Help! FM3a and 55mm micro 2.8

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jim_cain, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. I lurk and post over on the Leica Forum as I use an M. Am considering
    buying the above (the later has the old meter tab) for taking Ebay pictures and
    other macro work. Am a real newby when it comes to SLR and Nikon--
  2. So what is the question??
  3. i am not sure what your question is, do you want to buy the above setup? did you want opinions on the above setup?
  4. The FM3a body works best with Ais and Ai lenses. Non-Ai lenses are probably not a good choice. What variety 55mm micro 2.8 you are thinking of is......?
  5. Sorry, yes I did want opinions on this setup. I want a close focus SLR
    because the M won't. Don't care about AF.
  6. Jim, i dont know how large your operation at ebay is but just to put some images into ebay i would take any cheap macro lens with any cheap body, decent BW film and 4 light bulbs. take some testshots - remember on one roll of film you can take 36 variations of exposure time af say F11 or F11 and off you go.
    the 55/2.8 micro nikkor is a very capable macro lens, just about as good as they come. if you buy one do yourself a favor and do not restrict yourself to shoot stuff for ebay. :p
    PS take my comment with a grain of salt
  7. 55mm f/2.8 Micro lens is great for macro AND at infinity. A really wonderful lens. You will need a PK-13 tube if you want to achieve 1:1 magnification with the lens.<p>For macro, a camera with TTL flash capability will be useful. You may want to consider a nice used Nikon FG. It has TTL flash, as well as Manual, Auto and Program exposure modes with AI/AIS lenses. In decent shape, the body is around $100.<p>An FM3a body will cost about 4 to 5 times this price. A Leica M7 is 25X this price? You may well go into sticker shock when you discover how inexpensive Nikon gear is, in comparison.
  8. 2 questions:

    Why wouldn't you want just a digital p+s with maybe a close-up adapter if you're shooting just for ebay? and

    Why would you need the FM3a if it's just for ebay--why not just get the cheapest manual/mechanical camera you can buy. As I recall, FM3a's are fairly expensive.
  9. If your needs include more than photos for eBay the FM3a has standard TTL flash and the 55/2.8 Micro Nikkor will give more than 110 lines/mm on high resolution film (probably at f/5.6 perhaps f/8.0) and maybe 1/4 life size. I suggest an SB-24 or 25 speedlight or for a compact unit SB-15 or perhaps SB-27.

    I recommend the FM3a if you have needs in macro or telephoto. I’d love an MP but I’d only want say 28, 35 and 50mm lenses. For a nice mini system I’d add a 24/2.8 and 105/2.5 in AI or AIS to the 55/2.8. Just a thought.

    You might consider the FE2 as the FM3a despite its name is an FE family camera. FE2 has standard TTL flash and quarts timed shutter speeds from 8 sec. to 1/4,000th second.


  10. Thank you for your help.

    I want the FM3a because it's small and has the features I want. and those I
    don't. As for the lens, (55 micro 2.8), I will sort out the differences between the
    "AIS" and "AI" and "old" "meter tabbed"" versions (you know I'm confused). As
    David Hartman pointed out , the M's are good in the middle and SLR are
    better at the extremes, ie telephoto and macro. Will be buying used and look
    forward to using an SLR system I dropped in 1982 in favor of a Minolta CLE
    Happy holidays to all. Jim
  11. Hi Jim,
    If the 55 is f2.8 than it is at least Ai. Older 55 micros (pre Ai) were f3.5.
  12. I may add that Ai and Ais lenses also have metering prongs for backwards compatibility with older cameras (20+ years old cameras).
    I happen to have a shot made with this 55 f2.8 in my folder, if you just want to take a look... the caption is Planorbis.
    Good bye
  13. The 55/2.8 Micro-Nikkor is only available as an AIS and AF. Older 55mm(s) were f/3.5, both AI and non-AI.
  14. "As David Hartman pointed out , the M's are good in the middle and SLR are better at the extremes, ie telephoto and macro."

    Reading David's post I'm not sure that's what David meant. An SLR should be quite "good in the middle" if you are using the right lenses and technique.
  15. For ebay you've got to digitize anyway, right? If the prime need is shooting for ebay auctions why wouldn't you just buy a digital with good macro capability? Did you know Sony digital cameras use Zeiss glass? Yes, that's Zeiss, as in Leica and Hasselblad. My obsolete Sony P-30 (a palry 1.3 megapixels)did superb macro work for me when I was selling off my medium format stuff. Use a tripod and a couple 100 watt bulbs like I did and if you have to, adjust color and file size in practically any software. For the internet and ebay you don't want monster picture files anyway because they take too long to load. By the way, I own an FM-2 and the 55mm 3.5 Micro-Nikkor and that combination produces dynamite images for sure. With everyone gone spastic with AF that lens or its 2.8 successor is readily available now, dirt cheap. It focuses from Infinity down to 6 inches without extension rings. The Sony P-30 does the same thing! But, with digital you got instant pictures and if they ain't no good you just shoot 'em over, better.
  16. I don't own an FM3A but do own an FE2. The FM3A is often called an FE3 or "An FE2 with mechanical backup at all speeds" (although there are a couple other changes as well). You could get an FE2 for much less than an FM3A and it's an insanely nice body. I don't know that I'll ever sell mine.

    I also own an AI Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 lens. It's **easily** my sharpest lens and is very tough. It has been dropped outside onto a hard wood floor from chest level and had not one mark on it. It has been thrown around a camera bag since I bought it... has been bumped, banged, and tossed many many times and still works like new. I also highly recommend buying the PK-13 extension ring for it so let it focus down to 1:1 since they're cheap and useful.

    I don't think you can go wrong with that combo. You may even want to pick up a few other cheap lenses to play with. I recently bought a used Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AI lens for $55. You could get a Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 or 20mm f/4 for around $125 to $160 or so. There are even some longer lenses you may want like an 85mm f/1.4 or even 300mm f/2.0. It's nice to not be restricted by frame lines, sometimes.

Share This Page