So the original plan was to add a dedicated 35mm shooter to my camera arsenal. My last dedicated 35mm shooter, my Leica M3 (“Leica Green”) is now in the hands of someone else, who has used it for world travel photography. But that now means that I need to replace that camera with something comparable.
And while perusing the internet, I found someone was selling a Nikon F2 camera – complete with a battery pack and automatic film advancer. Sweet. And the price was reasonable.
A week after I purchased it, the camera arrived. And the seller told me the camera was in perfect working condition.
Let’s put some film in it.
Hmm. This seems to be stuck.
Let’s see if I can at least test out the lens.
Damn. This is stuck as well.
Further examination of the camera led me to a sad discovery. This camera is seriously seized up. It’s like a Nikon version of rigor mortis.
Only one thing to do in a situation like this. Haul this camera off to my camera tech Allen over at CameraWorks in Waterford, and see what he can do.
As I gave him the camera, I told him, “If you feel that the battery pack or the film advance modules are beyond repair, don’t worry about them, I’ll source new ones. If you feel that either the lens or the prism cannot be repaired, they can be replaced as well. But I’d like to at least save the camera chassis. If we can salvage that, great.”
“I gotcha, Chucky boy,” he smiled. “I’ll see what I can do. These old F2’s are workhorses. Good thing you didn’t get an F3. It’s hard to find parts for those.”
A few days later, Allen called me. “This camera is beyond repair. It feels like it was stored in motor oil or something, the entire unit is seized up and corroded. Sorry, Chucky boy.”
But then, almost as if by magic, someone contacted me through my blog. He’s a long-time reader, and he told me that he had some unused film that had been languishing in his freezer, and if I was interested, I could claim some.
Oh, and he happened to have a spare Nikon F2. A Nikon F2S, to be precise.
I’ll take that dose of karma any day.
I visited with the reader, and he graciously offered me some pro-packs of 120 slide film – some good stuff, too, it went from his freezer to my freezer. Move over, Swanson salisbury steak TV dinners…
Then he showed me the Nikon. It was a Nikon F2S, which was manufactured between 1973 and 1977. It’s capable of using vintage and modern lenses, although modern lenses require stop-down metering when applied to the F2S chassis. Luckily, in owning a Nikon Df, I’m used to multi-functional camera bodies.
I packed a roll of Efke 100 into the chassis, slapped a 28mm f/2.8 lens on the body, and went shooting.
I should mention that on Saturday morning, the Town and Village of Green Island had a planned power outage, due to the Green Island Power Authority performing maintenance on the power grid. So, I’ve got five hours to kill, and 36 shots in a brand new camera.
Let’s have some fun.
I shot around the neighborhood, then dropped the film off at McGreevy Pro Lab.
Some of the shots were underexposed, some were overexposed, but then again, I was working with the camera for its first time, and I still needed to make some adjustments one way or the other.
But of the roll of film that I shot…
I got this nice little treasure.
With that in mind, I brought the camera over to CameraWorks, so that it could get the customary cleaning, lubrications and adjustments.
Welcome to the arsenal, Nikon F2S. Let’s see what you can achieve in the future.