The Nikon FM2 and FM2n are some of my favourite cameras and my main personal camera has been the FM2 for a really long time, so I’ve learned a lot about them over that time.
There isn’t much difference at all between the FM2 and FM2n, just the flash sync speeds and the type of shutter, but I’ll go into a bit more detail on differences in price and other small changes too!
A Brief History Of These Two Bad Boys
In 1982 Nikon decided to produce one of the best SLR cameras going, the Nikon FM2. Initially introduced at $345 in the US, the FM2 was known as the professional’s second camera because it was so reliable and could house so many great lenses.
In 84′ the FM2n was produced (the ‘n’ meaning ‘new’), but both the FM2 and FM2n say FM2 on the front of the camera, the FM2n just has a small N at the beginning of the serial number on the back of the camera.
The FM2n just had a few upgrades and changes (which I’ll quickly go over in this article), but the FM2 is very similar and it’s still a brilliant camera too.
With 1/4000th of a second shutter speed, the FM2 was something special for the time and it made it ideal for a professional who needed a super durable camera.
What’s The Difference?
When I used the two of these cameras, I didn’t notice any difference at all, I had to read up to find out what difference there actually is.
Flash Sync Speed
One key difference is that the FM2n has a flash sync speed of 1/250th of a second and the FM2 has a sync speed of 1/200. This isn’t a big difference and from my research, I can see that people say the FM2 would still sync at 1/250 anyway.
These days, the difference between a 1/200 and 1/250 flash sync speed isn’t a big deal in film photography, it’s not something that would have much of an impact on anything at all. If you’re not planning on shooting with flash then it definitely won’t mean anything to you.
The FM2 was originally produced with a titanium shutter and some of the early FM2n’s had a titanium shutter too. Eventually, Nikon changed to Aluminium shutters and many people believed that this would reduce the quality of the shutter.
I can’t see any evidence of a reduction in quality. Nikon seemed happy that the aluminium shutter could do all the same things that the titanium shutter could at a significant reduction of cost.
Nikon also stated that producing the titanium shutter ‘produced environmentally unfriendly byproducts’ which may or may not be true.
But in simple terms, it doesn’t seem that the change to aluminium shutters had any negative impact on the FM2n and if anything, the titanium shutter of the FM2 was more fragile.
The last difference in the build of the FM2n is the focusing screen which was apparently 1 stop brighter in the FM2n than the FM2.
Though this isn’t a big difference, it’s definitely a handy change that makes the user experience a bit better.
Once again, I’ve used both and personally, I haven’t noticed any differences at all.
Both the Nikon FM2 and FM2N hover around £250-350 when sold with a lens. I think the difference in price usually comes when people want a titanium shutter rather than an aluminium one (which doesn’t really make much difference anyway.
Otherwise, the Nikon FM2n/T goes for more as it has a titanium body.
Which Is The Best Then?
I don’t think there’s much difference between these two cameras and the question of which one is better is more to do with personal preference than anything. Some people may think the FM2 is better because of its titanium shutter, whereas, some people may think the FM2n is better due to its flash sync speed and focusing screen.
I would say that in today’s market, the FM2n may be a bit better because it’s slightly more recent so there’s less likelihood of there being any issues but the FM series is notoriously hardy, so it’s unlikely that you’ll have any problem with it anyway!
There is very little difference between the FM2 and FM2n, nothing aesthetic and nothing that really impacts the performance of the camera. The simple differences are the flash sync speed, shutter curtains and the focusing screen.
I use the FM2 and I’ve seen no drop-off in performance or anything of that nature. They’re both great cameras that shoot really well, there’s not really a notable price difference between them and they both look exactly the same.
If I were you, I’d effectively treat them as if they were exactly the same, the FM2n may just be very slightly better than the FM2 but not by much at all.
If you’re considering getting one of these cameras, I definitely think that you should because they’re pretty brilliant.