No batteries allowed, which Nikon 35mm?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by markbarendt, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    My "day work" is in the Natural Gas industry on production sites. Using anything electrical, like a camera with a battery installed is possible but it's a logistical nightmare; permits, extra people, gas meters, approval for each session of shooting ... all because it poses the very real risk of igniting gas that may be leaking.

    This makes snaps close to impossible.

    I want to solve this problem with a fully manual Nikon SLR, one that can at least shoot nicely without the battery installed and I'd also like the "T" setting for long exposures elsewhere in my life.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Any particular reason for the brand restriction? Already have lenses and other bodies?

    Lee
     
  3. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Get one F2 and be happy!:D




    André
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Exactly.
     
  5. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    Any of the manual Nikons will work -- F, F2, FM, FM2. Also, the manual FT series Nikkormats.

    But, here's a question that I'm embarrassed I don't know the answer to: Doesn't every camera with a flash connection, whether it's a hotshoe or plug, generate some sort of electrical impulse whenever the shutter is tripped? Or does there have to be an activated flash unit connected in order for there to be a current generated?
     
  6. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    I should have also addressed Mark's question about a T setting. I think only the F and F2 have that feature. So, as André said, get an F2!
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Great question, needs an answer.
     
  8. haris

    haris Guest

    And if you use camera without batteries, you would have to use handheld meter, and those use batteries too. Yes, there are meters without batteries, but for payed assignement can you trust on them or your head calculations?
     
  9. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    On a simple mechanical camera with the single contact hot shoe (actually one center contact and one edge contact), the current is provided by the flash unit. The camera only operates a mechanical switch to complete the circuit, timed to coincide with the shutter opening fully.

    Lee
     
  10. bnstein

    bnstein Member

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  11. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    This is for personal work right now, not a paid gig at this point but that may change if it works well.

    Your point is well taken.

    I was actually thinking of addressing this concern with Ilford XP2, practice, and reasonable guesses.

    Other thoughts about this are welcome.
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Thanks Lee
     
  13. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Thanks, great lead.
     
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  15. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    Since you seem to have some F-mount lenses already I guess a Nikon rangefinder would be out of the question.
     
  16. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Probably true for now but that's on the dream list for the future.
     
  17. wilsonneal

    wilsonneal Member

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    I agree on the F2 vote, and if it's not in pristine condition, these are generally very inexpensive. A Weston Master V meter can be very accurate if the cells are fresh, and of course has no battery.
    N
     
  18. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

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    Get a selenium cell light meter - no battery required. I have a Weston Master IV and it reads pretty close compared to the various built-in centre-weighted TTL meters in my SLRs.

    Ian
     
  19. DBP

    DBP Member

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    F, F2, FM3A, FM10, or any of the Nikkormats.
     
  20. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning;

    WilsonNeal and Stan160 both have come up with the main points I wanted to make about the mechanical Nikons and the Weston or other selenium cell light meters. The only thing I can add now is to voice the implied part of the recommendation for one of the older mechanical Nikon cameras (F, F2, et cetera), and to use only the standard pentaprism, not one of the light measuring types such as the T, FTn, DP1, DP12, or other. All of those also required a battery for operation. Of course, if you already have one of those with the camera, just leave out the battery, and you will have met the requirement.

    Of course, there might be the hassle of a knowledgeable security type who recognizes that there should be a battery in the Photomic, and you may need to take it off, unscrew the cover, and show him that there is no battery in it.

    What do they say along the pipeline about the modern electronic wrist watches?
     
  21. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Different companies and areas have differing rules, where I work everything has to be intrinsically safe "class 1 div 2".

    No watches.
     
  22. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    there are mechanical watches same as mechanical cameras. Mine is 50 years old and still ticking. I also have 50 year old cameras still ticking:smile:.
    To your question there is nothing like an F2. cheers
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I would also go for a Nikon F or F2 with a plain prism and a Selenium cell meter. I understand your problem, I once worked for a company who was doing a heating and air conditioning work on a new coal mine, and the manager in charge of the contract told me he wasn't allowed on site because the pacemaker on his heart was battery powered !
     
  24. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    What range of lens are you looking for. If all you need is standard set such as a 28, 50, and short tele an alternaitve is a Kodak Retina IV SLR with a built in Selenim meter, I have a Retina IIIC, the meter is spot on.
     
  25. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Nikon FM or FM2. Unless you find a good deal an F or F2 will run lots of money, since those are too collectible. You can add a Sekonic L-398 to your kit, and have a reliable meter that does not need batteries.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography
     
  26. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Plain prisms for the F2 have become a collectors' fetish and prices are high.

    However, busted early model photomics for the F2 are a dime a dozen. Just leave the battery out.

    For this sort of location - where equipment is likely to get banged about or covered in glop - it may be prudent to buy the cheapest camera you can get away with, including a spare body or two. Early Nikkormats with busted meters may the be the cheapest thing going.

    As for light meters, get an old Norwood Director or Sekonic 398(?) that is known to be accurate. They can take quite a knocking. I have found Westons to be rather fragile in comparison.