POST 012




November 17 2021

Most of my photos from the last post, in Flaming Gorge, where shot on the Nikon FM2 so I wanted to talk about it because it is an INCREDIBLE camera. I purchased the Nikon FM2 locally and it was my 3rd proper film SLR. I found this camera on a local classifieds app and basically bought it immediately.

I’m constantly worried that the electronics will fail on my F3 because it’s basically a death sentence since I don’t really have the money to send it for repairs… I mean if I stopped buying cameras then I would… but no one wants to stop buying cameras. The FM2 is fully manual so it should be a lot less likely to fail and if it does it ‘should’ be easier to repair (an FM2 hasn’t failed on me yet, knock on wood)

Nikon FM2 with Nikkor 50mm f1.8 on Fuji Superia 400
I got a black version with a Series E 50mm lens on it. The combo is perfect, if you haven’t used a Nikon Series E lens I highly recommend it, the 50mm lens is tiny, super light, and is pretty much as good its Nikkor counterpart.

The FM2 quickly became my go everywhere, do anything camera mainly because I can worry a lot less about damaging it, but also because it’s an elegantly simple tool.

Nikon FM2 with Series E 50mm f1.8 on Fuji Superia 400

What I mean by ‘simple’ is that the FM2 doesn’t have any auto exposure settings, the fully mechanical shutter means that it’s only controlled by you and the shutter speed dial. You get a light meter but it’s up to you to determine the camera settings, which I love. The camera feels stripped down to the bare minimum*. The FM2 provides the basic tools to capture an image and you get to do the rest. It’s lovely.

This picture of my car isn't anything fantastic but it was the first time that I really appreciated the machine that the FM2 is. When I was taking this photo I didn't really care for the scene, I just wanted to use the camera, to fiddle with the shutter speed dial, to twist the aperature ring and here the beautiful metalick clink of activating the shutter.

Nikon FM2 with Nikkor 50mm f1.8 on Fuji Superia 400

I probably sound like a photography purist babbling about the elegance of simplicity… I might as well shoot with a Kodak Brownie right; I’d be in full control to capture any image with the most simpe camera ever designed. Or maybe I should go even further and support my praise of simplicity by adding a pinhole camera to my collection. I could go back further I photography history to find the simplest expression of a camera, but I must stop somewhere and for me that perfectly simple camera is one with multiple shutter speeds, a range of f-stops, and a light meter. There are many cameras from different manufacturers that meet these requirements, but for me, being a Nikon fan, the FM2 is my perfect camera.

Nikon FM2 with Nikkor 50mm f1.8 on Fuji Superia 400

Unfortunately, as much as I love my FM2, I played myself by loading a roll of Rollei retro 80s in it last January. I am getting through that roll at a snails pace and it has effectively benched the camera… Soon it will be ready for a fresh roll of portra or ultramax but for the time being and while I am writing this post it is sitting on my shelf practically unused.

Nikon FM2 with Nikkor 50mm f1.8 on Kodak Portra 400

*my bare minimum for a camera is a lightmeter, adjustable shutter speeds and aperature.

Thanks for reading! Comments aren’t set up but let me know what you’re bare minimum requirements for a camera are. You can reach out on Instagram :) and hopefully soon I will get comments set up!