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  1. #1

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    Just bought a Nikon FM10 in great shape and found 2 good lens deals. Need advice

    Hello everyone,
    As I am a beginner and this will contain a lot of beginner questions I would like to thank you for your patience and help in advance. I hope I can get as much answers as possible for my questions in this forum that seems like the perfect place for my future analog photographer side carrier ! ^^
    I am at the moment in India on an Internship and just bought a Nikon FM10 film camera (2nd Hand) for around 65 euros. The climax of a long lasting dream of having a SLR. A digital one would have been nice too of course but for some reason analog has something more cool and fun about it than digital. I dunno if it's a good deal but I think it's ok. It's in great condition and the seller used only 10 rolls with it ! It came with a Nikkor 35-70mm Lens with 1:3.5-4.8 (dunno what this means. I don't think it's the aperture since I have apertures from 3.5 to 22 on the zoom lens.
    As you can see I am a beginner lol ! But super excited ! Obviously since I'm a beginner I should just focus on what I have, it's just that the prices here are quite low and my life is quite comfortable for an intern and therefore I can go a bit crazy and invest now, I won't be able to invest later I fear and it will anyways be more expensive I think. Ideally I'd like to make myself a little 3 lenses kit or so here and then leave it at that and just use that camera with it. Ideally I'm looking for lenses that would cover many situations.

    Also do you know if with he current lens I can have nice blurred backgrounds with crip subjects in the front ? Or do I absolutely need a f1.8 intead of 3.5 ? I haven't finished the first roll yet so I don't know how the pics are gonna turn out !
    Anyway I figured I could maybe find other good deals to have myself a little starter's camera back here in India were a lot of things are cheaper (the main reason being the cost of life is lower).
    Therefore I found these two lenses from Nikkon :
    - Nikon 70-210 mm F4.5 - 5.6 AIS lens - 39€/50$(us)
    http://bangalore.olx.in/nikon-70-210...-iid-510125923
    - Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Lens(Standard Lens) only Rs4500(Negotiable) - 58€/75.5$(us)
    http://bangalore.olx.in/nikon-af-nik...-iid-496769260
    According to this guide http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm
    Both should be compatible right ? Just usable only in manual am I correct ?
    What do you think about those lenses ? Would they give me an extra tool or is not really worth the price for the amount of extra possibilities ? Are they a good deal ?
    Thanks for your help and time !
    Best regards,
    Ben

  2. #2

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    I don't have a whole lot of advice for you, but as no one else has responded, I'll weigh in what little I have. The stock lens with the FM10 is actually not bad in my opinion. It's decently sharp and I've taken some great (in my opinion) pictures with it. Even after buying a few other lenses I always kept it with me until it got knocked out of my bag and broke. I haven't used that zoom lens so i don't have anything to say about that one. But Ken Rockwell seems to think pretty highly of it, and he usually knows what he's talking about. I do have one of those fixed 50s and I have to say that it's the sharpest, closest-focusing, fasted lens that I've ever used. It's amazing. The only problem is that you lose the zoom. How important to you is the ability to zoom in to 210mm?

