52 Cameras – Week 21 – Nikon FM2

George is supposed to be posing with the FM2, but he’s too busy admiring the Notch below.

I am a Nikonian. This was my first ‘good’ camera, a gift from my then-future mother-in-law in the 1990s. It remains my go-to camera after over 15 years.

The FM2 is an all-mechanical metal SLR introduced in 1983. Although it has a battery to power the light meter, it is possible to shoot without it. Shutter speeds are controlled with a knob on the top plate and range up to 1/4000. A small wheel inside the viewfinder shows the selected speed. The camera can use virtually all of Nikon’s F mount lenses. Production ended in 2001.

This past week I loaded it with HP5, fitted my favorite 20mm super wide lens, and took it on a hike to the Lakes of the Clouds AMC hut where disaster struck. Partway up the trail I tripped and fell. I always use my camera strap, but that did not prevent the lens from striking a rock. Visible damage was slight; I think everything is still working properly. I finished the day with the 20mm then changed back to the stock 50mm portrait lens.

Later in the week I had occasion to ride the Cannon Mountain Tram to the head of Franconia Notch, where George took time out to pose with the FM2. Life has been crazy, so I’ve sent the film off to the lab instead of processing it myself.


Camera Wiki says it’s probably really an FM2n.

The manual, courtesy of Mike Butkus as usual.

There are plenty available on eBay, although they’re not cheap. This is an item where I’d consider a broker such as Adorama or KEH Camera.

EDIT: Results here.