Nikon FA vs FE2?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by LyleB, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Been keeping my eyes open for an auto exposure sister to my FM2. My understanding is that the FA is the more sophisticated of these two, and will, in fact, meter even with Manual focus lenses. The FE2 will not. That would be a big advantage for me.

    On the other hand, the FE2 seems more popular. Also, I've read that, due to the more complicated electronics, and lack of parts since 2000, the potential for something to go wrong, and not be able to be readily fixed is more of a possibility with the FA.

    What's everyone's collective or individual experiences?
     
  2. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Both the FE2 and the FA will meter with manual focus lenses (AI or AIs), as well as AF lenses other than the G series. Both cameras have control layouts and shutter speed ranges that are comparable with the FM2. The chief difference with the FA is it has shutter-priority and program autoexposure, in addition to the aperture-priority mode that it shares with the FE2. It also has a 5-segment matrix meter (the world's first in a 35mm camera, in fact).

    All of the FM-series cameras offer full manual exposure; the full range included the FM, FM2, FM2n, FM2T, FE, FE2, FA, FM3a, as well as the Cosina-made FM10 and FE10; these last two aren't entirely compatible with the rest of the series.

    Also, the FA can draw power from the MD-15 motor drive for the camera's meter and shutter, something the FE2 can't do with the MD-11/12. You can use an MD-11 or MD-12 to drive the film wind on an FA, but you can't use the MD-15 on an FM or FE camera.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2010
  3. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    The FE-2 is the beter built camera. The FA also has a circuit board, that when it goes bad, is next o impossible to find a replacement. It's cheaper to purchase another FA. The FE-2 is very well designed and built. I vote for the FE-2. My FM's, FE's and FE-2's haved always performed flawlessly.

    Kiron Kid
     
  4. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    rthomas summed up the differencies well.
    I have one of each and the matrix metering and MD-15 of the FA makes it my first choice.

    There is no difference in build quality between the two and both are good cameras with more similarities than differencies (same shutter etc).
     
  5. Ap507b

    Ap507b Member

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    I own both as well. I haven't personally found my FA to be fragile. I picked it up new in 1986 & apart from needing a refoam, it hasn't missed a beat. I normally shoot in A & M modes so apart from the matrix metering it doesn't do anything more than a FE2 could. The matrix metering is a bit primative by todays standards & supposedly can be fooled by turning the camera on it side to shoot a portrait, although I haven't had this happen to me. You can turn the matrix off & use the same 60/40 CW as the FE2 has though.

    One thing that the FE2 has that the FA doesn't is an exposure lock.

    Both are good cameras IMO. Viewfinder wise I prefer the FA's LCD display to the needle of the FE2. I shoot with the FA a lot more than the FE2.

    Both have been OOP for ages & spares may be a problem for both? I asked Nikon Spares in the UK about getting a replacement top cover for the FE2 a couple of years back. No longer available.
     
  6. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    I have them all and choose them according to ocations I think they are all equally good. Prefer FM and FE.
     
  7. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    You said "Been keeping my eyes open for an auto exposure sister to my FM2". It must be the FE2, the FA doesn't look like the FM2.
     
  8. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    sisters

    Yeah, the FE2 is a closer sister, maybe the FA is a stepsister. From what I read they are based on the same chassis design, but the FA was modified to accommodate the increased electronics.

    Thanks everyone for your opinions. I think I'll concentrate more on a FE2, but won't pass up a great deal on a FA.

    How's that for decision?
     
  9. Carl V

    Carl V Member

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    You could also consider the FM3a, although this will be much more expensive as it's a more recent camera than the FE2. I think Nikon ceased production in around 2006. The advantage with the FM3 is should the batteries fail, you will still have full use of all your shutter speeds just like on the FM2. Basically, it reverts to mechanical operation, and is a really nice camera.

    Other than that, I'd agree with all previous comments regarding the FE2. To be honest, I'm more familiar with this one than the FA.
     
  10. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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  11. BobD

    BobD Member

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    The FA also has a digital type LCD display in the viewfinder whereas the FE/FE2
    cameras have an analog meter needle display.

    Personally, I prefer the analog needle of the FE/FE2. I find it more instantly
    readable than an LCD with changing numbers/symbols.