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

 

emblem2.JPG
Enter the dragon

What is most striking, some would even call it obtrusive, is the presence of a dragon emblem right in the front panel, below the shutter release and the FM2 inscription The emblem is elliptical in shape, approximately 10mm by 22mm across, set in pitch black with the dragon in golden colour in very fine details. The badge has a bright shine, and I speculate that it is made of some high tech epoxy or resin (plastic, I meant). It is yet to be seen how scratch resistant is the emblem.
emblem1.jpg
I find the emblem very well done, with great details and pleasing. Some may think otherwise, but taste is very personal. The emblem has such high degree of reflection that you can even recongnize the fingers of the photographer holding the camera at the tail end of the dragon in the picture below !

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Other observations Apart from details which I picked up above, there are very little differnces between the millennium model and the standard production models in other aspects. The handling and feel of the camera is similar to the FM2n in the few hours that I toyed with it. And mechanically, I have no reason to suspect it is of any difference from the FM2n. And why should it be any different?

The FM2n had proven to be among the most popular mechanical cameras since the mid eighties. Well proven. And if we were to accept the fact that FM2 is but an update of the FM, it is without doubt the Nikon camera with the distinction of longest in production. The lens itself is a real piece of jewel in terms of mechanical constuction. It feels rather heavy for its size and the workmanship and details are typical of Nikon lense prior to the Auto Focus days. The focussing ring is smooth and decisive, the aperture click stops are definite.

ComparedA.jpg ComparedB.jpg
In fact except for the 80-200 f2.8 ED IF, non of my other AF lens is close to the quality exhibited by this AIS lens. To think of it, the buil quality of most of the Nikon AF lenses are probably in the same league as the E-series lenses produced in the early 80's, at best.

fm2nY2k135mmf2khokingA.jpg
Is it for you?

To put it in a nutshell, the FM2 millennium edition is evidently a dress up of the standard production FM2n. Unlike the FM2/T, which had proven to be a well sought after variation of the popular FM2, the material of construction appears identical with the current production models. There are some minor cosmetic changes in the appearance of the camera, but not enough to be significant.


<<<--- Credit: Image courtesy of "khO kiNG, kOh" <koh@fkm.utm.my> who also developed a local forum/ site on his own called Photo Malaysia where you can take a visit to join the forum if you like. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

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The selling point of this camera is without doubt the limited quantities it will be produced. And I feel that a single model to commemorate both the new millennium and the year of the dragon is indeed noble. Great marketing at work here ! Coupled with the fact that it is very affordable when you compared with the current prices of a FM2n and a 50mm f1.4 AIS lens, it is a good buy for those who appreciate fine mechanical cameras.

For me? I just can't wait till the next millennium! Can you?

CHECK: NIKKOR RESOURCES for MORE info. (NEW)

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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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