Nikon | EH EL2 | User's Manual | Nikon EH EL2 User's Manual

Shutter-speed dial lock
Film rewind knob
Distance scale
Aperture/Distance scale index
Focusing ring
Meter coupling shoe
Aperture ring
Depth-of-field indicators
Meter coupling ridge
ASA film-speed dial
ASA film-speed scale
Film rewind crank
Film-speed scale index
Shutter-speed scale
Frame counter
Meter ON index
Film-advance lever
Power check button
Film-plane indicator
Power check lamp
Viewfinder eyepiece
Accessory shoe
Hot-shoe contact
The Nikon EL2's conveniently-placed controls
and fully automatic shutter facilitate operation
under even rapidly changing conditions. After
performing the preliminary steps as presented
in "Preparation for Use" (pages 8 ~ 12), shooting with the Nikon EL2 is as simple as:
1) Set the shutter speed dial to " A " to prepare
the camera for automatic operation, as detailed on page 13.
2) Set the lens aperture to the setting appropriate for the shooting situation at hand by
turning the aperture ring, as detailed on page
3) Turn on the meter and shutter control by
simply moving the film-advance lever to the
30° standoff position, as detailed on page 14.
4) View/focus/compose the subject through the
viewfinder, turning the lens' focusing ring as
necessary to achieve a sharp image (see pages
2 0 - 25).
5) Assume a shooting stance and depress the
shutter button to expose the film (see pages
18 and 19).
Preparation for use
Installing the battery
Removing the battery
Checking the battery
Loading the film
Prior to shooting
Operation of camera controls
Setting the film speed
Setting the shutter speed
Setting the aperture
Film-advance lever
Frame counter
Shutter release button lock
Memory lock
Unloading film
Holding the camera
Shutter release operation
Operation via cable release
Infrared photography
Film-plane indicator
Depth of field
Depth-of-field preview button
Depth-of-field indicators
Exposure measurement
Automatic shutter speed selection
Manual shutter speed selection
Exposure control
Metering range
High-contrast lighting situations
Stop-down exposure measurement
Exposure compensation adjustments
EV range of the camera
Flash synchronization
Mirror lockup
Tips on camera care
Changing the lens
Coupling lever lock/release operation
The Nikon EL2 camera offers the serious photographer the highest standard of quality, performance,
convenience and versatility available in an auto 35mm
SLR camera. The EL2 is engineered to take the guesswork out of photography with automatic features
anyone can learn to use in minutes. To get the most
out of your Nikon EL2 camera, study the instructions carefully and practice using the controls before
you load any film in the camera. Keep this booklet
handy for ready reference until you have mastered its
basics, and follow the suggestions for camera care
given on page 40. The few moments you spend familiarizing yourself with the camera will guarantee
you the best results and increase your picture-taking
enjoyment many times over.
Installing the Battery
The exposure measurement and shutter control circuits
of the EL2 are powered by a single 6-volt (type 544)
battery mounted in the battery chamber at the bottom
of the mirror box. To install the battery, first remove
the lens (if mounted) from the camera body (see page
42) and lock up the mirror (turn the lockup lever
upward as far as it will go, as described on page 39) to
gain access to the battery chamber. Then, open the
battery chamber (slide the lid to the left, then up)
and install the battery, making sure to properly align
the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals of the
battery as depicted on the interior of the lid. After
inserting and properly seating the battery, snap the
chamber lid shut, unlock the mirror and remount the
lens preparatory to shooting.
Caution: Should the battery be installed incorrectly (i.e., in the
reverse direction) in the chamber, its energy will be depleted in
a matter of minutes; thus, take extra care to insert the battery
properly. Also, be careful not to touch the shutter curtain and
mirror surface while installing the battery.
Note: Remove the battery when the camera is not to be used
for a long period; this will prevent leakage within the camera.
Also, keep the camera as warm as possible when operating
under cold-weather conditions; otherwise, the battery may fail
to function. (See "Tips on Camera Care" on page 40 for
additional information.)
Removing the Battery
The battery chamber's built-in ejector-type mechanism
makes for easier removal operation when removing/
replacing the battery. To remove the battery from the
camera, take off the lens and lock up the mirror as
mentioned previously. Then, while holding the camera
upside-down, release the battery chamber lid and push
it slightly toward the back of the mirror box until the
battery drops free of the chamber. After removing the
battery, install a fresh one as explained previously.
Checking the Battery
The EL2 is provided with a special circuit that enables
the photographer to check the battery power condition
without causing excessive battery drain which might
occur by having to turn the camera on. To check battery power, simply depress the power check button
and watch the power check lamp for indication of the
power level. If the check lamp glows, battery power is
sufficient. If the lamp fails to glow, battery positioning
should be checked; then, if the lamp still fails to glow,
replace the battery.
Note: When checking battery power, hold the button depressed
only long enough for the check lamp to glow; prolonged depressing only serves to drain battery power.
Loading the Film
Slide the camera back latch release at the side of the
rewind knob to the rear and, while holding the release
back, lift the rewind knob up until the camera back
pops open. Then, with the rewind knob in the up position, drop a standard film cartridge (a Nikon reloadabletype cassette cannot be used) into the left-hand film
chamber with the film leader aligned along the film
guide rails.
