Nikon FG users?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Clumsy Eddie, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. Clumsy Eddie

    Clumsy Eddie Member

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    I recently purchased a Nikon FG (re: an earlier post on KEH) and later bought a 50mm f/1.8 Series E lens for it, which makes for a very nice, compact carry-everywhere shooter (in addition to a number of other compact carry-everywhere cameras which I own), and I'm very impressed with it. For those of you who have shot or shoot with it, what are your feelings about it? (I was wondering about the durability of the camera, and then I realized that I've never, ever, worn out any camera I've ever owned.:laugh:)

    Thanks to all who reply.

    With best regards,

    Stephen
     
  2. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I've got two FG bodies -- the second because I just couldn't not buy it when it was offered for $35. It's a very capable, smaller Nikon body. While I may not wish to use it as my primary body, it would be great as a second body (for a second film) or a back-up. What's not to like?
     
  3. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    I had an FG and I liked it very much. I sold it in the classifieds here a while back. Perhaps to Trask? I do not recall. At one time it was my only Nikon, and with the series E 50/1.8 lens, I got some very good results with it. It is small enough to be kept in a jacket pocket, meters well, and is more flexible in use than the similarly lightweight EM. It is a very good camera, and do not listen to the nay-sayers who claim that it is not a "real" Nikon.
     
  4. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    The Nikon FG was the first to introduce TTL flash on the standard flash hot shoe (the F3 has TTL flash, but uses a proprietary shoe). It was also the first multi-mode Nikon and introduced the Program mode.
    The FG is based upon the EM, just like the FA is based upon the FE. Its dimensions, weight, meter, viewfinder, winding and motor drives are all based on the EM.
    In the accessory list for it, there was a new TTL flash, the SB-15, a new motor drive, the MD-14 and a D shaped rubber eyecup.
    It is a nice SLR.
     
  5. analoguey

    analoguey Member

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    I happened to get lucky on one and buy it. It came with dings and screws missing. Is my favorite smaller format camera to shoot. Takes knocks and then goes 'so what's the next shot about?'
    Effortless shooting plus all that toughness. What more might I want... Hmm. Maybe weather sealing.
    But then an F5 isn't that compact!

    Ricardo, ah really? Guess I got really lucky then - I was very happy that I could use regular ttl flashes on the camera. :smile:
    Although I prefer having it off camera and wirelessly triggered. (mines fg20 -dunno how much they differ)

    Sent from Tap-a-talk
     
  6. f/16

    f/16 Member

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    I had an FG a few years ago-very capable little body. I probably put 75 rolls thru it with no problems. The good-TTL flash with standard ISO flash shoe, accepts motor drive, right hand grip, aperture priority, program exposure mode(but I never used program), the LED's next to the shutter speeds light up in the viewfinder-easier to see in low light than match needles. The bad-top shutter speed is 1/1000 and flash sync tops out at 1/60.

    I also had a few 50 1.8 Series E lenses over the years. It seems many of the Series E lenses would get slack in the focus helicoid with heavy use. It would be best to find one that looks great cosmetically-that's a sign that it didn't get used much.
     
  7. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    The FG-20 is a different camera and it doesn't have TTL flash. It was a budget priced SLR based on the FG, but with several features removed, such as the Program mode and TTL flash meter. You can study more about what TTL flash metering is on this site: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/emfgfg20/fg/fg3.htm
    Your FG-20 uses Automatic flash metering and you can read about it here: http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam/User-Guide/EXT-FLASH/NIKON/NIKON-use-A-995.html
    In the case of Auto (A) flash, metering is done by the flash itself using an external sensor and not by the camera.

    For more on the FG-20 capabilities, read here: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/emfgfg20/fg20/index.htm
    Personally, I like a lot the FG-20 as it is in essence an EM with added Manual mode.
    BTW, the flash that was released as a companion was the SB-19. It uses a system of Auto Aperture setting that is only used by the EM and FG-20. No other Nikon has it as TTL flash metering became the standard in the late 1980s for all subsequent SLR, apart the F55, which is the only AF Nikon not to have TTL flash for external flashes.
     
  8. analoguey

    analoguey Member

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    Ah. Right, thanks for that clarification. I was wondering about the TTL capabilities after I wrote in as I haven't seen a significant meter - very primitive metering actually.


