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  1. #11

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    Long-term reliability? Well, let's see. Two of my F2ASs, purchased new in May 1979 and August 1979, respectively, are still going strong, and are both trusted enough to (currently) shoot E100 and E100VS. Three other F2AS bodies, each purchased used, vintages 1977, 1979 (recently Soverized) and 1980, also see frequent use. F2A, number one (purchased new in the spring of 1980) continues to function without issue as does a used 1978 body purchased from KEH a few years back; only a second 1980 F2A e**y* purchase has ever had "issues" (i.e. Wonky Meter Syndrome"). The "plain Jane" F2s (DE-1s), for their part, have performed, and continue to perform, like old Volvos.

    My advice? Decide whether you would prefer LED or needle, conduct your hunt and then send your purchase to Sover Wong for a "Soverization." For the cost of a few hundred Federal Reserve Notes, Mr Wong will return to you an F2 that will feel and perform as new. To date, he has done CLAs on a couple of my F2 bodies and I am absolutely impressed with the man's skills, knowledge and workmanship. Needless to say, several more bodies, and their respective motor drives, will be forwarded in the near future...
    An assortment of F-series Nikons (F to F6, excluding the F4) with quite a few Nikkors, a pair of M6s with some Leitz glass, a pair of 500c/ms with a wide range of Zeiss optics and, just to help keep Duracell solvent, a D800.

    Favourite films: (1). KE ("Kodachrome Era"): 35mm: PKM25 and PKR64, HP5/Tri-X; 120: PKR64, PanF, FP4. (2). PKE ("Post-Kodachrome Era"): (a) 35mm: E100G, HP5 Plus/Tri-X and Delta 3200; (b) 120: E100G, PanF Plus, FP4 Plus, TMax 100.

  2. #12
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom1956 View Post
    The needle type is probably best for long-term because LED's are bound to burn out at some point.
    They don't really burn out. They would eventually dim, but LED life is extremely long in hours, and they're only used for a short time when metering. Even the tiny incandescent bulbs in every Yashica TL Electro I've seen are still working. 40 years ago I bought a new Fujica ST801, the first camera with LED's, and though it has been very thoroughly used, the LED's are bright as ever (and the meter's still spot-on).
    It's not uncommon for needle mechanisms to fail, either. And they are comparatively fragile.
    Last edited by lxdude; 06-24-2014 at 11:14 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  3. #13

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    If you want to use pre AI lenses then either the DP-2 or DP-3 if you can find one otherwise the DP-12. I think the LED would last longer than the galvanometer besides the LED version of the finder used silicon cell instead of Cds. The FM would work great but it doesn't have 1/2000 shutter speed. The FM2, FM2n have 1/4000 shutter speed but can't mount pre AI lenses.

  4. #14
    Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Thanks again everyone. I do have a slight preference for LED displays. So I guess now the question is do I go with an S, which is plentiful and cheap, or wait around for a deal on an SB? Will ponder the great info you all have provided and see what comes up for sale
    flickr

    "A good photograph is one that makes the viewer so aware of the subject that they are unaware of the print."- Kodak
    "...if you find afterwards that you made a mistake, the price of the film and chemicals was...tuition!" - greybeard
    "The hard part isn’t the decisive moment or anything like that – it’s getting the film on the reel!" - John Szarkowski

  5. #15

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    Jan 2008
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    wait for the SB

  6. #16

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    Sep 2004
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    You need to find a camera or meter head that is in good condition. I would keep an eye on the classifieds here. You'll get more honest assessments here than in the listings of some random camera on eBay or Craigslist.

    I've had an F2A since 1979 and have never had a problem with it. I probably am lucky, but I also don't beat the hell out of my cameras. I shot a lot of film through them in the 1980s and early 1990s. It's a well-used camera but not abused. I know some people take pride in beating the daylights out of their cameras, but I'm not one of them. To each, his own.

  7. #17

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    I waited for the Sb. And waited, and waited. Got tired of waiting. They're pricey. Then I finally lucked out and got this S for 150 and it looks like it came right out of the box. About time I had some good luck on Ebay. I was really tired of sending back cameras. I've had it 6 days and I'm like Linus with his blanket.

  8. #18
    John_Nikon_F's Avatar
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    Late model DP-11 is usually the best. That said, an upgraded DP-12 with the lifetime warranty ring resistor made by Sover Wong is a close second, and is kinda preferred, due to the accuracy provided by the silicon blue photo diodes.

    For full-aperture metering with pre-AI lenses, DP-3. But, expect to pay through the nose for one. Might be easier to find AI conversion rings and modify the pre-AI lenses.

    Oh, and...



    My two F2 bodies...

    -J
    Last edited by John_Nikon_F; 06-24-2014 at 01:33 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Added info, plus pic...
    APUG: F4, F2AS, F, Nikomat FT2
    DPUG: D200
    Nikkors: 18-70/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX (f/D200), 24/2.8 AI, 50/1.4 AI, 85/1.8 K, 105/4 Micro AIS, 180/2.8 ED AIS, 300/4.5 ED AI

    My FB - My flickr stream
    My SmugMug

  9. #19

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    Sep 2006
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    I have one DP-3 and, I think, two DP-2s. If they are in good condition, any of the meter prisms can work well. Exactly when they might stop working is something no one can tell. Eventually I will send something to Sover too. I recently added some light meters to my collection, all Gossens. They are: Lunisix 3, Luna Pro, Luna Pro SBC and Super Pilot SBC. All are working properly and were reasonably priced. Two weeks ago I shot with an old Konica FP and metered with a Gossen Sixtar. A separate meter will be a good back-up for any mechanical camera. If you really want to be careful you can also take along one of the Gossen Scout meters, which doesn't require a battery. The Nikon F2 cameras have not grown on me. I still prefer my Canon F-1s. They are less unweildy, have the meter built into the body (except for the Booster Finder), have a nicer layout, have limited area metering and take the useful Speed Finder. Still, I have some fun with my Nikons.

  10. #20
    Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Just wanted to do a quick update and say thanks again to everyone for their input. I ended up going with a regular DP-1 finder. I found a beauty in almost perfect condition from the original owner. After reading it seemed like if I should have any issues then Sover should be able to overhaul it with new cells no problem and it should out last me at that point. Time to load up some Tri-X and have some fun
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails F and F2 (1 of 1).jpg  
    flickr

    "A good photograph is one that makes the viewer so aware of the subject that they are unaware of the print."- Kodak
    "...if you find afterwards that you made a mistake, the price of the film and chemicals was...tuition!" - greybeard
    "The hard part isn’t the decisive moment or anything like that – it’s getting the film on the reel!" - John Szarkowski

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