Good - older - smaller - slr with great lens

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by tim k, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. tim k

    tim k Member

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    Forgive me if this has been beat to death.

    I have an eos-3 that is very nice, but it never gets out of the house. It just seems too electric whiz-bang automatic. Yes I know I could set it on M, but its missing that nice little lever that you get to crank on every shot.

    So, what do you guys think I should be on the look out for?

    Here is my must have list.
    Manual film advance.
    Split screen focus.
    Great lens, 50mm, fast is good.
    Smaller than the eos-3.
    Weight does not matter.
    Currently available battery for meter.
    Metal is better than plastic, but plastic is ok.
    But it absolutly cant feel like a piece of plastic junk.

    Look forward to your suggestions.
    Thx
     
  2. erikg

    erikg Member

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    om-2n
     
  3. chioque

    chioque Subscriber

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    The Olympus SLR line, OM-1n, OM-2, Om-3 or OM-4. The OM1 & OM3 are fully mechanical (except metering) whilst OM2 & OM4 do depend on battery for shutter. Small and very nice, sharp Zuiko lenses.
     
  4. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Nikon FE or FM perhaps.
     
  5. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    Another vote for OM2n or OM1n with 50mm f1.4 which is a great lens.
     
  6. Cork

    Cork Member

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    Olympus OM-1/2/3 are good. You should also consider a Minolta XD-11 with Rokkor 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.2; the XD-11 can be had for much less than an OM and the Rokkor glass is inexpensive as well.
     
  7. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    OM2n.

    I have mine and it just seems perfect.
     
  8. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Once again, a Nikon FE, i got one, works great. And AIS Nikkors can be cheap depending where you're looking. And for the record, yes i have an FE and that's my main 35mm SLR.
     
  9. paulfish4570

    paulfish4570 Member

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    Fujica 605, 701, etc., all M42 Pentax screw mount. Very compact, and the world is full of inexpensive M42 glass. If you can go with a fresnel circle instead of split ring, then the Pentax Spotmatic series is the sine qua non of simple, mechanical, tough, yet compact SLR. I need 2+ reading glasses to clearly focus my 605 and SP1000. The Pentax is easier to focus than the split ring 605 ...
     
  10. pentax4ever

    pentax4ever Member

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    Pentax ME Super. The Pentax-M f1.7 or 1.4 are excellent lenses.
     
  11. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    You can get a Minolta XD-11 and 50mm f/1.4 for under $100. Minolta lenses are excellent, and very underpriced. Canon A-1 or AE-1 Program and 50mm f/1.4 would also be good. Canon FD lenses are not so underpriced, but still a good value. Every time I look at the OM system I get sticker shock; same with the older Nikons, but they're both very good.
     
  12. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Pentax MX -- my first "real" SLR. Great cameras. Sometimes, I think the body is a bit too small.

    Olympus OM series -- launched the downsizing of cameras. Great feel to them. Shutter speed selector dial is at the base of the lens mount.

    Minolta XD-11 -- love this camera. For me, the perfect size. Offers shutter- AND aperture-priority autoexposure, as well as full manual. On many, the original covering has shrunk and probably should be replaced.

    Nikon FM/FE -- the FE was my second SLR after selling the MX. Great camera. Larger than the others but smaller than an F2A. Since 1979, it's never failed me. My roommate has the FM. Had a few problems with it here and there since he bought his in 1980.

    Rolleiflex SL 35 E -- good design on paper, but the years haven't been kind to the post-SL 35 bodies. Has a very bright viewing screen -- much brighter than the others. Has a unique diagonal split for focusing as the standard screen. And it has outstanding Carl Zeiss lenses.

    Contax 139 -- Great size. Outstanding Carl Zeiss lenses. Not particularly quiet, but feels good in your hands. The original covering usually has worn away and will often need to be replaced.

    Canon AE-1 -- Roughly the same size as the Contax 139, Nikon FE, Rolleiflex SL 35 E and slightly taller than the Minolta XD-11. Good camera. Millions were sold, so they're plentiful and usually not expensive. Some develop a wheeze.
     
  13. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Nikon FE or FM
     
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  15. Joe O'Brien

    Joe O'Brien Member

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    Bump for the XD-11
     
  16. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Nikon FE or FM series. Great cameras - I have several.
     
  17. BobD

    BobD Member

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    There are a number of cameras that fit those criteria. The "plastic junk" era began in the late 1980s. Most any smaller SLR made before then would fit. That would include the Olympus OM-series, Nikon FM/FE-series, FG/FG-20, Pentax MX, ME Super, most Minolta X-series models and many others.
     
  18. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Asahi Pentax MX with 1.4/50 M lens. :smile:
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Agree MX, but any of the 50mm lenses are fine.

    Ian
     
  20. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Olympus OM2n with 50mm f1.4 lens, given your specifications it's the nearest to a Leica M in a SLR, I have no axe to grind I've never owned one but I used to sell them for a living, and they are exquisite like fine jewellery.
     
  21. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    To your list add, Yashica FX-3 (not the Chinese-made FX-3 Super 2000), or Yashica FX-D. Put the Zeiss 50mm Planar on the front (f/1.4 or f/1.7 to taste), and there's no more to be said. Except maybe that an adapter will also let you put that fabulous lens on your EOS 3.
     
  22. onepuff

    onepuff Member

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    You could consider an Olympus OM-4 or OM-4 Ti. They are cheaper than an OM-3 and if you go for the later circuit OM-4 or Ti version they are very reliable. Once you experience the beautifully simple multi-spot metering, you won't want to go back to anything else.
     
  23. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    You don't say what your budget is. I second all the OM recommendations - good value, plenty about, easy to get service. Just watch out that the OM1 needs a slight mod to take modern SR44 batteries - either an adapter or an internal diode (although you can use wein cells etc as well). Budget £/$100-150 for a decent Om1/OM2 with standard 50mm lens. Get a good one, have it CLA'd and the foams replaced and you will not be disappointed - should last you years.

    If you want a real cheapy, to see how you get on, try out a Minolta X300/370 with a 50mm 1.7 lens. Almost identical (small) size to an OM. Slightly lighter - bit more plastic. Aperture priority or fully manual. I have an X300 and it handles really well. The only downside over my OMs is it isn't quite such a "jewel" and the shutter is quite a bit noisier in operation. There are quite a few dead ones about as well that are dead for the want of a $/£1 capacitor that takes 5 minutes to replace.
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    A Nikon F something...and a Nikon to EOS lens adapter.

    The first and second F don't have a meter unless they have one of the Photomic metering prisms (which most do). There are some battery issues; with the F for sure, and possibly with the F2 as well. These are easily remedied, however. (Personally, I just empty the battery compartments and guess or use a hand held meter. I get much better results this way than using an in-camera reflected meter.)

    They all let you pick whichever focusing screen you want to use, so even if it does not come with a split screen focusing aid, you can get one and swap it in. Little things like this are the reasons for which you want to get a professional model instead of an amateur one, if possible.

    If you want something much smaller than the EOS 3, I'd go with any Olympus or a Pentax.
     
  25. Paul Green

    Paul Green Member

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    A vote for the Olympus line from me to, my om4 has never let me down.
     
  26. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I would go with the old Canon FD system.

    Jeff