One of the cameras my colleague gave me that had belonged to her father was a Nikon EM. I’ve owned one before and liked it well enough, but not so well that it survived Operation Thin the Herd. I didn’t even bother to put a roll through it to test it — I knew I liked other cameras in its class better, and would use them more.
One of my mottoes is, “if you give me a camera, I will shoot it.” Assuming I can still get film for it, and it basically works, that is. The EM takes 35mm film and seemed to function fine, so I loaded some Fujicolor 200 and got busy.
The camera came with a 28mm f/2.8 Tokina EL lens attached, so I used it. I’m not a giant fan of 28mm as it’s just a little too wide for me — 35mm to 40mm is plenty wide for most things I shoot. But I was curious about the lens, so what the heck. It performed well, with excellent sharpness out to the corners and wonderful color rendition.
It suffers from barrel distortion. That seems to be common among 28mm lenses, however.
This image shows that distortion a little better — and also shows that the camera leaks a little light.
Here’s an image that shows it better. It’s probably failing seals. This only happened when I let several minutes pass between frames.
Some affected images could be saved by cropping the leaky area out. The 4×5 aspect ratio usually did it.
A lot of subjects said “portrait orientation” to me as I shot this roll.
All in all, this 28mm Tokina is a decent lens. On top of all of its positive attributes, it feels solidly built and it handles well. I didn’t bother to correct distortion in Photoshop on these images, but it’s very easy to do.
I’m considering sending the EM body to Garry’s Camera to have the light leak remedied, and the camera CLA’d. Garry’s gets mixed reviews online, but his prices sure are right. This would be a terrific camera to try him out on. But when I get it back, I’ll probably pass it on to its next owner. I still don’t need to own a Nikon EM.
Get more of my photography in your inbox or reader! Click here to subscribe.