Back during the trip to Chicago (I think) I started having a problem with the meter on the FG: it would stop working at random points, and the M90 leds would start flashing (the 1/60th and 1/125th lights in the finder that flash when you first load a new roll of film, but before the camera decides you’ve wound on a couple of frames). It was all very random, sometimes it would be right at the beginning of a roll; other times it would happen in the middle.

I commented on this a couple of weeks ago, and did end up trying my hand at some diy camera repair (more on that later), but as a fallback option, decided to find another old, inexpensive film camera in case I couldn’t fix the FG. After several days of research, I decided on the slightly older, slightly more feature-rich Nikon FE.

While I was at it, I also found a deal on a Micro Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 ai-s, complete with the PK-13 extension ring, intending to make an upgrade to the Scan-O-Matic… I’ve shot loads of macro over the years, with lenses that have macro clutches in them (the Vivitar 70-210mm f/3.5 and the Nikkor 28-105D), with lenses reversed, stacked on top of each other, and stacked on extension tubes, but never before with a lens that’s designed to be a proper macro lens. The 55mm f/2.8 focuses down to 1:2 at 9″ from the film plane (about 3″ from the front of the lens), and with the PK-13, gets down to 1:1.

Here they are together…

Micro Nikkor 55mm, PK-13, Nikon FE

I didn’t realize how dirty the FE is until I started looking at these… it deserves a bit of a cleanup, methinks.

These have been in my possession for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve put a roll through the FE, built a new Scan-O-Matic (MK V), and shot some color and black & white film and digital with the Micro Nikkor 55, and built a new Scan-O-Matic (the mk V, soon to be rebuilt as the mk VI, maybe), so more on both of these soon… I planned to do it all in one post, but I think it would get over-long and not do justice to either, so let’s split it up.

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