Just bought a Nikon FM10 in great shape and found 2 good lens deals. Need advice

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Kruger, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Kruger

    Kruger Member

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    Hello everyone,
    As I am a beginner and this will contain a lot of beginner questions I would like to thank you for your patience and help in advance. I hope I can get as much answers as possible for my questions in this forum that seems like the perfect place for my future analog photographer side carrier ! ^^
    I am at the moment in India on an Internship and just bought a Nikon FM10 film camera (2nd Hand) for around 65 euros. The climax of a long lasting dream of having a SLR. A digital one would have been nice too of course but for some reason analog has something more cool and fun about it than digital. I dunno if it's a good deal but I think it's ok. It's in great condition and the seller used only 10 rolls with it ! It came with a Nikkor 35-70mm Lens with 1:3.5-4.8 (dunno what this means. I don't think it's the aperture since I have apertures from 3.5 to 22 on the zoom lens.
    As you can see I am a beginner lol ! But super excited ! Obviously since I'm a beginner I should just focus on what I have, it's just that the prices here are quite low and my life is quite comfortable for an intern and therefore I can go a bit crazy and invest now, I won't be able to invest later I fear and it will anyways be more expensive I think. Ideally I'd like to make myself a little 3 lenses kit or so here and then leave it at that and just use that camera with it. Ideally I'm looking for lenses that would cover many situations.

    Also do you know if with he current lens I can have nice blurred backgrounds with crip subjects in the front ? Or do I absolutely need a f1.8 intead of 3.5 ? I haven't finished the first roll yet so I don't know how the pics are gonna turn out !
    Anyway I figured I could maybe find other good deals to have myself a little starter's camera back here in India were a lot of things are cheaper (the main reason being the cost of life is lower).
    Therefore I found these two lenses from Nikkon :
    - Nikon 70-210 mm F4.5 - 5.6 AIS lens - 39€/50$(us)
    http://bangalore.olx.in/nikon-70-210-mm-f4-5-5-6-ais-lens-iid-510125923
    - Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Lens(Standard Lens) only Rs4500(Negotiable) - 58€/75.5$(us)
    http://bangalore.olx.in/nikon-af-ni...ard-lens-only-rs4500-negotiable-iid-496769260
    According to this guide http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm
    Both should be compatible right ? Just usable only in manual am I correct ?
    What do you think about those lenses ? Would they give me an extra tool or is not really worth the price for the amount of extra possibilities ? Are they a good deal ?
    Thanks for your help and time !
    Best regards,
    Ben
     
  2. dhkirby

    dhkirby Member

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    I don't have a whole lot of advice for you, but as no one else has responded, I'll weigh in what little I have. The stock lens with the FM10 is actually not bad in my opinion. It's decently sharp and I've taken some great (in my opinion) pictures with it. Even after buying a few other lenses I always kept it with me until it got knocked out of my bag and broke. I haven't used that zoom lens so i don't have anything to say about that one. But Ken Rockwell seems to think pretty highly of it, and he usually knows what he's talking about. I do have one of those fixed 50s and I have to say that it's the sharpest, closest-focusing, fasted lens that I've ever used. It's amazing. The only problem is that you lose the zoom. How important to you is the ability to zoom in to 210mm?
     
  3. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Get rid of the zoom lens and buy a 50/1.4 or 35/2.
     
  4. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    Congratulations on your new camera. The one you own was made by Cosina for Nikon and is a very good camera.

    It does refer to aperture. The wide open aperture at 35mm is f3.5. When you move the zoom lens to 70mm then the wide open aperture changes from f3.5 to f4.8.
    Your zoom will give you a good start at your desired kit. A nice option for a 2nd lens would be a 70-200mm zoom. This will allow you the options to work with your zooms and get a very nice range. Obviously primes are great options as well and I would recommend that you look for the Nikon 50mm f1.8 prime lens. This lens allows you to do some nice work, as well as working in lower light then your zoom will.
    A 50mm f1.8 prime lens will allow you to work with much shallower depth of field than the zoom lens will. The shallow depth of field is what allows you to get the nicely blurred backgrounds.
    Both of these lenses are great options but since your FM10 is a manual focus camera you may be able to find some manual focus lenses at a similar price. Autofocus lenses typically have much looser, and smaller, manual focus rings, so they are not as easy to focus manually.
    They will be compatible.
    I think that the Nikon 80-200mm f4 AIS zoom is a better option but there are a number of good lenses. As for the prime lens I would suggest the manual focus Nikon 50mm f1.8 AIS lens.

