Nikon's Honeycomb-Pattern Titanium Shutter
Shared Resources for Nikon FM2/FM2n/FE2/FA

 

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In 1982, Nikon introduced the FM2. It has a new breakthrough in shutter design that has extended the upper shutter speed limit of commercially available SLRs to 1/4000 sec, while in the mean time, boost the sync speed to 1/200 sec. The shutter was used in a few of the camera models like the FE2, early versions of Nikon FM2n and the Nikon FA. Up to 1988, where along with the development of the F 801 and the professional F4, Nikon has developed a newer shutter design which claimed to have a more stable performance, the famous Titanium shutter was finally replaced with an aluminum alloy version for the FM2n in 1989. The shutter was so sucessful that Nikon FM3a which was introduced in 2002 was also using virtually the same shutter design.
Those days, it was considered a barrier where common mid-priced models were limiting the shutter speed at either 1/2000 sec or more commonly, with 1/1000 sec. Generally, the pro-oriented models were employed with horizontally traveled shutter curtain as opposed to vertical traveled shutter. Thus, the breakthrough was generally considered as 'extraordinary', after all, it was also the first vertically traveling honeycombed titanium shutter. Because, to increase the shutter speed to 1/4000 second, it was necessary to reduce the traveling mass of the shutter curtains. Titanium was chosen, because it has a low specific gravity. It is over one third lower than other metal alloys, secondly, Nikon has a long tradition of using Titanium as the choice of material for the professional F models in Nikon F, F2 series and up to the stage of Nikon F3 and thus, developed a wealth of experience and knowledge relating to its metal characteristic. After all, in terms of marketing, the metal's natural behavior is synonymous with strength and durability, and it gel along with Nikon's product identity, why not ?

Shutter Display.jpg (13k)
The Titanium shutter design was a pride of the Nikon technical team. Facts remained it was the core shutter used for many of the midrange Nikon models. Nikon has produced many of these souvenir to stamp users' confidence. This is one of the very well kept display model by one of the dealer. Unfortunately, it was sealed at all corners and un able to take a closer look due to reflection.
One has to remember that during the early part of the eighties, there are still some camera companies still make their shutters from cloth or silk, which could or may mildew and tear under the extremes of weather condition. However, the use of metal alloy is gaining momentum, so did the vertical traveled shutter concept. That is why, the effort was generally considered a positive move especially by a relatively conservative company like Nikon.


Credit: Mr. Michael Tan of Pertama Photo Tel: 2926505

Prior to the FM2, the Nikon FM, as with the earlier mechanical or electronic bodies like the FT3, the EL2 and the Nikon FE were using copal shutter. The Titanium shutter curtains introduced, are etched in a unusually looking, modified honeycomb pattern. The etching reduces their thickness, thus reducing their weight by nearly 60%. The honeycomb structure also increases the rigidity of the curtains, so no warping results that could allow light to leak in. For added strength, the curtains are treated through a special nitrite process. To minimize friction, the shutter bearing is made using a special oilless metal This ensures stable performance even at very low temperatures. Finally, the shutter curtain brakes have been enlarged to maintain bounce-free stops at all speeds. The overall result is not only a shutter that's twice as fast as the earlier models. Not many users aware that even within the same titanium honeycombed pattern, Nikon has went through several improvement to enhance its performance and reliability. Most significant was, of cause the upgrade in the sync speed of 1/250 sec from the original X200 (Appeared on the shutter speed scale of the FM2 as a separate shutter speed setting) - first seen in the FE2 and the followed by the multimode FA and the FM2 was eventually used the improved curtain which boosted a slightly higher sync in 1/250 sec. with the titanium shutter (Replaced with Aluminum Alloy in 1989, but model's designation remains - thus, more or less, if you have an FM2n, by judging from the shutter, you should have a rough idea of the year made). The model was generally referred as FM2n or New FM2 in Japan.

The aim is high indeed, because based on an internal technical information guide, the improved Titanium shutter has a target endurance of achieving a minimum of 100,000 exposure cycles (Approx. 2,777 rolls of 36 exposures), i.e. two-third the target of the professional class models of minimum 150,000 ! Most of the camera in its class and competition were only aim at 50,000 cycles. Began from 1985, with the exception of the FM2 (With X200 sync), the shutter blades for the titanium shutter can be ordered as parts, which is shared among all the early FM2n (models before 1989), FE2 and the FA. The blades for the original FM2 is separate from the part list (Check with your Local Nikon distributors). Why is it important ? Oh... replacement parts is always cheaper than replacing the whole shutter, huh ?

| Next | The Assembly and improvements

New Update: A Nikon FE2 with Aluminum Shutter which may affect some content appeared in this site. Contributed by: William F Kleimenhagen <compleatangler1@juno.com>

Shared Resources: MD-11 | MD-12 | 3rd Party Power Winder Only for FM2(n)/FE2/FA | Focusing Screens | Titanium Shutter | Flash Units - | SB-15 | SB-10 | SB-16B & Other Options | Databack | Nikkor lens mount (related info)

| Nikon FM series | Nikon FE series | Nikon FA |

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Shared Resources: MD-11 | MD-12 | 3rd Party Power Winder Only for FM2(n)/FE2/FA | Focusing Screens | Titanium Shutter | Flash Units - | SB-15 | SB-10 | SB-16B & Other Options | Databack | Nikkor lens mount (related info)

Others:- Nikon AF-TTL Speedlights | SB-20 (1986) | SB-22 (1987) | SB-23 | SB-24 (1988) | SB-25 (1991/2) | SB-26 (1994) | SB-27(1997) | SB-28 (1997) | Nikon SB-29(s) (2000) | Nikon SB-30 (2003) | Nikon SB-600 (2004) | Nikon SB-800 (2003) Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight DX-Series: Nikon SB-28DX (1999) | SB-50DX (2001) | SB-80DX (2002)

Nikon BC-flash Series | Original Nikon Speedlight
SB-2 | SB-3 | SB-4 | SB-5 | SB-6 | SB-7E | SB-8E | SB-9 | SB-E | SB-10
SB-11
| SB-12 | SB-14 | SB-140 UV-IR| SB-15 | SB16A | SB-17 | SB-18, SB-19 | SB-21A (SB-29) Macro flash | Flash Accesories | SF-1 Pilot Lamp


weblibrary.gif   Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat | Nikon FM | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:- Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

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Index Page
  Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm


MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/nikonfmount/lens2.htm
http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/serialno.html

W A R N I N G: The New G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have no aperture ring on the lens, they CANNOT ADJUST APERTURES with any of these manual focus Nikon FE series SLR camera models; please ignore some portion of the content contained herein this site where it relates.

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A contributing effort to Michael C Liu's Classic Nikon Site.

Credit: Chuck Hester for some of his beautiful images used in this site; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input; Lars Holst Hansen, Danish 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion; Mr Poon from Poon photo for their input; Ms Miss Rissa (Sales Manager) & members of the Technical Service dept. of Shriro Malaysia, local distributor of Nikon cameras in Malaysia & Singapore, in providing so many useful input to make this site possible. Special thanks to Mr MC Lau, who has helped with his images of the MF-12 databack. Michael Tan, Pertama Photo (603-2926505) for lending his original Titanium Shutter Display Unit. Dave Hoyt who has prepared the introductory page and offer some images of his FE2 in this site.. Hiura Shinsaku, Nikomat ML, Japan for his contribution on all the various images; A contributing site to a long lost friend on the Net. Note: Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their own work to publish in this site based on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such possible dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Made witha PowerMac.