Monday, December 16, 2013

Final Skeletons From The Closet Camera (for 2014?) - Nikon F2 Photomic

Nikon Camera
Nikon F2 Photomic
Image Source: http://imaging.nikon.com/history/chronicle/history-f2/index.htm

While Nikon is inviting us to "fall in love again" with the new Nikon Df, I've fallen in love with a much older beast, the F2. It all started so innocently - I used my Nikomat for a month, as my selection for the Skeletons From The Closet (SFTC) series in September. (Click Here) to read about that camera, or search "Nikomat" here on the blog to see some results from that month. Next thing I knew, someone approached me with the fact that they had a nice F2 and 80-200 f4 AIS lens that they'd be willing to sell. Well, of course, I convinced myself that I needed a second Nikon body that could use the non-AI lenses I had for the Nikomat. Then a deal on a 135mm f3.5 lens came along (ok, I came to it, in my local camera store - $50 for a gorgeous example). Then, a 200mm f4 non-AI for $75 on a visit to the camera store in California. Hey, it was vacation - of course I went to the camera store. And finally, not quite satisfied with my first F2 (it's got a few blemishes and probably needs a CLA), I tried an EX condition one from KEH for ~$120. The KEH unit is literally like new. I can find only one tiny scratch, and the film transport is smooth as can be. So, having spent a few hundred dollars, I now have more early Nikon equipment than I could carry. And, I love it.
 
When I bought the KEH camera, I saw an EX condition 43-86mm f3.5 lens for $30. Sure, I'll try that too. More on that later. Just let me say that I'm sitting here looking at an image from that MUCH-maligned lens (known as the "worst lens" Nikon has ever made!), and it looks pretty decent to me. Again, my copy looks and feels like new. I'm not sure it was ever used.
 
I got a little behind in my writing, and didn't take any pictures of my F2 yet. I hope Nikon won't mind me borrowing the image above from their site. That's basically exactly how my camera looks, brand new.
 
So, this is the last SFTC camera selection for 2014 - the venerable Nikon F2 Photomic. I'll be sure to carry it around and shoot some pics this month to share. I have not yet decided whether to continue SFTC into 2015; if so, it will be on a less regular schedule. However, I do really enjoy the concept, and see no reason to kill it as long as I've got other cameras to try, or desire to revisit some of the best of those I used in 2014.
 
And, oh yeah, I'm not ruling out falling in love with that new Df as Nikon suggests!
 
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