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Nikon FG-20 Questions


TPF Noob!
Nov 20, 2015
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So I just bought a mint Nikon FG-20, and Im completely new to film. So my first question is, can someone recommend a specific film to use for black and white, as well as color.

Also any good lens suggestions are greatly appreciated!
I've always loved Tri-X in 35mm, which is a B&W, 400 ISO film with a nifty tonal characteristic. I prefer color slide film, something that uses an E-6 developing process, say an Ektachrome 100 variant.

Lenses? FG does great with 28mm,35mm,.50mm,85mm manual focusing lenses from the late 1970's or newer, as long as the lens has an aperture ring on the rear of the barrel, it oughtta' be okay. 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S would be a decent prime lens, 50mm Series E is lower cost. There are a LOT of older, manual focus, F-mouint lenses from KEH.com, lenses that are very low in price and fun to shoot.
For color on a budget, Fuji Superia 200 is tough to beat. Kodak Portra 400 is even nicer but costs a bit more. For b&w, try Ilford XP2, a c-41(color)process film you develop anywhere that takes your color film. It has huge exposure latitude and can rated anywhere between 100-800 ISO.

Lenses? The Nikon 50/1.8E is sharp, cheap and tiny--all the better to fit your FG-20. For more reach, the Nikon 100/2.8E is a killer portrait lens that goes for far less the 105/2.5 everyone who never shot the 100/2.8 will tell you to get. In wide angles, the 35/2.8 and pricier 35/2 are nice, along with the 28/2.8AIS. Above all, make sure you're buying Ai/AiS/ or Ai-converted lenses. Older, Non-Ai lenses won't fit.

Despite being mint, your new FG-20 may need a new light seal at hinge on the film back. Old foam decays and needs to be replaced--an easy DIY job. I've refurbed a shelf-full of pretty but elderly Nikons and most needed that seal redone to be light-tight.

Sweet little camera. I have an FG that I often have with me in a pocket or bag.
FG-20 manual for ya. F mount lenses are plentiful and reasonably priced. Start with a 50MM and go from there.

Film? Freestyle sells all kinds of film for decent prices. And for good prices on developing try Dwayne's Photo in Kansas.

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