Reccommend a 35mm camera to me

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by RabbitHeartedGirl, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. RabbitHeartedGirl

    RabbitHeartedGirl Member

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    Hi everyone

    I'm new to analogue photography and I am currently using a medium format camera, however I would love to use 35mm but have no idea where to start! Please excuse my total ignorance. I'd like a simple camera that will get me started in the world of 35mm analogue photography, if anyone can give me any advice at all I would really really appreciate it.

    RHG
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    As a reference, what MF camera do you have now? Are you looking for autofocus or manual? Auto exposure - full or limited, or full manual only?

    Also, rangefinder (fixed or interchangeable lens) or SLR?
     
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  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    RHG

    Welcome to APUG. Without mentioning your area of photography and if you have a preference for automatic, manual, rangefinder or SLR, these types of requests don't work very well. You will undoubtably get as many recommendations as there are cameras.

    Used analog cameras are cheap these days. Pick a name-brand model and start with the focal length equivalent of what you used with your MF camera. There isn't much you can do wrong and the financial investment will be small. If you don't like it, you can sell it again.

    Now watch and see how everyone promotes what they use or have:
     
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  4. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Member

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    .
    Welcome To APUG,

    Hi R.H.G.,

    I'm leaving to go on vacation in a few minutes.
    I would recommend any of the Minolta cameras,
    that's what I use. An XE-7 if you can get one.
    Or an SRT-202 would be an excellent choice.
    Depending on the features that you need.
    We have 43,600 members. You will have at least
    5,287 recommendations within the next 24 Hours.

    I'm Just Saying ...



    Ron
    .
     
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  5. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Told you, and what else can one recommend?
     
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  6. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    There are so many good basic 35mm cameras out there. They are usally inexpensive. Just look up KEH.
    Pentax K1000 and the Canon FTb are good choices among many. BTW welcome to APUG!

    Jeff
     
  7. totalmotard

    totalmotard Member

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    I'm going to suggest something a little different. Something like stray rescue. Start rummaging through thrift stores and let your 35 mm camera find you. I found a Mamiya Sekor that way with the sharpest lens for just $12. Just start looking for a stray to love.
     
  8. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    “You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there.”

    Yogi Berra
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Simpler is better, so start with an all manual camera. The one that gets mentioned the most often is the Pentax K1000, but I also like other Japanese models, including a Nikon FM or the Nikon FE (if you want autoexposure).

    With most Japanese cameras, if it's from the 1980s or earlier, you'll want to have those foam seals replaced.
     
  10. Focus No. 9

    Focus No. 9 Member

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    Love at first sight.

    the OP did not say anything about an SLR. So anything would do.

    If you don't have a friend with a 35mm to borrow the next best thing would be to peruse the inventory at a camera store or a thrift shop as has been suggested.
    I think you should do the "feel me, touch me" exercise as intimacy with your equipment will lead to greater satisfaction rather than rejection due to inexperience and lack of hands on knowledge.

    I wish I had followed that advice.
    :whistling:
     
  11. kivis

    kivis Subscriber

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    I would start with a Nikon FM/FE. Plenty of Nikon lenses, lots of support, cheap prices. Has worked for me for over 35 years.
     
  12. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    As already mentioned, you should give more details about your preferences, etc. In general I think it goes like this:

    If you want mainstream, easily available cameras with almost any potential focal length lens available, then go with a higher level Nikon or Canon. Just be careful that you don't get a beater that a pro abused for several year.

    If you like something a little off the beaten path, more esoteric, high quality, then pick up a Contax body with Zeiss lenses. The lenses will still cost a bit of a premium but is incredibly cheap compared to the old days and you will enjoy the aesthetics.

    If you want the absolute best deal, less readily available, but still quality lenses, then do your research and pick up a clean Olympus, Pentax, or Minolta.

    That is a summary of the responses you are likely to get.
     
  13. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    Another option, as an addendum to jeroldharter reply above, regarding Contax/Zeiss.

    For a nice "beginner" slr, you might consider one of Yashica's "little brothers" to the Contax/Zeiss cameras. I would suggest starting out with something like a Yashica FX-3 with one of the Yashica ML series lenses, it is small, light, dependable, fully manual, and not battery-dependent. And it has the added benefit of sharing the same C/Y bayonet mount of it's more expensive Contax brethren, so you could upgrade to the more expensive Zeiss T* glass if you feel the need to.

    A nice starter rangefinder would be the Konica C35 Automatic, once again, small, light, and dependable, with a wonderful lens.
     
