(Serial Number 1600/2000)

The package contains
FM2n Champaign Colour Body
Nikkor AIS 50mm f/1.4 lens
Original FM2 Camera Strap
3v Lithium Battery
 Black Round Rubber for mounting the FM2n to tripod
FM2n black and white manual
Lens manual
One warranty card for the Millennium Edition



Dream Comes  t r u e ...

After dreaming for a FM2n camera for quite some times, finally I have the 2000 Limited Edition FM2 Millennium Kit! I received this kit on the 30th May 2000. This is about 2 months after I saw the first advertisement in the newspaper. In Johor, there is no stock available or very few only available of this limited edition. FM2 Millennium Kit very very demanding and have been booked by collectors long before they arrive. My Dragon was bought from a shop in Kuala Lumpur, where I ask the shop to send the Dragon to me through Poslaju. Thanks to MC Lau who introduces the shop to me. I also be able to obtain a good serial number for my Dragon: 1600/2000! I like the 00 ending...


    Opening up the packing, come to my eyes is a white box with the Nikon FM2 Kit Millennium 2000 Units Limited Edition wording on it. Inside the white box is a very shinning gold box with slightly smaller size, and manuals, warranty card...for the Nikon FM2n and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AIS lens. Opening the gold box with excitement, comes to my eyes is a champagne colour FM2n and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AIS lens lay comfortably in a red shinning colour silk cloth. The FM2 Kit Millennium Edition is very well presented in a Gold colour card box. Please take note take the Millennium Edition is actually come in 2 box, outer is white box, stating the word Nikon FM2 Kit Millennium 2000 Units Limited Edition, and inside is a gold colour box stating only Nikon FM2 Kit Millennium Edition. Nikon has always been using gold box for their camera and lens packing and personally I think this is a very good psychological strategy, as it gives the impression that their stuff are elegant and high class! Some people are even selling the Nikon box at high price! So, do remember to keep your Nikon box good and safe!



The Body

    Lifting up the FM2n, wow...what a solid piece of craftsmanship! The FM2n feels very compact but yet the weight gives me the confidence that it is very reliable. Observing carefully, the champagne colour is very well and carefully painted on the body. Looks like the chrome model but different in colour. Why I say that? Because I have owned a FM2n chrome model before. However, the champagne colour gives a elegant and royal feel to the Limited Edition. What distinguish clearly the differences between the Limited Edition and a ordinary FM2n, besides the champagne colour is perhaps the specially made Gold Dragon embarked in resin. Studying the dragon carefully, wow, you should see it yourself how detail and fine the dragon made. You can see every detail of the dragon, from nose to tail. Just a guess, I think the dragon is made with real gold, can anyone confirm it? Since the dragon is not so big, about 2cm including the resin, so it wouldn't cost much for Nikon to make it in gold...



The lens

    The lens is a piece of jewels, quite heavy for its size, even my zoom lens is lighter than it! Now I can deeply understand the Chinese phrase "one cent one goods". You really get what you pay for. In the current market price (May 2000), the lens is sold for RM1200, which is triple the price of a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AIS. If you are budget conscious, I would suggest you go for the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AIS since their image quality is not much different. Some people even say that the 50mm f/1.8 is sharper. I don't have both lens so I can't compare. However, I can assure you that the 50mm f/1.4 is a very sharp lens. Ok, back to topic, the lens ring is also finished in champagne colour, which makes it a perfect match for the body. Good effort makes by Nikon. The lens has aperture value from 1.4 to 16. The aperture clicks stop perfectly...every stop clicks smooth and accurate. The focusing ring is another credit. Large focusing barrel makes focusing easy. The focusing ring is not loose likes today AF lens and thus makes focusing a pleasant.



Other Stuff
    Other than the FM2n body and lens, the Millennium Edition also comes with an original FM2 camera strap, 3v lithium battery, black round rubber,FM2n manual, lens manual, and a warranty card. The camera strap is about 4cm wide, black colour with yellow colour Nikon writing on it. I have never seen this strap being sell in any camera store or Nikon catalogue so I guess it is a special strap exclusively makes for the Millennium Edition. Nikon has never give strap for its FM2 model! The battery is Sanyo brand and can be bought in any camera shop. The black round rubber is used when mounting the FM2n to tripod to create some space clearance between the camera and tripod and lens. The FM2n and lens manuals is just the ordinary manuals and no special mention the limited edition. There is only one piece of warranty card stating the word Nikon FM2 Dragon Model Kit on it with the serial number 1600/2000.




Lazy Nikon?
    One thing to take note regarding the FM2n body is that the battery cover is just an ordinary silver colour cover. Maybe Nikon just want to save some cost in producing a champagne colour battery cover and that is really embarrassing! A Millennium Edition camera should be one that is perfect in all way...at least cosmetically. The silver colour battery cover makes the body not as perfect as I fist thought. FM2/T shows the same laziness of Nikon too...


