Help me find my perfect camera please

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by zilali, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. zilali

    zilali Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi all,

    I recently shot four very important films in my canon A-1 which all came out blank (something wrong with the shutter it seems). This is my third A1 to break in a short period of time so I have decided to ditch the A-1 and go for something new. I was wondering if any of you could recommend a camera to suit my needs..

    So my preferences are- 1) Something reliable- i.e won't break after a few films. 2) Fast-ish shutter speed (I shoot lots of low depth of field portraits so it would be nice not to have to rely on ND filters when shooting when the aperture is low). 3) Smallish - which I guess excludes a lot of the autofocus cameras. 4) Cost to be less than say $200 (I may be able to increase this)

    Can any of you think of any good cameras that fulfil all or most of the above criteria?

    thanks:smile:
     
  2. miha

    miha Member

    Messages:
    1,217
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A Nikon FM2 is as reliable as it gets. Or perhaps a late Canon EOS like the EOS 30V / Elan 7N if you want auto-everything.
     
  3. zilali

    zilali Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    mmm FM2 looks nice, the only draw back is I have never used manual exposure, is this a bit tricky to get right? Ideally if I could get something with aperture priority that would be great.

    EoS looks good but it's unfortunately a bit to bulky for my liking.

    thanks
     
  4. bernard_L

    bernard_L Subscriber

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Then, Nikon FE or FE2?
    Or, if you do not mind sarcastic remarks from purists, Nikon EM. Possibly a bit smaller.
    As far as I'm concerned, I would not trade my FM2 for an electronic fantastic auto-something, FE or EM.
     
  5. miha

    miha Member

    Messages:
    1,217
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    Slovenia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    FE2 offers aperture priority but is otherwise identical to the FM2. Manual exposure is no more tricky, it just takes a bit time as it requires the photographer to set all the parameters.
     
  6. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

    Messages:
    439
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Location:
    MD
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you haven't yet try getting your camera from KEH or someone who will check it out and rate its quality.
     
  7. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

    Messages:
    1,989
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    If you want to get the most out of your camera then you need to learn manual exposure for when you need full control. It may seem tricky at first, just like learning to ride a bicycle, but once you figure it out you will wonder why you thought it was so hard to begin with! :smile:

    Like mentioned earlier the FE2 would fit your criteria.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,818
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A Canon 7e may look bulky because of its shape, but it is actually smaller than an A1.

    I would recommend an Olympus OM2n.
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,581
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would recommend the Nikon F100, which is the best film camera they ever built in my not so humble option [IMNOHO].
     
  10. wy2l

    wy2l Member

    Messages:
    149
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Nikon FM3A. Very simple, sounds like a swiss watch. An absolute joy, lets one focus (ignore the put) in the image and not the technology.
     
  11. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,199
    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Jeez, why are these things so expensive?
     
  12. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

    Messages:
    671
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Have you got some Canon lenses for your A-1? I used to use the old Canon F-1 (not the F1n but the old type). It never went wrong and you could have knocked nails in with it as it was so strong. Very simple to use. No programming. A high quality camera that would let you benefit from your old FD etc. lenses.

    RR
     
  13. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

    Messages:
    1,989
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Yeah, but it's not a Blad! :D
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Chris Douglas

    Chris Douglas Member

    Messages:
    83
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I like the FE2 because it has up to and including 1/250 shutter with flash X synchronization.
     
  16. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

    Messages:
    2,673
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Phoeinx Ariz
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In my way of thinking a perfect camera is a package. Body, lens, winder or drive for older cameras. If you want to move to auto focus N90, F100, Canon EOS 3 or Elan 7, as already mentioned, Pentax PZ 1, late model Minolta 7 or 9. Lens, a set of zooms to start followed by primes if needed, with a flash, and a battery grip for extended shooting. Manual focus, Konica FT-1 motor for FS -1, or the shutter speed preferred exposure but non electronic shutter the T 3, with 28mm, 58 1.8 and 135 3.5, Nikon FE, or FA, Canon T 70 or T 90, set of prime Canon FD lens, Minolta XG 9 or similar with set of primes with a winder.

    Of the lot, as you have some canon FD glass I would look up the T 70 or T 90.
     
  17. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,381
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Montgomery,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm curious about your blank film.
    Is it unexposed but does have the edge markings?
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,581
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Let them get taken in. Then the GAS will strike. Besides this is a 35mm thread.
     
  19. alinnman

    alinnman Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Location:
    Stockholm, S
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I just bought a Nikon F5 which fits two of your criteria. Price is however closer to 400 USD and it is by no means "smallish" ;-). But it is an *awsome* camera. Reliable, quick, and well balanced in my hands. The Nikon F100 is an alternative. The late high-quality 35 mm film cameras from the 90's are fantastic.
     
  20. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

    Messages:
    1,989
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    There is always the Xpan! :smile:
     
  21. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    +1

    Jeff
     
  22. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

    Messages:
    421
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Hartford, Co
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The first suggestions were the best ones -- FM2N or FE2. Utterly reliable.
     
  23. largely

    largely Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Location:
    Chino,Ca.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If you've already got Canon glass in FD mounts get a T90. You'll never be sorry.
     
  24. trythis

    trythis Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,092
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Location:
    St Louis
    Shooter:
    35mm
    For smallish. For cheap. For ease of use, nikon n80 / f80. It just can't meter with manual lenses.
    Stick with FD? Why not go ae-1p? Newer, cheaper.

    sent from phone. excuse my typing.
     
  25. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,517
    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, the F100 is truly a special camera.
     
  26. zilali

    zilali Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yes it was a little strange. The film was not exposed at all but did have the edge markings i.e the darker bit where i rolled it on. The film definitely wound on as when I reached 36 exposures it wouldn't shoot any more. I concluded that when shooting the shutter must have not been opening despite making the sound. Either way this is just one of many problems i've had with my A1s. They all seem to suffer from shutter squeak and eventually jam up so I am done with them.

    I've considered going for a T90 so I would not have to swap lenses but I have to say it just seems a bit too big and ugly for my liking, much like a lot of the newer autofocus SLRs... yes I know I am very superficial.

    Anyway thanks everyone for all of your helpful replies. I think the nikon FM2 or FE2 fulfils all of my criteria I will start looking at some prices.

    Somebody mentioned KEH as a good source for buying second hand cameras. Unfortunately I am from the UK, does anyone know of any good sellers in the UK that are reputable?