Mechanical jewel, which one? Nikon F2, F, FM2 etc or No Nikon?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by stark_674, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    Hi all,

    I want to buy another camera.... Again the Last one.....
    I want to buy a strong reliable camera to take shoot with for many and many time.
    My choice is going to Nikon F2A (with DP-11) and not F2AS (with DP-12) cause the first uses needle and not leds.
    I want to shoot with a rellay mechanical jewel, can you give me any other suggestion?
    My budget is 300€ max, Every suggestion is welcome.
    Thanks in advance

    Denny
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    I'd get the newest possible: look for a late model FM2n in the best possible condition. Whatever anyone says about their legendary durability, F2 bodies are getting very elderly and often need lesscompetent(and pricey) service. Too many age-related problems for the $ unless you're looking at a mint or very lightly used example--which most aren't.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2011
  3. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Olympus OM-1n? I don't think "jewel" when pick up an F2, but they are very solid. Sounds like a good choice, plenty to be had. Find a good one and enjoy.
     
  4. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    An F2 is a good choice for a camera that can probably be kept going forever. Look for a plain-prism model, although there is nothing that keeps a kaput metering prism from being used for viewing. There are several services that specialize in overhaul/repair of F2's http://www.soverf2repair.webs.com/

    F2s in pristine shape go for quite a premium and will likely blow your Eu300 budget.
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Problem is, Wong's "standard" service alone would eat up over 1/2 the OP's budget.
     
  6. DividedSky

    DividedSky Member

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    why not go for the f3 over the f2
     
  7. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    My favorite mechanical 35mm camera, hands down, is the original Nikon F with the eye-level (non-metered) prism and a hand-held meter. There is nothing in the viewfinder except your image, and you see 100% of the view the lens sees. The F2 and FM2 have some improvements over the F, which may matter depending on your needs. They are also great cameras, but there's something classic and timeless about the F. Finding one with an eyelevel prism in good shape might be hard within the budget you stated but I am sure there are user bodies out there.
     
  8. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    'I want to buy a strong reliable camera...' To ensure reliability you should plan on having a 20-40 year old camera serviced, pronto, if it hasn't been lately. I like the F2 idea. If wanting a more modern (reliable out of the box) camera, perhaps an FM3a.
     
  9. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    I am in the line of rthomas that suggests to me a Nikon F instead going to a F3 that has so much elecronic inside I can say.
    If you know also something of other brands.... Thanks a lot for the moment
     
  10. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Not to be snarky, but I wonder if one of these days we can compile a list of pros and cons to the Nikon series and just make it a sticky.
     
  11. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    :laugh::laugh::laugh: It always is the last one.
     
  12. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Just one more drink...Promise!
     
  13. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    As in, you could use the F2 to crush the Olympus into dust, and then take a picture of the remains. (I own both, by the way!)
     
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  15. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Depends on how many lens you have in the Nikon mount. If you have a lot stick with a Nikon like the F2. I like my old Canon F-1 with their inexpesive FD lenes.

    Jeff
     
  16. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Leicaflex SL: slightly more camera than tank.... :wink:

    You would get:
    Better mirror damping
    Better shutter damping
    A far better viewfinder (probably the best SLR viewfinder ever - sorry Olympus OM fans... :smile: )
    In some/many cases, better lenses.

    As I said, maybe less of a tank than a Nikon F2 (do tanks take good pictures?), but a Leicaflex SL has famously survived being ejected from a crashing fighter jet and lying on the desert floor for months before being found.

    Whatever you decide, newer *isn't* always better, often just more cheaply made....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2011
  17. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    Exactly. The original F is built like a tank.
     
  18. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Great idea and not just for Nikon. Might cut down on the windy OT testimonials and misinformation.
     
  19. StephanA

    StephanA Member

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    I agree with the tank v. camera approach, which is why the last 35 I bought was a Contax IIA, 35+ years ago. "Takes a licking and keeps on clicking"
     
  20. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    ???
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I have owned F, F2, and F3. The F2 is a very strong camera, higher shutter speed, than an F, the F3 is more modern, but the F with a non metered pentaprism, and 50mm 1.8 is just classic. But for the long haul the F2 would be my pick.

