Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon FM Series - Preface

File Size: HTML Page (32k) Loading ...

The early and mid 70 represented one of the most eventful times in the history in SLR cameras. The Olympus OM-1's, with their debut in 1972 started the mid-compact system SLR camera revolution. Pentax introduced their first trio of mid compacts in a newly revised K-mount- the K2, KM and KX. Canon also has a trend setting SLR camera in the fully automated Canon AE-1 in 1975. In 1976 Pentax's original ME and MX were crowned the world's most compact SLRs. While Nikon still reigned at the top with the professional Nikon F2, the mid range Nikkormat were slowly losing their leading edge - both in terms of functionality and market shares.

FM2T with 85mm f1.4.jpg (23k)
The year 1977 was indeed another historical year for Nikon. First, a revised F-mount with Automatic Indexing (AI), an upgrade, innovative communication method between camera and lens, was introduced. Secondly, five camera models, the Nikon F2 Photomic A, Nikkormat FT3, Nikon FM, Nikkormat EL2 and F2 Photomic AS (followed by the Nikon FE in '78) were introduced in a sequential order to fully take advantage of the new features incorporated in the lens mount. The 'AI' lens mount was one of the key elements in taking Nikon back to technological advancement and positioned themselves with a strategic advantage over its competitions during the late '70.

The Nikon FM series SLR cameras, started with model Nikon FM. It was Nikon's first compact camera and was designed to patch some apparent weaknesses found in some of the earlier mechanical
Nikkormat FT series models. It was also designed as a stand alone compact system camera while still sharing many system accessories in the huge Nikon photographic system.
Although strictly defined as a full mechanical body, the FM model still stays in the mainstream after many other models have come and gone. There have been few upgrades over the 20 year life span of a camera which introduced many technological accomplishments. With its first major revision in 1982, the FM2 became the first commercial production SLR to brake the speed barrier of 1/4000 sec shutter speed and 1/200 sec sync speed mainly due to a newly designed titanium shutter. The sync was improved in 1983 to 1/250 sec (after the automatic Nikon FE2) and was named the Nikon FM2n. The FM2n was again 'upgraded' in 1989 when original Titanium shutter blades were changed to an Aluminum alloy. This new development in shutter blades were designed to provide more stable performance in extreme changes of weather. Since the start of the autofocus revolution, all Nikon bodies are battery dependent, this made the Nikon FM2n a indispensable backup body to supplement the AF Nikon bodies - able to work without batteries in any adverse photographic assignments. For the even demanding serious users or professionals, Nikon introduced a robust Titanium version of the FM2n (Code name: Nikon FM2/T ). As for collectors who have already identified the collective value of this fine classic camera, there were also limited production models being introduced over the years, such as 'Year of the Dog' and 'Year of the Dragon" Millennium 2000 version. There was a stage, in an attempt to lower the production costs and keep this little workhorse FM2n still affordable, assembling lines have been shifted to Korea (Anam Optics), but sources confirmed the newer batches have been moved back to Japan (part of the reason why prices for the FM2n is so much higher than before..). The pressure on devaluation of currencies in some developing and under developed economies have forced Nikon to introduce a scaled down version of the FM2n - the much controversial rumored made- by-'outsiders' Nikon FM-10, an affordable camera which provides a low cost entry point into the Nikon system.

With an amazing product life cycle of almost 20 years and amidst rapid development of SLR camera design, the FM2n has slowly shown its age in comparison to some rivaling models. In year 2001, Nikon finally revealed the third generation FM series model, the Nikon FM3A which operates like a hybrid (auto/Mechanical) camera, it is a mix of the best of strength of a Nikon FE2 with all the mechanical stability of the classic Nikon FM2n as FM3A incorporates a special shutter mechanism design that offers the advantages of a mechanical focal plane shutter for use during manual operation and an electronically controlled focal plane shutter for use during Aperture Priority operation. Even when the FM3A's batteries are fully exhausted all shutter speeds remain functional in Manual mode. Other main features include TTL/OTF auto flash exposure control and comes with a new series of brighter K3/B3/E3 focusing screens. Pages that followed should help someone who is looking at purchasing a new or used SLR to start off with a fresh photographic journal, to renew your feeling towards the hardware that you may have owned for a while or for one who intends to work with the fundamentals and basic in photography all over again. In a world of electronic age, models within the FM series (With a little reservation with the FM10) have proven their worth being both durable and reliable over years of service. These models are enthusiastically treasured by photographers that still believe that photographs are made by pure combinations of plain shutter speeds, aperture values and a clear vision.

This Nikon FM series website is currently made out of
20.68 MB files (1,023 items in gifs, Jpeg, PDF and HTML files).
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 (8 parts HTML) or via External Link to download the PDF manual 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"; LAPITA etc.) and FM3A

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 | Nikon FM2n Millennium 2000 | Nikon FM2N 80th (?)

| 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

| Back | Main Index Page of Nikon FM series Bodies

Shared Resources: MD-11 | MD-12 | Focusing Screens | Titanium Shutter | older dedicated Flash Units for FM series -SB-16 | SB-15 | SB-10 or other Options | Databack | Nikkor lens mount (related info) * Alternate 3rd party products: Soligor Power Winder | Y.I.C Power Winder

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) (updated)

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 |

Nikkor Link.jpg

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.

| Back | Main Index Page of Nikkor Resources
| Back | Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs

| Message Board | for your Nikkor optics ("shared" because I do wish some of you to expose to other's perspective as well. Isn't it a sad sate to see photography has to be segmented into different camps from the use of various labels)

about this photographic web site

MIR Logo.gif
Home - Photography in Malaysia


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.