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.
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:
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.
This article was written by Community Member plasticpopsicle.