Nikon F system questions and advice
So I have a Nikon F on its way. I'm starting with a Nikon 58mm f1.4 and 28mm f2.0 both non-ai. I plan on getting a Nikon 105mm f2.5, non-ai (sonnar version).
I think that a Nikon F + 58mm f1.4 + 28mm f2.0 + 105mm f2.5 will be a decent Nikon F starter kit. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself but now I'm wanting to know more about the bodies.
1. Is there a "preferred" screen for the Nikon F. I do not know how good/bad my screen is but with some cameras like Rollei and hasselblad, everyone wants to get a Maxwell/Acute Matte D, etc. I'm used to Leica M RF's so I worry that screen brigthness and contrast might be a problem.
2. My next body would probably be an F3 or F4. Basically some body with motordrive. Is there a reason to get an F3 + MD over an F4? Are the screens between the F's, atleast the first four, interchangeable? I'd think that the F4 screen might be even worse since it is an AF camera.
3. Glass-wise. Is there a preferred low-cost 20mm? I'm thinking 20mm f3.5 UD or one of the AI/AIS ones at comparable speeds. Or just opting for a CV 20mm f3.5.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
I may be wrong but I think only the F and F2 screens are interchangeable with each other.
A list of F screens: http://www.mir.com.my/michaeliu/came...ff2screens.htm
I personally enjoy using the plain ground glass type the most, since it kind of enhances the entire point of using a reflex in the first place, but if you're worried about brightness anything with a fresnel screen is probably a better choice.
As far as the screens go yes, F & F2 are interchangeable and there are quite a few to choose from.
Usually you'll se an "A" in there which is a split image rangefinder type.
Click on that link that Yash so kindly referenced. Dig deep and read up on that mir site then there is also the
site which has some beautiful reference shots of the F's and accessories.
One of the many pluses of the F is that the viewfinder (Photomic or plain prism) is free of clutter and any electronic data to beep and flash like a pinball machine. You might want to try a plain screen if a focussing aid is not necessary.
Earlier this year I took delivery of my father's camera collection which I have inherited. There are two Nikon Fs, one black and one chrome, which will now be my main 35mm cameras (unless I want something lightweight when I will use a Pentax MX).
I have Photomic prisms for both and plain prisms for the black one (I would like to get a chrome plain prism). As far as lenses go I have a 35mm f2.8, a 50mm f1.4, a 105mm f2.5 and a 200mm f4. I might try to get something a bit wide in the future.
Currently I am happy taking out just one body with the 105mm lens.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
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1. The best overall focusing screen for the F/F2 is the P; fan favorites are the G and H series; minimalists prefer the B; traditionalists, the K; my personal favorite is the E. Basically, collect as many screens as you can and have fun trying them out.
2. If I had to choose between the F3 and F4, I'd choose the F4 every time, but that's just me. The F4 isn't handicapped in any way when it comes to manually focusing. In fact, one could argue the F4 is superior in this regard because of its electronic rangefinder. For others, the electronic rangefinder in the F4 is the antichrist (it does have a tendency to blink in your eye).
3. I haven't tried the VC 20mm, but it's probably a better performer than the old Nikkors. That's not to say it's necessarily a better lens or that it takes better pictures. It most likely will simply have a different look with maybe a hair of extra "sharpness" in the extreme corners. I use an 18mm but if I were to get an F-mount 20mm right now, it'd be the 20mm f/4. But that's just me.
Last edited by LJSLATER; 12-02-2012 at 07:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
You can get a nice, if a bit heavy, motor drive for an F2. The F motors are troublesome and most won't fit without a tech's modification. The F3 works very well with the MD4 motor, which also powers the camera. I prefer the F3 to the F4 mainly for durability. We had F4s at work and they tended to fail under continued use; the F3s did not.
Hmmm, no. If there was "the one preferred screen" then there would be no need for a choice...
Originally Posted by puketronic
What you prefer may or may not be what anyone else prefers.
Me, I like the P (diagonal split RF central spot w/ microprism surround) and the E (grid on plain ground glass). The P isn't much good with >200mm lenses, and neither is optimal for <24mm. Nikon makes special screens for long and short lenses, but most people don't bother with them.
Without the gridded E screen my wide angle shots are invariably tilted a few degrees to the left.
+1 on the Type E screen. All my F2 bodies have either the "B" or "E". The former is great with long lenses. The "E" is the proverbial cat's meow for landscape or architecture work. To the OP: I may have an extra Type A screen in amongst my assortment of parts if you want to try one out; pm me at the end of the month when I return home. IF I can find the thing, it's yours for the asking.
Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan
Nikon F system questions and advice
I have a meter less F since 1976 (got it used). My kit includes a CV 20mm (really sharp and tiny), a 50/1.4 Ai'd, and an Ai 105/2.5. I love the combo. Sometimes I just go with the F and a CV 40mm pancake. A great small day kit.