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Switching from SLR to DSLR
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Apr 5, 2021 01:40:20   #
Doc Johnson Loc: Nashville
 
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG which is a wonderful camera but film is getting harder to find. Love to shoot B/W again film supply is dwindling. Interested in switching to digital and would like something comparable with the FG as far as capabilities but know very little about digital cameras. What are comparable digital cameras that don’t suck the wallet dry. I’m disabled but can still get out and enjoy the hobby. Advice is appreciated on selecting a digital array of equipment, something comparable to an F1.8, 70-210 zoom and 28 or so wide angle are what I currently have. Have two flash units Vivitar 283 and a Sunpack. Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance

Apr 5, 2021 03:32:54   #
lamiaceae Loc: San Luis Obispo County, CA
 
Doc Johnson wrote:
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG which is a wonderful camera but film is getting harder to find. Love to shoot B/W again film supply is dwindling. Interested in switching to digital and would like something comparable with the FG as far as capabilities but know very little about digital cameras. What are comparable digital cameras that don’t suck the wallet dry. I’m disabled but can still get out and enjoy the hobby. Advice is appreciated on selecting a digital array of equipment, something comparable to an F1.8, 70-210 zoom and 28 or so wide angle are what I currently have. Have two flash units Vivitar 283 and a Sunpack. Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG ... (show quote)


Welcome, I'll be blunt and honest and not bomb you will all my favorite gear as many others will do. Before buying anything join a local photo or camera club, or take a beginning digital photography class at a local community college or school district adult education program. I you are good at learning from reading without actual instruction. Some of the membership on here can recommend books and web sites for you to read about digital camera use, the computer processing software you will need, and cameras, lens, accessory, composition concepts.

What I will say is you may want to start with a camera most like your Nikon FG. As I recall, the the FG was like a FE on auto or similar to a Pentax ME. You might be able to use your existing lenses on a used Nikon Df or new or used Nikon D5xx0 or D7xx0 body or a if you want to go to newer technology in a mirrorless, MILC, a Nikon Z body would be a place to start but have a steeper learning curve. You should soon receive hundreds of suggestions.

I also understand the partially handicapped issue as I have bad arthritis and have trouble holding my cameras and use a wheel chair to get around. I have not found a perfect solution for myself yet so I will not even attempt to solve it for you, more about where to get help. And there should be some on here. Good luck, and do reply back and post your progress later.

Apr 5, 2021 04:14:13   #
lamiaceae Loc: San Luis Obispo County, CA
 
Doc Johnson wrote:
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG which is a wonderful camera but film is getting harder to find. Love to shoot B/W again film supply is dwindling. Interested in switching to digital and would like something comparable with the FG as far as capabilities but know very little about digital cameras. What are comparable digital cameras that don’t suck the wallet dry. I’m disabled but can still get out and enjoy the hobby. Advice is appreciated on selecting a digital array of equipment, something comparable to an F1.8, 70-210 zoom and 28 or so wide angle are what I currently have. Have two flash units Vivitar 283 and a Sunpack. Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG ... (show quote)


You can mail order film from B & H Photo, Adorama, and Freestyle. You might have to use totally new flash units as those may damage a new camera. I have owned a Sunpac and that Vivitar flash, but never used them with my digital cameras. I have two old Pentax flashes that work safely with all my Pentax film and digital bodies. And I have remote RF flash releases to be sure. I also have two modern strobe units bought less than two years ago. As I said in my other reply, you need a lot more knowledge before you start making purchases.

 
 
Apr 5, 2021 05:00:00   #
Orphoto Loc: Oregon
 
You might consider finding a used d7100 or d7200. While slightly more expensive you should have full use of your current lenses.

Plan on budgeting some funds for computer and software. Borrow from the film and processing streams.

If money is really tight try a used d90.

To catch the redefined wide end pick up an inexpensive used 18-55 lens and experience autofocus for the first time.

Apr 5, 2021 05:21:31   #
BebuLamar
 
Nikon D700. With 12MP it's about the same resolution as film and being full frame it's the same as film. New it was about $3000 but now it's old you can get good working one for not too much money.
If you go for the APS-C the images will be different with the same lenses.

Apr 5, 2021 06:01:33   #
Gene51 Loc: Yonkers, NY, now in LSD (LowerSlowerDelaware)
 
Doc Johnson wrote:
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG which is a wonderful camera but film is getting harder to find. Love to shoot B/W again film supply is dwindling. Interested in switching to digital and would like something comparable with the FG as far as capabilities but know very little about digital cameras. What are comparable digital cameras that don’t suck the wallet dry. I’m disabled but can still get out and enjoy the hobby. Advice is appreciated on selecting a digital array of equipment, something comparable to an F1.8, 70-210 zoom and 28 or so wide angle are what I currently have. Have two flash units Vivitar 283 and a Sunpack. Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG ... (show quote)


You didn't mention a budget, and not sucking the wallet dry is a vague and relative term.

