FE2...Which shutter is better, the aluminum or titanium version?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by andy_collins|1, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. I have had both and in use I've not experienced any advantage from one over the other. I thought I read somewhere though that the aluminum shutter blades were a replacement for the titanium shutter, but maybe I imagined that. Can someone enlighten me? What exactly are the advantages of one over the other?
  2. The reason Nikon changed from the titanium shutter to the aluminum was mainly because of the environmental impact of the titanium and lower cost of the aluminum. I don't think there is one better than the other. I was given a new FE2 purchased from B&H Photo ($349 including 50mm 1.8 AIS lens) in June, 1987, a few months before it was discontinued (I believe it was officially discontinued in September, 1987) and it had the titanium shutter. I've never seen a Nikon shutter fail because of poor materials, only because someone put their finger through it.
    The titanium shutter was used on the FE2 so the camera could shoot at 1/4000sec.
  3. In an FE2? Probably aluminum. ;)
    Any FE2 with an aluminum shutter has had the original shutter replaced (probably because someone stuck a finger in it). They were all originally supplied with the titanium honeycomb shutter. So in that respect, I guess you could say that aluminum is better, as the shutter is almost guaranteed to be "newer" than any titanium shutter equipped FE2.
    In practical terms, I don't think it makes the least bit of difference. The 1/4000 aluminum bladed shutter has a long history of reliability (later FM2N production, N8008). As does the titanium shutter (early FM2N production, FE2, FA). As Dave noted, I suspect the reason for the switch to aluminum was primarily driven by cost. Once the aluminum bladed design had been proven in the N8008(s)/F-801(s), it made little sense to continue with the more expensive to produce honeycomb titanium design, and later FM2N production switched to aluminum.
  4. There were reliability problems with the honeycomb patterned shutter. This shutter was introduced on the FA body and found to be prone to failure quite soon afterwards. Nikon quietly ditched the titanium design and refitted both the FA and FE2 with an aluminium-bladed design. The fault was apparently with one of the solenoids used for timing the shutter, and not with the blades, but anyway, long story short - stay away from honeycomb-patterned Nikon shutters.
    PS. Anyone want to buy a mint FA with a sticking honeycomb shutter? Works on the fixed mechanical speed a treat and has hardly been used. Going real cheap!
  5. I thought I'd read about a reliability issue, but I couldn't remember any specifics. Thanks for the info, guys!
  6. Nikon quietly ditched the titanium design and refitted both the FA and FE2 with an aluminium-bladed design.
    To the best of my knowledge, the 1/4000 aluminum bladed shutter was initially developed and introduced with the N8008/F-801 in 1988. By that time, both the FA and FE2 were discontinued.
  7. stay away from honeycomb-patterned Nikon shutters.​
    Have to disagree with this. I used an FE2 for 13 years and shot hundreds and hundreds of rolls of film through it and never had a single issue. I say there *were samples* that had failures, but the overall percentage of failures of this shutter was extremely low, I'd say less than 1%.
    So no, you don't have to avoid honeycomb-patterned Nikon shutters.
  8. I don't have a FE2 or FA, so I cannot comment on those cameras; but I do have a FM2 and FM2N with titanium shutters, and 5 other FM2N's with aluminium shutters.
    One of the FM2N's with the aluminium shutter failed when that shutter telescoped into itself whilst I was photographing a wedding many years ago. It required the complete replacement of the shutter blades.
    The titanium shuttered FM2N was insisted upon by the technician who carried out extensive modifications to that camera some time ago. He would not even consider the aluminium shuttered version for modification, which just happened to be the one mentioned in the paragraph above .
    I cannot tell the difference in use between one type of shutter to the other. All I know is by the serial number of the camera in use which shutter it has. Either way, care must be exercised not to damage the shutter.
    I have been told that the titanuim shutters are not repairable, only replaceable with aluminium shutters. The technician who modified the FM2N told me that anything is possible as regard shutter repairs.
  9. Me personally, if my titanium shutters go out on the FE2, I would replace them with the aluminum shutters. I like the FE2 that much to not be able to use it. I do have the aluminum shutters on my FM2N and they have seemed to operate correctly over the years. My F2 & F3 naturally have titanium shutters and supposedly they're good for many thousands and thousands of firings. So, I could do either type of shutter for my cameras.

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