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Author Topic: Reunited with a Nikon FM  (Read 334 times)

RPark

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Reunited with a Nikon FM
« on: November 14, 2020, 04:58:23 pm »

I'm wondering if anyone else had or has a love affair with the Nikon FM (released in 1977)? It was my first new 35mm camera, bought in 1980 and I also bought its successor, the FM2. The FM became my constant companion, from the mountains to the studio. It helped launch my commercial career.

I recently made a YouTube video documenting my reunion, via a mint FM I found (online) in a camera store in Montreal, Quebec.

Let me know if you had a Nikon FM and your experience.
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tcphoto1

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2020, 10:49:51 am »

My father bought me a used FM for Christmas in 1989, it was my first camera and I ended up testing models and turning it into a career.
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RPark

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2020, 11:46:59 am »

Another career-starter! That's great. For me, as I note in the video, it was mountains at the beginning, but then I got a gig shooting an outdoor catalogue (MEC) which led to general product work. In 1987, I moved to Toronto, chasing fame and fortune  :) Ended up working in giant photo studios pumping out catalogue, flyer and advertising -- everything from lingerie to snowblowers. None of that remains, of course. But the street work I managed to squeeze in between shifts with the FM is now worth keeping.
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Chairman Bill

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2020, 12:39:48 pm »

I still have my FM (and an FE). They are now little more than ornaments on my bookcase, though I do sometimes entertain thoughts of running a roll of HP5 through one of them at some point.

kers

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2020, 03:58:56 pm »

Started with a FE in 1980- still have it- still works... Elegant clean design camera.
Small considering the FF DSLR.  In those days 'Popular Photo' did stripdown and minus 10 celcius tests. Fe passed.
Contax failed.
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KLaban

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2020, 04:06:37 pm »

I had an FE and an FE2 that I used for stock.

I've now gone full circle and I'm back with Nikon.
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langier

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2020, 05:33:38 pm »

Until I started into the realm of AF bodies sometime back in the early 1980s, I had an FE-2, FM-2n and a couple of FAs. They replaced by "magic meter" Nikkormat EL/EL2 cameras that I used and loved for long-exposures where I didn't want to do the math for the exposure. That generation of automation took a silver-oxide battery that during the silver speculation and eventual crash that nearly lead to the end of film photography and skyrocketed the costs of the batteries to a ridiculous price.

The FM/FE series helped since they could run on smaller alkaline batteries and the main reason for the -2 series was their 1/250th flash sync which with a TTL flash worked wonders for fill-in flash.

The FM-2n was the last of the three different bodies I purchased and used as I wanted something for back-up that wasn't battery dependent for running the shutter when the batteries died and I needed more than B & 1/250/x-sync that the former would revert. It was the fail-safe body!

FE-2 and FM-2 served me well for many years and were great to use because of their size and weight while rafting for two weeks down the Colorado River. They served me well for another few years as I transitioned into AF and traded most of the off.

I kept the FM-2n as back-up for the AF bodies but by the time it was time to sell it, it had little value. Same thing happened to many of the AF bodies. In the years since, I've been given additional FM/FE variations along with many other pre-AF bodies that would have been tossed. Once things settle down in the world I hope to find good homes for them with the next generation to rediscover film. I only wish I had the time and energy to put them to use myself!
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RPark

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2020, 07:00:23 pm »

To be honest, I'm not sure how often I'll shoot with this (I haven't shot with my F90X for a couple of years) but I do plan on using up some of the film in my fridge. It does look great on mycamera  shelf though!  :)

I still have my FM (and an FE). They are now little more than ornaments on my bookcase, though I do sometimes entertain thoughts of running a roll of HP5 through one of them at some point.
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RPark

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2020, 07:05:04 pm »

They really were/are great cameras. That was the reason, I chose the FM originally -- fully manual except for battery-dependant light meter. As I recount in the video, I used them hard in the mountains so it was imperative that they didn't rely on battery-power to function in extreme conditions. Built like tanks.

Until I started into the realm of AF bodies sometime back in the early 1980s, I had an FE-2, FM-2n and a couple of FAs. They replaced by "magic meter" Nikkormat EL/EL2 cameras that I used and loved for long-exposures where I didn't want to do the math for the exposure. That generation of automation took a silver-oxide battery that during the silver speculation and eventual crash that nearly lead to the end of film photography and skyrocketed the costs of the batteries to a ridiculous price.

The FM/FE series helped since they could run on smaller alkaline batteries and the main reason for the -2 series was their 1/250th flash sync which with a TTL flash worked wonders for fill-in flash.

The FM-2n was the last of the three different bodies I purchased and used as I wanted something for back-up that wasn't battery dependent for running the shutter when the batteries died and I needed more than B & 1/250/x-sync that the former would revert. It was the fail-safe body!

FE-2 and FM-2 served me well for many years and were great to use because of their size and weight while rafting for two weeks down the Colorado River. They served me well for another few years as I transitioned into AF and traded most of the off.

I kept the FM-2n as back-up for the AF bodies but by the time it was time to sell it, it had little value. Same thing happened to many of the AF bodies. In the years since, I've been given additional FM/FE variations along with many other pre-AF bodies that would have been tossed. Once things settle down in the world I hope to find good homes for them with the next generation to rediscover film. I only wish I had the time and energy to put them to use myself!
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RPark

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2020, 07:06:45 pm »

Both dependable cameras but I chose the FM because it was manual except for light meter.

Started with a FE in 1980- still have it- still works... Elegant clean design camera.
Small considering the FF DSLR.  In those days 'Popular Photo' did stripdown and minus 10 celcius tests. Fe passed.
Contax failed.
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kers

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2020, 05:07:39 am »

Both dependable cameras but I chose the FM because it was manual except for light meter.
I still use a lot A-auto on my DSLR. It is faster to make a photo than working metering manual.
In the same period the Canon A1 was introduced- it had also S-Auto. Still even now I hardly use it for my photography.
I did not like the feel in hand and mulitbutton-design of the canon-A1, so i choose the Nikon.
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tcphoto1

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2020, 11:02:58 am »

After a short period of time, I moved on from the FM to an 8008s then an F4s and finally an F5. I became enamored with MF then transitioned to Canon DSLR's about '06. I still own a Minolta Flashmeter IV that I use occasionally.
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Jim Pascoe

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2020, 02:45:17 am »

I still have an FM2 and an FM2n and a whole set of prime lenses 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 135mm..

But the last time I used them was probably 2003 when I bought a Canon D30.

I loved using them along with my Bronica ETRS and Mamiya RB67.

Jim
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BrianVS

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Re: Reunited with a Nikon FM
« Reply #13 on: Today at 12:07:07 pm »

I bought one "New-Old-Stock" black FM about 25 years ago, nice and compact. I picked up a second black FM off Ebay a few years ago for $50, meter worked again after cleaning the contacts.
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