I would be careful seeking out an old Nikon body. After 10 yrs or so it can become hard to find parts, and even Nikon can't fix them. I would suggest a D850 as being the closest you can get to a film experience that is still in production. The D700 was introduced in 2008 and was discontinued in 2012. You can find a clean used one for around $400 . The D800/800E followed it and both have three times the resolution - 36 mp - bringing you closer to the film experience, but were discontinued in 2014. The 36.7 mp D810's production started in 2014 and ended in 2019 though some Nikon-refurbished copies can be found. Personally I would not buy anything older than a D810. D850 is currently selling used for around $2200, and the D810 around $1100.

I don't think you'll find a 70-200 that is faster than F2.8. Too heavy, too expensive. The Nikon 70-200 FL F2.8 is an excellent lens, but it costs about $2300. The previous model, the VR II, suffered from extreme focus breathing - at 200mm and it's closest focusing distance it provided an angle of view of a 125-130mm lens.

The nice thing about the newer cameras is that digital noise and dynamic range is best in class. Older cameras lack the resolution and have higher noise/lower dynamic range - making the experience less film-like. So other than for certain specific situations where you need extremely shallow depth of field, a lens that is F2.8 is sufficiently fast to get clean, crisp images with most current and recent camera models. Nikon's 24-70mm F2.8 would fit the bill as a good sharp and versatile lens.

Be careful with the Vivitar 283 - some models had trigger voltages of 200v - which would absolutely fry the electronics in any digital camera. The same for Sunpak. I would check with this list - http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

And use Google to look up your specific models to learn about mitigation strategies for high sync voltage.

Good Luck in your search!

Apr 5, 2021 06:06:16   #
cameraf4 Loc: Delaware
 
With a Nikon Df you can ease back into photography at you own pace while using your "old, familiar" Nikon lenses. No, they won't auto-focus but then they never did on the FG either. The Df looks and feels very much like an older Nikon film camera but it is fully digital with just about all the new digital "Bells and Whistles". You just don't have to use them if you don't want to.
Your old lenses will work just as you are use to --- no "crop factor" calculating to worry about. And, if you rediscover your passion for photography, you can ease into the lens market and "branch out" with some newer AF gear. The Df does not have a pop-up flash like most new cameras do. Neither did your FG. We can help you with that, too, if you go in this direction.

 
 
Apr 5, 2021 06:30:18   #
traderjohn Loc: New York City
 
Doc Johnson wrote:
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG which is a wonderful camera but film is getting harder to find. Love to shoot B/W again film supply is dwindling. Interested in switching to digital and would like something comparable with the FG as far as capabilities but know very little about digital cameras. What are comparable digital cameras that don’t suck the wallet dry. I’m disabled but can still get out and enjoy the hobby. Advice is appreciated on selecting a digital array of equipment, something comparable to an F1.8, 70-210 zoom and 28 or so wide angle are what I currently have. Have two flash units Vivitar 283 and a Sunpack. Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG ... (show quote)


You know how to take pictures and what is involved. Nikon has a mirrorless line with lenses. Go to their website and check them out.

Apr 5, 2021 06:57:28   #
whfowle Loc: Tampa first, now Albuquerque
 
If at all possible, find someone who has a digital slr camera and ask a lot of questions. Coming from a Nikon FG, which is a very automated camera, you will find the digital slr's to have much more software related options to learn to get the most out of them. The other thing you will notice is the weight difference between the two. If you are looking to save money, go used. The best source for reliable used is KEH. If you call them, you can also get good advice and maybe even find a starter camera and lens you can afford.

Apr 5, 2021 07:08:47   #
chrisg-optical Loc: New York, NY
 
You have several choices here for DSLR - Nikon Df is a full frame digital that will accept your current F mount lenses - manual focus only. The Df has the closest feel and classic look of an older F SLR, but those are the only 2 benefits I can see with the Df - otherwise it is $$ expensive and a bit behind tech wise. Only 16 MP but that is usually sufficient for most uses unless you will blow it up to billboard size.

Here are some better choices. How about going mirrorless? For FF the Z5 is a full frame entry level that you could get a great deal on the Nikon refurbished site - you will need an FTZ adapter to use your current lenses - manual focus of course.

