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Nikon FE2 v FM3a
Old 07-24-2015   #1
colyn
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Nikon FE2 v FM3a

Maybe I am missing something but I fail to see why the Nikon FM3a is worth so much that some people are willing to pay upwards of $600 to over $900. As I see it the FE2 has more to offer and it goes for much less.

Granted the FM3a has DX contacts and AE-L but the FE2 has more shutter speeds as well as AE-L.

So can someone enlighten me as to the price difference??
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Old 07-24-2015   #2
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What do you mean it has more shutter speeds? FM3A goes from 1/4000 to about 180 seconds (even though the markings only go to 8 seconds).

What the FM3A does have is the hybrid shutter. 1/4000 to 1 sec is mechanical, below that it is electronic.

I do get what you are saying though. In practical use (as long as your batteries don't go dead) they are the same. Difference being you can pick up an Fe2 for under $100, while an FM3A is over $500.
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Old 07-24-2015   #3
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Age.

Years of manufacture - 1980's (FE2) vs. 2000's (FM3A)
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Old 07-25-2015   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxl View Post
Age.

Years of manufacture - 1980's (FE2) vs. 2000's (FM3A)
If you go by age then the Nikon F and F2 should be priced at no more than $10-$20 tops..and the S2 should be even less..
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Old 07-25-2015   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colyn View Post
If you go by age then the Nikon F and F2 should be priced at no more than $10-$20 tops..and the S2 should be even less..
then differences (specs, collectability etc.) are also bigger, than in your original post when comparing just FE2 v FM3a.
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Old 07-25-2015   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colyn View Post
If you go by age then the Nikon F and F2 should be priced at no more than $10-$20 tops..and the S2 should be even less..
Except the FE2 is completely reliant on what is now 30-year-old electronics to be completely functional.
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Old 07-25-2015   #7
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Except the FE2 is completely reliant on what is now 30-year-old electronics to be completely functional.
Wrong.. It has a M250th..
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Old 07-25-2015   #8
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What do you mean it has more shutter speeds? FM3A goes from 1/4000 to about 180 seconds (even though the markings only go to 8 seconds).
According to the official Nikon specs the FM3a has auto speeds from 8 seconds to 1/4000th and manual speeds from 1 second to 1/4000th. The FE2 has 8 seconds to 1/4000th in both manual and auto speeds so the FE2 does in fact have more speeds than the FM3a. So it seems the only real advantage is the hybrid shutter...

So for me at least there is no real reason to spend hundreds more for the FM3a..and since I don't care for auto neither fit my wants or needs..
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Old 07-25-2015   #9
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Quote:
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Except the FE2 is completely reliant on what is now 30-year-old electronics to be completely functional.
Quote:
Originally Posted by colyn View Post
Wrong.. It has a M250th..
I guess we have different definitions of completely functional.
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Old 07-25-2015   #10
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Colyn,

Two excellent cameras that I own. Actually three.
My two FE2s are wonderful to use and aside from the looseness and slightly inaccurate shutter speeds and failing meters on each, I get terrific results even with heavy exposure compensation to help with the meter issues. That said, I WISH I had two MINT FE2s because the FM3a I have is like a brand new camera and with the engineering touches as explained in the Nikon history write-up, it feels like a Swiss watch to use.

http://imaging.nikon.com/history/chr.../history-fm3a/

Adding to that, it also has the exquisite black 48/2.8 P lens in mint condition and I have yet to blow a shot with that setup. The experience of this rig makes it my favorite fun camera to use in spite of my passion for Leica M bodies and lenses.

So is the FM3a worth more? To me, absolutely!

Only you can decide for yourself but if I could afford a mint Porsche 911 from the same period vs a well used daily driver, I will pick the nicer one everytime because of the feel and joy of using the nicer one.
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Old 07-25-2015   #11
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By the way, what is the heated debate about anyways?

Is somebody bashing the FE2s somewhere that I haven't noticed? Jeez, neither camera costs a hell of a lot of money these days when compared to all the other cameras out there. So, buy what you want, but more importantly use what you love!!!

I love both, so I use both.
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Old 07-25-2015   #12
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Quote:
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By the way, what is the heated debate about anyways?

Is somebody bashing the FE2s somewhere that I haven't noticed? Jeez, neither camera costs a hell of a lot of money these days when compared to all the other cameras out there. So, buy what you want, but more importantly use what you love!!!

I love both, so I use both.
I think the only thing that got bashed was "30 year old electronics"..

If the truth be known I can live without either but I was wondering why such a high price tag on the FM3a not trying to start an argument.
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Old 07-25-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colyn View Post
I think the only thing that got bashed was "30 year old electronics"..

If the truth be known I can live without either but I was wondering why such a high price tag on the FM3a not trying to start an argument.
I understand...

My FE2s are suffering a bit to be honest but I am keeping them going because I love them so much. Old pair of jeans feel and all of that. But I have no doubt that the FM3A will be working decades longer than those two FE2 bodies I have. But that is a good thing. I can use the FE2 bodies I have with abandon!

