Nikon FG film-based Compact SLR camera, 1982
Nikon FG was introduced 4 years after super compact Nikon EM in 1979. There were many innovation and sophisticated improvement incorporated within the identical size camera body. It was Nikon's first multimode AE camera. Unlike the only black body EM, it came with two choices of either black or chrome. You can just use the shutter speed dial to easily distinguish differences between the EM and the FG.
In comparison, the Nikon EM was a simple automatic exposure SLR camera with only a sole aperture priority AE mode, a mechanical shutter speed of M90 and a bulb mode to spare in case of battery failure. There was no manual exposure control and exposure compensation was only via a fixed 2 stops exposure compensation button.
The introduction of Nikon FG was timely fitted into the slot where seasoned photographers who migrated from the EM may demand a greater degree of control especially in a more flexible exposure control. It was also the first Nikon camera that provides a Programmed Auto mode which amazingly require only a minimum specification of an AI-spec lens to enjoy such benefit.
So, we have a compact camera body almost identical to the size of the EM, but now offering three different exposure modes, a few options in mechanical backup operation and came with its own made-for-the-FG accessories. But most of all, it also allows you to tab into the huge Nikon system of lenses, accessories and specialized equipment. Although I don't regard these very well made compact bodies are all Nikon Classics, but it has its own charm and product characteristic and still deserve a good look if you are considering a used body. In fact, other than it doesn't stand against the built quality of the mechanical or electronic bodies of the late '70 or early eighties like the Nikkormat, FE/FE2/FM/FM2(n)/FA, but still it can measure well against many current AF entry models. On a price versus performance ratio, the used units in the secondary market shouldn't be expensive and it is very logical to put them in your consideration if you are looking for a second camera body or replacement unit.
Let us do a quick comparative figure between some latest AF entry SLRs and the Nikon FG: AF Nikon F50 : 149mm (W) x 96mm (H) x 70mm (D). While a latest Nikon F-100 comes with a spec of 785g for the weight and measures 158mm (W) x 149 (H) x 79mm (D) weighing 1,210g for a top of the line Nikon F5 ! So, a light weight (490g), compact (136mm (W) x 87.5 mm (H) x 54 mm (D) Nikon FG may be attractive to anyone who put mobility , compatibility and affordability as priorities.
How can the FG fit it all into such a compact, lightweight body ? Nikon explained by claiming manufacturing and assembling processes have been automated. (No less than three IC chips - bipolar, bi-MOS and ISL - integrated into a hybrid configuration on one FPC board for the micro electronic circuitry. And to make sure the FG works with high accuracy and stability, several assembling processes are automated - Automatic Mounting on the FPC, Automatic Assembly of the mechanical units, and Automatic Adjusting/Testing of electrical circuits - and laser trimming is used to adjust the registers to be put on the FPC with the ICs. Exact, reliable operation and an energy-saving circuitry on the inside, and a durable die-cast body shaping the outside - yes, the FG, although processes a polycarbonated feel, but beneath its leatherette covering, the basic structure is still a Aluminum die-cast body. But during those days, demanding Nikon users (Like me...hehe) have some of the finest manual focus Nikon cameras like the F3, FE2, FA etc. around to compare, and naturally, the high quality and standard set can make the EM or the FG very difficult to impress. Another factor which may contribute to such thought was the Programmed AE mode in a Nikon was not that popular to many serious amateurs where generally many users think it project the camera with a heavy cast of 'amateuristic' impression.
To a FG user, all these remarks may sound unwelcome. But the underlying fact remains, the FG was originally made for amateurs or those who has limited budget to spend on photographic equipment. This is a flexible, multi features SLR camera, light, compact enough for everyday use. But Nikon cannot denied they are using the goodwill where people usually associated the brand name with reliability and ruggedness. But did Nikon really brought us a good camera. I thought so (If you are not that demanding and expect a FG can rival a robustly built F3 in terms of reliability) - that is why I am spending so much time to prepare these sites in PIM.
| Previous | Next | 4 parts outline various Nikon FG's capabilities
Page One | Page Two | Page Three | Page Four | Page Five | Spec (with instruction manual link)
Quality of the User Manual is is less desirable, but still - it is a Manual in PDF format. Instruction Manual for Nikon FG (Extenal link) 4.1MB in PDF | Alternate Source Instruction Manual for Nikon FG in PDF (External Link @ butkus.org) CLICK HERE
| Nikon EM, 1979 | | Nikon FG, 1982 | | Nikon FG20, 1984 |
Specifications : Nikon EM, Nikon FG, Nikon FG-20
Additional info available on : MD-14 | MD-E | SB-15 | SB-E | MF-15 Databack
W A R N I N G: The New G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have no aperture ring on the lens, they CANNOT ADJUST APERTURES with any of these manual focus SLR camera models; please ignore some portion of the content contained herein this site where it relates.
| Message Board | for your favourite Nikon SLR models Questions, issues & Answer(s)
| Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon/Nikkor Photographic Equipment
| Back | to Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs
The Eyes of Nikon:-
Nippon Kogaku KK Rangefinder RF-Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Auto Focus AF-Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus MF-Nikkor lenses- Main Index Page
Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm |
Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm |
Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |
Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm
MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm |
35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm |
100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm
Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E
Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat |
Nikon FM | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models
MIR Supports for Photographic Community: Various Message Boards/Community Forums
Nikon F-series| Nikon F2-series| Nikon F3-series| Nikon F4-series| Nikon F5-series|Nikkormat/Nikomat-series
Nikon FM-series|Nikon FE-series|Nikon FA|Nikon Digital SLR series|Various Nikon Models|Nikkor Optic -shared
Others:- Free Trade Zone - Photography| Free Trade Zone - Business Community |Free To Zouk - Photographic Community
Apple's Mac Public Community Message Board | Windows based PC & Apple/Mac Public Community Trade Exchange Centre
Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
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Credit: My nephew, EeWynwho has helped to convert the Owner's Manual of Nikon EM into HTML format. Also to a smart friend of mine who has just spent US60-00 for a EM body. A contributing site to a long lost friend on the Net. Made witha PowerMac