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Thread: Advice on Nikon

  1. #21

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    Pick the body you like, but honestly, I'm a bit partial to the N90s/F90x. I've got an F2, an F3, a couple of Nikkormats, an FM2n, and an F100. The F100 is really nice sees a lot of use, but I don't think you can get one and stay within your budget. The N90s doesn't give up very much if you're using it with AI and AIs lenses. They're cheap to come by, and use the inexpensive and ubiquitous AA batteries.

    On lenses... The 24 f/2.8 and the 50 f/1.8 are both excellent lenses and will serve you well. I'm a little sketchy on the 80-200 zoom. I have a few zooms and none of them get much use at all. I find them to be, for the most part, wholly inferior to primes unless you opt for the very expensive f/2.8 versions. For me they work a bit better for making color images than for making B&W images.

    To fill out the longer end of the scale, the 85 f/2 is a hard one to beat and isn't too expensive. The faster versions of the 85 may be better, but they are spendy and you don't get all that much more bang for your buck. The 200 f/4 is another gem. It is small and light for a 200 mm lens and very sharp. But, as with all long lenses, a steady hand, a fast shutter speed, or a steady support is crucial.
    Frank Schifano

  2. #22
    fotch's Avatar
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    Outfit choice looks fine. I have found over the years that I almost never use that zoom anymore, to big, to heavy. Depending on need, I use either the 105, 135, 200. Have fun!
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    Pick the body you like, but honestly, I'm a bit partial to the N90s/F90x. I've got an F2, an F3, a couple of Nikkormats, an FM2n, and an F100. The F100 is really nice sees a lot of use, but I don't think you can get one and stay within your budget. The N90s doesn't give up very much if you're using it with AI and AIs lenses. They're cheap to come by, and use the inexpensive and ubiquitous AA batteries.

    On lenses... The 24 f/2.8 and the 50 f/1.8 are both excellent lenses and will serve you well. I'm a little sketchy on the 80-200 zoom. I have a few zooms and none of them get much use at all. I find them to be, for the most part, wholly inferior to primes unless you opt for the very expensive f/2.8 versions. For me they work a bit better for making color images than for making B&W images.

    To fill out the longer end of the scale, the 85 f/2 is a hard one to beat and isn't too expensive. The faster versions of the 85 may be better, but they are spendy and you don't get all that much more bang for your buck. The 200 f/4 is another gem. It is small and light for a 200 mm lens and very sharp. But, as with all long lenses, a steady hand, a fast shutter speed, or a steady support is crucial.
    I just picked up another "extra" F100 for $130 so...

    RB

  4. #24
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    I have the older 80-200 f/4.5 zoom. While its quality is practically equal to my Nikon non-zoom lenses, I hardly ever use it.
    I keep it for special situations (shooting from a canoe/kayak/boat - where I have little or no mobility).

    I second the advice to go for for the 105 f/2.5 and the 200 f/4.0 (AI or AIS) instead of the zoom. Both very nice lenses.

    I also have the 24mm, which is a good but not great lens.
    RE the 50mm... My own taste is to go for a 35mm instead: The Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 was my good standard for decades.

    Even better lenses *can* be found elsewhere (IMHO): Leica, Zeiss, but might not fit your camera reliability, availability or price needs, depending on the system...

    Regarding other posters suggesting an FE instead of an FE2, only do that if you are seriously low on funds and the FE is much cheaper... (1/4000 and a 1/250 flash sync can have their uses!). The FE2 also has brighter focusing screens (though I think they can also be used in the FE, with some exposure compensation jiggling).

    The AF cameras proposed will normally not focus manually very well. Manual focus screens can be installed, but a manual focus viewfinder system tends to be different form an AF one in any case.
    Last edited by Rol_Lei Nut; 04-11-2010 at 11:09 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: AF comments
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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    ...The AF cameras proposed will normally not focus manually very well. Manual focus screens can be installed, but a manual focus viewfinder system tends to be different form an AF one in any case.
    For a lot cameras, what you say is true. I would even agree with you when it comes to the lower end Nikon autofocus film bodies. But even though the viewfinders of both the N90s and the F100 are a little lacking when compared to the viewfinders of the F2, and F3, they are still very good and better than the finders on some other manual focus only cameras. Focus confirmation works well under most conditions with these two bodies as well, so it's not a real problem.
    Frank Schifano

  6. #26
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    For a lot cameras, what you say is true. I would even agree with you when it comes to the lower end Nikon autofocus film bodies. But even though the viewfinders of both the N90s and the F100 are a little lacking when compared to the viewfinders of the F2, and F3, they are still very good and better than the finders on some other manual focus only cameras. Focus confirmation works well under most conditions with these two bodies as well, so it's not a real problem.
    My own standards for MF focusing tend to be pretty high...
    Leicaflex SL & SL2 are my "gold standard". They easily surpass any Nikon F2 or F3 normal screen and are similar to (but still far better than) the "H" screens.
    They also focus easily anywhere on the screen. An AF "focus confirmation" won't.

    Yes, I find good finders important (even decisive), so my general opinion is that AF should be left to AF...
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  7. #27

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    I agree with you about the Leica SLR finders. They are fantastically good, the best I've ever seen. But boy, the Leica prices do put me off. They are definitely way out of line with the OP's budget.
    Frank Schifano

  8. #28

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    FE2
    28mm f/2.8 AIS
    50mm f/1.4 AIS
    85mm, best you can afford

    You can build a career on that right there.

    I carry a FE2 w/ either the 28 or a 35 on it daily. Would no trade it for any other 35mm.

  9. #29
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fschifano View Post
    I agree with you about the Leica SLR finders. They are fantastically good, the best I've ever seen. But boy, the Leica prices do put me off. They are definitely way out of line with the OP's budget.
    TA!

    Though the Leica R system's used prices have collapsed since being abandoned a year or so ago....

    It is still genrerally more expensive than an equivalent Nikon system, but not that much more.

    As always, it depends on what kind of subjects the OP is aiming for.
    And what one's priorities are...
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  10. #30
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    Graeme, that's a good kit, indeed. My standard 35mm film kit is only a bit different... it is an FM2N, a 24/2.8, a 50 (1.8 or 1.2 depending on light), and a 105/1.8. When I do carry a zoom, it is an 80-200/2.8. For my taste the 85 is too short for the prime kit- I prefer the 105.

    IMHO the $$$/MTF ratio for the Leica R lenses is offscale and not in any way comparable to what the Leica RF lenses deliver. Maybe not so much any more, but if were disappointed with the Nikon lenses, I'd go for the Zeiss ZF primes.

    The contax RTS systems interested me greatly for a while. I just couldn't quite make out with the bodies.
    Last edited by keithwms; 04-11-2010 at 01:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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