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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.

The Nikon F2 Photomic with a DP-1 Finder.

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.

Nikon F2S with a DP-2 Finder

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.

A Nikon F2SB with a DP-3 Finder.

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.

A Nikon F2AS with a DP-12 Finder as well as an MD-2 Motor Drive and MB-1 Battery Grip.

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.

Make: Nikon
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
Manufactured: 1971-1981

FRB No. 35 - Lomography Berlin 400 - Roll No. 2 (Kodak HC-110)
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI Nikkor 28mm 1:3.5 – Lomography Berlin 400 @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 10:30 @ 20C
CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 01 (HC-110)
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 – Film Ferrania P30 @ ASA-80 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 7:30 @ 20C
The Elora Wedge on Metcalfe
Nikon F2SB – Nikkor-S.C 1:1.4 f=50mm – Agfa Vista 400
Lakeshore in the Morning
Nikon F2SB – Nikkor-S.C 1:1.4 f=50mm – Kodak Max 400
Rick DaSilva_
Nikon F2A – AI Nikkor 50mm 1:2 – Kodak Portra 400
Gabrielle One
Nikon F2A – AI Nikkor 50mm 1:2 – Kodak Portra 400

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix check out Burlington Camera (Burlington, ON), Downtown Camera (Toronto, ON), Film Plus (Toronto, ON), Belle Arte Camera (Hamilton, ON), Pond’s FotoSource (Guleph, ON), Foto Art Camera (Owen Sound, ON). Out West there’s The Camera Store (Calgary, AB) and Beau Photo Supply (Vancouver, BC). Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), buyfilm.ca (Ontario), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

3 Comments

  1. Great writeup. I have a huge soft spot for the F2. I bought one in the 70s and it was my main camera for well over 20 years. It accompanied me from South Africa to the sub arctic and most places in between, and never once missed a beat. I still treasure it and now also have one that belonged to my dad. No camera will ever feel as good in my hands. Thanks for the memories.

  2. One of my all time favorite cameras! I have the F2 Photomic, F2S, F2SB, F2A and F2AS. Chrome bodies and black bodies. Obviously, love the F2!

    Nice article!

  3. By the way. I’d like to add to my previous comment, that you have pictured the F2 with some of the classic Nikkor manual focus prime lenses, lenses that IMO are still capable of delivering wonderful images that have a quality all their own. And, in fact, your sample images demonstrate that perfectly.

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