    Sent from Tap-a-talk
     
  9. Spicy

    Spicy Member

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    FG-20 was my first film SLR; still have it. thing feels like garbage but it's such a fantastic camera. ergonomically perfect (overhanging shutter speed, analog-needle exposure meter), tiny, lightweight, and while it may not feel up to taking much of a beating with how flimsy the advance-lever is, it's certainly been up to the task of keeping up with me, and even saving my butt once while i was on a cross-country cycling trip on roads so rough they unscrewed the front retaining ring on one of my voigtlander LTM lenses.

    i know it's not an FG, but i still thought it deserved honorable mention. likewise for the 50/1.8 E -- a lot of people knock on them, but if you know what you're doing, they're a fantastic walkaround lens capable of impressive shots (although they're a bit soft wide open and benefit from use of a hood).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2013
  10. beegee675

    beegee675 Member

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    Just got an FG recently along with a N75... have a backlog of cameras to test, but the FG will be compared with my Oly OM 2n, as it's similar in size and specs...
     
  11. momus

    momus Member

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    They're very nice little cameras (compared to an F2, they're miniatures) with excellent features and a pleasant sounding shutter. I think that Nikon was remiss in leaving out an AE lock feature, but there's always manual mode. The FG used the more expensive penta prisms compared to the EM, and the focus screen image is quite a bit brighter, so low light focusing is easier. I prefer my beat up old EM that I modified to shoot non ai lenses though. Yes, it does feel like a cheap, clacking toy. But you don't have to think about any exposure adjustment stuff because there isn't any. All you have are AE, and that button to give you +2 more. True, you can adjust the ISO, but that isn't going to happen on the fly. I also prefer the EM's match needle metering compared to the FG's red LED readout. The EM's simplicity means I just focus and shoot, and nearly always the meter knows what it's doing. I've seen people put motor drives on these and you have to wonder what they were thinking? Maybe it works well though.

    One nice feature of the FG is that you can turn that blasted warning beeper off that lets you know when you're out of exposure range or at a slow shutter speed. I don't like cameras that talk, I want them to shut up and do their job. If only Nikon had made a manual mode EM, but that was not what the cameras were about. If I remember correctly, both of these models were death on the Nikon sales room floor, and were quickly dropped from their lineup.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2013
  12. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I used a FG as a second body to my F3, bought the motor drive rather than the winder. Not pro build by any means, but light, easy to lug around with a F3 and 4 lens kit. Metering was quite good, as was the TTL flash. I used my FG for over a decade without any issues.
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    That's the FG.

    I bought one new in '86 after my EM was stolen. I got the EM, and then the FG, as back-up cameras and to use on my one mirror lens; with their aperture preferred auto exposure they gave better exposure on it than could be obtained with a fully manual camera whose shutter speeds were spaced one stop apart.

    The alternative was the N2000, which I rejected because I wasn't sure about the integrated power winder's longevity. I retired my FM and replaced it with a N8008S after I noticed that on it my 35-70 wasn't parfocal. I wasn't sure whether the problem was the zoom, which had passed acceptance testing when I bought it, or whether the FG's mirror stop needed adjustment.

    On the whole a nice little camera. Compact, light, did what it was supposed to do. Mine made a loud clack at the end of the film advance stroke but functioned as it should have.
     
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  15. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    And the FG-20 as that one is an EM with added Manual mode. But, all three compact Manual SLRs use the same base, the same metering and the same accessories.

    Unless someone can prove the opposite, the pentaprism is the same. What is different is the focusing screen on the FG is a development of the original K screen on the EM. Not exactly a K2, but brighter than the one on the EM.

    The EM and subsequent series were developed from origin to have a winder in the form of the MD-E.
    Further, the FG was launched with a true motor drive, the MD-14. It is in essence the same design as the MD-12 for the FM/FE series. It has the same 3.5 fps speed and also the same number of AAs: 8.
    The MD-14 is fully compatible with the entire series from the EM to the FG-20. I use mine with an FG-20. It is a joy to use, albeit a bit heavy.
    Personally, I prefer the MD-E as it is lighter and has a nice hand grip. It is also compact and looks great on the EM. It was designed by Guigiaro with much of the style ethos of the MD-4.