  3. #3
    clayne's Avatar
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    Get rid of the zoom lens and buy a 50/1.4 or 35/2.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  4. #4
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your new camera. The one you own was made by Cosina for Nikon and is a very good camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kruger View Post
    Hello everyone,
    It came with a Nikkor 35-70mm Lens with 1:3.5-4.8 (dunno what this means. I don't think it's the aperture since I have apertures from 3.5 to 22 on the zoom lens.
    It does refer to aperture. The wide open aperture at 35mm is f3.5. When you move the zoom lens to 70mm then the wide open aperture changes from f3.5 to f4.8.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kruger View Post
    Ideally I'd like to make myself a little 3 lenses kit or so here and then leave it at that and just use that camera with it. Ideally I'm looking for lenses that would cover many situations.
    Your zoom will give you a good start at your desired kit. A nice option for a 2nd lens would be a 70-200mm zoom. This will allow you the options to work with your zooms and get a very nice range. Obviously primes are great options as well and I would recommend that you look for the Nikon 50mm f1.8 prime lens. This lens allows you to do some nice work, as well as working in lower light then your zoom will.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kruger View Post
    Also do you know if with he current lens I can have nice blurred backgrounds with crip subjects in the front ? Or do I absolutely need a f1.8 intead of 3.5 ? I haven't finished the first roll yet so I don't know how the pics are gonna turn out !
    A 50mm f1.8 prime lens will allow you to work with much shallower depth of field than the zoom lens will. The shallow depth of field is what allows you to get the nicely blurred backgrounds.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kruger View Post
    Anyway I figured I could maybe find other good deals to have myself a little starter's camera back here in India were a lot of things are cheaper (the main reason being the cost of life is lower).
    Therefore I found these two lenses from Nikkon :
    - Nikon 70-210 mm F4.5 - 5.6 AIS lens - 39€/50$(us)
    http://bangalore.olx.in/nikon-70-210...-iid-510125923
    - Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Lens(Standard Lens) only Rs4500(Negotiable) - 58€/75.5$(us)
    http://bangalore.olx.in/nikon-af-nik...-iid-496769260
    Both of these lenses are great options but since your FM10 is a manual focus camera you may be able to find some manual focus lenses at a similar price. Autofocus lenses typically have much looser, and smaller, manual focus rings, so they are not as easy to focus manually.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kruger View Post
    According to this guide http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/compatibility-lens.htm
    Both should be compatible right ? Just usable only in manual am I correct ?
    They will be compatible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kruger View Post
    What do you think about those lenses ? Would they give me an extra tool or is not really worth the price for the amount of extra possibilities ? Are they a good deal ?
    I think that the Nikon 80-200mm f4 AIS zoom is a better option but there are a number of good lenses. As for the prime lens I would suggest the manual focus Nikon 50mm f1.8 AIS lens.

    I hope this helps a little and I am sure there are others who will respond soon.

  5. #5
    Ricardo Miranda's Avatar
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    For a beginner you could read a good manual of photography from the 80s or 90s and use whatever equipment you already have. What you have is good enough. No need to spend money on expensive lenses when you can use that money in film and development costs.
    Second advice is to practice, practice and more practice!
    But, you asked for lenses: the Nikkor AF 50mm 1.8D is excellent and it is usable across many Manual and Auto-focus cameras. Any Nikon film camera made since 1977 will be fully compatible.
    About the 3.5-4.8, it means the maximum aperture at 25mm is 3.5, but when you zoom to 70mm the maximum aperture reduces to 4.8. It is a variable aperture zoom.

    Edit: Pioneer was quicker and with very good advice!
    My cameras:
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  6. #6
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Forget more gear for now. Use your money on film and shoot as much as you can, perhaps viewing photography of photographers you admire in books, museums or galleries. If I could do it all over again I'd stop listening to most anonymous online advice and just shoot more. The more I shoot the better I get.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhkirby View Post
    I don't have a whole lot of advice for you, but as no one else has responded, I'll weigh in what little I have. The stock lens with the FM10 is actually not bad in my opinion. It's decently sharp and I've taken some great (in my opinion) pictures with it. Even after buying a few other lenses I always kept it with me until it got knocked out of my bag and broke. I haven't used that zoom lens so i don't have anything to say about that one. But Ken Rockwell seems to think pretty highly of it, and he usually knows what he's talking about. I do have one of those fixed 50s and I have to say that it's the sharpest, closest-focusing, fasted lens that I've ever used. It's amazing. The only problem is that you lose the zoom. How important to you is the ability to zoom in to 210mm?
    Thank you for your recommendations and insight. To answer your question, based on the little experience I had in the past with dSLRs of friends and family, I thought that the fact of zooming was increasing the blurred background effect, which is an effect I like a lot. Am I mistaken ?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by clayne View Post
    Get rid of the zoom lens and buy a 50/1.4 or 35/2.
    Sorry but I don't understand all the jargon yet, you mean a 50mm with f1.4 ?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    Congratulations on your new camera. The one you own was made by Cosina for Nikon and is a very good camera.


