If there’s one camera that resonates with most of the folks on our recording team it is the Nikon F2. Nikon’s brilliant follow up to the original Nikon F, work began a decade after the release of the F to improve and resolve all the issues that were raised by users of the F. Beginning in 1968 engineers began to work on resolving all the mechanical and interface issues with the F, calling their prototype the A. Oddly enough many thought the new camera would be the Nikon G, but when it first was released it became the F2.
Like the Nikon F, the F2 featured near infinite combinations of finders, backs, drives, screens, anything you could change you could. The basic Nikon F2 featured an unmetered finder known as the DE-1, while these are rare, most were shipped stock with the DP-1 and known as the Nikon F2 Photomic. The next update would be the DP-2 finder, known as the Nikon F2S and using LEDs instead of a Match-Needle found on the DP-1. The Nikon F2SB featured the DP-3 which uses Silicon Blue Cells to drive the meter. By the F2A the new DP-11 finder allowed for AI lenses (Auto-Indexing) to be used removing the need to have the Aperture Claw on the lenses. The final iteration would be the Nikon F2AS which used the DP-12 finder, which again allows for AI lenses.
Now it is important to realize that any Nikon lens that features the Aperture Claw can be used on the older and newer cameras as the claw gives you that coupling to connect the Aperture ring to the metering head. Most of us use our AI and AI-S lenses with our older Nikon F2 cameras. Of course, if you have modern AF and AF-D even series E lenses that they can only work with the DP-11 and DP-12 meter heads. Which brings up another point, any Nikon F2 can be any of the variants, you can just swap out the heads.
If the Nikon F was the foundation, the F2 solidified the legend of Nikon pro bodies with endless changes and a reputation to take a beating and keep on going, they are very popular in the used market and depending on the condition of the camera itself. They can range from 100-500 dollars on the used market and even the metered finders can go for as much even without a camera body attached to them. Not to mention these cameras can take anything you throw at them, we’ve had them out in rain, snow, wind, and dust. Not to mention it is the camera you’d want But we all certainly think they’re a worthwhile camera to have in your collection as they’re dead simple to use and there’s plenty of amazing lenses out there.
Before we get into a gallery of F2 images from the gang here at Classic Camera Revival here are the basic specs of the Nikon F2.
Model: F2 (F2, F2 Photomic, F2S, F2SB, F2A, F2AS)
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (24x36mm)
Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F-Mount
Speeds: 10s – 1/2000″, 1/80″ Flash Sync
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