Lenses for fm2 and D200

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by anthony_r|3, May 11, 2011.

  1. Hi guys,
    I currently have the Nikon D200 with 18-70mm and 35mm f2 and am planning to get a 70-300mm as soon as I have enough money for it :p
    I also have the Pentax Z-10 with SMC FA 28-80mm f3.5-4.7, SMC FA 70-200mm f4-5.6 and also a Kenko Pz-AF 2X Teleplus MC 4 that was given to me from my father.
    I am thinking of selling all my Pentax gears and perhaps buy a Nikon fm2 or fm3. Since I took short photography class during grade school and used the fm2 and I was in love and thats when I found fun in photography.

    Photography is more like a hobby for me, not doing it for profession and if I do end up buying fm2 or fm3 what lenses should I buy? (If I do buy fm2 or fm3, I will do mostly portrait and landscape/scenery may be a bit of Macro photography)
    All I can think of are...
    - 24mm or 28mm
    - 24-85mm f2.8-4D-IF
    I dont think telephoto lens is going to be my concern since I will have 70-300mm on my d200.
    But I would Love to hear everyone's recommendation.
    Thank you guys
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    It is a good idea to consolidate into just one brand of cameras, but the combination of any manual-focus Nikon SLR with a DX-format DSLR will give you a lot of inconvenience.
    For all practical purposes, all modern G lenses cannot be used on manual-focus SLRs as there is no way to control the aperture, but most modern lenses with new optical design and coating for digital are AF-S and G. Therefore, when you have the combo of an FM2 or FM3a plus a D200, you have painted yourself into a corner with two fairly incompatible cameras.
    If you want a film SLR, I would look into something like a used F100. That was a $1000 film SLR a decade ago and was selling like hot cakes. Today, you can get one used for about $200 and you can share a lot of lenses between an F100 and a modern DSLR, with the exception of DX lenses designed for the small sensor. You'll probably need a couple of DX lenses for digital; otherwise, the rest of your lenses can be common between the two.
  3. Anything that's AI or newer and not G will work on both those cameras. But manual focus lenses aren't great on DX
    cameras (the small viewfinder makes manual focusing more difficult) and AF lenses don't have good focus ring
    dampening - but a couple of lenses that do see use on both my digital and manual focus gear are the 50/1.8D and
    Tamron 28-75/2.8. As Shun said, the F100 shares lens compatibility with DSLRs (but not DX lenses) but of course it's
    very different from an FM2.

