GeneralThis is not a camera for everybody. First of all, it is a film camera (with this, I might have lost several of you already, but hopefully you'll plug back in in a while, once you realize what the Nikon FM is capable of). Secondly, it is a manual camera - not only is focus manual, but also exposure (there is an on-board meter, but you must set aperture/shutter speed yourself). So, why would you be interested in such a camera? Read on to find out.
Pros/Cons+ War Zone Camera: Reliable, tough, and fully mechanical (doesn't need batteries to operate - except for the on-board meter)
+ can use (and meter) any lens with an aperture ring - pre-AI, AI, AF. In theory also modern AF-S G lenses, but without an aperture ring, you're stuck with the smallest aperture*
+ Superb viewfinder with split prism, allows you precision manual focus and proper depth-of-field estimation even for very fast lenses (modern film and digital cameras only go up to about f/2.8. The FM goes until f/1.2)
*new lenses - like the newest 300mm f/4 VR - have an electronic diaphragm. That means, when mount on a camera like the FM, you're stuck with the largest aperture - a much better scenario!
- No TTL flash support
- Although it's not heavy, it's not light either. The front being flat, it doesn't offer a good grip.
- Slightly loud (in fact, you can set the 1-sec exposure and actually listen to the gear mechanism unwinding)
Intended UsersGreat for:
- photographers who need a truly (and I mean truly) reliable camera that can take some serious abuse and keep on going - without batteries, let me remind you
- all kinds of landscape and nature photography - where you can take your time to consider (and enjoy) setting up.
- portraiture with very fast primes. If you got frustrated trying to manually focus your 50mm f/1.2 or 85mm f/1.4 on a DSLR, you've got to try the FM experience.
- fast action (duh! It's manual focus and exposure)
- if you've never shot film, and you only know how to operate your D3200, learn the tricks with a more modern film camera first. Although the FM is a very simple camera to operate, its philosophy is significantly different.
- flash photography. Slow sync (1/125), and no TTL support.