Can a Nikon FM3A fit with a Vivitar 20mm f3.8 lens?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by AezranHakim, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. AezranHakim

    AezranHakim Member

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    Hello everyone. im in a dilemma now, a friend wants to sell me a Vivitar (nikon mount) 20mm f3.8 lens, question is, can it fit with a Nikon FM3A?

    Another thing, if one has a body (FM3A) + Nikkor 35-70 f3.3 and had to choose between a new nikon 50mm f1.8 or a used Vivitar 20mm f3.8m, what would be a wiser choice? i am still currently a student, financially not that strong so i have to choose between both. please advise :sad:
     
  2. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    My voice go to 50/1.8. Any 50mm nikkor is great lens: I have 4 of them.
     
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  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Just about any Nikon lens (or lens with a Nikon mount) will fit and work with just about any Nikon body (with obvious restrictions around autofocus and in some cases, metering).

    To be persuaded by pure logic, the 50mm f1.8 lens is the obvious choice. However, I think I would personally go for the 20mm lens but I think you should have a 50mm as well. 50mm lenses will show up much more frequently than 20mm.

    If there is any way of getting the 20mm now and a 50mm very soon, then go for that option.

    Steve.
     
  4. BobD

    BobD Member

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    If it has an AI or AIS mount, yes. If it has a pre-AI mount, no.

    The 50mm.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Is that Nikkor 35-70 f3.3 an autofocus lens?


    Steve.
     
  6. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    If it's really the exact same model, I used a Vivitar 20mm f/3.8 lens on a Nikon FM and FE2 for years...
    (Decent lens for it's likely price).

    The only limit could be if it is a pre-AI lens (likely), which, unless it has been AI adapted, won't meter at full aperture.
    IIRC, my Vivar 20mm had a tab added on to give it AI functionality. (If my memory isn't correct and metal needs to be removed from the aperture ring, then you can't even mount it on your FM3A!)
    You might even get away with attaching such a tab with superglue... :wink:

    P.S.: I personally do not like the 50mm FL, so my vote is to have fun with the 20mm (unless you need to do a lot of quality reproduction work)!
     
  7. CGW

    CGW Member

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    "You might even get away with attaching such a tab with superglue..."

    Wrong. NAI lenses if forced on will break the plastic or metal AI tab on the camera's lens mount. Factory replacement aperture rings with the milled section in the right place were the solution. Third party AI "conversions" just involve milling away material from the aperture ring in the right place to clear and engage the body's AI tab for metering.
     
  8. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Wrong: many third party lenses had aperture rings which cleared the AI tab on the camera and were "AI'd" by adding a tab/cam...

    (I assume you meant "non-AI" lenses will break if forced).
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Examples of such lenses? Any NAI lenses I've seen--apart from preset models--won't mount on bodies with fixed AI tabs.

    By definition, those were all NAI lenses that relied on the "rabbit ears" prong to engage the metering post on a NAI body or metered finder. Nikon assured backward compatability by keep the prongs on AI and most AIS MF lenses.
     
  10. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    You might make more sense if you defined what you mean by "NAI".
    Nikon AI? Non-AI? Non-Nikon AI?

    As I said before, many pre-AI Nikon mount lenses built by third party companies (I've seen examples from Vivitar, Tokina, Soligor, but undoubtedly many others as well) had aperture rings which cleared the AI tabs on Nikon AI bodies (fixed or not).

    The discussion was not about original Nikon pre-AI lenses but, in particular, a Vivitar 20mm f/3.8.
     
  11. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Not a whole lot of NAI(FYI that's non-Ai)off-brand glass on the market now relative to Nikkors.
     
  12. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    I'd say go with the 20mm. After a year of Having only a 50mm as my FL, I have decided on either 28mm/35mm as my walk around. But that is just me. :tongue: But if you need something for lowlight, the 50/1.8 is nice, my favorite is the series E because it us a bit small.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    A 20mm lens is really wide on 35mm film. But it will certainly add more variety to your available choices than a 50mm lens will.
     
  14. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    For the FM3a and for the given choices of lenses I would pick the 50mm. The FM3a wouldn't look right with the Vivitar lens on it. Even with Nikkor lenses I wouldn't put a zoom or NAI or AF lens on it.
     
  15. CGW

    CGW Member

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    That's why they made the 45/2.8 Ai-P *^)
     
  16. AezranHakim

    AezranHakim Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback guys, especially the Non-AI, AI, AIS thing made me checked more about the lens, its a AI unit which means the metering can and will work when paired with the lens, correct? the lens for now is up for sale at USD100, im trying to see if he is interested to let it go for around USD60, if yes then it will be a bargain, thanks guys!