The Legacy and Milestones of Nikon FM2

The Legacy and Milestones of Nikon FM2

1). Pure mechanical camera

  • After all fancy electronically controlled camera fail or out of battery, Nikon FM2 will continue operate as long as there is film

2). The toughest and the most rugged camera:

  • Metal body: the surface hardness can support 40 lb pressure per square millimeter without deformation
  • Claimed able to endure the toughest operation and environment
  • Can operate from -40C to 50C
  • Quote from journalists: “As long as you don’t smash it to the ground and break it into half, you will never need to send it to repair shop”

3). A legend and Milestone in photography history

  • 1st camera incorporated shutter speed 1/4000 sec
  • The last stop in the history of mechanical camera development: no more development of mechanical camera after Nikon FM2. The later model Nikon FM3 incorporated more electronic function on top of FM2, still no more mechanical improvement.

4). Unprecedented market success

  • Best seller, with one of the longest selling history (1983 – 2001)
  • Long lasting market demand in the midest of various fancy evolving automatic electronic cameras
  • Popular among journalist, military personnel, researcher in expedition, student, and professional

5). Professional grade functionality

  • Depth-of-field preview
  • Multiple exposure
  • Iso:12 – 6400
  • 3 interchangeable viewfinder screens
  • 1/250 sec flash synch speed
  • 1/4000 sec shutter speed

I bought my Nikon FM2 back in 1995, from Adorama in New York at price $515 before tax.

Nikon FM2 85mm1.4 front

Nikon FM2 85mm1

Nikon FM2 front

D lens


Development & History of Nikon FM2:

Nikon FM2 in Wikipedia:



Review: Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 & Nikon 58mm 1.4G Test Shoot sample images

Copyright: yesjie

1). Zeiss Otus 

Zeiss Otus is a new generation of Zeiss lens, targeting on delivering the best optical performance Zeiss can produce, featuring design with no compromise in performance.  It will match further higher Mega Pixel 35mm frame digital sensor coming in future. It is not yet available in store.  The pre-order price is about $4000.

During 2013 PDN Photo Plus Expo,  I had an opportunity to try it on D800. Below are the test shots. Click images to view original size. All shots were taken at f/1.4

Check out the details of sweater on left edge. Also look at highlight reflection on glass at lower left, no color fringe.

Tried to focus on her eyes, while she was talking and moving.

Look at foreground and background blur

Optical performance:

The performance of the lens, in terms of resolution and contrast across the frame is truly beautiful and stunning.

Manual focusing:

The manual focusing was very smooth.  With large throw, it was easy to fine tune focus.

When do manual focusing, the digital “in focus” indicator should be in the same spot as the focusing point you choose. So your eye can view them simultaneously.  But it is not with current digital camera.  The in-focus indicator is at the bottom of the view finder.  You cannot view both simultaneously. It was not an enjoyable experience to me.


Asked Zeiss representatives about lens seal, and I was told no new design on seal for this lens against moisture and dust.  It is Zeiss traditional standard seal. Don’t know whether Zeiss standard seal is sufficient for today’s DSLR or not.

2). Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G

I also had a chance to test shoot Nikon’s new generation lens Nikkor 58mm f/1.4G claiming featuring Unique Design & delivering outstanding Sharpness and natural blur. It is also not yet available in store.  The pre-order price is about $1700. I did test shoot, but I was not allowed to put photos into my own memory card, because the lens was only a prototype, not the final product for the market. So I can only view images from the back screen.  Based on technical data (MTF curve), the contrast won’t match Zeiss Otus.  But the resolution at f/1.4 on camera back screen was also quite amazing.  It is probably a Nikon Gtus.

Photo Industry Blogs


Photo Industry Organizations

Professional Service Organizations

Rights of Photography, Copyright, Public Privacy

Links below are for information purpose only.

(1). Photography, the Law and Photographers Rights:

(2). Photographer’s right, by Attorney Bert P Krages II.

(3).Champions of Photographers’ Rights.

(4). Photo Attorney.

(5). photographers-guide-privacy.

(6). Rights of Privacy Concerns for Photographers.


Property release:

Model release:

Other important references: