Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F2S Photomic Finder DP-2 - Part II


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Attaching the Photomic Finder to the Nikon F2 camera

To attach the finder to the camera mounted with a lens, first set the lens aperture diaphragm at any number smaller than f/5.6, center the meter coupling pin and loosely place the finder in position. Press the finder down gently until it clicks into place and the two clamps settle into position. Then turn the lens aperture ring to the minimum aperture setting until the meter coupling pin and lens coupling prong are linked

Mounting the finder on the camera body without a lens is simple. Just set the finder in position and press it downward gently until it clicks into place. To remove the finder, depress the base of finder release lever and turn the lever downward, then press the finder release button on the back of the camera. The finder will come loose and can be lifted out.

Shutter-Speed Coupling

When the Photomic finder is attached to the camera, the shutter-speed dial on the camera is inaccessible. Therefore, an auxiliary shutter-speed scale is provided on the finder. With the finder in place, rock the shutter-speed selector until it engages the dial on the camera and the two rotate together.

Lens-Aperture Coupling

The Photomic finder takes advantage of the automatic diaphragm feature of Nikkor Auto lenses to measure light with the lens wide open. Full-aperture metering gives a bright, clear finder image for viewing and focusing and minimizes the effect of light entering the viewfinder from the eyepiece. In order to measure exposure at full aperture with lenses having different maximum apertures, the meter must be coupled with the maximum aperture of the lens in use.

This is done each time the lens is attached or changed as follows:

Position the lens in the camera's bayonet mount so that the indicator dots on the lens and the camera body are aligned. Grasp the lens by the white milled ring and twist it counterclockwise until it clicks into place.

Turn the aperture ring all the way to the minimum aperture setting (largest f/number), then all the way in the opposite direction. This step automatically fits the coupling pin of the Photomic finder into the coupling prong on the lens and adjusts the maximum aperture of the lens.

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Maximum Aperture Indicator

The above adjustment can be verified by checking the maximum aperture indicator in the window on the Photomic finder. The scale has a range from f/1.2 to f/5.6. For example, if the 24 mm f/2.8 lens is mounted on the camera, 2.8 should appear in the window.

Setting the Film Speed

The exposure meter of the Photomic finder must be adjusted for the speed (ASA number) of the film in use.

ASAadjust.jpg ASAdial.gif
Lift up the milled ring around the film-speed dial and turn it so that the film speed appears opposite the red arrow. The film-speed dial covers a range from ASA 12 to 6400 with two dots between each pair of numerical settings for intermediate values, such as ASA 64, 80, 125, etc.

Installing Batteries

Two 1.5V silver-oxide batteries are supplied with the Photomic finder. They must be installed in the battery chamber on the Nikon F2 camera base plate before the meter circuit will operate.

To install the batteries, twist the baseplate cap with a coin or similar object to remove it and drop the batteries into the chamber. Make sure that the plus (+) side faces out. Then replace the cap.

Caution: Remove the batteries when the camera is not used for long periods. At below-freezing temperatures, the batteries may malfunction or cease to operate until the temperature rises again. Be careful not to expose them to severe cold for long periods.

Checking the Batteries

Pull out the film-advance lever to uncover the red dot on top of the camera and watch the signal lights in the viewfinder or on top of the finder. If either of the two lights glows with a bright red light, the batteries are in good condition. If not, they need to be replaced.

EXPOSURE MEASUREMENT (full-aperture method)

The exposure meter of the Photomic finder features a center-weighted thru-the-lens metering system coupled to the shutter speed and aperture controls. The meter reads the light over the entire focusing screen but favors a central area. This allows you to make precise reading of the selected subject area.

Switching the Meter On

The film-advance lever also serves as an on-off switch for the exposure meter. To turn the meter on, pull out the lever just enough to uncover the red dot on top of the camera. When the meter is not in use, press the lever flush against the camera body to avoid battery drain.

Determining Exposure


The Photomic finder has two signal lights in the viewfinder, one with the plus (+) sign for overexposure, the other with the minus (-) sign for underexposure. To determine the correct exposure, first switch on the meter and either of the two signal lights glows. Then turn the aperture ring and/or shutter-speed selector until both signal lights glow.

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The signal lights are arrow-shaped so that by the direction the arrows point you will know at a glance which exposure control, the aperture ring or the shutter-speed selector, is to be rotated for correct exposure. For added convenience, the actual shutter speed and the aperture selected also appear in the viewfinder. Either the aperture ring or the shutter-speed selector (except for speeds slower than 1/80 second) permits reliable intermediate settings for more precise exposure of less than one f/number. The signal lights also appear on top of the finder for convenience when the camera is held at waist level or mounted on a tripod. In low light, the two signal lights may light up at "B" setting on the shutter-speed scale. If so, correct exposure time is 2 seconds.

Choice of Shutter-Speed/Lens-Aperture Combinations

The amount of light reaching the film is determined by a combination of lens aperture and shutter speed. Since the two are interrelated, different combinations will give the same amount of exposure. The best combination depends on the results desired. Use fast shutter speeds to freeze motion or slow ones to create deliberate blur. Small apertures give greater depth of field, large ones let the subject stand out against an out-of-focus background.

Shutter speed (sec.)






Aperture (f/number)






More info is available at a | separate section | on the topic "Exposure" and its relation to Shutter Speed and Aperture.

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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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