Went to move the car this morning and....

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by gnashings, May 28, 2005.

  1. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Got up early to move the car this morning (one driveway, many users...) and was shocked to see our quiet little street turned into a beehive of activity. I realized - this is the world before eBay, the thing they call "yard sales"...

    I had to look.

    End result:

    One steamer trunk (Cunard stickers and original Atlantic Crossing labels and all) full of turn ofthe century/ early 1900's books - including a Virignia Woolf book with original newspaper clippings of her death, and...

    One Nikon FG, with a 50mm 1.8 lens (something called series E I think -don't know, me Canon guy, ugh...) with a speedlight SB18. Covered in dust, the battery dead on both flash and camera... it took me 5 minutes to clean it and start taking pictures (after putting the batteries in the wrong way and thinking, oh well, I guess it was worht a try...then realizing I am a sleep-deprived idiot).

    Price: $5 Canadian... (so, about 34 cents US :smile: just kidding...)

    I guess this is a pretty pointless thread, I just had to share the joy - its a cute little camera that seems to work alright, have a good number of features and the previous owner looked at it with such disdain as he quoted me the price that I felt like I was rescueing it... Oh well, his loss, my gain...
     
  2. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Yup !!! :smile:

    Aren't yard/garage sales wonderfull places of discovery? About 20+ years ago, my sweetheart (same one I have now) and I were out doing the yard sales circuit and I found a Yashica J5 with a 50mm lens and a 70-200 + macro lens, in a suitcase, with a flash, flash shoe, cable etc. for $15.00cdn - so about $1.02 US (also kidding :smile: ).
    Now if only I could find a stack of 8x10 film holders at a yard sale.....
     
  3. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    Here, here!

    One man's junk...trash to treasure and all that stuff! I love them.

    Many will turn their nose up at them, but my reply is, "Suit yourself! More bargains for the rest of us..."

    Good grabs!
     
  4. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Its a weird relationship - all these things were once thoughtfully bought for a fair chunk of cash... And here they are, a few years go by and they have no value. Like you said, one man's junk...
    The FG looks like a neat little camera - I hear a lot of bad things about them from die hard Nikon guys... but it seems like a good little camera - for what it is. And I'm a Canon user, frankly I like my AE-1 better (its basically the Canon equivalent, isn't it?), but I can see a good case being made for the FG, especially with all the good glass availble for it.
    On the one hand you have a little more range of shutter speeds witht he AE-1 (up to 2secs vs 1 in the FG) and depth of field/stopped down button, where the FG has adjustible exposure compensation, vertical travel shutter, higher max flash sync (well, in the flash dept in it just leaves the canon in the dust - but that seems to be something that Canon always lost out on, even on the F cameras), the full auto mode, and of course, the audio alarm feature! You gotta love the audio alarm!
    So I guess its a matter of what you need more. The FG is a fair bit smaller, so I guess its handier, it has aperture priority automation vs shutter priority on the AE1 - again, a matter of what you need more for your particular shooting needs (I don't really use either much, so its a bit academic to me)...
    Also, the mirror slap is just ridiculous on the Nikon.
    I can certainly see why the two camps have been debating so much over the years - both excellent products in their time, each showing a different approach. Now I have both, so I guess yey me! (and the price was right :smile: )
     
  5. argentic

    argentic Member

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    The Nikon GF is a wonderfull, light, amateur Nikon. And it accepts ... Nikon lenses! So it turns out to be a perfect backup camera alongside my Nikon F4, while shooting weddings. And it even works without batteries ! Simply dial in the M90 speed (Manual 1/90th second), ajust the aperture accordingly, and fire away.
     
  6. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Yeah, I forgot to add, though I am sure everyone knows... the AE1 is D E A D w/o batteries! BIG oversight, in my humble opinion, on behalf of Canon...

    So far my only Nikon lens is the 50 mm E-series 1.8 - I have yet to compare the results with the Canon glass, but the Nikon guys themselves have put a lot of doubts in my head about these "E" lenses. Are they really that bad?

    And I assume GF is a typo - right?
     
  7. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    The E series was the bargain series of Nikkor lenses. Essentially the glass wasn't all that bad, but the construction of the lenses left a lot to be desired. For amature use just fine, but a pro would wear them out in a month.

    Then there was the time I found a Leica M4P with 50mm Summie at a garage sale and scooped it for $7.50CAD. Oh ya that was a dream .....
     
  8. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    "The E series was the bargain series of Nikkor lenses. Essentially the glass wasn't all that bad, but the construction of the lenses left a lot to be desired. For amature use just fine, but a pro would wear them out in a month."

    They weren't built as well as the Nikkors of the day but don't sell them short. The current Canon EF standard line of lenses are no better built than the Nikon E-series were and they don't get worn out too often by pros (I use Canon EOS SLRs these days). I had a couple of Nikon E lenses when I used Nikon cameras and they held up well to professional use.

    Great bargain!
     
