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Overall camera rating: * * * * *

Nikon FE

The Nikon FE is a joy to use. As soon as you pick one up, you immediately notice the quality of construction that is not present in today's models. This camera was (in the late 70's) sold as an advanced model for amateurs, but also used by pros. It's release followed that of the mechanical FM, but unlike that camera, it is mostly electronic and operated by two watch batteries that power the meter. I understand these batteries last for years. I've had mine for about six months and I am yet to change mine. But even then, should your batteries die (they shouldn't, there is a battery warning light to warn when they are low) there are two mechanical speeds that allow the camera to operate without batteries. M90 (1/90s) and bulb, which is perfect for long exposures at night...startrails and the like. It has an auto mode, which is what we would call 'aperture priority' today. Set this on the speed dial and then select your preferred aperture (on the lens, not with a dial) and you get brilliant exposures every time. It has an exposure lock(push the self timer to the lens) and a simple yet effective way of viewing exposure with a dual needle system. There is also the option to use exposure compensation (to +/-2) and select ISOs from 25 to 3200. By the real beauty of this camera is its simplicity and because of it you are taken back to pure photography. There is no need to worry about which button does what, the exposure setting...white balance etc, just set the exposure, focus and click. And the fact that you can get these for under $100/£100, means this is the cheapest way into ful frame photography. Simply put, this is the film version of the Df, but without the frippery. In short, the FE is a superb camera that I want to use all the time.

List Price (USA): $330
In Production: No
Launch Date: January 1978
Year Discontinued: 1983
Format: FX (Full-Frame)
Sensor Type: Film
Low-Pass Filter: No
Min. ISO: 50
Max. ISO: 3200
Dust Removal Support: Yes
Shooting Modes: Aperture Priority (A), Manual (M), Bulb (B)
Minimum Shutter Speed (s): 8
Maximum Shutter Speed (s): 1/1000
Max. Burst (FPS): 1
Live View Mode: Yes
Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism
Exposure Compensation Range (EV): -2 to 2
Exposure Compensation Steps: 1/3EV
Primary AF Type: N/A
Live View Autofocus: Contrast Detect
Movie Mode: No
Built-In Microphone: N/A
Built-In Flash: No
Flash Sync Speed (s): 1/125
Hotshoe: Yes
Mount Type: Nikon F Mount
Number of Media Slots: 1
Battery Grip: No
Weather Sealing: No
Available Colors: Black, Silver
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3 Reviews