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Photography Question 
Alex Cabrall

Nikon FE/FE2

Hullo all. My dad has a Nikon EM, which only has Aperture Priority AE, and he's thinking about moving on to a camera with more control over exposure, but still wants exposure information in the viewfinder. There are TONS of used AI Nikkors in the area, and he wants to stay nikon. I'm a canon guy, but I've been doing all sorts of research, and I think a FE or an FE2 would do the trick quite nicely. Does anybody have any experience with these cameras, or any other suggestions? Thanks.

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2/27/2005 7:53:36 AM

Michael H. Cothran   I would choose the FE2 over the FE. If yuor dad has any Ais lenses, he might look for an FA. These are all great camera bodies, and holding their value well in the used market.
Also, don't rule out the pro level F3 if you can afford one.
Michael H. Cothran

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2/27/2005 1:08:34 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  My first "real" camera was a Nikon FE which I bought used back in the early 80's. It still works flawlessly though I've semi-retired it into storage, in case one of my FM2's goes on the fritz.

The great thing about the FE series of Nikons is that they sport a "match-needle" metering system,...wherein the user can see through the viewfinder his or her aperture and shutter speed setting for more precise exposure control...(This is especially helpful when bracketing.)
I hardly ever used the aperture-priority feature with this camera and usually metered manually, but it was a nice feature to have,...just in case.

Michael C. was correct that old Nikon bodies hold their value well. (My FE is worth more today that I paid in 1982.)

The main difference between the FE and FE2 is the flash sync speed. (FE has 1/125 sec. and FE2 was up-graded to 1/250 sec.)
This is an important consideration if you do a lot of high speed flash photography, which requires a faster flash sync.

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2/27/2005 1:48:48 PM

Larry T. Miller   The FE-2 is the one!!

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3/27/2006 1:49:18 PM

Tom R. Walker
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/7/2006
  FE2 has 1/4000 sec top shutter speed and 1/250 sec flash sync, but requires at least an AI lens.

FE has 1/1000 sec top speed, 1/125 flash sync, and has a flipable lens indexing post so you can also use the non AI lenses, though in stop down mode.

FE2 has a brighter focusing screen than the FE by about 1/3 stop, both have interchangeable screens and you can put screens made for the FE2 in an FE but you have to compensate for exposure, both are well built workhorses and you can't go wrong with either one.

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3/28/2006 4:18:22 PM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  I bought an FE2 back in the early '80s and it is still going strong.

I used aperture-priority AE mostly, switching to manual when I knew the camera would not meter correctly.

The Nikon TTL flash system on that camera was FANTASTIC. Getting properly-exposed flash shots was simplicity itself regardless of the composition, and blending exposures so the flash was fill-in only was also very simple and straightforward.

BTW, you can use any lens that will fit, AI or non-AI. The latter requires you to shoot in stopped-down mode, but you can still use AE... just dial the aperture you want and take the shot.

Nikon recently sold the FM3A, which is an updated FE2, and they are still available NIB if you are willing to look.

You can't go wrong with one... but if you want to look at other alternatives, the Olympus OM-2 is also a great camera, with lots of great lenses at low prices on eBay.

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3/29/2006 11:34:18 PM

George Anderson   The FE/FE2 are not only nice manual cameras, but are extremely well built for a 'amateur' level model - ball bearing-mounted film transport, titanium shutter, machined (not stamped sheet steel) film advance gears and cams. I would go with the FE2 only for the TTL flash, and the fact the FE is getting a bit old (the FE2 can't mount non-AI lenses, BTW).

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3/30/2006 3:14:20 PM

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