lenses for my FM2

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by dancing wayang, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. dancing wayang

    dancing wayang Member

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    hi there.

    after a long absence from photography, i'm getting back into it and have dug out my FM2 recently. i bought this when i was a teenager. in fact, i think it was my first bigger purchase from my own saved money, so it has great sentimental value. :smile:

    back then i got a 35 - 70mm AF lens with it, but i now would like to buy a 50mm manual focus lense and possibly a wide-angle lense also. it's important that they can perform well in low-light. can anyone recommend some good lenses for me to check out? i have a limited budget, so i'm hoping i'll be able to buy something decent for under £100.

    thanks.
    anna
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    A 50mm F/1.8 used should be much less then 1/2 your budget. Reality is you could find one on an older MF camera and still spend less then $50. The 1.4 would gain you a little speed but it's an expensive bit of light you gain.

    For the wide angle depends on how wide you want.
     
  3. dancing wayang

    dancing wayang Member

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    thanks nick. would you have any particular recommendations in terms of make / model?

    wide angle - 28mm or maybe 24mm would be good.
     
  4. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    For the 50mm no point not going Nikon. For the wide basically the same answer. I'm not very good on the wide end but I'm sure somebody will know which ones are better.
     
  5. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Anna, in 1985 I travelled to Germany and bought duty free a Sigma 24mm f/2.8 (I think it's actually called series II).

    Anyway that lens is these days extremely cheap, KEH in the USA had one recently in excellent condition for $60 USD.

    The filter ring size is 52mm so it fits in nicely with the Nikkor filter sizing.

    My personal choice at the time, 1983 to 1987, was that Nikkor lenses were very nice, but for me slightly unaffordable. Looking around, I checked out the aftermarket manufacturers, directly comparing them alongside Nikkor lenses.

    Tokina were reasonable, Vivitar Series 1 quite good, Sigma the closest to Nikon standards. Especially when allowing for the far cheaper price.

    Sigma lenses also focus the same way as Nikkor lenses, this may or may not be important to you, but it was and still is to me.

    I have made many excellent pictures with my Sigma 18mm f/3.5 and 24mm f/2.8. lenses

    The Sigma lenses also have half stop indents, something Nikkor lenses don't.

    The 24 mm lens should also have a plastic slip on fitting lens hood. It is heavily cut in the corners so it doesn't vignette.

    I personally think the effect and coverage of a 24mm lens is terrific, the difference between 24mm and 28mm is huge.

    If you are thinking of 28mm then the Nikon E series of lenses are quite good and quite cheap. They were an entry level lens and work perfectly. I have the Nikon 28 E f/2.8 lens and it is quite good.

    Mick.
     
  6. dancing wayang

    dancing wayang Member

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    looking at some nikon lenses on sale on ebay, i'm not sure what i have to pay attention to... i don't want an AF lens because obviously the FM2 doesn't cater for autofocus. but what about AI, is this something the lens should have? there is a much older lens up for auction (apparently from 1969), but reading up on it elsewhere on the internet it says somewhere that it won't fit with newer nikon cameras and would have to be modified.

    sorry, i'm totally inexperienced with all this technology. any help would be much appreciated. thanks!
     
  7. dancing wayang

    dancing wayang Member

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    mick - thanks for the very helpful reply! i'll investigate the 24mm options you're talking about...
     
  8. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    I bought my 24mm nikkor for 120 USD..it's great and the 50mm 1.4 is my favorite 35mm lens...spectacular stuff.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 6, 2007
  9. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Anna, your camera is designed to take AI and/or AIS lenses.

    Pre AI lenses need to be AI'd to make them work on your camera. 20 years ago this was a normal thing to get done but the conversion kits from Nikon are no longer available. I had a lens AI'd and it was great.

    I would suggest that you have a look at the KEH website, they have a wonderful range of secondhand stuff and the quality I have personally seen, with a Nikon FE2 camera bought last year from them was astounding.

    They advertise on this site and you should be able to click their website from the home page of APUG (I think).

    Mick.
     
  10. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    The FM2 should be used with AI or AIS lenses. Unlike the FM1, the metering prong doesn't fold down to clear the aperture ring of an unmodified non-AI lens.
     
  11. dancing wayang

    dancing wayang Member

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    thanks for clarifying the AI / AIS issue. over to ebay right now...
     
  12. lawrenceimpey

    lawrenceimpey Member

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    The FM2 is a wonderful camera -- I have a couple of them. The lenses you should look for:

    Wide: 24mm f2.8AIS, 28mm f2.8 AIS or 35mm f2.0 AIS
    Tele: 105 f2.5 AIS or 135 f2.8 AIS

    I've got at least a dozen AIS lenses but these ones are really great without being ridiculously expensive. I have the manual version of the zoom lens you have and the problem is that it gives too much distortion at the wide end (the variable aperture is also a nuisance).
     
