Help Nikon camera

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by James-EG, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. James-EG

    James-EG Member

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    I have been looking for a nice 35mm film camera for a few weeks, I want to buy one and learn how to use it and get better now before I start my Photography A-level next year. The camera I have settled on is the Nikon FM2n, and the lenses so far are 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 and 50mm f/1.4, these are the two that I have found for sale at a good price, but I would also like to buy a 28mm f/2.8.
    My question is are these good choices? (including camera) I want a good quality camera without any auto features. Also what kind of accessories would you recommend for a Nikon FM2n? I have found a cable release and SB-25 flash, but what else should I be looking for?

    Thanks, James
     
  2. dslater

    dslater Member

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    If you get the 35-105, I'd be inclined to get a 20-24mm lens instead of the 28 - the 28 is kind of close to the 35.
     
  3. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Good Choice! If you get the 35-105mm lens at good price then that's great. Otherwise get an 85mm f/2 and may be a 35mm f/2 also along with the 28mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.4. Since you have the cable release it's obvious that you should get the tripod also.
     
  4. dslater

    dslater Member

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    Thom Hogan reviews the FM2n here: http://www.bythom.com/fm2n.htm
    Given that you don't want any auto features, I'd say the camera is an excellent choice.
     
  5. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    James, the FM2n is an excellent choice. Be sure to get the FM2n, not the FM2. Learning to use it will be a snap, leaving you to focus on the more important stuff like exposure and composition. The 35-105 lens you mentioned is not a real strong performer in the Nikon line-up. The 28-105 is well-regarded and an excellent alternative and gives you an increased wide end. The 50/1.4 a is very good choice, as is a 28/2.8 despite the redundancy in focal length. The 28/2.8 AIS version is thee manual focus 28mm Nikon to pick-up. Although if you feel the FL's are too redundant, you could always go wider, e.g. 20mm. The beauty of a 28 and 50 prime is the light-weight and increased performance, esp in low-light.

    As for accessories, a motordrive (Nikon MD-12) helps immensely with a sure, comfortable and ergo-grip. The Nikon MR-3 is an add-on shutter release button that can be mounted on the MD-12 and provides a more comfortable/steady position to fire the shutter in vertical/portrait orientation. Experimenting with a basic b/w filter set may be desired (e.g. yellow, orange and red). If shooting color film, a polarizer is a must. Carefully consider using step-up rings to mount filters on lenses with smaller filter rings. (Step-up rings are essentially adapters that allow you to use, for example, 77mm filters on a lens with a 52mm ring, such as the 50/1.4. Cumbersome? Perhaps. Inexpensive alternative to buying loads of filters in different sizes? Definitely.) A cable release (Nikon AR-3) is often helpful for slow shutter speeds (or use self-timer) and long exposures. Get a good cable, like the Nikon. Too many junk cable releases out there that fall apart. A solid tripod eventually becomes a 'must' for many. How about a good case to protect your gear?

    If you wear glasses a corrective diopter may be in order. I suggest mounting an eyecup to the finder to block extraneous light. I'm partial to the 3V, lithium single cells for two reasons: thay last disproportionately longer (relative to cost) than alkaline and silver oxide batteries and are unfazed by frigid, winter temps. I'm not 'up' on the best literature but Ansel Adams' acclaimed The Negative will absolutely jump-start your understanding of exposure. (Also consider his book, The Print. Others will likely have more reading recommendations. Once you're ready to launch stick with just one film (perhaps two, one slow and one fast in the interest of comparison?) and one developer in order to thoroughly learn the exposure/developing process. No hop-scotching around with a multitude of films/developers. Keep it simple and stay focused on your craft. Careful note-taking at time of exposure, development and printing will hasten the learning. Enjoy!
     
  6. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    The FM2n is a great camera. I enjoy mine tremendously. Consider longer lenses too. I have just bought a vintage 135mm Vivitar f2.8. Not a Nikkor but it was made by Komine and is as sharp as a tack even wide open. Great for portraits. 19133F.jpg
     
  7. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    A good sturdy tripod is worth it's weight in gold.

