Advice on Nikon
As much as I love my Rolleicord I really do need to get myself an SLR for family shots and less serious stuff. Have been using Nikon as 135 all my life and see no reason to change now. I've given myself a budget around $500 and would like a good body, a wide, a normal and a zoom. Am in no hurry as money is still being saved, so to speak.
On KEH I have my eyes on the following line-up
Camera: Nikon FE2
Wide: Nikkor 24 f2.8
Normal: Nikkor 50 f1.8
Zoom: Nikkor 80-200 f4
I figured if I stay manual focus I can afford better lenses and I just plain like focusing. I'm weird that way. This would be about $550 including shipping.
Anyone wiser than me having any comments on this. Is there a better bargain to be had with other body/lenses?
Awaiting comments this gray, bleak April Sunday morning when the spring seem to have retreated back to the warmer places. It's 3 degrees C outside and I have taken all the pictures of snow I need for a long time. Would be nice to try some Velvia. But you need colors for that. Sigh!
Last edited by Mats_A; 04-11-2010 at 04:33 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Added brand of lens
The Nikon FE2 is an excellent camera, however you may find you'll need to replace the light seals unless they've already been changed, as this camera ceased production in about 1987. It will offer you aperture priority and manual control.
You may like to consider the FM2n as well. This is manual only, and therefore fully mechanical and will operate without any batteries - apart from the meter. Nikon stopped production in about 2001, and replaced it with the FM3a. Any of these three models are very reliable indeed.
I don't know if your lenses are Nikkor's or another manufacturer, although there are various decent independent lenses available from the likes of Tamron, Tokina or Sigma which will cost a little less than the Nikon equivalents.
For me personally, I prefer prime lenses but other photographers may prefer to choose a wide angle zoom - something like a 24-50mm, however these don't generally have the maximum aperture of a fixed lens such as the one you're considering.
Like yourself, I prefer manual equipment and you won't go wrong with the FE2 if this is the model you decide to buy.
If you like manual and focusing, why not save some money and go for the FE or even the FM. I have both; great cameras. I don't know what benefit the FE2 would bring. Light seals seem to be an issue with all these cameras. The originals are getting soft and turn into goo. I had good success in cleaning it out with lighter fluid and just leave them out, but I undersand, they can be replaced.
As far as lenses goes, that depends much on personal preference.
Wide: Nikkor 24 f2.8 (good choice, I like mine a lot)
Normal: Nikkor 50 f1.8 (go for the f/1.4, more money but still 52mm filter thread)
Zoom: Nikkor 80-200 f4 (not my thing)
I would add the Nikkor 85 f/2, a standard for beauty and portrait (other prefer the 105mm instead, and maybe a small zoom (you get the 35-70 for dirt and it is the lightest zoom I know, and great for travel).
You should get this all for around $500, and if not, get a piece or two later. It's always fun to add something to the kit lare on. Getting it all at once concentrates the fun, getting it piece by piece, spreads it out and allows you to get more familiar with every single item.
The Nikkor 85 f2 sounds like a good lense. The 35-70 I would not care for so much. I don't like to carry/own overlapping lenses. Seems a bit wasteful.
I was not aware of the light seal problem on these. Now I am.
One advantage of FE2 is that it has TTL which FE does not. And I have 2 Nikon SB-26 speedlights that should fit it. But will look at the FE also.
The FE does meter through the lens.
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I meant TTL flash which I think FE does not have. I could be wrong though. It has happened before. In 1987 I was once wrong twice in a month. Not funny.
Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg
TTL flash, I thought you were serious about staying manual? I must have misunderstood something. BTW, I did mean to double up on lenses, I meant to carry the zoom alone as an alternative when you need to stay light. Another alternative for that is to get a 35mm f/2, a street photographer's dream!
Originally Posted by shimoda
One benefit of staying with prime lenses is that they have an impact on how we photograph. I see zoom photographers moving around much less than people with prime lenses. Perspective cannot be changed with focal length, one needs to change the viewpoint to change perspective. Zoom users seem to lose some of that.
As I said this camera is for non-seriuos work. Holidays and such. Then a TTL-flash is very handy. I like manual but I am not fanatic about it. And a TTL-flash can still be used in manual mode.
A 35-70 zoom could be a good only lense on a holiday. I agree with you reg prime vs zoom lenses. I have found that when using a TLR, you tend to think about composition a lot more. You get lazier with zooms.
Excellent choice, close to what I use. I tend to never use anything longer than 50mm though.
If you want a low wheight kit, you can exchange the 50mm for the 50e series. I use it a lot and is very content, although it is said to be a little less sharp than the ordinary 50mm at some apertures. There are also lighter Nikon cameras, but less sturdy.
I also have the F3, which is excellent for it versitality, but heavier.
Listen to what Ralph is saying. Zoom lenses make photographers lazy and produce shitty photography 95% of the time. Prime lenses force a modal style of seeing and approaching subjects/scenes which can be felt and seen in the final results.
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.