Staff Review: My Trusty Nikon FE2


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, the Nikon FE2. We've been inseparable ever since.

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

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 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 a 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:

Kodak Ultramax 400, Fuji Superia Reala 100

I find this a great camera which I bring along with me nearly everywhere. However, as with the 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 or 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

This article was written by Community Member plasticpopsicle.

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


  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....

  19. spiritvisionphotography
    spiritvisionphotography ·

    The FE-2 is a fantastic Camera. I would never part with mine. The FE is very good too.

  20. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    @spiritvisionphotography I just bought a black Nikon FE2 body. So I now have two. I love it that much!

  21. spiritvisionphotography
    spiritvisionphotography ·

    That’s great. Slap an MD-12 grip on it, and you’ll really enjoy it. I have one on my FE-12, just for the added grip. I never turn it on. I’ve even removed most of the batteries to keep the weight down.


  22. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    @spiritvisionphotography The black body I bought actually came with one! I haven't used it yet, though. Looks great!

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