First Shots with Nikon FM2n 35mm Film Camera

I've shot two rolls of film with the Nikon FM2n that I purchased from some of the funds made selling the too hefty Voigtlander Nokton f1.1 lens. The first roll was a roll of Tri-X 400 that I quickly loaded on the way to a concert at the Highline Ballroom in Chelsea. I set the ISO to 1600 and then briefly wondered if testing out a new camera in a dark concert hall was the smartest thing. It wasn't. Manual focusing with an SLR in a dark room is challenging. I used Brendan Benson's nose (sorry, Dude) as the straight-ish line to align the split image circle in the center. Some of my images came out blurry and unfocused. But a few look great. I developed these in Kodak D-76 (stock solution) for 9.5 minutes. Brendan Benson at the Highline Ballroom

Kate and I are both HUGE Brendan Benson fans. Check out her blog post from the show.

Next, I grabbed a roll of Kodak Portra 160 NC and loaded it on Sunday morning before we had brunch in the West Village. These were developed and scanned by my pal Jeff at Duane Reade. No post processing. These first two images I opened up the Nikon 50mm to its maximum aperture of f1.4 just to see how soft the lens is at 1.4. Looks good to me. There's some softness, but the out of focus areas are pleasing.

Greenwich Village birdhouses right across from Morandi

This window for Greenwich Letterpress stopped us both in our tracks. The Kodak Portra film is very true to life, if not a bit dark in this shot. But the combination of the subject and the medium of film looks fantastic.

Kate's Nails at Pete's Tavern later the same day

I'm definitely liking this camera. There is a tactile pleasure you get from handling a solid (like a tank solid) SLR from the late 1970s/early 1980s that can't be matched by modern plastic cameras. My Nikon D90 feels like a cheap toy by comparison. With this camera, I have another 35mm to join the Leica and Olympus OM-1. I can have three different films loaded into each one and just grab whichever one is most appropriate for my destination that day. That gives me ultimate flexibility.