    I hope this helps a little and I am sure there are others who will respond soon.
     
  5. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    For a beginner you could read a good manual of photography from the 80s or 90s and use whatever equipment you already have. What you have is good enough. No need to spend money on expensive lenses when you can use that money in film and development costs.
    Second advice is to practice, practice and more practice!
    But, you asked for lenses: the Nikkor AF 50mm 1.8D is excellent and it is usable across many Manual and Auto-focus cameras. Any Nikon film camera made since 1977 will be fully compatible.
    About the 3.5-4.8, it means the maximum aperture at 25mm is 3.5, but when you zoom to 70mm the maximum aperture reduces to 4.8. It is a variable aperture zoom.

    Edit: Pioneer was quicker and with very good advice!
     
  6. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Forget more gear for now. Use your money on film and shoot as much as you can, perhaps viewing photography of photographers you admire in books, museums or galleries. If I could do it all over again I'd stop listening to most anonymous online advice and just shoot more. The more I shoot the better I get.
     
  7. Kruger

    Kruger Member

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    Thank you for your recommendations and insight. To answer your question, based on the little experience I had in the past with dSLRs of friends and family, I thought that the fact of zooming was increasing the blurred background effect, which is an effect I like a lot. Am I mistaken ?
     
  8. Kruger

    Kruger Member

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    Sorry but I don't understand all the jargon yet, you mean a 50mm with f1.4 ?
     
  9. Kruger

    Kruger Member

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    Thank you for your congratulations and details, thanks as well to the other users who detailed the aperture reading method.

    So you mean a fixed focal lens ? All I want is to be able to play with blurry backgrounds for now, its an effect I really like and I always wanted to achieve. It might sound very "beginner-ish" but that's the milestone I have in mind at the moment. That and composition and colours modified by films etc (as in Lomo cameras, I don't know though if I can achieve that kind of effects with a cam like the Nikon FM10)

    That's what I thought indeed based on the little knowledge I have. If I would buy an additional lens here, I would get that, if two I would get that one and the zoom.
    Unfortunately I don't want to start using my european card on the Indian eBay or something, therefore I am limited to what is offered on a similar site that has the advantage of giving people the option to put their phone numbers. That's how I got in touch with the previous owner of my FM10. You think it would be a bad idea to buy a 50mm lens that is not made for a manual camera ? Would it be very hard to manage to focus manually then ?


    Thank you ! When you say prime you mean that it's a focal length am I right ? Also I think I would go more for a prime than a zoom in the end, since as I have understood the blurred effect I am looking for isn't really done with a zoom but more a prime right ? What does AIS mean please ? I tried to get it on Ken Rockwell's site but I am not a native English speaker and therefore it is sometimes a bit hard ^^.

    Thank you very much for having taken the time to reply with a detailed post. Thanks as well to everybody else, I trully appreciate the support !
     
  10. Kruger

    Kruger Member

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    Thanks guys for your replies. The thing is that I won't have as a comfortable life as I have now during my internship. That is why I would prefer to get an additional lens now rather than when I get back in Europe where it might be much more expensive (including the advantage here of the slight currency advantage). Thanks for the advice on the lens Ricardo !
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have the Tamron f/3.5 28mm to 300mm AF zoom, the Nikon f/3.5 28mm to 200mm AF zoom, and the Nikon f/2.8 20mm to 35mm AF zoom. I am very happy with all of them. One would be really hard pressed to show a measurable difference between them and the fixed length lens on subjects; on test charts one can find a difference, but how many test chart photographs are you going to take. I have used all three of these lenses to make 24" x 36" color prints and I defy anyone to show me where there are optical problems on the print. [In their head is another matter.]
     
