Nikon FE2 35mm SLRs

Nikon FE2 35mm SLRs 

DESCRIPTION

Very popular and discontinued.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 54  
[Jan 08, 2020]
Smaug1


Strength:

1) Build Quality - Everything holds together well and works well. 2) Smooth and satisfying film advance; much nicer than the stacked feeling from the F3 and FG 3) Counterbalanced mirror = no mirror lock-up needed 4) 1/4000s top shutter speed = No need to bring along ND filters, unless you want to SLOW DOWN the shutter speed for motion blur. (ex. running water) 5) Body is big enough to hold onto, but not too heavy. Smaller bodies, such as the EM and FG can be too small with heavy lenses, pro bodies like the F2 and F3 weigh a LOT more. 6) Great match needle light meter. Very intuitive. 7) In manual mode, it behaves just like an older manual-only camera. In A mode, and a little photographic knowledge (set an appropriate aperture for the conditions) it can be almost point & shoot fast. 8) Handy auto exposure lock feature by pushing the self timer lever toward the lens. 9) Shutter speed dial is perfect. It can be rotated with one finger while the camera is at eye level. Competing cameras need a two-finger grip to turn the shutter speed dial.

Weakness:

1) Battery life isn't as good as purely mechanical cameras, nor the original FE 2) Light meter cannot be seen in dark environments; FM and FM2N are better in this regard, though they don't show in the analog manner how far off the exposure is. I would like to say that the FM series is better in low light for this reason, but shutter speeds and metering only go down to 1s for them, whereas the FE2 can time shots many minutes long in A mode. 3) Exposure compensation dial is not quick to use; it has a lock that must be pressed. Compare this to the Olympus OM2N and it is quite clumsy.

Price Paid:
142
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
1985
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Feb 09, 2011]
Nova1B
Intermediate

Strength:

High quality construction, built to last, will make a great ornament even when it does eventually break

Bright viewfinder with both shutter speed and aperture indicators

Has just enough automation (aperture priority) to help you get the shot right in a hurry, but with easily accessible manual controls always at hand

Far cheaper now than a classic like this deserves to be

Nikon lens system - can use pretty much any lens they made after 1977, apart from the G series

Weakness:

Shutter relies on electronic control, so if there's a problem it may be uneconomic to fix

Like any camera this age, it probably needs light seals and mirror foam replacing if it hasn't been already (but at least this shouldn't affect the viewfinder, as it does on some Olympus models of the same vintage)

Years ago I owned and used a Nikon FG - a great little manual focus SLR aimed at consumers - but always coveted one of the higher end Nikons like the FM2 or FE2. Then like many people I got sucked into digital for years, and the FG and its lenses languished under the bed gathering dust.

More recently I got inspired to take up film again - for all the inconvenience compared to digital its just so much nicer to use, and - with a mostly manual body - much more of a creative art. So I dusted off the FG, but soon felt there was something missing still - the FG still didn't feel quite right.

A bit of research later and I realised that not only was I still hankering after an FM/FE series camera, but they were suddenly a lot more affordable than they once were. There's a lot to be said for either camera, but in the end I went with an FE2 because, with its optional Aperture Priority and TTL flash, it literally did everything my FG was capable of and much more, whereas the FM2 lacked a few features that I might have ended up missing. Of course many people feel the FM2 has an advantage by being all mechanical and easier to repair (with no electronics), and there's something to be said for that, but at the end of the day there are thousands of perfectly working FE2s still out there - and for as long as they work, they just offer a lot more.

I picked up a "well used" black FE2 complete with an MD-12 motordrive for £75 on ebay. It had a few signs of wear and needed new light seals and mirror foam (which I cleaned up and replaced myself using a kit, also from ebay), but aside from that I've been delighted to find it working absolutely perfectly.

The FE2 handles beautifully - it just feels great in the hand, all the controls are feel perfect and work just as you'd expect, and with its fast shutter it really is about as good as 35mm film photography gets - with the exception of Autofocus (which this camera resolutely does not have) film camera technology really didn't progress much beyond this.

Every manual, creative control you'd want is laid out here. Depth of field preview - something I always missed from the FG - is fantastic to have, and combined with the clear display of f-stop in the viewfinder, I find I'm suddenly thinking a lot more about aperture and my photography is improving as a result. The meter readout - a simple but informative match-needle display - is accurate, intuitive and easy to use. Even when resorting to "automatic" (ie Aperture Priority) there's a handy AE lock to override the meter when you want to recompose, together with an exposure compensation dial.