    Jeff
     
  8. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    TBH I'd go for a 28mm and a telephoto prime in the 105mm-135mm range rather than the zoom. Primes tend to be smaller, lighter and better quality.
     
  9. nwilkins

    nwilkins Member

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    Hey Aja,

    why would an FM2 be a worse choice than an FM2n? Isn't the only difference the flash sync speed (and the fact that some FM2n models did not have a titanium shutter)?

    Also to the OP: If you decide to go with primes the 105/2.5 is fantastic. And I have used the 24mm/2.8 which is also great. A better choice than the 28mm/2.8 IMO.
     
  10. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    The FM2n with its smooth aluminum shutter blades is no worse/no better than the FM2 with its honeycomb titanium blades.

    I find there is a big difference between a 35mm focal length - which seems 'normalish' - and a 28mm - which is decidedly wide angle in its perspective. As the lens gets shorter the change in perspective due to a few mm change in focal length becomes more dramatic.

    If budget is a concern then the f3.5 wide angles perform every bit as well as their f2.8 and f2.0 cousins but often at a small fraction of the price.
     
  11. mjs

    mjs Member

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    What Jeff said. The most useful thing you can do to make a better picture is to put the camera on a good tripod.

    Mike
     
  12. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    James,

    More advice you don't have to follow from someone who knows a little about GAS: Can't speak to the bodies but I would think either of the FMs would get tired of waiting for you to get up to speed :smile:. About the lenses, the 28 f/2.8 AiS is killer; buy it. The 50mm f/1.4? I prefer the f/2 for its look wide open but you're going to wish you had bought the extra stop so go with that 1.4, they're all wonderful. For a tele a 135mm f/3.5 is very sharp and it's cheap and light, but it's also f/3.5. This might be a downer for you. If you're going to go the 105mm f/2.5 route you'll have to work a bit to find one cheap that's not beaten to death. They are the ultimate expression of everything that has become Nikon; you'll be buying the technology and the mythology of Nikon with that one. I doubt you'll regret it. Also look into the 100mm E series. There's at least one person here who speaks very highly of it and he's not inclined to say things he doesn't mean. MY opinion is to ditch the zooms; too many focal lengths from which to pick.

    At this point, although there's a universe of stuff left to buy (GAS, remember?), FULL STOP. Cool your jets a bit and think about where you want to go initially with you images. This will determine in part what you want/need to buy next. Your teachers can help you here and APUG too once you get your bearings. Always remember (paraphrasing some economist here) Photography can supply things longer than you can remain solvent.

    Welcome, and enjoy. How can you not like this stuff?

    s-a
     
  13. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    I would say buy the camera and perhaps the zoom lens first. I would prefer 28-105 as it will give you a true wide angle as well as a very useful short tele/portrait lens. A good tripod is one of the most useful accessories. Get used to working with these before you spend a lot of money on other lenses,etc. you can very easily acquire a lot of stuff that you never use. Keep it simple to begin with and concentrate on your images. Enjoy your course! Alex.
     
  14. James-EG

    James-EG Member

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    Sorry for this late reply. Thanks for all the help, I very much appreciate it, after reading all the posts I think may try and buy all prime lenses, but if I can't get them I'll just buy a cheap 28-105mm until I can get a prime. I'll also be looking for a good bag and some of the accessories mentioned. Thanks again.

    James
     
  15. James-EG

    James-EG Member

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    So, to begin with what do you think of this?...

    Nikon FM2n
    50mm f/1.4
    28mm f/2.8 E (they E series s cheaper, and from what I have heard, almost as good as AIS)
    135mm f/3.5 OR 105mm f/2.5 Depending on price

    Then a camera bag and various accessories mentioned on this thread. And when I have managed to buy this equipment, which lenses should I be looking to buy? Or should I keep with this setup?

    Thanks, James
     
  16. fstop

    fstop Member

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  17. James-EG

    James-EG Member

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    Thanks, I think I will definitely be look for a 28mm series E, after reading this they seem just as good as the AI/AIS lenses, and are much more affordable!


    Also, a question to everyone, what kind of camera bags do you use? I have looked at Domke and Billingham Hadley, but they are both very expensive. I love the style of the bags but they are just very expensive.


