Additional Information on Nikon FM-10

 

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To everyone's surprise, instead of seeing an upgrade to the 12 years old classic Nikon FM2n, Nikon has quietly launched a lightweight, manual focus FM-10 in 1995. In fact it was never been publicized much except at later stages, Popular photography reported this finding in a small column and referred it as an 'odd offer for third world countries (or 'suffering economies during the Asian financial crises). But eventually, it was made available for Japan and many other countries as well at a very late stages. A year later in 1996, an automatic version of the lightweight FM10, Nikon FE-10 was also being introduced as a continuation model to the discontinued Nikon FE-2 retired back in 1986. To many seasoned Nikon fans, these two budget Nikon models present a mixed feeling of hate and love relationship.

One of the strongest asset Nikon possesses, was its incredibly strong if not powerful brand loyalties among the followers. Unlike those days, cost in producing a budget scale entry SLR camera in modern days can be quite a difficult task to achieve. The Nikon FM2n has been the flag carrier for Nikon in this midrange SLRs market all these years - as it has been providing a reasonably priced, a very durable, dependable as well as functional SLR camera for students, casual shooters or even serious enthusiasts to used it as a good mechanical backup body for their electronic autofocus SLRs. The FM2n is to last and like other popular Nikons during the seventies and eighties. Thus, other than those who is a new comer who first experienced the Nikon photographic system or for those who has been get used to heavy feel of plastic feel in some of the cheaper entry autofocus SLR models, it is indeed very difficult for a Nikon fans to swallow the fact that the FM-10 carries the same Nikon FM name tag they are so confident all along in front of the FM10's pentaprism.

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Nikon FM2-T (Titanium)
If the users have a choice, one would expect Nikon will respond to competitions such as the Contax S2/S2b with an upgrade model (May be FM-3 ? Update: eventually, this was realized in 2002 with the debut of the Nikon FM3A). Although in many ways, the FM2n seemed like an evergreen model with its simple, non-frills basic outlook and the many features operate by hands within, but when competing models like the Contax S2/S2b emerged, it has made everyone to think their trusty Nikon FM2n may still have some rooms for improvement. The Nikon FM2/T of 1992/3 (Titanium) was partly an answer to the threat that Contax model posed to the clear supremacy Nikon FM class bodies hold at this specific market segment.

However, basically Nikon's biggest challenge during this period was how to bring about an appropriate upgrade to the classic Nikon FM2n while at the same time, still be able to retain the price attractive enough for continual buy-in from consumers. Other than the autofocus Nikon cameras, there was a vacuum left in the Nikon SLR lineup which can lure-in more new owners of a Nikon SLR so they can invest more system accessories & returned the Company with revenues they expect to generate. Nikon may think that this was not their sole responsibility, but I thought it should be the responsibility among all camera and/or film manufacturers to ensure there are continuous flow of new 'rookies' coming into the SLR photography in order to keep the medium sustaining for further development which in return, everyone would benefit from a booming photographic trades. Photography is not supposed to made as an luxurious hobby and neither it should be made an exclusive hobby for those only can afford to enjoy it. That was essentially why all these years, I have tried on my end to promote on used cameras as an alternative route to get in more beginners to pick up this healthy hobby. Those days, I remembered a basic Nikon FM or FM2 bundled with a 50mm Nikkor f/1.8 standard lens was only retailing at approx. RM350-00 (US1.00 = RM2.50 those days and it is at RM3.80 after Capital Control was implemented during the Asian financial crises). NOW - I was quoted a simplified version in a Nikon FM10 would for RM850-00 per unit with a compact 35-70mm f3.5-4.8 zoom lens while the electronic Nikon FE-10 counterpart was retailed at approx. RM1,000-00 ! In general, consumers would generally accept the fact that they may not expect, a 100% improvement in quality for a product that costs twice as much. But to be fair, whatever I have quoted earlier was an episode happened twenty years ago. So, is Nikon having difficulty producing an entry level SLR that can be competitive enough yet retaining some basic ethic in returning with reasonably good quality ? Possible but implementation can e very difficult because unlike American corporate culture, most Asian companies treat employees as a form of a priced asset and seldom exercising measures like layoff or retrenchment (may be changed now, at least it is not happening in my premises yet, until when I called it a day...but the 50+ staffs are my responsibility as well as obligation ... ). Thus, to retain such good Asian values equally has a 'price' to pay to maintain such good value - so, labour cost may rise each year and you still have to pay someone even after retirement. To keep a compromise between corporate profit answerable to shareholders while keep the expectation of consumers going, products prices just has to soar periodically, I think, which essentially means a Nikon FM2n now will have to sell at approx. RM1,600-00. #$.curse..!@!*!!

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The Contax S2/S2b (left view) is a mechanical SLR with the S2 featured a spot meter while the Contax S2b is a black Contax S2 body with a center weighted averaging meter system. Titanium is used in their body construction - Contax S2b is a black Contax S2 with black anodized titanium while the S2has chrome Titanium finish.
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In 1990 and 1991, after a lapse of 4 years of the last FD mount Canon T-series model, Canon has strangely introduced a Canon T-60 (1990-1992) for some isolated export market. A year later, the same spec Canon EF-M using the EF mount was also being introduced. There were strong rumors that the T-60 was a 'consignment model produced by Cosina on behalf of the Canon factory, the same applied to the Nikon FE-10 and FM-10 featured here.