Build quality is superlative - it's not as big or heavy as the earlier generation cameras and its perfectly portable and even pocketable, but yet it feels like its carved from solid metal, and that's because it mostly is. Controls are positive and smooth, winding on is a pleasure due to some very well engineered gearing, and the shutter is silky - not the quietest I've ever heard, but almost vibration free. Make sure you change any manky old mirror foam to get the best out of it though - mine had quite a bit more "mirror slap" before I did that.

Customer Service

n/a

Similar Products Used:

Nikon FG
Many older cameras
Various modern/digital cameras

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 10, 2007]
mohawk51
Expert

Strength:

It's a Nikon!!!

Weakness:

None noted.

One of the best Nikon cameras I've ever owned, besides the F3! I've owned a chrome FE2 for over a year and just recently bought a mint++ black FE2. They are wonderful and reliable cameras in every respect. It deserves more than a 5 star rating.

Customer Service

Hasn't been needed. Knock on wood!!!

Similar Products Used:

Nikon EL2, FE.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 08, 2005]
trebor
Intermediate

Strength:

Easy to use, rugged. I dropped this countless times--this camera is dented and scratched--and it keeps firing away.

Weakness:

Hard to read the meter in low light.

I bought this camera when I was 14 years old after saving up (what I thought was) a ton of money. I used it for everything: art mostly, but people and sports as well. It never let me down, picture after picture, roll after roll. Since then, I moved on to different camera, and finally now to digital SLRs. I still use this as one of my backup. All the manual and autofocus (except G) lenses work. I love this camera.

Similar Products Used:

FM3a, F3 (backups) D70s (main)

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 14, 2004]
azdustdevil
Professional

Strength:

Lightweight Durable/reliable Simple to use Uses a world of lenses and accessories Easy to change from man exp to auto

Weakness:

Afraid I will scratch it

This camera is unbelievable. Lightweight yet solid, only occasional maintenance is necessary. It is easy to use, like my FM, but has added feature of aperture priority auto exposure when you need it, and is quite accurate when you do. I rarely use the shutter speeds over 1000, but nice to have when you need it. Light meter/match needle is hard to use in very low light situations, so I just place it in automatic and the FE2 does its thing and does so quite well. Feels natural in your hands. This camera needs little maintenance, but the foam seals and foam mirror bumper need replacement every few years. FE2s in top shape are getting harder and harder to find. I will probably retire mine soon, now that I have digital.

Customer Service

Never needed it, except for routine service done locally at authorized repair shop.

Similar Products Used:

FM, F, F2

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 02, 2003]
Kemotex
Expert

Strength:

Size Handling Simplicity Few limitations

Weakness:

Can't use different viewfinders like in the F series.

I bought this camera new in 1986, after selling my Canon A1 (a great camera but I didn't like its readout). I have not felt a need to replace it over all these years. Very natural handling camera, small but sturdy. The problem of not being able to see the readout in dark that many mention has never bothered me, as I usually shoot in automatic at night (for long exposures--which by the way can be extended way beyond the 8 seconds its manual suggests). One thing I don't like is the safety pin for exposure compensation (very small and hard to oprate with gloves; Nikon could have left it out). I also don't care for the inconvenient exposure lock, and seldom use it--they changed this with the FM3a. Lack of mechanical speeds have not been a problem for me. I use a battery tester to periodically check the batteries. Only once have I been forced to use the 1/250 second mechanical speed. The self timer serves as a very convenient mirror lock-up. All in all it has very few limitations. If I was buying a camera today I would go for its present day reincarnation, the FM3a.

Customer Service

Haven't used

Similar Products Used:

Canon A1

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 13, 2003]
GAC
Intermediate

Strength:

Needel match system for shutter speed. You can tell and set the the over/under exposure by adjusting the aperture in one step in manual mode. Just use the shutter memory lock in "A" mode to do the smae, only faster. The body is very, very solid. The batteries will last years! Flash sync at 1/250 sec (with TTL flash) is perfect for flash fill. Set the shutter on manual mode for 1/250 sec and adjust the aperture for proper exposure (on manual mode) for the background. Set the flash for TTL and set the camera exposure compensation to -1 stop (or what ever you like) and depress the shutter release button. All in manual mode. The TTL flash is affected by the camera's exposure compensation, but, the ambient (background) exposure is not affected.

Weakness:

Needel match system is not visible in low light situations.

