Help with Nikon body for "street" work

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Lol999, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Lol999

    Lol999 TPF Noob!

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    Hi all, been away for a few weeks and I've got a bit of a quandary. Iv'e got a bit of spare cash which I can add to over the short term if necessary and I want another Nikon body to add to my F301. I don't plan to add motordrive as I would like something a bit more discreet for candids etc. i was shooting my friends 2 year old the other day and after about 8 shots he objected to the whole process, i suspect because of the industrial clacking of the 301 motorwind. I've realised that my ambitions lie in "photo journalism", purely from a hobby point of view, and have invested in a small bag that will take a couple of bodies with lenses attached. I believe I need something with at least aperture priority as an option. Some of the shots I missed lately through not having my camera with me (hence the smaller bag that now goes everywhere with me) would have required a quick focus and shoot. No time for manual exposure. I've narrowed the field down to the FE, FE2 and F3. Whilst i look after my gear I can't guarantee that it won't get dinked in the pursuit of my hobby. The FE I can probably pick up for about £60 and as such can afford to have bouncing round my bag. The FE2 and especially the F3 require considerably more largesse. Question is, is the F3 markedly better than the FE2 to justify it's much higher price tag? Any existing users can add their input to the problem?

    Cheers, Lol
     
  2. ajmall

    ajmall TPF Noob!

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    F-401? I used to have one but it's fairly heavy and bulky. I believe it was nikon's first TTL flash metered camera too. It has aperture priority and auto focus though thinking about was fairly noisy though maybe not as much as an FE winding on film.
     
  3. Lol999

    Lol999 TPF Noob!

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    needs to be manual focus as I want to keep using my MF lenses ( I know you can use them on autofocus cameras) and I've really narrowed it down to either FE,FE2 or F3. Of course ideally I would get a Voigtlander Bessa but cash won't run that far, plus I want this to be my "premium" body when my 301 dies or gets handed to my daughter to use next year.

    Lol
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    The FM3a is a good bet, as is the FM2n if you don't need AE. I have an F3, but they hold their value very well as they have mirror lockup and are popular for astro photography. The FE aren't my favourite series of Nikon, but they are probably perfectly good for what you wish to achieve.

    Do you need:

    Auto focus, auto film advance, automatic exposure, mirror lock up, oversize viewfinder, reliability... whatever? If you list the exact things you DO need, then I can probably be more helpful with the best one within your budget.

    Rob
     
  5. Lol999

    Lol999 TPF Noob!

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    Hi Rob, what I need is:
    some form of auto, probably just AP as some of my lenses aren't AIS, just AI
    The 100% viewfinder would be great as I often frame to the edge of the viewfinder, but it's not essential.
    Something quiter than my F301, hence no motordrive.
    Thats all!
    Cheers, Lol

    As regards budget, I'm shopping on E-Bay up to probably £200. If I decide to spend any more then it'll be probably Grays of Westminster (theyre advertising a nice F3 for £300). My £200 on E-Bay will get me an F3, FE2 or pretty much what I want. I like the look of the FM3a but it's that bit too out of reach at the moment. The quandary I have is: do I spend big, relatively, on an F3 or FE2 and keep it as a lifer, spending on major repairs as and when reqd, or do I go for a moire "disposable" FE and chuck it if it goes terminal.
     
  6. Lol999

    Lol999 TPF Noob!

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    I've even looked at a Nikkormat EL, nice and hefty and uses pre AI lenses!
     
  7. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    Hey Lol,

    I'm an FE2 user, and it's a great body. The higher shutter speeds are quite handy, so I think it's well worth the upgrade from the FE. I couldn't say that has a terribly quiet mirror, but it's not the loudest I've heard either.

    It's very rugged and has basically every feature you could need.

    Dave
     
  8. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    In your situation my honest advice would be to get an F3, preferably a F3HP. Everything Gray sells is mint mint, so it'll be just like new. Unless you absolutely hammer it, it'll outlive you with virtually no servicing whatsoever required.

    Rob
     
  9. Lol999

    Lol999 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice fellas. If I can wait to generate the budget it will probably be the F3, if I can't it will be the FE2 with the F3 as my next buy:mrgreen:

    Cheers, Lol
     
  10. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    Just curious, Rob, other than the interchangeable viewfinders what do you think is the advantage of the F3 over the FE2? I'm asking because looking at the two I don't see any advantages, in fact in some ways the FE2 seems more advanced, but I haven't used the F3 so maybe there are some things about it I don't realize.

    Dave
     

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