Good lenses for Nikon FM

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by bwlina, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. bwlina

    bwlina Member

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    I'm about to buy a Nikon FM. My first Nikon SLR. (Actually, my very first Nikon.) The camera comes with the 105/2.5 lens. Now, my question is: What other lenses should I look for? What are the classic manual focus Nikon lenses?

    I want a wide angle, 24, 28 or 35mm, and a more normal lens, 50, 55 or 85. What are the ones I shouldn't miss? I don't do zooms.
     
  2. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    There seems to be general consensus on the fact that the 50mm f/1.8 is an all-times greatest lens (I can confirm).

    On the 28mm range, the f:2,8 is more expensive than others but it's great (has floating elements).

    I would skip the 85mm, if you already have a 105mm.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Don't get a Nikkor 24mm f/2.0. Never got sharp images with it.

    I'd get a Nikkor 28mm and a Nikkor 50mm. Sure you can get them cheap enough used.

    You don't need the 28mm f/1.4. The 50 f/1.4 is worth having if you have a few extra dollars, but the 1.8 is excellent.

    Some day down the road you can add a 20mm and a 200mm.

    My two cents.
     
  4. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    In my experience, Nikon lenses of the same age deliver very good and consistent performance. The choice of a wide angle is very much a matter of taste, my first choice of a lens after a 50 mm (like the f1.4 best) is a 24 mm, then comes a 35 mm (both of mine are f2.8 - obviously bigger apertures are vital if you're doing really low-light work, but they cost a lot more). Depending on your budget, Tamron lenses (particularly the SP series) can be worth a look, performance very good and available on e-bay and elsewhere for very little.
     
  5. mawz

    mawz Member

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    I'd look at a 24 f2.8, a 35 f2(the f2.5 Series E is also good, better than the Nikkor 2.8 IMHO) and a 50mm f1.8 or f2.

    My kit is currently the 100mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8 and 35mm f2.5 Series E's, and a Sigma 24mm f2.8 (Competent, but inferior to the Nikkor with CRC). I use these on an F3HP, FA, F601m and EM.
     
  6. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I have 2 20X30" color enlargements on permanent display that were made with the most ordinary and common Nikon 35-70 f3.3-4.5 AF. The one that came with a lot of 6006's and 8008's. It's a great lens.
     
  7. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I know you said you don't do zooms, but...

    The 50-135mm f/3.5 is killer, as is the 25-50mm f/4.

    For wides, I like the 24mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2.8 (the AIs is better than the AI version). I don't use my 35mm f/2.8 very often, but it's not bad. I love my 17mm f/3.5 Tokina, even though it's not made by Nikon.

    Going longer, the 50mm f/1.8 (not the "E") is excellent. Ditto the 85mm f/1.8 and 135mm f/2.8. My arsenal then jumps to a 200mm f/4 and the 300mm f/4.5 EDIF - all solid performers.
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Just an opinion of course, but I always liked the 24/105 combo. Used the 24 most often though.
    If you opt for a 50 also And if you do a lot of available light the 1.4's a nice option.
     
  9. bwlina

    bwlina Member

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    Thank you all for your suggestions. Maybe I should add that I mainly do street photography and always in available light - that's why I value fast primes. However, a macro lens would also be interesting. I have to agree with John that 24/105 is a nice combination. But maybe I can afford something in between too.

    I should in all honesty tell you what I use today. That is:
    1) A Rolleiflex 3.5 F (my main camera - I just love it)
    2) A Olympus OM-10 with 100/2.8 and 24/2.8 (these are easier to bring and sometimes better at street photography, and I tend to use these more and more)

    Looking forward to more suggestions......

    Love, Lina
     
  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Hmm. Since you already have an OM-10, why abandon the Olympus OM system? I'm invested in Nikon, but the Nikon and OM systems are pretty well functionally equivalent; I doubt you'll gain anything significant by switching, and if you end up with two you'll lose.

    You'd be as well off buying a 50 mm Oly lens and maybe a 200 as well -- those two plus a 24 and a 105 are most of my 35 mm kit -- and another OM body for a different emulsion. I don't know why, but many posters here and elsewhere mix 35 mm SLR systems; I just can't see it.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan
     
  11. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I'd second Dan's comments. Having or having had FMs, FEs, FM2s, and FE2s - I can say I've enjoyed them all. And I'm sure you'll enjoy your FM. But with a recent OM2 acquisition, I have to say that I'm not sure you'll gain much with the FM than an OM1, OM2, or OM4. I think the OM10 is a lesser model and perhaps not quite up to the standard of the FM.

    One caveot is that it seems that it's a lot easier to find Nikkor lenses in the very wide (24mm and below) or very long (300mm and above) range then it is to find OM glass. At least used.

    Since you have a 24 and a 100 in OM mount, you're in the best position to answer your question. When you use your 24, do you find yourself needing more speed? Or wider? Or less wide?

    One thing I might suggest is picking up a 50mm (either 1.8 or 1.4). It's the cheapest way to get good, fast, glass. Easy to afford "in between".

    Then find a 24 or a 28, depending on the answer to the questions above. Image quality is, in a sense, immaterial. By that I mean all will be good enough. In street photography, with the emphasis on subject, composition, and light, the ability to get the shot will be paramount (limited ability to ask the subject to wait while you change vantage point).
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    My favorite kit is:

    1) Olympus Zuiko 24mm f/2.8;
    2) Olympus Zuiko 35mm f/2.0; and
    3) Olympus Zuiko 85mm f/2.0.

