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SLRs - the unRF For those of you who must talk about SLRs, if only to confirm they are not RF.

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Old 09-28-2010   #81
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Well, I sure am enjoying the FE2. It is about the same weight as my SP1000, and I am getting sharp photos from it. I like much seeing the f-stop in the little window, and the left side shutter readout is a pleasure. Most of all, I like the incredibly bright viewfinder that does not require reading glasses ...
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Old 09-28-2010   #82
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Well, I sure am enjoying the FE2...
Meanwhile, using an FT2 is reminding me just what wonderful and refined cameras my FE2s were. Nikon learned a lot about camera design in the time between those two cameras.
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Old 09-28-2010   #83
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The FE2, like the SP1000, is very RF-like to me ...
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Old 09-28-2010   #84
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Paul, I recommend the F3HP. Great VF and accepts all pre-AI and AI lens. It has an interchangeable viewfinder and focus screen. The shutter curtain is made of titanium as well. I have the F3/T (a HP version) and it is a great camera.

I also own a FM3A for mechanical backup to my F3/T (which unfortunately only have a mechanical speed at 1/60sec). The FM3A is lighter and has superior VF readout than F3 with its "matching needles". However the VF readout on F3/T does not bother me.
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Old 09-28-2010   #85
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I wear glasses and to me the viewfinder of the F3hp was what it really made it stand out vs. anything else.
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Old 09-29-2010   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulfish4570 View Post
Well, I sure am enjoying the FE2. It is about the same weight as my SP1000, and I am getting sharp photos from it. I like much seeing the f-stop in the little window, and the left side shutter readout is a pleasure. Most of all, I like the incredibly bright viewfinder that does not require reading glasses ...
Looks like a keeper Paul. Good luck with the FE2, making me want to load my Canon SLR to carry with me tomorrow!
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Old 09-29-2010   #87
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Might be a moot point by now but I am going to throw it out there anyways: F2S. It is as rugged as they come and the viewfinder is fantastic. Mine is 14 years older than me and is in arguably better shape than I am. Also, as others have said, pre-AI lenses are both phenomenal and dirt cheap!
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Old 10-15-2010   #88
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Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
Having owned both I would go with a Nikkormat FT3 or FTn. The FT3 takes newer batteries and is AI savvy. Equal workhorse to my beloved FTn (first SLR). The FM does not have the same feel in my hands but she is lighter. As price is an issue (otherwise get an F with a plain prism or a FM3a) I thing you're better off with the FT3. Either way you will not go wrong. The FT3 has the K screen and the MD12 really never proved itself worth the weight, but that is me.

There are a few great people out there who do a great job with CLA and foam.

B2 (;->
-----------------
you mentioned using ft3's. i am currently looking for a corrective diopter; +0.5. do you know
if these are available. looking online i see nothing mentioned. do you know if the ft3 shares the same diopter with other model nikons?
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Old 10-19-2010   #89
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FM3A and Nikkormat FTn (II) here

The first one is a high-end beauty, but no matter what, I am still plain crazy about my Nikkormat, which remains my most beloved SLR ever

There's something SPECIAL about that camera I can't explain.. Will burried with me, I guess..
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Old 10-19-2010   #90
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Nikon F or F2 would be my choice, interchangable finders, focusing screens etc, I love the Nikon F with plain prism, and the Nikkors are superb glass, the 5cm f2 pre ai Nikkor-H, is very nice
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Old 10-19-2010   #91
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Get an F3, does all the things FM, FE, FM/FE/2, 2n3n do, Auto exposure clocks to 30sec, with finder black out shutter. The build and finish are better than FM/FE series
I agree, either an F3 or F3HP. I've owned probably every Nikon SLR since the F and still have an F3 & an F3HP. All the rest are gone.
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Old 10-19-2010   #92
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Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney View Post
The Nikkormats are loud compared with the other Nikons. With User grade F3HP's for under $100, hard to say no to that.

Somehow when I grab a Nikon SLR- it's either the F2AS or the F2SB. And I have a lot of them to choose from.

