Nikon F2
5 frames with...

5 Frames with Nikon F2 + 50mm F2 Nikkor H-Auto – By Josh Sitoh

December 22, 2019

I was recently asked the question, “what camera would you not sell?” As the proud owner of a tiny collection, my response was immediate and succinct. “My Nikon F2 and 50mm f2.”

Thus, my premise for writing this body of thought began. I started wondering about my knee-jerk reaction and began searching in the depths of my inner man… and without a doubt, the Nikon F2 is the one camera I hold on to dearly for all-too-emotional reasons. Yet, the shots that I have gotten out of this combination have turned out to be the most reliable results I could ever want out of a 35mm camera. Having owned a variety of different SLRs, rangefinders, point & shoots; the Nikon has far surpassed them all. And it’s not necessarily about sharpness of the 50mm f2 lens, or the ergonomics of the body. Let’s just get it out of the way, it is literally a brick of a camera. A running joke I have with my fiancee is that whenever I have my F2 on my shoulder, I worry not for my camera but for the arms and sides of those who bump into it.

Ilford Delta 400 – Muriwai Beach, Auckland NZ

Ilford HP5 – Pouto Lighthouse, Northland NZ

I predominantly shoot black and white, although I find myself shooting more colour these days (but usually medium format). The 50mm pre-ai lens has superb character. The F2 has given me hundreds of lovely exposures, and with such a reliable combination, I don’t have to worry about what I’m shooting with; only my choice of film, and my composition.

Kodak Ultramax 400 – Hamilton, NZ

Portra 160 – Vancouver, Canada

I have found my groove, and the constant that helps me work on my skills as a photographer. Although I shoot more medium format these days, I take the F2 out often, and it has helped me capture some of my favourite day to day moments.

Ilford HP5 – Vancouver, Canada

It’s not the best, but the most reliable tool out of my arsenal, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world (well, maybe a Mamiya 7).

Long live the F2.

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Daniel Castelli
    December 22, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for the post. My favorite is the surfers on the beach.
    The Nikon F2 has been cited as the finest all-mechanical (film) SLR ever produced.
    I’ve kept my non-metering eye-level (silver) F2 and a 55mm micro-Nikkor f/2.8. I dink about with a Leica M2 & M4-P but the F2 remains active in my camera arsenal. There are just some shots a Leica can’t make but are perfect for the Nikon.
    Wishing you continued good shooting, good brewing and a wonderful wedding!
    -Dan (flickr.com/photos/dcastelli9574)

  • Reply
    John
    December 22, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    The Nikon F2 is a great camera to use. It’s all metal, heavy and so easy to use. You can almost built into you want with all the Nikon goodies that were made for it through the years.

    So enjoy your F2 and take lots of pictures with it even your girlfriend!

    • Reply
      joshsitoh
      December 23, 2019 at 3:18 am

      Love the F2, and actually would love to get the 55mm F2.8! I’ve heard that its superb and has great sharpness across all apertures. Thank you for your kind words!

  • Reply
    Dave N.
    December 22, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    I have the same combo and agree with you completely. This is the one camera I would never sell.

    • Reply
      joshsitoh
      December 23, 2019 at 3:18 am

      Winning combo for sure!

  • Reply
    Ant Lockyer
    December 22, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    The hot air balloon photo is superb.

  • Reply
    Kevin Oh
    December 22, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Attracted by the two words ‘Nikon F2’. Blown away by the first photo and the rest is history.
    It feels awesome to have stumbled upon this post because I share a few things in common with you as I am also a proud owner of an F2 (which my father-in-law bought when he was in his 20s almost 50 years ago), someone who used to live in Auckland and an avid coffee lover (used work in the industry for years). Thanks for this wonderful tribute, Josh!

  • Reply
    Timothy Gasper
    December 23, 2019 at 6:12 am

    “As a proud owner of a small collection…” What is a small collection? Come on…you can tell us. I have the F2 also and just love. Will never get rid of it either. Thank you sir for this article. Enjoy your collection and shooting.

    • Reply
      Josh Sitoh
      December 23, 2019 at 8:02 am

      Haha. Small comparatively to other film enthusiast I suppose.
      The F2 is just superb.

  • Reply
    eric
    December 23, 2019 at 7:33 am

    Bravo !
    Great. Love the composition : fantastic

    Thanks

  • Reply
    Ross
    December 26, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    I sold my F2 about 15 years ago, and am kicking myself for it. I love seeing these photos.

    Which focusing screen are you using?

    • Reply
      Josh Sitoh
      December 26, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      Thanks!
      I think it’s the the K2 screen with the split image prism.

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