Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F2s Photomic w/DP2 prism
Instruction Manual - Part III

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Holding the Camera

Steady camera holding is important for best results, since even the slightest camera movement at the moment of exposure can result in an appreciable loss of sharpness, especially at slow shutter speeds. The photographs show the best way to hold the camera for rock-steady picture-taking.

Wrap the fingers of the right hand around the camera body so that the index finger rests comfortably on the shutter-release button and the thumb fits between the body and the film-advance lever, and press against your forehead. This way you can stroke the film-advance lever without removing your eye from the viewfinder. Cradle the camera in the left hand for additional support, with the left thumb and index finger grasping the focusing ring. The camera may be switched from horizontal to vertical format in this position.

Checklist and Reminder

Now, the camera should be ready for picture-taking. But first, double-check to make sure you have done the following:

Installed the silver-oxide batteries in the battery chamber with the plus side facing out.
Loaded the film, locked the camera back securely and made two blank exposures while watching the rewind crank to see if the film is loaded correctly.
Set the ASA film-speed dial for the correct speed of the film loaded in the camera.
Mounted the lens correctly and adjusted the meter for the maximum aperture of the lens (check the maximum aperture indicator).

Focusing and Shutter Release

Shutter Release.jpg
Focusing is always done at full aperture with Nikkor Auto lenses. This gives the brightest possible image on the focusing screen for easy focusing and composing. It also minimizes depth of field so that the image snaps in or out of focus distinctly.

The Nikon Type A Focusing Screen comes with the camera as standard equipment. To focus, turn the focusing ring until the two halves of the rangefinder image coincide to form a single, sharp image. You can also focus on the matte field that surrounds the central rangefinder circle.

The lens can also be prefocused using the distance scale engraved in both feet and meters on the lens barrel. Line up the black indicator line on top of the lens opposite the camera-to-subject distance as measured or estimated. This technique is useful for candid shots of elusive subjects when time does not permit through-the-lens focusing.

For sharp pictures, correct shutter releasing is just as important as steady camera holding. A quick jab of the finger on the shutter-release button will cause camera movement and the result is a blurred picture. Hold the camera steady as shown previously, relax and squeeze the shutter release with a gentle, even pressure. For long time exposures with the camera mounted on a tripod, it is always encouraged to use a cable release in combination with a rigid and sturdy tripod.

boutfocus.jpg afocus.jpg
The shutter-release button is threaded to accept the Nikon Cable Release. For hand-held exposures at speeds slower than 1/30 second, greater sharpness can be obtained if the shutter release is tripped by means of the self-timer.

Flash Synchronization

The Nikon F2-S Photomic is designed to synchronize with various types of flashbulbs at almost all shutter speeds and with electronic flash at speeds up to 1/80 second. Consult the table below to find out which shutter speeds are acceptable with different types of flashbulbs.

























Cannot be used
#Some M-class bulbs have longer flash duration covering all shutter speeds up to 1/2000 see, except for 1/60 and 1/80 (X) sec. Note: There is another section on Nikon dediczted speedlight which covers from BC-7 Flash Unit to SB-21A/B at the Nikon F3 site.

The Nikon Flash Unit BC-7 fits directly over the rewind knob and require no synch cord. For other flash units, the flash unit coupler must first be slipped into place over the rewind knob and the synch cord plugged into the synch terminal. The synch terminal is threaded for extra safety.

Caution: When the reflex mirror is locked in the up position, the shutter will not synchronize with flashbulbs at speeds higher than 1/125 second.

No special adapters are necessary when using Nikon F2A Photomic camera with Nikon Flash Unit BC-7, or with the Speedlight Unit SB-7E and SB-5. For other Nikon flash units with ISO-type hotshoe contacts, mounting on the camera is via the Flash Unit Coupler AS-1 ; with the AS-1, no sync cord is required, as it provides full connection via the camera's hotshoe contact.

1) PC sync for cabled flash or multiple flash setup in AUTO/MANUAL mode; 2) F2 dedicated accessory shoe for specific flash units designed for F2 OR standard ISO-type flash via flash coupler AS-1; 3) Flash ready light contact.


The Photomic finder has a built-in ready-light for use with Nikon speedlight unit. The lamp lights up to let you know, without removing your eye from the viewfinder, when the speedlight is fully charged and ready to fire and goes out after the speedlight has fired. The ready-light is connected to the speedlight by means of an optional ready-light adapter. For details, see the speedlight instruction manual.

Check the
SF-1 Readylight Attachment


The built-in self-timer can be used to trip the shutter after a delay of 2 to 10 seconds. The numbers marked around the lever indicate the delay in seconds.

To cock the self-timer, turn the lever downward until the desired number of seconds delay is opposite the black dot. Pressing the small button located under the end of the lever in its uncocked position starts the countdown. If you decide not to use the self-timer after it is already cocked, use the shutter-release button to make the exposure and to shut off the self-timer. The self-timer can be set either before or after the shutter is wound. It should not be used at the "B" setting.

Note: With specific Metered prism such as the DP-2 (F2S) featured here, DP-3 (F2SB) and DP-12 (F2AS), the self timer is also used for operating the camera in slow shutter speed down to 10 sec exposure time.

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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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Credit: Chuck Hester, US for his patience, encouragement and help to setup the various content in this site; Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD appeared in this site; my ex-staff, KiaSu for his superb 3-D logo appeared in this Nikon F2 site; Marc Vorgers from Holland who generously provide me with some of his images of F2AS; MCLau®, who has so much time with me to re-edit the content in this site and not to mention buying a Nikon Coolpix 990 just for this site. Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; again, Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; for their images on the Speed Magny film backs; Sean Cranor for his image on Nikon F2 25th Anniversary Model; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input on some of the early Nikon bodies; CYLeow ® , photo editor of the Star newspaper, Malaysia for some of his images used in this site. Ms Rissa Chan, Sales manager from Shriro Malaysia who has helped to provide some of the very useful input. HiuraShinsaku®, Nikomat ML, Japan for some of his images on various F2 models; my staff, Wati, Maisa, Mai and my nephew, EEWyn®, who volunteered and helping me did so many of the film scanning works. Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell, Mr "Arsenall" and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. Dedicated to KU Yeo, just to express our mutual regrets over the outcome of a recent corporate event. Made with a PowerMac, broadcast with a Redhat Linux powered server.

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