Film: 35mm format
Format/Frame: 36 x 24 mm

…the enormous shutter dial clicks with an affirmative snap for every speed, and the shutter release fires with a satisfyingly smooth and well-dampened action. And to top it all off, the advance lever sports one of the shortest throws of any camera, almost begging you to burn through thirty-six frames as fast as possible.

—Josh Solomon, Casual Photophile

Read Josh’s review of the Nikon FM in its entirety HERE.

My Insights on the Nikon FM

My Nikon FM came to me at a time when I was nearly camera-less.

As I was finishing up my last semester of graduate school in 1988 at Northern Arizona University, I was running low on cash. To keep myself financially afloat as the semester was coming to a close, I started selling my stuff—cross-country skis, record albums, stereo system, furniture, and my Minolta SRT-202 camera system and its various lenses.

I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking I went an entire year without any kind of camera until my brother-in-law gave me his father’s Kodak Pony IV camera. It was hardly a replacement for my Minolta system, but I did like the retro feel of it, so I started shooting with it—not as much as in the past, but I wasn’t afraid to use it for any given event.

In 1990 when I started working at Northland Printing in Flagstaff, my old supervisor at NAU (who was a photography professor) sold me his extra Nikon FM for a song, and I was back into photography once again.

Over the next few years, I started adding lenses to the FM and found a used motor drive, and the next thing I knew, my Nikon system had seamlessly replaced my Minolta system from only a few years earlier.

The Nikon has remained with me since, while getting the most use out of it between 1990 and 1995 before I started purchasing other cameras. Today, I even have a Nikon FM2 as well , but that’s a story for another time.