    If you want to go the manual focus route I'd just start with the basics - an FM2 and a 50mm AIS is a great
    combination and not very expensive, and the AIS lens will go with the D200 in a pinch. One other nice thing about this
    older gear is that you can buy pretty much whatever you want to used and if you don't like it, resell it later and you
    won't lose anything.
  4. Geesh, such pessimism...
    24mm, 28mm, and 24-85mm f2.8-4D-IF are all good choices for both cameras. The AF versions will work just fine on the FM2. You may find the 28 spending a lot of time on the D200, it's a very "natural" feeling normal on that camera. Your 35/2.0 will also be fine on the FM2. And the focus throw of AF lenses may be a bit shorter than the older MF lenses, but those wides and the 24-85 are classic examples of lenses with enough DOF that you can be a touch off on focus (due to a short throw) and still get the shot. I hate an AF 50mm f1.4 on a MF body...
    The older 60mm f2.8 micro-Nikkor macro (AF or AF-D, not AF-S VR) is a great performer on AF or MF bodies. It's a stellar sharp lens, with the lenses on your list for both the Nikon and Pentax, the 60mm level of detail may come as a shock, both on digital and film.
    If you get an FM2, you've got to get a manual focus 105mm f2.5 Ai-S. That is an amazing portrait lens, it goes for about $150 on the used market, and it has background rendition comparable to AF $$$ lenses like a 105mm f2.0 DC, 135mm f2.0 DC, or 85mm f1.4. You probably won't use it too much on the D200, because the 157mm equivalent is a bit longish in most situations, but it will work well.
    You can find a pretty good assortment of AF lenses that you can use on the FM2. Like I said earlier, you'll have better luck with shorter lenses (deep DOF) or older lenses (longer focus throw).
    Another MF lens to look at is the older 55mm f2.8 Ai-S or Ai manual focus macro. The D200 can meter quite well with that lens, and it's another one that will stun you with its sharpness.
    Suggest, if you get any MF lenses to share between D200 and FM2 that you look into a split image focus screen for the D200. The Katz Eye is pretty good. If you just get the 105mm f2.5, don't worry about the Katz Eye, I don't think you'll use the 105 on the D200 enough to justify changing screens. But you've got to have that lens on an FM2...
  5. Most Ai lenses will work with the D200 and FM2 and Most of the older AF lenses that have an apeture ring will work with the D200 and the FM2. As for what lenses for the FM2 it reall depends what you shoot. A 35mm F2 is useful as is an 85mm F2 and lets not forget the 105mm F2.5. You could get the AF versions of the 35mm and 85mm and they would work on both bodies as the they have apeture rings. This is what I like about the Nikon system it's not perfect but there is a lot of backwards compatibilty.
    The only real issue using manual lenses on digital bodies is the viewfinder. They are just not that easy to manual focus with the standard screens.
  6. I`d not try MF lenses on the D200, or AF lenses on the FM2/3. They certainly work, but given the current prices and your needs (similar to mine, I`m guessing) I`d have dedicated lenses for each camera.
    Why? Because the FM2/3 is a pleasure to use... with an Ai/AiS lens. Most AF lenses work, but their grip, ring smoothness, focus throw, size, plastic feel are not optimal (= ugly in most samples) to be used with that MF type, compact, all metal cameras (IMHO).
    A MF lens in a D200 will work, too, but could be somewhat difficult unless you attach a third party screen (as Joseph mentions). You can always use the rangefinder aid instead, but it is not as precise as I`d like. You have to know its behaviour and work accordingly, which is not a friendly or forgiving way.
    A 24Ai is cheap, with a nice long focus throw with clear DoF marks (great for that "estimated focus" shots), the 28/2.8AiS is a very sharp lens, all 50/1.4 lenses are popular and reasonably priced and 50/1.8 are cheap and very sharp. Simply leave one of these on your film camera. Consider the 105 mentioned above, a favourite lens for many photogs.
    BTW: Think that the FM2 is a mechanical shutter, non AE type camera; the FM3 is a much faster, maybe easier to use and practical camera, I think. They are pretty different.
  7. thank you everyone.
    Jose, I did think about getting dedicated lenses for each camera perhaps getting 3 prime lenses for fm2/fm3 (24mm / 50mm / 85mm or 105mm) and just stick with 18-70mm and 70-300mm for my d200.
    It is not a bad idea but a bit more money will be spent ;)
    Still thinking but it... I guess I will see what others have to see if more replies comes up.
    I kinda liked fm2 over fm3 but I am still looking into it.
    But while I was doing research on fm2 and fm3, I ran into FE which has the Aperture Priority which I guess would be nice for street photography.
    What is you opinion on that guys?
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As long as you realize that a manual-focus Nikon SLR and a DX forumat DSLR are only half-way compatible cameras even though they have the same lens mount, you should be fine. While some lenses can be shared, most likely you'll need a few dedicated lenses for each system.
