Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon FM2(n) - Index Page

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Yes. There are a few versions of the FM2. It is not easy to realize the differences among them unless you are an ardent Nikon fan.

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FM2n Dial.jpg

Other than the obvious visual differences of a few limited edition models such as the FM2n/T (Titanium) or the bright chrome FM2n Millennium 2000 commemorative model; mechanically, there are only two versions of FM2 body - the original FM2 that was introduced in 1982 and the newer version that was to replace the earlier model in 1983. We often call it FM2n or the New FM2 in Japan.

How to tell a Nikon FM2 from FM2n ? If you are not sure which version of the FM2 you are having, the shutter speed dial on the top panel of the camera should be the most accurate way of differentiating the old and newer models. The original FM2 has 15 shutter speeds on the dial while the newer version has only 14. Unlike other FM2n(s) which came in different materials for their casing, or shutter curtain blades; the original FM2 is essentially a mechanical SLR camera, the extra shutter speed setting of 1/200 sync speed has made mechanism inside body shell very much different from that of other FM2n bodies.

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The shutter speed dial of the original FM2 has
2 shutter speeds painted in red, denoting the flash sync speed. The maximum sync speed is 1/200 sec, and this marking is provided at the end of the normal shutter speed scale. To facilitate flash photography, the 1/125 sec marking is also painting in red to indicate that flash sync is usable from 1/125 sec down to B, the bulb setting. The newer version of the FM2 - the FM2n introduced a year later (after the Nikon FE2) had improved its maximum sync speed to 1/250 of a second. This shutter speed marking is painted red on the speed dial, indicating that flash is possible from 1/250 sec all the way down to Bulb. This is the only shutter speed marking that is painted red on the shutter speed dial of the new FM2.

If you wish to look for other elements to establish a higher level of comfort determining which version of FM2 you are owning, there are a few more features that would help.

Titan Serial No.jpg

Firstly, the serial number* of any FM2(n) body at the back of the camera just below the film advance lever may also help to provide some reference.

FM2n Serial No.jpg

* But this identification may not always applies, because, technically, it is possible to change the casing from new to older model or the other way round; further, some users from isolated market reported of FM2n that came without a prefix. Off topic: The tiny metal tab under the serial number, hiding inside the film back rail is for frame counter reset.

The original FM2's serial number does not always has a prefix "N" or "T" in front of the serial number as in the case of the FM2n or FM2/T as shown above which is similar to the early FM bodies. How accurate is this if one is to use it as a reference to differentiate both models ? If you combine this with the earlier explanation ( Shutter speed dial of 1/200 sec sync speed marked in red), chances are almost none that you will make any mistake.

Y2k Serial No.jpg
The recently launched FM2n "Dragon" (Millennium 2000) commemorative model has a "YEAR 2000" followed by the serial number xxxx/2000. In such case, the shutter speed dial at the top should able to tell the difference.

But I was told by a service technician that someone has actually experienced the top mounting plate of the FM2 being changed and lead to believe the FM2 was an FM2n. Next, why don't we use the shutter curtain as a guide ? Because it may be too confusing to explain to someone new following all these development of Nikon cameras. The original FM2 was the first SLR that had a Honeycomb-Pattern Titanium Shutter. Such technological breakthrough design (not made by Nikon though...) enabled for the first time in a regular commercial production SLR camera to break the 1/4000sec shutter speed barrier. The carbon fiber strengthen Titanium shutter also enabled 1/200 sec sync speed and made a 35mm single lens reflex camera close the gap to the superior medium format camera that uses lens leaf shutters of 1/500 sec maximum sync speed. Then, barely a year later in 1983, Nikon had their revised electronic Nikon FE2 that came with an upgraded version of the Honeycomb-Pattern Shutter that has a slight maximum sync speed improvement to 1/250sec instead of the original FM2's slightly 'odd' speed of 1/200 sec. So did the Multi-mode Nikon FA, which essentially shared the shutter mechanism with the Nikon FE2.

Naturally, photographers would expect the FM2 to be given same upgrade and mend the 1/200sec to a more 'friendly' flash sync speed 1/250 sec especially for critically exposure calculation required in situations such as syncro-sunlight photography. Nikon obliged and thus FM2n was also being introduced later in the same year in 1983 after the Nikon FE2 and Nikon FA. <<-- Nikon FE2 and FA shared virtually similar shutter. The 'new' shutter has refined its maximum sync speed to 1/250 sec from earlier one on the FM2's 1/200 sec.

Visually, it is very difficult to differentiate both of these shutter curtain design (First and second), and bearing in mind in later years, Nikon did produce a shutter curtain that enabled partial replacement of shutter curtain blades during end of 1985 while the earlier design required a costly process of having the whole shutter unit replaced. Note: Replacements Parts for FM2 and FM2n's shutter curtain is different. Thus, technically speaking, there were actually two forms of Titanium Honeycomb Pattern shutter. Well, I hope the following will not confuse you even more: The current FM2(n)'s shutter curtain is using aluminum alloy as the primary material for its shutter blades. Thus, even if your camera has the 1/250 sec sync speed indicated on the shutter speed dial, it is NOT all Nikon FM2(n) that has the much hyped Titanium Honeycomb-Pattern Shutter. The change occurred in 1989/1990 without much publicity. By then, the 1/4000 sec shutter speed was not a significant selling point as other Nikon AF camera such as the AF Nikon F801 and Nikon F4(s) were offering 1/8800 sec at the top shutter speed range. Development of such SLRs resulted in a refinement of new shutter designs by the contract manufacturer of Nikon, Copal *(now called Nidek Copal) which managed to overcome certain technological barrier to come out with a lighter and more stable aluminum alloy type shutter. * Copal Co Ltd has long established business relationbship with Nikon. For instance, some of the Nikkormat model such as FT3 and electronic body EL2's Copal Square Shutter was designed and produced by them.

