Nikon FG20

A brief outline of the Nikon FG20 manual focus SLR film camera

The Nikon FG20 camera was produced by Nikon as a replacement for the Nikon FG which had proved to be too expensive for many would be new SLR users who Nikon had intended the camera for. The only way to decrease the price was to make a less featured camera to reduce production costs and in consequence retail selling price.

The Nikon FG20 lost many features that had also been missing on more successful cameras produced by rival companies. The Program mode was removed as was the OTF TTL flash feature and the data back capability.

AF cameras ended the cameras chances of increasing market share and after two years production the Nikon FG20 was retired leaving the Nikon F301 (N2000) to partially fill the gap in Nikon's camera range. The F301 was effectively a F501 (N2020) camera with the AF capability left out, for photographers who had little or no desire for Auto Focus it provided all the latest innovations at a lower price.


If Nikon had produced the Nikon FG and Nikon FG20 in reverse chronological order they may well have both sold in far greater numbers but it is never an easy task to predict events, especially economic ones in advance. Nikon has historically demonstrated an above average understanding of market forces, unfortunately good quality cameras can not be conceived, designed, prototyped and produced in less than several years, even if they are to be bottom end, indeed having to build to a low budget can prove to be the hardest task of all.


Nikon FE29 control dial

Basic specifications of the Nikon FG20 MF SLR Camera

Production period (later availability via stock)

1984 to 1986
Lens meter coupling type AI (Automatic maximum aperture Indexing)
Aperture coupling range N/A
ASA film speed range ISO 25 to 3200
EV range at ASA 100 EV 1 to 18
Meter sensor type if applicable TTL centre weighed SPD (Silicon Photo diode)
Shutter type and curtain material Vertical focalplane metal curtained electronic
Shutter speed range 1 to 1/1000 second + Bulb (+1/90 mechanical)
Exposure modes available Aperture priority and Manual
Flash exposure type and maximum sync speed Electronic flash shoe 1/90 second
Interchangeable focusing screens Fixed K type split-image microprism
Interchangeable viewfinder heads No
Interchangeable backs No
Film advance method Single stroke lever
Motor drive or Auto winder availability MD-E (2 fps) or MD-14 (3.2 fps) motor drive
Film rewind method Manual folding crank
Self Timer Yes - 10 seconds
Battery type and number required Two S76 1.5v silver oxide batteries
Body weight without lens attached 440g

Nikon FG-20 with MD-E motor drive


Nikon FG20 Back

Nikon FG-20 Camera


Nikon FG20 Top


VFM Flash Memory Cards



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June 2014 Siteseen Ltd.

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