I take them to outdoor events with the grandkids and even let them use them. But the FM3A, I lavish with a nice strap, half case, etc. So, I get the best of both worlds.
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Old 07-25-2015   #14
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I understand...

My FE2s are suffering a bit to be honest but I am keeping them going because I love them so much. Old pair of jeans feel and all of that. But I have no doubt that the FM3A will be working decades longer than those two FE2 bodies I have. But that is a good thing. I can use the FE2 bodies I have with abandon!
I ended up with a FE2 in trade for another camera. Had to take the FE2 since it was part of the deal but I also got a fully working Nikon F with working and accurate Ftn finder. The FE2 has tested to be properly working and I have run 1 roll through it but for me it just doesn't have a good feel..
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Old 07-25-2015   #15
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Funny thing is an "expensive" FM3a is cheaper than my "cheap" Bessa R3a...

Suddenly the Nikon seems like a screaming deal given that it is built to a much higher standard (coming from an owner of the Bessa)
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Old 07-25-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colyn View Post
According to the official Nikon specs the FM3a has auto speeds from 8 seconds to 1/4000th and manual speeds from 1 second to 1/4000th. The FE2 has 8 seconds to 1/4000th in both manual and auto speeds so the FE2 does in fact have more speeds than the FM3a. So it seems the only real advantage is the hybrid shutter...

So for me at least there is no real reason to spend hundreds more for the FM3a..and since I don't care for auto neither fit my wants or needs..
But if you actually use an FM3a you will know it meters down to at least 180 secs.

But what does it matter? If you do not see the value in an FM3a then it is not for you. I see it as Nikon's last hurrah, ending the FM/FE series in a blaze of glory.
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Old 07-25-2015   #17
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But if you actually use an FM3a you will know it meters down to at least 180 secs.

But what does it matter? If you do not see the value in an FM3a then it is not for you. I see it as Nikon's last hurrah, ending the FM/FE series in a blaze of glory.
So why are you so upset?? I simply asked a question..
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Old 07-25-2015   #18
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The OP asked a simple question... I and others pointed out some possible reasons for price differences, then all of a sudden FE2 owners become defensive about the FE2.

There is no FE2 bashing going on here, certainly not from me. The FE2 was my first Nikon in 1983. A few years ago, I decided to buy an FM3A rather than 2-3 FE2's. Today, I won an FM2N. It's all about what works for me at any given time, which could change due to a variety of factors and circumstances. So I think Dave nailed it... Is the FM3A today worth more ***TO ME*** and the answer, at least today, is absolutely YES.

Is it to you (Colyn)? That's for you to say; if it's not, then that's your call. You asked a simple question. I gave you a simple answer. No need to get defensive because you didn't get the answer that you wanted.
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Old 07-25-2015   #19
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Is it to you (Colyn)? That's for you to say; if it's not, then that's your call. You asked a simple question. I gave you a simple answer. No need to get defensive because you didn't get the answer that you wanted.
And I agree with you nor have I gotten defensive with you. I asked a question because I was truly wondering about the price difference. Most cameras don't have the additional features that would convince me to spend hundreds more especially since I most probably would never use them..

Are you saying I am defensive since I don't have the same like for the FM3a as you do??

Personally I don't care for auto cameras. Instead I prefer manual and I respect others opinions..
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Old 07-25-2015   #20
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Well, let's see, the F that Colyn got and the FM2n that Keith got are both manual cameras that I seem to have never owned, although I have used them and always planned to get both! I guess it is like they say, if you are lucky to have one or the other, you are lucky enough!

Sigh...maybe one day I will get one.
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Old 07-25-2015   #21
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Quote:
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Are you saying I am defensive since I don't have the same like for the FM3a as you do??
No, not that at all... I think your thread started out as an honest A versus B, then skewed towards a defense of the FE2.
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Old 07-25-2015   #22
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Intermission time...

On a recent roll (I must apologize for the mundane motifs because it is rare for me to get out of the house), I was pleased with low-light performance of the FE2 and expired Legacy Pro 400 film.





So, yeah, I am still loving the first Nikon bodies I started out with!
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Old 07-25-2015   #23
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Intermission time...
LOL
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Old 07-25-2015   #24
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No, not that at all... I think your thread started out as an honest A versus B, then skewed towards a defense of the FE2.
I personally in no way have even thought about defending the FE2. I have shot a single roll through the one I did not even want but had to take it to get what I was after.

As with all of my other cameras (even the non-Nikon models) it did a reasonably good job but it's on the chopping block as of this evening when it gets posted to eBay..
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Old 07-25-2015   #25
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I would guess that there were many, many more FE2s produced, given that they pre-date digital SLRs, so perhaps scarcity has something to do with it.
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Old 07-25-2015   #26
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According to the official Nikon specs the FM3a has auto speeds from 8 seconds to 1/4000th and manual speeds from 1 second to 1/4000th. The FE2 has 8 seconds to 1/4000th in both manual and auto speeds so the FE2 does in fact have more speeds than the FM3a. So it seems the only real advantage is the hybrid shutter...

