Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon FE2 - General Related Information Part I

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Nikon FE2, 1982/83

FE2 is supplied either in chrome or black. It has a very strong resemblance of the original FE. You may use few of the exterior features to distinguish them by noticing from the front where a 'FE2' was inscribed on the right hand side of the body, while the FE has no such designation at the front. Another noticeable feature is the self timer/Memory lock lever, the FE2 has a slightly curved lever as opposed to the FE's straight lever for improved handling. From the top, it is much easier to distinguish the differences. First, you may notice the accessory shoe for flash has one main contact with three secondary terminals; next is the shutter speed ring has 19 settings (Maximum speed engraved in 4000 (1/4000 sec.)) with manual backup speed (M250) while the maximum flash sync is marked '250' (1/250) in red.

Further, the automatic mode has a green 'A' as opposed to earlier FE's 'green word in 'AUTO' (the FE has 17 setting (Maximum speed limiting to 1000 (1/1000 sec.) with M90 and its sync speed of 125 (1/125 sec.) marked in red. Other minor differences like the shutter release button is bigger and more round in the FE2 and the ASA/ISO film speed set dial has a higher film speed setting and a the film speed was indicated by 'ASA/ISO' instead of the FE's sole word in 'ASA' - as during the late '70, general reference for film speed was still adopting the standard term 'ASA' before the ISO standard (International Standard Organization) became effective and adopted by all film manufacturers. These info should be more than sufficient for anyone to spot the exterior identification between the FE and FE2. Hopefully, the shop assistants are not as knowledgeable as you and sell the FE2 with a price of the FE, ha!

FE2 Dial.jpg (4k)

FE Dial.jpg (4k)

The FE2 shutter speed dial has 19 settings, with automatic mode in green 'A'. The Maximum permissible sync speed is 1/250 sec in red. The mechanical back up speed is M250 (& 'B'); while the two additional speeds available are the higher speed settings in 1/2000 and 1/4000 sec as compared. The FE shutter speed dial has only 17 settings, with its maximum speed indicated at 1/1000 sec. while at lower speed setting, both cameras are same at 1, 2, 4 and 8 sec. in orange. The automatic mode in painted in a green letter 'AUTO'. The Maximum permissible sync speed is 1/125 sec. which painted in red. The mechanical back up speed is a lower M90 (& 'B');

The FE, acknowledged by many Nikon fans as a fine and rugged camera at its era. The upgrade to that famous workhorse must be something for the loyal followers to cheer about. There are quite a number of features incorporated in the FE2 that are significant enough to mentioned in a detailed manner while some are just minor cosmetic changes or improvement for easier and more responsive handling of the camera.

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Firstly, Nikon has re-deigned a new shutter for the FE2. The primary mechanism that interlocks many other functional features offer in the FE2. As explained in the index page, the FM2 original sync speed of 1/200 sec was a little odd and it took a year for the brilliant engineering minds behind the development of the FE2 to boost it up to 1/250 sec. while maintaining the stability and reliability of the such upgrade in the newer mechanism. As the new shutter eventually was also used on the Nikon FA and such technological experience was share and transferred for the development in the new mechanical shutter design later for the FM2n. However, the original shutter design was substituted with a aluminum alloy shutter blades in the FM2n in 1989.

The titanium shutter for the FE2, came with a lighter, etched and modified honeycomb-pattern titanium which from the earlier version in the FM2 provides a great degree of durability and more than 60% reduction in shutter curtains mass compared to other metal curtains. Because shutter bounce is very much reduced (I don't called it 'eliminated'). It does help to reduce image blur especially at the lower shutter speeds. Also, curtain slit width at 1/4000 sec. is a wide 1.8mm, and this avoid any possibility of uneven exposure. Shutter curtains mass has also been reduced to prevent picture blur. During the early '80, the FM2/FE2/FA excel the rest of its competitions in their respective fast 1/4000 sec. shutter speed and 1/250 flash sync. It was made possible with the titanium shutter new shutter.

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A vertically traveling titanium shutter curtains - they traverse the film gate in approx. 3.3 milliseconds, a speed nearly twice that of other vertical-travel shutter curtains such as the copal square shutter employed in other Nikon (FM, EL2, FT3 etc.).

First of all, why titanium ? Titanium designed shutter is impervious to corrosion and humidity, scorching tropical sunlight and other extraneous factors. Widely considered more superior than rubberized fabric or stainless steel in early days of camera design. Nikon has developed a very good product knowledge which has accumulated in titanium processing for over few decades since the days of the first SLR in Nikon F way back in 1959. As you are aware that the top professional models in the F, F2 and F3 series all all employed a horizontal traveled titanium shutter which has an official endorsement of Nikon to provide a minimum 150,000 exposure cycles. All other medium range Nikon bodies (Including the Nikkormat) are using the vertical traveled shutter curtain, which unofficially a minimum trouble free 50,000 exposure cycles are aimed at.

Relative: Nikon F, Nikon F2 and Nikon F3

Titanium Shutter.jpg
The newer provisional F4 and the current F5 use an improved vertical traveled shutter mechanism to achieve the same degree of reliability which previously camera designers believe horizontal curtain design are more durable and stable than vertical means.

While vertical traveled shutter mechanism provides a shorter duration in travel across the picture frame i.e. 24mm instead of 36mm, first to benefit is the higher shutter speed and the maximum flash sync. That is why a old Nikkormat with a vertical traveled metal-bladed shutter mechanism can provide a comforting and higher 1/125 sec sync while a 1980 Nikon F3 sync was a moderate 1/80 sec. The Nikon F4 was the first which published the camera has a shutter counter for checking how many times the shutter has been 'used', while other earlier AE bodies are impossible to keep track of such data. As the higher stability and speeds obtains with this new mechanism of the shutter design in the FE2, benefit is of cause the improved sync speed. The remarkable shutter, permits a a maximum sync speed of 1/250 sec., which is double that of the top 1/125 sec. sync available with other automatic SLR's during that time. The effects of artificial light sources have been drastically reduced (as compared with slower sync speeds) so finished pictures of indoor subjects are render more faithful and naturally. Also, since you can shoot with electronic flash at a higher speed, you can use wider apertures for creative depth of field control, even in daylight. Thus, the higher sync speed is of very useful for fill-in flash outdoor.

| Previous | Next | 1/7 The FE2 is lighter than the FE. Are there any compromises made ?

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Basic Camera Operation and additional info available in 11 parts

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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
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| 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

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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.

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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.