I've both an F2A and an F2AS. The difference on the finishing of their prisms is evident, the DP11 (A) being simply painted while the DP12 (AS) has that kind of painting usually reserved for Nikon's titanum black bodies I know (F2 Titan, F3T), and some newer "pro" lenses like the 85/1.4D. Fine. It could be only a paint difference but, as curiosity was ever growing, another day I gently applied different levels of pressure to both prisms and what I found was that the DP11 is somewhat flexible while the DP12 is solid as a rock, what makes me wonder if it's made of titanium. Oh, they're still intact, I'm very gentle with my hands I've searched the web to confirm this but haven't found any word on it. Can any of you fellow Nikonians help me kill this curiosity?
Jose, The definitive F2 person is Sover Wong out of London England. You can Google him to get his email address. If anyone knows it will be him. I have two F2AS's, and I don't believe the prism covers are Titanium, but I'm not certain. I've certainly seen damaged DP-12's for sale on ebay, so I suspect they weren't Titanium.
following rbsinto's suggestion I contacted Mr Wong (how come I forgot him???), THE expert on these cameras and he told me they're made of brass. I must say that I was quite surprised since, on my mind, brass is somewhat flexible, like the DP11's cover, and the DP12 seems irreductible to pression. Maybe a special league, who knows... Try this test on yours someday then tell me if you noticed any difference. But don't take it too serious on pressure, ok?
In terms of speaking about this camera in ourdays.... But I want to give my opinion even I am using the F5 and I will have to go to digital for my job, that the F2 AS was the better camera Nikon even gave us....remember that the measuring system was in the FM and FM2 models.....
I agree. Holding one, admiring its design, you understand better what craftsman means. The design is focused on function but with an elegance hardly seen. Its weight, balance, is amazing. With a light lens you feel the body's weight only. With a long tele, it works as if both became one to make something close to a 50/50 weight distribuition, the camera neutralizing the large front element of the long tele. Those who ever faced this situation with an FM know what I mean.
Holding a very used one you can't stop wondering how many histories it has lived to get those scars. A mint- one (Like my black F2A), makes you wonder should you use it or not. Then you consider yourself blessed to be the one who'll live histories with that precious companion.
It's not subtle like a Leica, but it wasn't made to be. It has presence, imposes respect. It was created to support. Heavy use, the elements, you and you photography. This (F2 in general) is a camera everyone who considers yourself something close to a serious photographer should pass some time with. It is back to basics, just you, light, speed and aperture.
With me it was love at first sight, by 1976 I guess. But this passion was only realized about 4 years ago, when I bought my mint- F2A, then my F2AS with many histories to tell. Both black, beautiful and still impressive. A real sample of how enduring can quality precision mechanical instruments be.
I like to compare it to Rolex's Submariner model. Both were made to last. Period.
Congratulations, Andy! All three are really impressive. Just don't forget to use them. That F is a temptation... Someday I'll have to adopt one, hehehe... And an F4... After that I think I can jump the F5 to an F6. Well, it'll take some time. thank God they last.