Vintage and Classic Cameras
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Nikon FE, 35mm compact SLR, c1978

This Nikon FE is a beautifully built semi professional camera from the Japanese manufacturer, Nippon Kogaku. The product name Nikon, became bigger than the company, so habitually people refer to the company as Nikon too. They were never shy about making claims regarding their quality of construction or range of accessories available, and with good reason, both were exceptional. Rolleiflex and Leica may well be justifiably credited for being masters of Twin Lens reflex and Rangefinder cameras, but the Nikon is arguably the master SLR. The Nikon FE was introduced mid 1978, an aperture priority automatic exposure (AE) camera, power being supplied by two 1.25 Volt (LR44) button cells. The camera will not function without them, except for the B and 1/90th shutter settings, so bear this in mind if looking at one. Failure to release the shutter after the batteries go flat commonly gives the impression of a dead camera. The camera is packed with features, including easily changed focus screens (three types were available) and multiple exposure facility. Common features on other types are all there, delayed release, depth of field preview, exposure compensation in half stop increments, etc.. Although not as famous as the earlier Nikon F and brethren, the Nikon FE is still a very usable camera, and in 2013 still hold some residual value as a result. The camera switches on when the wind on lever is in the stand off position, and the shutter is locked if the lever is retracted, so bear this in mind. The camera will accept all the available Nikkor lenses of the period. This example, from 1980, was very generously donated to the LICM in May 2013 by Mr. P. Nice, who also took the trouble to ship it from Luxembourg. It needed little more than an external clean and good blow through with an air duster.

Nikon have their own authoritative site, including articles written by one of the original design team.

The Nikon FE was available with Black painted or chrome plated casings as here.

Nikon FE camera

Body No. 3472522
Shutter, Focal Plane, metal blind, 1000th to 8 seconds.
Lens, Nikkor 50mm No. 1886243 f/1.8
Condition, 5F

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