    After toying the FM2 Millennium Edition for some times, I find the viewfinder of the FM2n is very uncomfortable to view for people like me who wears spectacle. It is really hard to view the entire frame with my spec on. I have both -700 for my eyesight, so I must wear spec when photographing. The viewfinder is so uncomfortable for me...I have to turn from certain angle to another just to check the +o- sign and the shutter speed value. Worst if I want to see the aperture value. Dark...ai...although it is a good camera, but I really don't think it suites spec wearer very well. Did you wear spec? If so, you might want to consider other Nikon body, a F3HP maybe (not fully mechanical, need battery to operate)...but at a price which you would rather compromise for the uncomfortable viewing. Nikon has just one all mechanical camera in production nowadays...so no other choice if you insist on a mechanical body. However, since this Millennium Edition is not meant for daily use, so I still willing and happy to pay a high price for it! In fact, I will buy another FM2 model end of this month...ha! Not ordinary FM2 but the FM2/T!

(my Dragon and Titan)


Should You Buy It?
    Is the FM2 Millennium Edition worth for the money spend? My answer is yes and no. If you plan to buy a Nikon FM2n and a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AIS lens, then this Millennium Edition is definitely the right choice. By just adding another few hundred Ringgit, you get the Millennium Limited Edition! You will definitely has a better resale value in the future compare to the ordinary FM2n and lens. However, if you are budget conscious and just want a FM2n and a cheaper lens with good quality, then I would suggest you go for a mint FM2n and a 50mm f/1.8 lens. You will at least save more than RM1500 for that.

ps: The BF-1A black body cap in the picture is not include in the original package. Nikon gives a cheap translucent body cap...


On the other hand, Nikon has not have many limited edition camera, so this is definitely a good choice for collector or even camera user to invest into. A single model to commemorative both the Chinese Dragon Year and the New Millennium is definitely very attractive and will become a hot collection for everybody.


Here's more photos of my dragon...


Update 11th July 2001: Are there two thousands and one pieces (2001) of this Millennium set or just two thousands set (2000)? Is there any one with 2000/2000 serial number? I saw one with serial number starting at 0000/2000...anyone knows who is the owner of it?


Update 12th July 2001: Today, I heard that this 0000/2000 is a dummy set, which means a demo set only. 




Update 18th September 2004: After four years into photography, I still have my Dragon with me. In year 2002, Nikon has discontinued the legendary FM2 and replaced it with a new model FM3A. Price of new FM2 has gone up high after that, and new FM2 has becomes collector's item. So...this limited edition FM2 Millennium will remain sort after collector item.


I have updated my Dragon's page with new and much better photos that I took using my Fujifilm S2 Pro digital SLR. Hope this page can give you more idea of how nice the Dragon is... :))


I have sold my TITAN in year 2002...sadly...else it would make a really nice companion to my Dragon... :'(


Motordrive MD12

Update 25th September 2004: I bought a Nikon MD12 few months ago...have been wanting this accessory for the FM, FM2, FE2...etc. that I have. My MD12 is in near mint condition...which is a very good sample to keep in collection with my Dragon. With care, I mounted the MD12 to my Dragon and took some photos of them, to share in the net :)





Talking about MD12 here, I might was well share my experience of the accessory. I tested the MD12 with my Nikon FM, FM2, and FE2. On the FM2, the MD12 fire smoothly without any problem. On the FM2, same. However, need to note that if you pull the film advance level of the camera out, then the motordrive will not advance the film but hang! Need not worry, what you need to do is just close the film advance level back, then the motordrive will continue advancing the film. However, on the FE2 this is different. You must make sure that you close the film advance level all the time. If you pull the film advance level out while the FE2 is on the motordrive, then the motordrive will hang and you can continue using. You have to dismantle the FE2 from the motordrive. Then close the advance level of the camera and mount it back to the motordrive. I am not sure if this is the problem with the particular sample of my MD12 or FE2 though...


So, how's the feel of the MD12 on the FM/FE series? MD12 makes handholding the camera firmer. You can be confident in holding the cam and shoot continuously. However, changing the shutter speed becomes troublesome as the film advance level of the camera comes in the way...and you can't pull the film advance level out. Another note...MD12 makes advancing of film easy...but LOUD! The sound level is so loud that I don't think it is good if you are shooting wedding or quiet and formal events.


I can't foresee myself using the MD12 with my FE2 or FM2...as I find it destroy the purpose of having a light and fun MANUAL camera. Though I would love to keep the MD12 as part of the collection with my Dragon, but I due to preparing myself studying in Japan (for three~four years in PhD.) in year 2005, I am selling the MD12 away...trimming down the stuff in my drybox and keeping/bringing only those that are really necessary with me.