In my seventeen years on this planet, there have been a handful of moments in which I have been completely overwhelmed by the intense beauty of my surroundings. In these moments, I have only felt peace, joy, and gratitude to exist in such a beautiful world. During the last week of May and the first week of June this year, I was very lucky to experience this sensation on multiple occasions on a family trip to the Lofoten Islands in Norway. I brought along my friend’s Nikon F2 (He borrowed my FM2N for a few weeks) and a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 and in my overwhelmed state, I did my best to capture these incredible moments.
The first of these moments was on the ferry ride to Moskenesøya from Bodø. We had been waiting at the port for about 10 hours (the 1:00 pm ferry had a very limited number of spots) for the 9:00 pm ferry. At about 11:00 pm, I stepped out onto the front deck only to see the silhouette of the Lofoten islands against the most incredible sunset. After coming to my senses, I set up my tripod and after a couple of metering readings from my phone, I took three photographs, one with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, and two with the Nikkor 200mm f/4.
The second moment happened the following day (only about an hour and a half later) at 12:30 am. We drove about 15 minutes from the port to our Airbnb and again, I was completely overwhelmed by the beauty that surrounded me. I set up my tripod and I took two photographs, one with and one without a warming filter.
The third moment took place the following evening. With my parents, I hiked Reinebringen, which consists of a 448 m ascent on a granite staircase. There are no words to describe the view at the summit. I took a total of five photographs on this hike, all with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4.
I really enjoyed using the Nikon F2. Although it is heavier and slower than my FM2N and the DP-1 prism gives less accurate metering information, there is something very special about it. I drive a 1973 Land Rover Series III and find the shooting experience with the F2 very similar to the driving experience of my Land Rover. Both are simple, raw, and utilitarian in form but incredibly capable in nearly every regard.
Kodak Ektar 100 is my favorite color negative film. The minimal yet beautiful grain structure complimented by the fact that it renders colors in a way that recalls the feelings and emotions evoked by the landscapes that I photograph better than any other film stock available makes it my go to.
Thank you for reading! If you want to see more of my work, you can visit my website westenskow.com or my instagram @samwestenskow.photo
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28 thoughts on “The Nikon F2, some Nikkors, and a Roll of Ektar 100 – By Sam Westenskow”
Great job Sam! The Lofoten look worth a trip.
Thank you! The Lofotens really are incredible, I hope you get to visit sometime.
Beautiful pictures, yes the F2 is an amazing camera, even after 40 of using it each time a joy. There is one big difference the F2 is much more reliable than a Land Rover, and I like them very much. Keep up this good work
Yes! That is the one big difference between and F2 and a Land Rover. I think that a Toyota FJ40 might be more similar in that regard but I don’t own one so I can’t say.
Thank you for the article and photos!
Great to see such high quality results and to read about your interest in photograph with film! Glad there are young people who will give old cameras, and Land Rovers, homes! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Clive! I am more than happy to take care of old Land Rovers and vintage Nikons 😉
Absolutely stunning photos
A great mini blog and fine images. Makes me want to experience this too,
Beautiful pictures. Thanks for adding another place to my must-visit bucket list. Oh, and congratulations on driving the Land Rover. I never thought about the correlation between fans of more manual/minimal cars and film cameras, but there must be one. And I say that as a film lover, previous Land Rover owner, and current driver of a 1979 MGB,
Thank you! I didn’t actually realize the correlation either until I made the post! I’d love to own and MGB someday, they seem like such charismatic little cars.
Hey there Sam. I also had a Nikon F2 with 50mm 1.4 Nikkor when I was 17 and these look very much like the kind of photos I would have made way back then. Great job and continue to enjoy photographing!
Great photos and article!
Of course, thanks for reading!
Thank you Sonny!
Lovely – thanks for sharing.
excellent photos visiting the islands seems to be more popular, and the weather can change quickly. enjoyed the comment about the camera and land rover also have a 73 Ser3 and Nikon SB, both very reliable
Thanks for sharing these awesome pictures. You really convey such beauty through your shots. If I was overwhelmed in these gorgeous locales, I don’t think that I would even remember to press the shutter button. You, on the other hand, took the time to set up a tripod! You are 17, with 40 years of experience! If you had told me that you bought the F2 back in the day when it was a new camera, I would have believed you. Keep up the great work and please share more of your adventures with us!
Thank you, that is so very kind of you to say ????. I still haven’t developed all of the film from the trip yet (I’ve still got a role of Ektachrome and two more rolls of Ektar waiting in the fridge) so this probably won’t be my last 5 frames post about Norway. The scenes from the rest of the trip weren’t quite so dramatic but I reckon there will still be something to write about.
Thank you so much Sacha! For me, this is the highest praise that I could receive. I wish I could’ve been around to have shot with the F2 in the 70s!
Thank you so much Sacha! That is the highest that I feel that I can receive. If I have captured a beautiful moment in time and convey that beauty, I feel that my job is done. I will make another submission hopefully sometime in the next month or so.
Great photos, and IMHO the pinnacle of Nikon’s 35mm SLR cameras.
Thank you! I really can’t decide between my FM2 and the F2. I suppose the F2AS might be the solution, if only I could afford one.
Great photos. The F2 is a weighty beast, but there is a certain satisfaction in using one 😉
What a beautiful place and very nice shots. My favorite was the daylight shot of the village. There is indeed something special about an F2 with a 50mm f1.4; I have the same!
I really enjoyed these photos. They remind me of when I started into serious photography with a Ricoh Rangefinder, followed by a Minolta SR-1s SLR, (which was stolen in 1981), and put me on a Nikon path that year with an FE that I still use, (as well as a D600 and a Fuji X-E2, both with Nikkor lenses). Just keep using this stuff as well as you are using it now and you’ll do very well; good Nikkor lenses, treated reasonably, can last you a lifetime. I have several from the early 1960’s to mid-1970’s, all purchased used in good condition, which are gems and are used on all threee cameras. I did own a F2A for several years, but I found that for what I was doing with it, it offered no real advantage over my FE. I think if I’d been travelling more, or using the camera for semi-professional use though, I would have kept it as it was one beautiful, almost indestructible, tank. As it was, the FE was used mostly for personal travel and as an adjunct to my work as a professional engineer.
Thank you Thomas, I really appreciate the time you took to write such a thoughtful reply. Right now, I have an an X-T2, F, an FM2n, the latter being the one I use most frequently. They’re great cameras and I love my Nikkors—I’ll never get rid of them. I recently wrote another 5 frames article, this time with images from the FM2n, so watch out for that 🙂