So for me at least there is no real reason to spend hundreds more for the FM3a..and since I don't care for auto neither fit my wants or needs..
So why are you so concerned about it?

The main reason for the FM3a being much more expensive is that it is the last of the line of the classic Nikon FM/FE series bodies, made until only a few years ago, and that it is highly desirable. All FE/FE2s are now 25+ years old; FM3a bodies were made from 2001 to 2006, significantly younger—worth the price premium to a lot of people.

But if you don't care for auto exposure, just get an FM2n, an F2, or an F. (My current chrome F plain prism was given to me, and the complete overhaul it needed cost me $230: a bargain.)

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Old 07-25-2015   #27
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So why are you so concerned about it?
I'm not going to argue with you so don't try....
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Old 07-25-2015   #28
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What a strange thread with a very pointless argument going on. I think this could be the reason that I don't look at RFF that much anymore...

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Old 07-25-2015   #29
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What a strange thread with a very pointless argument going on. I think this could be the reason that I don't look at RFF that much anymore...
+1

No intent to argue here. I'm was just curious that someone who had no interest in the features of a camera—that ones that make it desirable to many—would be concerned enough to start a thread wondering why it is priced as it is.

But, eh? No problem to me. Chatter on.

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Old 07-25-2015   #30
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+1

No intent to argue here. I'm was just curious that someone who had no interest in the features of a camera—that ones that make it desirable to many—would be concerned enough to start a thread wondering why it is priced as it is.

But, eh? No problem to me. Chatter on.

G
OK here's the deal. I have noticed several times while going through Nikon camera auctions on eBay that the FM3a consistently goes for much higher than any of the FM/FE variations and since I have never laid eyes on this particular model and the other variants go for much less I was simply wondering why the price difference. When I posed the question here I was in no way bashing or attempting to start an argument but at least one person took issue with my question..

I think some people just want to stir up trouble so they read into a post what is not there..

As I have stated which has apparently insulted some I'm not interested in this model or any other auto model so this was simply a question of curiosity.

You can be curious about something even though you are not interested in it..
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Old 07-25-2015   #31
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OK here's the deal. I have noticed several times while going through Nikon camera auctions on eBay that the FM3a consistently goes for much higher than any of the FM/FE variations and since I have never laid eyes on this particular model and the other variants go for much less I was simply wondering why the price difference. When I posed the question here I was in no way bashing or attempting to start an argument but at least one person took issue with my question..

I think some people just want to stir up trouble so they read into a post what is not there..

As I have stated which has apparently insulted some I'm not interested in this model or any other auto model so this was simply a question of curiosity.

You can be curious about something even though you are not interested in it..
Perfectly reasonable. I hope my answer above nets you some insight.

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Old 07-25-2015   #32
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I have both. BTW can you still get a good CLA on an FE2? New life for an old horse.
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Old 07-25-2015   #33
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I remember attending a Nikon Photo School event in Rochester, NY in 2001. Nikon was showing off their latest cameras, including the FM3a and the latest digital D1 and D100. The crowds around the digital Nikons was incredibly thick. On the other hand, there was no one but me looking at the FM3a. It was light and cute, but I had my F3 already, so I didn't think about buying it. I had no interest (and still don't) in the digital SLRs.

I regret not looking into the FM3a further, but I'm happy I didn't spend $5000 on a D1.
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Old 07-26-2015   #34
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Yes, you are missing something. I had an FE2, and then one day the shutter died. I was told it would cost more to repair it than to buy another body in good condition. My FM3A's continue to live on in the meantime. Frankly, I think the F3 is much more reliable, if you need to stick to electronic only bodies.
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Old 07-26-2015   #35
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Would it may wrong to hijack this thread and throw out 3 cheers for the Nikon FM2(n)?
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Old 07-26-2015   #36
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Would it may wrong to hijack this thread and throw out 3 cheers for the Nikon FM2(n)?
Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah! ;-)

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Old 07-26-2015   #37
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Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah! ;-)

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Thanks I feel so much better
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Old 07-26-2015   #38
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Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
Would it may wrong to hijack this thread and throw out 3 cheers for the Nikon FM2(n)?
Only if you can hammer a 16 penny nail with it....
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Old 07-26-2015   #39
Godfrey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
Would it may wrong to hijack this thread and throw out 3 cheers for the Nikon FM2(n)?
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Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah! ;-)
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Originally Posted by kshapero View Post
Thanks I feel so much better
I always liked the FM2n, and have often been ready to punch the button on a nice clean one. And I'm shooting a bit more film again lately.

But then I stop and think... Really love my 1960 F, really enjoy shooting with my recently acquired F6. Is there any real reason to buy another Nikon film body other than Magpie Syndrome...? No; I'd rather put the money into other endeavors and enjoy the memory of my past FM2n cameras.

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Old 07-26-2015   #40
kxl
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If the 'insulted' comment was directed at me, rest assured that none was taken. And as for the FM2N I'm all for it. It's the one that I currently own.
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