I have a Nikon N2000 that has been sitting around unused for years. Recently took it in, had it cleaned up, changed the batteries (one leaking very slightly) and bought some filters. Got it home and,whoops!, the auto-wind isn't working. Since that's the only film-advance option on the N2000, I can't even load the darn thing. Have been thinking about replacing it with a DSLR, but I'm on a tight budget, so I thought I'd ask you guys. In light of what has been written here about the multitude of excellent and affordable Nikon lenses (1) Can it be saved? (2) If so, by whom and how? (3) Should it be saved? <!--color-->
You need to answer 2 questions to determine if you should repair your N2000 or not:
1) Is the camera repairable? Finding someone who knows how is not the problem, parts availability is. If no camera repair facilities exist in your area, do an online search and choose someone who will give you a free estimate. If the camera is unrepairable, the repairman might offer you a few bucks for it to keep as spare parts.
2) How much do like this camera and want to keep it? Even if repairable, do you like the camera enough to pay whatever it costs to fix it? Film cameras are a dime a dozen on the used market now, so you probably shouldn't bother getting it fixed if you're not serious about keeping it and using it for some time to come.
If it has been sitting around for years unused, it sounds like a low priority. I notice a KEH ad on this page, a highly regarded company that deals in a lot of used equipment. Check the value of your camera there and compare it to the cost of repairs. OK, I just did. They have one - in not the best condition, but working - for $49.00US. I doubt that one in new condition would fetch much over $100.
Realize that the price of film cameras fell through the floor as the photographic world goes digital.
That said, if you really are a film enthusiast, I see they have elderly top-of-the-line F3 Nikons in excellent condition for around $300, and $400 or less will buy an F100 in excellent condition. It has most of the bells and whistles of the top-of-the-line F5 and F6. They were the darlings of enthusiasts and many pros used them as backup-cameras. The F6 is still pretty pricey, but an excellent F5 is only about $50 more than the F100. Any would be highly robust and as advanced as any camera in its day. If you have lenses for the N2000, they would work on any of these.
You would also be wise to consider the advantages of the dSLR. For the person who shoots one roll of film a year, with a Christmas tree at each end, there is no advantage. For the prolific shooter, the camera pays for itself in a remarkably short time, just in savings of film, processing and time. Considering the total cost of ownership - with film, buying the camera is just the beginning of the expenses, while digital begins paying back immediately in savings.
There is immediate feedback through the camera's monitor, so you know immediately if you got the picture and can reshoot while it is still possible, after making whatever adjustment is needed. You don't hear the cash-register ring in your head every time you press the shutter, so you feel free to shoot a lot.
You - not the lab - has control of what you want to print. Your home computer makes a fine digital darkroom along with an inkjet printer. With the size of computer screens now, you may not even want to print. My 19" monitors show my work at about the same size as an 11x14 print. I do make prints and print quality is outstanding. Digital images are easy to share with family and friends.
Almost all the lenses I bought for my F3 - manual lenses - work great with my D200. Old manual lenses however, may not work well on the D40, D50, D70 and D80. If legacy glass is not an issue, I understand any of these provide good value and are capable of fine images.
Over the last half dozen years, digital has gone from early adolescence to maturity. I bought my first three cameras with the idea of upgrading every two years to take advantage of the advances in the technology. It was a wise decision - I have had the advantage of digital through this period, and in terms of film, processing and time savings, they each paid me back several times over. I can live with the D200 for a long time. Everything about it says "mature camera".
The downside, is that there is a substantial learning curve with even simple point-and-shoots. These are remarkably sophisticated image capture devices. To get the most pleasure out of them, some image processing skills are also needed.
The D200 is vastly more complex. Every feature of the D200 can be fine tuned to the needs and wants of the shooter, but this takes time and study. If you are willing to put in the time to really learn, the results are great. If you are not, it can be over-complicated and frustrating. With the instant feedback through the monitor, there has never been any way to learn photography this efficiently.