Getting a new film system, User experience and opinions needed.

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by AustinDudley, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. What about the "special character or rendition" do you like?

    Remember that results on a computer screen of a scanned negative or transparency aren't representative of the lens...heck even a print may not give you a realistic idea. Scanning and electronic viewing both introduce their own artifacts to the image.

    An AI or AI-s 35mm 1.4 is 1/4 to 1/3 the price of the F mount Zeiss lens. Unless you're convinced of the magical Zeiss "glow"(of which I remain skeptical) it seems like that's a better option to me.
  2. The MF-Nikkor 35/1.4 is full of character, at least up close and fairly wide open it's rendering of the background is really special. Probably not fancy, but special ;-)
  3. heres the zeissiness i speak of from portra and tri-x from zeiss lenses

    Castello Sarriod de la Tour, Valle d'Aosta

    Kerry (35) 2nd jpeg

    Kangaroo point, Brisbane


    Two Girls on the Bus to Skyline


    I dont really find any of the above colors in the nikon lens AIS portra category. I understand that there could be manipulation, but the result for those colors are very common in zeiss lenses. The nikons are wonderful, but their colors seem subdued or darker or something that visibly shifts away from the zeiss colors.

    I guess the nikons take pictures very well, the zeiss does that and adds a bit of its character. With that said i have noticed that some of the new ziess lenses dont lend their zeiss character but are just very uniform in sharpness and contrast.

    With digital, it doesnt matter so much, because you have all the power to change every color to perfection in photoshop. With film, although you can go the route of photoshop as long as there is no "weak link in the chain before hand, but straight from camera to film to print, I feel that the money spent on the zeiss lens would cut out a few steps of digitizing then photoshop then print.
  4. I cant argue that, I do like its look, i just think i like the ziess's lens look more. Keyword of course being THINK lol
  5. Speaking of Zeiss Distagons (35/1.4) I think the most characterful version is the one for the long gone Rollei-35mm-system. If memory serves they were using just 3 aperture-blades, resulting in triangular shaped highlights if the lens was stopped down a bit. Never used one, a shame ;-)
  6. I regularly use both the Ais35.f1.4 and Zeiss lenses on my Nikons. Yesterday I used the Nikkor and today I used the Milvus 1.4/50. I know it is a different focal length. The Nikkor is a good lens but is a little soft compared to the Zeiss. The Zeiss is larger and heavier than the Ais as well a expensive. I personally like the look of the Zeiss.
  7. I still don't think that you can compare color rendition on ANY scanned color negative film.

    As for the Tri-X examples-I agree that there's a certain "creaminess" to them that I'm not used to seeing from Tri-X, but there are a LOT of variables that go into processing B&W film starting right at the developer. My go-to developer most of the time is D-76, and it gives Tri-X sort of a classic "gritty" look regardless of the glass I put in front of it. I've shot Tri-X through a LOT of different brands of glass, too-Off the top of my head Wollenstock, Kodak, Leitz, Zeiss, Schneider, Canon, Nikon, Minolta, and Zenzanon. The examples you show have a certain digital "sterile" quality to them that almost makes me think they were pretty heavily grain reduced in Photoshop, or if nothing else were developed in a fine grain developer.

    BTW, which F2 did you buy? As I said, if it's not an F2A or F2AS, you NEED the Nikkor if you want metering(unless there's a way to put a metering shoe on the Zeiss lenses-they certainly don't look like they're designed to take one).
    AustinDudley likes this.
  8. When the Zeiss lenses for Nikon were first introduced they had the tab. When they were chipped the tab disappeared but the older ones may be available used.
  9. Its the Eye level non metered, went for aesthetics over functionality :D
  10. That is quite an alluring write up, thank you.

    I have always admired pentax, the one thing that prohibited me from this camera was that i had heard the electronics were not the most reliable? perhaps internet hype?
  11. That's a great shot of Hoover Dam. I like those Pentaxes.
  12. There are a lot of 70s and 80s cameras where the electronics can be questionable. You don't hear about rashes of failures of the New F-1, Canon A-series cameras, or Nikon F3. At the same time, many Canon T90s are sidelined by the flashing EEE and the Nikon FA doesn't exactly have a sterling reputation.

    For that matter, we have a thread going on the FD forum about the Canon EF, and it's another with "tricky" electronics with issues that can sometimes hide. I bought two to get a good one. When I got the second, I happened to be in the local camera shop when someone came in asking if it was worth bringing it in. The owner at first said no, but at my "signaling" he encouraged the guy to bring it in. I then gave a quick lesson-using a dead one in the shop-on what to look for and the one the guy brought in ended up being good.
  13. There's nothing wrong with the PP.

    Nikon "cleaned up" the metered prisms for the F2 quite a bit, and of course it helps them all considerably that they don't have to hold batteries(you probably know this, but the two batteries in the bottom of the camera are only for the meter-you don't need to install them with a PP).

    Even though they don't have the "weird growth" appearance of F meters, they still complicate the lines and style of the camera a fair bit. The F and F2 are both-to me-very attractive cameras but the meters do change them quite a bit. One thing I like about the F-1(original), which was contemporary to the F2, was that the meter is integrated into the body. Of course, that's a double edged sword as the F-1 was stuck with a CdS cell while you could put more advanced meters in the F2 as they came along. Fortunately, the FD mount standard contained maximum aperture coding from the start so there was never any need to change the meter coupling. At least the F2, also, always had at least semi-auto maximum aperture indexing(on the F Photomic T and Tn you have to manually set the maximum aperture).

