Budget SLR decision ?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Samuelg, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Samuelg

    Samuelg Member

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    Hello, i have been using my fed4 with broken light meter and leaky door for a year or so now due to my massive poorness and the fact it was £2 however i really dislike the paralax focusing so now i am in the market for a replacement, perhaps with better focusing and a few more settings.

    i am however shopping on a tiny budget, as much as i would love to buy a leica or a voightlander but my current choices are stuck between

    Olympus OM-10 and the Canon AE-1, basically anything i can buy on ebay for under £100

    since my knowledge of slrs is somewhat limited i was hoping someone could guide me on which choice is best.

    ideally i would like a light meter or program/av, a good range of shutter speeds 1/50 - 1/1000 or higher would be ideal.

    many thanks
    Samuel
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Personally i think they are poor choices, less reliable, too much electronics and auto functions.

    I'd go for a Pentax Spotmatic II or F but if you want newer a KM, KX or smaller MX. I paid £25 for my Spotmatic F and it's mint :D Lenses are very plentiful at good prices.

    Ian
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Skip the OM-10 and go after the AE-1. I've been an Olympus shooter since before they made the OM-1 and own several OM-1's and OM-4's. I bought a couple of OM-10's when they first came out and they were junk. They are low quality entry level consumer grade cameras with plastic internals instead of brass. I picked up an AE-1 for my daughter, I'd buy several more. Much better quality and finish plus high quality lenses for cheap. I also picked up an AV-1 and T70 for her along with lenses and assorted accessories for next to nothing.
     
  4. Samuelg

    Samuelg Member

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    how about the OM-1 vs AE-1 i have wanted a ae-1 for quite a while so i am leaning toward that

    kind regards
    Samuel
     
  5. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

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    Any Minolta Srt or Pentax K1000 would give you plenty of opportunities of future lens purchases. I suggest you look for a camera in good working condition, but with signs and scratches, something that the collectors wouldn't even look at.

    You'll find a ton of cameras like this:

    http://cgi.ebay.it/Minolta-SRT-101-...re_Analogiche_Reflex_35mm&hash=item3a66a83eed

    this costs €50,00 from a shop which tends to be not cheap (he checks all cameras, though, and gives 6 months warranty).

    You might find some for $20 or $30, maybe you should add a cleaning, adjusting and lubricating for some $40 or so. Those cameras are entirely mechanical, very robust and were built and sold in great numbers, so you can find them very cheap, which doesn't mean they are not good, they are very good. They will last forever. Beware of the battery problem with Minolta Srt. There are easy solutions. External metering always better IMO any time you have time.

    If you insist on aperture priority, anything of the eighties is fine. I would avoid esoteric lens mount. Stick to Canon FD, Minolta SR, Pentax K, Nikon, Olympus if you want to find cheap and very good lenses for a long time. Things like Rolleiflex and Contax (and Leica) will allow potential purchase of very particular lenses. In the normal range (let' say 28, 35, 50, 90, 135, 200) Minolta, Pentax, Olympus and Canon gave very good quality for money. Minolta in particular, and Pentax. Olympus lenses are smaller than usual and if you value compactness, go for Olympus OM-1 or OM-2 without hesitation, or for a smaller Pentax (ME, ME Super, MX). Pentax cameras can be very small, but the lenses are "normal". Olympus made small cameras AND small lenses.

    Canon AE-1 has shutter priority not aperture priority. A Canon A-1 has both shutter priority, aperiture priority, and program. They sold tons of them, you should find one cheap, beware of the "squeak" problem. Konica cameras were the only alternatives if you wanted shutter priority, besides the "multi" cameras (with both priorities). Konica lenses were also very good but probably less easy to find.

    Olympus OM-10 in its basic form doesn't have manual settings. I would avoid cameras without manual settings. There was an accessory to use it as a manual camera.
    Olympus OM-1 (manual) or OM-2 (manual + aperture priority) would be better.

    Program? Minolta X-700, and Canon AE-1 Program (not to be confused with Canon AE-1), if you really want to use that stuff. Or a Canon A-1, as said.

    A Minolta X-700 is a wonderful camera, and it is auto (aperture priority) and manual (in manual not fully coupled, but the X-500 is), and Program (X-500 lacks program). Uses two normal LR44 (or SR44) batteries. The specification are nothing impressive if you look superficially. But it has a particularly good viewfinder, much above its class, possibly much above any class.