After positioning the cartridge and film leader properly,
push the rewind knob down to hold the cartridge in
place and, then, insert the end of the film leader into
any of the slots in the film take-up spool. If necessary,
release the shutter and, then, stroke the film-advance
lever slowly to make sure that the leader winds smoothly on the spool and that the film edge perforations
engage with the film sprocket roller. When satisfied
that the film is properly feeding and is traveling correctly along the film guide rails, snap the camera back shut
to seal the film chamber. (Also, see "Tips on Camera
Care" on page 40.)
Caution: When loading film, be sure to shade the camera from
direct exposure to sunlight to prevent inadvertent "fogging"
of the film.
Prior to Shooting
Fold out the rewind crank and turn it gently in the
direction of the engraved arrow until you feel a slight
tension; this tension indicates that there is no more
slack in the film cartridge. (Be sure not to rewind the
film back into the cartridge.)
Set the shutter-speed dial to one of the fixed-speed settings (see page 13), advance the film via the filmadvance lever (see page 14) and make two blank exposures to dispose of the initial portion of the film
exposed during loading. While advancing the film, check
that the rewind crank turns in the direction opposite
the arrow. Crank rotation indicates that the film has
been loaded properly and is being advanced. Then, fold
the crank flat for film storage.
After advancing the film two frames to dispose of any
exposed film, the frame counter at the upper right of
the camera will indicate " 0 " ; now advance the film one
more frame to prepare the camera for taking the first
Note: Setting the shutter-speed dial to one of the fixed-speed
positions (rather than t o " A " ) prior to making blank exposures
will provide for the most rapid loading as this action will prevent the camera from selecting a slow speed, as might be the
case should loading be performed with the lens cap in place.
However, be sure to resetthe dial to " A " if automatic operation
is to be performed.
Setting the Film Speed
As film response sensitivity during exposure to light
(called "film speed") varies with film type, adjustment
of the camera's metering circuit is essential to ensure
uniform exposures under all operational conditions.
Thus, a film-speed dial (ASA graduations) is provided
for this purpose, with a safety lock mechanism built-in
to prevent accidental shifting of the dial during shooting.
To set the film speed, depress the film-speed dial lock
and, while holding the lock depressed, turn the ASA
film-speed dial until the red index mark is aligned with
the ASA value for the film in use. After setting the dial,
release the lock and test the dial to ensure that it is set
firmly at the desired ASA value. The meter is sensitive
across the full range of from ASA 12 to ASA 3200.
The film-speed dial has two graduations between each
pair of numbers for intermediate settings such as 64,
80, 125, etc. The figure below indicates the values for
all intermediate settings.
Setting the Shutter Speed
The Nikon EL2 is set for automatic or manual shutter
speed selection via the shutter-speed dial positioned to
the right of the finder, with setting operation possible
at any time either before or after the shutter is wound.
The dial is provided with positions for automatic ("A"),
speeds of from 8 seconds to 1/1000 second, and a " B "
setting. To set the dial for automatic shutter speed selection, simply rotate the dial clockwise until the green
" A " (automatic) setting clicks and locks into place
aligned with the shutter-speed scale index at the base
of the dial; the built-in locking mechanism ensures that
the dial cannot beaccidently shifted from the automatic
position during shooting.
To set the dial for manual shutter speed selection used
during "match-needle" exposure measurement, simply
depress the shutter-speed dial lock and, while holding
the lock depressed, rotate the dial counterclockwise off
of the " A " position; when the dial is aligned with white
settings of from 2 to 1000, the actual shutter speed is a
fractional value of from 1/2 second to 1/1000 second,
while the remaining settings indicate the actual values
of from 8 seconds to 1 second. The red "125" setting
indicates that the 1/125 second shutter speed is the
fastest speed providing X synchronization for use with
electronic flash units. At the " B " setting, the shutter
remains open as long as the shutter-release button is
depressed. If you have forgotten to install the battery,
the shutter gives a mechanically fixed speed of 1/90
second regardless of the dial position. (See "Flash
Synchronization" on page 38 for additional information on flash photography.)
Note: The Nikon EL2 consumes battery power at all shutterspeed dial settings and, thus, is subject to the same limitations
on battery life (i.e., approx. 10 hours continuous operation
with fresh batteries) even at the " B " setting.
Setting the Aperture
The ring fitted at the base of the lens adjusts the size of
the aperture (or opening) in the iris diaphragm. To preset the lens aperture, turn the aperture ring until the desired f/number setting on the scale is aligned with the
index mark provided on the lens. The iris diaphragm can
also be set to intermediate apertures between the clickstop settings for more precise exposures.
Film-Advance Lever
The film-advance lever simultaneously advances the
film, cocks the shutter and operates the frame counter.
It also switches on the exposure meter in the finder
and unlocks the shutter-release button. To advance the
film, stroke the lever with the right thumb in a single
stroke totaling only 135°. A built-in locking device
prevents the shutter from being released unless it is
fully cocked and the film advanced a full frame. At the
completion of film advance, release the lever and it
will return to the 30° standoff position ready for shutter release.
Note: Do not apply pressure to the film-advance lever while
making an exposure.
