Thursday, December 21, 2017

Making room for one more

This Nikon FE showed up at my door recently looking for a new home.  I'm not exactly short of old film cameras, but who could turn away a perfectly preserved and working classic Nikon slr?  This one came with a Nikkor f1.8 50mm.  It has some sophisticated electronics including aperture-priority auto-exposure, but also allows full manual control of f-stops and shutter speeds.  Judging by the serial number this FE seems likely to have been manufactured mid-way through the camera's 1978-1983 production run.  So, this is one of the newest cameras in my collection.  I could tell from the smooth movements and sounds that there was likely nothing amiss with the camera, but of course I had to pop in a roll of Tri-X to give it a quick trial run.







To say that I've had an on-again/off-again relationship with Nikons is something of an understatement.  My first was a Nikon S rangefinder which I picked up around 1963; it had a fabulous lens, but that didn't stop me from selling it for a song in a fit of stupidity after shooting it a couple years.  I then skipped over Nikon development for the next couple decades before buying one of the company's early CoolPix digitals.  I kept that one just a couple years too; it wasn't a bad camera, but it became quickly obsolete and I gave it away to a neighbor.  A Nikon EM that I found a couple years ago at a yard sale performed erratically and likely won't see much use.  Now, I'm really pleased to have another shot at getting familiar with one of Nikon's great cameras from the film era.

7 comments:

Jim Grey said...

You always get such rich tones when you shoot the stucco (adobe?) buildings available to you.

I'm pleased for you that you got an FE, and in such nice condition. Sounds like it behaves like brand new.

Mike said...

That first shot is of a house nearby that got a complete makeover recently. I'm hoping to do some more pictures of it soon. It is nearly ready for occupancy, I'll look out for an open house.

JR Smith said...

Bravo on the FE! It's a fine camera!

Larry Cordeiro said...

Hi Mike,

I'm a fairly new reader, and have enjoyed your recent posts, and some of your older ones as well. While I have moved on to digital (Fuji X series) I still do shoot film from time to time. I started my love for photography while in high school (1960's), and still have my (working Minolta Hi-Matic) camera from that time. Hope you are doing well after your eye surgery?

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year,

Lazza

Mike said...

Hi, Larry
I've seen a lot of praise for the Hi-Matic, though I've never tried one myself. I still have a Spotmatic I bought in San Francisco about 1970. I don't have any of my earlier cameras, but I have been able to acquire similar models including a C3, a Pony 828 and a Brownie Hawkeye Flash. All of them have made good photos for me.
The eyes are amazingly improved. The most immediate effect of that is that I can clearly see some serious technical deficiencies in my work over the past couple years as my eyesight deteriorated. Since I can now see the controls on my cameras and the results of my photoshopping, I'm assuming that there will be some improvement in the product of my efforts.

milldave said...

Hi Mike,
Great results!
I'm glad the camera has found a new home where it will see more use than before.
Perhaps if I didn't have the F3 as well, it might have had more 'photo' and less 'shelf' time.
Looking forward to seeing more of your work with the FE.
Compliments of the Season to you and your family.
Regards,
David

Mike said...

It's great to have a really reliable camera to cut down the variables when you are trying to sort out issues of film and processing. I just finished up a roll of Kentmere 100 in the Nikon and am going to process it in pmk pyro in the morning.