Recent Annoyance with the FE2

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by mporter012, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. mporter012

    mporter012 Subscriber

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    I have recently been dabbling with some long exposures at early dawn and late dusk and have come to realize that one obscurity and absolute annoyance about the Nikon FE2 is this: You cannot see the match needle indicator when it is getting dark! Dammit, what were they thinking in 1983? Interestingly, they didn't learn much at Nikon, because the more recent FM3a also uses a match needle indicator, creating the same problem. Why didn't they put a white screen behind the indictor on the left side. I don't shoot much inside, but I imagine this is an annoyance to people shooting snap shots at bars/ect. I actually really like the match needle otherwise.
     
  2. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    A white background would not work it would actually make it darker. Modern cameras solve the problem with backlit LCD but it's digital or bargraph and not stepless like the needle.
     
  3. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    I find that the needle match is a better system then the led system. It does have some downfalls as you have found out, but mostly it's an amazing system.

    The best system is either a lightmeter or your brain.
     
  4. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    This is why when I am shooting Nikon, and I am shooting in absolute dark, I go to the F4 with it's nice green viewfinder illumination. I'm probably using TTL flash in that situation, though- if it's long exposures, might as well use a light meter.
     
  5. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    When doing very long exposures on Velvia 50 slide film, I dial in +2 stops. The slides always come out great. I've done 15-30 and 60 minute exposures with my FE-2 in this manner. There's really no need to use the needle metering. I set it on a sturdy tripod, use the self timer in order to lock-up the mirror, and blast away.
     
  6. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    Illumination is needed.

    Here's a partial work-around for the FM3a. Despite a particular composition not having sufficient light to allow meter-reading, there's often sufficient light elsewhere. After composing, punch and hold the Exposure Lock button, which will hold the needle's position on the meter. Aim the meter-portion of the viewfinder toward something bright(er). This only works in aperture priority on the FE2.
     
  7. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I like the red/green light indcator in the FM much more than the needlein the FE2.
    Best regards
     
  8. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    The non back lit Nikon F3 LCDs are equally bad in this regard...
    I like the match LED system that Yashica used on the FX-D/Contax 139
     
  9. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Was there ever a non backlit F3? The little red switch is very hard to activate but it's always been there to lite up the LCD.
     
  10. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Actually, there is no match needle design ever - before 1983 till present, that solves this. The first Nikon solutions came in 1980 when they incorporated the first backlit LCD in the F3.
     
  11. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    If you are doing long exposures, why does the meter readout matter?
     
  12. Salem

    Salem Member

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    "Why didn't they put a white screen behind the indictor"

    That's what they did on the F2 photomic head. Very easy to see in any lighting condition.
     
  13. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    But of course no F2 photomic head is considered match needle metering.
     
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  15. Salem

    Salem Member

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    Then we must have two different definitions of match needle metering.
     
  16. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    The Nikkormat was Nikon's best and most user-friendly camera.
     
  17. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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  18. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Perhaps I'm confused here. When doing long exposures, why does one need to see the meter reading? I've done many long exposures with my FM, FE and FE-2. Because of film reciprocity, I usually dial in +2 on the exposure compensation dial, lock-up the shutter, and let the camera do the rest. It's really that simple. Am I missing something in this conversation?
     
  19. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    You're not missing anything, the OP was questioning why Nikon didn't learn from the 1983 released FE2 and incorporated that same design into the 2001 released FM3A. He imagined this would be an annoyance to people shooting snap shots in bars/etc.
     
  20. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I don't know if I am right or wrong but I always understand that match needles metering is like that of the FE and F2A is center the needle. I learned about the term since 1976 when I was reading a bunch of photographic magazine to research for my very first camera. And thus the Pentax KX is match needles and the K1000 is center the needle. Both the Olympus OM1 and OM2 are center the needle type.
     
  21. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    You're entitled to your opinion but it's hardly the case in general. The Nikkormat's were made and sold for less than the Nikon's and if it was true Nikon and a whole lot of its customers made serious mistakes for many years.
     
  22. f8&bthere

    f8&bthere Member

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    "Match needle" refers to matching the needle to a desired, specific aperture or shutter speed.

    "Center-the-needle" refers to centering the needle between fixed + and - indicators [or in some cases a fixed needle with an open circle on the end] by varying aperture and/or shutter speed irrespective of the specific values of each.

    In the case of the Nikon F2 with a DP-11/12 finder and ADR you end up with what is effectively a hybrid match needle/center-the-needle system.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2013
  23. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Great camera, mirror lock up, solid construction. Low price for a Nikon and great quality, made them popular. I still have the one I purchased new.
     
  24. henry finley

    henry finley Member

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    Yessireebob. You know what makes the Nikkormat THE camera of the Nikon line? Ever try to take a meter reading with an F or F2 when it was dark above your head? Useless. Though the F2 was the finest fit-and-finish I ever saw. The F2 was the end of Nikon history as far as I'm concerned. But the FT2 is still the sweetie-pie of all times. Goes off smooth as silk, 1/125 flash shutter, and those 2 little clicks before the shutter goes off gave you the clue you could still change your mind and save the frame. On top of that, muggers beware. A Nikkormat on the end of your strap would cut somebody's head wide open.
     
  25. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    I find it helpful to see the meter so I can set relative shutter and aperture settings to my liking...for the exposure I desire.

    It's all about doing whatever works. Sometimes aperture priority, other times...manual mode.

    Def 1) reflects the fact that there are two 'needles' visible in the viewfinder. One is the 'meter needle' (black). The other is the 'shutter speed/mode indicator needle'. When the needles are 'matched' or aligned you have the most divinely-inspired, optimal exposure for 18% gray... Def 2) 'match' the shutter speed needle with the desired speed shown in the display...that would be 'overlay'.

    ADR has nothing to do with match-needle metering. The difference in data gleaned from the meters of an FE2/FM3a vs. F2AS is significant, assuming enough light to see the former. Operative word: meter.

    Ever shoot an F2SB or F2AS? In fact you can hold these cameras over your head and see metering info!
     
  26. f8&bthere

    f8&bthere Member

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    Never said that ADR affected the metering itself.

    What I said was that with ADR on a center-the-needle camera you have what is effectively a hybrid match-needle/center-the-needle system in that you can see the aperture as you change it while at the same time you can see how that affects the exposure without taking your eye away from the viewfinder - which is the biggest benefit of a match-needle system.