Best 35mm Film Camera

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by wrightguy, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. wrightguy

    wrightguy Member

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    Hey guys, I started as a digital photographer, but I want to get a film SLR. I currently have a Canon T2i with EF lenes, so a Canon camera would be preferred, but I could be swayed to Nikon (and maybe Pentax.) I want to know want you think the best 35mm camera is. I am interested in the Canon K2, but that's not even close to my final choice.
     
  2. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    Pentax has many lenses on it. Some of the Pentax bodies require the use of an "A" lens (usually marked as a Pentax-A), but most Pentax bodies which can accept a K-Mount lens can use every K-mount lens made since the mount was introduced back in 1975 with the exception of those with the DA designation which are designed for the smaller APS-C sensor of the Pentax DSLRs.

    This means you have a very wide selection of Pentax (and non-Pentax) lenses you can use.

    With adapters, you can also use most if not all of the M42 screw-mount lenses on Pentax cameras. Mike Butkus has lots of camera manuals over at his site, www.butkus.org; you can use these to see which kind of camera you want to get, or to get a manual for your new purchase. Leave him a donation if you end up downloading one of his manuals for your new camera. His manual collection includes more than just Pentax, so you can also get Canon/Nikon manuals there too.
     
  3. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Best? I guess it depends...maybe, "good enough" or "perfect for my needs"...

    What are your needs / desires? Auto exposure? Small ? Light weight? Quiet? Rugged/Heavy duty? What lens system do you prefer? What type of photography do you do or intend to do?

    There simply does not exist one, single "best" of anything.
     
  5. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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  6. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    What's best for the needs of so many others is not, or will it necessarily turn out to be, best for you, short- or long-term. It really does open up a pandora's box of opinions, claim and counter-claim — way too subjective in short.
    The one thing that is best for you to do now is build upon your current Canon system and see how you go, not over 6 months, but perhaps 6 years.
     
  7. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Do you already have EF lenses?
    If so you may as well stick with Canon.

    Good deal going now as far as price/performance would be the 1n.
     
  8. edibot42

    edibot42 Member

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    No problem sticking with Canon. My personal favorites are the Elan7E/NE or the EOS 3.
     
  9. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    EOS 5 are currently selling for around £25.00 in the UK, EOS 3 are double that. Both have eye controlled focussing which is brilliant once you have got used to it.
     
  10. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    Bar none, the best 35mm camera you can get is the Konica AiBorg. This camera is a work of art and has been discussed at length right here on APUG.
     
  11. andrewf

    andrewf Member

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    A couple of years ago I decided to get back in to film and got a pretty good deal on a EOS 1n and a EOS 5 with Eye control focus.

    The 1n is awesome. Really heavy though. It feels like it's made of cast iron. The 5 is pretty good too. I have no complaints and they both work perfectly with my EF lenses. I'd happily recommend either of those.

    If you wanted to go entirely manual/mechanical then you're probably looking at something older or a Nikon FM (I think?)

    I do also have a Pentax KX from the dark ages and it's lovely to use but the light meter is stuffed so I have to use an external one which isn't really that practical sometimes. I only have one lens for that camera too which limits how creative I can be, more so than the Canons.
     
  12. wrightguy

    wrightguy Member

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    Sorry I wasn't specific enough. I never use automatic foucus, so that isn't needed. I want something that is rugged, won't break the bank, and can handle dark situations well. It doesn't need to be super high resolution becuase that was why I bought a t2i. I am interested about Pentax now that I know I could get an adapter for my lenses. Do these specs this change which camera or brand you recommend?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2012
  13. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    It's hard to say what is best. But since the OP is familiar with the EOS system, the EOS-1V is easy be the best for the OP and it's still available new I think.
     
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  15. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I want something that is rugged, won't break the bank, and can handle dark situations well.

    No camera will really hold up to heavy abuse. If one is careful most would be rugged enough.

    Everyone has a different size bank. What one might think affordable another would see as expensive.

    Dark situations, IMHO, has more to do with lens than camera body. Most maunufacturers made/make "fast" and more expensive lenses.

    If you already have lenses which will work on a film body which offers manual settings, you would do well to buy a body and have a professional repair person do a CLA on it. Film bodies are cheap these days and you wouldn't be putting much at risk with this approach.

    The best camera is the one you will use and learn to challenge its capabilities. Most of my cameras offer much more than I commonly use.

    Oh, don't over-think this. You aren't buying a house or putting your life savings in the stock market.
     
  16. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    I have an EOS 3, but rarely use it. Too much like digital. Go for something completely manual like a Pentax Spotmatic.
     
  17. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Handling dark situation well? If one is used to the DSLR then almost no film camera can handle dark situation well. Although it's easy to get fast lenses on these old camera but there is no high speed film as compared to the digital very ISO.
    I don't want to tread to much into the the digital/analog but the OP EOS-T2i quality differences between ISO 100 and 1600 is much less than between a 100 speed film and a 1600 speed film. Because of that any film camera would have much harder time functioning in the dark than a DSLR.
     
  18. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    As cheap as 35mm film cameras are, I have way too many. I stopped counting, but not stopped acquiring.

    If you just want to dip your toe into the water, go with an EOS. As long as your lenses are EF and not EF-S, they will work. There is nothing to stop you from putting the camera in manual, and doing it old school.