Frame Counter
The frame counter operates automatically to show how
many frames have been exposed. When the camera back
is opened for loading, the counter is reset to the " S "
(start) position, two frames before " 0 . " Once the
camera is loaded and the back closed, each filmadvance/shutter-release sequence will cause the frame
counter to advance one position until the maximum 20
or 36 frames have been exposed. The dial of the frame
counter is calibrated with dots (for odd numbers) and
figures (for even numbers), and with settings of " S , "
" 2 0 " and " 3 6 " in red.
Shutter Release Button Lock
A special control is fitted around the base of the shutter release button to provide for greater ease of operation when using the EL2 with the Auto Winder AW-1
mounted for automatic film advance. With the shutter
release button lock, the film-advance lever's meter
ON/OFF and shutter button lock functions are duplicated to enable positioning of the lever flush to the
body while using the Auto Winder. To operate the
camera via the shutter release button lock, simply
switch the lock to the left to reveal the red meter ON
index; in this position, the meter is on and the shutter
button is unlocked for normal release operation. When
not using the Auto Winder, switch the lock back to the
right and operate via the film-advance lever.
Note: Whenever the camera is stored, be sure that the shutter
release button lock (as well as the film-advance lever) is set to
the " m e t e r - O F F " position to ensure against accidental battery
The built-in self-timer can be used to trip the shutter
after a delay of approximately 10 seconds, and it will
operate whether the shutter speed dial is set for automatic or manual shutter speed selection. To take a picture using the self-timer to fire the camera, first set the
aperture and shutter-speed controls, advance the film,
and cock the self-timer by turning its lever downward
as far as it will go; then, simply depress the shutter release button to start the countdown, with shutter release occurring at the completion of the cycle (note that
the mirror will rise as the shutter button is depressed
and return at the end of the cycle). Note that the selftimer can be set either before or after advancing film;
however, once cocked, it cannot be reset except by
pressing the shutter release button. The self-timer may
not be used at the " B " shutter-speed dial setting.
Caution: Should self-timer operation be performed w i t h the
camera set for automatic operation, be sure that the finder eyepiece is covered t o prevent the entry of stray light. Failure to
do this can result in incorrectly exposed pictures.
Memory L o c k
The convenient location of the self-timer lever, making
for ready finger access, proves advantageous when using
the built-in memory lock function. Memory lock enables
the photographer to retain an exposure measurement
taken close-up to the subject, or via selective composition through theviewfinder, by "locking i n " the reading
taken prior to operating the lock. To operate the
memory lock, view through the finder and meter on
the selected area; then, simply push the lever toward
the lens to hold the reading until the completion of the
exposure. The reading will be retained as long as the
control is held in this position. Thus, several frames can
be exposed using the same locked reading. Also, the
aperture can be adjusted without affecting the shutter
speed locked in. (See "High-Contrast Lighting Situations" on page 30 for details on the use of the memory
lock function.)
When the frame counter indicates the last exposure has
been made, or when the film-advance lever can no longer be stroked, the roll of film has been fully exposed
and it should be removed from the camera.
To unload the camera, first press the rewind button on
the camera baseplate; then, unfold the rewind crank
and turn it in the direction of the engraved arrow,
using a smooth, even pressure. When no more tension is
felt, the film leader has left the take-up spool and the
camera back may be opened as explained previously.
After opening the camera back, carefully lift the film
cartridge free of the film chamber. Note that as the filmadvance lever is stroked for the next exposure, the rewind button will be released to engage the film-advance
Caution: Be careful not to push the rewind b u t t o n during filmadvance operation, as temporary f i l m stoppage and double exposure may occur. Also, do not attempt to force the advance
lever at the completion of the roll, as this can result in tearing
the film out of the cartridge.
Camera shake is one of the most common causes of unsharp pictures, especially at slow shutter speeds. Learn
to hold the camera correctly and practice steady shutter
squeezing. The photos show the best ways to hold the
camera for sharp pictures.
Wrap the fingers of the right hand around the camera
body so that the index finger rests comfortably on the
shutter-release button and the thumb fits between the
camera body and the film-advance lever. Position the
camera so that the eye looks through the center of the
viewfinder. Cradle the camera in the left hand for additional support, with the left thumb and index finger
grasping the focusing ring. From this basic stance, the
camera can be properly supported and easily switched
from horizontal to vertical format shooting. As a general
rule, the slowest shutter speed you should use with the
camera hand-held is equal to the reciprocal of the focal
length of the lens in use (e.g., for a 500mm lens, use
1 /500 sec; for a 105mm lens, use 1 /125 sec). However,
as the ability to hold the camera steady may vary with
each individual, we recommend that you experiment. In
general, the higher the selected shutter speed, the sharper the picture.
For sharp pictures, correct shutter releasing is just as
important as steady camera holding. After advancing
the film to a fresh frame, the camera is set for shutter
release via the button provided at the upper right.
When taking the picture, hold the camera steady (as
explained previously), relax and depress the button using a steady even pressure to release the camera's shutter—remember, a quick jab of the finger will cause
camera movement and may result in a blurred photograph.
Operation via Cable Release
The shutter-release button can also be tripped via a cable release or similar accessory for more vibration-free
operation when the camera is tripod-mounted and operated at slow shutter speeds. And, as two mounting
threads are provided, virtually any type cable release can
be used. To attach an ISO-thread release (Nikon model
AR-3, etc.), screw the connector into the V-shaped
thread in the center of the button. For Nikon-thread
releases (model AR-2, etc.), screw the connector onto
the threads provided around the button. The shutter is
then tripped by depressing the release plunger.
