Now that I’ve finished one exam, I can take a small break to get back into my hobby – photography.
A few months ago still in the winter, by chance, my cousin mentioned and showed me he still owned, although had not much used any more, an old film camera. It happens to be a Nikon as well – the N2000. I couldn’t refuse the temptation and played with it for a couple of weeks.
I used to have a compact Olympus μ[mju:] (http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Olympus_µ), a gift from my father that I used till 2003. It’s a palm-sized point-and-shoot camera with only few features. When I hold this 35mm full frame Nikon N2000 in my hands, knowing and appreciating it’s capabilities, there are so much joy and excitement. (My D5000 DSLR is not a full frame model. Simply put, full frame means better sensors in the camera body which in turn yield much better performance. Comparatively, the sensor in D5000 is 1.5 times smaller; the Canon Rebel series are 1.6 times smaller. Today, digital full frame SLRs cost at least $2,400 USD before putting on a lens.)
N2000 is the product name in North America. In Japanese market, it’s marketed as F301. The F-series, first appeared in 1959, was world-renowned full frame SLR cameras that drew the eyes of general public away from the then kings of camera manufacturers, Leica and Zeiss from Germany. The latest model, F6, is still officially available. In 1985’s product line, F301/N2000 was one of the entry, lower end models. Sort of like where the D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100 are positioned in today’s Nikon DSLR line. But it was the first Nikon that came without a conventional film advance lever to advance film. The built-in body integrated film advance motor was capable of enabling automatic film advance rate at a then-impressive 2.5 frames per second. Shutter speeds range was electronically controlled from 1 second to 1/2000 second. Various exposure modes available were aperture priority AE, manual and a dual program mode.
My cousin has two lens for this camera – a Nikkor 50mm AI-S f/1.8 and Carl Zeiss 70-200mm zoom. It is the 50mm prime lens that makes me drool.
In the old days, most full frame camera were sold with a 50mm lens attached as a kit for a few reasons. Not only it’s inexpensive to make, its field of coverage, or say, field of view (40° horizontally, 46° diagonally) is roughly equal to what human eyes can view with relative clarity. It’s a popular choice as a walk around lens for portraits, landscape and many other occasions.
There are three popular variants of 50mm lenses differentiated by the maximum aperture: brightest, high speed and narrowest depth of field f/1.2, popular, good performance f/1.4 and good price value f/1.8. Even at the lesser price point, the f/1.8 lens still provides better bokeh and low light performance than most zoom lenses. (There were once f/2.0 but were discontinued in ’79). The MF (manual focus) AI-S 50mm f/1.8, regarded as Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Mark III by some folks, has minimum focus distance at 0.6m, 6 elements in 5 groups, minimum aperture at f/22 and 7 diaphragm blades. This particular lens in our procession, based on it’s serial number, was likely ’86 or ’87’s production in Japan.
To be continued… I’ll show you more images shot with the N2000 in the next post.
Copyright © 2012 Jenson Yu. All rights reserved.