Nikon FA - good, bad, ugly???
I stopped by the camera store at lunch time today -- ostensibly to pick up a few rolls of film and ended up buying a slightly used Nikon FA. I can't wait to get home and break the news to my accountant...er, wife.
me: "Uhm,oh..ah, what's this?...a second Nikon body? How'd that get in my camera bag?"
her: "You are a very sick man. How much is this gonna cost me?"
Anyway, I have never even so much as looked at a review of the Nikon FA but, seems like a pretty nice beastie. I'm back at work, in the cube, unable to fondle the new toy...anybody have any anecdotes to share about the FA? Good, bad, ugly? What should I watch out for?
PS...anybody want to break the news to my wife?
Last edited by GaussianNoise; 03-18-2005 at 06:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Hi my name is Brad and I am a photoaholic"
This could have a thread all to itself.
Originally Posted by GaussianNoise
Although, you could say something like: "This guy I know just sent his camera in to be checked out. It wound up costing 660.00, so I thought the prudent thing to do was to buy this inexpensive back-up..."
The FA's a great camera...one of the best manual focus cameras Nikon ever made. It was the first camera to sport Matrix Metering, and the results are very impressive. Although computerized metering has improved over the years, the improvements have been incremental at best. Should you choose to use it in Program mode, I think you'll find it handles difficult lighting situations with ease.
The FA tends to be a very solid camera as well. Although parts are long out of production, almost any competent repair person can make any necessary adjustments. If it's working well today, chances are it'll be working well for a very long time.
Of all of the Nikon cameras I've ever handled, the FA and FE2 are my favorites (with neither beating out the other in my book). Although they do require batteries (unlike the FM and FM2), the batteries are small enough to carry a few spares and the camera uses so little power that a set can last for years. I've had my FE2 since it was introduced, and have never had a bit of trouble with it. The FA's that are owned by my friends have similar track records.
I'm sure you'll be very happy with your new camera. Enjoy it...and let us see some examples from it!
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.
I bought one new back in the 80s and used it pretty regularly untill about 2 years ago when the shutter finally quit. I finally found a really nice used one a couple of weeks ago.
They only have two problems. First, it uses a LCD display for exposure info in the view finder. The Crystals eventually go bad and then you have to double check your F-stop and exposure visually. I was told once that this was a function of age of the crystals and had nothing to do with how much the camera was used. My original camera had a bout half the crystals bad so I could in most cases "dicipher" it and know what I had. The one I just bought is about the same.
Second, the shutter uses a titanium curtain, designed to provide the very fast shutter speeds. Early cameras had problems with these breaking. Mine had something break and jam. There are no replacement parts for the shutters from Nikon, so you have to junk the camera. I got a lot of good use out of it, but nothing like you would get from something like a F3 or F4.
The metering was excellent. Way ahead of its time with its exposure priority options.
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I bought a used FA a few years ago, and it is an excellent piece of Nikon gear. The metering is wonderful, and it is the camera I use for doing my macro work.