Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F2A Photomic w/DP-11 Finder
Instruction Manual -
Part IIa

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Film-Advance Lever

The film-advance lever simultaneously advances the film, cocks the shutter and operates the frame counter. It also switches on the exposure meter in the Photomic finder.

To advance the film, stroke the lever with the right thumb in a single stroke (or series of strokes) totaling only 120°. A built-in locking device prevents the shutter from being released unless it is fully cocked and the film advanced a full frame.

At the completion of film advance, release the lever and it will return to the 20° standoff position ready for shutter release. Note: Do not apply pressure to the film-advance lever while making an exposure.

Frame Counter

The frame counter operates automatically to show how many frames have been exposed. When the camera back is opened for loading, the counter is reset to the "S" (start) position, two frames before "0".

Once the camera is loaded and the back closed, each film-advance/ shutter-release sequence will cause the frame counter to advance one position until the maximum 24 or 36 frames have been exposed. The dial of the frame counter is calibrated with dots (for odd numbers) and figures (for even numbers), and with settings of "S," "12," "20" and "36" in red.

T-L Fingerguard

The shutter-release button of the Nikon F2A Photomic camera is fitted with a finger guard that also doubles as the shutter operation mode selector. Set to the middle position, the finger guard provides for normal shutter release via the shutter button.

To lock the shutter to prevent accidental release, lift up and turn the finger guard until the index dot aligns with the "L" (lock) marking. For time exposures preset via the camera's built-in self timer, lift up and turn the finger guard until the index dot aligns with the "T" (time) marking.


The built-in self-timer can be used to trip the shutter after a delay of from 2 to 10 seconds. The numbers marked on the timer scale indicate the delay in seconds.

To take a picture using the self-timer to fire the camera, first set the aperture and shutter-speed controls, advance the film, and cock the self-timer by turning its lever downward until the index line (on the lever) aligns with the figure (on the scale) corresponding to the desired number of seconds delay; then, simply press the small button just above the timer to start the countdown, with shutter release occurring at the completion of the cycle.

Note: the self-timer can be set either before or after advancing film; also, if you decide not to use the self-timer after setting it, simply use the shutter button in the normal way to make the next exposure and to release the self-timer for resetting to the off position.

The self-timer may not be used at the "B" shutter-speed dial setting. Also please note the "red zone" indicated on the timer scale is not possible in the self timer operation. The "2, 4, 6, 8, 10" scale is also used for setting long exposure time when you have set the shutter speed scale to "B".


When the frame counter indicates that the last exposure has been made, or when the film-advance lever can no longer be stroked, the roll of film has been fully exposed and it should be removed.

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To unload the camera, first press the rewind button on the camera base plate; then, unfold the rewind crank, pull it up to the first detent position and turn it in the direction of the engraved arrow, using a smooth, even pressure.

When no more tension is felt and the film advance indicator (the colored dot on the rewind button) stops rotating, the film leader has left the take-up spool and the camera back may be opened.

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After opening the camera back, pull the rewind knob up as far as it will go and remove the film cartridge. Note that as the film advance lever is stroked for the next exposure, the rewind button will be released to engage the film-advance mechanism.

Caution: Be careful not to push the rewind button during film advance operation. Should this occur, the film transport will temporarily stop and double exposure may result.

Note: The camera back can be removed from the body by depressing the locking catch on the hinge. Removal of the camera back is necessary when the camera is used with any accessory back such as the 250 Magazine Back MF-I or the Camera Back MF-3, both for motorized photography.


Camera shake is one of the most common causes of unsharp pictures, especially at slow shutter speeds. Learn to hold the camera correctly and practice steady shutter squeezing. The photos show the best ways to hold the camera for sharp pictures.

Wrap the fingers of the right hand around the camera body so that the index finger rests comfortably on the shutter-release button and the thumb fits between the camera body and the film-advance lever. Position the camera so that the eye looks through the center of the viewfinder. Cradle the camera in the left hand for additional support, with the left thumb and index finger grasping the focusing ring.

From this basic stance, the camera can be properly supported and easily switched from horizontal to vertical format shooting.

As a general rule, the slowest shutter speed you should use with the camera handheld is equal to the reciprocal of the focal length of the lens in use (e.g., for a 500mm lens, use 11500 sec.; for a 105mm lens, use 1/125 sec.), However, as the ability to hold the camera steady may vary with each individual, we recommend that you experiment. In general, the higher the selected shutter speed, the sharper the picture.


For sharp pictures, correct shutter releasing is just as important as steady camera holding. After advancing the film to a fresh frame, the camera is set for shutter release via the button provided at the upper right,

When taking the picture, hold the camera steady (as explained previously), relax and depress the button using a steady even pressure to release the camera's shutter remember, a quick jab of the finger will cause, camera movement and may result in a blurred photograph.

Operation via Cable Release

The shutter-release button can also be operated via a cable release or similar accessory attached via the threaded mount provided. With the cable release, operation is more vibration-free and often leads to sharper images under critical shooting situations such as photomicrography, time exposure, etc.

To attach the cable release (Nikon-mount models AR-2, etc.) to the camera, screw the threaded cable connector onto the mount provided around the button. The shutter is then tripped by depressing the release plunger.

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Credit: Chuck Hester, US for his patience, encouragement and help to setup the various content in this site; Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD appeared in this site; my ex-staff, KiaSu for his superb 3-D logo appeared in this Nikon F2 site; Marc Vorgers from Holland who generously provide me with some of his images of F2AS; MCLau®, who has so much time with me to re-edit the content in this site and not to mention buying a Nikon Coolpix 990 just for this site. Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; again, Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; for their images on the Speed Magny film backs; Sean Cranor for his image on Nikon F2 25th Anniversary Model; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input on some of the early Nikon bodies; CYLeow ® , photo editor of the Star newspaper, Malaysia for some of his images used in this site. Ms Rissa Chan, Sales manager from Shriro Malaysia who has helped to provide some of the very useful input. HiuraShinsaku®, Nikomat ML, Japan for some of his images on various F2 models; my staff, Wati, Maisa, Mai and my nephew, EEWyn®, who volunteered and helping me did so many of the film scanning works. Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell, Mr "Arsenall" and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. Dedicated to KU Yeo, just to express our mutual regrets over the outcome of a recent corporate event. Made with a PowerMac, broadcast with a Redhat Linux powered server.

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