    It does refer to aperture. The wide open aperture at 35mm is f3.5. When you move the zoom lens to 70mm then the wide open aperture changes from f3.5 to f4.8.
    Thank you for your congratulations and details, thanks as well to the other users who detailed the aperture reading method.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    Your zoom will give you a good start at your desired kit. A nice option for a 2nd lens would be a 70-200mm zoom. This will allow you the options to work with your zooms and get a very nice range. Obviously primes are great options as well and I would recommend that you look for the Nikon 50mm f1.8 prime lens. This lens allows you to do some nice work, as well as working in lower light then your zoom will.
    So you mean a fixed focal lens ? All I want is to be able to play with blurry backgrounds for now, its an effect I really like and I always wanted to achieve. It might sound very "beginner-ish" but that's the milestone I have in mind at the moment. That and composition and colours modified by films etc (as in Lomo cameras, I don't know though if I can achieve that kind of effects with a cam like the Nikon FM10)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    A 50mm f1.8 prime lens will allow you to work with much shallower depth of field than the zoom lens will. The shallow depth of field is what allows you to get the nicely blurred backgrounds.
    That's what I thought indeed based on the little knowledge I have. If I would buy an additional lens here, I would get that, if two I would get that one and the zoom.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    Both of these lenses are great options but since your FM10 is a manual focus camera you may be able to find some manual focus lenses at a similar price. Autofocus lenses typically have much looser, and smaller, manual focus rings, so they are not as easy to focus manually.
    Unfortunately I don't want to start using my european card on the Indian eBay or something, therefore I am limited to what is offered on a similar site that has the advantage of giving people the option to put their phone numbers. That's how I got in touch with the previous owner of my FM10. You think it would be a bad idea to buy a 50mm lens that is not made for a manual camera ? Would it be very hard to manage to focus manually then ?


    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    I think that the Nikon 80-200mm f4 AIS zoom is a better option but there are a number of good lenses. As for the prime lens I would suggest the manual focus Nikon 50mm f1.8 AIS lens.
    Thank you ! When you say prime you mean that it's a focal length am I right ? Also I think I would go more for a prime than a zoom in the end, since as I have understood the blurred effect I am looking for isn't really done with a zoom but more a prime right ? What does AIS mean please ? I tried to get it on Ken Rockwell's site but I am not a native English speaker and therefore it is sometimes a bit hard ^^.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    I hope this helps a little and I am sure there are others who will respond soon.
    Thank you very much for having taken the time to reply with a detailed post. Thanks as well to everybody else, I trully appreciate the support !

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rich815 View Post
    Forget more gear for now. Use your money on film and shoot as much as you can, perhaps viewing photography of photographers you admire in books, museums or galleries. If I could do it all over again I'd stop listening to most anonymous online advice and just shoot more. The more I shoot the better I get.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo Miranda View Post
    For a beginner you could read a good manual of photography from the 80s or 90s and use whatever equipment you already have. What you have is good enough. No need to spend money on expensive lenses when you can use that money in film and development costs.
    Second advice is to practice, practice and more practice!
    But, you asked for lenses: the Nikkor AF 50mm 1.8D is excellent and it is usable across many Manual and Auto-focus cameras. Any Nikon film camera made since 1977 will be fully compatible.
    About the 3.5-4.8, it means the maximum aperture at 25mm is 3.5, but when you zoom to 70mm the maximum aperture reduces to 4.8. It is a variable aperture zoom.

    Edit: Pioneer was quicker and with very good advice!
    Thanks guys for your replies. The thing is that I won't have as a comfortable life as I have now during my internship. That is why I would prefer to get an additional lens now rather than when I get back in Europe where it might be much more expensive (including the advantage here of the slight currency advantage). Thanks for the advice on the lens Ricardo !

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