If you have ever seen the TV show Madmen, then you’re likely going to have your 21st Century, post MeToo age sensibilities contested with the sheer quantity of sexism that has been and is still rampant today. Now if you are somewhat confused, let me introduce you into the Nikon EM. Designed to fill in the entry gap at the Nikon SLR line, the EM was mostly marketed towards women. The reason is that as a camera, it’s basic, place for semi automatic aperture priority, and that is the only mode available. Additionally, it is small, compact, and lightweight. But do not let that stop you, the EM is an excellent camera to get in your Nikon stable should you require something no-nonsense will perform properly with any Nikon F-Mount lens (AI and AI-S). It is a camera meant to be taken without too much thought towards your exposure and looking for something which can tuck in almost any camera bag or even non-camera tote without little addition towards overall weight.
The first thing you notice about the EM is just how little the camera is contrasted to the cameras that preceded the release of this EM; the second is the black plastic construction. It is possible to see a suitable designer arrived on board to get this camera. You can even go so far as to say that the EM place a precedent for the small-format SLRs that Nikon made later, you can view elements of the EM from the FG, FA, and FG-20. And even the F3 took some of its design cues from the EM without a surprise as Giugiaro worked on both those cameras. You’ve got your three-position switch were you select auto (aperture priority), M90, and bulb. And here lies one of my biggest operational deficiencies at the EM, the absence of a dedicated on/off switch. To flip the camera’off’, you place the camera to M90 or Bulb. I had the exact same criticism about the Nikon FG, at least with the EM it’s a lot easier to turn on and off. One nice touch is that the battery check button on the top plate. The film advance is a plastic piece attached to the actual advance leaver; it seems a little flimsy in my novels and with just the perfect amount of force might break. At least some areas of the camera are metal, such as the film rewind along with also the lens mount. And with that metal F-Mount on the front makes the EM somewhat easier to consume. And despite the little the size, the camera is a simple choice if you wish to shoot your Nikon lenses, but want a no-nonsense camera which doesn’t add too much extra weight. And you know, it feels great in the hand, in spite of my mitts that enjoy a bigger grip. And sure the MD-E would include that extra grip, which will certainly help.
If you’re used to the little format Nikon, get ready for something much lighter and smaller than your average FE. The EM is about a centimetre narrower across the bottom and a millimetre thinner on the width. Despite being a touch smaller, it poses a fantastic feel in hand. Though I think a finger grip just like what was added to the FG/FA moulded into the body would certainly help with the ergonomics. However, the MD-E might help with that ; regrettably, I don’t have one. Loading the film is just like the following Nikon of this era, you lack the safety catch on the film door release. Having that guide 1/90″ helps if you advance up the film to one on the counter. The camera feels much like a streamlined version of the Nikon FE, right down to the viewfinder and the twin-needle meter readout. While not as bright as the viewfinder in the FE, the EM does a fantastic job when you have good lighting. But as the day moved on and the heavens dimmed it certainly showed in the viewfinder. The camera has a decent click when depressed, and the movie advance stroke isn’t too far. I just always feared that the leaver would split off the real mount the whole time. I can certainly see the draw of the EM, the lightweight body can be performed for hours without adding any extra weight and a Series E lens could have made it better. Rewinding the movie went without a hitch, but that I felt like the rewind knob was about to fly off or break the shaft.
I could talk to no end about the ability of Nikon glass. But you can look any other review I’ve written on a manual focus Nikon camera to obey my extol their virtues, let me instead turn towards the line of lenses that Nikon designed for the EM. While the glass does not say Nikkor and doesn’t look like your conventional Nikon lenses, these lenses have been made to the very same standards as Nikkor glass but do not possess the same metallic bodies. The lens bodies are mostly plastic and lack the’claw’ used to link with older Nikon bodies. But you may use any of Nikkor glass onto the EM, but to maintain the camera done in overall size and weight the Series E lenses are the top options. The 28/2.8, 50/1.8, and even the 70-210mm are excellent options for your EM kit.