Nikon F2 is a 35mm film professional, mechanical shutter SLR system camera by manufactured by Nippon Kogaku K. K., Japan (Nikon Corporation since 1988), introduced in 1971 using Nikon F mount for interchangeable lenses. It is the successor of successful Nikon F. Instead of an upgrade of Nikon F it is a completely new body only sharing with its predecessor the lenses, some accessories and the philosophy.

There are different versions of the F2 depending on the finder attached to the body. The body comes in chrome or in black. The plain prism finder DE-1 also comes in chrome or in black. All other finders are in black only.

Though very different internally, the F2 was made as ergonomically identical to the original F as possible. Even the weight of the body with the initial DP-1 finder was kept within an ounce of the weight of the departing F with an FTN finder. But the improvements were extensive:

  • Extended shutter speed range of 10s to 1/2000 and 1/80 flash sync
  • ISO 6 to 6400 with initial DP-1 head
  • Larger reflex mirror to minimize viewfinder vignetting with some lenses
  • Shorter 120 degree stroke, and integrated On/off switch in film advance lever
  • Rounded contour body for better ergonomics
  • Rewind crank with a 6mm raised position for easier manual film rewinding
  • Removable hinged back

The variants[]

Standard F2[]

  • 1971
  • With plain prism finder DE-1

F2 Photomic[]

  • 1971
  • With finder DP-1; uses semi-auto indexing so that the twist-twist must be done when mounting a lens. The prong on the lens communicates the aperture setting to the finder.


  • Focusing: Screen Type K: Fresnel matte lens, w/ Split-image rangefinder with Microprism collar, w/ a 12 mm etched circle indicating the area of the meter center-weighting
    • Type K is standard, interchangeable with many other type screens
  • Shutter: horizontal-travel focal plane shutter with titanium shutter curtains, mechanical
    • Normal speeds: 1 - 1/2000 +B, setting: dial on top of the camera coupled with the speed dial of the finder DP-1,
    • Automatic extra long exposure speeds: 2-10 seconds, setting: set the speed dial to B, then lift and turn the T-L fingerguard lever around the shutter release to T, then turn the self timer lever to desired exposure, scale on the lever, (also for self timer delay times), then press the shutter release
    • Manual T exposure: speed dial on B, T-L fingerguard lever on T
  • Shutter release: with threaded collar accepts Nikon F and F2-type cable releases
    • T-L fingerguard lever (T for manual automatic long time exposures, L for locking the shutter, the normal position is the notche of the ring on the middle), make sure that after the time exposure set the lever to its normal position, otherwise the button will not pop-up
  • Mirror: Automatic instant-return type with lockup facility, lever on the rigtht-front side of the camera with DOF preview button on it
  • Viewfinder: Eyelevel SLR Pentaprism, Nikon Photomic Finder DP-1, (manufactured from 1971 to 1977)
    • Incorporates a precise center-weighted CdS exposure metering system which couples with the camera's lens aperture and shutter speed controls
    • A small window on front of the DP-1 displays max. aperture of the lens
    • Flash ready-light contact, on the right side
    • DP-1 is standard for F2 Photomic, interchangeable with many other finders and focusing screens
  • Finder release: by pressing down the lever after depressing the knob on it, on the right of the finder, and then depressing the small silver knob on the back of the top plate, (the latter also releases the screen after removing the finder)
  • Exposure meter: TTL CdS two cell light meter, Shutter-priority control, 60/40 percent Center-weighted, full-aperture measurement,
    • ASA range: 6 - 6400, setting dial and ring on the DP-1, lift and turn
    • Metering range: EV 1 -19 on 100 ASA
  • Exposure setting: manual, center-the-needle pointer moving between horizontally arranged +/– (over / under exposure) markers, at the bottom of the viewfinder, by turning the aperture ring or speed dial, speed and aperture are visible in the viewfinder.
    • The needle array is duplicated on the top of the DP-1 head to allow exposure control without looking through the viewfinder.
  • Body: heavy, all metal, Weight: 1134g w/ DP1 and lens
  • Battery: only for exposure meter, 3v, (two 1.5v silver oxide, eg.SR44/EPX76 / two 1.5v alkaline eg.LR44 / 3v lithium),
    • Battery chamber: on the bottom plate,
    • Battery check: when power is on, pressing the small button on front of the DP-1, moves the metering needle to left, the batteries are OK
    • On/off switch: the power is on: slightly pull-out the winding lever to uncover the red dot, off when it retracted.

F2 Photomic S[]

  • 1973
  • With finder DP-2; DP-2 is similar to DP-1 except it uses diodes instead of needles to show over- or under-exposure.

F2 Photomic SB[]

  • 1976
  • With finder DP-3; DP-3 is an improvement of DP-2 using silicon-blue cells.

F2 Photomic A[]

  • With finder DP-11, which is the auto-indexing version of DP-1. An auto-indexing finder does not need the lens prong to indicate the aperture setting.

F2 Photomic AS[]

  • With finder DP-12, which is the auto-indexing version of DP-3.
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Images by John Kahrs (Image rights)

F2 Titan[]

  • 1978
  • Body made the Titanium
  • Titan DE-1 finder
  • There are three titan-versions of the F2
    • First one with "Titan" lettering on the front
    • Second one without this lettering, serial numbers read F2 920xxxx

Notes and references[]

  1. F2 body serial/manufacturing year data, F2 body features/typology are as Richard de Stoutz


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Literature and manuals[]

Nikon Cameras