WoFlowzTwo questions for Film/Analog NS as I have no clue what I’m doing. What type of manual zoom lense would be best for a Nikon FM2 I’m assuming some old nikkor but idk maybe there’s a less expensive option or something? Also how difficult is developing and scanning your own film and does it require a actual dark room? Or make shift dark room?
First things first - I am jealous of your FM2...
If youre looking for a zoom lens, that completely depends on what youre going to be using it for. for film, I like to keep my lenses pretty compact, so I usually use primes.. But you can find some really nice old zooms for cheap (under 50$ or so).
One of my favourite lenses ever is the Nikon Series E 75-150 f3.5. It is compact, sharp as shit, built well, and fixed f3.5 aperture. It was sold as an amateur lens, but professionals loved the thing.
However, 75-150 is only for telephoto... if youre looking for a do-everything walk around zoom, you have two solid options... the Nikon Series E 36-72mm f3.5 and the Nikkor 35-105 f3.5-f4.5. Theyre both good options - the 35-105 being a little bigger and zoomier. Id get the 35-105 if I was just looking for one lens to do everything, and the 36-72 if youre also going to pick up the aformentioned 75-150, since they work together extremely well and both have fixed f3.5 max apertures (and both are useable at that aperture)
If you want a wide-angle zoom, you dont have a ton of options on the cheap unfortunately, but the FM2 takes Nikkor AF and AFD lenses, so you could go with the Nikkor AF/AF-D 24-50 f3.3-4.5. I dont know how great this lens is - It is most likely just okay at best, but I know you can get them pretty cheap (under 100$ for sure) and they work great on that camera, so there you have it.
I used to have the nikkor 28-50 f3.5, and would use that as a walk-around option along with the 75-150 f3.5, and that was an absolutely awesome lens, but it will surely cost a lot more.
For wide angle stuff I would probably stick to a prime, since zooms tend to make the widest angles real fucking distorted unless youre willing to fork out some serious cash. I love my Nikkor 24 f2.8 for a do-everything wide angle. You dont need wider than 24mm for 98% of anything.
As for developing and scanning...
You dont need a fully dark room to do either.
For developing, you need a changing bag, and a developing tank. Youtube has an absolute plethora of information on this.
For scanning, that depends on how youre going about it. If youre using a flatbed then it doesnt matter at all (although it is slow, and stupid and you end up with a big honking scanner in your room all the time and I hated that). If you are using a DSLR and macro lens to scan like I do, you dont need a dark room, but you definitely dont want a specifically well lit room with an overhead lamp, since you might get reflections on your film that will mess up your scans.