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  1. #1
    Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Which metered F2 prism for best long-term reliability?

    I've been really enjoying shooting my F's w/ eye-level prisms, but every once in a while find myself wishing for a built in meter and the option of a 1/2000s shutter speed. So, I'm looking at adding a metered F2 to my bag for when out on the trail. These cameras are getting up there in age and am curious as to long-term reliability of the meters. All other factors aside (cost, size, meter readout design, etc), which finder do you think will be the most reliable for the long-term?
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    "The hard part isnít the decisive moment or anything like that Ė itís getting the film on the reel!" - John Szarkowski

  2. #2

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    The FM will accept non AI lenses...

  3. #3
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    I have never shot with a F2. My prism experience with with Hasselblad metered prisms. I would say, please don't waste money and invest in a kick arse light meter if you have not already done so (which I believe you have ). Take a reflective meter to a backlit scene and see how majorly it can screw up.
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  4. #4

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    F2AS or F2SB
    On the trail, you might actually prefer an FM2 or FM- much lighter and more compact and does everything an F2 will (except interchange finders)

  5. #5
    narsuitus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xia_Ke View Post
    All other factors aside (cost, size, meter readout design, etc), which finder do you think will be the most reliable for the long-term?
    I know you really want a metered finder but for long-term reliability; the Nikon F2 with DE-1 finder and a brand new hand held light meter is very hard to beat.

    https://flic.kr/p/aBohWo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Nikon F2 040 sml.JPG  
    Last edited by narsuitus; 06-24-2014 at 10:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #6

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    i have them all and they all work so i guess anecdotal evidence won't help much... this is really a sover question; perhaps even a soverization question (in case you didn't know, soverization is a long and arduous mystery rite, which involves dipping an F2 head in various concoctions while whispering incantations in babylonian, all to bestow immortality on the said head). mr. wong, where art thou, when the faithful need you? speak out!

    i hike a lot and the plain prism goes a long way to make the F2 a better hiking prop: it fears water less, it doesn't mind bumps and dust so much, it's a bit lighter (with the F2 this really means "a bit less heavy"), it has a more reasonable form factor..

    DP-3 and DP-12 are great, reliable heads, but i find them quite annoying when on the move: the eyepiece shutter has a nasty way of closing halfway when you slip it into the pocket, the protruding EE parapet catches on zippers, the LEDs are near invisible in bright light... i find i end up using these two for a specific purpose--low-light shooting in the city--or at least indoors. the DP-11 is a much more usable all-rounder, albeit the needle can get somewhat jumpy from both under- and overuse over the decades

    considering that you can get five pristine FMs for the price of one DP-12 head, i have to agree this would be my preferred route. i also have an FM2N here, which i keep precisely for this purpose. it does feel flimsy after handling an F2, but it isn't too much so, mine took a tumble on mean hard rocks more than once, coughed, cleared, spat, and rejoined the battle, fourteen years and counting

    endnotes
    http://soverf2repair.webs.com/

  7. #7

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    The needle type is probably best for long-term because LED's are bound to burn out at some point. That said, I just bought me an F2S because you can see your reading in lighting conditions where you can't always see the needle. And I love it. It's a heavy monster, but it's a Nkon F2, the finest 35 ever made.

  8. #8
    Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the input

    A little background... I have owned or used virtually every manual focus Nikon, except for metered F's and F2's. For Nikons I currently have 3 F's with plain prisms that I use with a Gossen Digisix and an FE-2. All of my lenses are non-ai with the exception of a 50mm f/1.4 ai I use with my FE-2. Lately when I hiking I will carry an F body with 28mm and 50mm lenses, along with A and E focusing screens.

    This set-up works perfectly fine for me, but what can I say, I have a GAS itch for a metered F2. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but as I am using non-ai lenses I wouldn't want a DP11 or DP12? I have read that the silicon cell finders seem to be more reliable than the CDS finders. Of course that comes with almost double the price it seems. I'm in no major hurry to pick one up, just exploring my options for this "itch" and am willing sit tight for the right deal to pop-up.
    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 isnít the decisive moment or anything like that Ė itís getting the film on the reel!" - John Szarkowski

  9. #9

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    Personally I am becoming less impressed with the silicon cells than the hype 40 years ago was selling them. Yes, a lot of CdS cells go bad, but silicons go bad too. I bought the F2S because I couldn't afford the b. All my lenses are non-AI, so my choices were DP1 or 2. I just paid $150 for my F2S body on Ebay, by waiting for a good price. I lucked out. The body was gorgeous and the meter is dead on the money. Remember, you can get hit by a train tomorrow, so looking long-term might have been pointless.

  10. #10

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    you can flip up the AI tab on DP-11 and DP-12 and either meter stopped-down or use them like the plain one, no problem there. DP-3 will put you in the functional sweet spot you seem to fancy: full-aperture LED and SBC for non-AI. finding one may be a challenge tho'

    ps. the tab flips up on the FM as well, not on FM2

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