Nikon FM camera from front

Nikon FM SLR Camera. A mechanical camera, needs no batteries. (except for the light meter.) But, of course you would have a light meter that you carried with you no? ( Like this one  from Day 1 of this blog!)

This camera weighs a lot. Is that what defines analog vs digital – weight? As we move further and further into a digital world, will things eventually be weightless? This camera feels like it weighs twice as much as my Nikon D-5000 SLR, which is physically larger. It’s all that metal.

Compared to shooting with a digital camera, I probably didn’t take as many photos as I felt I did with this beauty, given the preciousness (ie: cost) of film. But even still, over a decade or so I shot a lot of film. It has a fantastic lens. Very basic, but sharp. I got to know this camera so well, and used specific film with it, so that just by looking at the day I could tell what settings to use.

Here is nice manual explaining how to use it.  From a site with a pictorial history of the Nikon lines.  (BTW – that photography site has been online since 1997! )

Nikon FM camera from back

Purchased it second-hand from a camera shop in Montreal. It was old when I bought it, but it’s really old now. Still functional. I stopped using it about 2-3 years ago, when I found that for a particular project I was working on at my mom’s place, it was just too much hassle to bring through security at the airport (that pesky metal). And the cheap Nikon digital I had at the time did the job for exploratory shots.

I will keep this camera. I read that the medium priced digital SLR’s (at over $1K at the time I didn’t personally think the D-5000 was medium:) don’t do the best  job with focusing. Something about a blur being added in. With this FM, as long as my vision was accurate, the shot was in focus. With the D-5000, it seems like I have to shoot 4-5 pics to get the perfect focus. Technology. Maybe that’s part of the planned obsolescence of these medium-range SLR’s – that you need to upgrade to a much higher end model to get the quality you’re looking for.

Clearly, it could have used a little cleaning. But the grime on top adds to the allure, no?

Nikon FM camera from top

Status: Take out for a spin and see what she  is still capable of offering up.