Focusing is done at full aperture with Nikkor lenses fitted with an automatic diaphragm. This technique provides the brightest possible images on the focusing
screen for easy focusing and composing. It also minimizes depth of field so that the image snaps in and out
of focus distinctly.
The Nikon Type K screen comes with the camera as
standard equipment. To focus, turn the focusing ring
on the lens until the two halves of the rangefinder
image coincide to form a single, crisp image; when using
the microprism ring, turn until the microprism pattern
shifts to a sharp and crisp image. You can also focus on
the matte field that surrounds the rangefinder/microprism central area.
The lens can also be prefocused using the distance scale
engraved in both meters and feet on the lens barrel.
Simply turn the focusing ring until the desired camerato-subject distance (as measured or estimated) is lined
up with the distance scale index on the lens barrel. This
technique is useful for candid shots of elusive subjects
when time does not permit through-the-lens focusing.
Out of focus
In focus
Infrared Photography
The plane of sharpest focus for infrared light is slightly
more distant than its counterpart for visible light as seen
through the camera's viewfinder. Thus, for sharpest focus in infrared photography, adjustments must be
made. To compensate for this shift in focus, first focus
the image sharply through the viewfinder. Then, turn
the focusing ring counterclockwise until the point focused is aligned with the red dot (or line) provided on
the lens barrel. For example, in the picture below, the
lens has been focused for infinity (°°) infrared shooting.
Note that when lenses having a focal length of 50mm
or less are used stopped down to f/8 or below, no adjustment is necessary due to the large depth of field
Note: Some new optics using Nikon's Extra-low Dispersion
(ED) glass, as well as reflex (catadioptric) lenses, do not require
refocusing for infrared photography. Refer to individual lens
instruction manuals for details.
Film-Plane Indicator
Under various precision shooting situations, such as
close-up photography, it is often necessary to measure
the film-to-subject distance to ensure the sharpest
focus. The camera's film plane is indicated by the special mark (-0-) on the upper right top of the camera
body. Note that this indicator is 46.5mm from the
front surface of the camera's lens mounting flange.
mounting flange f r o n t surface)
Depth of field refers to the zone of acceptable focus extending in front of, and behind, the plane of sharpest
focus. Within this zone, image blur is negligible and
everything may be considered as being in sharp focus.
Three factors greatly influence the depth of field: the
focal length of the lens in use, the camera-to-subject distance, and the taking aperture. The smaller the aperture and the shorter the focal length of the lens, the
greater the depth of field. Also, the closer the subject,
the shallower the depth of field. These three factors can
operate independently or in conjunction with one another, with any one factor capable of partially canceling
the effects of the other. Thus, by careful selection and
use, the photographer can exercise wide creative control
over the final picture.
Depth-of-Field Preview B u t t o n
As most Nikkor lenses are operated at full aperture for
ease of focusing, visualization of the depth of field at
the shooting aperture may be difficult. Thus, the
camera's depth-of-field preview button often can come
in handy. The depth-of-field preview button lets you
check (or "preview") the zone of sharpness at any time
before (or after) shooting. Simply by depressing the
button, the lens is stopped down to the preselected aperture to allow you to see how much background and
foreground is in or out of focus.
DEPTH OF FIELD-continued
Depth-of-Field Indicators
Depth of field can be read directly from the distance
scale in meters or feet with the aid of the color-coded
depth-of-field indicators engraved on the lens barrel.
Each pair of colored lines on either side of the central
distance scale index line corresponds to f/numbers of
the same color on the aperture scale. To find the depth
of field at a particular aperture, first focus the lens on
the subject while looking through the viewfinder. Then
check the numbers on the distance scale to determine
the zone of focus for the aperture in use. The three
photos shown clearly depict the changing depth of field;
with the photo at the immediate right, the field is
shallow at the f/4 setting, while the photo at the extreme right shows a depth of field extending from
approximately 2.7m (9 ft) to infinity (°°).
The exposure meter of the Nikon EL2 utilizes Nikon's
through-the-lens center-weighted exposure measurement at full aperture. The meter reads the light over
the entire focusing screen but favors the central 12mmdiameter area, while taking the entire area into consideration. This allows you to make precise readings
of the selected subject area, and results in more balanced overall exposures.
A u t o m a t i c Shutter Speed Selection
When set to the " A " shutter-speed dial setting, the EL2
is capable of fully automatic selection of the shutter
speed appropriate for the aperture setting of the lens
and the existing lighting conditions. The exposure meter
display, visible within the viewfield of the finder, enables the photographer to maintain continuous control
over the exposure while viewing and focusing, and without the need of removing the eye from the viewfinder.
And as lighting conditions (or the aperture setting)
change, the shutter speed control circuit continues to
maintain continuous and automatic control, for perfect
exposure every time.
To take a picture using automatic shutter speed selection, first set the shutter-speed dial to " A " (the green
needle in the finder will move to the upper " A " position and remain) and select an appropriate aperture setting. As you compose and focus, the black needle will
continuously indicate the shutter speed being selected
for correct exposure. Prior to exposing the film, verify
that the needle is indicating a shutter speed appropriate
for the subject; if the indicated speed is too fast or too
slow, simply adjust the aperture ring on the lens until
the desired shutter speed is indicated. Then, press the
shutter release button to expose the film. Note that as
long as the needle remains within the scale, provided the
EV range of the metering system is not exceeded, the
camera provides the correct exposure automatically.
