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 momus; 12-24-2013 at 08:54 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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.
That's the FG.
Originally Posted by momus
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.
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.
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
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 FG used the more expensive penta prisms compared to the EM, and the focus screen image is quite a bit brighter
The EM and subsequent series were developed from origin to have a winder in the form of the MD-E.
I've seen people put motor drives on these and you have to wonder what they were thinking? Maybe it works well though.
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.
Yes, it does feel like a cheap, clacking toy.
I agree 100% with you!
I prefer my beat up old EM
Nikon F4, F4S, F401S, F50, F55, F60, 2xF601, F65, 3xF75, F801, 2x F801S, F80, F90, 4xF90X, EL2, FE, FM, 2xFG, FG-20, 3xEM
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
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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.
my name is Noel and I have 3 SG.
Originally Posted by f/16
one if my series E leness was so loose in the heliciod it rattled when you wound on
if you are handy and have
pill box plastic about 50mm diameter
small cruicifirm screw driver
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.
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.
It was a pretty feature filled camera at the time and the cheapest Nikon lens mount body to get into their system.
Yep, got one and like it. Got the 50 E series as well. Pretty much don't put any other lens on it.
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.
Originally Posted by BMbikerider
NAS sufferer with far too much Nikon kit.