    Small, light, fast and sharp.

    If you replace the 35mm f/2.0 with a 35mm f/2.8, it will be even smaller/lighter, and all lenses will have the same 49mm filter size.

    An OM1 or OM2 will give you more of a "professional level" camera body, but I find I use my OMGs almost as much (essentially a newer OM 10, with manual shutter speeds built in, and a little newer, so the later internal refinements are incorporated).

    The OMG is the North American version of the OM20 (or vice-versa).

    As you already have the 24mm, as well as a good 100mm, i would suggest upgrading the body and adding a 35mm too.

    Matt
     
  13. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    If your intent is to replace your Olympus OM-10, 100/2.8, and 24/2.8 with the Nikon FM and the 105/2.5, then I would simply add a 28/2.8, 24/2.8 or 24/2 (unlike Pinholemaster, I have been satisfied with the performance of my 24mm f/2).

    If your intent is to use the Nikon FM in conjunction with the Olympus, then I suggest adding the 50/1.4 or 35/1.4. I am not recommending the slower versions of these lenses because you have indicated that you primarily shoot street photography in available light.

    Would you please tell us why you are buying the Nikon FM? Are dissatisfied with your OM-10? If you are satisfied with the OM-10, why not just buy a fast normal Zuiko lens for your available light street photography?
     
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  15. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Probably not much use for street photography, but speaking of Nikon classics, the 180/2.8 ED AI-S is a jaw dropper!

    If you want a macro, consider the Vivitar Series 1 lenses. both the 90mm and the 105mm are very good.
     
  16. bwlina

    bwlina Member

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    Thank you all for your good thoughts. Well, I had this opportunity of getting this Nikon FM with the 105/2.5 almost for free and thought it would be a better camera than my OM-10. I'm interested in a mechanical shutter that is not battery dependant.

    I thought the Nikkor lenses are better than Olympus' Zuikos, especially the fast ones. And I agree with mbg74 that they are easier to find. I have to admit that I am a little curious about the very fast 35/1.4 and 85/1.4 Nikkors, but maybe these will be too expensive anyhow.

    I might be all wrong and should be looking for a OM-1 instead? And the 35/2 and/or 85/2 Zuikos. Or maybe a 50/1.4. (I have actually tried the Zuiko 55/1.2 which is fun, but a little too soft for my liking.)

    Hmmmm. I shall have to think about this...

    Is there anyone who has actually compared the fast Nikkors and Zuikos? Sharpness is important, but so is good bokeh.

    Love, Lina
     
  17. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I had an affair with the 50mm f/1.4 AI Nikkor for about a year. Great lens. I loved it. Thinking of getting back that kit. The two attached photos were taken at my friend's son's birthday party wide open. Fuji Superia 800 was used...this is one of the last times I used color film.
     

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  18. bwlina

    bwlina Member

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    Great pictures, Stephanie. :smile:
    The bokeh looks fine too.
     
  19. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I cannot say enough great things about this lens. The only lens that's going to give you better shallow DOF than this one is the 55mm f/1.2 AI...and that was a little too expensive for my taste when I was looking around. I have a shot that specifically shows off how shallow the DOF is wide open as well.
     

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  20. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I find the Nikkors I own or have owned better than the zuikos(28/2,8, 50/1,8, 135/3,5) I had some years ago.
    20 AFD 2,8 is a great superwide lens
    28 Ais 2,8 is very good for closeups (20cm limit). Parted with it by mistake.
    50 AFD 1,4 beats anything except
    the 85 AFD 1,4 the best lens I have ever owned.
    180 Ais 2,8 ED a great tele but on the FE (or FM) the motordrive is required for the balance.
    Bjørn Rørslett has a great site on the Nikkors

    http://www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html

    I had a Sigma 24 mm f/2,8 lens, the old version and that focallenght is very usefull. Not as difficult as the 20mm and not as boring as the 28mm in generel use. It went to 18cm And it was when I sold that one I got the 28mm, I love to move in very close with wide angles. I also had the Sigma 105mm Makro but in the end I found it not good enough, somehow it lacked something. I never got a Mikronikkor instead though

    If I was to start over again today with a FM and a 105mm I'd probably go out and get the 50mm f/1,8 and the 28mm f/2,8 for closeups or the 28mm f/2.0 for general use. (cheap, semi cheap solution) and then perhaps get the 85mm f/1,4 (very expensive)
    Another option as you mentioned is to sell the 105 and get the 35mm and 85mm f/1,4 (more expensive solution)

    Cheers Søren
     
  21. bwlina

    bwlina Member

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    It sure looks fine. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie.
     
  22. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    The only problem with the 50/1.4 is that it's a relatively sought after lens...it'll run you around $130 from Keh.com in Excellent condition. I got mine off Ebay for $125 with caps and a hard case. Sometimes you get lucky. :smile:
     
  23. bwlina

    bwlina Member

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    Thanks, Soeren, for your views and the link. A lot to read there!

    By the way, are there any problems with AF lenses on a FM body?
     
  24. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    No not at all. I use my AFD and Ais lenses on F90X and FE2 with no problems
    but actually I find the F90X a better body even for Ais lenses it's so easy to focus lenses manually on it.
    Cheers Søren
     
  25. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Thats right Stephanie. It seem you get more value for money with the f/1,8 or 2,0 so if you don't need the speed you may be better of with one of those.
    Cheers Søren
     
  26. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Yeah, but I'd still recommend spending the extra moolah if you're going to be doing any available light shooting...even that little bit more speed helps out a lot.