    No more a toy than the latest and greatest plastic Nikons made since 2000. At least the EM has plenty of metal where it matters: the chassis. The only plastic that might give concern is the top and bottom covers that are made of a plastic compound. That material was developed specifically for the EM and it has been used, with further improvements, on all new Nikons made thereafter.

    I agree 100% with you!
     
  16. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    Beware of the EM, FG or FG20 if you have large hands. The bodies are so diminutive that I never really got to grips with them, capable as they are.

    My standby F80 is as small but has a molded grip at the side which gives me enough to hold onto. Even so with a Nikkor 28/200 it is still difficult to hold steady
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    An FG was my first Nikon SLR which my father gave me in 1984. I still have it and it still works perfectly.


    Steve.
     
  18. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    my name is Noel and I have 3 SG.
    ...
    one if my series E leness was so loose in the heliciod it rattled when you wound on
    if you are handy and have
    rubber glove
    pill box plastic about 50mm diameter
    small cruicifirm screw driver
    darning needle
    small swiss file
    Six inches of double sided pressure sensitive tape
    then unscrew name plate ring using glove as friction surface and pill box as wrench
    you can undo all six screws and stick them to tape you dont need to undo all of them but it should not matter if you note where they came from.
    The focus ring will then remove
    and you can unscrew both inner and outer heliciod you should mark the entry points but I did not.
    My heliciod was devoid of any lube...
    I used a medium PTFE loaded auto grease on inner and outer.
    I set the outer heliciod out a turn to allow the inner heliciod greater engagement which was not necessary with the heavy grease. The outer has fine slow pitch treads the inner coarse pitch interrupted threads.
    When you reassemble one of the aperture followers will click in easily one needs to be guided in from the mount end with a darning needle. No force is needed just patience.
    You need to set infinity on a star or moon. I needed to rebuild at succession of heliciod start points to get a full range you should be ok if you marked the start points
    Don't try to loosen of the mount screws they are glued in... with a darning needle you don't need to.
    No trace of slack now
    I have two series E, a pancake AIs and a long nose not easy to distinguish their photos.
    Lots of my other nikkors need new lube think Nikon were very sparing in the factory.
    So many problems so little time.
     
  19. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Really wasn't a huge difference in size between the FG and the other Nikon bodies at the time. If you were carrying it around your neck with just a small lens, you will feel the weight difference with the other bodies. But if you were carrying a bag worth of lenses then the weight difference will not be as pronounced.

    [​IMG]

    It was a pretty feature filled camera at the time and the cheapest Nikon lens mount body to get into their system.
     
  20. Fast14riot

    Fast14riot Member

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    Yep, got one and like it. Got the 50 E series as well. Pretty much don't put any other lens on it.

    [​IMG]



    -Xander
     
  21. Ap507b

    Ap507b Member

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    Have you thought about adding an MB-16 battery pack to your F80? I found the same with mine until I added one. The extra height of the camera with it gives you a bit more to hold on to & for me, it feels a lot more comfortable in my hand. You also get the added benefit of being able to use cheaper & more readily available AA's instead of the CR2's.
     
  22. Nikon Collector

    Nikon Collector Member

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    Got a FG for the quicki handling at family get togethers, loved it with the 50/1.8E, carried it in a jacket pocket or small leather bag on the handlebars of my motorcycle Got a 2nd in a group of "broken" cameras for $5, turned out to be a dead battery, recently gave away one and still use one.
     
  23. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    A little Christmas quiz:
    The FG has the same shutter speeds range as the EM or the FG-20, but it has a peculiar shutter sound.
    What is it, what makes it and why?
     
  24. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    It's a beast, a small and light beast. Reminds me of the Canon Rebel I used to shoot with, the FG was my 35mm learner
     
  25. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I don't own an FG, but I dbought the same lens recently for a song and was quite impressed with it's image quality;worth every penny.
     
  26. destroya

    destroya Subscriber

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    i bought one from keh for $28. what a bargin. put the ultra light weight plastic 50mm 1.8d on it and you have the lightest set up i could think of. and the results are amazing. one of the best bargains around. but the shutter sound takes some getting used to, as did the FA