With all things considered for the OP: Go with the F3HP. The FM is too small and light. Get a CF-22 or CF-20 case with the F3HP. The bottom portion makes it easier to handle.

and- the 24/2.8 is one of the all-time best Nikkor lenses made. I prefer the older style, but the new one is nice too. I have both.
Brian, you must have big strong shoulders, I prefer the FM series because it is lightweight. And IMHO they are built to last. I still have my original FM. In '84 while in Japan it fell into the drink, a fast moving stream on lots of rocks. it moved about 15-20 feet downstream before i could get it. I dried it out in the window and it worked perfect the next day, although dented.
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Old 10-19-2010   #93
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mojobebop--In my 9-13-10 post I listed the cameras that use the same diopters as Nikkormats, They are F, FA, FE2, FM, FM2, and FN3A. There may be others.
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Old 10-21-2010   #94
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I will add an FM2 at some point just because it is wholly mechanical, and the controls will match my FE2 ...
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Old 11-13-2013   #95
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Originally Posted by 68degrees View Post
does this mean that other meters will confuse heat for light and give false readings when taking photos of hot things?
A strong shift of the maximum light intensity into the far red would be still registered by other meters (if no IR cut filter is present) but not recorded by orthochromatic film.
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Old 05-29-2018   #96
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I just went through the same process myself, though I was looking for a second body to go with my F2A. My F2A is black and I keep it loaded with black and white film, and I wanted a chrome body to load with color film like I used to do back in the day.

The one complaint I always had with the F2, FM and even my Leica cameras was the shutter speed dial on the top. I love the selector around the lens mount a la Nikkormat and Olympus OM-1, and for that reason I went with a Nikkormat FT3. The FT3 is built just as well as the F2, uses very similar match-needle metering and modern batteries. My lenses are all AI-S, AI or AI-converted, so an FT2 was not in consideration.
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Old 05-29-2018   #97
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I'm going to qualify this, I own multiple Nikkormats and a pair of FMs and love both. In your case if it's only one camera, get the FM, it's lighter, the meter is not prone to jumping and uses the ubiquitous SR44 batteries.
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Old 05-29-2018   #98
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..The FT3 is built just as well as the F2, uses very similar match-needle metering and modern batteries. My lenses are all AI-S, AI or AI-converted, so an FT2 was not in consideration.
Why not? It uses AI/AI-S and non AI lenses. Which is why I got one - I can use it with all my MF Nikon lenses.

p.s. when this thread was created, the Nikkormat FT3 and Nikon FM were current model cameras...
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Old 05-29-2018   #99
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Why not the FT2? Because some later lenses do not have the "ears" that couple with the meter pin on the FT2. I have such a lens.
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Old 05-29-2018   #100
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The early black Nikkormat FTn reminds me somehow of the rangefinder Nikons. That is why I like it so much, just as the black Nikon F with standard prism.

The design of the FM and FE is so terribly middle of the road.

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Old 05-29-2018   #101
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Originally Posted by Erik van Straten View Post
The early black Nikkormat FTn reminds me somehow of the rangefinder Nikons. That is why I like it so much, just like the black Nikon F with standard prism.

The design of the FM and FE is so terribly middle of the road.

Erik.
Agreed, and I have the same black Nikkormat FTn just back in rotation to use. I think it is time to get a new lens. Erik, which lens would you recommend to replace the 50 1.8?
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Old 05-29-2018   #102
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Agreed, and I have the same black Nikkormat FTn just back in rotation to use. I think it is time to get a new lens. Erik, which lens would you recommend to replace the 50 1.8?

I'm not Erik, nor do I speak for him..

I like using the Nikkor GN45mm 2.8 on mine.
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Old 05-29-2018   #103
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I recently got a Nikomat FTn, and chose the Nikkor-H Auto 50mm f/2 non-AI because it was one of the cheapest lenses I could find. I was very surprised by the image quality. Erik has many beautiful images with that lens on this thread:
https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=137684
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Old 01-11-2019   #104
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I was looking for a Nikkormat thread and found this one. I've had a bunch over the years, mostly FTs' and FTns'. Had a FT2 a couple of years ago and gave it to a high school student. One of the technicians at a local shop began painting cameras, mostly as a hobby but also if a customer asked. I was actually looking for a FS before starting this project. The shop had about three boxes of Nikkormat's in various states of disrepair. I found a FT2 with only a few dents on the bottom plate and that was the starting point. The color is Duracoat OD green and the covering is stingray leather from Hugo. I wanted a FS mostly because it's always the meter that causes headaches. I have a roll of Porta 400 in it now for testing but I'll bring the Sekonic along to see how close the meters match. It was a fun project and well worth the wait.
[IMG]1MD_0898 by Michael DeLuca, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 01-11-2019   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
I was looking for a Nikkormat thread and found this one. I've had a bunch over the years, mostly FTs' and FTns'. Had a FT2 a couple of years ago and gave it to a high school student. One of the technicians at a local shop began painting cameras, mostly as a hobby but also if a customer asked. I was actually looking for a FS before starting this project. The shop had about three boxes of Nikkormat's in various states of disrepair. I found a FT2 with only a few dents on the bottom plate and that was the starting point. The color is Duracoat OD green and the covering is stingray leather from Hugo. I wanted a FS mostly because it's always the meter that causes headaches. I have a roll of Porta 400 in it now for testing but I'll bring the Sekonic along to see how close the meters match. It was a fun project and well worth the wait.
[IMG]1MD_0898 by Michael DeLuca, on Flickr[/IMG]
WOW!!!!!!