    James
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2012
  18. James-EG

    James-EG Member

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    One more question, I found a very nice Nikon 80-200mm f/4 AIS for sale on eBay, for only £60, I have read that this is 'the best Nikon telephoto zoon', so should I buy it instead of prime lense for the time being?

    Thanks

    James
     
  19. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Member

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    I like my 80-200 f/4 very much.
    A 50/1.4 is relatively inexpensive, and I might get a 35 or a 24 for wider shots.

    For a bit more, you can get the well respected 35-70 f/2.8 (KEH has them for around $400, but I realise you are in the UK). It's my walk-around lens.

    This page http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_surv.html has some evaluations of Nikon lenses...
     
  20. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I'd rather have just a 50mm and the 28mm f/2,8 AIS than any zoom, but thats probably just me.
    The 28mm is faster, smaller, wider and (IIRC) focusses closer (around 20cm) than the 35-105 zoom. My favorite combo is 24mm, 50mm and 105mm lenses and with the 105 as a makro if possible.
    Best regards
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2012
  21. fstop

    fstop Member

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    Depending on where I shoot I use a beat up bag that doesn't look like a camera bag.A good bag is worth the expense.
     
  22. James-EG

    James-EG Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I have been reading about the Nikon 75-150mm f/3.5 E and the 80-200mm f/4 AIS, I cannot decide which one I want to buy, I have found both on eBay for good prices, about £50 for the 75-150 and £60 for the 80-200mm, so which do you think is better, I definitely want a telephoto lens, along with a 50mm f/1.8 (after reading some reviews it sounds way better than the 1.4) and 28mm f/2.8 E. Any help appreciated.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2012
  23. Ap507b

    Ap507b Member

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    Out of the two zooms I would get the 70-150 Series E. I have seen some great photographs taken with it. Google for Galen Rowell & you should find some samples. Apart from the zoom getting loose with age, I haven't seen a bad word written about it. It is the only Series E lens that I would think of buying ahead of a Nikkor. I look at them from time to time on ebay but so far have resisted the temptation.

    I would get the 50mm for sure. The F2 is said to be a bit better than the F1.8 optically. I have the pancake F1.8 which is supposed to be the worst of the bunch. I have never found it wanting though. I would think about the 28mm F2.8 AIS ahead of the Series E. I have never shot the Series E, but have the AIS & have been very happy with it. Here is a link to a Ken Rockwell review of it http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/28f28ais.htm

    CRC as well as better coatings.

    For going longer than 150mm maybe think about a 200mm F4 Nikkor. I have the AI version & it is very good optically. 28mm, 50mm & 200mm primes & the Series E 70-150 should be quite a good set.
     
  24. Alex Muir

    Alex Muir Member

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    The choice of equipment should really depend on what sort of subjects you are interested in. Most, if not all, of the Nikon equipment you mention is good. You should be careful, however, not to invest in things you dont need. I recently bought a 24mm AIS lens which gets great reviews. The problem is that I dont really like the 'shape' of the images it produces. I prefer the view through a 28mm. This a personal thing, and you wont know what suits you best until you get out and try it. That is why a zoom can be quite useful at the start. You can see which focal lengths you regularly use, and perhaps get better quality prime lens equivalents later on.Also, If you regularly find that something longer, or wider, than your zoom is needed, you can check out an appropriate lens. I would be slow to buy a 50mm regardless of aperture. The view you get is very 'normal'. They were practically extinct at one point, and have only recently come back in fashion, mainly for use on digital cameras where the 'view' they give is usually different to that on a 35mm SLR. I have the 50mm F1.8, but rarely use it. I have a Billingham Hadley and it is a good bag. It doesn't hold a huge amount, but that can be an advantage. I also have a Kata 3 in 1 30 which is a rucksack. It is tough and well made. It is very comfortable, even fully loaded. You can get it a bit cheaper from an English company called Premier Ink(online). I have various other small bags which carry less, but are useful for travelling light. Lowepro and Tamrac are two companies you should look at as well. I hope this helps. Alex.
     
  25. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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