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Thread: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

  1. #1

    Default Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Hi All

    This is my very first post and I am a newbie to professional photography. So please feel free to tell me your views on my questions.

    I will be using my camera (FM2) for travel & normal daily events like birthdays etc. So i do not need that hi-end stuff, as long as its versatile and lasting, I will consider them.

    a) I am sourcing for a wide angle lens, lets say (12-30mm) Nikon mount. If I have a tight tight budget of $500, what are my choices? Any particular brand that I should look out for since I am a beginner? I dun see myself upgrading, so a moderate lens that will last me, will be fine.

    b) How should I maintain my camera? Regular check-ups like oiling etc? Can I DIY? or do i have to send it to a proper 'doctor'?

    c) How do I maintain my lens? Cleaning methods?

    d) Will storing my stuff in a camera bag with Silica gel be sufficient or do i really need a dry box?

    I dun have the budget nor space for a electric dry box, so will those plastic type do?

    thank you for reading this long cra*** thread.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    Hi All

    This is my very first post and I am a newbie to professional photography. So please feel free to tell me your views on my questions.

    I will be using my camera (FM2) for travel & normal daily events like birthdays etc. So i do not need that hi-end stuff, as long as its versatile and lasting, I will consider them.

    a) I am sourcing for a wide angle lens, lets say (12-30mm) Nikon mount. If I have a tight tight budget of $500, what are my choices? Any particular brand that I should look out for since I am a beginner? I dun see myself upgrading, so a moderate lens that will last me, will be fine.

    b) How should I maintain my camera? Regular check-ups like oiling etc? Can I DIY? or do i have to send it to a proper 'doctor'?

    c) How do I maintain my lens? Cleaning methods?

    d) Will storing my stuff in a camera bag with Silica gel be sufficient or do i really need a dry box?

    I dun have the budget nor space for a electric dry box, so will those plastic type do?

    thank you for reading this long cra*** thread.
    Why do you need so wide (12-30mm)?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    That is a good question.
    Well, I thought that since I already have a 28-80mm lens, it would more versatile if my other lens would be in the 12-30mm range.

    It would mainly be for landscape views during holidays and other photography ideas that I have in mind. i like the wide view that a wide angle lens can offer, especially the feeling that it creates, being so wide.

    I hope i make sense.
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    a) I am sourcing for a wide angle lens, lets say (12-30mm) Nikon mount. If I have a tight tight budget of $500, what are my choices? Any particular brand that I should look out for since I am a beginner? I dun see myself upgrading, so a moderate lens that will last me, will be fine.
    there is only ONE full frame wide angle lens - the sigma 12-24mm. but it costs over 1k.

    do you really need so wide? i reckon 17mm or even 15mm is very wide already for full frame.

    for 17mm

    sigma 17-35 ex dg hsm f/2.8-4 - $400 ~ $500 2nd hand
    tamron 17-35 sp di f/2.8-4 - $400 ~ $500 2nd hand
    nikon 17-35 f/2.8 - $2k +

    for 15mm

    sigma 15-30mm f/3.5-4.5 - $400~$500 2nd hand
    fisheye?

    for 20mm

    tokina 20-35mm f/2.8 - $400 ~ $500 2nd hand

    for 12mm

    sigma 12-24mm - $1k+ new (not sure how much for 2nd hand)

    take your pick. for $500, cant really choose much. yup. mostly youll be restricted to 3rd party makers

    b) How should I maintain my camera? Regular check-ups like oiling etc? Can I DIY? or do i have to send it to a proper 'doctor'?
    just take care of it. dont DIY. send to the official dealer is best. u cant possibly oepn up the lens and put it back accurately without proper alignment machinery. simple things like...dont drop it...let it get soaked etc applies

    c) How do I maintain my lens? Cleaning methods?
    certain types of cleaning alcohols are available. not sure tho. i never use it. i just use microfibre cloth + a dust blower. get a good blower. don get those el cheapo plastic type. get the rubber ones with metal nozzles

    d) Will storing my stuff in a camera bag with Silica gel be sufficient or do i really need a dry box?
    30L dry cabinet = $90
    cost of removing fungus from lens = $90 from TCW or more from places like canon, nikon, tamron, sigma.

    do the math.
    Last edited by Isaiahfortythirtyone; 20th February 2006 at 01:44 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Hi Isaiah

    Thank you for your insight. Looking at my budget, I will have to be realistic...

    When you guys say '3rd party' lens maker, who are they? I would assume its ppl like SIGMA, TOKINA, TAMRON?

    Can you guys recommend me some Dry Cabinets (and whr i can get them and how much should i be paying for them)? Its my wife that i will have to deal with- that black box to them is 'taking up so much space!!' 'Do you really need it!!!'

    Is there a particular time that our camera body need servicing? For eg every 6 months/12 months? and how much will these treatments cost?
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    That is a good question.
    Well, I thought that since I already have a 28-80mm lens, it would more versatile if my other lens would be in the 12-30mm range.

    It would mainly be for landscape views during holidays and other photography ideas that I have in mind. i like the wide view that a wide angle lens can offer, especially the feeling that it creates, being so wide.

    I hope i make sense.
    In that case, then Isaiah has probably answered your question. The only lens that go so wide for film would be the Sigma 12-24 EX DG. These ultrawides do not come cheap.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    Hi Isaiah

    Thank you for your insight. Looking at my budget, I will have to be realistic...

    When you guys say '3rd party' lens maker, who are they? I would assume its ppl like SIGMA, TOKINA, TAMRON?

