Hoping to build a system, some lens recommendations please - Nikon

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Klainmeister, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    So I'm really shaking up my camera collection over the next month or so. I have pretty well given up on MF because I have found that if I want the Ansel look I need to shoot 4x5 and if I want to portability, I need 35mm, with MF being only OK at both of those. Anyways...

    I have an FE with the 50mm 1.8 E (which is quite phenomenal, to be frank), and a 28mm 2.8 (meh), and the 70-300mm AF (quite impressive). Because I share this with my She Who Must Be Obeyed, I want to get a few pieces that I know I can use whenever.

    I am torn between the F3HP and the FA and leaning towards the FA. Occasionally I like to shoot at wider apertures in daylight and the 1/4000th makes that feasible. Any thoughts on those two? Motor winder suggestions?

    For lenses, I am not a huge wide angle fan, but love 35mm lens on a 35mm. I see there's a 35mm 1.4, 2.0,and 2.8. Prices seem to double with the aperture. Thoughts on these? I can't imagine ever needing 1.4, so the 2.0 and 2.8 seem like they'd do.

    Lastly, the I like 85mm too. Any thoughts there?

    Thanks in advance...I was going to go Pentax but now thinking Nikon will be easier since we have so much gear anyhow.
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I had a F3, really great camera, although the F3 has a better drive of all the Nikons I have owned I liked my F2 the best. I had the 35mm 2.0 the 28 2.8 50 1.4, 105 2.8 or 2.5 dont recall and the 200 4.0, all were non AI that were converted to AI , great glass. I had and still have Pentax, M 42 and some K. I have the M42 85. 1.8 but perfer a 105.
     
  3. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    How did the 2.0 vs he 2.8 compare with the 35mm? It's a $250 question ^_^
     
  4. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    In the day I was a PJ, I needed the 1.4 and 2.0, for low light, I could not afford the really fast glass. In terms of performance the 2.8 is just as good if not better at 5.6 or 8, unless you need a low light lens I would go with the 2.8 and use the 250 for another lens like the 200 F4 or 28mm.
     
  5. Salem

    Salem Member

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    You're already familiar with the FE, you might want to consider the FE2.
     
  6. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Oh boy, just looked those up...FE2 looks like a nice system
     
  7. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    I wouldn't trade my F3hp for anything, that said, it's virtues might not be so attractive to you (toughness, motor drive integration, a certain kind of simplify). It's heavy and pretty big, the FA does a lot more in a compact package. A body is a body really, they all work.

    I strongly advise you to take a look at the first gen AF lenses, the plasticy ones- they are really undervalued right now, and optically many are really strong. The 35 f/2 & 85 f/1.8 are strong optical performers that are currently a little forgotten by the market.
     
  8. HTF III

    HTF III Restricted Access

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    I believe I'd just get myself a good Nikkormat set-up, and use the extra money for gas and film to go hunt pictures. As for a Pentax, I was big on Pentax most of my life, before I shot a landscape one day and that darn off-center viewfinder ruined my composition.
     
  9. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    If Liam is correct that, "A body is a body really, they all work." then the cheapest entry full manual with aperture priority and TTL flash is the Nikon FG

    I assume you wanted the Nikon FA because it is the most feature rich manual focus Nikon body. No other manual focus Nikon body has all this.



    Your Pentax must have been broken as I have a range of Pentax from 1957 to 1983 and have not seen such a thing. For that matter, I am certain I have never seen an off-center viewfinder in any of the cameras I have.
     
  10. HTF III

    HTF III Restricted Access

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    Not to take issue, but a Spotmatic/ES era camera is 92% off-center, by manufacturer's specs. and Herbert Keppler, both, as I recall.The problem is that 92% is off center, both directions. I proved it by making tests with a piece of groundglass, making markings with tape pieces on the side of my house at 25 feet. It's pretty bad. You lose everything past the meter opening, and equally bad off top or bottom (I forgot which) There's no way to knock a camera out of whack to do that.
     
  11. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Just do the fe with all ai f2 lenses.
     
  12. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    HTFIII, In that case you were referring to the viewfinders coverage. As far as I know - in the manual focus era, only the Nikon F, F2 & F3 had 100% coverage and all others had less then that. None of these were "off center". If you look at your Nikkormat's manual, you will find it lacking as well.
     
  13. HTF III

    HTF III Restricted Access

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    I know. Nikkormat is approx 95-96% according to my tests. I'll agree to disagree on the Pentax. My uncle was a wholesaler for Honeywell at the time. Nikon F2 is legendary. Of note, a Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL is 85% on-center.
     
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  15. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    The attraction to the F3 was the %100 viewfinder. The...92% of the FA should be fine though. All the f/2 AI series? I got that other first gen AF lens which is excellent but the focusing is not as pleasant due to the gearing. Maybe there's a way around that.
     
  16. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    Hmm, neither my Spottie, my SV or my H1A are off center in the way you describe. The viewfinders on all of those cameras do not show a full 100% of what the lens is actually seeing. I have checked my Spottie and it is pretty well centered side to side. Top to bottom my viewfinder is biased toward the top a little, meaning the strip on top is less than the strip on the bottom that you don't actually see. There must be something that is not secured properly on your copy that has allowed the viewfinder image to slip somehow. You might send it to Eric Hendrickson and ask him to check it out.

