50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
I've been using Nikons for over 20 years, starting with my first used and battered Ftn. Over that time I've a accumulated a dozen Nikkor lenses and numerous accessories, as well as an assortment of bodies.
One thing that's been missing in recent years from the Nikon line is a reasonably priced entry-level manual camera. The cheaper Nikons have tended to be fully automated cameras, and the cheapest manual Nikon still being made was, until recently, the FM2 at well over $500.
If you work the way I do, you need a manual camera and don't have a lot of use for automation and autofocusing. If you own an old Nikon and some old Nikkor lenses, you may want a simple manual camera body that can accomodate them. If you're a student starting out, or an artist on a budget, you need a manual camera.
If you fit into any of these categories, the FM10 is a great choice. It may not be as rugged as a $1200 F3 or a $2500 F5, but it's well made and should last many years. I'm not a fan of zoom lenses for my own work, but the included 35-70 is a good quality lens with a useful range, and you can add more lenses if you need them.
All in all, a good value and a long-needed inexpensive entry into the Nikon system.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2009
This 35mm is pretty much the perfect college kid film camera. It wont spoon feed you when it comes to learning, which will really help you in the long run. In the age of "press this button and you're focused", this camera is one of the few 35mm's left that doesn't have AF. Also wont change exposure levels to what the camera suggests(such as AV or TV mode some cameras have), this gives you the freedom to be creative as some shots have a whole different mood if underexposed a stop or overexposed a bit. As for manual focus, it's something you need to be able to do as a photographer. Sometimes the computer in your camera just doesn't focus perfectly on that eye you want in focus, or for something as precise as macro photography which has very shallow depth you're going to need pinpoint accuracy that a computer can not do for you.
This lens is great because it's like the vintage 35mm except you don't have to worry about the light meter or any other small part inside of it being broken. Nor do you have to worry about the image quality. The kit lens in this camera is very sharp. It's a bit limiting considering it's f/3.5 so that rules out really low light(but grain can be good, unlike noise in digital; grain has an artistic quality), but considering the price and the quality of the whole kit it's great.
Sure you can get a used one from the 70's or 80's for way cheaper, but chances are something is broken in that thing and you may not know until you've invested 2 hours developing the first roll in your class...
So shell out a little bit extra and get this, it's worth it.
I still like this, shot some street photography with it since it's really compact compared to a big DSLR, but one big con I've found is build quality. It's got a lot of plastic, and I did drop it once which resulted in a huge dent. The silver parts look metal but they aren't, they're some sort of chrome paint covering more plastic. I don't baby my gear so this thing's starting to look kinda ugly. It hasn't completely broken yet though. I said the kit lens was sharp in my review, but really I now know it's not as good as I made it out to be, I recommend a used nikon e series 50mm 1.8 ais which can be had for cheap on the used market.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2012
Like many online reviews and even Wikipedia describe this camera, the FM-10 is a entry level film camera. Still, even though it lacks any kind of automation and (more important IMHO) a ground-glass pentaprism viewfinder (extremely important for depth-of-field preview with lenses faster than f/2.8), I believe that this camera is as good as any other SLR film camera. Furthermore, I doubt that any beginner or even more serious amateur photographer who would choose film over digital, has a desire for high automation features in such a camera. The FM-10 (manufactured by Cosina in Japan and sold under the Nikon brand) has a built in light-meter that requires two small batteries (provided with the camera) and is operated by a separate button on the slightly upper left side of the lens. Operating the meter button does require a shift in what would be the most natural and safest left hand grip of the camera, so that holding the camera in a steady position while using the light meter button becomes a bit uncomfortable, but that probably only goes for people with smaller hands like myself. Since most modern light meters suffer from a biased factory calibration (meaning they would fail the grey card test), I am yet to run some appropriate tests as to check the accuracy of this light meter's calibration. On the positive side (and the right side of the camera), the depth-of-field preview button/lever, although not useful through the entire aperture range as mentioned above, is in a comfortable position and does fulfill its purpose at apertures starting from f/4 up. Although built on a metallic frame, the camera's body is mostly plastic. Personally, I don't think it feels cheap (no squeaky noises during handling) but I do feel like exercising caution at all times when handling it or placing it on hard surfaces, and I will think twice before taking the camera out in the rain, mist or extreme cold weather (I wouldn't care with a 35 yrs. old Nikon F1), rolling in the dirt or sand for nature close ups, etc. The camera case, although not made of quality leather as you might expect from a Nikon camera (but again, this is NOT a Nikon built camera), does provide a reasonable level of protection, except maybe for the top edges of the camera, where the attempt to leave the strap hooks come thru, has left those areas exposed to dust and other possible external damaging factors. It is also a bit awkward to remove and put back on because its edges always rub harshly agains the focus ring of the lens, which in time might create marks or even damage, especially on a plastic built lens like the one that comes with the camera. I would suggest looking for an older (much tougher and better built) leather case. The lens that comes with the camera is rated one of Nikon's worst lenses (check out Ken Rockwell's reviews for more info), but that doesn't mean you cannot take any pictures at all with it. A lens choice is always a matter of personal taste, as well as an educated choice for some users. The day I ordered my FM-10, I have also ordered a Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 manual focus lens, a mechanical and optical masterpiece suitable only for fully manual film Nikon SLRs at an unbeatable price compared to similar lenses built for digital or automated cameras. I have removed the bundled lens without even removing the lens cap and replaced it with the 50mm (much heavier as it is all metal built). For those who are not willing to "waste" $6-700 on a new fixed lens, I would suggest the older Nikkor 70-200mm AIS lens. You probably