Best bang for buck manual focus SLR?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Odot, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. macfred

    macfred Subscriber

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    The Nikon EM was very ladylike - you can buy those for a song today.
    An old advertisement :wink::
     
  2. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I bought one with the 50mm f/1.8 series E lens for $35. It's oK but the the $35 price made it not the best bang for the buck.
     
  3. guangong

    guangong Subscriber

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    Took the words out of my mouth!
     
  4. guangong

    guangong Subscriber

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    Took the words out of my mouth!
     
  5. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    If your girl friend really wants a new manual SLR, her options are limited. There is another APUG thread that lists the new SLRs that are still available.
     
  6. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    And in the list there was no manual SLR. There are SLR but not manual and there are manual cameras but not SLR.
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber

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    Best you can find in new old stock Promaster 2500, or Vivitar 3800, both rebranded Cosina K mount. Or with luck new old stock Nikon entry level 35mm, was disconnected last year, maybe on Ebay.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Odot

    Odot Member

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    Thanks for all the advice, shes settling for a FM3a which is anything else but low-entry :D

    As for lenses, i dont know what to advise her with. That 40mm Ultron or 35mm Nikon 1.4 (AI-S)? Focal length between 50 and 35 is what she wanted.
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I have always found that the 35mm lens is too close to the 50mm lens so I recommend the 28mm lens. The 24mm lens is useful but a little wide as the only wide angle lens. I like the 20mm or 21mm s a second wide angle lens.
     
  10. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Well, since she wants something between 50 and 35, perhaps she should get the 45mm f/2.8 pancake. It was actually styled to be paired with the FM3a. A great camera choice, by the way -- one of the best, in fact. The 45 pancake is a bit on the pricey side, but it was actually made for that camera.
     
  11. macfred

    macfred Subscriber

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    I totaly agree - the Nikon Ai-P 45mm f/2.8 is one of my all-time favorites (though there are many who call it one of the worst Nikon lenses ever ...) - anyway I like it !
    I remember an -worth reading- epic thread on photo.net with lots of sample pictures and comparisons with other -mostly 50mm- Nikon glass.
    It's a unique lens with pleasing results.
     
  12. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Not only not a low entry but definitely not best bang for the bucks. If you compare the functions of the FE2 and FM3a they are not that much different except the price. You can say the FE2 isn't as good as the FM3a but it certainly gives you much more bang for the buck.
     
  13. WilmarcoImaging

    WilmarcoImaging Member

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    Agree with the recommendation for a 28mm or 35mm. 50mm feels quite long to me in many cases. To me, 28mm feels wide and 35mm feels just right for most things.
     
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  15. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    If she knows enough to settle for the FM3A then it doesn't sound like she needs much advice really . . . :wink:

    [​IMG]

    And just because it is not cheap doesn't meant that it is not the best bang for the buck as it incorporates the best features of two cameras - FM2 and FE2. Only much newer and likely to last far longer then either. Clearly she knows the distinct advantages it has over it's predecessors especially the FE2. One in particular is Nikon corrected the biggest nuisance when they overstepped by making you advance the counter to position 1 before allowing you to select the shutter speed.
     
  16. Jarin Blaschke

    Jarin Blaschke Member

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    I say it's a Contax RTS (I have an RTSII) and its lenses (Zeiss) that to my eye deliver much more dimensionality than Nikon glass. Shockingly affordable and very high quality.

    J
     
  17. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Well... if I had my time over again, there are a couple of Nikons I would pick up and happily wander to the heart's content: a Nikon FE2 (1983 I think) or FM2 (1986), a Nikon F3 (HP option if you wear glasses) or any of the OM bodies (1N, 2N) — but these need a thorough check up rather than a blind hand-over of cash given their advanced age and often heavy use by enthusiasts. Nikon's F90X, so often favoured by rock climbers and skiiers here in Australia, has fallen by the wayside with a few reports specifying shutter errors and internal drive faults. Any camera you settle on should be thoroughly checked out for anything that could signal a reliability problem over whatever term.
     
  18. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Didn't Nikon also correct the other big fault with the FM2 and FE2 on the FM3a -- the plastic meter tab ring that replaced the metal tab that could be tipped up out of the way so one could mount pre-AI lenses?
     
  19. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Still non-flip tab. I believe the F5/6 had to be modified. Easy enough to modify the non-AI lenses so you can meter normally.
     
  20. RauschenOderKorn

    RauschenOderKorn Subscriber

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    The "Best Bang for Buck" I have encountered was a Ricoh Singlex TLS with a russian m42 lens. Cost me 10 €, is in really good condition and shoots beautiful pictures.

    But probably the Nikon is a better choice for the GF, the Ricoh might leave a cheapish impression with her, maybe....
     
  21. OP
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    Odot

    Odot Member

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    The bodies for a FM3a are in the $500-600 range so i am trying to get her to settle for a less pricey body and invest in a better lens instead such as the Ultron 40mm F2 :D
     
  22. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    If she llikes the FM3a feature set, you might suggest the FE2 to her then. They are very close in terms of features and a clean FE2 can be found in the $100 range, sometimes less. I actually like the FE and FE2 more than the FM and FM2/FM2n. The FM-series uses LEDs for the meter. The FE/FE2 uses match needle metering. I've always preferred match needle metering. But this is an opinion, obviously, so she may prefer a different setup.
     
  23. OP
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    Odot

    Odot Member

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    Thanks for the info. How much leeway there is in match needle metering compared to LED? Is match needle metering prone to over/underexposing? Can this be said?
     
  24. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Not in my opinion, no. In fact, because you are bringing two needles into concurrence, I would argue that this arrangement is more accurate than LEDs. LEDs are either on or off, whereas you can see the slight movements of a needle. Yes, shutter speeds are step-wise, but the aperture isn't and neither is the amount of light illuminating the scene. The way a match-needle system works is one needle is controlled by one setting (either shutter speed or aperture) and the other needle is controlled by both the setting and the light entering the scene. So you may have both aperture and shutter speeds set, but as you move the camera's field of view around, the amount of illumination may change, which will affect the position of one of the two needles. To me, it's quick and accurate. A match-LED system is also quick and generally accurate also -- typically to within a half-stop -- but because you're dealing with the more digital aspects of an LED meter vs the analog aspects of a match-needle meter, the analog will reveal more precisely the way things change.
     
  25. Gerry M

    Gerry M Subscriber

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    If your GF settles on a Nikon body, maybe consider the Nikkor 28-50 f3.5 AI-S. Very compact fixed aperture push/pull body. Kind of scarce, but an excellent lens with very good fl for walkabout. Good info about this lens on the net. Not too spendy, should be able to find one under $200 US.
     
  26. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Nikon also made a 25-50. I can't say yay or nay about it because I've never used one. But those extra few millimeters on the wide end make a big difference. Checking prices on eBay and I see that it's quite reasonably priced -- many of the 25-50 Nikkors there are priced well under $200. Here's the results of a search for "nikon 25-50" I did at flickr:

    https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=Nikon 25-50
     
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