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differences between FM and FM2?

Stu Minnis , Aug 02, 2003; 12:40 p.m.

I am trying to start a manual SLR outfit with a decidedly limited budget. I have decided on either the Nikon FM or FM2. I'm hoping that someone who is knowledgeable on the subject can specify the exact differences between the two. The bottom line is this: The FM seems to sell, on average for about 40% of the cost of an FM2. I'm just trying to figure out if the FM2 is really worth paying more than double or if I'll regret buying an FM instead of an FM2 later on.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Richard Cochran , Aug 02, 2003; 12:53 p.m.

You're probably actually shopping for an FM2n, not an original FM2 (the FM2 had a very short production life, and is somewhat rare). The difference between the FM2n and FM2 is that the FM2 has 1/200 flash sync, while the FM2n has 1/250 flash sync.

Anyway, I own an FM which I purchased in 1980, and an FM2n which I bought in 2001, 21 years later. The differences are small, most significantly in the max shutter speed and flash sync speed. The FM is in many ways a better camera, including compatibility with non-AI lenses, and more parts made of metal where the FM2n is plastic. Of course, my FM also has an extra 21 years of wear on it, and I suspect that sort of thing accounts for much of the price difference between the models.

I examined my two cameras side by side and described all the differences I could notice on this web page. Note that most of the differences noted are cosmetic with no real significance.

David Blackburn , Aug 02, 2003; 02:58 p.m.


that web page is a wealth of information on nikon cameras. there should most definitely be a list of the differences in features between the fm and the fm2n.


that webpage also has an easy to read table of the major differences.

W J Gibson , Aug 02, 2003; 04:13 p.m.

FM2 is not that rare used in the Toronto area. I have one. It is priced less than a FM2n usually. The top shutter speed and the shutter itself are major differences between the FM (have two of those) and the FM2.

Neil Parker , Aug 02, 2003; 05:06 p.m.

You can change the focusing screens on the FM2 & FM2n, but not on the FM. The FM's screen seems a bit dim also, so that one reason why I prefer the FM2.

david kelly , Aug 02, 2003; 05:15 p.m.

One difference that is not obvious: the gallium photocells used in the FM meter supposedly respond more accuratedly to subjects that are predominately red than do the silicon cells used in the FM 2/Fm2n. Evidently red can fool silicon cells into recommending either over or underexposure, I forget which............

ken schroeder , Aug 03, 2003; 06:41 p.m.

On a "decidedly limited budget", I think the FM is the choice. It is a fine little camera. Put the difference in film/chemicals/paper, and you will be a better photographer.

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