  13. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    AF lenses work fine though too, although the manual focusing isn't as smooth as a manual focus lens. (Of course the autofocus doesn't work on FM2.) My favorite lens with my FM2n was a 20 Nikkor AF.

    Before going Ebay, check out KEH, a very reputable dealer. Their "bargain" lenses are often in better shape than Ebay "Excellent" ones. Plus, you can return the lens at KEH if it doesn't work out.
     
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  15. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Lenses For Nikon FM2

    The last 50/2 Nikkor was an AI model. It was available for about a year at the same time as the first 50/1.8 AI. If you can find one for not too much it's a nice lens. Two often overlooked lenses are the 28/3.5 AI and the 135/3.5 AI. If you don't need the extra speed these lenses don't cost very much but are good performers.
     
  16. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    As the OP is here in the UK, plugging KEH isn't going to help much. Try ffordes near Inverness – they usually have a good stock of used Nikon gear.

    As stated AI or AIS lenses only (AF work but can be a bit of a pain, and are probably more expensive), but I would stick with Nikkors unless you're really strapped for cash.

    It's hard to know what focal lengths to recommend without knowing the sort of thing you want to photograph...


    Richard
     
  17. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    With the GB pound being so strong I'd have thought everybody in the UK would be cleaning KEH out :tongue:
     
  18. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    All the suggestions for Nikkor lenses so far have been good. My favorite 3 lens kit is 24 f/2.8, 50 f/1.8, 85 f/2; all are AI or AIS. None are bad. The 105 f/2.5 is legendary. I have one and it is very good. Unfortunately, I don't use it much. For the subjects I photograph, it's just a little too long. I like getting in close.
     
  19. dancing wayang

    dancing wayang Member

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    ffordes is a great place to know about. thanks for the recommendation. i guess, ordering something from outside the EU can always incur additional custom charges, a real pain.

    as mentioned before, i'm mainly going to take photos in low light environments. either at gigs or indoors, in a windowless (recording) studio. i'll be shooting mostly b/w. so i think an f stop under 2 is essential.

    all the suggestions made so far have been incredibly helpful. i've got a much better idea of what to look out for. thanks!

    (if someone has a brief and simple explanation of what AI and AIS are exactly, please post. having said that, i could just google it. :smile: )
     
  20. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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  21. dancing wayang

    dancing wayang Member

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    perfect! thanks for that link.
    :smile:
     
  22. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    If you don't need the extra stops, the 50/2 is worth seeking out. It can be had for very cheap - I bought a nearly mint one for $40 two years ago - I think it is the sharpest 50 AI or AIS lens that Nikon made. I've used the 1.8 AIS and also have the 1.4 AIS, and think the 50/2 AI beats them both in sharpness.

    If you add two lenses to the the FM2 & 50 kit, I'd recommend the 28/2.8 AIS and the 105/2.5 AIS. This makes the perfect, life-long kit, IMHO.
     
  23. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I would recomend a threelens outfit. A 50mm f/1.8 AIS or a 55mm f/2.8 micro
    a 24mm f/2.8 or the 28mm f/2.8 AIS (20cm focus limit for WA closups) and a 105mm, either a f/2.8 micro or the f/2,5 AIS.
    kind regards Søren
     
  24. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    OK, for low-light interiors there is a f1.4 35mm which is highly rated (and highly priced) and an f1.4 85mm ditto.

    Alternatively go for the f2 versions and use a faster film – I've had some reasonable results with Ilford Delta 3200 (rated at 1600 ISO). Lighting at gigs can be very variable depending on the stage lighting crew and effects the band want. My experience of recording studios (limited to Decca and Air, and a long time ago) was that light levels were not much different to any other interior and I didn't feel constrained by having only relatively slow wide angles.

    I guess your budget will be the final arbiter...




    Good luck
     
  25. dancing wayang

    dancing wayang Member

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    richard - your experiences at decca and air is very interesting. in the studio i work at we have just changed all the light bulbs to environmental friendly ones which create fairly harsh light. to get the vibe back into the studio (essential for musicians) we put lots of coloured gels infront of the lights, so now the studio is bathed in reds, yellows, greens etc. and the light source isn't that strong anymore. so a fairly fast lense speed is certainly favourable, i'd think.
     
  26. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    Ye Gods, things have changed!

    Don't forget that if you're shooting an f1.4 lens at or near full aperture there will not be much depth of field available. Of course this could be an advantage!

    On the whole I would suggest looking also at using faster films – do both then you give yourself options. Just don't do what I did once: George Martin (who was the Beatles arranger and boss of Air Records – for those of you under 30) was riding around the studio on a bike while I snapped away furiously...only to discover that in my haste to reload the film hadn't been taken up on the sprockets. Boy did I feel sick when I found out, though fortunately the stuff I was being paid to take was already safely in the can.

    What studio(s) are you working in?


    Richard