A Z50 kit with the 2 Z lenses and FTZ adapter will give you lot's of flexibility. You will just have to make a slight adjustment with the crop sensor but since you are viewing live on the Z50 you can see what the different views are with a 28mm on both.

A refurbished D750 is a good choice if you want stay with a FF DSLR.

If you want to divorce Nikon (and get all new lenses), you can go with many mirrorless choices. Fuji XT-30 or X-S10 (both APSC/crop) are good choices. Panasonic Lumix is great for micro4/3rd format, or if you want to take chances on Olympus the OM-D M5 line is good. M43 format will save you bulk and weight since the 2x crop factor/smaller sensor allows for smaller lenses.

Best bet, if you can, try handling all of these cameras at a local store if you can.

Apr 5, 2021 07:15:03   #
leftj Loc: Texas
 
Doc Johnson wrote:
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG which is a wonderful camera but film is getting harder to find. Love to shoot B/W again film supply is dwindling. Interested in switching to digital and would like something comparable with the FG as far as capabilities but know very little about digital cameras. What are comparable digital cameras that don’t suck the wallet dry. I’m disabled but can still get out and enjoy the hobby. Advice is appreciated on selecting a digital array of equipment, something comparable to an F1.8, 70-210 zoom and 28 or so wide angle are what I currently have. Have two flash units Vivitar 283 and a Sunpack. Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG ... (show quote)


Really don't understand your statement that film is hard to find. There is an abundance of film available from any number of sources.

 
 
Apr 5, 2021 08:07:13   #
lamiaceae Loc: San Luis Obispo County, CA
 
leftj wrote:
Really don't understand your statement that film is hard to find. There is an abundance of film available from any number of sources.


I would guess he meant not available at Taget, Walmart, Drug Stores, and Super Markets. It used to be.

Apr 5, 2021 09:05:33   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
We started a Film Photography section: https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/s-136-1.html Please consider hitting the <Subscribe> button at the top of the page from this link.

As mentioned, there's plenty of film readily available from online vendors.

A budget is the best way to get realistic camera suggestions. Already, we're seeing suggestions in this thread for discontinued 10+ year old DSLRs that run today about $400 used to the newest top-line releases that run about $3000. You can spend as much, or as little, as desired for Nikon bodies that retain the functions of your existing film lenses, but a budget is needed to better craft a camera model to your budget.

Apr 5, 2021 09:39:42   #
BebuLamar
 
I don't feel 35mm film is better than a 12 or 16MP camera so there is no need for high res camera. There is a need for full frame to be the same as film though.

Apr 5, 2021 09:47:03   #
Najataagihe
 
Doc Johnson wrote:
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG which is a wonderful camera but film is getting harder to find. Love to shoot B/W again film supply is dwindling. Interested in switching to digital and would like something comparable with the FG as far as capabilities but know very little about digital cameras. What are comparable digital cameras that don’t suck the wallet dry. I’m disabled but can still get out and enjoy the hobby. Advice is appreciated on selecting a digital array of equipment, something comparable to an F1.8, 70-210 zoom and 28 or so wide angle are what I currently have. Have two flash units Vivitar 283 and a Sunpack. Any advice appreciated. Thanks in advance
Newly here but amateur enthusiast have a Nikon FG ... (show quote)


My beloved FG is sitting in its own Domke bag with its SB-15, while the Sunpak 555 is on the shelf next to it.

Your rig is almost identical to mine - fast normal and 70-210 mm.

(I never needed a wide-angle, in the Paleozoic era.)


MY replacement?

Nikon D5600 with 18-55mm kit lens, 55-200mm zoom and 35mm f/1.8.

These focal lengths roughly correspond to 28-80mm, 80-300mm (Yes, that is THREE hundred) and 50mm lenses for 35mm film cameras.


You can save a few bucks by going with the D3500 and all you lose is the flippy screen.

The flippy screen eliminates the need to crane my neck for certain shots.


Find an SB-400, AFTER you have tried the built-in flash.

You might not need it.

These new cameras do not need as much flash power as film.


Whatever you do, do NOT use your current flashes.

The trigger voltage is way too high for the new cameras.


For budget, sell any lenses with which you can bear to part and buy new ones.

You will gain auto-focus and lose a LOT of weight!


You can get bigger, heavier, fancier cameras, used or new, but they will not take better pictures.

Personally, weight is a big bugaboo - the less, the better.


The D5600 and D3500 are flyweight cameras that don't require a huge learning curve.


Your replacement?

Whatever you wish.

I would just beware of someone trying to upsell you to something you really don't need.



Have fun!

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