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  1. #1

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    Nikon SLR for Long exposures

    Hi everyone!

    Since I'm on a tight budget and I can't afford getting a good RF and a new wide angle for my Nikon DSLR, I thought I might combine needs, and get a (smaller than my dslr) 35mm Nikon SLR and a 20mm AF-D lens with it

    I'm mostly active during the night and I'd love to have a try at Star Trails on film, so long exposures is a must. So is support for AF-D lenses. Aperture priority could be a nice feature to have as well.

    As you probably guessed I'm new to film, if I use a film that is faster than the max speed on the camera, I get the meter reading and just compensate with shutter/aperture by the number of stops required?

    Also when someone says "I've pushed ASA400 film to ASA800" what does that mean? Did they just double the exposure or does it have a mechanical implication in the camera?
    It'll be my first time with MF so a bright and clear VF is in order :P

    I've been looking at the Nikon FG, FG-20 and EM as they are cheaper than the others. What could be a better investment?
    Last edited by SunnyHours; 07-26-2011 at 08:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    You're better off buying a fully manual camera like the FM. Shooting star trail requires very long exposure and is not possible in aperture priority mode. The meter would be wrong because startrail pictures include mostly dark sky. The light level is too low and is below what the meter can read accurately. None camera in aperture priority mode would have long enough shutter speed for star trail. You must do it in manual using B or T. If you use a film that is faster than the max speed of the camera you can compensate but I don't think you can find film that is faster than the max ISO on most cameras. When someone say pushing 400 to 800 they mean that they would set the ISO at 800 and shoot it just like 800 film. And then when they have the film processed the film will have to have be pushed processed generally by leaving the film in the developer longer than normal.

  3. #3

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    Pushing film is rating it faster than the manufacturers speed(ISO) When you change the rating, 400->800, technically it's no longer ISO but becomes YOUR EI(exposure Index). You're giving the film less exposure. In this case by 50%. Development needs to be compensated with longer times.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  4. #4
    DBP
    DBP is offline

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    Unless you are going to go for an F4 or F5, support for all the metering in AF-D lenses, not to mention autofocus, will be incompatible with your other needs. But then metering the night sky won't work anyway. For long exposures a camera with mirror lock up is ideal. That includes the Nikkormats/Nikomats and the F series (though the F itself makes you waste an exposure). Best bet would be an F2, F3, or Nikkormat, with the latter being much much cheaper. Night photography is pretty much a dedicated use for my Nikkormat Ftn at this point, as I use an FE2 or F3 or a pair of F100s for everything except time exposures. But it was my primary camera for 15 years, and my Dad's for a 15 before that and there is little it can't do.

  5. #5
    CGW
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    Nikon F3 bodies, especially those that aren't pretty, are very affordable. They have both a B and T setting that draws very little power for long exposures.

  6. #6

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    I just bought a cleaned Nikon FM...Does it have the B and T setting (I'm guessing it's the BULB equivalent?)
    Hopefully I made the right choice...for 110$ shipping included

  7. #7

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    The FG has manual mode - as well as aperture priority auto exposure, and has battery independent fully mechanical M90 (1/90) as well as bulb setting for long exposures.
    It does not have MLU but if you use the timer, it will lock up the mirror first before it fires the shutter. Very elegant MLU solution.

  8. #8

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    Yes the FM has bulb setting. You can get a copy of the manual at Lensinc

  9. #9

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    Thank you for the link Les Sarile! Any cheap lens alternative I could check out? Hopefully in the Normal or Wide angle focal length under 100$, 150$ tops?
    Are you sure AF-D lenses wouldn't work? I thought it was only G lenses that won't work?
    Last edited by SunnyHours; 07-26-2011 at 10:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    Colin Corneau's Avatar
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    Nikon AF lenses work just fine on FM's. It's the G series that don't.
    "Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away and you've got their shoes."

    MY BLOG - www.reservedatalltimes.com
    YOU SHOULD LOOK AT THIS SITE - www.colincorneau.com
    INSTAGRAM: colincorneau

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