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Manual Shutter Speed Selection
When the shutter-speed dial is set to other than the " A "
setting, manual shutter speed selection is provided, with
exposure determination via the "match-needle" method.
To determine the correct exposure using manual speed
selection, perform the following: Switch on the meter
in the usual way and adjust the shutter-speed dial until
the green needle in the exposure meter display aligns
with the desired speed; then, simply adjust the aperture
setting of the lens until the black needle moves to overlap the green needle. If deliberate under- or overexposure is desired, adjust the controls so that the green
needle is overlapping the next higher number (one-step
underexposure) or the next lower number (one-step
overexposure). Example under- and overexposure indications are shown on the following page.
Exposure Control
The amount of light reaching the film plane is determined by a combination of the lens aperture and the
shutter speed. Since the two are interrelated, different
combinations will give the same exposure. A 1-step
change in the shutter speed, or a 1-stop change in the
aperture setting, will either halve or double the exposure.
For example, a shutter speed of 1/125 second passes
twice as much light as a setting of 1/250 second, and
only half as much light as a speed of 1/60 second; for an
aperture setting of f/11, twice as much light as f/16, and
half as much as f/8, is passed. This feature characterizes
the operation throughout the available range of shutter
speeds and aperture settings. With this in mind, it's easy
to see that if a correct exposure for a scene is 1 /125 at
f/11, then 1/60 at f/16 or 1/250 at f/8 will be equally
The best combination for your needs will depend on the
results desired. Use fast shutter speeds to freeze motion,
or use slow speeds to produce deliberate and creative
blur. Small apertures give greater depth of field, while
large apertures restrict sharp focus to the main subject.
The creative selection of both speeds and apertures will
greatly enhance your photography.
. . . and one-step
Metering Range
If the black meter needle fails to leave the " A " or " B "
positions during auto (or fails to "match" the green
needle in manual), even after all possible lens-aperture/
shutter-speed combinations have been tried, then the
available light is too bright or too dim for the meter's
range. To correct this situation, several measures may be
taken, as follows: Switch to a new film (either higher or
lower ASA) that more closely matches the available
light; mount a neutral density filter on the lens to decrease the light reaching the film plane; or use artificial
lighting (i.e., an electronic flash unit) to increase subject
illumination. Remember, too, that the lens in use can
greatly influence suitability for bright or dim shooting.
For example, a 50mm f/1.4 lens (with ASA 100 film)
couples from EV1 (f/1.4 at 1 second) to EV 18 (f/16 at
1/1000 second) for excellent low-light performance; on
the other hand, a 200mm f/4 lens proves more usable
at bright-light levels, coupling (with ASA 100 film) to
EV20 (f/32 at 1/1000 second). Thus, choose the lens
carefully to match the existing lighting conditions.
High-Contrast Lighting Situations
When there are substantial brightness differences between the main subject and the background, unimportant bright spots or dark spots can adversely influence
the finder reading, and thus the final exposure. To prevent under- or overexposure of the main subject under
these shooting conditions, some corrective action must
be taken to ensure proper exposure of the main subject.
Fortunately, the finder's center-weighted TTL metering
action (and the memory lock function in auto) simplify adjustments, making for quicker camera operation
and more accurate final results.
To compensate for an excessively bright or dark background, target the main subject in the center of the focusing screen while performing metering; this action ensures that the main emphasis of the meter reading will
be on the chosen subject. Then, after completing aperture and shutter speed adjustments (and depressing the
memory lock to retain the shutter speed, if set to auto),
recompose to the desired picture composition and make
the exposure without readjusting the camera controls.
For example, when shooting landscapes, it is often advisable to aim the camera slightly downward during exposure measurement to eliminate the effects of a bright
expanse of sky; without such compensation, the landscape may appear underexposed in the final print. Also,
for backlit subjects, it may be necessary to move closer
to the subject to ensure a proper reading.
• Metering with a bright area in the center will
cause underexposure of the main subject.
• For correct exposure, first measure the main subject;
then, recompose and shoot.
With some Nikkor lenses, full-aperture exposure measurement is not possible, either because the lens has no
automatic diaphragm, or because the lens does not couple with the built-in meter; with certain accessories,
too, lens/meter coupling is not possible, thus, preventing full-aperture measurement. However, the camera's
meter can still be used for exposure measurement via
the stop-down method. Before mounting the lens (or
accessory) on the camera body, lock the meter coupling lever in the up position, as described in "Coupling Lever Lock/Release Operation" on page 43; the
lever must remain up as long as stop-down measurement is being performed. After setting the lever, mount
the lens or lens/accessory combination on the camera,
switch on the meter by moving the film-advance lever
to the standoff position (or moving the shutter-release
button lock to the left), and then set the controls for
correct exposure as follows:
For fixed-aperture lenses, such as Reflex-Nikkor lenses,
choose the desired shutter speed operation mode (either automatic or manual selection) first. When automatic shutter speed selection is used, no additional settings are required; when manual speed selection is used,
adjust the shutter-speed dial until the meter needles in
the finder overlap. The exposure can additionally be
controlled via built-in or accessory ND filters.
