Amami Superman Photography

A Place to Share My Photos

Feb 4, 2010

Nikon FM2, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 1/15 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1600 -- EXIF
Nikon FM2, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

My knowledge and experience with film cameras is pretty much zero. I have an old Argus (Cosina) CSM, 50mm f/1.7 camera that friend let me use and I wanted to know if it worked. I went to another friend's photo print shop and bought some film from him (actually he gave it to me), and snapped a roll of 36 at a river just near his shop. I took it back to him and he developed the negatives. It turned out the shutter on the camera was faulty and only opened part way. Oh well.

My friend that owns the print shop is a great guy. His name is Toshihiro Nagai. We have a lot in common. He's the same age as me and has been taking photos since he was in junior high school (about 20 years). Most of the photos he takes now is all for work and he's kind of lost the flare for it. Now it just seems like work for him. I was looking through his old black and white photos he developed and printed himself and I must say that he really has an eye. I wish I could get him involved a bit more and go out with him sometime to take photos. I feel I could learn a lot from him.

Anyway, as I was talking with him and looking through his old photos, he said I could have one of his old cameras he never uses anymore. I was like, "Have?" He went through his dry case and pulled out all sorts of different cameras. Then finally, down at the bottom, way in the back, he pulled out this Nikon FM2. "I'll give you this." He said as he slapped on a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens. I was like, "Wow, are you serious?" He explained to me that he never uses it and it just collects dust and the lens grows mold. I was tickled. He even gave me another roll of 24 ISO 100 to try it out. He didn't have any batteries for it so I had to go pick some up. I stopped off and got some and headed home.

When I got home I put the batteries in and tried to figure out how the range finder worked. + ○ - seemed easy enough. I started out with trying to take a shot of our dog Missy.

Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.8, Film ISO 100 -- EXIF
Missy Needs a Haircut

I then walked outside and took a few shots just outside my wife's shop.

Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.8, Film ISO 100 -- EXIF
Gasoline Stand Servicemen

Next thing I knew, I was walking down the street taking shots of different things.

Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.8, Film ISO 100 -- EXIF

Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.8, Film ISO 100 -- EXIF
Old Broken Down Scooter

As I walked down the street, I came up to a fresh seafood store. They have all sorts of fish and live seafood. I asked if I could take a few photos and they were more then happy to have me. They even brought me around back to see some of the stuff they were preparing.

Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.8, Film ISO 100 -- EXIF
I'm not sure if these are shrimp or prawns. I'm out of life lines so I'll go with...
Prawns... Final Answer

I have to lol about this. I have some Australian friends who got after me when when I called some prawns "shrimp". They were kind enough to set me straight and told me Americans are dumb and don't know the difference between shrimp and prawns. They said something about gills and big and small. I still don't know the difference when I see them. All I know is they taste yummy in my tummy.

Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.8, Film ISO 100 -- EXIF
Fish in Plastic Wrap Behind Glass

Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.8, Film ISO 100 -- EXIF
Ise Ebi
(spiny lobster)

Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.8, Film ISO 100 -- EXIF
Cleaning Fish

Nikon FM2, 50mm f/1.8, Film ISO 100 -- EXIF
Suwashin or Maybe Red Grouper
(I can't see the mouth to tell)

Just after this shot, I rolled the film and realized I was out. "What?!! That was 24 shots?!" I couldn't believe it. In the space of maybe 15 or 20 minutes I used up the roll of 24. I even took my time with each shot I took. I guess I'm just used to using a digital camera and taking as many photos as I want.

I rewound the roll and brought it back to my friend's shop to have him develop the negatives. He then used his negative scanning machine and saved them to a disc. The above film photos are just as he scanned them. I didn't do any post editing to them except for the scooter photo, I did a small amount of post cropping to level the photo. Out of the 24 shots I took in this roll, one was underexposed and a few of them were out of focus.

I decided a few days ago I wanted to try taking some shots with a film camera for fun. As I said, my knowledge and experience with film cameras is pretty much zero. I wanted to use black and white film but as it turns out, no one develops black and white film here on the island anymore. Oh well.

So what was my impression using a manual focus SLR camera? It was something new and fun for me. It was interesting using a camera I've never used before. That being said, the Nikon FM2 is simple and straight forward. Using the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 felt a bit like I was using my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 on my D60. Very easy to use. I'm looking forward to taking more photos with this camera and lens in the future.

Owning a D60, I always read about one of the downsides to this camera and lenses. The D60 uses a silent wave motor in AF-S lenses for auto focus. AF-S just means the focusing motor is inside the lens and not inside the camera. I heard you can still attach non AF-S lenses and use them, you just wouldn't be able to use the auto focus. I decided to try it out and I put the 50mm f/1.8 on my D60. The first thing I noticed was you could only use the camera and this lens while in manual mode. The camera doesn't recognize there's a manual lens attached and none of the other modes would work. There's also no range finder so you pretty much have to guesstimate exposure, but that's easy, it's a digital camera. Here is a test shot of my daughter using my D60 and the 50mm f/1.8. I wasn't paying attention and I had the exposure bias set to -2/3 EV so it's under exposed. I didn't do any post editing.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 -- EXIF
Manual Lens on My D60


parv said...

Since you are already in Japan, perhaps you could find Fuji Natura 1600 film for indoor work. If you do try it, please let us|me know, how do the prints compare at 1-stop overexposure.

If it gets gloomy or generally dark outside, try the ISO 400 or ISO 800 speed films.

Jeffrey Friedl said...

If you ever move up to a DXXX or DX (one or three-digit "D" body), the lens will likely work just fine, metering and such. Until then, the back-of-camera histogram is your friend.

Jonathan Alomoto, London said...

My dad just gave me a FM2 that was left in his work's lost property about a year ago, this isnt my first film camera (i had a pentax k1000), but it's really growing on me, its light and user friendly, and has nice touches like the shutter safety, the easy to use multiple exposure lever and self timer, unfortunately all i have is a 135 mm lens, which is limited.. although good for close up detail and has a beautiful depth of field, i'd recomend picking up a 135 mm lens at some point

Gunston Gun said...

just picked up mine chrome FM2n.
am i late to the film photography ?

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