  12. Kruger

    Kruger Member

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    What are the characteristics of a wide angle lenses, I mean what are they designated with ? Cause usually their are not called "Wide Angle" on eBay etc right ? Can you get a blurred background with a wide angle lens ? I guess you would need a f1.8 aperture on it right ? Is it possible to find a cheap second hand manual one that would fit my Nikon ? I think I should be set to begin with this one and the zoom i got with my camera.
     
  13. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Hi Kruger,
    Welcome to the rewarding possibilities of the manual film slr.
    You are on the right track with Nikon but don't get too hung up on "blurred backgrounds".

    read up on when to use it and why.

    Kodak has a book called 35mm photography that came out in the 70s-80's. It has all the basics you will need and will give you a solid foundation so you will be able to make your own decisions on what gear will suit you next.
    Shoot some film and start getting to know what different shutter speeds can be used for and what the different apertures will do for your artistic vision.

    Welcome aboard and above all have FUN!!
     
  14. Kruger

    Kruger Member

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    Thanks Bruce, I'll check out that book ! Again you are right I should not get crazy on gear now, but if I could get a wide angle lens then I am fine for some time with what kind of photography I have in mind.
    What about that lens do you guys think it could fit the FM10 ? How can I assess if a lens will fit in general ?
     
  15. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    Yeah, no need to bulk up on all the gear now.

    There is also a book called "Creative Camera Control" that is VERY short and very to the point.

    About lenses for the FM10. Any lens that is AI or later compatiable that has an aperture ring (Non "G" lens) will work. Of course Auto Focus lenses won't AF on this camera.

    Not sure if this was mentioned above, but have you thought about picking up a manual focus lens for this camera? (Do you plan on getting an AF body soon?) I ask because MF lenses have a better dampered feel when focusing. This would make focusing easier and more precise. Something like a 50mm 1.8 manual focus lens would be great for this camera.
     
  16. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    So...why do you need to go wider than 35mm at this time (which your existing zoom does)? There's a huge selection of awesome 20, 24 and 28mm lens out there but a wide angle lens wider than 35mm is not always easiest to use (of coarse some will refute me in this).

    Again, use what you have, shoot, shoot, shoot, read, read, read, and soon you'll learn if and why you need something wider and better know which to get based on what YOU want not what others tell you works for them.
     
  17. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I've been shooting for 25 years, and can honestly say that the vast majority, probably 90%+, of my photographs were made with lenses between 28mm and 85mm. This is in spite of the fact that I have owned far more "exotic" lenses covering a range from 15mm (ultra-wide) to 600mm (serious telephoto), to say nothing of film formats beyond 35mm... don't get hung up on the gear. It's about the pictures!

    In your situation, I would recommend getting the 50mm f/1.8 lens and then buying (and shooting and processing!) as much film as you can. My first couple years as a photo student, I burned through literally hundreds of rolls of film; most of them I would not show anybody now. But I learned a lot!
     
  18. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    Everyone is different. I bet a sports photographer would have a different range that they shoot 90% of the time. :smile:

    But I would probably agree. But then again, I don't have a 135mm f2.
     
  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Generally a wide angle will not give the blurry background that you want.
    A relatively fast(f1.4 f1.8) normal lens will let you see the effect more easily and the 70-200 even more so.
    There are always trade offs, The longer lenses may not focus as closely as a prime(fixed focal length) lens and longer is usually slower(3.5-4.5 >)


    IMO keep the 35-70 add the 70-200 and live with that for a while.

    A faster lens will allow you to take pictures in darker areas without flash or supplemental lighting.
     
  20. Kruger

    Kruger Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone !

    May I ask why ? It would give me more bokeh and more flexibility to shoot at night without a flash right ? what are the other advantages of a prime lens like that ? It's a prime lens right lol ?
    That's what I want also. I don't like using a flash even though I got one with the camera.