For automatic diaphragm lenses with no coupling ridge,
first set the shutter-speed dial for either automatic or
manual shutter speed selection. When using automatic,
next depress and hold the depth-of-field button to stopdown the lens diaphragm and adjust the aperture ring
until the black needle indicates the desired shutter speed;
then, while holding the button depressed, press and
hold the memory lock until the completion of the exposure. When using manual operation, select the desired
shutter speed, depress and hold the depth-of-field button, and (while holding the button depressed) adjust the
aperture ring until the meter needles in the finder overlap. Whichever mocle of operation used, be sure to release the depth-of-field button prior to making the exposure.
Caution: To avoid accidental damage, make sure you do not
use excessive force when raising up the lever.
For bellows units, extension rings and preset lenses, set
the camera to the desired shutter speed (or to automatic); then, stop down the lens manually until the meter needles in the finder overlap (or the desired shutter
speed is indicated); when using automatic shutter speed
selection, it may be necessary to press the memory lock
if the aperture is to be re-opened for focusing and/or
composition. Preset-type lenses include PC-Nikkor
Some exposure correction may be necessary when certain types of films are used for copying or photomicrography applications; the amount of correction required,
however, will depend on the type of film and the specific application. The following table lists the exposure
corrections in f/stops required for various film/shooting
requirements. Compensation is possible by adjusting the
shutter speed or the aperture by the indicated amount;
also, compensation is possible by adjusting the special
ring provided for this purpose. To adjust the exposure
compensation ring, simply lift and turn it until the
index mark is aligned with the value corresponding to
the amount of compensation. In the example shown,
the index is set to the +1 position, as required when
performing photomicrography using Panchromatic
\ .
of f i l m
\ .
for general use
Repro-copying & slide-copying
color photo
Letters or figures
light background
Letters or figures
dark background
+1J4 stops
—% stop
+ 1 stop
Caution: When performing general photography with the EL2,
always make sure that the exposure compensation ring is set to
the " 0 " position; if not, incorrect exposure will occur.
The camera's meter may be used only within the shutter
speed range covered by the exposure value (EV) range
of the meter, which varies with the aperture and ASA
The chart on page 37 shows the relationships between
the f-stop, shutter speed and film speed, indicating the
slowest functioning shutter speed (for metering purposes) with any film speed/f-stop combination.
Careful attention to the following instructions will assure precise exposure, automatically, over the complete
exposure control and meter range capability of your
Nikon EL2.
• Auto exposure control at full aperture
For example, with an f/1.4 lens and ASA 100 film, the
automatic shutter will function down to one second
with the lens set at 1.4, and proportionately slower as
the aperture is closed.
Using a standard of ASA 25 film, you may be assured
of at least a four-second speed regardless of the aperture
of the lens used as long as the lens is set at full aperture
(refer to Table).
Using ASA 400 at f/1.4, the slowest speed is 1 /4 second;
however, as the aperture is closed, the functioning shutter speed becomes progressively slower until we reach
f/8 when the slowest speed of eight seconds is functioning.
• Auto exposure control with stop-down metering
When using a bellows or other extension equipment
which disengages the meter coupling device, it is necessary to revert to stop-down metering. Certain limitations are imposed in this mode.
As lens-to-film distance is increased, the metering range
(EV range) changes proportionately. For example, when
an f/2.0 lens is used at 2:1 reproduction (twice life-size)
the effective f/number is f/5.6 When used at f/8, the
effective f/number is f/22.
When pictures are taken under minimal light levels, it is
desirable to use a high-speed film (ASA 160 or higher).
Using Tri-X at film speed 400 with stop-down metering,
with an effective f/number of f/8, the shutter speed
range would be from 1/4 second to 1/1000. Should the
light level drop below EV 6, it would be out of the
shutter speed range of the meter.
Table Slowest shutter speed at full
aperture with any lens
ASA speed
100 ( 80)
50 ( 64)
Slowest shutter speed
• How to read the EV range chart
The chart indicates the EV (for ASA 100) vs. shutter
speed range.
To determine the shutter speed range, note that the bars
in section A indicate the responsive range of the EL2's
photosensitive SPD element (i.e., f/8 covers EV 6 ~ 23,
f/16 covers EV 8 ~ 23) for the f-stop in use.
In Section B, note the f-stop being used on the appropriate ASA scale. For example, at ASA 25 with the lens
set at f/8, we follow the line diagonally and find that it
intersects EV 5 at eight seconds, and at EV 18 runs off
the scale at 1/1000 second. ASA 100 at f/8 runs from
EV 3 at eight seconds to EV 16 at 1/1000 second.
In any case, it is generally the low end which requires a
careful check. The wide exposure (EV) range of the
Nikon EL2 will encompass most lighting situations.
It is only under dim-light or rare bright-light situations
that any special attention need be paid.
Full-aperture metering
The metering range is determined by the bars (Section
A), f/number range in appropriate ASA scale (Section
B) and shutter speed (8 ~ 1/1000 sec, Section C). For
example, the area encompassed by the heavy lines demonstrates a combination of an f/1.4 lens and ASA 100
Stop-down metering
The metering range is determined by the bars (Section
A), f/number in appropriate ASA scale (Section B)
which corresponds to the stopped-down aperture in
operation, and shutter speed (8 —1/1000 sec, Section
C). The broken line demonstrates stop-down measurement in the case of an f/8 lens combined with ASA
100 film, indicating a range from 1 sec. to 1 /1000 sec.