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Old 01-11-2019   #106
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.... I wanted a FS mostly because it's always the meter that causes headaches. ...
I started down the road but stopped because of lack of threads for an AR-1. Not in love with the lever style for changing shutter speeds (prefer the FTn or just about all others). Kind of stupid, but I agree the lack of meter is a plus.

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Old 01-11-2019   #107
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It started out as a chrome FT2. There was a black FT2 donor body for scavenged parts. The wind lever and self timer lever came from a FTn. I did learn some of my very early Nikkor lenses won't work because of the deep aperture rings interfering with the meter prong. I have to give the lens a little extra twist after mounting it to have the meter index pop into place. The meter started out a few stops different from the Sekonic 308 but it seems to be settling down. The tech was interested in doing a project and in the end it wasn't too expensive to get something different.
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Old 01-11-2019   #108
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The OP hasn't posted on RFF since 2016. Other posters have no doubt since gone on to the big forum in the sky.
But like the rest of you here's my opinion: The FE is a better alternative than any of the other options mentioned.

Nikon FE is AI, uses a modern battery, is fully manual or autoexposure - with AE lock, accepts MD-11 or MD-12,
accepts interchangeable screens, has full-information viewfinder with analog scale, and is cheap as chips today.

Chris
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Old 01-11-2019   #109
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I had Nikons for years alongside Leica Ms. The Nikkormats are bulky & noisy. I loved the handling of the FM & FM2/FM3. Smallish and robust.
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Old 01-11-2019   #110
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Originally Posted by ChrisPlatt View Post
The OP hasn't posted on RFF since 2016. Other posters have no doubt since gone on to the big forum in the sky.
But like the rest of you here's my opinion: The FE is a better alternative than any of the other options mentioned.

Nikon FE is AI, uses a modern battery, is fully manual or autoexposure - with AE lock, accepts MD-11 or MD-12,
accepts interchangeable screens, has full-information viewfinder with analog scale, and is cheap as chips today.

Chris
While I would agree with you on most points Chris, it still needs a battery to work. If it had a mechanical shutter and not electronic I think it'd be ideal.
I covet a nice black FM2. I think it would compliment my M3 as a fine mechanical camera from Nikon. I'd also like a nice black OM-1 too.
As it is, I'm saving for a Sony A7iii while I shoot the daylights out of my A7ii, with adapted lenses of course.
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Old 01-11-2019   #111
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Originally Posted by ChrisPlatt View Post
The OP hasn't posted on RFF since 2016. Other posters have no doubt since gone on to the big forum in the sky.
But like the rest of you here's my opinion: The FE is a better alternative than any of the other options mentioned.

Nikon FE is AI, uses a modern battery, is fully manual or autoexposure - with AE lock, accepts MD-11 or MD-12,
accepts interchangeable screens, has full-information viewfinder with analog scale, and is cheap as chips today.

Chris
I like the FA. Then the FE... and really like it w/ the motor drive MD12. Those cameras are not expensive. They break, you buy another. And they break.
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Old 01-11-2019   #112
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I wonder what he bought? That was 8 years ago.

There's really only one sensible answer.....Nikkormat all the way, baby! These things are built almost as good as a Leicaflex, have great meters, and never seem to die. Their Copal shutter is so wonderful. I love the sound of it. Just a beautifully designed and made camera. Classic for sure. Yeah, the shutter speed thing is a little fiddly, but you get used to it.

The story is that Nikon made them as a more affordable alternative to their pro F cameras, thinking that the pros would buy a Nikkormat for a backup. A lot did, but it turned out that a lot of people preferred them, so the F cameras sat in the bag, which hurt the F sales.

The Nikkormat EL was also Nikon's first electronic camera, and even today it is still a fine camera and a reliable shooter.
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Old 01-12-2019   #113
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I wonder what he bought? That was 8 years ago.

There's really only one sensible answer.....Nikkormat all the way, baby! These things are built almost as good as a Leicaflex, have great meters, and never seem to die. Their Copal shutter is so wonderful. I love the sound of it. Just a beautifully designed and made camera. Classic for sure. Yeah, the shutter speed thing is a little fiddly, but you get used to it.

