35mm body for landscape work

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by praktica, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. praktica

    praktica Member

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    Can anybody recommend a 35mm body for landscape work. It will have to absorb the scrapes and weather but not be too heavy.
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    A Nikon FM perhaps? It's all mechanical, compact and light compared to the F series cameras and has a good reputation for sturdiness.
     
  3. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    The Nikon F5!

    Manual focus? F2, F3, F4 or FM2n.


    Have fun.




    André
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Perhaps the Canon F-1.

    Jeff
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I have had good luck with Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Minolta SLRs from the '60s through the present day. I had an Olympus for a short while that was nice as well. My personal preference overall is for Canon FD, as they are very user friendly and the lenses are extremely nice coated glass that can be had relatively cheaply. I also love Nikon F and Pentax M42 cameras. When it comes to weight, the Pentax K and Minolta SRTs *seem* the lightest. I have never actually measured, however.

    I think your quest should start by looking at lens systems. Pick a lens system that has the glass you want that will fall within your budget, then take a look at bodies, which are quite secondary and much more disposable IMO. I would pick a brand that offers the best bang for the buck over all. M42 Pentaxes and Minoltas are likely tops in the bang for the buck category. Both of these brands have lenses and bodies are DIRT cheap on the used market.

    I have two Canon F-1s, two FTbs, and a Nikon F, and don't have a bad thing to say about any of them. I got rid of everything else that came my way (Pentaxes, Minoltas, Fujica, Olympus) in fairly short order so I could concentrate on the two brands that offer the greatest full systems. While I love my FD stuff, I have also been enjoying the non-coated Nikon glass for the F as well. It has a different character than the FD glass to my eye.
     
  6. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    The Nikon F5.

    Color Meter=win
     
  7. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    Acknowleding the criteria you laid out for us, i also concur with 2F/2F that the complete lens/accessory system that must be a foundational consideration in every camera body selection.

    Any of the 5 "mainstream" brands listed above (Canon, Minolta, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax) present excellent offerings. I'd be remiss if i didn't mention the commonly acknowlegded "upscale" brands as well - Contax, Leica, Minox, Zeiss, et al. if you are so inclined. There are also several "less-mainstream" brands such as Fujica, Praktica, Ricoh, Yashica, and Zenit that also offer excellent cameras and lenses. However, it is the entire system that is of most significant interest.

    Incidently, i don't subscribe to the ideology that a person's chosen system must have the absolute broadest offerings; Rather the BEST offering for your currrent desired style of photography, but also one which has the capacity to grow with you.

    Like you, i also like to photograph outdoors so i needed a system that can operate in cold temps. Since all camera systems have this capacity if the user is careful, i began my selection process by whittling away at the "look" of images the different manufacturers - each manufacturer seemed to have a different approach/goal to their lens making. Since i was already familiar with the Minolta system via the X-700 (for me, NOT a good outdoor camera body), i was advised to check out the more rugged Minolta SRT series bodies (all manual except the light meter which requires a battery) which has turned out to be a perfect fit for my outdoor criteria.

    Providentially, I had also developed a deep appreciation for the look of Minolta Rokkor optics so it has been a good fit for me as i have meandered further into photography. I now use Minolta XD-11s (with the same lovely Rokkor glass) almost exclusively except when on "cold" trips or my dSLR is needed for speed.

    I can buy some truly magnificent Rokkor lenses for usually well under $200 and frequently under $50. Also, the Rokkor lens line-up is broad enough to accomodate anything i will likely ever want to do.

    YMMV....
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I'd pick the lenses first. If you have a brand preference start there.
     
  9. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    OK, so here is a short answer to your question:

    1) buy a Minolta SRT102 - get it CLA'ed, some new light seals, and have the camera fitted to accept modern alkaline batteries.

    2) buy a MD Rokkor-X 24mm f2.8 lens (55mm diameter lens if you can find one - though it doesn't make too much difference), a circular polarizer, your favorite film, and enjoy your new-found love!

    frank
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Nikon F100, especially since you mentioned weight.

    I had an F5 and traded for the lighter and equally capable F100, which has an optional vertical grip. With the grip off it is very light. Heck, with the grip on it is very light too. Anyway who needs 8 fps for landscape anyway.

    I was just klettering around some cliffs yesterday with my F100 and it can take anything. Hard knocks, moisture, whatever.

    But Mark is right, think of lenses first. I'd say consider the Nikon-mount ZFs.

    Another good option would be an fm3a.
     
  11. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    Indeed.

    Nikon is certainly up to the challenge (that's my system). There are others that would be as good, and others still that wouldn't be as good but might be just fine for the original poster, depending on his preferences.

