5 Sharp Nikon FM10 Lenses

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: April 12, 2020
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Best Nikon FM10 Cameras Lenses

The Nikon FM10 is an excellent 35mm film SLR camera. This webpage will cover the 5 best lenses for the Nikon FM10, as well as a few alternative lenses.

Additional details are below, but if you are limited on time, below is the list:

  1. Kit Lens - Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E
  2. Wide Angle Lens - Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 Ai
  3. Portrait Lens - Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E
  4. Zoom Lens - Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5
  5. Macro Lens - Vivitar 90mm f/2.8

The best Nikon F-mount lenses are categorized by price and kind of photography. There are lots of excellent camera lenses to choose from that are in price ranges ideal for the value of a FM10.

Standard Prime Lens

A 50mm focal length lens is a superb choice for a wide range of photography. The types of photography include travel, landscapes, street, architecture, portraits and everyday use. This is the most common focal length used on the Nikon FM10.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E

If you do not already have it, a great lens for the FM10 is the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E. The 50mm f1.8 is easy to find, has nice picture quality, is a bargain, small, and lightweight.

You'll want to purchase the second version of the lens, that has a chrome ring around the body. It is made of aluminum, whereas the first version has plastic parts.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E

Nikon 50mm f/1.8 Series E Lens

  • One of the most popular 50mm lenses Nikon ever made.
  • Excellent value.
  • Compact, light, and small.
  • 52mm front filter threads.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The 50mm Series E lens is considered a pancake lens because it is thin. When mounted on the FM10 it will barely stick out. This is useful for carrying the camera under a coat so that you can keep a low profile.

Several 50mm manual focus lenses were released by Nikon for the F-mount.

Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4

Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4

  • Superb optics.
  • Optical multi-coatings to reduce flare.
  • Widely available.
  • Relatively inexpensive.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 is 2/3 of a stop faster, at the increased cost of size and weight. It is a little bit higher priced than any of the f/1.8 or f/2 lenses.

Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II AI-S

Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 prime lens, 2nd version.

Voigtländer Nokton 58mm f/1.4 Lens

  • Spectacular optics.
  • Has a Meter Coupling Prong.
  • CPU Contacts.
  • Can be purchased new.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

Nikon made a 55mm f/1.2 and 50mm f/1.2, but the cost to performance is bad. Because of the age of the lenses, you ought to be wary of the lubricant in the focusing helicoid drying up, spoiling the experience of using the lens.

The Voightlander 58mm f/1.4 is overall a better choice for a high-end lens. The focusing ring is the smoothest I have ever used on a manual focus lens. The lens is an absolute joy to use.

Plus, the lens maintains compatibility that spans all F-mount SLR cameras. It has a Meter Coupling Prong, Ai Meter Coupling Ridge, CPU contacts, and has a switch for electronic control of the aperture. You can seamlessly transition the lens from a Nikon DSLR to a Nikon film SLR.

Alternative Standard Lenses

The following are some other quality lenses that are worth buying.

Nikon 50mm f/1.8AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Nikon 50mm f/2AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Nikon 35mm f/2.5 Series EAmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Nikon 28mm f/2.8 Series EAmazoneBayKEHAdorama

Wide Angle Lens

Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8

Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 Ai Lens

  • Great paired with a 50mm lens.
  • Optical multi-coatings to reduce chromatic aberrations.
  • Many copies are available.
  • Relatively inexpensive.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 is a great selection for a wide-angle lens. The lens is well suited for landscape or architectural photography.

There are quite of few wider focal lengths to choose from, but they are either far more expensive or show noticeable amounts of barrel distortion. Third-party lenses have visibly reduced image quality than Nikkor lenses.

Nikon 28mm f/2.8 Series E

Nikon 28mm f/2.8 Series E Lens

Nikon 28mm f/2.8 Series E Lens

  • Excellent when matched with a 50mm lens.
  • Optical multi-coatings to reduce chromatic aberrations.
  • Easy to find.
  • Cheap.

Also found at: eBay and KEH

The Nikon 28mm f/2.8 Series E lens is a inexpensive option. It is attractive to use on the FM10 on account of the low cost and ease that the lens can be come across.

Alternative Wide Angle Lenses

In terms of cost, the correlation is easy to understand. The larger the field of view, the costlier the lens will likely be. Larger apertures also go for considerably more.

Nikon 8mm f/2.8 FisheyeNikkor 13mm f/5.6
Nikkor 15mm f/3.5Fisheye Nikkor 16mm f/2.8
Nikkor 18mm f/3.5Nikkor 20mm f/2.8
Nikkor 24mm f/2

Portrait & Telephoto Lens

Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E Lens

Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E Lens

Nikon 100mm f/2.8 Series E Lens

  • 85mm substitute.
  • Great price to performance.
  • Comparatively inexpensive.
  • Easy to find.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The 85mm focal length was not as widely used as it is today in 1995 when the MMDOEL was originally released. 100mm or 135mm focal lengths were more prevalent due to their cheaper price.

Like all the other Series E lenses mentioned, the 100mm f/2.8 hits an appropriate balance of performance, functionality, and cost. That's why it was favored when introduced and why a large number of copies are offered on the used market.