FM2.jpg FM2(n).jpg Trust me, it is very hard to locate an original FM2 body. I have waited three month for a used unit to show up at an used outlet. Credit: Mr. Poon of Poon Foto, Ipoh.

Nikon FM2

Nikon FM2(n)

Nikon FM2(n)

Nikon FM2(n)

FM2T, FM2 Year of the Dog, FM2 "Dragon" being FM2 bodies produced after 1990 and they are all FM2(n) which uses Aluminum Alloy shutter.







Titanium/Replaceable parts

aluminum alloy

Nikon never officially clarified the change of the shutter design in the FM2n, and some concluded the Titanium shutter may have been exhibiting unstable performance under extreme changes of temperature and thus call for a change seven years later.

The earlier Titanium shutter has a ambitious target of achieving 100,000 exposure cycles, which almost doubled that of any amateur grade SLR models on the market (Most would be happy to preserve the average of 50,000 cycles, while 100,000 cycles are usually designed and used for professional grade SLR performance).

<<--- The smooth surface shutter curtain used in the New FM2(n) can be easily differentiated from those blades with a beehive type patterns used on earlier ones.

I would not like to speculate reasons why, but the Titanium shutter was, for the first time used in a amateur level SLR and I would love to believe it is still very reliable and durable. That the mid-86 and later FM2(n) with Titanium Shutter provides for replacement of parts rather than whole shutter unit is even more attractive. However, I am not suggesting those bodies should be prized higher than current versions with aluminum alloy blades in the used market as I don't have any factory reference of the new shutter's design cycles.

Logically, the camera has all the basic elements for a good collectible SLR body: But a rather tough question is: Are all those original FM2 a prized collectible item ? Not quite unless you are on the ground of sentimental reason for being a BIG Nikon fan.

It is rarer in number with just over a year in its product life span as compared to later versions; it was the first SLR camera that broke the 1/4000 sec speed barrier and for a short duration, it was also world's fastest sync speed SLR with at 1/200 sec. etc.. But overall, it was an untimely misfit product, because it may have problem in getting replacement parts for this specific model. Don't curse... why don't just keep the camera, use it for your trip, family casual shots etc. and restore some memories. After all, the extra few hundred bucks won't create too much differences for your life if you are already a owner of the camera. If for other reasons you think you ought to get rid of it, consider Use Here to disposal or pass on to a more passionate hand to optimize its potential. Well, I am not so sure what was the actual reason behind getting the FM2 with 1/200 sync out in such a rush back in 1982. Someone has pointed me to a Nikon Japan site by TOYODA, Kenji that explained the reason ".... X synch speed of 1/250 sec. was changed with some allowance to 1/200 sec. considering that some electronic flash units have longer duration .... ". I have great respect for Mr. Toyoda Kenji for his inside info behind development of Nikon SLR cameras, but personaly, I felt his explanation was hardly convincing and sounded more like a commercial 'PR statement' for Nikon solely based on the fact that the 1/200 sec was "to accommodate some flash units that cannot cope with the 'new' development of technology used in the FM2 camera".

Come to think of it, since when Nikon was being so considerate to take care of some owners of their older speedlights models ? If that was the case, Nikon could have just retained the retractable Meter Coupling Lever on the F-bayonet mount and allow all those Non-AI Nikkor lenses' owners to enjoy greater benefits of owning a FM2 over the last 18 years !

In fact, the decision to have a fixed type meter coupling lever was one of the few most significant changes when comparing the FM2 with older Nikon FM and a clear departure from committing to support older Nikkor optics. But then rumors was strong that the Olympus would announce a new model to replace their highly successful mechanical OM-1 which was almost 10 years old. Such event and happening around the market could have possibly forced Nikon to introduce the FM2 earlier to 'neutralize' the possible OM effect. Anyway, for whatever the reasons, the move did cause Nikon to tie themselves with an 10 years obligation for product maintenance for FM2.

OM-1n.jpg NikoFG.jpg
Was the Olympus OM-1 that influential ? Well, possibly. Compare the size of the pin-sized Nikon FG on the right - generally regarded as one of the few most compact manual focus Nikon SLRs ever built (along with another two models, earlier Nikon EM in 1979 and the FG-20 later).
Other than dimension, when comparing the two in terms of performance and ruggedness, the OM-1 is far superior with its many professional features incorporated! I would treat a possible upgrade of the Olympus OM-1 with great respect. But since Nikon had their flagship professional body Nikon F3 go electronic, the mechanical FM series models became the sole model to take on challenges within this segment of the market. The technological achievement of FM2's top shutter speed of 1/4000 and 1/200 sync speed enabled Nikon remained competitive during a good spell of time.

Can you change the honeycomb pattern Titanium shutter to the newer Aluminum Alloy type ? Yes. But only as a whole shutter unit but that may not be possible with the original FM2 as its separate 1/200 sync speed on the shutter speed scale means it has a different mechanism inside the camera body. Anyway, by now, you should be able to differentiate between the few versions of the FM2 if you have digested of what I have baked for you so far in this site.

| Previous | Next | Other Issues pertaining to Nikon FM2 and FM2n models (5 parts)

Full Specifications: Main Reference Map : HTML | PDF
Nikon FM2n's Instruction Manual is ONLY available in HTML format (6 parts)

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

| Message Board | for your favourite Nikon FM Series SLR models
| Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon/Nikkor Photographic Equipment

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 FM series SLR camera models; please ignore some portion of the content contained herein this site where it relates.

Shared Resources: MD-11 | MD-12 | * Alternate 3rd party products: Soligor Power Winder | Y.I.C Power Winder
| 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-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)
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: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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.