Having fun with the N2000

27 Apr

(… Continues from previous post.) At first, as I tended to try out all its features and use it to its full capability, I had to search on Internet and download the manual – yes, it’s still available after twenty-some years thanks to the enthusiasts. After figured out what each button does, I took it out for shooting and the fun began.

As there is no instant feedback – LCD screen – on film cameras, and I didn’t want to waste films either even thought they are now inexpensive to purchase and develop, I tried to make the best of each shot, imagining what the image should look like, framed carefully, adjusted exposure to my best guess and focused precisely. But it’s extremely difficult to do all that outdoor on a day at -5°C. It’s even worse when there were wind gusts.

There are 3 ways of focusing on these old film cameras. Auto focus is not one of them. It has to be done manually and be precise. Otherwise, I was just wasting time and money. Unless I’m an abstractionist, an out of focus image is not interesting at all. Practicing is the key, then use different focus method depending on the scene.

When my cousin showed me the camera, it was already loaded with a Fujifilm ISO 800 roll. Somehow I got the impression it was a roll of Black & White films. So when taking pictures with it, I pre-visualized how each the scene should look without colors, and purposely set the exposure, framed from certain angle and made all elements work together. It was when I almost finished the roll did I realize they were color films. Therefore, when the time came to make digital copies, I scanned them straight into B&W images without second thoughts.

My friend Jacques Oulé, a great photographer particularly in B&W images, was kind to let me use his professional grade Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 ED film scanner at home. Although it’s been years old and Nikon even has discontinued supporting it, it’s still quite an amazing machine. At ISO 800, the films are highly sensitive. There is no doubt the resulting images are somewhat grainy. Since it was the first time for me to use this type of film camera, trying to get a hang of the old manual focusing methods, and not to mention staying outdoor in the cold weather, I only got 10 out of 24 images that are satisfiable. There weren’t many post processing being done other than scanning the films and cropping the images a little bit, because I wanted you show you how the almost 30 years old N2000 performs and therefore didn’t deliberately change the exposure, contrast, highlight & shadows and so on on the digital images. If photography is your hobby and you can find one of these old treasures, it’s definitely joyful to play with it.

Copyright © 2012 Jenson Yu. All rights reserved.

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2 responses to “Having fun with the N2000

  1. FromTheEditorsDesk

    April 25, 2013 at 3:13 am

    Hi. I got my n2000 in 1985 and have used it ever since. after shooting a bunch of digital I’m not so happy. I will go back to more film. I upgraded to a f3. But actually the N2000 (and the fa) are the only 2 cams to do full program mode with ais lenses. so it’s actually pretty awesome!

    • Jenson Yu

      April 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      One has to know film cameras (whatever model) really well to take full advantage of them. Then it’s fun and joy.


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