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Thread: fully manual cam

  1. #1

    Default fully manual cam

    Hi, I'm interested in getting a fully manual nikon camera,
    but do not know what to get. I'm completely new to this.
    Some tell me the nikon FM2 is the best. Others tell me the
    nikon F2.

    I apologise for my ignorance but would appreciate
    any advice or comments from anyone.

    Thanks so much in advance.

  2. #2
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    When I was searching, I was recommended the Nikon FM2n... Search on google a Nikon manual camera and look at the first link. Its a malaysian link and the site gives mountain loads of information for the manual nikon cameras...

    Hope this helps...
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ning
    Hi, I'm interested in getting a fully manual nikon camera,
    but do not know what to get. I'm completely new to this.
    Some tell me the nikon FM2 is the best. Others tell me the
    nikon F2.

    I apologise for my ignorance but would appreciate
    any advice or comments from anyone.

    Thanks so much in advance.
    As someone completely new to manual camera and especially if you are new to photography as a whole. Stick to the FM2 or FM2n (as nickmak had recommended) if mechanical manual SLR is what you seek. The reason being the FM2 is a great successor to the antique classic FM and Nikormat ( a great choice of old photojournalists) but it has built-in metering and very durable parts and especially the FM2n with the titanium shutter blades and later upgraded to aluminium blade for faster shutter speeds which is even newer but still are all mechanically triggered and all speed are mechanically control. For one thing this is the best way to learn basic photography...no metrix metering, no AF lens, no computer this and that. All you have is a camera that gives you averaging readings and you really not just need to know how to creative compose your picture, choice of lens BUT you get to know how a camera really works and how to do mental calculation of exposures...etc. I use to have the FM2. It is really a great way to start and it is also a great camera that can still grow with you when you have gone on to intermediate level and on to PRO.

    This is the camera all PROS use as a backup camera because everything is mechanical..even without battery to power the metering, it still works and if you are pretty good at mentally gauging exposure speed/apeture or you bracket your shots..this mechanical cameras will never let you down.

    The F2 is not a good choice for beginners, for one thing..it is a Professional camera like the later F3, F4, F5 and now F6. The F2 like the F1 are more like collector's items. You hardly hear of anyone using them full time except those who are collectors. Parts are hard to come by, reliability is fine to some extend but it can cause you alot more $$$$ to buy, maintenance,use and get some upgrades of parts. Enhancement accesories are not cheap and hard to find as this camera is already out of production a pretty long time. (1971) It is also very intimidating to use and learn. Also you can't use the F2 version without a external light meter as it DOES NOT HAVE ONE BUILT-IN. It is only the "F2 Photomic" that has metering function (DP-1 Finder). Built in TTL and full aperture exposure metering.

    FM2(1982) and FM2n(1983, upgrade again in 1989) are not as old and parts are still around..even brand new as FM2n is the only mechanical cameras left in the entire Nikon SLR line. I know of purist that still use them instead of the electronic ones like the F90, F100..etc.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that you DON'T need to get a fully mechanical camera to learn photography. Even a good entry level electronic Nikon or Canon SLR camera will do. In fact, if you might have to share the camera with your family getting a SLR with program mode and some auto-mode would be good as a standby east to use Point & shoot. But then when you want to learn the finer point of using SLRs and Photography, you can still go back to manual mode and take over full control.

    Just my two cents....as usually.
    Last edited by sammy888; 4th January 2005 at 02:17 AM.

  4. #4
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    Guess I'm one of those purist. Heh. The Fm2n is a great camera, if you're willing to live by it's limitations vs electronic models. One is the lack of auto-focus, as a newbie you are going to miss those action shots, be prepared. Frankly, anything not standing still will be a challenge to capture at first.

    But as you get much more familiar, you learn to roughly gauge your focusing distance without looking through the viewfinder thus being able to focus faster. However it will never be as tack sharp vs an electronic camera with AF.

    FM + film is a tough learning curve, leaving a delicious aftertaste for every little step you reach. (Purist talk!) But I agree with sammy888 on that an electronic AF model will be much easier to share with the family.

    Fellow CSer selling a FM2n:http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=107059
    Alternatively, you can look for a FE/FE2. This series offers Aperture Priority with Manual exposure controls. Should cost slightly less than a FM2n. The FM3A was the last major model, but costs a min of $700 here. FM10 is the cheapest, but lacks the solid brick-like body of the other models.

    The site nickmak was refering to: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...nual/index.htm I get my info from there too. Great site.

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    If you are looking for a pure mech manual camera, dun go for Nikon FE/FE2 coz these cameras have electronics shutter and Nikon no longer have parts to service the above mentioned cameras.
    Get a Nikon FM2 or the new FM3 and I can be sure that it will going to last you a lifetime of use!

  6. #6
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    Fm3a.

    12345
    sigh.