    My Canon EOS Elan 7e has eye control, works better without glasses, and is very handy for action images. The focus point follows where your eye is looking.

    A screw mount adapter will let you use all the old M42 lenses. If you want to play with old glass. The FD adapters are junk. So old Canon glass is out. Unless you buy an old Canon.

    Nikons are excellent choices. The glass can still be pricey, as it can still be used on the modern cams.

    K-mount (Pentax, Ricoh, and others), glass is cheap, as are the cameras. Some are excellent, some are junk. Lots of low quality 3rd party zooms, etc. That being said, I really like my Ricoh XR-S, cams. The solar panels alone are conversation starters, and they are reliable.

    I like my little Yashica GTS range finder, is basically an aperture priority range finder. Rock solid, and the photo cell is not on, or in the lens. Being in the body, and being a range finder, I can slap an IR filter on the lens, and shoot infra red, with IR film.

    Lots of choices, lots of good viable choices. It just depends on what type of photography you want to do.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  19. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    And yet not specific enough. When you say dark situations, do you mean resorting to fast lenses with razor thin DOF with manual focus? Clearly a huge bright viewfinder would be much easier to use then the tiny VF in today's AF centric cameras.

    [​IMG]

    Minolta XK & Pentax LX sporting f1.2 lenses. Both of these are rugged and the superfast lenses with big bright viewfinders can handle "dark situations" very well. "Break the bank" of course is yet another relative term.


    Or by "dark situations" do you mean "long exposure"? For instance, Canon took the position that the longest aperture priority auto exposure they will allow on all their AV capable bodies that I have tested is 30 seconds which is probably enough for some. Of course using an external meter in bulb mode can extend the usefulness of cameras so limited Other cameras like the Olympus OM2/4 extend this autoexposure time to 2 minutes. Clearly this is even better "dark situation" capability. The Pentax LX extend this autoexposure capability to as long as it takes and will vary exposure time depending on scene lighting changes.

    [​IMG]

    This was conducted with the Pentax LX + Pentax M 28mm f2.8 taking about 40 minutes in aperture priority auto exposure. There are no other cameras - past or present, that have the Pentax LX's single unassisted metering range of EV -6.5 to EV 20, practically unlimited aperture priority auto exposure as well as realtime monitor of the scene lighting for changes. For that matter, I am not aware of any external meter that does. For my dark situation needs, the Pentax LX is best for this.

    BTW, I owned a few Canon L lenses and those were some of the best lenses I ever used and I was therefore apprehensive using old - secondhand, manual focus lenses. However, after qualifying some of my acquisitions with Kodak Techpan processed in Technidol and evaluated under great optical magnification, I know that the primes I have tested will not be outresolved by any DSLR today.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2012
  20. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Welcome to Apug!

    Be aware that Canon gave their cameras specific designations for the US market (and even others for their homemarket), not known to members from other parts of the world. And you even shortened the US designation.

    Canon EOS Rebel T2 = Canon EOS 300X

    Canon EOS Rebel K2 = Canon ?????
     
  21. rbeech

    rbeech Member

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    Best is a matter of preference.

    The later, plastic-bodied SLRs had many automatic features that were the cameras difficult to use in full manual mode.
     
  22. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    It might not be the light meter which is stuffed. I bought one a couple of weeks ago which appeared dead but returned to working order after I cleaned the battery cover. If that doesn't do it then a CLA shouldn't be horribly expensive and will get it working perfectly.

    Lenses aren't hard to find for little outlay, just stick to SMC Pentax or SMC Pentax-M (ideally primes) as they'll be the nicest to use on that body and there are no real horrors amongst them.
     
  23. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    You are too used to "d"! Film cameras resolution only depends on the film and lenses.
    You can buy a low end camera like the EOS 300 and put there a 50mm F1.4 and a fine grain film and you'll get great results.
    Any camera can handle dark and contrasty situations: it all depends on the film you use and lens.
    And welcome to APUG!
     
  24. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Welcome to Apug :smile:

    Many people already answered nicely, so let's joke a little :smile:

    According to Ken Rockwell best cameras are nikon. Once long time ago camera manufacturers give to Ken two cameras, and better one was called nikon, worse one was called canon. Later they gave him some other crap - and he sad - "this is worse than canon". That is how pentax was born :smile:.
    Of course when Ken become rich - he was able to afford Leica - and he realized what all we known about Leica cameras :smile:
     
  25. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I agree but we'll tell him what it is anyway:D

    pentaxuser
     
  26. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Think a bit about what lenses you want rather than what body you want. If you are talking low light, you should be looking at prime lenses rather than zooms. Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Minolta, Pentax....they all made perfectly good bodies, but what kind of lenses do you want? For me, a fast 35, 50 and 85-100 is all I need and I have small hands so that pointed me toward Olympus and Leica for their compact systems and quality, fast lenses. The Oly lenses are also adaptable to EOS cameras. I have an EOS Elan 7 and is a great camera especially with a 50mm 1.8 or the 85mm f1.8. I don't like the 35mm offering and everything is so big to accommodate autofocus.

    So what is best.....depends on what you really want. Pretty much anything that is in good condition with a 50mm lens will preform better than I'll ever need!