5 frames with...

5 frames with a Nikon FM3A and Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 D – by John Whitmore

April 17, 2018

Dang, this lens is heavy.  It seems to pull on the body of the FM3a as if it’s trying to escape using gravity as a weapon and 900g as ammunition.  But little does it know that although the FM3A is light in comparison (about 600g) it too is built like a nuclear bunker.

I am very much a grab, run and bang into things type of photographer.  Don’t ever ask me to hold your Leica. So this heavy weight combo is perfect for chucking in a bag that’s probably going to hit a door frame.

This current outing with the beast was to the Beers & Camera photowalk in Birmingham, a delightful day out meeting other film photographers and a wander around the big city.  Making the mistake of using up all my film supplies the day before, Kodak Alaris saved the day providing me with some TMax 400 – it was nearly just a walk around Brum.

Smiley, happy people in the market.

Angry people demonstrating on the streets.

There was a bit of disruption on the streets that day due to some protests/demonstrations.  I felt quite safe though, not only from the police presence but knowing that I could use to camera and lens as a shield.  Even the the pro-photographer (on the right) in this image has come prepared with a hard-hat.

10 points if you can spot the photographer

I presume this was legal

This could have been the inspiration for Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible

A massive thanks to Hamish for organising this walk, I would highly recommend going along to future ones and again to Kodak Alaris for providing some film.

Great to meet the fellow photographers, look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Camera : Nikon FM3A
Lens : Nikkor 28-70mm 2.8 D
Film : 35mm Kodak Tmax 400
Dev : Ilford ID-11 1:1

Website : https://johnwhitmore.gallery
Twitter : https://twitter.com/thedarkshed
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/thedarkshed/

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  • Reply
    Dan Castelli
    April 17, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    If I had to re-equip my Nikon kit with just one lens, the 28-70 would be it. However it would blow out my back, and my physical therapist would beat me to death with the lens.
    Nice pics of Birmingham, looks like a photogenic city. The photo walks just seem like such a great idea.
    As for the racists, f*uck ’em! We’ve got the same ignorant mix of racist & hardcore gun rights people over here (boy oh boy, will I get it now!)

    • Reply
      John Whitmore
      April 17, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      That’s what I did – I used to have a load of primes but replaced them with the 28-70. Glad I did, ’cause even though it’s heavier I’m not carrying around loads of lenses. Walk was fantastic, Birmingham is a great place to shoot, loads going on, interesting architecture, friendly people.

    • Reply
      October 28, 2019 at 8:29 pm

      dai che mi piacete sempre di piu’ !! avanti tutta !
      ……. e Ciao a Tutti…….

  • Reply
    John Lockwood
    April 17, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    So, I just have to ask. Why “the beast” on a manual focus camera? If you can source one, the 20-35mm AF-D is much smaller and lighter. Of course if you have a trust fund, or are loaded like Hamish, I’d say buy a 28mm f/1.4 AF-D ☺

    I’m a sucker for crinkle-finish screw focus lenses.

    • Reply
      John Whitmore
      April 17, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      I occasionally shoot events with a D800, this along with a 80-200, i’m pretty much covered. 2 lenses for all my 35mm and digital needs means I can spend more money on large format stuff! 🙂

      • Reply
        John Lockwood
        April 17, 2018 at 8:51 pm

        Gotcha. I used to carry 17-35mm AFS, 70-200mm AFS and a fast 50mm f/1.4 for the middle when I was a working guy. Their weight and size wasn’t too bad with the pro digital bodies. Nice images. Enjoy your FM3a!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    These Tmax 400 frames are excellent, with great tonality. You did really well. I have not had as good success with the TMax 400 and prefer good old Tri-X 400 (but, of course, that is my lack of skill, not a film problem). In your 3rd picture, do people sit on those odd balconies and drink tea or coffee up there?

  • Reply
    Beers & Camera meet-up : Birmingham March 24th, 2018 – The Darkshed
    April 21, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    […] Also wrote a #5frameswith on this photowalk over at 35mmc head over there read my thoughts on this camera/lens […]

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