    Other camers to think about, Spotmatic, Canon F1, and Minolta 201 or 101. I still have the Spotmaitc I bought in College in 1966, it was used at that. Last serviced in 1986, meter is spot on (no pun intended), will work with hearing aid batteries or just about any batttery that will fit. Lens are very good for the day and still hold up to many new lens.
     
  22. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    There are a lot of excellent mechanical shutter camera bodies out there. What to get really depends on whatoyu want as a kit and the budget. A newer reliable system can be based on the Yashica FX-3 series. The Yashica/Contax lenses come in 2 series, The Yashica ML series is bargain priced and very good to excellent. Most borrowed on the Zeiss lenses Yashica was using for the Contax line of cameras. If you want better then the Contax Zeiss lenses are put there.

    Another bargain is the Asahi/Pentax line. The M42 lens screw mount lenses are still some of the ones to beat. I recently picked up a S1a and it is the tank that Nikon F would like to have been. You could hammer nails with it and never dent it. I can not wait to try it out, I'm actually excited about a camera in a couple of decades. The viewfinder is large and clear and focusing screen excellent. Admittedly, it is purely mechanical, not even a meter. The Spotmatic is M42 mount and has the meter but, unlike most classic cameras the metering circuit is not a problem because the mercury battery is no longer available.

    I agree that the original Leica SLRs also make the grade. But, they are a might rare and they and the lenses are somewhat pricey. But if you appreciate fine wines, cars and food, one of these might be the answer.

    Now, to fly in the face of sanity, pick up an Exacta and have it surviced. Back in their day, the were 1st rate though quirky control layout compared to later cameras. There were a huge number of lens makers making lenses for the camera so you can have your pick from cheap to mortgage a house and from okay to some of the best. Also, you can have 2 views, a prism like most SLRs and a waist level finder. The acc'y range for the cameras is huge. Maybe the only item lacking is a motor drive, I've never seen or heard of one. Years ago before settling on a Bronica system my largest brand and range in my collection was Exactas and some of the finer photos I ever produced were with them.
     
  23. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Most Nikon mechanical cameras are great cameras. But a Mechanical Jewel, I think it's the Leica MP. It's not all that tough a camera but it's a jewel.
     
  24. stark_674

    stark_674 Member

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    I forgot to say that I am using Contax RTSII and Rolleiflex SL35E for 35mm; Mamiya c330f for MF. And I have a nice Exacta 2b.
    I am having very good staisfaction using Rolleiflex SL35E with M42 lenses using the dedicated Rollei Adapter: my Flektogon-Planar-Sonnar combination with that camera is so good.
    BUT, Now I want to have the possibility to shot only using a needle at maximum on a camera that may be full mechanical. I read that F2 was produced using something like 1500 pieces, 600 more than a F. They tried to produce the execellence on mechanical technology, and maybe this is what I am seraching for.
    Anyway, Spotmatic should be a nice cheaper solution but I am still on F2A I think.....
    Another question..... F2 F2A F2AS F2S F2SB are always the same body using a different prism?
    Thank you again for your explanations, I am enjoying it
    Bye
     
  25. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    Actually, there are 4 series of Contax/Yashica bayonet mount lenses. The Contax Zeiss T*, and the Yashica ML (molti-coated), DSB (single coated), and YUS (Yashica U.S) lenses, with the DSB and YUS considered the "economy" lenses for the most part, although the YUS 135/2.8 and the 28/2.8 YUS aspherical lenses (with the 58mm filter ring, quite rare and not to be confused with the common 52mm filter thread variety) are quite good lenses.
     
  26. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    The last one . . . for now . . . :whistling:

    These are the mostly mechanicals that I own and they have been proven over the years to have a robust build quality. There are a few with aperture priority auto exposure (Autoreflex T, ES II, K2, LX, new F-1 & FM3A) but they have most of their shutter speeds available when the battery is exhausted. The FM3A of course is the only one with all of the shutter speeds available even then.

    [​IMG]

    Full size image link -> Mostly mechanical

    The OM-1, MX and LX are most definitely jewel like but they give no quarter to their weightier brethren.

    Some of these were slightly over or near your limit but most were well below. It all depends on the condition. If you're not resigned to Nikon then there are a few great choices available to you.