Modern Classic SLRs Series :
History & Background

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Nikon F2 History - Credit: Content appeared in this page (except images) courtesy of Michael Liu; camera courtesy of Edward Ngoh, pictured by MC Lau

Input of Thousands...

Because of the Nikon F's incredible popularity among professional and advanced amateur photographers, Nikon had a huge base from which to draw inspiration for the impending replacement for the F. Several refinements transformed the F into the more modern F2, including modularized internal construction (championed by repair personnel), a smoother and shorter winding stroke (welcomed by all), easier motor synchronization (applauded by photojournalists), and a hinged back (cheered by all people with fewer than three hands). Batteries were moved from the finders into the body itself, and mirror Lock-up was now a standard affair.

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Nikon F Website in MIR:

F_and_F2 Compared


Credit: All images appeared herein courtesy of Mr. Martin Norberg from Sweden. Image(s) copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

The F2 is a direct descendant of the F. The controls may have changed a bit, but the basic design was so similar that finders, screens, and of course lenses may be swapped between cameras without loss of function (except for the metered finders). Overall, the design smoothed off most of the F's hard creases; the sides of the body fit the hand a bit more nicely, plastic-tipped control levers were easier to manipulate and felt better, and the finders generally appeared slightly more modern, with the large, blocky angular Photomic prisms replaced by slightly smaller (by moving the battery compartment to the body) DP-x Photomic. I think that the F2 with DE-1 looks just as good as an F with eyelevel, while the various F2 Photomics look a bit too corporate and undistinguished/unusual compared to, say, a F with FTn. Anyway, Nikkormat series - the mid compact Nikon bodies designed to supplenment the bulkier and features-riched Nikon F and F2 have also mushroomed with eight (8) models in total. the Nikkormat has a fixed (non-removable) prism and the focusing screen is a fixed type with no motor drive system (the AW-1, a slow 2 frames per second power winder was workable only with the electronic Nikkormat EL-W & Nikon EL-2).

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Of course, there were those who groused that the F2 wasn't as durable or reliable as the F, and who refused to adopt the new camera until the last new F's were all sold out. Of course, these were the same people who later wholeheartedly avoided the F3 when it came out in 1980.
On the whole, though, the F2 was a runaway success. The improvement in mirror Lock-up alone is worth the added cost. The price was still forbiddingly steep, the camera was still heavy, but it offered the same bulletproof reliability and compatibility (to a degree yet unmatched by successive F models) demanded by loyal Nikon users.

System in Full Bloom

Not only was the F2 system impressively huge (including such esoteric items as an infrared remote control), it was extremely well thought-out and tightly integrated. Chances were that if you could think of a particular photographic method, Nikon had already thought about it, and had an accessory for you.

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Even if you didn't need that Multiphot now, who knew what you'd be doing with your camera in the future?

The Nikon System offered room to grow beyond walking and snapping shots to setting up your camera unattended for time-lapse photography to offering a complete motorized camera + fast flash for reportage.

<<<<<<<<<<<---- The Nikkor lenses, one of the major factor contribute to Nikon F2's success have many pioneering technologies introduced during its era. Many of such optical innovation was still apply today.

Even if you think you'd never need something like a Microflex, you never know what sort of photography you'll do ten years or even ten weeks from now. Buying into the Nikon system meant that you were buying photographic insurance, of a sort -- assurance that your needs, no matter how esoteric, would be taken care of in the future. Chances are that you have bought a part of the F2's system -- whether a motor drive, special back, or more esoteric accessory -- without really worrying about whether the item you need is available or not (hard to get, though, is an entirely different manner ...). Even today, the F2 system is unsurpassed. The 1970's saw an explosion in manual-focus technology, with amazing new lenses (e.g. 13f/5.6, internal focussing, and ED lenses) and incredible triggering technology (MW-1, ML-1, and MT-1). The F2 was at the heart of it all, as photographic technology advanced as fast as Nikon could push it, while others struggled to keep up. Yes, the Canon F-1 system is also large and impressive; virtually all of its items have counterparts in the Nikon F/F2 system, though, with the notable exception of tilting lenses.

