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Nikon FA, 1983-1989

Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon FA - Specifications


Type of camera   35mm single-lens reflex
Picture format   24mm X 36mm (standard 35 mm film format)
Lens mount   Nikon bayonet mount, Maximum aperture index that works with Automatic with AI-S and AI Nikkor lenses
Lenses   Standard lenses during its official availablity: AI-S Nikkor 50mm F1.2, 50mm F1.4, 50mm F1.8 and with options of more than 60 Nikkor and Nikon Series E lenses available.

Fixed eyelevel pentaprism type; 0.8X magnification with 50mm lens set at infinity; 93° frame coverage; eyepiece shutter provided, Finder diopter: Minus 1+-0.5 dpt

Viewfinder information:

A: Ready-light LED
B: LCD panel; 7-segments, 4-digit
C: ADR aperture f-number in use
D: Shutter Speed in set
E) Exposure compensation mark - will light up when exposure compensation in use

Focusing screen   Interchangeable matte/fresnel focusing screen with central split-image rangefinder spot and microprism collar (Nikon Type K2) as standard; two other types of screens available optionally (Type B2 and E2). How to change focusing screens: By pulling the focusing screen, release latch at the top front of the mirror hox. A special tweezers is provided for screens change.
Exposure metering   TTL full-aperture exposure measurement; employs two silicon photo diodes (SPD's) with automatic multi-pattern and centerweighted metering methods; selection of metering method via metering control button

Automatic multi-pattern metering: Light is individually measured from five separate areas of focusing screen, providing correct automatic exposure, even in difficult lighting situations

Centerweighted metering: Major portion of meter's sensitivity concentrated in 12mm dia. center spot of focusing screen
Exposure meter switch   Meter turned on when shutter release button is depressed halfway; meter stays on for approx. 16 sec. after finger is lifted off button
Metering range   EV1 to EV20 at ASA/ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens
Exposure control range   Automatic multi-pattern metering: EV1 to EV16-1/3 at ASA/ISO 100 with 50mmf/1.4 lens.

Centerweighted metering: EV1 to EV20 at ASA/ISO 100 with 50mmf/1.4 lens.
Exposure control   Three automatic exposure modes: P (programmed), S (shutter-priority) and A (aperture-priority); M (manual) exposure mode also provided, exposure mode selected via Mode Changeover knob.

P mode: 'P' mode: With minimum aperture setting of the lens, the the FA automatically selects the optimum combination of shutter speed and lens aperture settings for correct exposure by the pre-arranged program of its microcomputer. Also, the FA's micro-computer activates the High-Speed program automatically via Focal Length (Fmm) signal when a Nikkor, Nikon Series E or any of the AF Nikkor lenses of 135mm or longer are used. Note: High-Speed program operable lenses are Al-S Nikkor, Nikon Series E, AF Nikkor lenses and 'newer' teleconverters for Shutter speed AI-S type.

S mode: Shutter speed set manually while aperture is set automatically and steplessly; shutter speed automatically corrected for correct exposure in case shutter speed you set is improper.

A mode: Aperture set manually while shutter speed is set automatically and steplessly

M mode: Both aperture and shutter speed set manually.
Exposure information   P mode: Viewfinder LCD shows discrete shutter speed closest to automatically selected speed; LCD also shows HI or Lo indication to warn of over- or underexposure or FEE to warn of aperture missetting.

S mode: LCD shows discrete f-number closest to automatically selected aperture or discrete shutter speed closest to automatcally selected speed when manually set shutter speed is improper; LCD also shows HI or Lo to warn of overor underexposure or FEE to warn of aperture missetting; manually set shutter speed always shown via shutter speed indication.

A mode: LCD shows discrete shutter speed closest to automatically selected speed; LCD also shows HI or Lo to warn of over- or underexposure; manually set aperture always shown via ADR window.

