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Please suggest a film camera


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12 replies to this topic

#1
dcbear78

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I am looking g to pick up a decent 35mm camera and figured I'd look at my Nikon options. But I have zero experience with them and have no idea which ones are good.

I'm willing to spend good money for something that is worth it. Saying that, I am not averse to something that has more bang for buck.

Maybe max $500?

#2
Merco_61

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That depends on what you want to use it for. The F5 can be found inside your budget and works with G-type lenses, unlike the F4. It is a heavy beast, for a 35 mm, though. If you want something lighter, but still compatible with modern lenses, the F80 is excellent. The F100 is a baby F5, but the power consumption and lack of dust seals in the film back makes it a second-rate choice. The F6 is probably outside your preferred price range, but it is the best film Nikon have ever made. If you want to explore the world of Ai and AiS glass, either FM2, FE2, FA, F3 or F4 are very good choices.



#3
dcbear78

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It would be mostly used for fashion work and maybe, one day, if up to it shoot a wedding all on film.

I'd also want to look for a 50mm and possibly a 28mm or 35mm lens to go with it. I have a Samyang 135mm that could also be used on it. None of my other Nikon lenses have aperture rings. And I've got no idea on older Nikon lenses, so open to recommendations there too.

#4
Merco_61

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An F5, F80 or F6 will work with lenses without an aperture ring. These all have light meters that work in a similar way to modern digitals.

Earlier bodies are more heavily center-weighted in CW metering mode, which can take some getting used to.

My favourite manual focus or auto-focus film body is the F4 with the large battery compartment MB23. This turns it into an F4E. It's only frequent flaw is LCD bleed, but that is easy to check for before you buy one.

If you are interested in manual focus lenses, I have a blog post up about them.

#5
Merco_61

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I am at home now, where I can use a real browser that isn't locked to not accept the scripts this site uses for links. Here is the link to my blog post. Exceptional general photography manual focus Nikkors. - NikonForums.com



#6
dcbear78

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I had a bit of a look and although I think the F5 is a bit overkill for my needs, I am on the fence as will save me from having to buy lenses. Fortunately I don't really have the money right now and I am only doing some research. I found a website that also recommended the FM3a. Looking around at eBay it seems to be a similar price to the F5.


I have a Pentax ME-Super here that is great. Except I can't get the bloody film out of it.



#7
Merco_61

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What is the problem with the ME-Super?



#8
dcbear78

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What is the problem with the ME-Super?

Film won't unwind

#9
Merco_61

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Have you managed to depress the release button on the bottom fully? If I remember correctly, it goes in further than you'd think it would before it releases on the ME and derivatives..



#10
Wayben

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If you aren't looking for auto-everything a Nikon F3HP is hard to beat, but does require battery power to be fully functional.  A good no-batteries-required option is an F2 with a non-meter viewfinder (or any viewfinder with no batteries installed, but the non-metering one is a lot smaller).



#11
Ron

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I would personally prefer something along the lines of either the FM2/FM3A or the F3 (and under) series. I would avoid the original F series simply because it doesn't have a hinged back. The F2 is a good choice though. Either with or without metered prisms.

 

BTW... shooting without a meter is about as fun as you can get. I have a Minolta XK and while I have both the AE and the AES finders, I also have a 'Plain' finder.... just a pentaprism with no meter at all. Shooting with it really takes you back to when you had to think about exposure and lighting. Or cheat and carry a hand held meter.

 

There's also something to be said for a camera that doesn't require a battery to operate. Unfortunately, because my XK has an electronic shutter, even shooting with the plain finder requires a battery.

 

--Ron



#12
carylee2002

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A good F2 or even the original F is excellent choice and makes you learn the basics, which is a good way of learning the basic exposure triangle. If you want something easier...the FG-20 series with the original pancake 50mm E lens is excellent and it comes with a basic meter but the camera will also work without the battery for the meter. 



#13
Astro Baby

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Almost any pre 1980 Nikon is a good bet.  I would steer clear of anything with electronics like the FE in case of reliability headaches.  My personal favourite 'do anything' Nikon is the F-301 which can be had as cheap as chips but they are VERY electronic.  Mine is mint but it still gives me the hobbies everytim I use it in case this is its last outing.

 

My other favourite is my original Nikon F with a Photomic Fan Finder.  This is a marmite camera and people either love it or hate it.  Its a heavy beast though but wonderful to work with (for me at least) its also VERY reliable, wholly mechanical apart from its light meter.  If I could keep only one camera from my collection this would be it. Its simple enough to use and will teach you the fundamentals of photography.  If you can get one with the plain focusing screen or the focusing screen with just gridlines thats a plus - it will teach you to see the whole pic rather than focusing on a centred shot each time.