Giving my Nikon FA some exercise

I said goodbye to my Nikon FA in Operation Thin the Herd. Almost immediately, someone gave me another Nikon FA. I took it as a sign from the universe that I was meant to own a Nikon FA.

Nikon FA
My first Nikon FA. I’ve never photographed the second FA.

That first FA looked nearly new while this second FA shows signs of heavy use. But it still works fine. Not long ago I mounted my 35-70mm f/3.3-5.6 Zoom Nikkor lens and loaded a roll of expired Kroger 200 color film. That film was made by Ferrania, which exited the film business in 2008. So this film is at least that old. I’ve shot enough of this film now to know that it looks best when I overexpose it. I set the FA to EI 100.

Margaret and I have been going to farmers markets on Saturday mornings this summer. I brought the FA to one.


I like this 35-70mm zoom lens for lazy photography, as it lets me move in or out a little without me having to physically move. It also offers a macro mode. My 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor is by far an optically superior lens useful for normal and macro photography, but it doesn’t let me be this lazy.

Hanging Flowers

On this Saturday we visited the Broad Ripple Farmers Market in Indianapolis. I used to go to it sometimes when I still lived in Indianapolis. It was in a large empty lot behind Broad Ripple High School. Since then it’s grown to be a vastly larger affair. It outgrew its space and now operates out of the huge parking lot at Second Presbyterian Church, which isn’t in Broad Ripple.

Farmers market booths

Cloud cover diffused the light all morning. Shooting at EI 100 in that light, the large apertures I needed made it easy to limit the in-focus patch.


Margaret and I seldom spend more than ten dollars at a farmers market. We go to spend time together and take advantage of the many interesting photographic subjects the setting presents. If you follow me on Flickr, that’s why you’ve seen so many vegetable photographs this summer!


My goal for thinning my camera herd a few years ago was to keep a collection of gear small enough that every camera could get some use every year or two. That’s the photographic life I’m living now! It was good to enjoy my FA’s turn.

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8 responses to “Giving my Nikon FA some exercise”

  1. Theron Carr Avatar
    Theron Carr

    Ah, my first SLR! Bought it from a young 1LT when I was at Ft. Riley in 1988. Had no idea what I was doing, but as long as I got things in focus, the Program mode and Matrix metering saved the day! Unfortunately, mine just quit on me, probably for spite. Like the N8008s that followed…

    I like the match needle metering of my FE better, and stick to Aperture Priority with any camera I shoot these days, but I really wish Nikon had put the FA’s little eye-piece shutters on ALL of their SLR’s. That was a classy and very useful feature for a wanna-be landscape photographer.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve not used any of the other compact Nikon SLRs like the FE to compare and contrast them! But I do enjoy the FA.

  2. Shaun Nelson Avatar

    My son found an FA for me at a local thrift store for $25 a few months ago. It’s in great condition. I’ve ran a few rolls through it and I really enjoy this camera! I’ve read that the electronics in the FA are known to fail, so I’m going to enjoy mine until they do.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve heard the same. I’ve owned two FAs however and both had no electronics issues. I wonder if their electronics are unreliable on the Nikon scale — that is, they’re pretty reliable, but not bulletproof like most Nikon stuff.

  3. Joe from The Resurrected Camera Avatar

    That looks like a lovely film, I hope Ferrania makes it again someday! It looks like the FA is working well, you should really put it through its paces to see how the matrix meter handles challenging light situations!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I have my doubts about Ferrania – after all these years it’s been one setback and roadblock after another for them. At least we got P30.

  4. J P Avatar

    If you passed a tent featuring Ash & Elm Ciders, you may have seen my daughter who takes their wares to area farmers markets as a Saturday morning gig during the season.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ll keep my eyes open now!

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