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> Hi, I'd say the FM2/FM3 are are a "modern" evolution of the old F2 cameras for those of us loving full manual photography. Obviously the "antique" flair does not exist with the newer Nikons, on the other hand they are lighter and smaller...
Your messages are true. Well, unfortunately, the Nikon does not have the parts for the old F2 camera if something is wrong with it as it is disconnected. Of course my F2AS camera is in good condition. I take care of it well.
Used F2A and F2AS for few years. No doubt it is among those cameras of Nikon which brought it into the world of Professionals. It is rugged but due to non-availability of parts and too old specially the meter problem now loosing its worth. Due to eye sight problem I both sold and now happy with F4 but will not forget its ruggedness and built like a tank.
> Hi Kian-Guan Au i am happy with F4 as was with F2AS but eye sight and budget forced/allowed me to buy this gear. i also agree that F4 is like a tank but with latest computerrized circuit and AF too.As to F5 no doubt it is more advanced and sophisticated as compared to F4 but being a traditionalist it is having some blend of mechanical bodies like winding manually and cable release etc. Secondly if one has a bag of money to buy F5. i do not want to enter in the debate of mechanical/auto bodies but in my country unfortunately no service center/authorized repair facility and thus repair problem. Even for F4 CLA i sent to UK. Other gear pentax Z1 which also developed winding problem sent to UK but returned with advise to replace with Z1(P) .Contax 167 Mt had the same problem and disposed on throw away price and now AX is passing through the same process. So the CLICK of mechanical bodies have magic in it and suits to those who are unlucky of not having repair facilities.i am still keeping FM2N as backup but lot of difference in the click of F2AS (a trend setter) and also FM armoured car. with regards gill
I prefer manual/mechanical cameras but I did not know why until I did some soul searching. I was finally able to trace it back to my early photographic experiences when my brand new automatic camera kept breaking on me during my assignments. When my new camera broke, my old backup manual/mechanical camera was always there to save me. As a result, I began to depend more and more on my manual/mechanical camera until I finally came to the conclusion that the manual/mechanical camera was more dependable because of its simple design and fewer moving parts.
Recently, I have begun to rely more on digital cameras because I am able to evaluate my shots immediately and make necessary adjustments. However, the complex design of digital cameras scares me to the point that I feel I cannot depend on them. There are times when I am so afraid my digital will break or run out of battery power in the middle of an assignment that I know I would feel a lot more comfortable using my old dependable standard prism F2 rather than a delicate electronic camera.
Please donâ€™t misunderstand me; I am not saying that all manual/mechanical cameras are better than all automatic/electronic cameras. I am saying that even though I would love to shoot with a Nikon F5 or a Nikon D70 or a Fuji S2; the manual/mechanical Nikon F2 just gives me more peace of mind.
Devices break. Every device eventually will wear out or fail.
Nikon's F series are extremely robust, however, which is why they have been the traditional choice in SRLs for legions of photojournalists for the past half-century. When last used some four years back, my F3 was starting to darken the right side of the frames - obviously a shutter problem developing.
It is now a bit over four years since I bought my first digital camera, the Nikon Cooplpix 990, replaced by the CP5000 about two years ago. Now realize that these cameras make no pretense of having the F-series' robustness. They are high-end prosumer cameras and not made for the rigors of daily photojournalism in the field. None the less, I have had no problems whatever in the tens of thousands of shots over the past four years.
These cameras have completely replaced the Nikons and the Leicas. However, for top quality I still shoot medium format - as manual as you can get. There too, shutters in lenses need maintenance. A few years back all three lenses for my Linhof technical camera went for cleaning and calibration, and I just picked up my 150mm Bronica ETR lens after the shutter stopped working.
Manual is no guarantee of robustness, nor are complex cameras necessarily less reliable. The little Nikon digital cameras have allowed me to shoot in situations I would not even think of were I using film. Once you have conquered their formidable learning curve, incredible possibilites present themselves to you. In all my decades of photography, nothing has even approached being as liberating as digital.
