Nikon FE

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by peters8, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. peters8

    peters8 Member

    Messages:
    105
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi guys!
    A little rapid question: was the Nikon FE a profesional camera or a normal amateur model?
    thanks!:smile:
     
  2. Ian C

    Ian C Member

    Messages:
    724
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The FE was typically thought of, and priced, as an advanced amateur camera, which, of course, didn’t prevent working professional photographers from using them in work suited to 35mm.

    Ultimately a camera and lens are tools. A competent worker uses whatever tool allows him or her to get the job done, regardless of the supposed “amateur” or “professional” label appended to the camera in the maker’s advertising literature.

    When we look in a magazine like the National Geographic, we’ve no idea if it was shot on an F2 or an FE. There would be no difference in the photo due to the choice of camera body. I think if I was lugging a camera in rugged conditions where it might easily be damaged or destroyed I’d be more comfortable using an FE than a camera costing twice as much, such as an F2 or F3.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2012
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,656
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ian already answered your question accurately, but I'd like to punctuate the rest of his comments. I chuckle at the concept of "amateur versus professional" cameras because during the small part of my career (about 8 years) that involved using a camera I used amateur cameras exclusively, yet at the same time I did all of my personal amateur photography using a professional camera. There was a difference, though. The cameras used professionally were overhauled at least annually and were replaced after about 3 years. I'm thinking that if we were using professional cameras in the same conditions they may have only needed overhaul every 18 months and may not have had to be replaced.

    And speaking of National Geographic... we ended up shooting side-by-side with a NatGeo photographer. This was in a very dangerous and difficult industrial setting He had gear, and more gear, and then more. We were shooting amateur equipment and using a minimalist approach. We had an opportunity to share images after the session and he liked ours better. His looked like studio shots and ours looked like "real life". It was an interesting discussion to say the least.
     
  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,656
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    p.s. Lately I've been using my F3 as a backup to a FE. :smile:
     
  5. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

    Messages:
    2,371
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Aurora, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi Peter!
    You seem to worry about shutter noise and just about any SLR will have quite a bit of noise because of its mirror. So if you want a quiet camera then you may need to look into a rangefinder or use and SLR with the mirror locked up. You also wanted to know if the Pentax KX and now the Nikon FE whether or not they are professional models. As others have said, there isn't solid definition as to what is a professional camera. But as others have said that both the KX and FE are generally not considered as a pro models although they are suitable for professional use. If you worry about the durability then I can say if you get a good sample of either of them they will last you a long time.
     
  6. djacobox372

    djacobox372 Member

    Messages:
    127
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Pros often use the less expensive models. I would guess that if u time traveled to the mid 80s youd find more pros using the n90s than the f4 or f5.
     
  7. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    FE was aimed at the amateur market, although I'm sure some pros had it as a backup to their F, F2, F3, etc.

    As I recall, much was made about the FE's battery dependency. It had just two manual speeds if the batteries died: 1/90 and B.

    I believe the all manual FM was the backup camera of choice for pros. The batteries powered only the meter.

    Again, I wouldn't base any purchasing decision of whether a camera was for pros or amateurs.

    In fact, a specific camera won't make you a better photographer, although that's always the promise.

    However, you will feel more comfortable using certain cameras, and it's then that you'll take "better" photos.
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,656
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mike,

    Your recollection about FM being the preferred backup is exactly right. The bigger flaws of the FE in my opinion is the way the batteries, both motor drive and camera, will completley drain if the motor drive is left on when stored. But when the battereis are good, the FE is just as good as a FM.
     
  9. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

    Messages:
    2,073
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You would be guessing wrong! Even if time travel was achievable, you won't find any N90S, F4 or F5 in 1985 or even 86 or 87! They didn't existed at that time! The F4 was introduced in 88, the N90S (F90X) in 94 and the F5 in 96.
    In the mid 80s, professional photographers were using mainly F3 and/or FM2. I know I studied photography with one in 85 and he was using a F3, while I was using my father's Petri FT! :smile:
     
  10. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,656
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ... or in my case... a bunch of Nikkormat FT3's.

    Nice history lesson, BTW!
     
  11. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

    Messages:
    2,073
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    35mm
    LOL! Yeap! Thanks!
     
  12. MikeTime

    MikeTime Member

    Messages:
    65
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Is it important to have a "professional" camera in preference to an amateur model? I like to have a wll built tool in my hands so, generally speaking, yes (and for the obvious snobbish reasons of course). The "compact F" series was not designed as a line of professional cameras. It has the build quality, it lacks the "system" thing. I've got an FM2n, FE2 and FA. The first two have immaculate build; professional quality. The FA feels slightly, I repeat slightly, less robust. Maybe it's the plastic top plate, maybe it's the sound of the shutter. I love all three of them, and wouldn't hand over any of them for a full sized F. Well treated they'll last a lifetime.
     
  13. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Monroe, GA
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I loe y FE and wouldn't get rid of it for any thing. For me the only drawback is the meter is hard to read in a low light situation. I also have an f100 ans an f4. Love them as well but the fe. is just as light and compact as a leica.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I always thought the main requirements for a professional camera were:

    Manual mode

    Plenty of accessories - interchangeable focussing screens, winders, databacks, interchangeable viewfinders on some models.

