Another what camera should I buy question

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Gatsby1923, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. Gatsby1923

    Gatsby1923 Member

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    I know people always ask these questions, but they are always fun to read.

    I shoot mainly large and medium format but am doing more and more 35mm documentary work. My current 35mm system is a Sigma Sa-9 my brother gave me for my college graduation a few years ago and some Russian Range Finders + leica screw mount lenses. Before that I shot Canon FD equipment that I sold after my A1 died.

    So here I am, needing a better 35mm system. The sigma is a nice camera but I hate auto-focus. It does not focus fast (or not at all) in low light, and there is no split image or microprism to help me focus manually.

    The FSU cameras are fun to use, easy to focus, but are kind of crude, can be unreliable, and lack metering. I do have lenses that will fit them though.

    All that being said, I am considering three options and I want your opinions

    1. Bessa R while I can still get one. They are cheap, have TTL Metering and kind of cool looking. As an added bonus my old LTM lenses will fit (both Soviet and a few old Canon lenses I have.)
    2. A manual focus Nikon System, no clue what camera so any ideas on good Nikons is great. Used Nikon Lenses abound and I can use them on many new Nikon models if I so choose.
    3. Used Leica IIIF No ttl but it is a Leica (The M cameras are just out of my price range)


    Thanks for the Input

    Dave M
     
  2. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I don't know much about the rangefinder so I recommend the Nikon F3 or FM as second choice.
     
  3. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    F3HP would be my first choice for a manual SLR. Gives you opportunity to use great Nikkor primes etc.

    Oh the RF side - I'd go with a Bessa R2 - proving opportunity to use ZI or Leica glass.

    But why post queries like this without also tell us your budget?
     
  4. Gatsby1923

    Gatsby1923 Member

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    OOOPS! I would like to stay around $400-600 for body + Lenses

    Dave M
     
  5. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    A very good condition F3HP with case and with a reasonably fast 50mm lens (e.g. f2.0) will run you about $300 to $350 on eBay (at least that was the going price a year ago - might be even less now). That will leave you some cash for say a good used 24mm wide. Adding the classic 85mm portrait lens will take you up beyond your budget.

    The R2 with a good CV lens is within your budget. But for used Leica glass (not much yet available from ZI in the used category) you're going to go over the top limit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2006
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    I would go for the Bessa. In fact I did - I have a L and a T which I use with a mixture of Voigtländer, Leitz and Industar lenses :smile:

    The Leitz'es are an Elmat 90mm and a Hektor 135mm, both are cheap. Add a Jupiter-9 80mm f:2 for low light portraits, and a IN-61 L/D for geneal shooting?

    New Voigtländer wide-angle lenses are probably the best buy at present. An old 20mm Russar costs about the same as a new 21mm CV, so I bought new. And a 15mm for good measure...
     
  7. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I can't comment on the other options, but I used Nikon FM and FM2n's for years. They're great cameras. Before going the Ebay route, check out prices at KEH. They are very reliable, and their ratings are very conservative. Never pay more for Ebay stuff than you could buy used at a reputable dealer! Except, of course, if it's my auction. In that case you should pay more than retail for the incredible amount of intangible cachet included with the items!
     
  8. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    You can go even cheaper and get a Pentax or Minolta manual focus body if you need only basic SLR features and great, cheap primes.

    I think you should decide first if you want to go SLR vs. Rangefinder. If you go SLR, you should make a list of the features you need: mirror lock-up? open-aperture metering? fast flash synch (more than 1/60)? DOF preview? TTL metering? spot/matrix? TTL flash metering? motor drive ability? etc. SLRs in general have more gizmos than rangefinders.
     
  9. matti

    matti Member

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    If you think the FSU-cameras are easy to use you will have a plesant surprice with a Bessa! And if you have some russian lenses it sounds like a good idea. I used my Jupiter-8 a lot until I bought a Summicron-50. It is a really good lens.
    Re Nikon stuff I can say that my FM2n fits like a glove.
    /matti
     
  10. DBP

    DBP Member

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    If your main complaint about the SLR you have is low light performance, I would get the Bessa R. You can use your existing lenses, and upgrade over time. In low light, a rangefinder is just easier to focus, and the rangefinder on the Bessas is very nice.