Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon FE2 - Basic Operation Part II

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Although the FE2 shares the same F-mount with most of the earlier Nikon bodies, the FE2 is designed exclusively to work with AI (Automatic Indexing), AI-modified, AI-S, and the series E lenses. The current AF lenses are also workable in the manual focus mode. In short, FE2 cannot works with non-AI Nikkor optics (Lenses that do not carry with a meter coupling ridge). Some specialize lenses like PC Nikkor can be use with Stopped Down Metering method (Will cover that part later). First, you have to pick up some basic info of how to mount and remove a lens. It is ridiculous to hear some remarks that say FE2 needs AI-S Nikkor lenses to function normally. No. Its does not require a AI-S lens to work properly (It may sound rude to say, AI-S lenses do not justify a premium over the AI lenses as far as FE/FM series cameras are concerned). Why FE2 must have AI designated (or AI-modified) lenses to function normally ? These changes were attributed to the decision of having a fixed meter coupling lever in the lens mount (Thus, the familiar tiny meter coupling lever release button just next to the lens mounting index has been removed). I remembered the FM2 was the first model to have this change (Within FM/FE series, the Nikon EM, 1979 was the first in Nikon that came with a fixed meter coupling lever). Since the FA and FM2n were launched at the same period as the FE2, both models also adopted the same unpopular move. But nevertheless, Nikon advises that all older lenses can be modified as AI (We termed them as AI-modified Lenses, Nikon offered a AI conversion for non-AI lenses in which a new aperture ring was installed with the AI metering ridge and the double row of f/stops for aperture direct readout (ADR) and together with a new prong). There are very few outlets are offering this services now.

Mounting lens.jpg (14k)
When mounting a lens to the camera, first, line up the aperture/distance index on the lens (3) with the lens mounting index on the camera body (1). Then twist the lens mounting ring counter clockwise (4) until the lens clicks into place. Confirm that the aperture/distance index is right on top. The FE2 comes with a fixed meter coupling lever (2), thus, only AI, AI-modified, AI-S, Series E or the current AF lenses can be used.

If you wish to change a lens, while pushing the lens release button (5), and turn the lens mounting ring clockwise (7) until it reaches the lens mounting index mark (1) and you can lift the lens off. Be very careful when you are changing lenses with film loaded in the camera, be careful not to expose the mirror box to direct sunlight.

It is not a good idea to load a film into your camera immediately when you had a camera back from the shop. Always take sometime to get familiar with the operations and control before you do that. But should you need to do so, you need to open the camera back. Every camera manufacturers design their own way of opening the film back (Usually, it is quite universal, a safety lock plus pulling up the film rewind knob (Those early days, they have been trying the most functional, responsive and safest way for users). For example, the Nikkormat cameras have their camera back opening lever at the lower portion of the camera which you may spend sometime to locate them.

However, the FE2, as with many other Nikon bodies, the opening of the back has a safety lock. It locates at the center of a large ring (the Exposure compensation/ISO film speed dial) on the left hand side of the camera. First you need to push the camera back lock lever (1) counterclockwise with your finger, pull up the film rewind knob (2). Then lift up further until the camera back pops open. The safety lock feature is designed to prevent accidental opening of the camera back.

With the back opened, you may load a film into the film chamber. Pull the film leader and Insert the film leader in the take-up spool. Pull the leader across the camera and insert it into any one of the slots in the take-up spool. BUT caution: After the back is open, you must be extremely careful NOT to touch the exposed shutter blades/curtain especially with the film running across and cover the curtain (Which you may forget the shutter is just right underneath the film), the curling film leader when first pull out from the film catridge also may easily scratch across the thin layer of shutter blades, I have seen too many careless handling resulting in damaged or deformed shutter curtain. This applies on any camera. Although the modern auto camera's auto loading feature make this a less intimidate experience, but FE2 is not equipped with auto film loading. NEVER attempt to use any force if you load the film unsuccesully.

Make sure that the perforations along the edges of the film mesh with the sprockets. If necessary, release the shutter by pushing the shutter release button, and stroke the film-advance lever slowly to make sure that the leader winds smoothly on the spool and that the film edge perforations engage the film sprocket roller. When you are certain that the film is being fed properly onto the spool and traveling correctly along the film guide rails, close the camera back by pressing it until it snaps into place.

There is no other way to test for proper film advancement. You should confirm proper loading to avoid unnecessary "embarrassment" after finishing your photo session at frame 37+ or worst still, presenting blank and unexposed roll later for processing. To confirm, just fold out the rewind crank and turn it in the direction of the engraved arrow indicates until some resistance is felt. Now, if the the film is properly advanced by take a look at the rewind lever (2) will rotate when you advancing a frame or two (1) before setting on course to the frame number "1".

Film Advance Test.jpg (11k)
Up to this point, the FE2 was indeed packed with some very considerate features. First, the camera will automatically set the shutter to 1/250 sec manually during the initial first few frames until you reach frame number 1 in the exposure counter. This apply when you have any of a dedicated Nikon flash mounted on the camera.

The earlier FE was not packed with this feature and thus, if accidentally you have your lens cap on your lens or trip the shutter in a dark environment, the camera meters may assume light level is low and the automatic exposure will determine by the wrong reading and set a extra long exposure. You have to turn the shutter speed ring to the manual shutter or the mechanical back up speed of M250 before the shutter will release. The FE2 '250' may solve some technical problems at times. Say, if the shutter momentarily 'jam' or the reflex mirror flip up (most likely exhaustion of power, just turn the shutter speed dial to the M250 position will resolve most of these problems. If power drain is the main culprit, change a new set of cell(s), test it for a couple of times by test firing (make sure the polarity is correct and contacts on each side are clean).

| Next | 2/11 Setting the film Speed | Meter On/Off
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Additional Technical Info relates to the Nikon FE2 (7 Parts)

| Back to Main Index Page of Nikon FE2 |
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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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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.

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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.