Help Nikon camera
I have been looking for a nice 35mm film camera for a few weeks, I want to buy one and learn how to use it and get better now before I start my Photography A-level next year. The camera I have settled on is the Nikon FM2n, and the lenses so far are 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 and 50mm f/1.4, these are the two that I have found for sale at a good price, but I would also like to buy a 28mm f/2.8.
My question is are these good choices? (including camera) I want a good quality camera without any auto features. Also what kind of accessories would you recommend for a Nikon FM2n? I have found a cable release and SB-25 flash, but what else should I be looking for?
If you get the 35-105, I'd be inclined to get a 20-24mm lens instead of the 28 - the 28 is kind of close to the 35.
Good Choice! If you get the 35-105mm lens at good price then that's great. Otherwise get an 85mm f/2 and may be a 35mm f/2 also along with the 28mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.4. Since you have the cable release it's obvious that you should get the tripod also.
Originally Posted by James-EG
Thom Hogan reviews the FM2n here: http://www.bythom.com/fm2n.htm
Given that you don't want any auto features, I'd say the camera is an excellent choice.
James, the FM2n is an excellent choice. Be sure to get the FM2n, not the FM2. Learning to use it will be a snap, leaving you to focus on the more important stuff like exposure and composition. The 35-105 lens you mentioned is not a real strong performer in the Nikon line-up. The 28-105 is well-regarded and an excellent alternative and gives you an increased wide end. The 50/1.4 a is very good choice, as is a 28/2.8 despite the redundancy in focal length. The 28/2.8 AIS version is thee manual focus 28mm Nikon to pick-up. Although if you feel the FL's are too redundant, you could always go wider, e.g. 20mm. The beauty of a 28 and 50 prime is the light-weight and increased performance, esp in low-light.
As for accessories, a motordrive (Nikon MD-12) helps immensely with a sure, comfortable and ergo-grip. The Nikon MR-3 is an add-on shutter release button that can be mounted on the MD-12 and provides a more comfortable/steady position to fire the shutter in vertical/portrait orientation. Experimenting with a basic b/w filter set may be desired (e.g. yellow, orange and red). If shooting color film, a polarizer is a must. Carefully consider using step-up rings to mount filters on lenses with smaller filter rings. (Step-up rings are essentially adapters that allow you to use, for example, 77mm filters on a lens with a 52mm ring, such as the 50/1.4. Cumbersome? Perhaps. Inexpensive alternative to buying loads of filters in different sizes? Definitely.) A cable release (Nikon AR-3) is often helpful for slow shutter speeds (or use self-timer) and long exposures. Get a good cable, like the Nikon. Too many junk cable releases out there that fall apart. A solid tripod eventually becomes a 'must' for many. How about a good case to protect your gear?
If you wear glasses a corrective diopter may be in order. I suggest mounting an eyecup to the finder to block extraneous light. I'm partial to the 3V, lithium single cells for two reasons: thay last disproportionately longer (relative to cost) than alkaline and silver oxide batteries and are unfazed by frigid, winter temps. I'm not 'up' on the best literature but Ansel Adams' acclaimed The Negative will absolutely jump-start your understanding of exposure. (Also consider his book, The Print. Others will likely have more reading recommendations. Once you're ready to launch stick with just one film (perhaps two, one slow and one fast in the interest of comparison?) and one developer in order to thoroughly learn the exposure/developing process. No hop-scotching around with a multitude of films/developers. Keep it simple and stay focused on your craft. Careful note-taking at time of exposure, development and printing will hasten the learning. Enjoy!
The FM2n is a great camera. I enjoy mine tremendously. Consider longer lenses too. I have just bought a vintage 135mm Vivitar f2.8. Not a Nikkor but it was made by Komine and is as sharp as a tack even wide open. Great for portraits. Attachment 57777
A good sturdy tripod is worth it's weight in gold.
TBH I'd go for a 28mm and a telephoto prime in the 105mm-135mm range rather than the zoom. Primes tend to be smaller, lighter and better quality.
why would an FM2 be a worse choice than an FM2n? Isn't the only difference the flash sync speed (and the fact that some FM2n models did not have a titanium shutter)?
Also to the OP: If you decide to go with primes the 105/2.5 is fantastic. And I have used the 24mm/2.8 which is also great. A better choice than the 28mm/2.8 IMO.
The FM2n with its smooth aluminum shutter blades is no worse/no better than the FM2 with its honeycomb titanium blades.
I find there is a big difference between a 35mm focal length - which seems 'normalish' - and a 28mm - which is decidedly wide angle in its perspective. As the lens gets shorter the change in perspective due to a few mm change in focal length becomes more dramatic.
If budget is a concern then the f3.5 wide angles perform every bit as well as their f2.8 and f2.0 cousins but often at a small fraction of the price.