Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon FE - Info on Its Viewing Section

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The Nikon FE is a single-lens reflex camera having a fixed pentaprism offering convenient eye-level viewing and focusing. Viewfinder coverage is approximately 93 percent of the actual picture area and corresponds to the picture area of a mounted transparency. The image projected on the focusing screen is bright enough (The FE-2's screen is interchangeable and posted one stop brighter than the FE) and clear with Nikon's silver coating applied to the pentaprism, plus the independent design of its interchangeable focusing screen. Big deal ? Yes! Prior to the arrival of the FE, other than the professional model of the F (1959), F2 (1971) and F3 (1980), none of the Nikon bodies offered an interchangeable screen feature - not even with the earlier FM. The mechanical FM finally has this feature in its upgrade, FM2 (1982) and shared the same screen with the FE's. After 1983, the FM2n, the FE-2 and the FA share the same newer and brighter K2, B2 and E2 screens. But the screens designed for the Nikon FE is still usable and interchangeable among all these bodies (Warning: Exposure compensation required where applies, please refer to the shared resources section for more info and verify the new and older screens).

Finder Information

Viewfinder information presents in the FE's is called the match needle type, a common and popular design those days. Doubt what I claimed ? The professional Canon's top-of-the-line model for the '80, the New F-1 was still using the match needle way for its viewfinder info on the basic body. To the left of the screen are the shutter speed scale, black meter needle, and green shutter speed indicator all arranged in a logical, legible manner. Above the screen is the f/number to which the aperture ring is set.

I always regarded the the finder info design in the FE is one of Nikon's best. Easy to understand even for a novice and key elements pertaining to exposure info was presented at one glance, yet un-obstructive to one's attention to the composition Fortunately, the FE2's improved features didn't prompt those designers changed the finder design.

Depth-of-Field Preview The depth-of-field preview lever is conveniently located next to the lens mount, so that it can be depressed with the right middle finger. The purpose of this lever is two fold: ( 1 ) It offers a visual indication of the portions of the subject, from foreground to background, which will be sharp in the final photograph; (2) It is also used for stopped-down metering when non AI-type Nikkor lenses or attachment like bellows, extension ring etc are used on the FE. (For further information, see the description of Stopped-Down Metering in Exposure Control section.)

Reflex Mirror The FE uses the same type of mirror mechanism originally developed for the Nikon F2. After the shutter button is pushed, the mirror's hinge actually moves back, then up, as the mirror flips out of the way before the shutter opens. The advantage of this system is that an extra-large mirror can be used in the FE, a mirror that doesn't cause any image cut off even when an 880mm telephoto lens is used. This is one of the reason of how well a camera was designed those days, every part of the system was taken care of. I was very upset when I read and understand the hot from the oven new AF Nikon F60 cannot used one of the Nikon's best optic in the AF class , the AF 20-35mm f2.8 ! While a number of others like the new AF 28-200mm, 70-300mm ED Zoom Nikkor can be used with limitation and the much hype AF-S lenses can only be used in manual focusing !! I was telling my friends that day, these things is unimaginable during those days at Nikon and really sounded like they took things for granted. It looks as if the camera design and the optical design team members don't even coordinate with each other and the respective Nikon's research labs could be thousands miles apart without communication tools in two remote islands. While that could be a separate issue, back to the FE's mirror mechanism. The noise and vibration created by the mirror's movement are held to a minimum by the use of a special air-dampened shock absorber in the mirror box. The dampening technique has taken a quantum leap in models since those days, significantly improved on the FG and FA, while the current F5 is most impressive among all. In addition, the back of the mirror is treated with black felt to reduce flare caused by possible internal reflections. Well, another feature I think most Nikon users preferred to retain was the Mirror Lock. The Nikon FM is the first Nikon since the Nikon F that doesn't provide a mirror lock up mechanism. While ALL Nikkormat has this feature as standard, that is the reason why the bulkier mechanical AI version Nikkormat FT3 and the electronic Nikon EL2 were so much source after by collectors in Japan. Since there is no provision for locking the mirror in the "up" position, two Fisheye Nikkor lenses the Fisheye 6mm f/5.6 and the OP Nikkor 10mm f/5.6 - cannot be mounted on the FE. Incidentally, the OP Nikkor is the first Nikkor that employs with a aspherical lens elements.

Finder Eyepiece The eyepiece rim is rubberized to allow eyeglass wearers to view and focus without scratching their glasses. For those who want to use the FE without wearing their glasses, there are nine eyepiece-correction lenses ranging from - 5 to +3 diopters. In addition, there are a host of eyepiece accessory attachments including a rubber eyecup, right-angle finder, and 2X eyepiece magnifier for you to tackle some difficult photographic situation where such aids can come in handy. Why ? Because, other than the professional models, none of the Nikon compact bodies has a interchangeable finders. Thus, say if you want to shoot a macro shot at ground level, with the FE/FM etc. compact bodies, there is no way you can enjoy such experience, the finder eyepiece is the section where viewing attachment can be mounted for such task. While the Nikon system is huge, there are some accessories which are specifically designed for the pro, mid compact and ultra compact bodies within the Nikon manual focus SLR system - some of which are due to the pentaprism design, like viewfinder magnification etc., if you are interested, refer to the shared resources section for more.

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| 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

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.

| Nikon FM series | Nikon FE series | Nikon FA |

| Message Board | for your favourite Nikon FE Series SLR camera(s)
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| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon / Nikkor Photographic Equipment

| Back | to Pictorial History of Nikon Rangefinder/SLR/Digital cameras

Shared Resources: MD-11 | MD-12 | 3rd Party Power Winder Only for FM2(n)/FE2/FA | Focusing Screens | Titanium Shutter | Flash Units - | SB-15 | SB-10 | SB-16B & Other Options | Databack | Nikkor lens mount (related info)

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)

Nikon BC-flash Series | Original Nikon Speedlight
SB-2 | SB-3 | SB-4 | SB-5 | SB-6 | SB-7E | SB-8E | SB-9 | SB-E | SB-10
| SB-12 | SB-14 | SB-140 UV-IR| SB-15 | SB16A | SB-17 | SB-18, SB-19 | SB-21A (SB-29) Macro flash | Flash Accesories | SF-1 Pilot Lamp

weblibrary.gif   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

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.

| Back | Main Index Page of Nikkor Resources
| Back | Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs

| Message Board | for your Nikkor optics ("shared" because I do wish some of you to expose to other's perspective as well. Isn't it a sad sate to see photography has to be segmented into different camps from the use of various labels)

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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.