    But I am still not totally clear how that would have enough effect on your landscape picture to ruin it. You would actually get a little more, not less, than what you could see in your viewfinder. A small amount of cropping would have brought everything back to normal.
     
  17. HTF III

    HTF III Restricted Access

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    Far be it for me to try to talk you into being unhappy with your Pentaxes. They're top notch pieces of machinery. Fit, finish, and glass are impeccable. The 50/1.4 is a bit weak, but the 1.8 and 2.0/50's are terrific. Beats Nikkor IMO.
    As for the guy wanting some Nikon gear, I'd say a 24mm, 35, 50/2.0 85, and 200 are all cheap enough, and great performers. Although I don't do AI myself.
     
  18. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    My vote would go with the Nikon F4 along with a 50 2.0, the 105 and the 180. That would be an awesome set. Throw any of their 35s into the mix and you would have a fine set of glass and a terrific camera to shoot them all.
     
  19. brianentz

    brianentz Member

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    I love my FE2 and FA. Wouldn't mind an FM2. Got my eye on an F4 with a winder.
    Consider getting the 28mm 2.8 AIS instead of the 35mm 1.4. It's a great lens.
    I do have to wipe the spittle from the corner of my mouth when I dream of the Zeiss 35mm 1.4.
    I have the 50mm 1.8 but would like to trade up to the 50mm 1.2. The 105mm f2.5 is a must and I use mine regularly.
    I do also dream of the 85mm 1.4. I used to have an MD-12 motordrive but it's so big and LOUD that I'd rather just advance it smoothly by hand.

    If I lost ALL my camera gear in a disaster, my nikon system is the one thing I know I would replace. Love, love, love it.
     
  20. Halka

    Halka Member

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    I've had both FA and F3HP, sold the FA since I had a K-type 28mm f/2.8 that I couldn't use on it and really just much prefer the heft of the F3. The early matrix metering might have swung me over in favor of it, but due to some cosmic coincidence I destroyed almost every other roll I put through it (think accidental reexposure in the dev tank).

    35mm f/2 AI, AIS seem to be quite sought after, this will probably be my next purchase, you probably won't go wrong if you like this focal length.

    I finally picked up a 50mm lens (thanks loman), which is the f/2 AI version. Seems nice so far, your E Series should be comparable. Was thinking of a f/1.4, but I'm having trouble focusing as it is (glasses), focus at that depth would be hit or miss. Still, I like to shoot in low light, so it's either that or an SB-17 :smile:

    I also have an 85mm f/2 AIS, which is very very soft opened up, and I'm thinking of selling it and picking up a 105mm instead. Not decided whether to go for the earlier (sonnar) version or the later (gauss). Each seems to have its advantages.
     
  21. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I have both the F3HP, F3, and almost new FA. Without question, the F3's. For me, the FA is way to complex to bother with, and I don't think it comes close to the reliability of the F3. As a back up or smaller Nikon, I prefer the FE. EM's, FG's have reliability issues and if you have a working one, the question in my mind is, for how long. YMMV
     
  22. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Do you really mean 8%? 92% off would be seriously off!

    Or do you mean that the coverage is 92%?


    Steve.
     
  23. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Looks like $250 is the going rate for the 35mm f/2

    Is there any zooms that go from let's say 28-70 or anything that's worth considering. I've been a prime guy, but I am thinking this will be motor winder + wide/mid zoom for quick shooting.
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    A word of caution, I had a a F, and an F2 once and 100% viewfinder coverage although in theory it may seem ideal it can be a pain unless you are involved in scientific photography because if you shoot slides the masking on the mounts loses a percentage of the composition and the same applies to negative carriers of enlargers unless you file them out, I now use a couple of Canon New F1's that offer 97% viewfinder coverage, the 3% solves the problem for me, I can now compose right to the edges of the visible frame knowing that I'm not going to lose anything.
     
  25. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    +1

    I love AF Nikkors; my favorite are the AF-D varieties. All the AF-D primes I've used have had surprisingly good manual focusing rings. They are also the most universal lenses: they can be mounted to and metered with virtually any Nikon, from pre-AI cameras to the latest digital bodies.

    I like the pro F series, so I too would recommend an F3 or F3HP (I like the F2 better, but I think the F3 is more accessible to the average user as it is smaller, lighter, more refined).

    Lastly, with regards to motor drives, my favorite is probably the MD-12. It has some annoying quirks (it jams when improperly used), and it is loud, but it's extremely comfortable in the hand, it can be added to and removed from the camera without fear of light leaks, it is small and light, and it is very inexpensive.
     
  26. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    Good point. I'm extremely compulsive, so I NEED to have a 100% viewfinder. This also means I've filed my negative carrier on my enlarger, and I leave my slides unmounted which is fine except I can't project them.

    It's probably easier for most to use a viewfinder with 95-97% coverage.