Section C
Nikon |
The Nikon EL2 camera is designed to synchronize with
most types of flashbulbs at almost all shutter speeds and
with electronic flash at speeds to 1/125 second. Additionally, the camera is fitted with an automatic sync
switchover circuit which selects the proper synchronization timing as the shutter speed is selected (operation
with the shutter-speed dial set to " A " is not possible,
however). The table below shows which shutter speeds
may be used with different types of flashbulbs.
No special adapters are necessary when using flash
units equipped with an ISO-type hot-shoe mount (such
as Nikon Speedlight Units SB-3 and SB-4) or bottommount units (such as the Speedlight SB-5). For other
Nikon units, such as the Flash Unit BC-7 and Speedlight Unit SB-2, the Flash Unit Coupler AS-2 is available and offers, again, operation without the need for
a sync cord.
'Some M class bulbs that have shorter flash duration may not cover these speeds.
The reflex mirror must be locked in the up position
when using either the Fisheye-Nikkor 6mm f/5.6 or the
OP Fisheye-Nikkor 10mm f/5.6 lenses, since their rear
elements protrude into the camera body and interfere
with mirror movement. Locking up the mirror is also
necessary when changing the battery mounted in the
chamber at the bottom of the mirror box. To lock up
the mirror, turn the mirror lockup lever upward as far
as it will go (approx. 45°). The mirror will remain in the
up position until the lever is returned to the normal position.
Note: The mirror lockup lever function can be duplicated by
using the self-timer to trigger the camera, as the timer action
causes the mirror to swing up at the start of the countdown
process. This is convenient particularly when minimization of
mirror shock is desired, without the need to actually lock the
mirror up, as in photomicrographic applications.
Good camera care is primarily common-sense care. Treat your Nikon
EL2 camera as you would any other precision optical instrument and
it will provide you years of trouble-free service. Although ruggedly
constructed, your camera may be damaged by shock, heat, water or
misuse. By observing the following tips, you will be assured of the
longest possible service life.
• Fingerprints or dust on lens/prism surfaces will make viewing uncomfortable, and will generally contribute to a deterioration of optical
performance. Clean lens surfaces often using a quality lens tissue or
a soft lens brush; stubborn smudges should be wiped with lens tissue
moistened with methyl alcohol or a quality lens cleaner. Never clean
lens surfaces using cloth, paper towels, ordinary tissue, or any other
material that might scratch the lens surface; also, use cleaning fluids
sparingly to prevent seepage, and resulting damage to mechanical
• When interchanging lenses, finders, etc., your camera is susceptible
to the entry of dust or other contaminants. It is a good idea to clean
moving body parts frequently to prevent the build-up of dust; here,
a lens brush and blower will come in very handy. When blowing out
the interior of the camera, however, avoid contact with the shutter
curtains, as they are easily damaged. Also, wipe the outer body surfaces using a silicone-impregnated cleaning cloth to remove fingerprints, etc. quickly and easily. (Note that a silicone-impregnated
cleaning cloth should never be used to clean the lens surfaces.)
• When exposed to sudden temperature changes or high humidity, condensation may form on the lens surfaces. After using in these situations, always dry the camera thoroughly (and slowly) at room tern-
perature and, then, store in a cool, dry location. Remember that failure to dry out the camera may result in the growth of fungus on lens
surfaces—a condition that will render your camera useless.
Should your camera be accidently dropped on the floor or in water,
take it to your dealer immediately for servicing. Thorough servicing
can be guaranteed only at an authorized dealer.
Always store the camera in an ever-ready case or compartment case
when not in use. And be sure that the lens cap is attached to the lens.
Do not leave film in the camera for a long period of time, and never
store the camera with the shutter or self-timer cocked.
Never lubricate any part of the camera. Lubrication should be left
to an authorized service center. Prior to a holiday trip or important
shooting assignment, test your camera (including changing batteries,
if necessary) for proper operation.
Observe normal battery handling procedures for maximum performance at all times. Be sure to: Clean batteries periodically (wiping with
a rough cloth will remove residues that might otherwise impede performance); install batteries properly, checking for proper polarity;
remove batteries when not using the equipment for an extended period; change weak batteries promptly to prevent leakage within the
camera; store unused batteries properly (in a cool, dry location) to
maximize service life; dispose of batteries properly (do not burn); and
keep out of the reach of children. For details regarding battery performance, refer to the original manufacturer.
To remove the lens from the camera body, press the lens
release button and, holding the button depressed, twist
the lens clockwise as far as it will go. With this action,
the lens will come loose and can be lifted out.
until it clicks and locks into place. These steps provide
for full mounting of the lens, while simultaneously
indexing the lens' maximum aperture setting to the
camera's metering circuit.
To mount a lens fitted with a meter coupling ridge,
perform the following: Check that the meter coupling
lever is released (see "Coupling Lever Lock/Release
Operation" on page 43 for details); position the lens
in the camera's lens mounting flange so that the
mounting indexes on the lens and camera body are
aligned; and, then, twist the lens counterclockwise
To mount a lens not fitted with a meter coupling ridge,
first lock the meter coupling lever in the up position
(again, see "Coupling Lever Lock/Release Operation"
for details). Then mount the lens and lock it into position as explained previously. For operation with lenses
not fitted with a meter coupling ridge, stop-down measurement (as described on page 32) is required.