    However, the lines are a bit blurred. Take the Pentax MV1. I doubt many pros bought them as they only offer aperture priority, 1/100 and B settings and don't even tell you what shutter speed they've selected (you just get a green light if it's 1/60 or higher). Yet it has the connections for a motor winder.
     
  16. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,219
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    S.F. Bay Area
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I think it important (for the OP) to realize that the camera used does not make one professional nor does it disqualify anybody's photos from being sold.


    A professional camera, in my book, is what ever the professional photographer chooses to use that day. If a photo journalist chooses to use a Canon Powershot, does that diminish the professional standing of the photographer? Obviously, no.
     
  17. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Differences between the amateur and the professional:

    The amateur spends much time dreaming that if only he could afford top of the range equipment, he could start shooting pictures "like a pro."

    The professional grabs whatever gear is to hand (rarely the "latest thing") and gets on with the job of shooting pictures. That's how he got to be a pro in the first place.

    After 35 years as a pro, some of my best pics. were taken with a Yashicamat, and a couple of Nikon
    FM2n's. Many pros preferred the FM2n over the more expensive Nikon bodies because of its 1/250th flash sync., vital for daylight fill-in. Incidentally, I once had a full page spread picture taken with a pocket rangefinder Olympus 35RD.......So stop worrying about the name on the camera, just get on with the job of taking pictures.
     
  18. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,707
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    It is important to use the best tools available for the job in hand, but at the end of the day, cameras don't take pictures, people do. Give a Brownie 127 to HCB and go out yourself with an M6 and what would you expect to see as the best results?

    Here is a nice example taken by HCB at Eaton, but not with a Brownie:-

    http://mediastore4.magnumphotos.com/CoreXDoc/MAG/Media/TR7/1/f/8/0/PAR34717.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2012
  19. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Yukon, OK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Your FE is up to the task as long as you are, but as you are finding out, who cares. It's the picture that matters.

    The FE is as capable a camera as any ever made. I find I am the limiting factor in the FE's picture taking ability. If your finding out your having problems, slow down, get a monopod....maybe a tripod and things should techically improve. Composition, my FE's operator is still struggling with it.

    Bob E.
     
  20. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Heck, my girlfriend shoots my FE and recently we developed a roll of 36 exp and EVERY SINGLE ONE WAS PERFECT. My god, that camera is great! Just compose, set the aperture and go. I think you'll take better pictures with it than a 'pro' camera simply based on the fact that the obstacles are removed and you can just focus on your image.
     
  21. nyoung

    nyoung Member

    Messages:
    371
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Its really all about the feature set.
    In the 80s the FE would give you 125th flash sync (IIRC 250th on the FE2) against the F3's 90th.
    The FE was the cheapest body with interchangeable focusing screens but the F3 gave you a removable prism housing and a wider choice of screens.
    F3 had mirror lockup, FE didn't.
    F3 had a flip up tab on the metering ring to allow use of pre-AI lenses, FE didn't.
    F3 had high-eye-point finders, FE didn't.
    And most importantly in the news/sports world, F3/MD4 would get you about 6 fps, the FE/MD12 got you 3.5fps, depending on the freshness of your batteries.
    There were always stories (prob BS) of F3s being used to bludgeon rodeo bulls into submission and remaining functional. OTHOH I actually saw a still functional FE that a photog had left on on the roof of the car as he sped back toward the office - leaving the camera rolling along the blacktop.
    Bottom line, buy the features you'll use and go make pictures.
    Image quality is in the lens, the film, and ultimately the operator.
     
  22. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,656
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not that it mattes much but two possible corrections:

    - I think FE has flip up tab but FE2 doesn't
    - F3/MD4 rate of fire is dependent upon several factors - the fastest rate only possible with NiCAD batteries and mirror locked up.

    In all honesty... I use F3 and FE interchangably. It is only the mirror lockup feature that makes me choose the F3 over the FE.
     
  23. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,571
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tonopah Neva
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Nikon FE was my first really important camera. I discovered that with a good prime lens, a tripod, set the self timer so shutter trip was distanced from mirror flop and also hands off, and I understood a little bit about diffraction. I had read John Williams book Image Clarity, and with that Nikon set-up and some PK 25 or Velvia, I could make 20X30 enlargements from that camera that looked better than the stuff I was seeing at Galen Rowell's storefront. Color me happy. I was off and running.
     
  24. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,219
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    S.F. Bay Area
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    indeed, the little AI tab thingy does flip up on the FE. It does not flip up on the FE2.

    More importantly for me, the FE has real match needle metering the FE2 has LEDs.
     
  25. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

    Messages:
    1,983
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    :laugh: That's really funny and sooooo true!
     
  26. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,571
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Tonopah Neva
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    No, the FE2 had the same meter as the FE with the needle. It just went to 4000 is all. O/wise identical. Oh, and 1/250th sync which was nice, to the 1/125th for FE
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2012