    My only complaint about using an F or F2 without a meter is that there's no stop on the shutter speed dial, so it's more difficult to tell by feel. I think that the shutter speed display in the viewfinder is a function of the metered prism, so the only clue you have as to the shutter speed set is the coupling pin on the dial(located halfway between 1000 and 2000). With a metered prism, you know that turning CCW to the stop gives you B, while turning CW to the stop gives you 1/2000. The F-1 dial works the same way, although the directions are reversed). The F2 dial without a meter attached just keeps turning.
  14. ---------------------
    Totally agree. Of all the equipment that I've used, the Nikon is the most neutral. The lenses don't have special signatures to my eyes. The Rollei, all Pentax lenses, Leica, rangefinders of various sorts all seem to have "signatures". Nikons are "accurate" or "flat". When I want complete reliability and accuracy, I go to my Nikons, no question.
  15. I think it's extremely simplified to say Nikkors do not have special character or rendition, and other brands do. You can judge that on a per-lens base, not on a per-brand base.

    Sure there are Nikkors that may be somewhat neutral, there are some that are most definitely full of character. The above mentioned 35mm f/1.4 has too much character for most - not a lens for all, but if you look for a cinematic moody look, using that lens wide open is just the ticket. The AiS 50mm f/1.2 at the widest aperture shares some of this, though it cleans up faster. Another lens I particularly like (like many) is the 105mm f/2.5.
    I mainly use a pair of Leica R cameras these days, because of the lenses. Yet, some of those are not all that special either; in my view, for example, the Macro-Elmarit-R 60mm is a perfect performing lens. But character comes from imperfections rather than perfection, and it's a lens I never really warmed up to. Recently got an Elmar-R 180mm - looks a fine lens, doing nothing particular whatsoever. On the other hand, the Summicron-R 35mm and 90mm are (in my view) terrific and quite special lenses. But for pure cinematic looks - the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 does that better.

    So, rather than painting some broad strokes, check the specific lenses that really interest you, and go from there.

    As for silent operation - my R6 and R7 seems more silent than my Nikon bodies (FM2 and a F3 - especially the latter is loud).
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  16. The F-1 as shown(with the pyramid prism) is metered. In addition, the New F-1 doesn't require the shown prism for metering-it only used to show the shutter speeds in aperture priority mode.
  17. I have missed a couple 35 summicron r lenses (canadian) So still havent got around to shooting.

    I feel the older lenses of each manufacture have a signature, as for nikon I have the nikkor H 50/2 on the way, I like how it renders b&w, as well as the canon 50 1.4 rf lens.

    I dont see anything, on the newer leica lenses, then well produced results across the shots, contrast and sharpness. It seems that some of the summicron DR shots have a different look to them then many other of the leica lens, maybe better tonality? Im not expert enough to know anything really, just what it appears. I try to only look at photos shot on film, because even if film can be touched by photoshop, i feel that no matter what, the largest difference i see between film and digital, with the same lens, shot at same settings, the digital is noticeably sharp or something to that effect.

    I really like the looks of just about everything shot on the older german made contax/yashica mount glass. The older(pre-asph?0 leica glass. Im not fond of any glow. just a certain rendering of portra tri-x tmax and ilford variants. again, Im not experienced enough to know anything so Im going clearly off aesthetics. I dont care for sharpness all across the screen. I think center ultra sharp center and perhaps smeary corners can give a 3d effect that many talk about but I dont actually know what the common perception of "3d look" is. After all, perception dominates all. We are using our perceptions of equipment to capture how we perceive the world.

    I found a M5 freshly cla'd, beautiful, and over 135xxxx. I have always liked the look of them, perhaps the black ones a bit more but this chrome one is beautiful. But to be honest I dont know why id need it. I like to shoot wider and done think i could see the 35mm framelines with glasses on, and althought i could guesstimate very easily as i do on my Argus c4r/geiss, the strongest point of my photography is composition, so i think again if i cant see most of the frame with an f2, the one i got is very beautiful(not here yet) so the pictures have the possibility of being deceptive ;D

    All in all, I think I will just look for older lenses and sift through them capturing the ones that have "A look" that appeals to me. I think I might buy a second f2 for the rediculously expensive AS de-12 (I think is the correct name) led dot light meter viewfinder. What screen should I look for, a full microprism like in the leica SL/2 or a smaller microprism with a grid, I would like the grid as I said before, Im compositionally savvy.

    If any one thinks the m5 would be fine even with the .72 mag and glasses( i only mention this as i have heard the .58s are better for glasses wearers(i may be wrong on these exact numbers, dont hate me).) It feels like i might know what a hungry vampire feels like. They are just damned beautiful. But this would leave little money for a lens which is the most backwards approach I can think of as film then lens have the largest impact on end picture. Luckily the new voigtlander 50 1.5 with the chromed brass or the jupiter 3 would look devilishly handsome on the chrome m5. Mr Abrahamsson has me hooked on the 35mm color skopars as well. They are, on kickstarter, also bringing back the lovely looking 75/1.5 biotar

    Thanks again for every ones imput, Thank you Ben for the tips on developing!

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