You're absolutely right, and I agree with your other points as well. My only defense is that it was almost my bedtime when I typed that!
Originally Posted by rosey
My FE2 is a 1983 model and purchased about a month after they became available. It has the honeycomb pattern titanium shutter of the first model, naturally.
I got my shutter tested free by the local Nikon repair shop about a month after purchasing it. There was some bad press going around that the 1/4000 speed was just hype and that the shutter couldn't get anywhere the stated top speed. The Nikon repair shop decided to have an open day one Saturday where one could get your under 1 year old Nikon camera's, shutter speeds tested.
Well, the results were interesting:-
At 1/4000 the time required is 0.25 milliseconds, my shutter took 0.33 milliseconds. This difference equates to a longer opening time of 32%, which as I understand it in photographic terms, is 1/3 of a stop extra exposure.
From 1/2000 down to 1/500 the shutter was basically bang on the money.
At 1/250 the shutter was giving the film an extra 1/8 of a stop extra exposure. The interesting thing about this was that the mechanical 1/250 and the electronic 1/250 readings were identical.
From 1/125 down to 8 seconds all shutter speeds were exceptionally accurate.
When the camera was 20 years old I did a film shutter speed test. Whilst not as accurate as a laboratory piece of equipment it told me that the 1/4000 and 1/250 speeds were about 1/2 a stop slow, with most other speeds within 1/3 of a stop correct. 1/3 of a stop is the closest measurement I can do this way.
Not too bad really!
So the posts about the 1/4000 speed being slow is kind of having some truth to it. at .33 mS the speed is about 1/3000. At 1/2 stop slow the speed is about 1/1500. At speed of 1 Sec or longer an electronically controlled shutter should be dead on accurate.
I never knew about the 1/4000 shutter innacuracy problem. If I were to get a used FE2, is there a place I can send it to verify/calibrate the accurate shutter speed? Can the FE2 really shoot at 1/4000 or is it not possible even after any calibration work?
Also, what about the FM2? Does it suffer from the same problem? I have a couple of FM2N cameras and I can only recall two or three times in the past 20 years that I actually shot at 1/4000.
Is there a test I can perform at home to check the accuracy of the shutter speeds?
I was incorrect. 1/2 stop slow at 1/4000 is about 1/3000 and not 1/1500.
Originally Posted by Chan Tran
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
The comment I got from the owner of the local authorized Nikon repair center in Minneapolis in 1983 reflected his shop's experience with both the FM2 and FE2 in the first year or so of production. I went into studio work after that and haven't followed the hardware end of 35mm much at all since I stopped selling it, so I don't have anything more current to add. This was cutting edge shutter technology at the time.
Originally Posted by snegron
BTW, the self-destructing shutter problems we saw with the first year of these shutters amounted to something on the order of 1% of the cameras sold through the shop I worked in, 3 of about 200-300 cameras or so over that first year. So it was a small percentage of a decent sized sample. They were identical failures, and in cameras used by photographers with pro level experience and skills, who weren't doing the stupid human tricks that Nikon insisted caused the failures.
A good rule of thumb for older cameras (and not bad for newer) is to try to avoid the use of your fastest shutter speed. Buy your camera based on the highest shutter speed you need, and get one that has one speed higher than that. So, if you routinely use 1/2000, get a camera that has 1/4000. That way your 1/2000 will be accurate, whereas if you get a camera that maxes out at 1/2000, you are more likely to have a slow shutter at that speed.
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?
Just out of curiosity, both of my FM2N's have honeycomb pattern shutter curtains. Did the FE2 have this pattern as well? Also, are the earlier models the ones with the honecomb pattern, or are the later models the ones with that pattern?
The FM2 was the first camera to have 1/4000 shutter speed from Nikon in 1982, a year later the FE2 followed with essentially the same shutter.
Both of those cameras ran with honeycomb shutters, later FM2 cameras didn't have the honeycomb shutter, it was plain metal.
I don't know about late FE2 cameras or later still FM2 cameras, only what I have, which is my 1983 FE2.
I've just swotted up in my Nikon Compendium, page 44:-
"Since 1989 the FM-2 has been equipped with the F-801 shutter blinds".