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Need help picking a 35mm body


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26 replies to this topic

#1
Patrick9

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 I aam not sure if this is the correct forum. If it is not  please move it to the correct oneThe man that sold  me his F2s system did not come by to get his money. When I called to see about meeting up to get him paid he said that the he was talking to someone else and they offered him $25 more so he wanted his camera back . I had gotten it pretty much working just a bit more cleaning after he accepted my offer. He did not know this part. Anyway I am now looking for  a 35mm camera body. I could use some recommendations on a camera body .since I don't know much about Nikon systems.I shoot mostly street, nature ,and landscapes with the family tossed in. Af is a not requirement.



#2
Long Exposure

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Patrick:

 

Good for you going for film.  Since AF is not needed I would suggest getting an FE.  There are lits of them available and a basic camera with all manual controls. but with a light meter.  Here is a ton of them for a little over a hundred dollars.

 

http://www.keh.com/s...eprice=0&r=SE

 

If you want something a bit more automatic a N65 or a N80 would be nice.  Those are super cheap.



#3
Patrick9

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Thanks.

I looked at Keh but I don't know the strengths and weakness of the different Nikon bodies. I was looking at the FA ,F3 FE, and FM2.



#4
Merco_61

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Let's try to sort things out. All four you was looking at are dependable bodies without any great weaknesses.

  • FM or FM2 are fully mechanical and battery-independent except for the meter. LED meter.
  • FE or FE2 have electronically controlled shutter and aperture priority or manual. Match-needle meter. FE2 supports TTL flash.
  • FA is fully automatic, PSAM with AIS lenses. LCD meter. Multi-segment metering. TTL flash.
  • F3 is a pro body with interchangeable finders and focusing screens. Aperture priority or manual. LCD meter. OTF TTL flash.

The FA is the only one of them to offer shutter priority, but it also is the only one that won't mount pre-AI lenses because the AI prong is fixed and can't be flipped aside.

 

Another body worth looking at is the F4. It will work with any nikon lens from 1959 onwards. PSAM with AI-P, AF or AF-D lenses, AM with AI or AIS lenses, M with stop-down metering with pre-AI lenses and PS modes with AF-G lenses. It is not as elegant as the manual focus era bodies, but the ergonomics are better. Ever though it has AF, the finder is not as bright and difficult to focus manually with as the newer AF finders. Split-prism or microprism screens are still quite easy to find.

 

Another thing worth mentioning is that the high eyepoint finders of the F3 or F4 are easier to use with glasses than the earlier design.



#5
Patrick9

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I do wear glasses so can be  important. I am not big on fully automatic so FA may be out. That almost narrowed it down till I add back in to look for an F4 . It looks like it has most of what I look  for. I tend to use Av mode the most with the occasional Tv mode and on very rare occasions  Auto. I do use AF on my cameras that have it .Just not all the time, and manually focus the most.

Even tho I have 4 35mm Pentax bodies the one I use the most is an Old K-1000. Fully manual  The  FM's remind me of it. The FE's remind me of the second most used body my P30t. so either of them appear to be a good fit as well as the f4.  Maybe I just need to get one of each :)

Thanks for the information that is really helpful.



#6
Merco_61

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What lenses will you be using?



#7
TBonz

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I will second the F4 or F4S...my first Nikon was an F4S although I had shot with FE and FM bodies previously (owned by my college newspaper).  I had the drive / grip with my F4S.  It was a great camera.  I sold my Pentax MX bodies and all of my lenses for Pentax and bought the F4S with a few nice lenses.  They all eventually were sold as I moved to digital...It would be great to have some of that gear again, but I wouldn't trade any of my current gear for them!



#8
DCB

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Look into the Olympus system. Small, light with great glass.

 

Peace



#9
Kenafein

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 I aam not sure if this is the correct forum. If it is not  please move it to the correct oneThe man that sold  me his F2s system did not come by to get his money. When I called to see about meeting up to get him paid he said that the he was talking to someone else and they offered him $25 more so he wanted his camera back . I had gotten it pretty much working just a bit more cleaning after he accepted my offer. He did not know this part. Anyway I am now looking for  a 35mm camera body. I could use some recommendations on a camera body .since I don't know much about Nikon systems.I shoot mostly street, nature ,and landscapes with the family tossed in. Af is a not requirement.

Nice of you to give it back, I wouldn't have after I'd already spent the time tinkering.  It's not kind to waste your time over $25, and a deal is a deal.  Good luck with your selection.  



#10
Ron

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The one 35mm Nikon body I really wanted was the FM2 but by the time I decided to get one they were just too... to my mind anyway, expensive. Then digital took off and Nikon killed the FM2 line completely and decided to limit their 35mm stuff into either the FM10 (don't ask!) and the F5/6. 

 

So, if I were going to shoot film and needed a body which I don't since I still have a perfectly good N90s, I'd get an FM2a. Assuming I could find one that hadn't been used as a hammer by it's former owner. 

 

--Ron



#11
Merco_61

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The one 35mm Nikon body I really wanted was the FM2 but by the time I decided to get one they were just too... to my mind anyway, expensive. Then digital took off and Nikon killed the FM2 line completely and decided to limit their 35mm stuff into either the FM10 (don't ask!) and the F5/6. 