  9. I would get the 20mm (or 24mm) and a 60mm macro. These two lenses would cover all your bases.
    20mm (or 24mm) on FX > landscape. on DX > street
    60mm on FX >macro. 60mm on DX > portraiture
  10. The FE is a nice camera. It will let you to use even non-Ai lenses. The FE2 is another option, too (there is a comparison review somewhere here in pnet).
    Film is expensive, 35mm film cameras are nice but crushed by the convenience of digital. Maybe it could be interesting to have first an all-round, single setup to use when you feel "peckish... ", something like a FM with an age-matching 50/1.4Ai. After that, there will be always a 24, 28 or 105 waiting for you at the shop if you discover that you need&will use them.
  11. I have an underlying question. Why continue to shoot film? Better results? Well, comparing with your D200, maybe, but if you dumped the Pentax gear and started updating Nikon lenses and then got a more modern DSLR you might find the urge to use film lessen. I haven't shot film in 6 years, and I thought I might still use it.
    Just wondering.
  12. I use several AIS lenses with my D700 as well as zooms. I would think of your setup as two different kits which is pretty much how I think of mine. A 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 105mm could make a nice film kit. Personally I would stick to AIS lenses for a manual focus body, they feel and work great. You could add a lens when funds become available. I like the idea of a small light kit but only have a digital darkroom. Still I do have a small light film camera when weigth is the priority.
  13. The OP gave his reasons for wanting a film camera: fun. If one is a hobbyist, there's no better reason.
  14. To answer your question Peter, my Pentax Z-10 is also film slr and yes, one of the reason I would like to shoot in film is because of the quality as well as, well... I like old school :p
    I used to use my pentax Z-10 quite often until I bought D200 and I will admit that one of the reason I bought D200 is because of all the money going out of my pocket for film and developing.
    Two things are still bothering me just because my Pentax Z-10 is also film camera.
    Getting dedicated lenses for my future nikon SLR (whether it will be fm or fe) sounds good but, I guess some can ask, "if so, why bother selling pentax gear? already got two lenses to cover telephoto and mid range, why not buy 24mm and 50mm and you will be all set"
    Also, I feel that FE is older version of Pentax Z-10. My Z-10 can go manual or Aperture Priority and at manual mode it even tells me if I am over exposure or under through viewfinder. I do like the antiqueness and full manual of fm but I guess when I am doing street photography, having Aperture Priority useful.
    Now I am lost O_O LOL
  15. Anthony,
    You can certainly go full manual with every DSLR nowadays. I often do myself.
    I would just counter that with the newest DSLRs, I'm just not so sure most of us get better results with film. I know I don't compared with my D90. I think it's a legitimate question to ask, especially as it is getting to the point in many places (such as my very small town) that it's REALLY hard to get film developed, and will likely get much harder very soon. Yes, I know that isn't the case everywhere, but I truly think it will be. Just for giggles recently, I decided to find out how many rolls of film were in stock in the 3 or 4 stores I went to for different things the other day. less than 12 in all stores combined, all 200-speed print film.
  16. Stick with the D200 and forget the FM2. The FM2 has just one shortcoming, it shoots film... which is kind of not good for anything and dead (particularly for beginners and 35mm). Lenses... for fun... you'll want to own the range of primes, which is cheaper (used). You already have the excellent 35/2 (an ideal lens for DX). You might consider these to complement: 24/2.8 and 85/2 (AI) (which are great both on FX and DX). For macro Tamron 180/3.5 which also has reasonably good bokeh on the tele end. Then save up and get the D700 with a good 50mm (possibly 1.4). The 105/2.5 mentioned is great on fx, but I've found that focal length kind of strange on dx (both the 85 and 105 are superb lenses).
    Focusing on the D200 is a pain without the katz eye screen. Also, I repeat here, do not get a FM2 or you will forever be spoilt, not even the D700 will match it in ease of use. Also, to retain sanity, do not mix formats (dx and fx). Digital is a way better learning tool than film, and if you like wides, get to FX as fast as you can. However, if you do not listen to reason and do get an FM2, you'll also need a lightmeter (maybe the L38, but preferably something with spot), and a film scanner (+ countless hours of thankless slogging). So, do consider saving up for the D700, you'll have more money in the bank till you get one.
    I have an FM2(n) that I'll (sadly) part with.
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Folks, if the OP prefers to shoot some film, that is his choice. Please do not debate about whether digital is "better." Photo.net already has way too many threads on that useless topic. As a moderator here, I have very little tolerance on such debates.
  18. isa