    I suggest reading this:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/viewfinders.shtml

    After reading this, come here and read that a Minolta X-700 has 95% coverage, 0.9X enlargement. You do the comparison. Besides, it has the "acute matte" focusing screen, a Minolta patent which makes the difference, the screen is brighter than normal and also easier to focus than normal. Very good stuff.

    Some old X-700 develop a problem with an electronic component, which is easy to replace. Mine (1989) didn't so far (touch wood).

    Good purchase
    Fabrizio

    PS If it appears I am partial to Minolta, it's just because I also use Minolta. :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2011
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Yeah, what he said. He beat me to it.

    I am partial to Nikon and Hasselblad now, but I owned and used Minolta SLRs starting with the SR-7 which was built like a tank.

    Steve
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Be vary careful buying on ebay. Half the things I have bought were over rated. Sometimes the photos are altered to make the item look better. The other half were trash. I never buy from ebay any more!
     
  8. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I love my OM-1's and wont part with any of mine. They are rock solid, dependable, fully mechanical, manual only work horses. AE-1's are battery dependant for everything, while the OM-1 only uses a battery for the meter. It's a toss-up for lens quality, with the Canon glass being less expensive. Zuiko lenses for the Oly's are smaller and lighter in weight, and the majority of them use 49mm filters.
     
  9. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I'll go for the AE-1!

    Jeff
     
  10. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I would go for the Nikon FE.
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I love OM10 because it was my first real camera. But, it's very limiting in terms of functionality and flexibility. Plus, the reliability of electronics is very questionable. My first one and the second one died of electronics failure. (first one was purchased brand new). I'd go with OM2 if I had to do it over again.
     
  12. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    I like totally mechanical cameras. Get an OM-1 or SRt in good condition. They are built like tanks.
     
  13. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    I've used all sorts of gear down the years and mechanical (+ a battery powered meter) is my preference.

    Of that specification, I'm currently using a Nikon F2S and a Nikkormat FTn. The F2 is probably the most solidly built of all Nikon's manual focus film bodies. A Photomic head (DP-1) or DP-2 (which gives you an F2S) should be available for £150 ish. I've recently bought a mint FTn (fixed head, no option to add motor drive but built like a tank) for less than £100. A slightly more cosmetically "used" version would be available for a bit less. Nikon glass Pre-Ai and Ai is plentiful, extremely good and reasonably priced.

    The OM1n was my favourite camera when shooting in the 1970's / early 1980's. You wouldn't go wrong with a good example. Zuiko lenses are excellent but they can be pricey if you're looking for quick glass. However, OM1 and OM2 derivatives are lovely in the hand and only marginally larger than Leica rangefinders. Nikon, Canon, Pentax and Minolta tend to be more substantial and a fair bit heavier.

    Happy hunting....
     
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  15. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    Ah yes, the old battery versus mechanical argument, my old foe...

    Yes, the mechanical cameras will work w/o a battery. Thank the gods for that! But unless you live in a battery-less black hole somewhere, that's not really an issue is it? Is it really all that hard to carry a spare battery? And do you think mechanical cameras magically stay in-calibration through the years? Any OM-1 you buy for less than a hundred dollars will need a CLA and that alone is over a hundred bucks.

    While I admire and use many battery-independent cameras, the electronic ones are more accurate for a longer period of time and the batteries are cheap and available. Go with the AE-1. It's a superb beastie.
     
  16. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Yes, it's the 21st century my Canon A1 has only had to have the battery replaced
    three times in the twenty three years I have owned it., and I always carry a spare :smile:
     
  17. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Agree 100%. The veneration of relics like SRTs, OM1s, Nikkormats, and AE1s and other 30+ year old cameras ignores the rock-bottom prices on much newer AF models like Nikon's that work nicely as manual focus bodies. Know very few people who will shell out as much--often more--than their "classic" mechanical cost for a competent CLA and/or fix. Bought a very clean Nikon N90s for way south of $100 last year. Who wants a crusty late 60's SRT 101 with battery issues and looming age-related problems? For what's left of the analogue era, I'll take newer/better/cheaper/plentiful any day. What's the point of a retro fashion statement?
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    As you made it sound like a competition, I only paid £20 for mine!

    I have been thinking about getting rid of some of my surplus equipment and there are a few items which were headed for the FREE STUFF thread. One which you might be interested in is a Minolta SRT100b. It appears to work (although I have not put a film through it) The only fault I can find is that it is missing the little plastic bit at the end of the film wind lever. It's a body only so you will need to find a lens (or two or three) but if you want it, you can have it for £0..... one of my favourite prices!


