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  1. #1

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    Nikon FE/MD-12 Coming...

    I have enjoyed using Nikon AI and non-AI lenses (with the Nikkormat that I parted with), and so I have purchsed a Nikon FE and MD-12. I opted for the FE because it will work with both AI and non-AI lenses. Previously, I had, but did not care for, the F4 (too much plastic). I am thinking the FE will suit me. Any comments or opinions? I thought I had read somewhere that while the FE's sync speed is 1/125th, it will sync at only 1/90th with the SB-10. This seems strange. Is it true, or have I remembered incorrectly? I have also picked up an SB-10 (for almost nothing, too).

  2. #2

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    "F4 (too much plastic)"

    Isn't the F4 a metal body camera like the F3HP and F5? Sorry, I can't help on the FE questions, I've never owned one of those either.

    Jared

  3. #3

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    I had an F4s. The body appeared to have some type of synthetic coating. I am sure, though, that the frame underneath is metal, as the camera is fairly heavy. The attached motor drive (MB-21) looked like it was all plastic. The lens mount area of the camera body looked particularly plasticky. In fact, it looked like a polycarbonate...a polycarbonate that seems to flake away over time. This is not what I would want near a lens mount.

    Additionallly, I am one of those types that appreciates quality craftsmanship and beauty in design. I know that some here do not agree with this (and like to assert that a camera is "for use" and not anything else), but I do not mind admitting that: a) I like (and expect) quality in design and manufacture, b) I can appreciate a camera's form as well as its function and, c) I like old cameras.
    Last edited by FilmOnly; 11-04-2009 at 02:01 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    darinwc's Avatar
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    You will love love love the FE.
    it feels great in the hands. its shutter is accurate.
    The controls are laid out in a straight forward manner.
    You can use almost any Nikkor lens.

    Whats not to love?

  5. #5

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    "additionallly, I am one of those types that appreciates quality craftsmanship and beauty in design. I know that some here do not agree with this (and like to assert that a camera is "for use" and not anything else), but I do not mind admitting that: a) I like (and expect) quality in design and manufacture, b) I can appreciate a camera's form as well as its function and, c) I like old cameras."

    I can't argue with that logic, I completely agree. I also will not buy a camera that is made of plastic; I wanted an EOS-3, but the out shell is made of polycarbonate. I know that the EOS-3 is tough as nails, but I can't get past a plastic camera body. My F5 has an aluminum-alloy chassis with a titanium finder, it feels great in hand, might be too modern for you though.

    Jared

  6. #6

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    I bought my FE new in 1980, and it's been a faithful camera for going on 30 years. I've never had a problem with it. I bought a second FE body, which turned out to be a piece of junk. I think it had been owned by one of those photographers who proudly batter their cameras, and it showed.

    I've since added the MD-12, and the two make for a heavy camera. I might remove the drive, because I don't need to shoot at 3.5 frames per second anymore.

    The only quibble that I've always had about the FE is that if you push the film advance flush against the body, it locks the shutter release. I've missed shots because of that "feature."

    The autoexposure has been accurate -- within the limits of any autoexposure system. As I recall, the top deck is polycarbonate (plastic). It's a well-made camera.

    I've had no problems with my original FE. I replaced the foam seals around 2000, and that's the only service that's been required since I bought it.

  7. #7
    Leighgion's Avatar
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    I've got an FE. It's a fine camera, though I rate it second in daily usability to the FE2, whose refinements I consider much handier than they look on paper.

    Afraid I know nothing about the SB-10 though.

  8. #8

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    If the FE2 had been made to accept non-AI lenses, I may have opted for the FE2 (the 1/250th is nice).

    As far as the FE's top plate or top deck is concerned, I had (according to what I have read) thought that both the top and bottom plates of the FE are metal. Can anyone verify this?

    Also, when the MD-11 or MD-12 is attached, the "on/off" switch of the drive unit actuates the meter, right? Thus, would this also disable the flush position advance lever lock?

  9. #9

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    I'll have to check. I seemed to recall that magazines made a big deal about it having a plastic top deck, but I could be wrong about it. I think that I read this article in 1978, so you know that it's been a long time.

    The magazine might have been referring to another camera, probably Canon, which was beginning to prolifically use plastic in many of their consumer cameras and lenses.

  10. #10

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    OK, what I found was that the camera's "Nikon" nameplate is plastic, while the top deck is metal. That makes more sense.

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