Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon Interchangeable Prisms DP-11 for Nikon F2A - Part XII


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Switch on the meter by moving the film-advance lever to the 20° standoff position; with this action, the meter will swing to indicate the exposure condition of overexposure (needle to the left), correct exposure (needle to the center) or underexposure (needle to the right). If the needle moves to the left, increase the shutter speed or decrease the aperture until the needle is centered; if the needle remains at the right, decrease the shutter speed or increase the aperture until the needle is centered.

<<<< -- Antique Collector. Copyright © 2000. CYLeow ® Photo Editor of the Star newspaper. Hosted by: Malaysian Internet Resources

As the DP-11 finder was not designed to couple with an EE Aperture Control Unit Attachment for automated exposure control, Nikon did not provide the Eyepiece Shutter from its feature list. The shutter was provided in the DP-2, DP-3 and the DP-12 which offer shutter priority AE when used with DS-1, DS-2 or the DS-12 EE Aperture Control Unit. With DP-11 (DP-1).

All metered prisms designed for the Nikon F2 has an external metering window stays at top of the respective finder. The external meter indicator on the DP-11 has similar match-needle type similar to the display used inside the viewfinder. This provides an excellent visual guide for those who often works with tripod mounting photography such as studio, astro or macrophotography without rechecking through the viewfinder for finer adjustment of exposure reading. The metering cells used in the DP-11 was still the Cds cell used in earlier DP-1 (strange, the F2S's Cds cells are more 'sensitive' which extends its range down to 8 seconds !)

Credit: Pictured by MCLau®.

The external meter window is split into half, one half is the meter while another is a half translucent diffusing (plastic ?) window to illuminate the meter display inside the finder. As with the DP-1, it is not a very enjoyable experience to use in dimly lit surrounding. In later stages after numerous complaints and feedback, Nikon eventually responded with a funny looking but effective solution providing accessory called DL-1 Finder Illuminator. It can be screw into the eyepiece and provides a small amount of pointed light source to the top of the prism to substitute as available light in order to illuminate the meter. The DP-3 and DP-12 has a built-in illuminator and such an accessoryis not required. The DL-1 is powered by a single PX-13 mercury cell and one may have some problem locating such cells in many countries as it is not environmental friendly. I am not sure it can take some Alkaline as substitute.

The exposure range was not being improved either, and stays from EV 1 (f/1.4 at I second) to EV 17 (f/8.0 at 1/2000 second) with a 50mm f/1.4 lens and ASA 100 film. You will notice the extended shutter speed scale ring was not presented as with earlier Nikon F2S, F2SB and the newer F2AS.

The viewfinder eyepiece flash ready light was almost a standard feature for all Nikon F2 prisms (Except the special purpose finders like Waist level, Action Finder and the 6 x High Magnification Finder). Since it is not designed to use with EE Aperture Control Attachment Unit, naturally, there is no such necessity to add an view finder eyepiece.

Viewfinder Accessories

The Photomic finder DP-11 shares and accepts a host of Nikon designed accessories designed for other Nikon F2 bodies. Some of those viewfinder-related accessories, was designed for use with the Eye level and Photomic Finders, include the Right-Angle Viewing Attachment DR-3, Eyepiece Magnifier, Rubber Eyecup and a complete range of Eyepiece Correction Lenses and they can also be used with the DP-3 without any significant compatibility problems.

Personal Conclusion: DP-11 is a very good substitute metered prism to the older DP-1 which is non-AI or a cheaper alternative to the F2AS if you intend to use the F2A as your working camera. It does not possessed many gadgets other than the AI feature which would have extended its compatibility with many of today's used Nikkor lenses in the market. But in the eyes of the collector, it lacks the charm of the much functional DP-12 or even the Non-AI DP-3.

Is it wise to invest into such a unit ? Well, guess I have to ask what is your primary objective first - whether it is from a perspective of collector or a normal SLR user who is just interested in acquiring a good camera body ? The main issue is, Nikon F2 bodies are not cheap even in a moderately used condition. I guess if your requirements is just to hook for a rigid, hard to crack working camera, it needs a little justification to spend so much more than a good, used Nikon midrange mechanical camera bodies such as Nikon FM2(n) which is still support and maintaining product service by Nikon.

That boils down to the fact and decision of whether to invest into a camera which offers simplicity of use, easy maintenance and good current product support such as any of those smaller Nikon FM series bodies or a camera with a distinctively rich and colorful background behind and a likely possible appreciation in collector value over time. All packs within a ultra-rugged, highly modular body construction Nikon F2A. Perhaps only drawback is, lack of current product support by its manufacturers and most of the system accessories designed around the body has to be sourced around in the secondary used markets.
Credit: Pictured by MCLau®.

BEFORE skipping this page to next section, please be reminded the Instruction Manual for DP-11 Finder in HTML is also available in this site. Please don't mail me for any PDF version.

| Previous | Next | 12/17 The Ultimate collector's choice and the most sophisticated metered prism deigned for the Nikon F2 - DP-12.

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Copyright © 2000. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

In memory of my friend Com. Augusto Staut, Brazil, 1971-2000.

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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