Need some advice on getting started with Nikon FM

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by D-ray50, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. D-ray50

    D-ray50 Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi i am new to 35mm photography and would like some advice. I just bought a near mint Nikon FM camera and i have a Nikon 50mm 1.8 AF lens that will work on it. At first i just want to take some B&W pictures with film and send them off to have developed. I guess we can still do that at least through the mail. I live in Indiana what film should i buy it will be for day time outside shooting ? And any other advice is welcome Thanks
     
  2. stavrosk

    stavrosk Member

    Messages:
    156
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Kodak T-MAX 400 is a very nice film for a beginner and the 400 speed makes it versatile.

    And also Fuji Neopan 400 is good.

    I dont know a lot about Ilford.

    And maybe after a while you should look into buying a light meter.
     
  3. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kodak Tri-X and and Ilford HP5 are far more forgiving for exposure errors.

    Maybe start with them to get encouraging results and then move on to T-Max or Neopan to fine-tune your exposure skills.

    Later on you could consider using slower film (around ISO 100), but a good rule is to get to know a film well before changing to another.

    You could eventually consider developing your negatives at home (apart from chemicals, you need a developing tank, a thermometer and a room you can darken) and possibly scan them (wet printing would be ideal, but is more complicated and needs more equipment).
     
  4. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

    Messages:
    779
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would start with Tri-x 400 personally -it's probably the most versatile film in the world and used by so many photographers you can find lots of solutions to specific questions you might have about that film. Also, any lab in the country would have a very accurate developing time on the film as such and you would probably get better results.
     
  5. D-ray50

    D-ray50 Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks i just ordered 5 rolls of Tri-x 400 from B&H thanks for the help i appreciate it.
     
  6. guitstik

    guitstik Member

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Eads TN.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Heck, you should really try Kodak BW400CN. It's simple, prolific and very forgiving with a fine grain and you can buy it at Walgreens. It's C-41 process and Walgreens can process it for you if they still have the capability where you live.
     
  7. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Agree. C-41 process b&w films like 400CN and Ilford XP2 Super might make life easier and more affordable than true b&w.
     
  8. one90guy

    one90guy Member

    Messages:
    384
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Location:
    Texas Gulf C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I second guitstick and CGW, I use both and like them as much as the Ilford Hp5. I have even developed the C-41 With E-6, some interesting results.

    David
     
  9. guitstik

    guitstik Member

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Eads TN.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've even developed C-41 in coffee with excellent results. It's not as complicated as many would have you believe.
     
  10. kivis

    kivis Subscriber

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    May 21, 2006
    Location:
    South Florid
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have found the meter on the FM to be quite accurate.
     
  11. tearingfuture

    tearingfuture Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I second what Rol_Lei nut said about developing your own, the equipment is minimal in amount and prie, there's plenty of tutorials on youtube and the internet in general. Plus you get to see your results straight away, and it's just so rewarding. I worked out that developing costs me around 60p per roll, thats uk money, probably around $1 which means more to spend on film too :smile:

    To answer your question, I use Ilford HP5 (400iso) if its cloudy or indoors and Ilford delta 100 when its sunny.
     
  12. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,386
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    http://labwork-bw.com/main.htm

    It is in the next state, but I hear they do a good job.

    T-max 400 is a good film to use. Beginners tend to underexpose and the T-max 400 handles this the best.
     
  13. sangetsu

    sangetsu Member

    Messages:
    214
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    東京
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I second that. If the meter on your FM works, you needn't bother with "forgiving" films, your exposures will be correct. BW400CN is an excellent film which your local labs can develop without screwing it up. I like Tri-X myself, but I do my own developing. If you end up shooting a lot, you should try developing your own film, it's not expensive to get started, you will get consistent results, and, once you have the basic equipment, the cost is very low. You can get everything you need for $50 if you shop around, including the chemicals.
     
  14. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My earlier recommendation for more "forgiving" films had nothing to do with the intrinsic accuracy of any given meter (including the camera's), but with learning how to meter different scenes and getting the most out of a meter in different situations.

    If the OP is only shooting evenly lit 18% grey cards and wants them to come out 18% grey, then my recommendation can be safely ignored... :smile:


    P:S. For years I used my FM's meter as a reference for adjusting others
     
  15. mdarnton

    mdarnton Member

    Messages:
    301
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I'm in agreement for Tri-X. When T films came out I switched to them for commercial work because the 400-speed film was equal to Plus-X in terms of quality, but for my own work I stuck with Tri-X. The T films are very fussy about development--don't pay attention, and they're off the map into yucko territory. Right now I'm messing around with Tri-X + Rodinal + stand development, and love the inattention I can bring to the task. That's what I'd recommend now to anyone who's just getting into film. Combine that with Ilford's new (to me) washing program, and I'm in hog heaven!

    A bottle of Rodinal, a tank and reels, and a syringe to measure the developer, plus some fix and a clock with an hour hand. I like that.
     
  16. tron_

    tron_ Member

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ill go ahead and third that. I am also using the Nikon FM and I've had awesome success with Kodak BW400CN. Since it is a chromogenic color print film it is developed using the C41 process whereas many local places cant develop Tri-X since it is a dedicated panchromatic film.

    If youre set on using pan film, I may also be bold enough to suggest Kodak 125PX. Its a slower film than the 400 speed of the BW400CN and (if you want) Tri-X but it looks really nice in my opinion.

    As far as the Nikon FM, the meter is really great, the ergonomics are fantastic, its an all around great camera. What color is yours?
     
  17. snay1345

    snay1345 Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Location:
    Joshua Tree
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Don't forget to get at least a yellow filter to use when shooting black and white. And I would look for an older cheap mf 50mm lens on the web to get a lens that will be more enjoyable to focus. I have used my 50 1.8 af on my manual nikon cameras in the past and it has driven me crazy.
     
  18. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

    Messages:
    1,118
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Hamburg
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As long as a meter is reasonably accurate, the rest more due to preference, taste, experience and so on...
    The FM's meter, when working proprly, is very linear and accurate, but is really no more "great" than any other accurate center-weighted meter out there (and there are many!).
    The key is *learning how to use* a center-weighter (or averaging, or spot or incident or...) meter to the best effect. My recommendation for a "classic" B&W film isn't only for its relative "forgiveness", but also because you can easily learn to develop it yourself and add a whole new dimension to your photography.
     
  19. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have used FM's for years. They are among the best, most reliable bodies ever produced by Nikon. You need to understand the nature of the meter, it is "cenre-weighted" designed to get the best results from black & white film, cutting out bright skylight from influencing meter readings. You may find with colour transparency, if you get round to using it, that it will benefit you to set the meter for about two thirds underexposure...i.e. a 100asa film to 160asa....this will give you richer colours and avoids slight overexposure, which often benefits black & white negative film, but not transparency