  9. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The series E were really good lenses, but delicate.
    I used to see many of them that were jammed by being bumped on the front & the helical would jam from the impact.
     
  10. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    So the consensus is that they are really not bad optically - just a bt delicate.
    I have an almost direct equivalent from Canon, a 50mm f1.8 S.C. (NOT the SSC lens - one step down). I wonder how the two will compare. So far, I have noticed one thing:
    In Nikonia, things are not like here... they get bigger from right to left, they unscrew clockwise and tighten counter-clockwise...and they focus the other way...
    And I have seen and touched new Canon lenses... and even used them... I think the FD lenses were bank-vaults compared to the majority of the new EF's...I wonder when Canon decided..hmm, our lenses should be made out of bubble gum... :smile: I like my old FD's.
     
  11. stark raving

    stark raving Member

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    You paid 5 whole Canadian dollars? Gee, my FG was FREE! :D (Co-worker picked it out of the trash for me when her neighbor was throwing it away. It was "broken", i.e. it needed a battery!)
     
  12. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Mine was broken too! Same way! :smile:
    Now I feel ripped off, hehehehe

    I gotta say though, just hefting the Canon lens and the Nikon lens, the Canon feels a lot more substantial and solid. We'll see how the pics turn out.

    Oh yeah, I got a FLASH, too, so there...!
     
  13. gcoates

    gcoates Member

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    That's a great deal. I started out in photography with that exact combo. About half or more of the photos on my website were made with the FG and either the 50mm Series E lens or the 75-150 Series E lens. It's a good, light camera. The only big downside for me is the small, dark viewfinder and the lack of depth of field preview.

    The series E lenses are excellent optically. The 75-150 is one of the sleepers in the Nikon line, in my opinion. It's fixed aperture, light weight, and very sharp. I love it and still use it!
     
  14. argentic

    argentic Member

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    The E-lenses had the exact same formula and glass as the professional lenses. 50 mm lenses were among the best Nikon ever made. That wasn't difficult because the 50 mm design was the standard lens for everyone. So, research and practical experience had eliminated all flaws years ago. And because of the large numbers sold, Nikon could produce them efficiently and cheaply.

    But the E-series had much cheaper barrels and mechanics than the professional ones. So they are more vulnerable. Are you a war photographer?
     
  15. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    The Nikon E 75-150, was made by Kiron, as were many of the E series Nikons. Very good optically. Just not as robust as their upper end line of lenses. It's almost identical to the Kiron 70-150. The Kiron is built more along the lines of the better Nikon's. Kiron was founded by a few former top Nikon lens designers.

    Kiron Kid
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2007
  16. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I am not a war photographer, and hopefully won't be any time soon :smile:

    Glad to hear I rescued a good little camera!
     
  17. bohica

    bohica Member

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    Gee, I want a FG and the one I was bidding on on ebay just went for $113 US
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    The steamer trunk was from the Titanic !!!
     
  19. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Estate auction sales in small towns are another thing. My mate encouraged me to go with her to one in particular in rural Minnesota. Stupid me, I did not go for the 8x10 enlarger with lenses which went for $65. I did get two gross of #2 flasbulbs for $5.

    What knocked me on my butt was some scenic (hills, trees) photographs that went for over $100 each. They were clearly LF and not remarkable in any photographic sense at all. I learned later when I met the buyer that they were of part of California (forgot which part) which is now 100% covered in humanity. Who bid on them? A couple of sleepers - low-profile Long Island and NYC dealers in the audience. They really know how to find obscure auctions.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2005
  20. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Well, it has been a bit since I posted this thread - was actually surprised to see it pop back up - but I'll take the opportunity for an update.
    My little FG has been a great addition to my gear. I shoot it quite a bit, and even added two extremely cheap lenses - a Makinon 24mm f2.8 and a Soligor 80-200 f4.5 zoom (with "macro":wink: focus!). I bought the two lenses for $25 for the pair, and well... the Soligor seems to be pretty darn sharp, while the Maknonis a typical cheap WA - lotsof distortion, and plummetting quality if not stopped down. The E-series 50mm is a little gem - a little flimsy feeling, but I would say its probably sharper than my 50mm Canon 1.8 lens - but that may just be a function of me managing some better shots by total chance - I doubt its anything else, seeing how hte 50mm's are pretty hard to screw up! In addition, my wife loves it - its really comfy for her smaller hands. So now the tally is $30 for the FG, matching Nikon flash, 50mm, 24mm, 80-200mm lenses.
    Having said that, would I spend actual "market value" money on that camera? Probably not - for one, its a different system than the one I have already invested in (not a matter of brand loyalty, just the monetary investment in a choice I made), for two - I have seen Canon A1 bodies go for about the same money on eBay if you look hard enough, an it is a more capable camera. Even if you compare it to an AE1, they seem to be twice as much on average - and are not twice the camera, more accurately they are basically on par - the Canon having DOF preview and a controlled shutter speed down to 2 seconds vs the fg's one. But the way I came by this camera, I am quite happy with it - it is what it is and I like it.