Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon FE - The Body

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The Nikon FE was introduced in 1978 (Discontinued in 1984). Shared virtually the same physical dimension and appearance with the fully mechanical FM, the FE2 and the current FM2(n). To avoid confusion or mixing up with the same looking FM body, there is an easy identification because it has no model designation engraved on the front of the body as like the Nikon FE2 and FM2(n):

Nikon FE.jpg (19k)
The letters ''FE" precede the serial number on the back of the camera and the shutter speed dial has a green "A" and orange colored coded shutter speed of "2", "4" and "8" sec. To differentiate it from the next upgrade of Nikon FE2 - apart from the engraved model name on the front, again look at the shutter speed dial, the FE has 14 settings, while the FE2 has 16 settings with the maximum speed to 1/4000 sec as opposed to the FE's 1/1000 sec.

Further, the red colored maximum sync speed for the FE2 is 1/250 sec and the FE is 1/125 sec. These are basic info for you to do a quick check, just in case you are viewing the camera through the window display in the camera shop and unable to identifying its actual model because although the Nikon FE and FE2 are very much alike, the FM is even harder to differentiate through a distance.

FE Back View.jpg (14k)
Before going through this site, I strong suggest you to check the Specifications page or use the main reference map for cross reference, you may also download a copy of the operation manual for future reference. Since the FE is an electronic camera, you have to install battery to power its main functions like the metering, electronically control and timed shutter before you started using the FE. This applies on all the three models in the FE series.

Cells.jpg (3k)
Early days of auto camera bodies need to "convince" hard-core mechanical SLR users to think automatic cameras are very reliable and dependable That means in designing, much emphasize on concentrating around to the power efficiency issue. Most Nikon MF bodies need only tiny button cell(s) to power either its metering in the case of mechanical bodies or its electronically timed shutter and metering circuitry for about a year (Depends on usage). Secondly, a mechanical back up lever plus the "B" setting, just in case the all important cells fail to function normally. The FE series has a way to check its battery condition, the FE, in this case, has a battery condition check lever/indication LED light at the back of the body to monitor.

The FE series bodies need either two 1.5v silver-oxide batteries, two 1.5v alkaline batteries, or one 3v lithium battery to power all its operations. The battery compartment is located on the camera base, between the tripod socket and the motor drive contacts. Remove the battery clip by inserting a coin into the slotted battery chamber lid and turning it in a counterclockwise direction. Make sure the battery contacts are clean. As most problems arise from cameras are battery related. Sometimes, even an invisible film can prevent proper contact like your sebum or oily finger tips. Generally, as for normal guideline in camera care, never hold any cells in the center, only at the side. You may use either a clean cloth to clean off a light layer of oxidation, and a pencil eraser will remove heavier deposits that may deposited at the cells' polarity marks front and back or the contact point (battery clip) inside the camera battery compartment. After correct installation, insert the holder back into the battery chamber using a coin to screw it securely into place and your camera will be ready to function. If it doesn't, open and check the polarity marks on the cells.

There isn't many lever or button situated at the camera back. The FE's has a battery test lever locates on the camera back just below the rewind knob. It is actually an LED and a spring-fed lever). To check the battery condition, press the lever down - if the LED glows brightly, the batteries provide/contain an ample supply of power.

If the LED glows faintly or flicker from strong to weak, it is still in order but may be at half or below its maximum efficiency If the LED does not signal at all either, there are no battery(ies) inside, or make sure it is inserted correctly with the correct polarity installed as indicated in the battery holder (Make sure that the respective plus (+) and 2 minus (-) signs correspond with similar marks provided in the clip) and that there is no corrosion on the terminals at the cells or at the battery clip of the camera body in the battery compartment.

You may think this is a joke to tell you all these basics. But along with the years, I did came across many instances where the corrosive or bad contacts inside battery chamber was the main culprit which cause the camera fails to function normally. This applies to many other camera, regardless of failed metering in the mechanical or full blown AE bodies. Thus, in any case, IF you happen to lay off your camera for a extended period of time unattended, it is always a good practice to remove the cells inside the camera.



When the camera is not in use, make sure that the film-advance lever is positioned flush with the camera body. As the lever doubles as the meter on-off switch, leaving it in the standoff position will result in the camera’s battery being completely drained in just a few days.


When the camera is attached to the MD-11 motor drive, make sure the motor drive is switched off when it is not in use to prevent drain of both the camera and the motor drive’s batteries.


When the batteries are dead or there are none installed in the camera, the only two settings which can be used are “M90” and “B.” If you trip the shutter with the camera set to any other speed, the shutter won't open or the reflex mirror may remain in the “up” position. If the mirror locks up,simply turn the shutter speed dial to “M90” and the mirror will return to its normal viewing position. Then you can install new batteries. To avoid wasting a frame, stroke the winding lever while holding in the multiple-exposure lever.
| Back | Next | Additional supplements: Technical Information relating to Nikon FE(7 parts) BUT If you are new to the Nikon FE, I would strongly suggest you to start from the Basic Operation Section (10 parts)

| Back to Nikon FE Main Index Page |
| Back to Nikon FE Series Main Index Page |

An External Link for Instruction Manual on Nikon FE prepared by Mr. Stuart Willis
Main Index Page of: FE Series | Nikon FE | FE-2 | FE-10

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Others:- Nikon AF-TTL Speedlights | SB-20 (1986) | SB-22 (1987) | SB-23 | SB-24 (1988) | SB-25 (1991/2) | SB-26 (1994) | SB-27(1997) | SB-28 (1997) | Nikon SB-29(s) (2000) | Nikon SB-30 (2003) | Nikon SB-600 (2004) | Nikon SB-800 (2003) Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight DX-Series: Nikon SB-28DX (1999) | SB-50DX (2001) | SB-80DX (2002)

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Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:- 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 |

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Index Page
  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

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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 Nikon FE series SLR camera models; please ignore some portion of the content contained herein this site where it relates.

Recommended Reading Reference on Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses
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A contributing effort to Michael C Liu's Classic Nikon Site.

Credit: Chuck Hester for some of his beautiful images used in this site; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input; Lars Holst Hansen, Danish 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion; Mr Poon from Poon photo for their input; Ms Miss Rissa (Sales Manager) & members of the Technical Service dept. of Shriro Malaysia, local distributor of Nikon cameras in Malaysia & Singapore, in providing so many useful input to make this site possible. Special thanks to Mr MC Lau, who has helped with his images of the MF-12 databack. Michael Tan, Pertama Photo (603-2926505) for lending his original Titanium Shutter Display Unit. Dave Hoyt who has prepared the introductory page and offer some images of his FE2 in this site.. Hiura Shinsaku, Nikomat ML, Japan for his contribution on all the various images; A contributing site to a long lost friend on the Net. Note: Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their own work to publish in this site based on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such possible dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Made witha PowerMac.