Coupling Lever Lock/Release Operation
The EL2 is fitted with a meter coupling lever at the base
of the lens to provide for coupling between the metering
circuit and the lens' meter coupling ridge. When the
camera body is used with lenses offering automatic
maximum aperture indexing, the lever remains in the
normal position. However, when the camera body is
used with lenses and/or accessories not provided with
this feature, the lever must be locked up to permit exposure measurement via the stop-down method. To lock
up the lever prior to mounting the lens, simply push in
the coupling lever release and lift the lever up and out
of the way for operation. To return the lever to its normal position for operation with a lens or accessory capable of automatic maximum aperture indexing, simply
push the lever back down until the lever clicks into
place; then, mount the lens as explained previously.
Auto Winder AW-1
The compact and lightweight Nikon Auto Winder AW-1
is a precision drive accessory which offers greater versatility of operation with the EL2. The winder attaches
directly to the baseplate of the camera and provides for
effortless, automatic film advance operation that complements the camera's built-in automatic exposure features. And by providing the freedom from manual film
advance, the AW-1 enables the photographer to concentrate fully on the viewfinder image and to follow even
rapid action flow. Power for winder operation is provided by six standard penlight-type batteries mounted
within the unit.
Lens Hoods
The use of a lens hood is recommended at all times to
prevent extraneous light from striking the lens (a cause
of flare and ghost), and as an added measure of protection for the lens. An extensive lineup of hoods is available to meet the needs of all Nikkor lenses.
Camera Cases
Available in both hard and soft (pouch) construction, Nikon camera cases offer excellent protection for
your camera body and mounted lenses. Various sizes
available ensure use with most Nikkor lenses.
Nikon filters, made of the finest optical glass finished
to piano-parallel flatness, are available in a wide range of
mounting sizes and types to meet the needs of both
color and black-and-white photography. For best results,
use Nikon filters on Nikkor lenses.
Eyepiece Correction Lenses
Available in nine different powers for maximum selectivity, Nikon eyepiece correction lenses permit the nearor far-sighted user to view and focus without wearing
spectacles. Diopters available are —5, —4, —3, —2, 0,
+0.5, +1, +2 and +3, with each value representing the
combined lens/finder dioptry.
Finder Eyecup
The rubber eyecup can be attached to the finder eyepiece to prevent extraneous light from entering the
Ty^pe of camera: 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR)
Picture format: 24mm x 36mm (35mm film format)
Lens mount: Nikon F mount (bayonet type)
Lenses available: Nikkor 50mm f/1.4, f/2 or 55mm
f/1.2 as standard; more than 50 Nikkor lenses in all
Shutter: Vertical-travel focal-plane shutter; speeds of
from 8 seconds to 1/1000 second and " B " ; automatic
shutter speed selection available when set to " A " setting; shutter release via shutter button or self-timer
Flash synchronization: Automatic selection as shutter
speed is manually set; hot-shoe contact (ISO-type)
with built-in safety switch provided;one threaded PC
terminal provided for off-camera flash operation
Synchronization range: 1/1000 ~ 8 sec. and " B " for
flashbulbs; 1/125 ~ 8 sec. and " B " for electronic
Accessory shoe: ISO-type built into finder housing; fitted with hot-shoe contact and electric safety switch
which turns on contact as flash unit is mounted
Viewfinder: Fixed eyelevel pentaprism type with builtin through-the-lens (TTL) exposure meter; shutter
speed indicated to the left within the viewfield
Focusing screen: Matte Fresnel field with central splitimage rangefinder surrounded by microprism ring;
12mm diameter reference circle defines area of meter
center-weighting; similar to Nikon Type K screen
Reflex mirror: Instant-return type; lockup lever provided
Exposure metering: Through-the-lens, center-weighted,
full-aperture measurement employing two silicon
photo-diodes (SPD) for fast response; exposure correctly set either automatically or by matching two
needles; meter cross-coupled with both diaphragm
and shutter speed controls and automatically indexed as lens is mounted; powered by one 6V silver-oxide
Metering range: EV 1 ~ EV 18 (i.e., f/1.4 at 1 second ~
f/16 at 1/1000 second) with 50mm f/1.4 lens and
ASA 100
Film speed scale: Settings provided for ASA 12~3200
Lens diaphragm coupling: Built-in meter coupling lever
for Nikkor lenses capable of automatic maximum
aperture indexing; meter/diaphragm coupling of
from f/1.2 to f/32 provided
Film winding: Via single-stroke lever with 135° winding
angle and 30° stand-off angle; lever also serves as
meter ON/OFF switch
Frame counter: Shows number of frames exposed (additive type); automatically resets to " S " (twoframes
before "0") when camera back is opened
Film rewinding: Manual via film rewind crank
Depth-of-field preview: Via button provided on front
of camera
Body finish: Satin-chrome and semi-gloss black
Weight: 780g (body only)
Dimensions: 145mm x 93.5mm x 54.5mm
No reproduction in any form of this booklet, in
whole or in part (except for brief quotation in
critical articles or reviews), may be made without
written authorization from the publishers.
Printed in Japan (77.7.80) &-2
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