    Steve.
     
  19. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    You'd be better off going with a late model AF camera in any number of brands that can be had for way under a $100 U.S. thru KEH.com with a short warranty. An example would be a Canon T2 for $62, or any other model in various brands that can be had in the range of $40 to $100. You'll get a better screen, full screen readouts, higher synch, exposure compensation, sometimes incorporated flash, and higher shutter speeds. Just read the reviews and pick the public's favorite. Your expense tho will be finding a good lens for a low price or using an adapter for a lens. If anything make sure the body will meter with a chosen lens.
    If your dead set on a mechanical body just makes sure the light seals are good and the meter works with modern batteries. You can still get some FD lenses cheap, such as the 28mm F2.8, 50mm F1.8 and 1.4, and some telephoto's. Canon FD will be one way to go to get reasonable priced lenses.
     
  20. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Nikon N90s.

    Can't imagine a better camera for the price.
     
  21. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I forgot to mention you might look up KEH.

    Jeff
     
  22. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    For "budget" I think you need to consider the total cost and quailty of your system. If you want a system with matched manufator's brand prime lens then Canon FD, Minolta MD and Konica are good choices as the lens (with a few exceptions) are very inexpensive. If you can live with 3rd party lens then Nikon, Pentex, Minolta and Canon AF bodies with Sigma or Tamron AF lens exellent buys. Determine what you want, set a price and do an Excel spread sheet comparing the diffent brands.
     
  23. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    I vote for a K1000 to based on your budget concerns. The lenses are cheap and available too. You can have a nice 28mm, 50mm, and short tele for just $300.
     
  24. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Member

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    An autofocus camera is not a modern alternative to a manual focus camera, it's just a different beast. You get a brighter viewfinder, but you lose the ability to easily and correctly focus manually, because focusing screens in autofocus cameras are optimized for light transmission not for help in focusing.

    If you take pictures of fast moving subjects (such ad dogs and children) then autofocus is helpful. If you do street photography, or just cityscape etc then autofocus is a hindrance. If forces you to focus-lock-recompose which I find quite suboptimal. Besides with autofocus lenses you often have to give up on scale focusing. Depth of field marks are just a suggestion, but a useful one! :smile:

    Finally, I have nothing against a more recent camera that works. But all the automation in it (autofocus, motors) is something that can break or go out of calibration more easily than gears. Motor-induced noise can also be very annoying in certain circumstances. It's horses for courses, younger horses are not necessarily better.

    Generally speaking, I've no consideration for matrix metering at all. If you can't use an external light meter, you are better off using an internal one (whatever, but not "matrix") and then compensating manually than relying on what the camera thinks you should be doing (and the camera certainly cannot know better than you).
     
  25. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    For me mehanical shutter, no programming is the better route. Just picked up a Ashahi S1a that is built like a tank. All mechanical and not meter. Takes the very plentiful M42 lenses such as the Super Takumars which is some excellent glass and very plentiful so not expensive. Viewfinder is excellent and thought there is no split image focusing, I find the focusing easier than say a Leicaflex. No need for figuring out a batery solution as it has no built in electronics, hence no battery required. Yes, Sunny 16 Rule or hand held meter but it really is not an issue unless you are going to deal with say a bellows, filters or things like extenders as you will then need to remember the factor. Just plain good fashioned photogrpahy.

    A more modern choice would be the Yashica FX-3 or FX-3 Super, with the built in meter. Though they are not considered pro cameras they seem to be almost bullet proof. At the time Yashica design and made them it also was building the Contax line that felt only a little better. Happily both lines take the same lens mount so you can get some of the best glass out there and a camera that is very reliable but basic. I have 2 of them and the meters are spot on. These can be had very inexpensively and later when funds build up you can get something like a RTS series and use the FX as a backup body. The only weakness is the letherette covering that tends to shred and wear easily over time. One of mine I simply bought a piece of leather for a couple of dollars and made a covering that has lasted some 20 years and the other still has the original. A company does make a leather kit for the bodt for something like $60US but it is easy to make it as there is little complexity in the body design.

    A bit more modern with built in metering
     
  26. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    If one spends anytime in cold weather such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, walking, hiking ..., then batteries become a big deal - batteries-less black hole or not. Cold temperatures sap and kill batteries. Every winter vacation I see people with digital cameras swapping batteries only to find that the "new" batteries quickly die.

    Steve