Nikon Film Shooters, Buy New!

Film photographers love old gear.  But what about NEW gear?

As our equipment ages and continues to be used, things are simply going to deteriorate.  When possible, I like to buy NEW photo equipment that’s relevant to what I do.  It provides a better user experience for me than dealing with eBay returns and relentless searching for good copies at fair prices.

Additionally, I feel that I’m voting with my wallet for the return, or at least continued support from major camera-makers of film cameras and film-centric products.  Fortunately, amidst most manufactures halting production of resources to film photographers, Nikon has continued to support us in many ways.

And you don’t have to lay out thousands for a NEW F6 to show your support, either!

Did you know that Nikon still sells numerous lenses and accessories for their vintage film cameras?

It’s really quite remarkable.  Got a Nikon FM, FE series or FA camera with a dusty viewfinder?  Clean it out and screw on a clean NEW Nikon brand eyepiece!


Sure, you can find cheaper ones used on eBay etc but there’s nothing quite like buying NEW when it comes to clean optics!  The little rubber ring on these keeps my eyeglasses scratch-free and it’s not falling apart as with vintage Nikon eyepieces.  Glass on these is super clear because it’s brand new.  Can’t go wrong with refreshing your worn vintage Nikons with this product, I bought one for each of my FM series cameras.

Speaking of clean, NEW optics and FM/FE series, how about a NEW focusing screen?


Nikon still sells the B3, E3 and popular K3 screens for the FM3a, which are all backwards compatible with FM2, FE2 bodies but brighter than originals.  WOW!  You can even install these on FM/FE bodies but they may require exposure adjustment to compensate.  Additionally, not all FM’s can interchange screens so be sure to do some reading on this.

But not everyone uses an FA or FM/FE series camera.  So how about a NEW lens hood?


NEW Nikon lens hoods are still often made just as nicely as the old ones; screw-in, metal hoods with the same model number as vintage!  The NEW Nikon HN-3 which I use on my 35/1.4, carries the modern italicized bold Nikon script which is painted on but not etched in.  And paint is a matte instead of gloss finish.  But fit and feel are identical.

And what could be better to put a NEW lens hood on than a NEW Nikkor lens?!


Amazingly, Nikon still sells a decent compliment of 1970’s-style manual focus AIS lenses.  My Nikkor 55mm 2.8 micro doesn’t feel or appear to be built any bit differently than the old copies, right down to the same rainbow-paint-filled etched apertures and distances!  Glass of course, is absolutely perfect as are the aperture ring and focus damping.  Here’s a list of all the Nikor AIS lenses that are still available NEW!

Nikkor 20mm 2.8 AISNikkor 24mm 2.8 AISNikkor 28mm 2.8 AISNikkor 35mm 1.4 AISNikkor 50mm 1.4 AISNikkor 50mm 1.2 AISNikkor 55mm 2.8 Micro AIS – Nikkor 105mm 2.8 Micro AIS

I know, I know, the usual critics are patiently waiting in the wings to fill my comments section with the price differences between NEW and used Nikon products, armed with some indisputable logic of why buying NEW is still a bad idea with the glut of perfectly good used gear on the market.

But look, if you prefer, or must buy used Nikon products, I stand by my words.

Being that it’s practically the wild west out there, at times, you may find that some eBayers and Amazon vendors are charging almost as much, if not more, for their used, un-warrantied Nikon products that, if purchased NEW, would arrive more surely and under warranty, in the original box etc, smelling beautifully of fresh machine oil!  So it’s at least wise to price-check used to NEW before purchasing and deciding what is a better value for you and your particular work.

And even if you don’t buy a 35mm 1.4 brand new from Nikon via B&H, but you pick up a NEWer copy, gently used on KEH, you are still getting a great, well-made lens that, thanks to Nikon, would have been much rarer and potentially more expensive or in lesser condition because this model is still made in exactly the same way that it always was.

And how can you find anything wrong with that?!

I hope that this has been informative and let me know what your favorite NEW film products are!  Thanks for reading and happy shooting!

Follow, Favorite, Like, Add, Insult, Contact Johnny Martyr 


9 thoughts on “Nikon Film Shooters, Buy New!

  1. Yeah the difference in price between a brand new Nikkor and a used one isn’t all that wide in some circumstances. I just got myself an F and F2 so I’m looking hard at a new 28mm and 35mm at some point but I’ll need to save up…

    Speaking of buying new considering the 50th anniversary of the F2 is next year I would love to see them start making it again like the SP and S3 limited editions, but I doubt it will happen…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. Sure, if you look around for some time and study different copies available from different sellers etc, you can find a really great deal on used Nikkors. But I’ve had numerous experiences of getting the used lens and having problems with it. Buy new and you get the lens in a few days without all the research, plus a warranty from Nikon! To me, this is worth it, at least in some cases. Obviously if someone is buying a lens that they only expect to use on occasion, it may just make sense to buy cheaper/used. But if you plan to buy something for regular use for many years, it pays to invest.

      I didn’t realise that about the F2, super cool! Who know what Nikon will put out. They’ve surprised us before!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I admit I’ve bought all my stuff second hand, though I’ve been tempted by some of the lenses. That said, if I was tempted to buy new I would be inclined to go for the Voigtlander 40mm just because it looks so nice – yes, I am that superficial. I notice on the picture of the focusing screen that it appears to come with a nifty little set of grippers / tweezers. Those look like quite a nice little accessory in their own right!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, like I said, part of the reason used Nikkors are so cheap is that they still make so many. But to me, it isn’t always useful to buy the eyepeices and screens used as you are often facing potential flaws in them. But it’s a case by case. The Voigt 40 is great! Looks and all! Yes, the supplied tweezers are very handy. They allow you to grip the tab on the screen very precisely and also have a tip that you can use to open and lower the screen frame inside the mirrorbox. Thanks for reading!


  3. All my nikon gear is second hand, and as much as I would love to buy a brand spankin’ new Nikkor AIS lens, I would have to go grey market as Nikon Canada does not stock them as a line item in their inventory. Same for the K3 focusing screen for the FM3a/FM2n/FE2/FA etc., which I need to track down as I have B screen in my FM2n which I’m not that happy with. Love the FM2n, not the focusing screen.

    Liked by 1 person

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