The Nikon EM was the Rodney Dangerfield of the Nikon line, the model that "can't get no respect." Despite this, it was in some ways my favorite model.
It was held in disdain for two reasons:
The EM was Nikon's least expensive model, and was also the lightest and smallest F mount camera ever made. It took just as good pictures as the lordly F3, since it used the same lenses.
- It was Nikon's first model with a plastic exterior. The thing is, that in the same era, Nikon competitors were making lots of models with plastic main body castings and metal-like plastic exteriors, while the Nikon EM was all metal inside where it counts. Even the self timer had all metal gears!
- The EM was aperture-preference autoexposure only (aside from a manual 1/90 for flash or emergency use.) Snobs dismissed it as suitable only for clueless snapshooters because it "lacked creative control" of exposure. That was actually a bum rap, because the film ASA (DIN) speed dial was quite prominent and easily accessible. When I used EMs a lot I would frequently adjust the film speed when I needed to compensate for difficult lighting situations. This worked just as well as setting manual shutter speeds/f stops.
It's shown with my 18 mm f3.5 super wide angle. I got this cheap because the blacking outside the elements was separating, so it looks pretty ugly when you look into the front of the lens...however this doesn't seem to have had any significant effect on the lens's performance.
I upgraded my EMs by replacing the viewfinder screens with the "matte" screen intended as an option for the FG, or maybe it was the FM/EM.
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