Author Topic: Nikon F2: classic paperweight  (Read 2409 times)


Nikon F2: classic paperweight
« on: 07 May, 2023, 10:54:29 pm »
This was my view for years.

credit: Casual Photophile

I still miss those beautiful old cameras and luscious manual focus lenses.

The golden age of unboxing

It didn't even need batteries! Though if you wanted to use the light meter, it kinda did.

This is how it looked through the viewfinder of the F2A. Below was your f-stop & shutter speed, and a needle you aimed to center unless you wanted to under- or overexpose. The screen had focusing aids, including a microprism ring and split screen.

(click to show/hide)

Rose is looking overexposed

The ship went down pretty fast, are you sure about 1/15th? Better push ASA to the limit

I once had the incredible luck of finding a brand new one languishing in the stockroom of a camera store long after the model had been discontinued. It mostly then languished in a drawer (too nice to collect dust as a paperweight) until I decided the cash would come in more handy after all. I still regret that decision, even though it would now only be a conversation piece suitable for fondling, napping save for the occasional orgy of shutter releases all through the range to exercise the titanium curtains.

A while ago Nikon brought this out to tickle the fancy of people like me:

No sale. Though I still use the heavy artillery when necessary (a now ancient D200, usually paired with the exquisite 180mm), I’ve simply gotten too used to pocket digicams which also fit in my overcrowded saddlebag to go even halfway retro.


  • Apprentice geezer
Re: Nikon F2: classic paperweight
« Reply #1 on: 08 May, 2023, 08:10:44 am »
I always regretted never having bought an F3 when they were current: all our kit was Oly and I couldn't justify the expense.  I did pick this up on a fleamarket in San José, though, for a whole $100:

A bit of a mess. Haven't used it this century. The focussing cell sounds gritty when I turn it, the knob is from something else and the body has been filed so that the prism sits snugly.  It all worked properly, though. Dunno if it would now.

I have an RX100 on my desk. Don't like it much. Cycling camera is a Panny FT3 - waterproof.
I've dusted off all those old bottles and set them up straight

Re: Nikon F2: classic paperweight
« Reply #2 on: 09 May, 2023, 10:05:26 pm »
My Leica M4 doesn’t need batteries and has nowhere to actually install them. It’s not a paperweight, though I occasionally wonder about getting an M11 - then the M4 would become a paperweight and the cost is somewhat prohibitive!

The lenses and the viewfinder are what make it work for me - and I tried the Fuji XP2 and it wasn’t the same for me. I do also have a big digital camera but it’s not as wieldy as an M4


Re: Nikon F2: classic paperweight
« Reply #3 on: 10 May, 2023, 02:33:54 pm »
I had a M6 for a while and liked it – even the film loading, roundly abhorred – but never really took to rangefinder focusing (or zone focusing for that matter). Also had a monster Fuji GSW690, which felt like a toy, but you could swim in those chromes.

Re: Nikon F2: classic paperweight
« Reply #4 on: 10 May, 2023, 04:02:26 pm »
Still have my FE2 bought used in 92-ish, along with an excellent 50mm f1.8 Nikkor I bought new, & various sigma lenses.  A bit sad that several years ago I decided to try some Provia, but never finished it. Digital was just too easy for what I wanted.
Cycle and recycle.   SS Wilson

Re: Nikon F2: classic paperweight
« Reply #5 on: 10 May, 2023, 09:50:54 pm »
My father-in-law introduced me to photography (because I was interested), soon after I married his daughter. He first lent me a fully-manual folding-lens camera with a separate light meter, on the basis that that was the way to understand exposure and so on.

But his camera was a Pentax ME Super, so I aspired to one of those, eventually getting one second hand, and after that a Super A that was quite battered and therefore inexpensive. K mount was good on a budget anyway - lots of brands use it. So I started with a Petri (Cosina look-alike) from Dixons.

Anyway, I've stayed with Pentax throughout, now with a K70 and a K30 (it's a long story why I have two, and more complex than the usual n+1 stuff).

I do have a fair amount of the old film gear - mine and my FiL's, after he sadly passed away. I don't like to let it go, but I always use the digital now.