5 frames with Nikon FM2 and Kodak Gold 200

By DocJR

What could be better than taking a light, mechanically precise and legendary camera on a beautiful autumn hike in the Bavarian mountains? Driving in a cabriolet in the sunshine from Bad Tölz along the Kochelsee and Walchensee lakes to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The journey takes us along the serpentines of the Kesselberg with the Karwendel mountain panorama in view. We approach from the south and drive past the ski jump to Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is an Alpine ski town in Bavaria, southern Germany, borders Austria. Nearby is Germany’s highest mountain, Zugspitze, at 2,962 metres (9,718 ft) above sea level. The town is known as the site of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games, the first to include alpine skiing, and hosts a variety of winter sports competitions.
Garmisch (in the west) and Partenkirchen (in the east) were separate towns for many centuries, and still maintain quite separate identities.

Partenkirchen originated as the Roman town of Partanum on the trade route from Venice to Augsburg and is first mentioned in the year A.D. 15. Its main street, Ludwigsstrasse, follows the original Roman road. while the fresco-filled, cobblestoned streets of Partenkirchen have a generally more historic appearance. Early mornings and late afternoons in pleasant weather often find local traffic stopped while the dairy cows are herded to and from the nearby mountain meadows.

Away from Ludwigstraße, there are small alleyways with alpine houses, often with firewood stacked in front of the house and deer antlers on the front.
We went for a walk on a hiking trail above Partenkirchen to enjoy the wonderful Alpine panorama in the autumn light.

I chose my Nikon FM2 with a Nikon Series E 50mm 1:1.8 lens as my camera and Kodak Gold 200 film, which offers warm, saturated colours, fine-grained image quality and high sharpness. Ideal for an autumnal mood in the mountains. The lightweight camera can be held in the hand for long periods of time without any problems, I love the feel of the material and its haptics. For me, it is one of the best mechanical cameras ever. The Kodak Gold 35mm film offers a vintage colour mood that I really love. Until about 3 years ago you could buy a pack of three films in most German drugstores for €7.95. For some reason, I felt the need to buy about 25 packs of three films and store them in my freezer. Shortly afterwards (I hope it wasn’t because of me) the films disappeared from the drugstore shelves and now a single film costs more than €7.95!

The warm autumn air offers a fantastic panorama with a clear view into the distance and the Zugspitze massif. There are few hikers on the trail, and we greet each other in a friendly manner when we meet. We enjoy the peace and quiet on a wooden bench before heading back downhill towards Partenkirchen and ordering a tasty “Helles”, the most popular type of Bavarian beer, in an old inn and savouring it in the sun. On the way back, we choose the route via a private road of the “Bavarian State Forests” along the Isar. We pay the toll at a small hut and the road attendant greets me in a friendly manner – we have known each other for almost 20 years. Our route home then takes us via the Sylvenstein reservoir with its striking bridge (which can be seen in many car adverts) via Lenggries back to Bad Tölz.

This half-day excursion relaxes the soul and feels like a week’s holiday. I’m already looking forward to the next trip.

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About The Author

By DocJR
I hadn't become a surgeon – I would probably be a photographer. I love to take analog photos, meanwhile I am spoiled for choice from the many cameras I have collected. I also take digital photos, mainly with Leica, Fuji and Ricoh. I live in the south of Germany. My photographic focus is streetphotography, analogue and digital. My favorite location for this is New York City. Please visit my Instagram nyc_streetphotograph or bnw_by_jr. I would be delighted.
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Comments

SteveB on 5 frames with Nikon FM2 and Kodak Gold 200

Comment posted: 06/07/2024

Wonderful pictures - those and your words brought back the area to my mind. My wife and I lived in Germany in the 1970s and went to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Berchtesgaden many times. Often on our BMW motorcycle. We lived in Pirmasens, so the ride from our apartment to those destinations was about 8 hours, or a nice day's ride. Now we live in Minnesota again, but hope to get back to Germany soon.
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DocJR replied:

Comment posted: 06/07/2024

Hello Steve, I'm glad you like the photos. The Alpine region is scenically beautiful and I also like to ride my motorbike here in my free time. Also on a BMW motorbike. In addition to the mountains, there are also lots of lakes. In the south, our region borders on the largest nature reserve in the northern Alps, the Karwendel. Most of this region belongs to Austria. And of course, it's not far from here to Italy. I used to ride my motorbike to Italy and back for an espresso. We often go to Italy over the weekend to buy delicious Italian specialties. You should definitely repeat your trip. There are motorbike rentals for BMW motorbikes in Munich. Greetings, Jens

