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Early Nikon F2, Differences in Construction.
Old 12-24-2009   #1
Brian Sweeney
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Early Nikon F2, Differences in Construction.

I picked up two very early Nikon F2 Photomics at separate camera shows, SN under 7101500. I noticed they "did not seem the same" but could not put a finger on it at the show. They were cheap, and I never pass on a cheap F2.

After sitting them next to a late F2, some of the differences started to surface. The biggest difference, the shaped Tip for the film advance is metal. Then started to notice: no steel insert for the strap lugs, flathead screws, and one F2 had a white stripe around the self-timer.

Pictures speak louder than words.

My pair of '71 F2 cameras.



Flathead screws:





No Steel Inserts:

On either body, either side.


Underside of the Metal film advance tip is round at the seam.



The tip is metal



White stripe, not red, at self timer and the grain on the leatherette is like a Nikon F, rather the later F2.



Height on the Advance Lever is just a little lower than the 72 F2.




DP-1 SN, I'm guessing they started at 200,000.

Last edited by Brian Sweeney : 12-24-2009 at 19:53.
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Old 12-24-2009   #2
Brian Sweeney
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Next up is a 72 block F2.

Steel Inserts on Strap Lugs, and grain on Leatherette has changed, advance tip is plastic. Although, it is easier to feel the difference when touching it- the metal tip feels colder.





Phillips head SCrews.



Bottom of tip is squared



Advance Lever Height.
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Old 12-24-2009   #3
BillBingham2
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Very cool stuff Brian. I never knew there was any difference in F2s. Makes one wonder about the F3 too.

Thanks dude!

B2 (;->
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Old 12-24-2009   #4
Brian Sweeney
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I'll have to check on the F3. Somewhere at work, the one I bought in '82 is still around. I have two late ones, at the 2M mark. Also have a 1983 F3AF- but it does not count...
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Old 12-24-2009   #5
antiquark
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This page might be of interest to you:

http://destoutz.ch/nikon_f_typology.html

The author there has categorized every variation of hardware on the Nikon F. He occasionally mentions the F2, so the website might be relevant to your observations.
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Last edited by antiquark : 12-24-2009 at 21:24.
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Old 12-24-2009   #6
nobbylon
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Thanks for those photos Brian. I'd not realised that the shaped tip on earlier ones was painted metal. My early one has the slotted screws and old style F leatherette but has the later winder etc.



Last edited by nobbylon : 12-24-2009 at 23:12.
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Old 12-25-2009   #7
Dwig
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Another difference that is seen in the early F2 bodies is the mirror lock function. The original design simply required that you rotate the lock lever counter clockwise. When the MD-1 motor finally began shipping and real photographers began using it in the real world, Nikon found this to be a flawed design. Fingers wrapping around the grip would occasionally partially operate the mirror lock lever resulting in out of focus images and sometimes a jammed camera. It was quickly redesigned so that you had to press inwards firmly before you could rotate the level.

The OP's pic that shows the bottom of the mirror lock lever seems to show the early design as the lever seems tight to the body, lacking the space present in the later push-and-turn design.
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Old 12-25-2009   #8
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Brian, unless my eyes are failing me, your third picture seems to indicate that early F2s may have had the slightly-glossy black finish of an F-style shutter speed dial insert, whereas the later F2s insert is more of a matte finish.. of course, i'm about a cup short on coffee this morning, so i might be imagining things.
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Old 12-25-2009   #9
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I just checked, both observations are correct.

1) The Mirror Lock-Up turns without pressing the DOF preview
2) The Shutter Speed Dial is the older Glossy Finish, not Matte Finish as on my '74 block F2.

