FM3a user and new to this forum, saying "hi." Hmm, new lenses, anyone?
New user saying "hello."
Very happy with my FM3a. Are there many users of this system here? What do you like about yours in this age of [affordable] automatic SLRs? Do you ever wish it had a spot meter (or 100% VF, or mirror-lockup, or...) instead of the 60/40% meter?
I'm new to 35mm and have just 2 lenses: 50mm f/1.2 AI-S and 28-70mm f/2.8 ED IF AF-S. The AF-S lens has a nice feel to its focus ring, but I really prefer the way the 50mm focuses, so not sure if I will be buying any more AF-S (or even AF) lenses. I'm mostly into portrait photography at this point, and find myself lacking a 85mm or 105mm (or even 135mm) lens. What do you recommend? Should I get the 80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S (used only at this point) to go with my 28-70mm (for future expansion to AF body) or do you suggest something else?
I much prefer prime lenses. I would get either an 85mm or a 105mm for portraits, and skip the 80-200mm. I have one zoom, and the negs just don't have the same sharpness, somehow. If money is an issue, try KEH.
Welcome to APUG, and enjoy yoru time here.
If you’re doing portraits, consider the 105/1.8 or 85/1.8 manual focus Nikkors. They’re only available used, but they can give great selective focus, and both are very sharp. Check that they are AI, or have been modified to AI.
Even the nicer AF lenses (which yours definately is) do not seem to focus manually as well as the MF lenses. I guess if compatability with AF is an issue, you may want to go with the AF lenses, but I would probably be looking MF and wait until I really want an AF body to go that route. I guess the issue might be, just how likely are you to buy an AF body soon? I also agree with Suzanne about primes, they are less convenient, but you get better speed, often much better, and lower cost.
I have the FM3a and absolutley love it. For portraits I like the 105 / 2.5 AIS. It can still be had new at fairly reasonable prices and give fantastic results.
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I actually find the 60/40 meter to be very accurate; competitive with my FA, and that has a matrix meter in it. For an FM3a, the AI lenses are fine things. I have the 85/1.8 AF-D, the 105/2.5 AI, and the 135/2.8 AIs. Of them probably my favorite is actually the 85 because of the speed, but the 105 is hard to beat. I don't use the 135 much any more because I have the shorter ones. I find I usually prefer prime lenses for portraiture, but that's probably because most of mine is done under available light conditions where the more light the better.
Oh, it occurs to me that there is something I'd like on the FM3a. I'd like the motor drive to work more like the MD-15, where it can power the body; I've flatlined the batteries on an FM3a before because the MD-12 will always insist that the body power the meter if it's on.
Welcome to APUG!!
You'll find lots of good info here & undoubtably you will find many people who have similar kits!
As for having only two lenses.... well... from what I have figured out... you can only use one at a time!
With the exception of mirror lock-up, interchangeable viewfinders, and 100% viewfinder accuracy, the F3a has all the features I need (durability, reliability, interchangeable motor drives, interchangeable view screens, and battery independence).
For portrait work, I suggest you consider the following Nikon lenses:
105mm f/2.8 micro (macro)
70-180mm f/4.5-5.6 ED AF micro zoom
80-200mm f/2.8 AF-S zoom
My personal preference is the 105mm micro.
I did not recommend the 85mm prime lens because it is so close in focal length to what you already have.
Thank you so much for your messages and quick replies. I like the forum already!
Speaking of the 80-200mm AF-S. This lens has undergone quite a number of changes in the recent years hasn't it?
At some point it was a push-pull 80-200mm AF, then replaced by a two-touch 80-200mm AF and finally the 80-200mm AF-S that was discontinued just a year ago, correct? And now it's back to the two-touch 80-200mm AF. So, the loaded question: how have the optics changed from year to year through all these hardware/housing/motor changes? What model/generation would you recommend getting on the used market given the recent AF-S prices are above what the new/current AF version sells for?