The Nikon FE2 is not a fancy camera. And my Nikon, in particular, is most assuredly not a pristine example of this model. I am, in fact, drawn to the blue collar appeal of it. When I saw this beat-up looking camera body in the shop, and then opened up the back to reveal the spotless interior and clean functioning parts, it told me everything I needed to know; it was well-used, well-maintained, and it has seen some shit.
The lens, too, looks like it has weathered some severe events in its life. The Nikon 28mm F/2.0 provides a very comfortable focal length for my style of shooting and is quick enough to work in basically any lighting condition I encounter.
The workman-like ethos of the FE2 seems to put me in a particular mindset when I’m out shooting. I’m not looking for clean images. I want to capture the dirt, the emotion, and the feeling of a place. The lens begs to be up close, to be in the scene – not a detached observer from afar.
The five frames featured are shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed to 800. I typically use aperture priority mode when photographing people (a great feature of the FE2) so I’m not having to fiddle with exposure too much and can focus on capturing the right slice of time. All the shots were taken in a 24-hour period of time while I was wandering around the Shibuya area of Tokyo.
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