The story is that Nikon made them as a more affordable alternative to their pro F cameras, thinking that the pros would buy a Nikkormat for a backup. A lot did, but it turned out that a lot of people preferred them, so the F cameras sat in the bag, which hurt the F sales.

The Nikkormat EL was also Nikon's first electronic camera, and even today it is still a fine camera and a reliable shooter.
As a very recent Nikon-film-SLR-user, I can say: Yes, the two Nikkormat FTn that are now in my household have been a very good choice.

BTW, it is probably one of the most simply curable cameras; when something —— e.g. the shutter speed ring —— is gritty or sluggish, one can drizzle some drops of ZIPPO fluid there over the part in question, and chances are very very high that the problems are gone
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Old 01-12-2019   #114
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Nikkormat FTn, Nikkor 50mm f/2, 400-2TMY.

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Old 01-12-2019   #115
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The Nikkormat EL was also Nikon's first electronic camera, and even today it is still a fine camera and a reliable shooter.
Yes, I have an EL, nicely built camera with a great viewfinder! Heavy and an unusual battery location. I keep it for use with older Nikkors.
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Old 01-12-2019   #116
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Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
I was looking for a Nikkormat thread and found this one. I've had a bunch over the years, mostly FTs' and FTns'. Had a FT2 a couple of years ago and gave it to a high school student. One of the technicians at a local shop began painting cameras, mostly as a hobby but also if a customer asked. I was actually looking for a FS before starting this project. The shop had about three boxes of Nikkormat's in various states of disrepair. I found a FT2 with only a few dents on the bottom plate and that was the starting point. The color is Duracoat OD green and the covering is stingray leather from Hugo. I wanted a FS mostly because it's always the meter that causes headaches. I have a roll of Porta 400 in it now for testing but I'll bring the Sekonic along to see how close the meters match. It was a fun project and well worth the wait.

1MD_0898 by Michael DeLuca, on Flickr
Quote:
Originally Posted by madNbad View Post
It started out as a chrome FT2. There was a black FT2 donor body for scavenged parts. The wind lever and self timer lever came from a FTn. I did learn some of my very early Nikkor lenses won't work because of the deep aperture rings interfering with the meter prong. I have to give the lens a little extra twist after mounting it to have the meter index pop into place. The meter started out a few stops different from the Sekonic 308 but it seems to be settling down. The tech was interested in doing a project and in the end it wasn't too expensive to get something different.
Marvellous! Do you think your friendly camera shop is prepared to sell such an item to Europe?
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Old 01-12-2019   #117
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This was mostly a side project for the technician. The painting was done at his home shop at the same time he was painting a body for a co-worker. For any amount of production, they would need a full paint booth, including ventilation and storage. The shop is not large enough to support that amount of space not to mention the investment needed to have it up and running.
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Buying an older Nikon/Nikkormat
Old 01-12-2019   #118
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Exclamation Buying an older Nikon/Nikkormat

Given the extend of prior rep-lies. I expect my 2 cents to be greatly devalued, but here is it. Note that I have owned and used all of these cameras. I see your priorities are getting a Nikon-type camera from the later 1970s, low cost, durable, and easy to use. These are my choices: Nikkormat FT2/FT3, FM series, and FE series. The Nikkormat FT2 is solid, reliable, and easy to service. No fancy electronics to age out. Will take all Nikkors pre-AI and meter couple. Meter takes silver oxide battery, easily available, unlike prior models. Readily available in good condition at low cost. Negatives: size and weight. The Nikkormat FT3 is the same camera, except that it is AI coupling and can take pre-AI lenses in stop down mode. Negative: Fewer made, so harder to find a good one. Between the two, find an FT3. In the FM/FE series, the biggest difference between the FM and FM2 is shutter improvement yielding fast high speed in the /2 versions; same for FE/FE2. I'd prefer the FM (diode meter readouts)or FE (scale & pointer readout) because they mount the pre-AI lenses, whereas the /2 versions do not. The /2 versions are much more expensive than the original models. Lenses: A great three lens kit would be AI versions of 28mm 2.8, 105mm 2.5, and 50mm 2.0, all are of an era compatible with the suggested bodies and relatively inexpensive. Alternatives: 24mm 2.8 AI; 135mm2.8 AI. The later 50mm 1.8 versions are excellent optically, but look plastic/new, unlike the terrific 50mm 2.0. Good hunting.

Last edited by randy stewart : 01-12-2019 at 15:23. Reason: text correction
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