Retro Review: Nikon N2020 "For the Professional Photographer, Timing is Everything"

This Nikon N-2020 came with an awesome strap, leather case and you can
see the Grandpa key chain connected to the strap.
   This is my first experience with and my first review of a Nikon Camera. I used to be, but I'm not longer the type of photographer that tries to argue about which brand is better(Canon, Nikon, Sony, Leica, ... etc.) I don't think this is like the Nintendo/Sega video game console wars of the 80s and 90s. If I had the money and time, there's no telling what brand of camera I'd own.
      There are a lot of factors for photographers - both professional and casual - to take into account. Style, ease of use, compatibility (with other lenses), low light performance, megapixels and recommendations from bloggers, friends and photographers that they admire. Your choice of camera is a very personal one.. and it is sometimes a permanent one.
      Often times a camera will even outlive it's owner. As you know from some of my previous posts, my dad's camera did outlive my father.. but only by a few years. But, I have been able to fix and use several other older cameras. These cameras get passed down to grandchildren, children, friends. Sometimes they're useless. Sometime they're just a diamond in a rough that needs a polish and a sparkle. Today, I get to review a diamond in the rough. 

     This is the Nikon N-2020 or the F-501 in some countries. Wikipedia calls it Nikon's first successful auto-focus SLR camera. It has retained some value. It goes for as much at $125 on Ebay. At that price it sounds like a good camera for a student in a photography class.  The TV commercial for this camera billed it as professional camera for the amateur... "For the Professional Photographer timing is everything.. something most amateur photographers can't do." Not to mention, the $55 rebate. For 1987... that had to be at least worth $200.
The awesome psychedelic neckstrap
     This one came to me through a co-worker. An inherited camera that didn't quite work anymore. I opened up the battery compartment first. Surprised, I found new batteries inside. I opened it up a little more.There was an adapter for the battery compartment to accept AA batteries instead of AAA batteries.

My first soldering job
   I was looking for corroded battery contacts. (if you notice your camera has been sitting around for more than 2 or 3 weeks.. or worse months without activity, take the batteries out) What I found was actually one missing batter contact. After a quick self-taught lesson in soldering,.. I replaced the batteries to find that the camera was working just fine.
How does it work?
The Nikon DF. You can see the simlarities
between the two cameras
      Compared to some of the other film camera's I've reviewed this one lives up to is professional camera billing. It also Reminds me of the new Df. It has a dial or a button for everything. There's an ISO dial, an exposure compensation dial, Shutter Speed Dial, option for auto shutter speed,  aperature priority, Continuous shooting, Single shot, Auto exposure lock button, Autofocus lock button. Manual focus or continuous focus, or single shot. There's a switch to turn the beep on and off -- My dog, Daisey, hates the beep. There is of course a shot indicator for the film. You can put ISO in DX mode.. which opens up a lot more flexibility for your camera. The Shutter sound is pretty cool. If this was my first camera, I probably would have been a Nikon fan boy for life.

Auto-Exposure lock and Auto-focus lock

Shutter Speed Selector, beep on-off switch, shutter release

ISO selector

Auto focus/manual focus selector, Manual, Continuous, Single



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