Nikon FE

This camera might just change my view of Nikon cameras. Looking for junk cameras has gotten much harder lately for two reasons.

1. I have tried a lot of cameras.
2. The ones I find I have already tried, see point 1.

So I decided recently that on each payday I will buy just one semi junk camera until my quit date. That means, it is second hand and I am unsure it works, but have paid enough that it should. The first camera I bought was the Nikon FE with lens for $70, which is an extremely good price.

There was a little dust in the viewfinder, but the lens was in great condition..bargain. Also my other lens from a previous find fit and worked…bigger bargain. I was so excited that I put in a battery, well two, LR44. Great an easy battery to find, no mercury replacements here. Then my favourite black and white film, seagull oriental 100, which unfortunately was not right for the dull conditions.

Then popped around to my friends house to photo the cat.

Even with the f1.8 aperture I still had to use a very slow speed. Luckily it was an old cat and a sleepy child. But the f1.8 did mean a very shallow depth of field. I didn’t like most of the photos, but the cat owner loved them as did the father…of the boy not cat.

One thing I needed to get use to was the way the camera switched on, by moving the film crank. I usually wind the film on and then put it back flush with the body. With this camera you have to leave it slightly out or the camera turns off. There is a handy battery check button on the back too.

I finished off the film walking around my local area. That way I got to use a different f-stop.

I LOVE THIS CAMERA! It just works, it is so easy to use. The viewfinder has a window to let you see the chosen f-stop and on the left is a scale and needle to let you know the speed. Simple as!

I finished the walk and rushed home to process the film. The metering was perfect, not one shot I could grumble with, including the dragonfly on a white wall.

Then I studied the camera a bit more. I left the camera on auto, just to see how well it worked. The speed scale goes from 8 seconds to 1/1000th. The ASA is from 12 to 3200 which is pretty awesome for a camera from 1978. There is an exposure lock button, but it is hard to find without the manual. To use it you have to push the self timer switch towards the lens.

There is a M90 symbol on the speed selector that I have not seen before. A little research told me that the M meant manual. If the battery dies the camera still works at 1/90th of a second, that is a really great feature. If you are in the middle of nowhere and the battery dies you can still use the camera.

This website gives a much more poetic review, but he seems to love it too. If you want more technical details then Ken Rockwell is the best place to go.

Keep or Sell: Initially, I had no intentions of selling it. Then I decided to take some me time, no job or wages. It had to go. Sold.



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