My Blog, My Diligence

A wise man once said that to be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, where wise people are diligent.

This blog site is to be my diligence, a place where I can share my knowledge, experiences, conclusions and show you some examples of work I have achieved with them.


Holding Wood – A Custom Camera Grip

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. 

 My Carbon Fibre FX-3

My 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...

And here's the second part of the camera grip's journey...