Digital and medium format work beautifully side by side. Everything I would have shot with 35mm in the past is now shot digitally. Any time I travel, do architecture or epic landscapes, I have my medium format arsenal. Yesterday, I was shooting with both my digital and a WideLuxe 140Â° panoramic that uses 35mm film, but shoots a negative 6cm wide.
I use Epson's breakthrough scanner, the 4870 for panoramic and medium format images and the prints are superb. Finally a flatbed that does film quite well. With digital and the scanner, I have complete control of all my images from concept to presentation, no matter the source. My prints are only distinguishable from those I made in my colour lab years back, by the fact that they are so consistently good. A run of the mill first print from my digital darkroom is the equal of a portfolio print I spent a day making back then.
Your piece of mind is very costly. You have both missed many images and much pleasure by restricting yourself in this way. Much has happened in photography in the decades since the F2 came on the market, and these instruments greatly extend one's reach in image acquisition.
I shoot with the highest of tech and the lowest of tech - each has its place. Check my web-site and I am sure you will "get it". Obviously, these images are not the product of a worried mind. The choice of camera is not dictated by whether the thing will break on the shoot, but by the needs of the subject matter - which is the ONLY consideration.
I also sleep very well, indeed no matter what I shot with on a given day.
Thanks for your comments. I will try to respond to some of them.
â€œDevices break. Every device eventually will wear out or fail.â€
Yes, and if my Nikon F2s failed today and I had to replace them, I would probably replace them with a Nikon FM3a and/or a Nikon D70. However, I hope they will last long enough for me to replace them with a full-frame Nikon digital that is more reliable than the one produced by Kodak.
â€œâ€¦for top quality I still shoot medium formatâ€
Since I have never really been satisfied with the quality of large prints (16x20 and larger) from 35mm film, I too shoot medium format (6x7 and 6x9) when I know I will be making large prints.
â€œManual is no guarantee of robustness, nor are complex cameras necessarily less reliable.â€
I totally agree with that statement. That is why I said, that all manual/mechanical cameras are not necessarily better than all automatic/electronic cameras.
â€œâ€¦nothing has even approached being as liberating as digital.â€
I totally agree! That is why I have been shooting a lot more digital than film for my personal shooting. However, I donâ€™t yet have enough confidence in digital to rely solely on them for important assignments.
â€œDigital and medium format work beautifully side by side.â€
Agree! I regularly use digital instead of Polaroids to take test shots before I shoot with medium format.
â€œI use Epson's breakthrough scanner, the 4870â€¦â€
I too use a flatbed scanner (a Canon 9900F) to scan my 35mm and medium format slides and negatives. Slide film processing is all that is left of my wet darkroom. I love the speed and quality control my digital darkroom gives me.
â€œYour piece of mind is very costly. You have both missed many images and much pleasure by restricting yourself in this way.â€
I did not mean to imply that I was restricting myself due to my desire for peace of mind. All I am saying is that peace of mind is an important factor for me but it is not the only factor when it comes to photo equipment selection.
â€œâ€¦I am sure you will â€˜get itâ€™.â€
I do get it. I applaud the technological advances that have been made in photographic equipment. I use and love high tech photo equipment. However, â€œgetting itâ€ does not neutralize my bias. I still have a love or preference for high quality manual/mechanical cameras.
â€œThe choice of camera is not dictated by whether the thing will break on the shoot, but by the needs of the subject matter - which is the ONLY consideration.â€
The subject matter is an important factor to consider when selecting photo equipment. However, the needs of the subject matter are not the only consideration as you so state. In addition to the needs of the subject matter, you must also consider the location and the needs of the client. Shooting a subject in a hostile location may influence your equipment selection. Shooting a subject with a certain type camera, medium, or lighting may be done at the request of the client.
Likewise, I did not mean to imply that ruggedness is the only factor to consider when selecting photo equipment for an assignment. However, on some assignments, ruggedness may be one important factor. For ex&le, if I were going on an extended expedition to a remote location, I would definitely want to take rugged photo equipment.
â€œI also sleep very well, indeed no matter what I shot with on a given day.â€
Regardless of what equipment I use on any given day, I donâ€™t sleep well until the images I have shot for a client are processed, safe, and secure.