Just do the fe with all ai f2 lenses.
HTFIII, In that case you were referring to the viewfinders coverage. As far as I know - in the manual focus era, only the Nikon F, F2 & F3 had 100% coverage and all others had less then that. None of these were "off center". If you look at your Nikkormat's manual, you will find it lacking as well.
I know. Nikkormat is approx 95-96% according to my tests. I'll agree to disagree on the Pentax. My uncle was a wholesaler for Honeywell at the time. Nikon F2 is legendary. Of note, a Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL is 85% on-center.
The attraction to the F3 was the %100 viewfinder. The...92% of the FA should be fine though. All the f/2 AI series? I got that other first gen AF lens which is excellent but the focusing is not as pleasant due to the gearing. Maybe there's a way around that.
Hmm, neither my Spottie, my SV or my H1A are off center in the way you describe. The viewfinders on all of those cameras do not show a full 100% of what the lens is actually seeing. I have checked my Spottie and it is pretty well centered side to side. Top to bottom my viewfinder is biased toward the top a little, meaning the strip on top is less than the strip on the bottom that you don't actually see. There must be something that is not secured properly on your copy that has allowed the viewfinder image to slip somehow. You might send it to Eric Hendrickson and ask him to check it out.
But I am still not totally clear how that would have enough effect on your landscape picture to ruin it. You would actually get a little more, not less, than what you could see in your viewfinder. A small amount of cropping would have brought everything back to normal.
Far be it for me to try to talk you into being unhappy with your Pentaxes. They're top notch pieces of machinery. Fit, finish, and glass are impeccable. The 50/1.4 is a bit weak, but the 1.8 and 2.0/50's are terrific. Beats Nikkor IMO.
As for the guy wanting some Nikon gear, I'd say a 24mm, 35, 50/2.0 85, and 200 are all cheap enough, and great performers. Although I don't do AI myself.
My vote would go with the Nikon F4 along with a 50 2.0, the 105 and the 180. That would be an awesome set. Throw any of their 35s into the mix and you would have a fine set of glass and a terrific camera to shoot them all.
I love my FE2 and FA. Wouldn't mind an FM2. Got my eye on an F4 with a winder.
Consider getting the 28mm 2.8 AIS instead of the 35mm 1.4. It's a great lens.
I do have to wipe the spittle from the corner of my mouth when I dream of the Zeiss 35mm 1.4.
I have the 50mm 1.8 but would like to trade up to the 50mm 1.2. The 105mm f2.5 is a must and I use mine regularly.
I do also dream of the 85mm 1.4. I used to have an MD-12 motordrive but it's so big and LOUD that I'd rather just advance it smoothly by hand.
If I lost ALL my camera gear in a disaster, my nikon system is the one thing I know I would replace. Love, love, love it.
I've had both FA and F3HP, sold the FA since I had a K-type 28mm f/2.8 that I couldn't use on it and really just much prefer the heft of the F3. The early matrix metering might have swung me over in favor of it, but due to some cosmic coincidence I destroyed almost every other roll I put through it (think accidental reexposure in the dev tank).
35mm f/2 AI, AIS seem to be quite sought after, this will probably be my next purchase, you probably won't go wrong if you like this focal length.
I finally picked up a 50mm lens (thanks loman), which is the f/2 AI version. Seems nice so far, your E Series should be comparable. Was thinking of a f/1.4, but I'm having trouble focusing as it is (glasses), focus at that depth would be hit or miss. Still, I like to shoot in low light, so it's either that or an SB-17 :)
I also have an 85mm f/2 AIS, which is very very soft opened up, and I'm thinking of selling it and picking up a 105mm instead. Not decided whether to go for the earlier (sonnar) version or the later (gauss). Each seems to have its advantages.
I have both the F3HP, F3, and almost new FA. Without question, the F3's. For me, the FA is way to complex to bother with, and I don't think it comes close to the reliability of the F3. As a back up or smaller Nikon, I prefer the FE. EM's, FG's have reliability issues and if you have a working one, the question in my mind is, for how long. YMMV