Staff Review: My Trusty Nikon FE2

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When I felt the need to venture into a more formal photography, I knew the best way would be to get myself a trusty analogue SLR sidekick. Then, I met this handsome Nikon camera. We've been inseparable ever since.

Although I had a teeny affair with a manual Canon SLR during my college days, I never quite got the hang of it. Most of my photos were either blurry or overexposed. Maybe I was simply not ready to commit to it, as we were scheduled to part once the semester was over. So I learned what I had to and eventually forgot about it. That was, until I was introduced to the wonders of Lomography and film photography.

I took a photo of me and Nikon FE2 as soon as I brought it home with me.

I started out with a Holga 120 CFN, but it was not long before I felt the need to reacquaint myself with a film SLR camera. What I found a heavy, complicated, difficult to use equipment in the past suddenly became an interesting contraption to me. So I started visiting Hidalgo, Manila’s camera haven, looking out for a nice model. I narrowed it down to a Canon AE-1 or anything from Nikon. I wanted a Nikon FM3A, but the price was beyond my reach, so I ended up with a handsome and heavy Nikon FE2. It was in black and chrome, in good condition, with really nice prime lens, and it felt nice in my hands. No scratches, no dents, and seemed like it was hardly used. I started shooting everywhere shortly after.

Given my background on SLR photography, I didn’t struggle much on learning the controls. Also, it helped that it had an aperture priority mode, which allowed me to get a grip on the proper shutter speed according to the aperture I selected. I looked for an instruction manual and scanned it a bit before giving my first SLR camera a go. I took him out on a couple of photowalk sessions, loaded it with Fuji Superia Reala 100 first, then Kodak Ultramax 400.

Here are some of the best shots from the first two rolls:

Fuji Superia Reala 100
Kodak Ultramax 400

I find this a great camera which I bring along with me nearly everywhere. However, as with majority of SLR cameras, it needs a decent selection of lenses to make it an actual all-around camera (that’s why I’m planning to buy a wide-angle/zoom lens for this in the near future). Also, since it requires manual focusing, it’s not really my camera of choice for spontaneous street shots. I use it mostly for portraits, close-ups, and landscape photos.

Two years and countless film rolls later, the Nikon FE2, which I decided to call Ken (yes, I have this bad habit of naming my cameras), remains one of my favorite and best-loved analogue goodies. Some of my photos which I consider my best ones so far were taken using my trusty Nikon FE2.

Credits: plasticpopsicle

written by plasticpopsicle on 2011-12-13 in #reviews #nikon #film-camera #lomography #nikon-fe2 #film-slr #staff-review

18 Comments

  1. itsdebraanne
    itsdebraanne ·

    my Canon AE-1's lens has the same features 50mm F/1.4.

  2. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    very good camera and fotos...<:)

  3. clownshoes
    clownshoes ·

    Great article; I'm Nikon crazy over here

  4. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    The strawberries photo is gooooorgeous!

  5. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    I always find myself going back to my SLR. It is my workhorse of cameras. :)

  6. renenob
    renenob ·

    That's it! I have to buy an SLR! Canon AE-1 probably.

  7. gegana06
    gegana06 ·

    A Nikonian greet from Indonesia... :)
    I'm recently using some Nikon SLR such FM2n. EM, Nikomat FTn, F90X.
    If you like to shoot from wide to medium zoom, just try the Nikon 35-70mm or 28-80mm lens and don't forget the 35-105mm lens. Those are multipurpose lens, so U just need 1 lens..

  8. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    Thank you, everyone! I leaned towards Nikon more since acquiring an FE2, but I still want to have/try a Canon AE-1 for good measure!

  9. gegana06
    gegana06 ·

    If you find the Canon AE-1, just check the exposure/light meter first. Don't forget to examine the film magazine and the battery area.
    The best lens for AE-1 is the 28mm f/2.8 S.C, 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C. happy hunting :)

  10. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    @gegana06 Thank you for your advice! I'll keep that in mind, and keep my fingers crossed that I get to find/buy one in black!

  11. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    @renenob The hunt is on! I'll scour Hidalgo one of these days and let you know once I come across an AE-1 in good condition.

  12. buro55nl
    buro55nl ·

    I have a F5 which is also a wunderful camera

  13. willdoney
    willdoney ·

    Great article. My dad still uses his Nikon FM and he's recently passed on Pentax MX. After years of avoiding photography, Lomography has inspired me to pick up film again. I love using manual SLRs!

  14. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    OK, plastic is funtastic but these slr are pure luxury! :) I have some SLR, actually my fav one is the Canon T70 with the fantastic 50mm F/1.4 S.S.C lens! Compliments, great pictures!

  15. darlim
    darlim ·

    MY fav SLR cam is also the FE2. GReat review and declaration of love for the camera! :)

  16. midas
    midas ·

    Most of my pictures I shoot now with a Minolta XD7 with always de MD 50/1.4 attached to it. Great combo...and the same photographical approach :-)

  17. gambajo
    gambajo ·

    I have a Canon AE-1 and a Nikon FE2. I like the FM2 more, because it have the aperture priority and the AE-1 have only the shutter speed priority. I like to choose the aperture by myself, so i can give the pictures a nice bokeh with my 50mm f/1.4 lens.

    I'm still looking for a 85mm lens for portraits.

  18. af-capture
    af-capture ·

    nice article....thinking to get a fe2....

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