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  15. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I think Leica and Canon are still missing. Just wait...
     
  16. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I probably would buy into the Nikon camp only because of the great availability of lenses that will work on manual, AF and digital bodies depending, and the supply of parts for repairs down the road. This would be the manual FM's, FE's, F3 and the AF N90(cheap) and F100 more $. If you want to use AF lenses only, consider perhaps Canon for slightly better lens prices. Rebel's, Elan's even the higher valued 1 and 3 series. If you want a point and shoot there's the cheap but favorite Olympus Stylus and a slew of others. For rangefinders perhaps at more money there's the Contax G1 or the Bessa series. If anything consider you might have to get anything serviced for light seals which is an added expense. Overall the older bodies are relatively inexpensive and the good lenses can be the expenditure. They all have their features and it will be up to you to determine which ones you want. I prefer DOF preview and mirror lockup.
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I suggest a Nikkormat or something like it (i.e. a mid-level SLR) from one of the other companies, such as Canon, Minolta, Pentax, Olympus, etc. You can get camera and lens for under $100, usually.
     
  18. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    You know, I've noticed that you almost never hear anyone say "I started with camera X, but it wasn't a very good starter and I wish I'd used camera Y instead". Everyone likes whatever their first "real" camera was. There must be exceptions, but there don't seem to be many of them.

    From this I conclude that it doesn't much matter where you start, and that "get something that seems like a good idea at the time" is probably good general advice.

    -NT
     
  19. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    If you use a MF camera now, I'd suggest a 35mm that is as far opposite it as possible. The more separation between the cameras, the more like you'll have situations where each makes sense.

    You can't take a step without tripping over an SLR these days. You'll end up with one at some point anyway.

    I'd suggest going with something really compact - something you might not otherwise try - to balance the MF camera. Manual and auto control. Perhaps an Olympus 35RC? If that is too small in your hands, one of the compact rangefinders with a great reputation (lots floating around) can be had for less than $50. The Canonet 17 GIII is probably the other most recommended compact rangefinder. On the smaller side and without manual control, an Olympus XA. Lots of options really.

    This and the MF camera would cover different situations but would leave you with similar focal lengths (assuming your MF has a normal lens). If you do want an SLR, I'd suggest checking out the Olympus OM2n before making a decision. I wish I'd found it before buying a bunch of Nikon gear. They float around on craigslist for as little as $65 with a fast 50mm lens.
     
  20. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Ok, I'll do the Leica reccomendation... ;-)
    (Being no fan at all of Canon EOS)

    1) Leica M (read this to include several brands of interchangeable lens 35mm rangefinders) offer a (somewhat) lighter and usually much more compact kit than SLRs.
    Advantages are generally good lenses, a different work style & vision, discretion.
    Disadvantages are that longer focal lengths, very exact framing and close-ups aren't on offer.

    2) Leica SLRs. Despite their reputation, you can pick up a kit for not much more than most other film SLRs now.
    Many models, but in general:
    Advantages: Bright focussing systems, very dampened shutters and mirrors, spot metering, many lenses really do have that "something extra".
    Disadvantages: Extra price, weight (esp. the lenses).

    That said, the older Zeiss lenses for Contax and Rolleiflex (Rolleiflex 35mm SLRs are for those with a slight masochistic streak) often have a better "look". They're my, favorites, even if or when technically surpassed by others.
     
  21. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Yes, you do have an idea where to start. You started by asking on this forum.

    Which medium format camera are you using? Since you labeled yourself as a plastic camera shooter, I will assume it is a Holga. If that is the case, why not consider the Holga H-135 35mm camera?
     
  22. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Depending on your MF camera, unless it is plastic, a 35mm camera probably won't measure up. Does simple mean all auto or all manual? Does it mean an slr that you have to put the lens on or a small fixed lens camera? There are plastic 35mm cameras too. All the major camera makers make good cameras and you aren't going to spend much money on ebay.. you can buy three or four.
     
  23. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Bingo!
     
  24. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Knew it. Don't worry, Canon has been suggested by someone else. We're almost complete now.
     
  25. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Hi RHG and welcome to APUG. Get any camera you like that works and is affordable.
     
  26. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    You'll find professional gear from the 80-ies for about 100 USD and up. Consumer grade cameras goes for half of that or much less (at least here in Sweden). Before you buy, you should handle a few different cameras and try to get a feel for what you would enjoy using.

    Your main choices will be
    - compact camera, SLR or rangefinder
    - automated or manual fokus and exposure.