Help getting my sister an SLR for a class

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by battra92, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    My little sister is going to be taking a Black and White Photography class at college and it requires a film SLR. Money is a bit of an issue as she is a college student and I'd rather not lend her my N75. I was looking at the Vivitar models which seem to be a great bang for the buck, but I have been told that I can get some older cameras for much cheaper.

    I was looking at some Ricoh/Sears models on eBay as well as some Pentax models. Idealy, it should have a meter but be full manual. Any suggestions?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Something like a Canon AE-1 should be a good choice, and they're plentiful and cheap. I'm sure Nikon users will recommend comparable models. The venerable Pentax K1000 is a standard choice for this kind of class.

    Try keh.com, and you can be sure you'll get a camera in good working order.
     
  3. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I was going to suggest a Pentax, David beat me to it, you can't go wrong with a K-1000, more photographers have probably started with this work horse than any other.

    Dave
     
  4. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Yashica FX-3 is a great starter camera. I received one from santa-mom many moons ago and its still a super shooter. The nice thing about the purchase was that it came from a professional shop, meaning, the chap behind the counter was the owner. He asked my mom all sorts of questions BEFORE he suggested the Yashica. Gone are the days eh?

    Mike
     
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Good SLR for Students

    I recommend a Pentax K100, I used to supply several local collages with SLRs for their students and they all preferred the Pentax K 1000, because it was manual, and very robust you could knock nails in with them and they'd still work, just what you need with youngsters, there are still plenty around on the second hand market in good condition at a reasonable price.
     
  6. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Personal mail me and I'll send you a Nikon 6006. FREE. It can be set for either auto or manual.

    It's been sitting for a couple of years and is collecting dust.

    It needs a good home.


    Michael
     
  7. T42

    T42 Member

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    I agree with the consensus here that fundamentals are more quickly learned on a fundamentals centric camera. The first one that came to my mind was a Nikomat. They, like the K1000, are battle tank tough. The Nikomat/Nikkormat mounts classic Nikkors, and which are now quite reasonable and plentiful. It also has DOF preview, which I think may be of interest to more serious students.

    What it lacks is that the view is cropped, like most other amateur SLRs. And CdS cells can get leaky when they are old. This means that readings in very low light will be off a little, because the meter thinks it is seeing light that is not there, so to speak. My Nikon F has this affliction, but it meters well in bright light.

    Henry
     
  8. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Well done Michael !!
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Does the class require any features? Or a lack of features? The older Ricoh K models aren't very expensive. The newer Ricoh X models still aren't expensive. But the X models I think all have built in motor drive. Some of the models are also missing some features. Something like the KR-5 might be interesting. Or if more features are okay then the XR-X. Anything labeled Ricoh is going to be much cheaper then anything labeled Pentax and will often have more features to. But it's still a K mount.

    http://www.butkus.org/chinon/#RICOH

    Lots of manuals so you can compare features.
     
  10. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Looks like Blansky's generosity has solved the problem for you but in the U.K. at least the Pentax ME super is better value for money. The K1000 is a bit of a collectors camera like the LX and you pay accordingly.

    Interestingly in the 1982 What Camera Guide the Ricoh KR10 came out best in terms of all round value for money.

    Of course supply and demand in the U.S. may result in quite different relative prices.

    Pentaxuser
     
  11. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Bravo!!
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Certainly Blansky's offer of a free Nikon will be hard to beat, but my comment is that the Pentax K1000, although not ridiculously overpriced, is still pricier on the used market than many similar cameras from less prestigious brands. Ricoh's already been mentioned, but Chinon, Cosina, and Vivitar all made (or at least sold) K-mount cameras that are perfectly serviceable for this function. Sears-branded cameras were, IIRC, made by Ricoh. I've got an all-manual Vivitar V3800N that would probably do quite well for a student camera. I forgot what I paid for it, but it was peanuts on eBay and in like-new condition. Even a Zenit 122K or 212K would do nicely, provided it's a working sample. My other K-mount cameras all have auto-exposure modes. My personal favorite is the Chinon CE-4s, since it's got some handy convenience items like a film box-end holder and a little window to show you the selected aperture in the viewfinder. (Sadly, my CE-4s's meter is a bit flaky.) Among the ones I own, the CE-4s and the Pentax P30t would both make good student cameras, provided the student can be trusted to resist the temptation of using the aperture-priority auto-exposure mode.

    I've mentioned K-mount cameras simply because I'm familiar with them but also because what I assume to be the popularity of the K1000 among students means that a student who picks a K-mount camera stands a good chance of being able to share lenses with other students. Expanding out of the K-mount world, I'm sure there are lots of other possibilities, but I'm less familiar with these cameras.
     
  13. Kevin Roach

    Kevin Roach Member

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    Pentax schmentax. I think the Spotmatics are just as good but much less money. My suggestion would be a Minolta SRT101.

    But it's all academic anyway.
     
  14. mawz

    mawz Member

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    The K1000, while good, is often pricier than better Pentax bodies like the MX due to it's nostalgia appeal.

    I'd recommend a Pentax MX, Nikon FM, Canon AE-1, Olympus OM2n or Minolta SRT-101. Spotmatics are great cameras, but it's very likely the meter will be dead.

    The Vivitar SLR are the Cosina SLR, making them essentially identical to a Nikon FM10, Yashica FX-3 or Ricoh KR-5 Super. Pick the version that offers the best compatibility with currently owned glass.
     
  15. battra92

    battra92 Member

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    I received the camera and presented it to my sister on Friday and she is very enthusiatic to learn. After my mom saw it, she now wants to learn as well. My mom has some photo experience but she just needs to learn some manual stuff. Looks like it will be a fun summer. :smile:
     
  16. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I second the Yashica FX-3 with is also compatable with Zeiss lenses for Contax if the budget ever allows.
     
  17. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    The K-1000 is a student classic, but I like the Olympus OM-10, so long as it has the manual adaptor. You can get them very cheaply now and they give you a good entry to the whole OM system.

    David.
     
  18. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    That's great.

    A camera is a terrible thing to waste.



    Michael