I just bought a Nikon F. I've been sorta trying to get one for a little while now but couldn't justify the cost. The one I found seems to be in good shape, came with a 1.4/50mm lens and a Photomic T finder. $80 seemed like a good deal to me, so now I own it. Anyway, what would be the best period Nikkor wide angle lens to pick up for this? I'm looking at a couple 28mm/3.5 Nikkor-H lenses, all of which are more than the camera. Anyway, opinions on a good lens choice would be appreciated.
"Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it." -Paul Strand
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
I've had my F, which my dad bought in 1972, for 32 years and still going strong. I use my 35/f2 a lot, a very nice lens. The older non-AI lenses are usually less expensive to buy these days then the later lenses, because they don't work as well with the newer cameras (no metering).
Have you checked to see if the meter in the FT finder is working? Remember, you will need to use special batteries for it unless it has been modified by a technician to use 1.5v batteries. Batteries with the correct voltage (1.3v I believe) can be obtined at several places on line. The ones I use for my F are Weincell model MRB625 and I get them at
Originally Posted by tjaded
They last several months in my F.
Last edited by snegron; 02-11-2009 at 08:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
If you can find a 35mm f/2.8, it's one of the original six lenses introduced for the F and shouldn't cost that much. The others were the 21/4 (mirror-lockup lens), 28/3.5, 50/2, 105/2.5, and 135/3.5.
There is a very complete Nikon lens reference at http://www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/lenses.html.
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson
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I think the Nikon F is the best 35mm SLR ever made (IMHO). I have several and love them. I think you will too. As far as cells for the meter, use snegron's advice. I buy them by the carton of 12 from Micro-Tools to get the good price. Mine seem to last about a year, although it depends on how much you use the meter.
The only thing I find goes wrong with the meter (so long as the battery hasn't been left to corrode things) is that the drum resistor inside gets dirty. I have a couple of FTN heads that I have cleaned with electrical contact cleaner and they work like new. I understand the resistor is no longer available, but I've never seen one worn out, just dirty. You have to disassemble the meter head to do this, so if you're not comfortable with that, find a good repair shop that will do it.
My favorite moderate wide angle is the 28mm f/3.5, and I like my 20mm f/4.0 for wider work. I would like faster ones but the f/2.0 versions demand a lot of $. Use a lens shade on these, both to reduce flare and to protect the lens elements, as they are right out front on a wide angle.
Have fun and show some photos!
The 24mm and 35mm f2.8 lenses are both excellent. The 105 f2.5 is just stupendous. It remains my favorite portrait lens. For me it was better than the f1.8 and I use the f2.5 on my FE, FM, F3, F100 and on my D200. (spitting as I type!!!!!!) The great thing about the F is that you can take great photos with it - and hammer in deck nails. Enjoy it.
"Why is there always a better way?"
I don't think there is a better lens made than the 105mm 2.5. My normal lens on a Nikon.
Welcome to the F club.
The 675 blue tab hearing aid batteries work well too. If you have a Costco membership, a card of 30 of them is around $13 here in Canada
Bob, do those 675 need an adapter or can they just slide in?
With my 3-4 F's for wides I tend to use either an older 35mm f1.4 N.C or a 28mm f2 N, both would be 'later' period but correct.