Nikon FE - now I really get it!

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by gnashings, Feb 10, 2006.

  1. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Just a thought for any of you out there thinking of getting a Nikon FE. I know this camera is much loved by many, and I always thought it was a good camera, but probably no better or worse than many in its class. I suppose its true, but, I got to play with one today. There is something so immediately comfortable about it, the build quality is rock solid and every thing operates with just the right weight under your fingers. The film advance is Swiss watch smooth, the shutter fires in the same soft but unmistakable fashion. The viewfinder is bright and tells you everything you need to know.
    There are intangibles about most things that separate the good from the great - this simple and honest camera (yet a very capable one) has that "something" that puts it the latter category. If you ever wondered what all the going on is about - pick one up, you'll know. And they are a bargain.
    And this is from a guy who mainly shoots Canon FD gear, so no, I am not a Nikonphile or anything like that.

    Just thought I'd share:D

    Peter.
     
  2. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    I hate to say it, but I had a full Canon FD gear and couldn't resist switching to Nikon FM2/FE2 some years ago. A Nikon FE was my last present for my girlfriend's birthday. Enough said.

    Canon stuff (A-1 and AT-1) was very good, even better from some points of view (read: shutter priority). Optics were outstanding. But Nikon stuff has a better feel to the fingers and the eyes.

    I know and knew that it was stupid, that Canon is a nice brand and that my pictures now look exactly the same as they did, but I just couldn't resist switching.

    Just to say how irrational it was: the fact that the A-1 has been made only in black finish and that it featured that crappy plastic thing on the aperture setting played a major role. All other considerations were minimal (uniform filter size etc.)

    All the above only to let you know that I understand you, and that I envy the rationality of those who had the nerves to stay stuck with the excellent and cheaper Canon FD stuff: of course I've lost a lot of money in the trade which I could have used better.
     
  3. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Ssssshh
    Darned, you blew it. That was supposed to be a secret :smile:
    I have the F90X and a FE2 with MD12 and that a great package. When using teles the MD12 is a must but with wideangles it is a neat little one without. Only con is the viewfinder info visibility in low light. It is allmost as good as teh F90X.
    Regards Søren
     
  4. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I too am enjoying my recently-purchased FM3a (very like the FE except for the addition of aperture-priority AE and a few other minor features).

    Talking of sharing - I have been acquiring Tamron Adaptall lenses to go on my Nikon. The prices for near-mint examples are ridiculous at the moment on e-bay - £20 or so! Good news for anyone with an manual focus 35 SLR.
     
  5. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    My first SLR was a Nikon FE2. Wish I'd never sold it!
     
  6. Glenn Mathison

    Glenn Mathison Member

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    I've handled but never owned the FE, nice camera. My first camera I owned was a Nikon FM and damn I loved that camera. Think FE without the automation. It was simply a pleasure to use.

    Then, THE DAY arrived. Some *person* broke into my house and stole my briefcase with my university notes and my beloved FM inside. Found the briefcase down the street, empty of course.

    MAY THEY ROT IN HELL - for a long time. And then some.

    Moved on to an F801 after that, kind of OK but I still occasionally pine for the FM. As you say, very nice bargains now on the FM/FE range. Maybe I should ... :smile:

    Glenn
     
  7. eddym

    eddym Member

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    I bought my first FE2 for $75 brand new. It had been "red-tagged," meaning that it was a return or defective camera that had been sent to service, and was "final sale" only, no return privilege.

    I took the camera home and opened the box and found a letter from Nikon service that said, "Always be sure the camera has a fresh battery." I put a new battery in it, and it worked perfectly.

    Then, this being my first Nikon, I had to start buying lenses...

    Today, I have an F100 that I love, but still keep the FE2 as a backup.
     
  8. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I bought a FE new, still use it. Added a FM2n a few years ago and would like to add a FM3a one day.
     
  9. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    PSSST... did you know you can change the focusing screen in the FE???

    A truly pro camera in a small packagae :smile:
     
  10. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Guys, I am not switching - I love my Canons... and I love my New F1 more than any other 35mm slr I have ever held in my hand. But the New F1 is a full-on pro camera. The FE is a pro-sumer model, with all that this entails - and it goes above and beyond those limits. I was just really impressed, and charmed with it. Quality gear with thos eintangible "just right" feelings about them.
    In all fairness, switching out of the FD system because of an AT or AE1 is a little silly - they are not the same level of camera as the FE/FM's. But if they felt right (and I can SO tell why they would now), why not switch. I just don't see the point in my case, I don't feel the need - everything seems a little "light-duty" next to my New F1 :smile: and the FD lenses are a bargain.

    Peter.
     
  11. Captain Slack

    Captain Slack Subscriber

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    I got a D70s for Christmas and, since I mostly shoot rangefinders, I figure I'll more than likely do most of my SLR work with it. So, I've been debating whether I should keep my FE or sell it, since I don't know how much I'm going to use it from here on out.

    Problem is, I LOVE the old thing! Really and truly love it. It would be like pulling teeth to part with it. I just don't think I can do it. *sigh*
     
  12. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    The FE-2 was the first camera that I ever bought, and it's still getting plenty of use today. I bought it the month after it hit the American shores, and it's never been in for a tune-up. I hate to think how many rolls have been through it. (Actually, I love to think how many rolls have been through it!) It's been all over the world with me, and although I have many other cameras and many other formats, the FE-2 will always have that special place that only a first love can have.

    At the time I think I paid an extra $30 or $40 to get the black model...and am I ever glad that I did. Black cameras from that era age very gracefully.

    (It's funny, how geeky all of this sounds...and how I know that all of you will understand.)

    Be well.
    Dave
     
  13. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    Not geeky at all. 3 of my Nikons are black (F3, FM, FM2n) and one chrome (FM). The black ones DO tend to age gracefully.

    I too, have dragged my Nikons all over the world. They have always given me stellar service.
     
  14. dtomasula

    dtomasula Member

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    I used an FE professionally for about 15 years and never had a problem with it. It was the best MF Nikon I have ever owned. By the time I sold it (about 2 years ago) it had a whole lot of brassing but still operated as if it was new.
     
  15. images39

    images39 Member

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    I think the FE is one of the most underrated cameras around. It feels just right in my hands (maybe not everyone's), and the controls are perfect for me. And you can get nice examples for very reasonable prices now. I've had one for several years, but am now looking for a black one so that I can load two bodies with different film types and tell at a glance which one is which. I think this camera is a near perfect design (I wear glasses, so more eye relief would have made it perfect). I love the basic analog display in the viewfinder (needle and scale), and the fact that there's no annoying auto shutoff for the meter (that's one area where I prefer the FE over the FE2).

    I just bought a 45mm "pancake" nikkor, and am looking forward to trying it on my FE...

    Regards,
    Dale
     
  16. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I'm working on saving for my wedding at the moment, but once that's taken care of I think I'll pick up an FE body. There are too many good deals on pre-AI lenses out there to pass up, and I just don't see myself actually getting around to doing any AI modifications. (I picked up a 135/2.8 that I intended to modify, but it's been eight months and the lens sits unused. As easy as AI mod's are, I have too many other priorities and I never got to the lens.)

    There are some great old lenses out there to be had for very little money if you can use them, and the FE allows stop-down metering with them. Given that the prices on the bodies continue to collapse, I can see a chrome FE in my future. (Chrome to distinguish it easily...a good idea Dale.)

    Be well.
    Dave