Tag: Nikon F2 Photomic

Ottawa on Film

Ottawa on Film

One of my favourite cities in Ontario to photograph is Ottawa, Ontario, also the Capital City of Canada. While not as grandiose in planning as Washington DC, this city has plenty of offer the photographer. A recent week’s holiday there with my wife gave me a chance to exersize several cameras from my toolkit and having plenty of my pro gear having shot a weekend before hand I was loaded for bear both in gear and film stock.

Alexandra Bridge
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Eastman 5363 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 5:00 @ 20C

End of Line
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

Day One found us going to the newly renovated Museum of Canadian History in Gatineau then across the river for lunch. Having been blessed with a sunny week I decided to keep most of my film stocks on the slower side, most rating no more than ASA-100. It also saw a return of Eastman 5363 a favourite motion picture stock that I did extensive tests with the first time it came to the still photography market through the Film Photography Project.

Spike in Blue Sky
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

More Old Hydro Systems
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

Another film that I gave a try with, and only the second time shooting in 120 is Bergger Pancro 400, a new film stock out of France from a company better known for their traditional photo paper I was fairly pleased with the stock. This time around I shot it at the full speed of ASA-400 just so that shooting at waist level I could get some deep depth of field and fast shutter speeds. While a little more grainy than I was expecting from a 400-speed film in medium format I am fairly pleased with the results.

MosaïCanada 150
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Orange-22) – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

MosaïCanada 150
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Orange-22) – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

While if you’re a following of this blog, you’ve already seen some of the film shots from Day Four through my review of the Holga 120N. But after the National Gallery, which has a beautiful photography exhibit at the moment, I swung up my trusty Nikon F2 Photomic. With blue skies and white clouds, it was time to get some filtering on the camera. While the MosaïCanada 150 display was begging for some Infrared work, I was rather pleased with the results of the Orange-22 filter.

The Victoria Bell
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The Bank of Canada
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The final day saw us kicking around Parliament Hill. Sadly I had to check my bag and Nikon F5 for the tour of Parliament and the Changing of the guard, I made a point to head back with the ultra-wide lens and some Fomapan 100, a beautiful film that I had yet to shoot in 35mm, to capture the seat of power for Canada. When I’ve run a project I like to keep the film stocks fairly consistent. And while I did make sure to bring multiples of two (mostly), I use vacations as a time to play around with new/odd film stocks, sometimes it turned out great. Other times not so much.

CCR Review 5 – Nikon F2 Photomic

CCR Review 5 – Nikon F2 Photomic

There aren’t many cameras out there that I’ve picked up and loved right off the bat. In fact I could probably count them all on just one hand. Oddly enough they’re all from the Nikon F series. The Nikon F2 Photomic (pronounced Pho-Tom-ick) is one such camera. This workhorse professional camera from the 1970s was the popular update from the original Nikon F, an all mechanical wonder that continued to be produced and sought after even after the electronic replacement Nikon F3 was released, and today remains a popular camera. This camera will take anything you throw at it and give you beautiful photos in return.

CCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 Photomic
The beauty that is the Nikon F2 – Yes, that’s a box of Kodak Film, and yes the lens is dirty, it was out in the rain.

The Dirt
Maker: Nikon
Model: F2 Photomic
Type: 35mm Single Lens Reflex
Lens: Bayonet, Nikon F-mount (semi-AI support)
Year of Manufacture: 1971-1980

CCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 Photomic

CCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 Photomic

The Good
This is an all mechanical camera that will work both with or without batteries making it a great camera to learn on. It’s also still fully repairable! And being a modular system you can easily ‘upgrade’ and replace parts as they need to and there are lots of good working parts out there. And you can still get a lot of really good glass for this camera in pretty much all the early Nikon lenses, Non-AI, AI, and AI-S will all work on this camera. Also this camera was literally love at first grip, it’s well made, and ergonomically sound. The controls are well placed, easy to reach, and while the meter view is a little small, it’s a match needle style so easy to set the camera (providing your meter functions, if not, shoot Sunny-16). And probably my favourite part about the camera is the awesome shutter sound, you know you’ve taken the photo!

CCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 Photomic

CCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 Photomic

The Bad
While my camera cost me less than 100$ the F2 remains a highly sought after camera, it can get fairly expensive, especally the ones with the non-metered prisms. Also given their age, often the cameras which were the workhorses of the press through the 1970s have been beaten up. But working ones are still easily found, but could cost a bit. But the non-working ones can be repaired. In addition to that, the glass can get fairly expensive as well since a lot of digital shooters love the old manual focus lenses so the price remains fairly high. But you should be able to get a deal on an older Non-AI lens.

CCR Review 5 - Nikon F2 Photomic

CCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 Photomic

The Low Down
If you’re looking for a solid all mechanical SLR that has a proven track record, this is the camera for you. I got mine for under 100$ from KEH in their Bargin condition, and it showed just a touch of brassing around the name plate, threw in two batteries the camera lit up and the meter worked perfectly! Also you can still get these cameras serviced thanks to Sover Wong who received all the remaining spare parts from Nikon when they shut down their F2 repair services.

Need More Proof? Rick Paul talked on the F2 in the Film Photography Podcast Episode 85, Mark Dalzell in Episode 103, and Leslie Lazenby in Episode 118!

All Photos shot around Casa Loma in Toronto, Ontario
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI Nikkor 135mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 100 – Ilford DD-X (1+4) 12:00 @ 20C