    Basically I am at the moment looking at the Bokeh effect that I really want to achieve. It is my understanding that it could be possible with my actual lens and could be even more visible with a wider aperture, hence faster lens, of f1.8 right ? What would be the only benefit from that kind of lens compared to what I already have ? Just a more pronounced bokeh. However with the wide angle I would have more composing possibilities no ?
    I also like taking pictures at night as I like artificial lights, but I am always afraid of camera shake so a faster lens could help fight this problem. However why did you recommend the zoom ? Just for the added zoom or the bokeh it would provide ? Would that bokeh be more than that of a faster lens like a f1.4 or f1.8 ?

    I like the fact that it would provide me with more visibility to include more elements in my photo, albeit making it less intimate in some cases but it would halp for other situations I think.

    I will maybe buy a dSLR but that will be much later when I have more money as I am at the same attracted by photography but not by entry-level dSLRs. And the more I read and see pictures of analog cameras the greater my list grows to include crazy cameras that are as expensive as a 5D Mark II lol so if I do get the money one day there is a high chance that it will fuel my analog passion. I like photography but there is something about dSLRs that I don't like even if they can provide awesome results of course and flexibility. Therefore for now I wouldn't buy a ton of lenses for my manual, it would just depends on the good deals I would come across and the money i have just to have a little equipment to start with for now. Of course it would be great to be able to reuse all the lenses if I buy a dSLR. But then I would need a big dSLR since 35mm is considered large format when looking at sensors right ? Therefore I would need to buy very expensive lenses now am I correct ?
     
  21. mweintraub

    mweintraub Member

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    Shallow DOF (which you call Bokeh) is produced a few ways. DOF is controlled by the following: Film size, subject distance, focal length, and aperture. Of course with your camera, you can't change the film size. Ok, now you have the others to work with.
    The longer the lens used (more telephoto), the shallower the DOF.
    The larger the aperture used (smaller #), the shallower the DOF.
    The closer the subject, the shallow the DOF.

    Even if you get, lets say, a 50mm 1.8 lens and shoot at f8 or smaller, you won't get the shallow DOF you desire.

    Now, if you want to shoot at f/1.8, remember that's going to allow a lot of light in so in bright sunlight you'll need a very fast shutter speed. This FM10's max shutter speed might not be fast enough to do this. You'll have to either use a Neutra Density (ND) filter or use a smaller aperture.
     
  22. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Bokeh is a term pretty loosely used among most fuzzygraphers.
    It came from Japan and refers to the quality of the OOF areas there are many kinds of bokeh. It may help to do some searching on the web to find something referring to these original terms.
    There are "double line", "swirly" and several more that elude me at the moment. With double line you will have a subject with a 2nd general outline of the subject. There are many examples of swirly over on the Large Format forum if you search for "petzval"

    The longer lens suggested will give a more pronounced separation between subject and background using shallow DOF at longer focal lengths. Typically this out of focus is considered bokeh but whether it's pleasant or not depends on the lens itself having "good" or "bad" bokeh not film size, focal length or the value of absolute zero.
     
  23. kitanikon

    kitanikon Member

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    Just a hint on using primes....to use most of the negative/sensor area....

    When using 24/35/50/85/105/135 primes......

    Each longer Focal Length's longer dimension (e.g. the 50mm's horizontal in landscape mode) is just about about the SHORTER dimension (vertical in landscape mode) of the next shorter/wider FL (35mm)....

    Sooooo....when using the wider prime (e.g. 35mm) in horizontal/landscape mode and you find that your framed photo is the vertical/middle section of the horizontal, THAT is the clue to shift to the next longer FL (50mm) to use THAT prime in a VERTICAL/PORTRAIT mode to make use of most of the negative/sensor...

    Primes work best with 2 bodies over your shoulders so you can switch quickly and not miss the shot...when using zooms the same technique applies of course for getting the most out of your grain/pixels...so you don't have to enlarge/crop as much and lose IQ in the process.

    Good luck and good shooting....
     
  24. clayne

    clayne Member

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    No, that's the clue to either move closer or change the composition. FL change will result in a perspective and visual depth change.
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    On this we agree.