Nikon F2 Photomic Film Camera
The Nikon F2 Photomic film camera is not only a camera of now legendary status, it is also, arguably, considered by many as the best SLR film camera produced by Nikon... Not bad for a product discontinued nearly 30 years ago in such a competitive and technology driven world as that of camera design.
The camera had a feel of solidity seldom encountered in modern products. It feel heavy and big, but at the same time surprisingly comfortable and fits firmly in your hands.
It is worth noting that I was interested in this specific camera for several reasons.
Firstly, it was a later model (serial number 802XXXX), which means that it was not only likely to be in better condition, but also wasn't going to be regarded as a priceless collectible. These are wonderful tools to use for any serious photographer and is is sometimes disconcerting that some intend to pay several thousands of Dollars for a camera which they just intend to keep on a shelf or in a box...
Second, its previous owner had had the camera modified to receive a special gridded viewfinder screen, which is perfect for using the camera for architectural photography or on a copy stand, which is also what I intend to use it for. Another bonus, is that this probably reduced the price of the camera even further as collectors only bid high on unmodified cameras in original condition.
Third and lastly, the camera had obviously been kept very well by a professional photographer and so was stil in exceptional condition for its age: It is scratchless, except for the bottom where it was attached to a motordrive, and the back, where ther is a small window to put a label as a reminder of what film you're using.
Another big bonus of the F2, as opposed to its forebear, the iconic Nikon F, which is also, as a matter of fact, my everyday camera, is that the meter head is always center weighted, which means that it measures light from the centre of the picture, rather than the whole of the frame and is designed to accept modern bateries. Normally, a Nikon F meter head needs to be recalibrated for this, (an often costly operation that only few professional repaimen know how to carry out properly) Also, as soon as I put new batteries in the camera, the light meter started measuring light accurately.
Of course, before you decide to buy such a piece of equipment, I would recommend that you communicate with the seller in order to ensure that you are fully aware of the condition of the product you are buying.
Many cameras sold on ebay are in apaling condition and I only got lucky because I knew I was buying from a local reputable seller who knew his products inside out.
One last piece of advice: The F2 is a top of the range professional camera and its operation is 100% manual; also, it require at least basic knowledge of photography before you can start shooting away and so is definitely not for the novice. Bearing this in mind, it clearly outperforms many current models and it is sad that the supply of these superb mnachines is now dwindling because of lack of interest, lack of care, or machine falling into the wrong hands, a market now driven towards amateur point and shoot models, or simply collectors driving up the prices because of some strange obsession with serial numbers.
If anybody from Nikon is reading this, I simply want to say this as a conclusion: This was your very best model, if you wanted to make a new batch, you'd probably sell them for a lot more than the few dollars I got mine for