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Ok guys, so I found this camera that my dad used to own. Its a Nikon FG 35mm camera and it looks to be pretty old. I researched it a bit and I think it was released in 82. I also have an Osawa Mark II zoom lens with it. I have always owned digital cameras and what not but I want to learn how to use this one. I heard that it will take better pics than a digital. Is this true?? Where do I even begin to learn how to use this machine?? Also, I'm not sure if its broke or not but I can look through the sight and its black, like I can't see anything out of it?? Does it just need a new battery to operate correctly? Any help and advice would be great. Thanks, Wes
 

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I dor not profess to be an expert, but I know my way around my Nikon FM10 35mm. If you search for some sites, you will find some that can explain how to use a 35mm well. "Can they take better pictures?" That dependson what you shoot and how. One can take some pretty awsome pictures of slow moving things, or still object. One can also take some nice action shots, you just have to practice. It also makes a difference if you develop your own film. How old are you? You may be able to find some photo classes in a college campus that you dont have to be a fulltime student or anything.

Personally, I want a darkroom. I used to make NICE pics in highschool that were full of detail and crisp imagery.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jon_7248 said:
I dor not profess to be an expert, but I know my way around my Nikon FM10 35mm. If you search for some sites, you will find some that can explain how to use a 35mm well. "Can they take better pictures?" That dependson what you shoot and how. One can take some pretty awsome pictures of slow moving things, or still object. One can also take some nice action shots, you just have to practice. It also makes a difference if you develop your own film. How old are you? You may be able to find some photo classes in a college campus that you dont have to be a fulltime student or anything.

Personally, I want a darkroom. I used to make NICE pics in highschool that were full of detail and crisp imagery.
Yeah, I'm at UGA and I need some electives. I'm thinking about getting into a photography class if I can. I'll see what i can find. Thanks
 

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Did you take the lens cap off? Not trying to be a smartass if you don't know anything about the camera, you may not know to remove the cap. Having or not having batteries wouldn't have anything to do with looking through the viewfinder and seeing black.
 

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Footpounds said:
Did you take the lens cap off? Not trying to be a smartass if you don't know anything about the camera, you may not know to remove the cap. Having or not having batteries wouldn't have anything to do with looking through the viewfinder and seeing black.
Lol, yeah I took the cap off. I know, some people might not have even realized that but I did. I still can't see anything out of the viewfinder. I might take it somewhere later the week. Thanks anyway though!
 

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My first camera was a Nikon FG20, good little camera. would still have it if it wasnt' stolen

I second the question on the lens cap. you have in your hands an SLR camera (a single lens reflex) which means your view finder is your lens.

on some Nikons ( I can't remember if the FG is one or not) the on/off mechanism was also another function switch/dial. I believe on the FG you had to depress the shutter release button 50% before the light meter turned on which also ment the camera was then turned on. and it automatically turned it's self off sitting idle for so long.

Also make sure and put new batteries in it. If it has been sitting for a while the batteries will die. also clean the contacts for the batteries with a pencil eraser and blow out compartment afterwards. This will remove any corrosion that might be present.

If the lens was tripped while the camera did not have batteries. it will lock up the shutter curtain. Never touch the shutter curtain. installing the new batteries should release it.

Also make sure the settings for the shutter speed (should be on the top right of camera with numbers and a green A on the dial. This controls the speed of the shutter.) is not in the "B" or bulb position as well.

Let me know if you have any other issues. As I said that was my first camera I owned, and now I am a professional photographer. It is a very good little camera. I wish I still had mine. but now I shoot a digital 4x5" camera and personally own a 4x5 sinar camera and a Nikon F3.

One more thing. does your FG have a motor drive? the motor drive will also replace the need to change the batteries in the camera as it also powers up the camera using the motor drives batteries. the motor drive is just something to complicate matters for beginners, but a nice option to have once you are familar with the camera.

Is your dad still around? If not did he store owners manuals for his electronics and such somewhere? the FG20 had a pretty good owners manual that will teach you a lot about the camera.
 

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see my post below!

It might be a good idea to take it to a professional camera repair if you have one local.

Over time, the main spring in lens stretch out and will throw your shutter speeds and aperatures off! Especially if the camera was not stored properly. Not so important for 35mm lens but for larger formats it can mean the death of the lens!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bear said:
see my post below!

It might be a good idea to take it to a professional camera repair if you have one local.

Over time, the main spring in lens stretch out and will throw your shutter speeds and aperatures off! Especially if the camera was not stored properly. Not so important for 35mm lens but for larger formats it can mean the death of the lens!
Well, my father passed away about 3 years ago from cancer so thats why I have the camera and yes, I do have the owners manual. I'm gonna go through it tonight. Wow, it seems like there is a lot more than I expected thats involved. I might just try and master my digital camera and sell this one eventually on Ebay or something. I'm sure my digital will take great pics but I need to learn how to use all the settings. I always use it on the auto setting and I'm sure thats why most of my pics are "ok". Thanks a ton for the info though.
 

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It sounds like you might have a mirror lock up feature in your camera for those long exposures. The mirror might be locked up and that will make the viewfinder useless. There should be a switch or lever on the back that will release the mirror.

Before you go off shooting pictures that you will be wanting to keep, I recommend getting the camera serviced and cleaned. If it has been sitting around for a long time, it will have dust in the inner workings that will affect your picture quality.

As was said, the quality of the picture is more dependant on the person behind the camera than the equipment being used. Not knowing what you are shooting with digitally, you will more than likely get better pictures with a 35mm SLR. The film frame size will be much larger than the digital sensor in most digital cameras and therefore able to capture more detail. This is only an issue if you are planning on producing large images from the pictures you take.

If you are interested in learning more about photography, I can provide you with links to some of my tips and tricks that I have done recently.
 
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