 

So, if I were going to shoot film and needed a body which I don't since I still have a perfectly good N90s, I'd get an FM2a. Assuming I could find one that hadn't been used as a hammer by it's former owner. 

 

--Ron

I never liked the led meter of the FM2, the match-needle of the FE2 was much more to my liking. The last of the Nikkormats, though... The 35 mm bodies I have kept and still use are a FE2 and a F4E.

 

The differences between the F4 versions are worth mentioning too. The F4 is the smallest and lightest as it only has four batteries and no vertical grip. The F4s has the best ergonomics of the three and can take a dedicated L-plate, but I don't like the three batteries in the normal grip and three in the vertical part. The F4E has all six batteries in the vertical grip, so they are quick to change but the door for the battery pack makes it impossible to use a normal L-plate. The F4s was made in the largest numbers of the three, and the battery grips to convert between the versions can be found used without breaking the bank.



#12
Patrick9

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I looked at an Fm2 today It was dirty but working Has 2( A 28, and 105 manual lenses) lenses both need cleaning and the 105 needs a grip replaced as it is missing. I am not to fond f the meter read out but I could live with it. The lady inherited it and is selling it. I think for its condition she is asking too much. I made an offer and waiting to here back. I am still going to get a different body I think

 

 

What lenses will you be using?

 

  I don't have anyglass for Nikon any longer since that episode I mentioned earlier. So I will have to get a couple. All my lenses are Pentax K, KA,KAF mounts. Right now I shoot mostly 28-135 lengths . I do have longer and wider just those seem to be where I shoot most of the time.


Nice of you to give it back, I wouldn't have after I'd already spent the time tinkering.  It's not kind to waste your time over $25, and a deal is a deal.  Good luck with your selection.  

I told him to never mind as customers walked in.I was not in a good mood . He left $20 with my receptionist for me. So he ruined his name with a lot of people over $5. I just decided to try to get a better body that had a cleaner view finder and let someone better than me handle it. I did consider just handing him a check an not the camera. but decided not to



#13
Ron

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I never liked the led meter of the FM2, the match-needle of the FE2 was much more to my liking. The last of the Nikkormats, though... The 35 mm bodies I have kept and still use are a FE2 and a F4E.

 

The differences between the F4 versions are worth mentioning too. The F4 is the smallest and lightest as it only has four batteries and no vertical grip. The F4s has the best ergonomics of the three and can take a dedicated L-plate, but I don't like the three batteries in the normal grip and three in the vertical part. The F4E has all six batteries in the vertical grip, so they are quick to change but the door for the battery pack makes it impossible to use a normal L-plate. The F4s was made in the largest numbers of the three, and the battery grips to convert between the versions can be found used without breaking the bank.

 

I'm not crazy about match diode metering either and much prefer a match needle arrangement such the FE or my old SRT. However, having lived with match diode metering when I used XK's, XD-11's and X700's. I think I could muddle through. My main reason for choosing the FM was the fact that it's all mechanical... save the meter. If the battery goes dead you can still take photos. 

 

The F4 was another film Nikon I lusted after but I've never even held one. 

 

--Ron



#14
Patrick9

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I have an FE on it's way. I should hear back  tomorrow on an offer for an FM2 with  105mm and 28 lenses.



#15
Patrick9

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Will 55mm f3.5 macro NIKKOR NIPPON KOGAU fit either the FM2 or FE?

 


#16
Merco_61

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Yes, it probably will. What you will have to look for is that it is either an AI lens or it has been converted for AI coupling.

You can use non-AI lenses, but you will need to remember to flip the AI tab out of the way to mount them and then use stop-down metering.

Serial numbers above 940001 are the AI version and made for the FE/FM generation of bodies from factory.



#17
Patrick9

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I got the lens a 55mm f3.5 for pennies.  It is filthy and a spot of fungus. I plan on trying to get it up and working. It is a non AI lens at the moment. from the pictures I was sent. I figure I can't lose. If I succeed I have a lens. If I don't it was money spent on an education. This is more of an See if I can project. I will Probably modify it. I have the tools, and I have had to modify off brand lenses to fit some of my Pentax bodies. This should be a lot of fun..



#18
Merco_61

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Sounds like a fun project.

If the lens is old enough to be uncoated, you will probably be able to polish out all traces of the fungus. If it is a P•C or K lens it is better to let the spiderweb pattern left after the fungus removal be. It will degrade performance in adverse lighting, but removal of the coating will degrade it more...



#19
Patrick9

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How would I know the version P C or K? I will probably not polish the glass not sure yet. but will kill if not dead already the fungus and remove it. I have a lens with a scratch ,got it for $1.00 because if it, on the front element that has not effect as long as not pointed towards a bright light I assume the fungus  etching would probably cause the same thing .If it is etched. So I am prepared for that if it can not be removed. This lens looks extremely old but that may be misleading. I may start a thread when I get it showing the lens and the repairs as I go . or maybe before and after. I will wait and see.

Thanks for helping It is always great to find some one that has a wealth of knowledge and willing to help with it



#20
Merco_61

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P•C is engraved in or on the front ring together with the focal length, K is the version with rubber grip that looks like an AI. P and P•C versions had diamond-pattern rubber. Early versions had scalloped metal focusing rings. P stands for 5 elements, the •C designation stands for multicoated elements. This nomenclature was dropped when they were modernized in the early '70s.


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