    Can you guys recommend me some Dry Cabinets (and whr i can get them and how much should i be paying for them)? Its my wife that i will have to deal with- that black box to them is 'taking up so much space!!' 'Do you really need it!!!'

    Is there a particular time that our camera body need servicing? For eg every 6 months/12 months? and how much will these treatments cost?

    digicabi - $90. most of us here use it. 30L can hold plenty. can buy from John 3:16...good service but pay $9 more at $99. or Alan photo where u MAY get at $90 after bargaining. how big is 30l? erm...stack 8 yellow pages on top of each other. around that.

    3rd party - tamron, sigma, tokina, cosina, quantaray.

    maintainence? up to you actually. if u want peace of mind, just send it in once a year/six months. but if it aint broke, why fix it? some people have reported their lenses came back worse after sending in for servicing. this is so because the service ppl will open up the entire lens to clean then put it back. but they may not put it back to the same original condition. cleaning of sensor at canon - $21. not sure abt Nikon. general maintenance at canon - free if under warranty. not sure abt nikon


  8. #8

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    If you're using an FM2, you'll get more bang for your buck if you buy E-series or AIS glass. These are old but stellar and for 500 you may even be able to pick up a good telephoto and a wide. The only downside is of course the poor resale demand. If you don't intend to resell but rather to keep and use I'd advise you to go with E-series/AIS glass because then you won't be paying for AF and AE, which you don't need.
    My Personal Folio (of random events and things)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoned
    If you're using an FM2, you'll get more bang for your buck if you buy E-series or AIS glass. These are old but stellar and for 500 you may even be able to pick up a good telephoto and a wide. The only downside is of course the poor resale demand. If you don't intend to resell but rather to keep and use I'd advise you to go with E-series/AIS glass because then you won't be paying for AF and AE, which you don't need.
    Hi Stoned
    What is E-series and AIS glass? From Nikon?
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    Hi Stoned
    What is E-series and AIS glass? From Nikon?
    Yeah. The old manual focus lenses.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    can u even mount the sigma 12-24 on a fm2??

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by roti_prata
    can u even mount the sigma 12-24 on a fm2??
    Good question. Now that you mentioned it, it does not have an aperture ring, which means it is a type-G lens. I think you can still mount but you will not get aperture control, so you'll be shooting at the smallest aperture all the time and metering probably don't give you the correct reading.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon
    Good question. Now that you mentioned it, it does not have an aperture ring, which means it is a type-G lens. I think you can still mount but you will not get aperture control, so you'll be shooting at the smallest aperture all the time and metering probably don't give you the correct reading.
    Okay, i read the specs for my FM2 and it says that i cannot use G type lens. anyway, the 12-24mm SIGMA is way, way outta my league after i found out about the price.

    I am in this for the long run, but i dun see myself investing heavily in the next few years as i would be just starting this up with the basic stuff, and practicing it from there as often as i can. i think i would take at least 5 years before i can make the grade of 'semi-pro[ hahahaha

    i'm gonna take my time with this one, but the procurement of the lens would be a good start for me to spend my time on it rather than constantly upgrading.
    The sooner you get it, the longer you enjoy it.
    I welcome you @ www.benaw.zenfolio.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    for fm2, its seriously advised to use mf lenses since u'll be mf-ing. most less-thn-pro af lenses hav less-thn-desirable mf(not smooth, not accurate)

    if u strike toto, theres always carl zeiss

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon
    Good question. Now that you mentioned it, it does not have an aperture ring, which means it is a type-G lens. I think you can still mount but you will not get aperture control, so you'll be shooting at the smallest aperture all the time and metering probably don't give you the correct reading.
    and u'll be literally looking through a pin-hole which is like smaller thn the split-img prism in the focusing screen

  16. #16

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    Okay, i read the specs for my FM2 and it says that i cannot use G type lens. anyway, the 12-24mm SIGMA is way, way outta my league after i found out about the price.

    I am in this for the long run, but i dun see myself investing heavily in the next few years as i would be just starting this up with the basic stuff, and practicing it from there as often as i can. i think i would take at least 5 years before i can make the grade of 'semi-pro[ hahahaha

    i'm gonna take my time with this one, but the procurement of the lens would be a good start for me to spend my time on it rather than constantly upgrading.
    Pro or not is not determined by your skills, but rather whether you use your camera to make money full time. I only do it occasionally, so I'm not a pro too, not even a semi-pro (make money with it half of the time).

  17. #17

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by roti_prata
    and u'll be literally looking through a pin-hole which is like smaller thn the split-img prism in the focusing screen
    Good mah.. Sharp all the way.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    why dont u just get a 2nd hand F80 then? or a 2nd hand auto cam? are u willin to stick to MFing for the long run?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Benji77
    Hi Stoned
    What is E-series and AIS glass? From Nikon?
    Yes. They are essentially Manual focus lenses that are incarnations of Nikon AF lenses available today. They provide the same optical quality at mere fractions of the price of the new AF models. They are a little bit difficult to find nowadays but I'm sure if you put up a WTB ad, there'll be quite a few people happy to unload various lenses as they are quite difficult to sell nowadays.

    Don't sweat the MF, it's really fast with the split prism finder in the FM2. Just takes some time to get used to it. I used to use, and still own an FM2. Heck of a camera, pity I don't have more Nikon lenses for it now. I only have a 35-70 AIS left with it. Hell of a lens though. Blardy sharp and high contrast.
    My Personal Folio (of random events and things)

  20. #20
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lens choice & Maintainence issues

    #1 go and get a dry cabinet. it's a must.
    #2 get a tokina 17mmf3.5.

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