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Gary Smith on 5 frames with Nikon FM2 and Kodak Gold 200

Comment posted: 06/07/2024

My wife and I recently took a trip to Leavenworth, in Washington state (here in the USA). Leavenworth used to be a lumber town but all of that dried up for the town years ago and the town decided to become a tourist destination by remaking the town's image as a Bavarian resort. It only has two main streets but my photos looking down the streets in Leavenworth could easily fit in your article (right down to the mountains at the end of the street). I've never owned a Nikon in 50+ years, maybe I should add one to the pile?

Do you do your own processing?
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DocJR replied:

Comment posted: 06/07/2024

Hello Gary, it's interesting that Leavenworth has a similar street scene to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Is that perhaps due to German emigrants? You should definitely buy a Nikon FM2. I love analog Nikon cameras and have a Nikon F2, F3, F4, F5, F801S, F90X and the L35AW diving camera. But I actually always go for the FM2 or the L35AW. All the others are too heavy or too complex to use. The F4 or F5 have too many setting options for me, I love the simple operation of the FM2. Greetings Jens

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Russ Rosener on 5 frames with Nikon FM2 and Kodak Gold 200

Comment posted: 07/07/2024

The FM2 and FM2n are probably my favorite Nikon cameras. I've had an FM 2 since 2005. One of the best light meters on any camera. I loved the feel of your photos! I have to say however, that they have a rather strong cyan cast to them. I wonder of this was due to the age of the film or maybe even the excessive UV light at the higher mountain altitude. Normally Gold 200 has a very warm color cast to it.
In any case a great tribute to the location and the photographic machine
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DocJR replied:

Comment posted: 07/07/2024

Hi Russ, Thank you for your comment. You are right, the Kodak Gold 200 has a very warm color tone that does not appear that way here. For this reason, I worked with two different scanners. For these scans, I used the Plustek 8200i with the VueScan software (Kodak Gold 200 setting). Checking with the Kodak Slide Scan produced similar results. I generally no longer edit the scans. On the day of the shot, the sun was shining, but it was also a bit hazy. The lighting conditions were more similar to the result of the scan than one would normally expect from the Kodak Gold 200. In sunny weather without haze, it has a very warm color tone that is not so noticeable here. The altitude above sea level was between 700 and 1200 m, the film was about 3 years old and stored in a freezer. The sun was very intense, perhaps it is actually due to the altitude and the UV light intensity. Unfortunately, I can't explain it exactly. The Nikon FM2 is light, robust, simple and reliable and ideal for hiking. But there is a Nikon camera in my collection that perhaps produces even better photo results, is even more robust and is completely waterproof. The Nikon L35AW. It is currently my absolute favorite. Regards, Jens

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Richard Oakley on 5 frames with Nikon FM2 and Kodak Gold 200

Comment posted: 07/07/2024

Both my ME super and EOS 5 devoured Kodacolor gold 200 with 400 as my back up. I loved it for the skin tones in portraiture work ( both natural and studio work.) Alas I went digital..it good but always seams to miss something that a good 35mm film gives.. maybe it's being force to think before pressing the shutter knowing you won't see the outcome for a week..
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John F on 5 frames with Nikon FM2 and Kodak Gold 200

Comment posted: 10/07/2024

I would be embarassed to show off such soft scratched scans. Get a lab if you cannot scan better yourself. This camera and lens combo is capable of genuinely gorgeous images... these are not that.
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Hamish Gill replied:

Comment posted: 10/07/2024

This sort of tone is not welcome on this website. Either find a way to comment more constructively and in a more friendly manner, or please just don't bother commenting. There are plenty of websites that are more tolerant of this sort of tone... this is not one of them.

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DocJR replied:

Comment posted: 10/07/2024

It is not an error in the scanning process. The mistake is that I didn't have the film cut by the laboratory that developed the film. It was then rolled up and delivered to me. These scratches probably happened when the film was rolled up so that it would fit into its film cartridge. This happened to me with some developed films and since then I have always had the film edited. I apologize for not providing a perfect scan here. But I think it would be a shame if I hadn't written this article because of that.

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