Macro lens on a FM3a

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Jouni Filip Maho, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. I've decided to enhance my equipment with a Nikon FM3a plus a 100-ish
    Macro/Micro. As I've understood from quering here earlier, almost any
    Nikon lens works with the FM3a, as long as it has an aperture ring.

    Apparently there are both AF and MF versions of the Micro-Nikkor
    105/2.8. Does it matter which one I chose? More specifically, are they
    optically equivalent? If they are, I might go with the AF if I decide to
    buy a Nikon AF body later on.

    How about a third party lens? Does the Tamron 90/2.8 Macro work with a
    FM3a? Does the Nikon-mounting version come with an aperture ring?

    Are there other 100-ish Macro lenses for the FM3a that I should be on
    the lookout for? I'll probably buy a used one.

    Any help would be welcome
    Jouni Filip Maho, Jul 24, 2003
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  2. .... and is post-AI. Various resources on the 'net about pre-AI/AI/AIS, but
    basically the FM3a will work nicely with AI or AIS and pre-AIs may cause
    Not sure, to be honest... but I believe the MF version goes to half life
    size. AF is next to useless for macro, but if you intend buying more recent
    Nikon SLR or DSLR in the future, you'll need an AF lens. Again, plenty of
    info on the net... I suggest as a starting place.

    Ah, sorry... but I have both the FM3a and the Tamron and i'm more than a
    little pleased with them. The older Tamron is also half-life-size focusing,
    feels very solid, has a 49mm filter thread, and mounts on the camera via
    Tamron Adaptall mount. There are two limitations with this mount; it won't
    work with AF cameras (at least with metering and so forth) and it won't work
    with pre-AI SLRs (at least with metering and so forth). There are newer
    versions what go down to full life size, and newer still that are AF. It is
    a very good portrait lens, and a very good macro lens, and can be had for a
    fraction of the price of the Nikkors.
    Vivitar Series One, Tokina, (old) Sigma, Elicar... or a Series E 100/2.8 and
    a set of extension tubes. Bear in mind NONE offer metering with AF cameras,
    and if you are seriously considering getting an AF camera, it would be a
    better bet getting the AF Tamron as opposed to any of the manual focus
    lenses. As I said, AF isn't strictly necessary (at all :) ) for the two
    main uses of these lenses (portraiture or macro) and metering can be done
    via external metering... but AF cameras make you lazy.
    Martin Francis, Jul 24, 2003
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  3. Jouni Filip Maho

    Doug Payne Guest

    Yes, and yes.
    Doug Payne, Jul 24, 2003
  4. Jouni Filip Maho

    columbotrek Guest

    The Nikor 105mm f/2.8 is a good lens. True you don't need or should use
    AF while your on a tripod getting that 1:1 closeup. There is a control
    on the lens for engaging the manual focus. The lens also makes a good
    normal 105mm. For me it doubles as a portrait lens. I also like that
    you can stop it down to f/32 as you often need all the DOF you can get.
    When you focus into the micro zone its effective stop goes even smaller.
    Exposure times can get on the long side. But then you are already on a
    tripod so not much trouble with that. You can get fouled up if you are
    using studio flash. You think you are shooting at f/11 when you could
    be more like f/32 depending on how close you are focusing. The auto
    cameras are no problem as they tell you what the real stop is. With the
    FM3a you will need to do some math or reference a chart like the one in
    Kodak's pocket guide. The lens has a nice scale on it to tell you what
    magnification you are using so its easy to calculate.
    I only know what I have been told about non-Nikor glass as I only have
    Nikor glass. Even the lens in my enlarger is Nikor. All I can say is
    that I am pleased with the Nikor glass that I own.

    columbotrek, Jul 25, 2003
  5. Jouni Filip Maho

    AT Guest

    go for the AF nikon it is superb.
    AT, Jul 25, 2003
  6. Are you planning to use the lens strictly for macro work? If so, you
    can't go wrong with any of the 105mm micro nikkors. In manual focus,
    there is a f/4 and an f/2.8 model, both of which focus down to 1:2
    without a tube. The AF 105mm f/2.8 focuses down to 1:1 without a

    If in addition to macro work you're planning on using it as a short
    telephoto or a portrait lens, one of my favorite lenses is a Tokina
    90mm f/2.5 macro. Manual focus, focuses down to 1:2 without an
    adapter or tube. I've also heard good things about the Tamron 90mm
    and the Kiron 105mm macro.
    Michael Benveniste, Jul 25, 2003
  7. Thanks for all the valuable replies.

    If I can afford it, I'll go with the AF Nikkor. Otherwise it's a Tamron.
    It has to be a 1:1. I already have a 1:2 macro (Tokina 100/2.8) for my
    Canon, and it just isn't close enough. I experimented with tubes on a
    old Mamiya 35mm camera once, but it was a bit cumbersome.

    It'll mainly be used for macro, in particular colorful flowers and, if I
    can manage, whatever insects are on them.

    I've only experimented with macro photography so far. It's easy to get
    hooked on it.
    Jouni Filip Maho, Jul 25, 2003
  8. Jouni Filip Maho

    DJA Guest

    If in addition to macro work you're planning on using it as a short
    I second that. The Tokina makes wonderful images, both as a macro lens and
    short telephoto. KEH (where I purchased mine) has an AIS in EX Plus for

    DJA, Jul 25, 2003
  9. The 105mm f=2.8 micro is no longer in production (since 1990) so you would
    have to find one used. The AF version is still being made.
    William Graham, Jul 25, 2003
  10. Jouni Filip Maho

    T P Guest

    Not so, at least not with *every* Nikon DSLR. The D1/D1X/D1H all
    offer centre-weighted metering with manual focus lenses, and the
    recently announced D2H (and soon-to-be announced D2X) both offer
    *matrix metering* with manual focus lenses!

    Thank goodness Nikon have seen sense to include this excellent feature
    (which was present in the Nikon F4) in the D2 range. Alas, the
    consumer-grade D100 will not even meter with manual focus lenses,
    although they *will* mount properly to the camera and can be used with
    a hand held light meter.
    T P, Jul 25, 2003
  11. Jouni Filip Maho

    T P Guest

    Why would anyone except the inept (or terminally lazy,
    or both) want an autofocus lens for macro work?
    T P, Jul 25, 2003
  12. Jouni Filip Maho

    Bruce Murphy Guest

    It should be noted that for actual macro work, however, this becomes a *huge*
    pain with all the exciting compensation required.

    Bruce Murphy, Jul 26, 2003
  13. How about a third party lens? Does the Tamron 90/2.8 Macro work with a
    The Tamron 90 2.8 is an excellent lens. Better yet, go for the phenomenal
    Kiron 105 2.8.
    Quietlightphoto, Jul 30, 2003
  14. Are there other 100-ish Macro lenses for the FM3a that I should be on
    The Kiron 105 2.8 macro is phenomenal!
    Quietlightphoto, Aug 2, 2003
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