Nikon FM2 Millennium 2000 Commemorative Model
A review by MC Lau for Photography in Malaysia

 

millennium FM2.jpg
Copyright-free image by Leofoo® Malaysian Internet Resources
When Nikon announced the creation of a special commemorative issue of the popular FM2n camera for the year 2000 some 4 months ago, it had generated considerable interest among photographers and collectors alike. Rumours and speculations were abound, postulating the specification, finishes, quantity of production and alike. Some suggested that it will be in gold-plated finish, and there were believers that the special edition will be in titanium, a reincarnation of the much sought after Nikon FM2n/T.

Even the number of units to be produced was hotly debated. Most assumed that it will be limited to 2000 units to commemorate the new millennium, but there were also speculation that 3000 units will be produced. Some were anticipating a "year of the dragon" issue similar to the controversial "Year of the Dog" commemorative FM2 many years ago. A one-page flyer was made available at the end of last year, and has clarified some of the confusions generated. It is a very simple flyer with a picture of the camera mounted with a 50mm f1.4 AIS lens, announcing the "Nikon FM2 -- Millennium 2000 Units Limited Edition". Only 2000 sets will be produced, each will be bundled with a special edition of the 50mm f1.4 AIS lens with matching serial numbers. From the picture, it is obvious that it will not be gold-plated, and titanium was not mentioned any where in the write up. Most agreed that it has some sort of chrome finishes to the top and bottom plate and also the trimming to the prism housing. There were, however, no specification in the flyer and prospective buyers were left to form their own conclusion and decision judging from the sole picture of the camera.

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The real thing

I took deliver of the millennium kit set last Friday (25th Feb 2000), but did not find time to unpack it until this Sunday morning. The kit came in a beautifully printed presentation box made of hard cardboard. Those who are anticipating rosewood presentation boxes similar to those accompanying commemorative issues of Leica and Hasselblad will be disappointed. The exterior of the box is printed in bright reflective gold colour, with a dragon motif and 2 lines of text -- "Nikon FM2 kit" and "Millennium Edition".
<< --- Copyright-free image by Leofoo® Malaysian Internet Resources

Display in Box.jpg

The interior of the box is well padded, and covered with a silk like fabric in maroon red colour. Packed within the box is the camera body, the 50mm f1.4 AIS lens, a 3v lithium battery and a circular rubberized pad approximately 50mm (2 inches) in diameter. This rubber pad is needed when the camera is mounted on a tripod, to provide sufficient clearance for some Nikon lenses. If I remembered correctly, this padding is provided for all Nikon camera of the FM and FE series and their derivatives.
<<--- Note: The body cap shown here does not come with the package.

I was quite disappointed that the camera came with just a cheap semi translucent plastic body cape. I thought a special limited edition camera should deserve a BF-1A body cap! (Having said that, I recalled that the Nikon F5 too was also supplied with that piece of plastic! ) The lens did came with a proper lens cap but the rear end cap is again a piece white semi translucent plastic. A LF-1 rear end cap would not have cost Nikon too much, would it? No, no lens hood is provided. A strap is provided, but separately packed, and is a standard Nikon strap in black with yellow lettering. The documents that came along include the Instruction Manual for the FM2, the familiar folded leaflet that contains the instruction for the 50mm lens, the Nikon worldwide service warranty and a list of the service centers around the world. The instruction manual for the camera is the standard manual for the FM2n, no mention of the millennium edition within. It is interesting to note that there is only a single warranty card that cover both the body and the lens. As both the body and the lens have a matching number, (1388, in my case) only one serial number is needed for the kit. Under the heading of Model description, it is entered "NIKON FM2 DRAGON MODEL KIT". It appears strange to me that it is not consistent with the "Millennium 2000 Limited Edition" printed on the presentation box and its outer jacket.

HornBill, Sarawak.jpg (29k) Loading..
Note: The Nikon FM2n/T also came with a standard FM2n instruction manual, but with an additional pamphlet highlighting the titanium used and stated that its specification is the same as those of the FM2n except for the lighter weight (515g). Leo Foo's FM2/T came with a pamphlet in Japanese, and mine is in 4 languages; English, German, French and Spanish. The FM2n as it is known here in this part of the world, is referred to as New FM2 in Japan.


New update: Material used for the TOP and BOTTOM plate of the Nikon FM2n Millennium Contributed by Mr Eric Andeson <eric.andersen@central.sun.com>

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Instruction Manual: Nikon FM (HTML | PDF) | Nikon FM-10 (HTML) | Nikon FM2n's User's Manual available only in HTML format (6 parts) | Nikon FM3A (HTML)
Specifications:
Nikon FM, FM-10, FM2, FM2n and FM3A / Main Reference Map: (HTML) Nikon FM, FM2, FM-10, FM2n (Applicable to FM2T, FM2 "Year of the Dog"; Millennium 2000") and Nikon FM3A

The Eyes of Nikon:-
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35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm |
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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/nikonfmount/lens2.htm
http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html

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