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  1. #1

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    Is a Nikon EL2 a Wise Choice?

    I have the opportunity to buy a nice Nikon EL2 (and AW-1 winder), and I am wondering if this would be a good move. I have owned a couple of FEs and an F3HP, and I must admit that I do miss those cameras.

    Anyway, with regard to the EL and EL2, I see folks discussing parts availability and such, and it gives me pause. I wonder, though, if this is fair, as I gather one could raise this issue with any older camera? Thus, is the EL2 a good choice--or is it any worse than choosing any other old design?

    I just love the way those old Nikkormats are made. I had an EL-W briefly (I returned it because the meter would not turn off), and it was truly a beautifully made tank of a camera. I know some might suggest an FT body, but I like having the option of a winder (or motor). Anyway, I welcome all opinions on this subject.

  2. #2
    BobD's Avatar
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    I love my EL. It's like a super rugged FE. I also like its added weight over the
    FE/FM cameras. I think it makes it easier to hold steady at slower speeds. The
    MLU is nice too. And, Another nice thing about the EL/ELW Nikkormats is that
    they are the only Nikon bodies that can function in Auto mode with non-AI
    lenses (or any lens with a meter coupling prong). That is basically why I've
    kept my EL in my Nikon "stable" which also includes an FM, FM2 and FE2.

    As for the EL2, the non-AI lens feature wouldn't apply as it is an AI body. Still,
    the added ruggedness over the FM/FE makes it attractive. On the other hand,
    the FE's interchangeable screens and more reliable motor drive and available
    parts would probably win out (for me).

  3. #3

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    I have an EL2 with winder I got for my daughter, great camera. I'd buy another one if I needed a good 35mm. Mine sets idle now as she has moved on to a N90s.

    Mike

  4. #4

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    I appreciate the input, as I continue to consider the matter.

    BobD: I could not agree more in regard to added weight and being able to hold the camera more steadily at slower speeds. I had been pondering getting an earlier version 'mat--simply because of the dirt cheap prices on non-AI lenses. Thus, I appreciate your comments.

    Mike: why is the camera "idle"?

  5. #5

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    Sorry, daughter moved up to a Nikon AF system and uses the N90s only now.

    Mike

  6. #6

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    I just read about the problem of the nylon gear in the AW-1. They used a nylon gear in order to make the winder quieter, and, of course, the nylon ends up being a wear issue. The nylon gear could be replaced with a brass gear, but the winder then gets noisier. I have heard the AW-1, and thought it pretty noisy as it is (or perhaps I had heard one with a brass gear?)...

    Hmm...

  7. #7

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    I don't think the EL2 winder I have is much different in sound than my F3 motor. But, that is only one of how many out there.

    Mike

  8. #8

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    The Nikon EL2 is a sturdy, heavy camera. It's close in features to the Nikon FE, although the EL2 offers mirror lockup.

    The thing about the EL2 is that it can be a battery hog. And it uses a somewhat costly 4LR44 6-volt battery.

    Otherwise, it's an outstanding camera, if you don't mind the weight.

  9. #9
    BobD's Avatar
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    If the motor feature is important, that's another reason to go for the FE/FM.
    The MD-12 motors are cheap, plentiful, and reliable in my experience. They
    also add quote a bit of heft.

    And, you can also use non-AI lenses on the FE/FM in stop down mode.

  10. #10

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    I agree about the bulk and weight of the MD-12. It uses eight AA batteries, which by themselves are significant in weight. The FE/FM with the drive attached is a serious piece of gear.

    When I was shooting college sports, especially basketball, I always wanted a motor drive but couldn't afford one.

    Now I have one and never use it. I guess I'm just not in that much of a hurry these days.

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