  7. #7
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    if u dumind a little electronic,get a F3

    really solid piece of camera with all the "pro" features like 100% view removable prism, MLU etc..

  8. #8

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    F2 got no internal meter??? Really?
    Must it be Nikon?
    FM3a spec. look like it's a very good cam.

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    one thing about the FM3A ... it gets a bit hard reading off the exposure needle especially in dark places. prefer the FM2's LED read-out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoelse
    F2 got no internal meter??? Really?
    The Nikon designated "F2" version does not have internal metering. Only the "F2 Photomic" they come out about the same time. The "F2 Photomic" like it's F1 brother and some later Pro F models has the ability to remove it's prism head...it is with this option that they came out with a DP-1 head option to offer metering for the F2 series.

    http://mir.com.my/rb/photography/har...omic/index.htm

  11. #11

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    Thanks for all the kind advice.
    I will keep in mind when I do get my camera.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ning
    Thanks for all the kind advice.
    I will keep in mind when I do get my camera.
    Must it be Nikon? Otherwise only left Nikkormat and the FMs.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by whoelse
    Must it be Nikon? Otherwise only left Nikkormat and the FMs.
    not necessarily. but i have been hearing very good things about nikon cameras, hence decided to ask about nikon only. didn't want to confuse myself with too many different brands. though i know there are many others out there which are jus as good.

  14. #14
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    yup, nikon is one of the very few companies left that still produces quality mechanical film SLRs (FM3a), with a lens-mount that is compatible with today's lenses. (if you are not particular about lens-mount backward compability, there are maybe other quality choices from Pentax and Konica (Spotmatic & Autoreflex series) )

    there are a few small companies that manufacture relatively cheap FM10-like SLRs, but for reliability, Nikon still beats them hands down.

    oh oh!! i almost forgot about this! i do own a Soviet-era Nikon F-mount, FM2-copy, the KIEV 19! it is truly a workhorse in all sense of the word. when you crank the film advance, you can actually hear the spring mechanism "krrrrrnnnggg!!" mirror slap vibration is massive, but it feels like a Russian tank in my hands. check out ebay...you might get some very good deals there.

    *end of OT*
    Last edited by Stereobox; 5th January 2005 at 08:56 PM.

  15. #15

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    how's the FM10? other then it's plastic, operational like almost same as other FM series. and it's so much cheaper.

  16. #16

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    i noticed your title " fully manual "
    you do know that you can get a used F4 and still switch it
    to fully manual when u want to practise that
    and switch it to fully auto when u need that ....
    Also ... saw used F4 going for around the price of FM3a etc etc
    so might just be worth considering that ....
    Plus the F4 are just so sexy looking : )

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratboy
    i noticed your title " fully manual "
    you do know that you can get a used F4 and still switch it
    to fully manual when u want to practise that
    and switch it to fully auto when u need that ....
    Also ... saw used F4 going for around the price of FM3a etc etc
    so might just be worth considering that ....
    Plus the F4 are just so sexy looking : )
    Using a AF camera as a manual camera is a total different feeling after all.
    Anyway, I would not suggest anyone to get a Nikon F4 for this moment (unless it is damn cheap) as since this camera is being discontined for a long time, Nikon might not have parts to service this camera.
    If you want a durable camera, get a Nikon FM2 or FM3a.

  18. #18
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    if u are bored with a FM2 got get a cheap Rangefinder... like a canon canonet G3L... cheap and happening.... i`m still using a FM2 for my overseas tour and my street shoot..... Go get one.... never regret~

  19. #19

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    FM10, FM2/3x, Nikkormat...
    If not brand specific, I have one for recommendation heh.

    Self-Timer: 5 ~ 9 seconds
    Cable Release: mechanical (with standard thread)
    Additional Features: DOF-preview, mirror lock-up (no vibration from mirror, good for
    astrophotography)
    Width x Height x Depth: 143 x 91.4 x 94 mm
    Weight: 631 g (built to last)
    Exposure Modes: M
    Metering Modes: center-weighted
    Meter Material: SPD (same cell uses in modern SLR)
    Meter Range: 1 ~ 18 EV
    Manual Film ISO Speed: 8 ~ 6400 ASA
    Shutter Construction: mechanical (horizontal-run)
    Material: rubberized silk (smooth and reliable)
    Shutter Speeds: 1 ~ 1/1000, B
    Mechanical Speeds: all (does not require battery to operate the shutter mechanical)
    Magnification [Coverage]: 0.88 x [93%]
    Shutter-Speed Indication: match needle (very intuitive)
    Aperture Indication: optical
    Batteries: 2 x 1.5 Volt silver-oxide (A76, SR44) or alkaline (LR44)
    Type: fully manual
    Synchronization Speed(s): 1/60 ~ 1, B

  20. #20

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    Dude;
    Do the FM2N. Built to stand a Tsunami!!!

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