won't be able to find a new one because they don't make them anymore (as opposed to the 50mm above that you can get brand new), but you should be able to find one online in very good condition, anywhere between $100 and $400 depending on the seller. I got one for $220 in mint condition on eBay. Remember, the lens is the most important part of your camera and the decisive factor in the overall quality of your pictures (apart of course from your aesthetic and artistic feel). It remains to be seen how the not-so-high-quality of this camera will hold over time, but unless you want to go for one of the much older, bulkier (but better built) genuine Nikon SLRs, then the FM-10 is a good choice for the money, even if I consider the lens completely useless (that's just me). The reason why I didn't go for an old Nikon is because I couldn't find one from a reliable source. All sellers claim their old Nikons to be in perfect or good condition, most of them actually being completely unaware of any possible problems. Unfortunately, the slightest mechanical issue in an old Nikon SLR is very hard to detect, even harder to fix or re-calibrate, and ultimately renders the camera unusable (i.e. a slight shift in exposure time). With the money I'd pay for a defective Nikon F1 (rated in good condition) and having it fixed, I'd get a new FM-10, a leather case and some lens filters. Overall, even if I don't feel the same confidence (yet) as I used to with my old Zenit 11, I am happy with my new purchase and will try to get the best of it for as long as I can. I hope this helps you make the right choice for you.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2012
I ordered this camera for the sole purpose of using it in my black/white photo class. And so far i have been able to do everything required with this camera. The lens that comes with the camera is a great starter lens. you have the 35mm setting for to take some pretty good wide angle shots, and u can zoom in any where all the way up to 70mm. its a very versatile lens! some people think this is a "beginners" camera and while it is a great camera to learn on, even my photography teacher who has been shooting for over 35 years still owns one of these cameras and loves it. the body is not made out of metal like a lot of earlier nikons, but that doesnt mean this camera wont last you a good 40+ years if treated correctly.
but i do however have some concerns.. My first issue was that the lens has a little bit of movement up by the focusing barrel. as in its not 100% tight. im not sure if all lens are like this or if its because this nikkor lens is maybe cheaper quality than other nikon/nikkor lenses. its not really anything big but i decided to exchange it and the next one i got was the same.
also for a night photography assignment i had to do, i decided to shoot without a tripod but instead use some 3200iso film. my instructor said that i should be fine with 3200 because its very sensitive to light, hover i found my self only being able to shoot at f3.5 and with a 30/100 shutter speed! and i did set the cameras iso to 3200. dont know if thats normal or not.
and finally one thing that was confusing about purchasing this camera on amazon was their very confusing product description that says these camera are "refurbished" yet when you look at the sellers and their listings, all of them are listed as new. my camera appeared to be new but i dont think there is a way to tell for sure.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2008
My wife and I have owned an FM and an FE since they were first introduced in the middle to late '70s. Literally thousands of shutter openings have occurred since they were new and we keep promising ourselves we will get newer cameras some day. If and when these two cameras no longer deliver the quality they have for the last 30+ years.
The FM is the grandaddy to the one being sold here and based on our use, this is absolutely the best camera available for users who want to become photographers. There are no shortcuts in photography unless you only care about snapshots.
You who are new to photography will be well served to start with this fine camera and after a few hundred BLACK AND WHITE shots to develop your skills in focus, metering and composition, you MIGHT be ready to take a few color slides. One caveat, however: No Prints! Ever! The learning process and transition to photographer quality from snapshotter will be hard but fun if you spend time learning the craft with an FM 10.
Of course, you get what you work for. If you want shapshots, get a simple little digital and be happy. If you want to produce art, buy a 35mm film camera like the FM 10 and use the only remaining Kodachrome film, KR64 to produce images that will last a lifetime.
Our website, [...] has a few examples of our craft. It is all done in Kodachrome and about half were taken with the FM and the rest with the FE. We have toyed with the notion of going digital but film is so perfect for our art that we cannot bring ourselves to abandon it. We have also thought about upgrading to something more "automatic" but the FE is fine for that. Like I wrote above, if they finally fail us, maybe we will upgrade to something newer, like the FM 10.
Nothing available will give you the results of an FM 10. Of course you have to want to take photographs, not snapshots.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2013
My Fiancé has dreamed of becoming a great photographer, and I am glad that I can assist her as she begins her journey! The packaging to the device was simplistic and secure, no dents or scratches to be had. A quick inspect of the mechanisms had not turned up any broken or clunking sounding items either.
As she opened her gift up this Christmas I cannot begin to convey the awesome emotion felt by her. After several affectionate kisses and promises of love everlasting she began to try it out with the film I had also purchased. She quickly snapped several shots and as the day and night progressed I knew I had done well.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2004
This is the best camera ever, when compared to others the FM10 blew it away, the FM was much more durable and takes better pictures (my friend has one of the competitors) and now that she's seen mine, she is very jealous! The pictures are outstanding. Built to last and if you're a beginner to a pro I think you'll be pleased! I was just starting out as a photographer and now after 2 years I still can't put it down. If you're thinking about buying this camera, don't, just get it!!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2012
Great camera..it is just like new! Owner was very understanding when I had to return it because my friend let me borrow his for my beginning photography class. Perfect for beginning photography students! WORd!
on February 7, 2015
Film wind was broken.140$ to get it fixed.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2013
Easy to use, came with everything that was expected. The case is a nice add to protect the camera. I bought this for a photo class and it worked well and I was able to take beautiful pictures.