    Why I shoot Nikon:
    - availability of good, reasonably-priced wide angle lenses
    - availability of rugged, manual bodies that can run in severe cold and yet use my most modern lenses (with the exception of Nikon's AF-G lenses, the AF lenses will work on the older manual bodies)

    To pick one specific body would be difficult, but although Nikon has some pretty delicious autofocus bodies like the F100 and F5, and I own both, I seldom use them for landscape photography except when I'm on holiday (I can't bring all my gear after all :smile: ). I am more likely to use my F3HP or an FE for the purpose, because usually you don't need to be quick, and there is no advantage to autofocus when you are shooting static subjects.
     
  12. donbga

    donbga Member

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    Any camera with a 100% view finder will be good for outdoor work as these are all built to high standards. Take your pick.
     
  13. rpsawin

    rpsawin Subscriber

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    All of the above are great suggestions. I think you should take a look at 35mm rangefinders as well. There is a selection of top quality lenses available from Leica, Zeiss, Canon, Nikon, Konica and Cosina Voigtlander....not to mention some great cameras as well.

    Best regards,

    Bob
     
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  15. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    Pentax LX : dust and moister proof, good (interchangeable) viewfinder and a superb light metering system (even on automatic); rugged and professional construction. Good and — cheap, used, lenses.
    Can fully run whit out batteries. Only to be found used, production ended 2001, worth every cent. Be aware of the sticky mirror syndrome, but with a good CLA, this camera can last a lifetime.
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/pentaxlx/

    Good luck,

    Philippe
     
  16. frdrx

    frdrx Member

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    For landscape work, I would recommend a Contax or a Yashica with Zeiss glass. The basic kit consisting of a 2.8/28 and a 2.8/35 Distagon, a (1.4)1.7/50 Planar, a 2.8/85 and maybe also a 2.8/135 Sonnar won't cost you much, is light in weight and capable of giving you almost the best results you can achieve with 35 mm film. With an adapter, you can also use M42 lenses. Contax bodies are very rugged and dependable provided that you get one that isn't worn out too much. For shooting landscapes, I think the best value is an RTS or an RTS II. A Yashica FX-3 (one that is made in Japan) is an excellent cheap option.
     
  17. Zugzwang

    Zugzwang Member

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    I would pick a camera that had a mirror lock up function. A Contax rtsII would be a great choice.
     
  18. eddym

    eddym Member

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  19. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I think a 35mm is unsuitable for landscape work.
     
  20. frdrx

    frdrx Member

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    Indeed, I have one :-]. It's a never ending love of mine. The Yashica FX-3, by the way, pre-fires its mirror when triggered using the self-timer. Some cameras, such as the Contax RX, don't need mirror lock-up at all. But true, it is a desirable feature.
     
  21. frdrx

    frdrx Member

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    So do I, in general. However, well projected 35 mm slides can look superb. I think that for light weight travel photography and an occasional landscape, a 35 mm camera is still an excellent tool. Besides, the Hasselblad X-pan is also a 35mm camera, isn't it?
     
  22. paul ewins

    paul ewins Member

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    Unfortunately it is the things that are unsaid that make recommendations hard. When somebody says "landscape photography" I immediately think that absolute sharpness is gong to be a requirement. This means cameras on tripods using mirror lockup. You are probably more interested in wide angle lenses than super-telephoto. AF and IS are likely to be useless to you (on a tripod). It may or may not mean a shift or tilt/shift lens. I could be wrong about any of these assumptions.

    I would look for a camera with removable finders. If you are shooting from below eye-level a magnifiying finder will make life a lot easier than squinting through one of the accessory 90 degree adapters that attach to the back of the prism. In the medium format world the simple folding waist level finder is the default, not the eye-level prism, because these cameras are intended to be used on tripods.

    Looking at the more modern cameras your choices boil down to the Pentax LX, Canon (new) F1 and Nikon F3/F4/F5. Functionally there probably isn't much difference between them as they are all Pro-grade cameras, however the LX will be the smallest and lightest of the bunch by a long way (an F5 is over double the weight of an LX). Each system has plenty of high class lenses. The only caveat is that if you want tilt/shift capabilities then Pentax only had one lens, a 28mm shift (no tilt) and it is uncommon and expensive.
     
  23. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Why are you shooting landscapes in 35mm?

    Pentax K1000 if you choose so. biggest advantage is cheap lenses for k mount
     
  24. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    ...without power drive booster E1; curvy, light and fast. No problem with bumps, scraps, dents and bruises or freezing/hot environments.
    Whatever you get, for landscape, seek out a 100% viewfinder display camera and team up with an ultra-wide angle perspective control lens to really exploit the landscape in the smaller 35mm format. BTW, it is the quality of the lenses that makes the image, not the camera, which is only a light-tight box holding a few "helpful tricks"!
     
  25. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Dunno about context, but I'll mention it. I have never seen a Pentax PC lens (only Nikons); Canon has three: 24 f3.5L (landscape/architectural), 45mm (studio work) and 90mm (excellent for macro). Nearly 12 years ago I paid $3,400 for the 24 f3.5L; it is now about $1600 new or second hand. All have tilt, shift and optionally reversible planes. The 24 is my default landscape lens.
     
  26. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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