Are Nikon FE-10, FM-10, Canon T-60 the only few models relate to Cosina ? No. Here is another one, the Olympus OM 2000. Frankly, another mail I received recently was the Pentax P30T ... Well, if all of these rumors are true, you really can't blame anyone of them. So, even with the high-riding episode of the Voigtlander Bessa-L can well explain some of the market users' concern or suspicion over their premium paid for a prestigious name tag.

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In comparison, the competing Olympus OM 2000 has an even better layout design than the Niko effort. Externally, it resembles the mechanical OM-3 Ti, but unlike the Nikon FM-10, it has a durable die-cast aluminum body. The top and bottom of the OM2000 are finished in a ternary-compound alloy made of nickel, copper and zinc. Not only is it very durable, but the finish comes in a striking bronze color with the look of quality. I thought those guys at Olympus at least have put some attention to their product, even if it is not made by them.
 

Hi, Leonard, is the Nikon FM10 a worthy camera ? An easy question, but quite a difficult to provide an answer fro you. The main issue here is - we really don't have a choice. But would you buy such a camera simply as your backup camera ? Probably not - because you know damn well there are better alternatives that you can find in the used equipment market. But you have to provide a comfort zone for those who are seeking to get their first SLR from places like Ebay because it can be real difficult trying to teach a guy some quick lesions what are things to look out if you intend to buy a used camera. So, it is definitely not a good way for any novice. But both the FM10 & FE10 serve a purpose in their existence - it fits a working budget and they fill that gap for those who are strapped with budget who may be thinking of buying a first SLR camera body. I think it is better just to keep quiet unless being asked about some frank opinion OR just expect those who are interested seek some answers via the Internet search. Given a choice, I would suggest a good condition Nikon FM or even a Nikkormat FT3 or if you have a little extra to spare, look for a good, used conditioned Nikon AF SLR such as Nikon F801(s)/N8008s or F601(M) but I can't be keep on telling everyone how and what to look for in a used camera body, right ?

I did borrowed a Nikon FM-10 from my friend (Jacko) and kept on shooting with it for a few weeks and just want to get a feel of it while thinking why am I so defensive with it. Its strongest selling point is still with its modest entry price, as It is the cheapest Nikon body that you can buy now - regardless of autofocus or don't. (used condition bodies are even cheaper) - But to a seasoned Nikon user who are looking for a mechanical SLR simply for leisure shooting or as a backup, I think individual intelligence will exercise what to invest into. Because other than its 1/2000 sec maximum shutter speed, a useful film cartridge confirmation window and a lighter body weight - there is no other significant features that I can think of why should I put my hard earned $$ into this SLR. Sorry, if this remark has hurt a few owners.

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Camera Instruction Manual (3 Parts); Other Issues relate to Nikon FM-10.

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Standard production Nikon FM Series models:- Nikon FM | Nikon FM2 | Nikon FM2n | Nikon FM10 | Nikon FM3a |
Known variants:- Nikon FM Gold | Nikon FM2/T | Nikon FM2N Tropical Set | Nikon FM2/T Limited Edition | Nikon FM2N LAPITA | Nion FM2n Millennium 2000

Shared Resources: MD-11 | MD-12 | Focusing Screens | Titanium Shutter | Flash Units -SB-16 | SB-15 | SB-10 or other Options | Databack | Nikkor lens mount (related info)

Others:- Nikon AF-TTL Speedlights | SB-20 (1986) | SB-22 (1987) | SB-23 | SB-24 (1988) | SB-25 (1991/2) | SB-26 (1994) | SB-27(1997) | SB-28 (1997) | Nikon SB-29(s) (2000) | Nikon SB-30 (2003) | Nikon SB-600 (2004) | Nikon SB-800 (2003) Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight DX-Series: Nikon SB-28DX (1999) | SB-50DX (2001) | SB-80DX (2002)

Nikon BC-flash Series | Original Nikon Speedlight
SB-2 | SB-3 | SB-4 | SB-5 | SB-6 | SB-7E | SB-8E | SB-9 | SB-E | SB-10
SB-11
| SB-12 | SB-14 | SB-140 UV-IR| SB-15 | SB16A | SB-17 | SB-18, SB-19 | SB-21A (SB-29) Macro flash | Flash Accesories | SF-1 Pilot Lamp

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

weblibrary.gif   Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat | Nikon FM | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:- Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

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Index Page
  Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm


MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

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

W A R N I N G: The New G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have no aperture ring on the lens, they CANNOT ADJUST APERTURES with any of these manual focus Nikon FE series SLR camera models; please ignore some portion of the content contained herein this site where it relates.

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Credit: To all the good people who has contributed their own experience, resources or those who are kind enough granting us permission to use their images appeared in this site. Mr. MCLau®, who has helped to rewrite some of the content appeared this site. Chuck Hester® who has been helping me all along with the development of all these Nikon websites;LarsHolst Hansen, 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion I have; Ms Rissa, Sales manager from Nikon Corporation Malaysia for granting permission to use some of the official content; TedWengelaar,Holland who has helped to provide many useful input relating to older Nikkor lenses; Some of the references on production serial numbers used in this site were extracted from Roland Vink's website; HiuraShinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. t is also a site to remember a long lost friend on the Net. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures, sales manuals or publications published by Nikon over the years and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.