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  1. #1

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    Recent Annoyance with the FE2

    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. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by mporter012 View Post
    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.
    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. #3
    cjbecker's Avatar
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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. #4

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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. #5

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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. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mporter012 View Post
    Why didn't they put a white screen behind the indictor on the left side?
    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. #7

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

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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. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarageBoy View Post
    The non back lit Nikon F3 LCDs are equally bad in this regard...
    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. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mporter012 View Post
    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.
    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.

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