M mode: LCD shows manually set shutter speed preceded by M; -+ indicates correct exposure with + or - indicating over or underexposure; manually set aperture always shown via ADR window.
Exposure compensation   ±2 EV compensation (in one-third increments) possible via dial; red LED exposure compensation mark visible in viewfinder when meter is on.
Film speed range   ASA/ISO 12 to 4000
Shutter   Electromagnetically controlled vertical travel, metal focal plane shutter with titanium curtains.
Shutter speeds   Stepless speed from 1 to 1/4000 sec. in automatic exposure modes (except S mode); ceramic-oscillator-controlled discrete speeds from 1 to 1/4000 sec. in S and M modes; mechanically controlled, 1/250 sec. at M250 setting and long exposure at B setting available.
Shutter Release:   At 1-1/4000 sec dial settings, depressing shutter release button halfway turns power switch on and further depressing turns magnetic release switch on and to release shutter. At 'M' 1/250 sec and 'B' settings, shutter releases mechanically.
Power Switch:   Power switch is turned on when shutter release button is depressed halfway; it remains on for approx 16 sec. after finder is lifted off the button. By setting shutter dial to M250 and B, power switch turns off.
Film advance lever   Wound in single stroke with 30° stand-off angle and 135° winding angle; doubles as shutter release button lock
Automatic film advance   Possible with optional Motor Drive MD-15 or MD-12
Frame counter   Additive type, self resetting until the frame counter reaches '1'. Shutter fires at 1/250 sec at any shutter speed except 'B'; LCD in the viewfinder displays 'C 250' on P, S and A modes, while 'MC 250' on M mode.
Film rewind   Via folding crank and rewind button in baseplate
Self timer   Self timer: 8 - 14 sec delayed exposure; mechanical type: can be cancellable after setting.
Eyepiece shutter   Prevents stray light from entering viewfinder during unmanned operation
Depth-of-field preview lever   Provides visual verification of depth of field; with lever depressed, centerweighted metering only available (i.e. P and S modes changed into full-aperture center-weighted metering on A mode; A and M modes changed into stopped-down center weighted metering.)
Shutter Speed Ring Lock:   Release by depressing the Shutter Dial Lock release button at the back, just below the Shutter speed dial.
Reflex mirror   Automatic instant-return type
Multiple exposures   Possible via lever
Camera back   Hinged interchangeable type with memo holder; interchangeable with Data Back MF-16 or MF-12
Data back contacts   Two contacts are provided for the Data Back MF-16 (Earlier MF-12 is not operative thru these contacts, you MUST use the cable supplied to plug into the PC terminal).
Handgrip   Detachable type provides comfortable shooting; must be detached when attaching motor drive
Accessory shoe   Standard ISO-type contains hot-shoe contact, ready-light contact. TTL flash auto-stop signal contact and monitor contact; accepts Nikon SB-15, SB-16B or SB-18 or any dedicated Nikon flash units for TTL direct flash output control using camera's SPD metering cell.
Sync terminal   Threaded type provided for off-camera or multiple flash photography
Flash synchronization   Speeds of 1/250 sec or slower with electronic f ash: with Nikon dedicated flash unit, flash sync automat cal y set to 1/250 sec when camera is set at any automatic exposure mode or when shutter speed die s set at 1/500 or higher in manual mode; at slower speed on manual, shutter fires at speed set
Flash ready-light   Viewfinder LED lights up when Nikon dedicated flash unit is completely recycled; blinks to warn of insufficient light output or improper shulter speed dial or film speed setting
Batteries   One 3V lithium battery, two 1.55V s Iver oxide batteries or two 1.5V alkaline-manganese batteries. Battery power is supply by MD-15 automatically when mounted.
Dimensions   Approx, 142.5mm (W) x 92mm (H) x 64.5rnm (D)
Weight (body only)   Approx 625 g

Download a copy of the PDF file (245k) for your future reference. Highly recommending you to also download the main reference map (736k).

| Back | to Nikon FA Main Index Page

| Back | to Main Index Page of Nikon FA

Other Technical Issues: Part I | Part II

Camera Instruction Manual - HTML | PDF (1.4 MB)
Main Reference Map for Body - HTML | PDF (731k)
Specifications - HTML | PDF (245k)

The AI-S Nikkors (related info | TTL OTF Flash Metering | Interchangeable Focusing Screens. The MD-15/MD12/MD11 Motor Drives | 3rd party Power Winder (new) | Flash Units -SB-16 | SB-15 | SB-10 | SB-16B | Databacks | Titanium Shutter | Variation : Mr Y K Wong from Singapore contributing 11 images of his Nikon FA GOLD

| Nikon FM series | Nikon FE series | Nikon FA |

| Back | to Pictorial History of Nikon Rangefinder/SLR/Digital cameras

W A R N I N G: The New G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have no aperture ring on the lens, they CANNOT ADJUST APERTURES with any of these manual focus Nikon FE series SLR camera models; please ignore some portion of the content contained herein this site where it relates.

| Message Board | for your favourite Nikon FA camera
| Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon / Nikkor Photographic Equipment

Shared Resources: MD-11 | MD-12 | 3rd Party Power Winder Only for FM2(n)/FE2/FA | Focusing Screens | Titanium Shutter | Flash Units - | SB-15 | SB-10 | SB-16B & Other Options | Databack | Nikkor lens mount (related info)

Others:- Nikon AF-TTL Speedlights | SB-20 (1986) | SB-22 (1987) | SB-23 | SB-24 (1988) | SB-25 (1991/2) | SB-26 (1994) | SB-27(1997) | SB-28 (1997) | Nikon SB-29(s) (2000) | Nikon SB-30 (2003) | Nikon SB-600 (2004) | Nikon SB-800 (2003) Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight DX-Series: Nikon SB-28DX (1999) | SB-50DX (2001) | SB-80DX (2002)

Nikon BC-flash Series | Original Nikon Speedlight
SB-2 | SB-3 | SB-4 | SB-5 | SB-6 | SB-7E | SB-8E | SB-9 | SB-E | SB-10
| SB-12 | SB-14 | SB-140 UV-IR| SB-15 | SB16A | SB-17 | SB-18, SB-19 | SB-21A (SB-29) Macro flash | Flash Accesories | SF-1 Pilot Lamp

weblibrary.gif   Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat | Nikon FM | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:- Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

Nikkor Link.jpg

Index Page
  Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm

MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

| Back | Main Index Page of Nikkor Resources
| Back | Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLRs

| Message Board | for your Nikkor optics ("shared" because I do wish some of you to expose to other's perspective as well. Isn't it a sad sate to see photography has to be segmented into different camps from the use of various labels)

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A contributing effort to Michael C Liu's Classic Nikon Site.

Credit: Chuck Hester for some of his beautiful images used in this site; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input; Lars Holst Hansen, Danish 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion; Mr Poon from Poon photo for their input; Ms Miss Rissa (Sales Manager) & members of the Technical Service dept. of Shriro Malaysia, local distributor of Nikon cameras in Malaysia & Singapore, in providing so many useful input to make this site possible. Special thanks to Mr MC Lau, who has helped with his images of the MF-12 databack. Michael Tan, Pertama Photo (603-2926505) for lending his original Titanium Shutter Display Unit. Dave Hoyt who has prepared the introductory page and offer some images of his FE2 in this site.. Hiura Shinsaku, Nikomat ML, Japan for his contribution on all the various images; A contributing site to a long lost friend on the Net. Note: Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their own work to publish in this site based on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such possible dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Made witha PowerMac.