I was looking for a Nikon FE/FM/FM2 at the beginning of thIs year, 2015. I'd thoroughly enjoyed dipping my fingers back in to the film pie and had bought a very cheap Yashica Electro 35 GT rangefinder and an even cheaper Yashica FX-3 to shoot some rolls of 35mm film. The Electro was a bargain from Italy and included wide angle and telephoto filters and the FX-3 had its vinyl covering falling off; I re-covered it and is now my infamous 'carbon fibre' FX-3.
Both of these cameras had built in light meters which have proven accurate in their exposure readings and although both were great fun to use I wanted to make use of the Nikkor lenses I have.
Nikon have a very strong choice of film cameras available and the F body range are rightly known as absolute work horses by those who shoot with them. The FE, FM and FM2 were the models I was keeping a casual eye out for on various for sale sites when something rather interesting showed up.
There was a Nikon FM for sale in Germany on eBay but it had two very different features about it. Firstly it had a 45mm f/2.8 Schneider lens adapted to fit the Nikon F Mount but secondly, it had a wooden 'grip'.
As I said in a blog post a few days ago I'm very much a 'I can make that' sort of personality and this grip instantly struck a chord with me, especially as I hadn't done any wood work for years. Wood is a beautiful material to work with and because I've spent a lot of time over the last few years working with metal on my car restoration the chance to tool it again was exciting.
While I was thinking about it, I picked up a spares or repair Nikon FE for very little – I didn't want to be covering my immaculate FM2 with sawdust as I was making it – and reached out a friend of mine Matt Day. Matt shoots a lot of film, too, and I'd been following his YouTube channel for a while, and knew of his love for his own Nikon FM2. I figured it wouldn't take me that much longer to make two identical grips up and it was cool to hear Matt's enthusiasm for the idea, as well.
Here's the process...