Please click above to watch the video.
So you’re thinking about giving film photography a whirl. Or you’re thinking about returning to where it all began. Either way welcome!
The reason for making this video and writing this post was primarily because I know what it’s like when faced with the choices of which camera, film etc you want to try. Now if you’re like me, you’ll be looking at all sorts of cameras... SLR’s, rangefinders, medium format? The truth is you can spend a lot or a little, as with most things in life! But take the majestic Leica M6, in my opinion the most amazing camera I’ve ever owned, and I include digital in that! But a good one will set you back £1,500 for the body only! Then there’s the lenses...best we just don’t go there!
The truth is, you really don’t need to spend the earth on buying a film camera to get amazing results and simply enjoy getting back into the joy of film photography.
So this is the first of a few reviews I’ll do on the cheaper end of things, with absolutely no sacrifice in quality.
Step forward the Nikon FE 35mm camera with Nikkor 50mm lens.
I’ve had the camera you see here for a couple of years now, first the cost...The body and lens cost just under £200 and let me tell you, this camera is seriously well made. Solid with a reassuring weight, buttons and dials that operate with just the right resistance and the lens is a cracker! F1.8 - f22 gives plenty of scope for lovely bokeh and low light situations, to the brightest of days.
The camera will shoot from bulb up to 1/1000sec, has aperture priority and exposure compensation of plus and minus 2.
There's a double exposure switch if you like that kind of thing, and a depth of field preview button.
The meter is displayed as a needle which floats on the left handmade of the viewfinder and it's pretty bright and clear. Forget seeing it in low light though, I guess this is where a small led would do you better.
As with most 35mm slr cameras, there's not much to say about operation. I find it's more a question of feel...and this camera doesn't disappoint. It feels like it wouldn't be out of place in any pro photog's bag, and as already said it's not a rangefinder but that's the thing... There is definitely a temptation, especially if you like to shoot street, that only a rangefinder will do. It is a different thing, but an slr doesn't take different pictures...remember you make the picture, the camera is merely the tool.
So in summary...Do look at this beauty if you fancy having a crack with film, its cheap but so solid it'll outlast you! Plus you won't lose a dime if you decide to resell.
Thanks for reading, and the images below are all from the Nikon FE. Click them to see them in a larger format.