Nikon FM2 Brief Review

My friend Vicci loaned me two cameras to test and review:  a Minolta SRT Super and a Nikon FM2.

If you live in Chicago and you’d like me to test a valuable camera, I’d be glad to give it a try.  By the way, I’ve never even held a Leica camera.

The Minolta SRT Super had a shutter problem that prevented me from using it but the Nikon FM2 was in operational condition.  If you’ve read my camera blog you know I do lengthy reviews on my cameras.  But this was a loaner camera from a friend:  today, just a brief review.

Nikon FM2 Cameras are Valuable

Vicci’s Nikon FM2 is probably the most expensive camera I have ever used.  Vicci loaned me these 3 items:

  1. Nikon FM2 body.  Averaging $150 sold on eBay.
  2. Nikon 1.4 50mm lens.  At least $100 sold on eBay.
  3. Nikon 24mm lens with minor scratches (see photo below).  Perhaps $100 on eBay.
Nikon FM2 and Two Lenses

Nikon FM2 and Two Lenses

This was an incredible sign of trust when a friend lends you some family heirlooms (valued cameras from a parent) and says:

Have fun with them.  Test them out.  Just return them when you’re done with them.

Thanks Vicci, it was a treat.

Where has this Nikon FM2 Traveled?

I think it respectful to keep Vicci’s last name private.

But her father’s camera was manufactured in 1983 or 1984.  He served in the U.S. military and his camera has been in the family for two decades.

Vicci, do you have any photos of exotic places where this camera has traveled?  I’ll add them to this blog post if you do.

How Does the Nikon FM2 Feel?

I enjoyed shooting with it.  After using cameras like my Nikon N6006 or my Canon FTb, the Nikon FM2 felt incredibly light.  It reminded me of a Ricoh XR-10 I once owned for lightness.  But comparing a Nikon FM2 and its lenses to a Ricoh XR-10 is a bit unfair.  Testing a Nikon with Nikon lenses was a rare treat.

Vicci thought this photo of our church was very nice.

Nikon FM2, Irving Park United Methodist Church, Chicago, IL

Nikon FM2, Irving Park United Methodist Church, Chicago, IL

Light Metering for the Nikon FM2

Sorry, I didn’t purchase batteries for the Nikon FM2 and its light metering system.  I used a 40 year old light meter.  Although I own a like new Gossen Digisix for light metering ($80 through Craigslist Chicago) i used my Sekonic Auto-Lumi light meter that cost me $5 on an impulse buy on eBay.  It was made between 1963 and 1986 so that makes it to 26 to 49 years old.  No batteries, its powered by a Selenium meter.

Most of the Nikon FM2 photos were perfectly metered.  This photo of Chicago bungalows looks fine to me.

Nikon FM2, 3400 N. Tripp, Chicago, IL

Nikon FM2, 3400 N. Tripp, Chicago, IL

Sometimes the meter was fine but the photographer made mistakes.  Once again, these are Nikon FM2 photos taken with a 25 to 50 year old light meter.  In the photo below on Chicago’s lakefront, I should have bracketed the photo at different apertures.  I could certainly alter the photo with software to experiment with different exposures.

By the way, there’s a man behind the vendor cart, he’s pretty short.  You can see his feet under the cart.  Also, that’s a fisherman in the middle of the photo.  In retrospect it would have been better if the fisherman were casting with his rod and reel.

Nikon FM2, Montrose Harbor, Chicago, IL

Nikon FM2, Montrose Harbor, Chicago, IL

A Few More Nikon FM2 Photos

In Chicago many of the old tennis courts have been converted into short soccer fields.  They’re always busy.  This tilted photo actually made the photo more interesting.

Nikon FM2, Soccer at Kilbourn Park, Chicago, IL

Nikon FM2, Soccer at Kilbourn Park, Chicago, IL

A baseball game in Kilbourn Park, Chicago, IL, in the early summer.  You can almost feel the cool shade where the parents are grilling food and watching their kids play.

Nikon FM2, Baseball at Kilbourn Park, Chicago, IL

Nikon FM2, Baseball at Kilbourn Park, Chicago, IL

Nikon FM2 Summary

Using an expensive Nikon FM2 was a rare treat from my friend Vicci.

If you trust me and would like me to test your family heirloom camera in Chicagoland, just leave me a comment.

Thanks for visiting What is a Film Camera today and reading my Nikon FM2 brief review.

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