Nikon FE2 Portraits - Nikon FE2 film loading

Nikon FE2 Portraits (2 Models, 2 Rolls of Film)

Here are two rolls of Nikon FE2 portraits shot with models Zara and Sandra. All photos shot with a Nikkor 50mm f1.2 ai-s lens on the 35mm classic Nikon SLR camera.

Nikon FE2 vs FE and FM?

If you want to see how the Nikon FE2 camera compares to the Nikon FE and Nikon FM see my post from yesterday –

Nikon Fm vs Nikon FE vs Nikon FE2 review comparison photo

More photos, less words!

This is a less wordy article to just share some example photos using the Nikon FE2 film camera. I have a habit of editing and posting one image at a time and then the rest of the images never get seen. Below you will see most of the images taken on each roll of 36 exposure film. (*Actually 38 photos per roll when using the Nikon FE2 camera).

Nikon FE2 Portraits - Nikon FE2 film loading

From camera to blog (quick workflow recap)

All the images shared were shot on my Nikon FE2 film camera. The film was developed at home per my usual process (in the kitchen sink!). Click the larger image of Zara or Sandra to link through to Flickr. Below each image I share the developing times, temps and chemicals used. Photos were scanned with a flatbed Epson V800 scanner using Silverfast 8 software. (I’m new to this software but I will share a post on it when I get time). Scanned images were uploaded to Lightroom, batch edited to adjust brightness then exported with a black border. No dust removal, no retouching, no local adjustments. (A few images are no pin sharp but I included them anyway to show my hit rate).

Nikon Fm vs Nikon FE vs Nikon FE2 review - Photo of Nikon FE2 + 50mm f1.2

Nikon FE2 Photoshoot! (x2)

Model – Zara

Photos of Zara were shot local to me in Coventry. I loved this shoot where we walked around and I looked for backdrops or light I wanted to use in the images. I even had a lame attempt at an in camera double exposure. I will try again and improve. The weather was bright but overcast so the light levels remained quite constant. I metered the light in camera. Overall very happy with these images and new model Zara was awesome.

Nikon FM vs Nikon FE vs Nikon FE2
Nikon FE2 Contact Sheet - Zara

Zara Photoshoot: Camera settings + Film used

All images shot at f2 at 1/60 or more with the Nikkor 50mm f1.2 Ai-s lens. Film used was the roll in the back of camera shot above – Ilford Pan 100 film (now reboxed and sold as Kentmere Pan 100 I believe).


Model – Sandra

During one of my London shoot weekends I met Sandra in a coffee shop for breakfast. I picked a small table in the corner with a beam of light coming down from an above window. The sun kept going behind clouds so the light was constantly changing. All these photos are very similar but except a few we shot outside afterwards. I requested the outfit and I was happy with the high contrast look.

Nikon FE2 Portrait
Nikon FE2 Contact Sheet - Sandra

Sandra Photoshoot: Camera settings + Film used

With the changing light the images inside were mostly taken at f1.2-f1.4 and those outside at f1.4-f2, at 1/60. For me the Nikkor 50mm f1.2 Ai-s lens is a bit too soft when shot below f2 when capturing images on film, especially wide open. On the Nikon D800 at f1.2 it was OK as I could increase sharpness a huge amount in post processing. Film used in this shoot was bulk rolled 35mm Fomapan 100 film.


A big thanks to Zara and Sandra. I shot with more models but I don’t have time to list more sets of images right now.

Do you like this gallery style post?

If you like this style of blog post where I show a more ‘raw’ version of my images let me know in the comments below and I can try to do more going forward.

Leica M3 colour film post like this

I remember in one of my very early blog posts I shared images shot on colour film with Coventry model Gina. All images were shot with a Leica M3 and Kodak Portra film. I dug out the links (part 1 and part 2) so if you you are intersted see the link below. (Again any comments or thoughts are welcome!)

Nikon FE2 – Thoughts so far?

Loving the Nikon FE2 camera so far. I feel it has an unfair disadvantage vs the Leica film cameras as the Leica lenses I use cost much more and I think are far superior wide open. I have my eye on a new lens for the Nikon FE2 so watch this space. More testing and reviews coming soon! 🙂

Nikon FE2 Wedding

More Nikon Blog Posts!

Nikon mount lens reviews
You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!
  • See full details of my portrait photography lighting kit HERE
  • See full details of my portrait photography equipment kit – HERE

5 thoughts on “Nikon FE2 Portraits (2 Models, 2 Rolls of Film)”

  1. Really interesting article as I still enjoy shooting my FE2 in addition to my
    current favorite Leica CL APS-C.

  2. This! You have provided insight into your thought process, the conditions that you shot under, your goals and how you set about achieving them. Best of all, you have showed us all shots. Great way to learn, I find. I do like your gear review but this post is exactly what I need in order to improve my photography. More, please!

    I’m glad that your are liking your new Nikon cameras. I bought an FE in 1982 but it wasn’t until recently that I added an FM. I enjoy both. One thing I find when doing portraits is that many people are intimidated by a large DSLR – kinda’ looks like a weapon to them – but a small film camera lets them be uninhibited. Just one more advantage to what are already excellent cameras.


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