Nikon FA matrix metering

Taken with a Nikon FA, Nikkor 50mm 1:1.2, Polaroid 400 CN (Fujicolor 400 Super G emulsion).

Though I’m not a master with exposure, I know how to meter in camera especially on manual mode. And what I use is an Olympus OM-2n or an OM-4. I use the built-in meter most times.  Sometimes, I use a hand-held meter (more accurate). My exposure is right on about 40-50% of the time. But I really want all or almost all shots to be correctly exposed. I often rely on the center weighted metering system and that is why I can’t often get correct exposure and even using the spot metering on the OM-4, it’s almost always a lot more work.  At this point in life, I just want to enjoy the pleasure of photography. Enter the Nikon FA. I recently acquired a Nikon FA and from what I read, it’s matrix metering system is suppose to be pretty accurate. So I tested two rolls of film on Aperture priority. I control the aperture on the lens and the camera does the rest. The results? Well, they’re surprisingly good. Out of 24 exposures of the Polaroid CN 400 film I used, all came out bright. However, some with slow shutter speeds came out with motion blur. That’s to be expected using hand held. Compared to the OM-4, the FA is a bit on the heavier side. Another unrelated difference between Olympus OM and Nikkor manual lenses is the Olympus tends to be more contrasty while the Nikkors render shadow details a bit better. So for now, I will be carrying the FA in my Shootsac along with a 28mm 1:2.8 and a 85mm 1:2.0. I’m not retiring the Olympus just yet. I still like the OM system a lot. It’s a very capable system but I just want to get back to taking pictures without thinking too hard about exposure for a while.


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