I have an MD-1. but never use it on the older F2 bodies. The early bodies are reputed to have a backlash when used with the motor, causing the frame spacing to be irregular. By the '73 block, this problem was said to be corrected.
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ai
Old 01-15-2010   #10
mojobebop
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ai

interesting thread. i have been considering purchasing an f2 as well.

i'm wondering if non ai lenses meter on the f2?
i like the older lenses with the scalloped focusing rings.
i read something about stopped down metering, but i'm not clear on
this.

can you clarify the usage of the older lenses, & or the ai type?

thanks,
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Old 01-15-2010   #11
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The Nikon F2 Photomic (DP-1 head, as shown here), F2S (DP-2 head), and F2Sb (DP-3 head) all meter with the older non-AI style lenses. The DP-3 head is the equal of the F2AS, and meters down to EV-2. It uses Silicon Photo-Diodes, and is the most advanced meter for the Non-AI lenses available. All of the others use CDS cells. The DP-2 head is the least reliable. The later DP-1 heads, with an extended cutout for the meter (~1975) are the most practical and lower cost.
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f2
Old 01-15-2010   #12
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f2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney View Post
The Nikon F2 Photomic (DP-1 head, as shown here), F2S (DP-2 head), and F2Sb (DP-3 head) all meter with the older non-AI style lenses. The DP-3 head is the equal of the F2AS, and meters down to EV-2. It uses Silicon Photo-Diodes, and is the most advanced meter for the Non-AI lenses available. All of the others use CDS cells. The DP-2 head is the least reliable. The later DP-1 heads, with an extended cutout for the meter (~1975) are the most practical and lower cost.
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i see. i suppose with the dp 11, or 12 one could have an earlier lens
converted to ai. might be expensive.
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Old 01-16-2010   #13
Brian Sweeney
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"In the Day", Nikon charged $15 for the conversion and put a new aperture ring on it. These days, conversion kits for most lenses are used up. You can file the existing aperture ring.
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Old 04-18-2010   #14
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This is some valuable information you've given concerning the F2's. I have two - needed the extra for b&w film, and I love them dearly. I haven't switched to digital yet and I don't have any immediate plans to do so. Guess I'm stuck on film and my F2's. Thanks for sharing the information.
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Old 04-18-2010   #15
Vilk
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ah, such feast for the eyes! looking at all this detail--time and decay are curious things: horrifying, beautiful...

my F2 boxes get some healthy exercise daily, unlike the closet queen M3

by the way, brian, what are these ring-bound books in the background?
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Old 04-18-2010   #16
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The Ring Bound Books are the Nikon/Nikkormat manuals, circa 1972. They are by Abbott and Cooper. Great resources. These include the original announcement and supplement for the F2. Picked them up in a thrift store, the owner knew me and set them aside.

The computer manuals for the 8080, Z80, and Microsoft: also from the 1970s. I bought those new...
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Old 04-18-2010   #17
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thanks. now i get it. after the first shot of obviously F2 material, i couldn't quite fit in the data bus stuff

(the wettest of all wet dreams: F2 with the D3X sensor! )

Last edited by Vilk : 04-18-2010 at 14:04.
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Old 04-18-2010   #18
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I've never owned a F2 but they sure are beautiful cameras. So much personality.

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Old 04-18-2010   #19
Brian Sweeney
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And for comparison...

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Old 06-11-2010   #20
P. Lynn Miller
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That black F2 is gorgeous... I just sold my black F2 Photomic... I prefer F's for some reason.
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Old 06-11-2010   #21
Brian Sweeney
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The F is a little bit quiter, 1/60th Sync vs 1/80th Sync.

Now- differences in Early Nikon F's, lots of changes occurred that are easily seen.
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Old 10-03-2010   #22
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Brian;

I don't know if this helps.. Nikon had a problem with the F2 in a "pinched" flex-circuit board that traveled over the top of the camera. They resolved the problem by removing the top plate (with serial number) and affixing it to a new camera. It's this kind of service/responsibility that's kept me using Nikons professionally for 30+ years.

I don't know if other changes were made during this "serious" F2 warranty/service period.
The f3 (I still use them for film) was in production longer than any camera in Nikon's history. A friend watched the last one being hand assembled in 2006. There were likely a few changes in the issue over it's run. I know the HP finder was an addition. I had an F3 P and it was much different in construction than a standard F3.

Last edited by PKR : 10-03-2010 at 12:30.
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