Nikon Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 Lens

Nikon Nikkor 135mm f/2.8 Lens

  • 85mm substitute.
  • "Vintage" portraiture rendering.
  • Widely available.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The "vintage" look of this lens comes from the focal length combined with the lens only having 4 elements.

1965 was the year the initial version of the lens was introduced. There's a total of 6 versions of the lens, only the last two versions being suitable for the FM10.

If you go looking for a copy of the lens, the compatible lenses will be listed as Ai-S or Ai.

Alternative Telephoto Lenses

There is no shortage of alternative telephoto lenses to choose from. Focal lengths longer than 135mm and 85mm lenses will be high-priced.

Nikkor 85mm f/2Nikkor 105mm f/1.8
Nikkor 105mm f/2.5Nikkor 135mm f/2
Nikkor 135mm f/2.8Nikon 135mm f/2.8 Series E
Nikkor 180mm f/2.8Nikkor 200mm f/2 ED
Nikkor 300mm f/2 IF-EDNikkor 300mm f/2.8
Nikkor 300mm f/4.5Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 IF-ED
Nikkor 500mm f/4 IF-ED PMirror Nikkor 500mm f/8
Nikkor 600mm f/4 IF-EDNikkor 800mm f/5.6 IF-ED

Nikon FM10 Zoom Lenses

Before cameras had autofocus, in the early 1980s, there were several lenses built by third-party manufacturers that were optically superior to Nikkor lenses.

Some of these lenses were released with the Vivitar brand name. Lenses that have the Vivitar Series 1 branding will have outstanding optics..

Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5

Vivitar 70-210mm f/3.5 Zoom Lens

Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 Zoom Lens

  • Covers a popular focal range.
  • Excellent for portrait or wildlife photography.
  • A rare time when a third-party lens is the best choice.

Also found at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

Alternative Zoom Lenses

There are not very many choices for zoom lenses for the Nikon FM10 that have a shorter focal length zoom range. Wear and tear along with age has resulted in many Nikon zoom lenses becoming practically unusable.

The single zoom I would recommend searching for is the Vivitar Series 1 VMC 35-85mm f/2.8 (Also found on KEH). Bear in mind, the lens can be challenging to find.

Vintage Zoom Lens Problems

The lens that could've been the front-runner, the Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5, is regrettably, a push-pull zoom. Instead of a zoom ring that turns, the entire focus ring is pushed or pulled to control the zoom range.

The grease in just about all of these lenses has deteriorated to where the zoom mechanism will not hold itself in position. As a result, the lens will have tiny changes in focal length when trying to focus the lens. This will be made worse if the lens is pointed up or down.

Nikon Macro Lenses

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 & Vivitar 55mm f/2.8

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens made by Komine

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

  • The best vintage macro lens I've used.
  • Was produced in a variety camera lens mounts.
  • Excellent value.

Also found at: KEH, Adorama

Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens manufactured by Komine

Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

  • My second favorite vintage macro lens.
  • A very good lens for close-up photography.
  • It does not require an extension tube to reach 1:1 magnification.

Also found at: KEH, Adorama

Komine produced both of the two mentioned macro lenses in Japan. The lenses were also sold under various brand names. Quantaray, Spiratone, Rokunar, Elicar, and Panagor are brands that also sold the lenses.

There is a Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review and a Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review.

For capturing images at macro magnification (1:1), the 90mm lens will be the superior choice due to the fact that it has a greater working distance.

The 55mm lens is great for table-top and close-up photography.

Alternative Macro Lenses

Micro Nikkor 55mm f/3.5AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Lester A Dine 105mm f/2.8AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8AmazoneBayKEHAdorama

Used Nikon Camera Lens Prices

Lens prices change all the time as they are influenced by supply and the popularity of older lenses. Over the past several years, film photography was going through an increase in popularity, which has pushed prices higher.

Economic changes can result in large changes in prices. Having said that, the relative difference in prices between lenses should stay similar.

Check a few sites to get an idea of what market prices currently look like. If you're lucky enough to come across a great deal, immediately purchase it, because the best deals do not last long.

What Lens Mount Does the Nikon FM10 Use?

The Nikon FM10 has a Nikon F-mount. Released in 1959, the Nikon F-mount is still being used. Over time changes have been made to add metering information, autofocus, electronically controlled apertures, and CPU contacts.

Use manual focus lenses described as either Ai-S or Ai with the FM10. The meter coupling ridge on those lenses will allow the camera to correctly meter light.

For a complete explanation of the differences between lenses, this page explains everything you should know Nikon F-mount lens and camera compatibility.

Standard Lens Cap Size

The standard filter ring thread and lens cap diameter for the majority of vintage Nikon F-mount lenses is 52mm. It goes without saying, lenses with large front elements will use larger lens caps and filters.

Employing a standardized filter thread size is useful because you only need to carry just a single set of lens filters.

Non-Ai vs Ai & Ai-S Lenses

The early Nikon cameras had a Meter Coupling Prong. The Nikon FM10 uses a Meter Coupling Ridge.

A few lenses have both types of meter coupling as they were produced around the time Nikon moved to The Ai lens design.

Older lenses that only have a Meter Coupling Prong will most likely cause damage to your FM10 if you attempt to mount one to the camera.

More Nikon FM10 Resources

There is no more info on the best Nikon FM10 lenses. When new info is included on the website, links can be found below.

Best Nikon FM10 Film

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