The Nikon FG-20

Heres the start of it all, my most reliable and constant Camera yet. The Nikon FG-20.


I had been thinking about this project for a few months before i was handed this Camera by my farther. When i was younger this was a prized possession that i remember having to treat with great care, making sure I always had the strap around my neck and held it tight incase it should fall. I was surprised to say the least when he said, well have the Nikon!

After getting a couple of batteries for the light meter, i was off. starting with an old Lloyds pharmacy 2001 film I had some quite confusing advice at the start. My Dad said to keep the light meter around 125 (i’m guessing on Auto) and then a guy in a camera shop said I’d want 500 on a sunny day. I went with a mix of the two for the first roll until i was then told i should match the shutter speed with the film speed. Since then, i’ve shot a lot of photos on 250 changing the aperture ring to get the light meter to match that. If i still can’t get it to match that, then changing the shutter speed to gain more light. Very confusing but i seem to be getting it know. I feel I have seen a progression in my shots and using other Cameras without a light meter has challenged this knowledge again. I do have a light meter (which i do sometimes use) but, i’ve tried to use what i’ve learned from the Nikon and apply it to say, my Fed 3. Bellow are some of the first film… i quite like the amber tint to the pictures.

Since i have tried some of the Kodak colour film, the Poundland film and various different cameras.

More recently i’ve tried shooting darker indoor shots on my last tour. I work a lot with Billy Bragg and he has a great photographer Peter Dunwell ( who gave me some great advice! Pete gave me more confidence in trying shots the Camera was telling me were too dark, even though it was light in the room. Some shots worked out quite nicely, some didn’t work out as well. I have used 200 iso film for all my shots so far.

This week i will be flying to Los Angeles to work with a friend on an album (playing Pedal Steel Guitar/ Electric Guitar/ Mandolin). Hopefully i can get some Kodak Portra or Ektar. At the moment i’m unsure what speed of film to go for. If anyone has any suggestions I’d be more than happy to hear. In my head the Portra 166 is a better quality than the 400? (as 200 is less grainy than 400)  Most shots will be in the L.A. sunshine but, some in doors. I’ll be taking the Nikon and a Minolta SR-1 with a 28mm lens. Hopefully I can get a few Stephan Shore esq shots 😉


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