Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon FE2 - Basic Operations Part I

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I have always got the impression that most users don't care much about understand their equipment first before started using their newly acquired camera. Sometimes, the manufacturer has a big part to be blamed for this, as camera manual is the only source of information that knowledge related to the camera can be properly channel to the owner. Don't you agree in most cases, that the marketing brochures for a particular product is much better illustrated than the camera manual ? This may restrict creative use of the many features available in a camera. In fact, most modern cameras have more than sufficient features to tackle or handle virtually any imaginable photographic situation - perhaps only hampered by your knowledge of the equipment and how to put it to good use. I don't like to use the camera manual to start off the site. But based on feedback after uploading other earlier featured sites, I noticed there are a great deal of surfers have been asking a lot of basic questions which in fact you can obtain the respective answers in a camera manual. Is the content in a camera manual very difficult to understand ? Apart from the dedication and willingness from the makers to bridge the gap between they and the users by designing a well illustrated and simple to understand manual; well, again - it is also very much depend on the individual's level of experience in handling a SLR camera. Let's say, for a P&S user, I think some areas can be very confusing for a starter. Section like depth of field and shutter speed are generally very well illustrated in a manual - BUT combination of these could confuse a novice. You cannot please everybody in a general site. But since these essential info may benefit a new used FE2 user or for those who has lost, or misplaced or don't understand what the content in the manual is all about, I will try to explain here and add related info that may help you to understand this fine camera better. Don't worry, as long as you can digest, all I wish is to helping your investment into this camera fully justifies. If you have already owned the FE2 and very familiar with it, just skip these pages. Please don't mail me, if you anything hot to debate, use the message board instead. It is pretty easy to read but not that easy to write, anyway, writing is not my specialty.

FE2 is a automatic camera. It uses battery to power most of its functions like metering, shutter mechanism etc. Just turn your FE2 upside down, then you will see the battery compartment next to the tripod socket, Use a coin to unscrew the battery clip lid in a counterclockwise direction and it will open. First there is a very high possibility that when you got your camera back, the shop assistant could have installed the battery for you. Thus, this section is just meant for future reference.

Cells.jpg(5k) Cells2.jpg(4k)
What kind of batteries does the FE2 takes ? Simple. It can take either two (1.55V) S-76 Silver Oxide, or two (1.5V) LR44 (Alkaline-manganese type) or one 3V CR 1/3N Lithium power cell (s). A fresh installation can last for about a year, depends on usage Shutter locked at battery exhaustion, unlocked by turning the shutter speed dial to M250 or B setting, which are mechanical and works independent of battery power.

Make sure the battery contacts are clean. As most problems arise from automatic cameras are battery related. Sometimes, even an invisible film from your oily finger tips may prevent proper contact. 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 from your child's pencil box will remove heavier deposits that may deposited at the cells' polarity surfaces. Make sure you also clean the contact points (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 double check the polarity marks on the cells. Don't let this scared you off. The Nikon FE2, as with any of the automatic manual focus Nikon bodies like the FE or FA has some accessory for you to assure your camera can perform equally well under extreme of temperature. The Anti-Cold Battery Pack DB-2 is one of such device. In cold weather, you can use the Anti-Cold Battery Pack DB-2, which accepts two AA-type batteries, as an alternative power supply to the batteries inside the camera body. Simply connect the DB-2 to the camera body, then slip the assembly inside your pocket or coat to keep it warm. This assures that the camera's metering system will function even in very cold temperatures.

Some issues relate to batteries


When the batteries are drained, or there are none installed in the camera, or if it fails to function normally due to extreme change in temperature, the only two settings which can be used are “M250” 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 “M250” and the mirror will return to its normal viewing position. Then you can install new batteries (In case cold weather is the cause, use a anti-cold battery holder pack DB-2 to replace the cells). To avoid wasting a frame, stroke the winding lever while holding in the multiple-exposure lever.


Should the battery be left in the battery chamber for a long period, insufficient contact may occur due to battery leakage. Thus, it is good practice to periodically clean the battery and the contact section in the battery chamber with a soft cloth. If the battery chamber is contaminated with a leaking battery, remove the battery at once and clean the chamber. Before doing so, try to clean and removed any deposits remains inside, esp. the clips housed inside the compartment and do a few test shots, but I would strongly suggest you to send for examination of the damage done.


For safety reasons at home. After removal of the cells, remember to keep them away from children. Never attempt to throw them to fire place, it may explode. In any case, the camera is not the cause for any mishap - only the carelessness of its owner.


Battery power falls off in extremely cold temperatures and this may cause the camera's photometry circuit to cease operating. In this situation, use new batteries~and protect the camera body from the cold. Note that battery power will be recovered as soon as the temperature becomes normal. Nikon has a anti-cold battery holder pack DB-2 for this purpose.


Regardless of whether the camera is switched off or not, the FE2 always discharges a small amount of electricity because it incorporates a quartz oscillator circuit.
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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.

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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.