I just love this camera. The match system (when you have enough light) is the best! The "A" aperture priority mode works better than any camera I have had. Just swing the camera down to set the shutter speed for a shot that incudes the sky, depress the memory lock or set the shutter manually. And shoot! Simple! If you know how to use the 60/40 center weighted metering, you will get perfect exposures just about every time. The needel match system can't be beat. You can always tell how if the shot will over/under expose and by how much. A little bit of practice goes a long way with this camera. The 1/250 sec flash sync and the 8 sec max exposure time are absolute gems in photography. By the way, the 8 sec max exposure time is not the limit. Just set the camera to "A" and set your aperture, set the self timer and depress the shutter release. The mirror will flip up first and 10 sec later the shutter will open....for far longer than 8 sec if needed. Great for night shots!

Customer Service

Not required yet.

Similar Products Used:

Nikon FA, FM, FG and EM. All are good but the FE2 is best for me.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 23, 2002]
PhotoFrans
Expert

Strength:

· Aperture, chosen and advised shutter speed visible (match-needle) in viewfinder. · Aperture priority (wide shutter speed range but not as good as Olympus OM2n) and manual control · AE-lock · Depth Of Field preview · selftimer · Flash sync is 1/250 and top shutter speed 1/4000 · MD12 winder (MD11 drains exposure meter battery when accidentally left ‘on’. · Build quality · Lenses !! · Replaceable focus screen · Nice controls layout (intuitive) · Holds well, especially with MD12 · large Manual shutter speed range B+ 8S to 1/4000 · Easy to set exposure compensation, reminder in viewfinder. · Reliable · Great with SB16B Flash and Metz 45 flashes on TTL · Great Shutter! · Film reminder on back (would prefer a window) · PC connection and Hot Shoe · Double exposure feature (never used it though)

Weakness:

· limited TTL flash range 100-400 ASA · MD 12 drive is very noisy

Before my Nikon FE-2 I owned Olympus gear (OM-1, OM-2, OM-2n, OM10, OM30) and a wide range of lenses. I was never really satisfied with these well-built and fine cameras with great Exposure system I might add. Lack of aperture and chosen shutter speed in the viewfinder and low syncro (1/60) and top shutter speed (1/1000) were my main problems. If the lens is changed the shutter speed ring around the lens barrel is easily shifted without warning causing faulty flash exposures above 1/60 (flash wont fire). Finally I’ve had enough of the OM system and went looking for the ultimate Automatic exposure Manual focus camera with all the features that are important to me. After months of reading reviews, articles and trying out all different brands and types of cameras in shops (I must have driven them mad) there seemed to be ONLY one camera that fitted the bill. YES the FE-2. This camera really has ALL the functions I need and want plus great lenses. I have never been more enthusiastic about a camera than this one. It has TTL flash that works excellent, especially with the SB16, but (sadly) a too small range for my liking 100-400 ASA, this is its only downside for me. A small price to pay since most of the film I use fortunately is within this range. If I this one should ever stop working (can it?) I would buy the new FM3a.

Customer Service

After buying secondhand had to have the exposure meter adjusted. Quick and good service (warranty)

Similar Products Used:

Practika MTL3, Petriflex V, Olympus OM-1, OM-2, OM-2n, OM10, OM30, Nikon F301, F501(AF), F801(AF now used by the wife).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 06, 2002]
Chris McDonald
Expert

Strength:

the versitility of this camera in my belief has never been matched, Controls are all dials which has a nice lica-ish feel to it. Replacable focusing screen. hot shoe w/ 1/250th of a sec sync speed. depth of field control is not just a button. speeds from 8sec to 1/4000 of a sec. automatic and manual shutter speeds for people learning this takes out a lot of the guess work. works with 12iso film(good luck finding that) battery life is very long compared to say.. an F80 titanium shutters(as compared to silk)

Weakness:

NOT DIGITAL dosn't have a very bulky feel to it needs an attachment to wind automaticaly(MD11 of MD12)

...

Customer Service

nikon has easily the best customer service of any camera company

Similar Products Used:

every camera on the planet

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 04, 2002]
Dougman
Expert

Strength:

Build Quality, Ergonomics, Lens choices, balance of convenience and manual control

Weakness:

Really none to speak of

Probably the best Nikon (at least until the FM3a) for anyone except a pro. Not too heavy, but beautifully made. The best ergonomics of ANY Nikon

Customer Service

none used

Similar Products Used:

FE, F, F2, F3, Olympus OM-2, Minolta XD-11,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 54  

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