buy. I have the 2.0 version and I use it on my N90s, FM2N and my D200.

    As far as which camera you should buy to replace your dead FE, I would get a FM2 or FM2N (the N being the last of the all manual Nikon FM line) if you can. They are built like a tank, and should handle your rucksack just fine.

    steve
     
  3. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    I think they are all probably good---I have used the FE2 and FM2 and own the FE2 tuff camera. Look at all the features and find the one that works for you. You might want to look at the FM3a but they are going for more than a F5 go figure!!!
     
  4. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I would get an F3HP. Built like a tank, and dirt cheap these days.
     
  5. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Steer clear of the F2. These days they have taken on "collectible" status and prices for a good example show it. If that's not bad enough, the earlier meter prisms have a bad reputation for going bad with age. They can be repaired, but it might not be cost effective for you. The FM2, or FM2N, are both solid, all mechanical little cameras. I have an FM2n that looks like it has been through the wars, but continues to operate flawlessly if you discount the broken (my fault for being a ham-fisted numnut) PC connector on the front. The FE2 and F3 are also very good, though electronically controlled and battery dependent, machines. The F3 will operate at a single shutter speed of around 1/80 sec without power. Don't know about the FE2.

    The Lensbaby will fit on any Nikon SLR ever made with the "F" lens mount. In camera metering is possible with the FM2 or FM2n, and should be with all pre-autofocus models and many post-autofocus and digital models.
     
  6. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    I would get an F2 with a DE-1 (non-metered) finder, send it to Sover Wong o be overhauled and it will be good for another 50 years. This asumes
    yo are ok with a spot meter.

    Putting ha aside, the FM3a is to expensive and hhe FM2 is a great camera. Either way you can't return.
     
  7. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    What I know:

    FM2n: best compact mechanical camera ever made by Nikon, and has been in production over a period of nearly 20y, so availability is excellent. Cheap as dirt. ($150 and above, depending on condition)

    FE2: mechanical speed of 1/250s (X-sync), all other speeds are electronically controlled. Can do TTL flash, so you can pop in a new fancy SB-800 on it and they will talk to each other like old buddies. Cheap as dirt, sometimes cheaper than FM2n.

    FM3a: combines the best of FM2n (all mechanical speeds) with the best of the FE2 (TTL flash, Auto shutter). It was produced for only a few years in the early 2000, so you stand a good chance to find a mint model that will last forever. Expensive: $600 and more!
     
  8. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    I'd recommend the FM2n. Mine has been dragged across half a dozen time zones, both hemispheres and been through Australian summer and Alaskan winter without flinching. It's like a dear friend that you routinely abuse.
    Built to last and works well for what you've described.
     
  9. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    The unfortunate part is that a DE-1 (or the F eyelevel prism, for that matter) have taken on cult status, and regularly sell for insane amounts of money.

    I'd second the FM2 or FM2N reccomendation, however.

    erie
     
  10. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    This is unfortunately very true. Take heed.

    But, if you get a good one, it's a marvelous tool.

    The earlier meter prisms with the problems follow the DP-1 prisms. Less issues are with the DP-11 and DP-12 prisms.

    I have two F2s with DP-1 finders. One has an erratic meter, the other is perfect. The erratic meter I can live with because I've had it so long.
     
  11. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    FM2 or FE-2. Both are robust rigs, made to last.

    KK
     
  12. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Of the three options, the F2 is far superior to either the FM2 or FE2. There's really no comparison.
     
  13. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I have an F2A and a couple of FM2n's. Between the two I prefer the FM2n for every day use and abuse. It is a newer camera and as mentioned before it is more readily available and less expensive than an F2. It can be easily replaced if lost or broken.

    On the other hand, my all time favorite Nikon film SLR is the F3HP. It is simply an amazing tool. It is very rugged, reliable, accurate meter, and when fitted with an MD-4 it is a fast performer that fits well in large hands. It was the longest lived pro F series camera in production because it was an outstanding camera. Sorry for the biased comments on the F3HP!
     
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  15. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Mmmm... I've owned all three, and I think there's a pretty good comparison to be made. Depends on what your intended use of the camera will be. The FM2 and FE2 are both smaller and lighter, but none the less professional level cameras. And they offer an advanced flash interface. My FE2 is still one of my favorite cameras.
     
  16. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I owned the FM2 and loved it - selling it was quite dumb. Small, very tough and operates fully without batteries with the added bonus of fast shutter speeds, too.

    Hmm, I have an F90x with side booster to trade for one, now that I think of it!
     
  17. okto

    okto Member

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    That's the most expensive option for an F2, over $400 on KEH for a BGN rated one due to the collectibility of the plain F2 prism.
    I'd go for an F2A or, approaching but not equalling the price of the F2/DE-1, the F2AS. Manual indexing is a bitch.
     
  18. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Why not the original FM? I have two of it and they work fine. They don't seem to wear as much as other older cameras in the same age range do...
     
  19. Jeffrey A. Steinberg

    Jeffrey A. Steinberg Member

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    Another thought: A Nikon FA. The precursor of the modern Maxtrix meetering in Nikon's. With a good MD-15, if feels great.

    I guess I am lucky: I have collected the following mint Nikon's:

    --FSA2 (Silver and Black)
    --FM2n w/ MD-12
    --FM3a
    --FA with MD-15.

    You can't go wrong either way. But, if I have to pick one, it would be FM2n. If price is no object, the FM3a.
     
  20. abudhabiandy

    abudhabiandy Member

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    thanks everyone! happy new year
     
  21. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    I own a F2 the DP1 meter head and its a great solid camera, however I recently got a Nikon F3hp as a Christmas Present. Guess what I am going to recomend: the F3HP, echoing the other posters, it is perfection and built like a brick s++t house.
     
  22. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    I'd echo this, as I've got the same stuff. The advantage with the F3HP, as well, may be very reasonable used prices. If you would accept the regular F3 without the HP finder the costs would even be less.

    The camera is battery dependent but I've had the same battery for about two years.
     
  23. airgunr

    airgunr Subscriber

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    Another vote for the FM2n

    I would highly recommend the FM2n as well. Built like a tank, lots of spare parts for repairs and doesn't need a battery to work.

    For the record, I have the FM2n, FE2, FA, F5 & F6. (along with lots of bits & bobs.....) :rolleyes:
     
  24. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Paul,
    I'd agree, I've bought a F3/MD4 (non hp) combo recently for well under $100. it's the third one I have. In a past life, I shot a lot of PJ work, and had 4 F2/MD2 combos, when Nikon announced that the parts would no longer be available, I replaced them with F3HP and MD4's. The quirks that you just got used to with the F2's were gone, and of the 4 that I bought many years ago, two are still with me, still as reliable as ever. Of all the Nikon 35mm cameras I own (F, 3 F3's, F4, 2 FM's, FM2N) One of the the F3 are the first ones I reach for.


    erie
     
  25. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    I agree. I still have and use my original black FM that I purchased in the mid 70's. They're a great camera.

    Kiron Kid
     
  26. ooze

    ooze Member

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    The F3 is indeed a great camera. However, there are two quirks that I don't like:
    a) the shutter has no clear release point. Well, of course it always releases at the same point, however you can't feel that you're there. FM's are better here.
    b) viewfinder LCD illumination is practically non-existent.

    For me, its strong points are: excellent eye relief, very easy to focus all the way into the corners (try this with an FM series).