Being into photography, I tend to separate my work. What work makes me money and what work I do for myself. For the most part, my digital work is what pays the bills. Though, when I have some free time just to go shoot for the hell of it, you’ll most likely find me shooting film. Film just has this great feeling and look to it. The process is much longer but it’s nice to slow down once in a while.
Over the past few years, I’ve acquired a few 35mm cameras that I use. Most recently I picked up a Nikon EM. I saw it in a local camera shop and I had a little extra cash on me so I said, why not? A little background on the Nikon EM, it was originally introduced in 1979. It was geared towards entry level photographers as well as women. It was the smallest, lightest and cheapest 35mm SLR on the market. Nikon, what were you thinking? That niche of people did not show much interest in the camera. Women were pretty offended by Nikon saying that they were implying that women were not smart enough to use full manual cameras. Needless to say, Nikon didn’t produce the Nikon EM for very long.
Let’s talk about some of the features of this SLR. It is extremely basic. You can take a look at the thing and notice right of the bat that, well, there isn’t really much going on. It works using two S76/A76 batteries. This is an aperture priority only camera, there is no full manual mode. It has auto mode, bulb mode and 1/90th mode. The 1/90th mode is a pretty cool feature that in my opinion, a lot of pro cameras were lacking. That mode allows you to operate the camera when the batteries fail and you will shoot at 1/90 mechanical shutter without using the battery. Now, many may think that since there it is only aperture priority, there isn’t much to offer and that it will limit you. Though, aperture priority is a preferred mode by many photographers. I will say that I am not a fan that there is no manual override though.
The lens that came with this camera was the Series E 50mm f/1.8. A lot of people aren’t a fan of the Series E lens since they are built cheaper but I must say, this 50mm is a great lens. It produces great images. Since owning this camera, I came across a Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI-s. This is an extremely well made lens. I have been enjoying it very much.
Now, would I say that the Nikon EM is one of the better Nikon cameras? I would probably never even think of saying that. With that said, it is a sleek little camera and it does get the job done. For the price, it’s hard to pass on. You can find one on Ebay for around 40 bucks. So it may not be the best camera to relate back to Nikons killer 35mm cameras, but it is for sure an interesting one and worth checking out. Thanks for reading!
Below are some sample images of the camera as well as some film shots from it.