Professional's 35mm SLR

At the close of the 1960's, Nikon had a virtual stranglehold on the professional 35mm market. Minolta was only just beginning to make their own system camera, the Minolta XK (Motor). Canon had just unveiled their original Canon F-1 bare months before Nikon took the wraps off the F2. Pentax was left struggling with the inconvenience of the M42 thread mount before coming out with the KX and later Pentax LX. The wizards at Olympus conjured up a svelte dream in their Olympus OM-1/2 system. Kyocera/Yashica were about to resurrect a distinguished name and roll out the rapid Contax RTS. Even venerable Leitz par tenured with Minolta to produce the first Leica R3. Yet with all of these pro-oriented, system cameras flooding the market, the F2 continued to thrive and, indeed, extended Nikon's domination through the 1970's. Why?

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Canon F-1, 1971

Minolta XK, 1972; XK Motor, 1975

Olympus OM-1, 1971; OM-2, 1974

Contax RTS, 1975

In large part, the F's popularity had quite a bit to do with it. Many professionals and amateurs had already heavily invested in Nikkors, whether for use with their F, Nikkormat, or Nikkorex cameras. Because the F2 offered the same lens mount and accepted many of the same accessories, and would continue to do so for the foreseeable future, professionals could be assured that their investment was protected. Again, it cannot be said enough that the F2 system was the most extensive in virtually all kinds of photography. Sure, there were many specialized cameras that did one thing better than the F2, but the fact that the F2 was capable of performing virtually all of the photography that you'd ever need (short of larger formats -- and with the Speed Magny system, even that was a bulky possibility) was very attractive. Besides which, many of the different Nikon accessories were quite useful in many different fields: the Modulite ML-1 could be used to remotely trigger a camera, useful for either getting yourself into the picture or out of harm's way, the MF-1 250 exposure back freed reporters from having to stop and reload and made amazing time-lapse sequences possible, with the appropriate accessories.

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Xtending the Legend As more and more F2's found their way into (and falling out of) professional hands, people quickly discovered the most touted F2 virtue -- its earthshaking reliability and solidness.

There are jokes floating around the 'net calling the F4 a blunt weapon that also happens to take pictures; those of you who've held an F2 with the MD-2/MB-1 (and a nice, balancing lens, like the 180f/2.8) know that you could make an F4 owner beg for mercy ...


At first glance, an F2 looks identical to a late-model F, especially when both are eyelevel-equipped. It's a feature, not a bug ... The F2 offered the same straightforward control layout of the F, with the minor difference of moving the shutter release to the front edge of the top deck. It presents the user with a deathly serious tool, one whose every appearance and feature quietly whispers to the Nikoneer and anyone close enough to hear, "I am here for any photo you can think of ...".

Credit: Image(s) appeared herein courtesy of Mr. Vincenzo Montalto from Bestdeals$$$® <> "Bestdeals$$$", who also operates a very popular Ebay Store, selling many unique camera equipment of various brands and labels and some of the images shown here was kindly granted permission by the Company. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

| Previous | NEXT | Frequently Asked Questions based on Michael Liu's earlier content on Nikon F2 cameras..

| History & Background | Semi-FAQ | Various Features and Functions - 6 Parts |

System Accessories: Motor Drives / Prisms / Screens / Macro / Film Backs / Flash Other Accessories: DS-1 / DS-2 / DS-12 / eyepiece / DH-1 / cases / Cable releases / Miscellaneous

| Message Board | for your favourite Nikon F2 Series SLR model(s)
| Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon/Nikkor Photographic Equipment

| Back | to Main Index Page of Nikon F2 Series SLR models
| Back | Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs

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The Eyes of Nikon:-
Nippon Kogaku KK Rangefinder RF-Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses- Main Index Page

Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm |
Lenses -
45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm |
Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |
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


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

MIR Supports for Photographic Community: Various Message Boards/Community Forums
Nikon F-series| Nikon F2-series| Nikon F3-series| Nikon F4-series| Nikon F5-series|Nikkormat/Nikomat-series
Nikon FM-series
|Nikon FE-series|Nikon FA|Nikon Digital SLR series|Various Nikon Models|Nikkor Optic -shared

Others:- Free Trade Zone - Photography| Free Trade Zone - Business Community |Free To Zouk - Photographic Community
Mac Public Community Message Board | Windows based PC & Apple/Mac Public Community Trade Exchange Centre

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

About this photographic site.

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HOME - Photography in Malaysia

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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