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Nikon EM favori envoyer Print
Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand
France Version française

Chronology of the Nikon brand  New window

Manufactured in Japon from 1979 until (After) 1984.
Index of rarity in France : Infrequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 11614

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Nikon EM

The Nikon EM was a way for Nikon to democratize its products and to end the Nikkormat range. It was necessary to release a more financially affordable camera (threshold was 2000 francs at the time for France), even cheaper than the FM, and that could seduce but without sacrificing the manufacturing quality.


Nikon is said to have hired a designer from Ferrari car maker to design the camera body.


Nikon developed a new range of lenses, the E Series. Upon the EM release, three E lenses were available: 50mm f/1.8, 35mm f/2.5 and 100mm f/2.8. The mount is AI-type, made of polycarbonates. The 50mm is very compact in length despite its 6 lenses.

There is no exposure memorization or depth of field test.

The body is compact sized, so that some elements are so small that they become difficult to use. This is the case for the frame counter.

The prism and the focusing screen are not interchangeable. The MD-E motor drive that can be connected to the body is limited to 2 frames per second.

Maintaining performance:

The automatic exposure mode is aperture priority. The speed chosen by the light meter is displayed to the left of the viewfinder (very bright). At 100 iso, the light meter range is 1 second at f/2 to 1/1000 at f/16. The cell is silicon with a unique photodiode located above the eyepiece. The metering mode is center weighted with a slight predominance of the bottom of the image.

The shutter speed ranges from 1/1000 to 1 second. The metering activation is done by down-pressing half-through the trigger button. If nothing happens for the next 30 seconds, the meter is turned off.

The camera is powered by two silver oxide batteries. Over-exposure and slow speeds are indicated by a slight, non-disengageable beep. There is a fixed value (+2 EV) exposure compensation (small silver button on the front face).