    is interesting the words of Indraneel and D700 is the best of all in mention.
    In any way, if you keep FM2, (i have one), you must work with a good scanner for complete your work and have minimum some corrections in post productions.
    also only
    50 1,4
    AND ONE OLD 80-200 ONE TOUCH may give very good results.
    Sorry for may pedestrian english...
  19. I am open for all opinion althou like Shun said, I like to shoot film even though I do have D200.
    I do like my D200 since I can easily edit through CS3 and post it online to share but I do like the old film camera for its actual quality when you develop it to actual photo rather than scanning it into digital format.
    (Reason I bought D200 over D300 is because of the budget issue I had but also I like the fact that it did not have liveview. Shooting through viewfinder is how everyone used to shoot photos until "Liveview" feature came into digital world. It sure would be nice and more comfortable but I find it... lazy :p I guess I really like the old school style)

    I thought about getting D700 in future but I decided to stay with D200 and may be upgrade it to the newest D300s like model (stay at DX) and have actual film SLR for full frame.
    Like I said, photography is my hobby so I dont find much of benefit in going to FX.
    If anything I guess I will post/research to see if I should get FM or FE.
    But from what I have been reading, I think I know what I should do with lenses.
    Thank you guys and if you do have more recommendations, please feel free to post =D
  20. A D700 is expensive now because of supply shortages - $2700 and on back order. That's a lot of film and processing. I wouldn't do it right now unless I needed one for professional use.
    FM series vs. FE series - the FE is also excellent (I have an FE2). The FE series has A mode and IMO the needle meter in the FE is the quickest type to read. The FM has a mechanical shutter that doesn't need batteries to fire, for what that's worth. The FE2 has shutter up to 1/4000 and 1/250 flash sync (which the FM2 also has) but the FE2 adds TTL/OTF auto flash modes and can share an SB-600 or SB-800 with your D200. The FE has a 1/1000 shutter with 1/125 sync, but works with pre-AI lenses. (All of that is also true of the FM.) The FM3a is very interesting because it has both mechanical shutter for M mode and electronic shutter for A mode - I never did figure out how the heck they managed that. It's also crazy well made. Then there's the FA, which is a bit like an FE2 with more automation (matrix metering and M/A/S/P modes).
  21. mtk


    Hi Anthony,
    I shoot with a D90, and F100, an FE and an FM. I actually went the "other" way. I am using the 50 1.8D AF lens on all of the bodies. Am very pleased with the results. The AF isn't "dampened" as much as the AI 50's but am having a ball with all of them. Using the digi for color, and film bodies for BW. Whatever path you choose, remember why you do this...to have fun!
  22. ...since I'm being rebuked for spoiling the fun... few things are more pleasurable than projecting wall high, slides shot with an "all manual" FM2. I'd recommend replacing the kodak zoom lens with a Navitar 1.5 inch (less chromatic aberration for the ektagraphic 3).
  23. Indraneel, dont worry
    Like I said, I am open for all opinion and some of your posting made me think.
    It looks like I will probably go with FM2 because I just love the full manual of it. FE is great camera but I still get that feeling of film version of point and shoot. (please no offense to anyone who are using and loving FE)
    And I will probably go with all prime with FM2 (24mm/50mm/85 and may be 105mm in future if I find that extra focal length is needed).
    Thank you everyone!
  24. Hmm, OK. Make sure to get the new 24mm AFD, the AI one shows chromatics.
  25. Anthony: My "main" body is a D300, but I have 2x FM2n's, a Canonet QL17, Holga, and Petax 645 as well.
    I don't really share lenses between the FM2n's and the D300. I have a 28, 50 and 105 on the film side and they stay with the film gear.
    If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have just chosen medium format for the film side and stuck with 'just digital' on the 'other' side.
    I only shoot B&W with film and develop and scan it myself, so that's much cheaper than sending it out.
    Just a thought.
  26. Thank you for that tip Indraneel.
    I thought I was going to look into AI 24mm but I guess I will compare the two
    And BJ, I think I will do that with 50mm and 105mm for sure.
    I already have 35mm AF-D and it looks like I might need to do some research/comparison on 24mm.
    Thank you

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