SLR woes

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by olleorama, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Ok, I'm looking for a compact manual slr. I have used and abused nikons trustworthy FM and FM2 models (along with F100 and F80), but they have given up their ghost on me. I have a few lenses I like, a 50/1.8 pancake, decent lens but focus is a bit loose, a 28/2.8 which I really like, and a 85/something, decent. So a few alternatives now:

    • Shell out for repairs, which are stupidly expensive here in Sweden
    • Buy another FM/FM2/FA or similar
    • Invest in a new system

    I also have a chinon something with quite a few m42 lenses, most are third party and of dodgy quality.

    Been contemplating Olympys OM-seires, most likely OM4. Konica T-series also seems interesting, from what I've heard the AR hexanons are quite swell, my girlfriend has a TC with a 40/1.8 which gets stellar reviews, and the house seems quite compact. How are the manual minoltas? I would like to have at least 1/2000th maximum shutter speed, 1/4000th is better.

    The reason I'm thinking of switching from Nikon is that their lenses fetch absurd prices nowadays, and manual Nikon bodies are all the rage. Most used manual bodies are way higher priced today than for, let's say, 5 years ago.

    Does anybody have any good advice and experience?
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I am a diehard Olympus OM-1 shooter also have an OM-4 so no sense me telling you to buy anything else.
     
  3. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Only thing is the shutter speed dial is on the lens mount. But hey, it's like that on my mamiya as well
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I cant think of a better placement for the controls, never have to remove my hand from focus position to change shutter speed or aperture, or my trigger finger away from the shutter release on the motor drive.
     
  5. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    do you see the shutter speed and aperture on both models?
    Er, in the viewfinder I mean
     
  6. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    You do not mention the level of automation you want or do not want. Also, any particular features? Level of use, i.e. a main system, backup, occaissional carrier. Budget? One of the best buys today in a 35mm system for me is the Bronica ETRsi with a 35mm back. A professional level camera for peanuts and the lenses are great. Admittedly shutter only to 1/500 but, it is more than enough for most shots. Since you use multiformat, just get a 120 back and you can have a 645 when you want something with more film area.

    SInce M42 lenses are rather plentiful and you have some consider a Pentax Spotmatic. Not battery limited as many older camera. More modern and has the 1/2000 shutter is the Yashica FX-3 Super.
     
  7. puderse

    puderse Member

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    Price recapitulates quality
     
  8. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    I want a compact rugged manual SLR. 1/500 isn't enought if you wanna do shallow DOF in daylight. My main system is the RB67, I need a 35 mm for daily use, when I feel like don't taking the rangefinder. Compact but with lenses still capable doing decdent 16x20 from acros (Nikon delivers on this).

    Spotmatic isn't very compact, neither is ETRsi. I wan't no automation basically.

    EDIT: this was in response to BrianL
     
  9. Bearman

    Bearman Member

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    See if you can get your hands on a Minolta XD-11 or XE-7 for comparison. The XEs are selling for less than $100 and XDs are about $100-150. Good glass is out there as a bargain, too (examples: 50mm 1.7 at $20, 135mm 3.5 at $15). XE uses Leitz shutter, is solidly built, while the XD is smaller, more refined and shutter and aperture priority auto modes.
     
  10. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Good solid advice. The rokkors are good glass, yes?
     
  11. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    If you are wearing out FM's and F100's then I am afraid that, nice as they are, Olympus cameras will probably not stand up to your usage. I have both a brace of OM2n's with a large selection of lenses and F2/F3/F4/FM2 Nikons and so have some basis for making a comparison between the systems. The OM's are quite frail compared to the Nikons - but that should be expected with the Oly's being famous for being light and compact. If you were looking for cameras for travel or hiking I can't think of much more suitable cameras than OM's.

    If you already have a selection of Nikon lenses then it would make financial sense to stick with Nikon. There is also the saying "Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don't."

    If you stick with Nikons I would suggest you limit yourself to lightly used professional grade Nikons.

    Going by KEH prices you can pick up a Nikon F3 for $264, F4 for $349 and an F5 for $449 - all in EX condition. You should be able to get 25% or more off for a private sale unless the seller offers the same return privileges as KEH. Hardly outrageous prices.
     
  12. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    The F100 isn't worn out, it's just to big and obnoxious. The FM and FM2 were bought used, and I have no idea on how heavily the former owners had been using them. Both models shutters hung up, and haven't been willing to play nicely after that.
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    You do with the OM-4, but I find that a distraction. If you are proficient with your camera you should know where you are speed and aperture wise and just shoot. I always know where I set my camera when it comes up to my eye, and can adjust up or down and know where it is set after adjusting. I dont need my camera telling me what I did, thats for neophytes.:cool:
     
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  15. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Models of what?

    OM2's don't show the aperture - The aperture ring is at the nose end of the lens so Nikon style viewing is out. OM2's only show the shutter speed in auto mode, in manual you just get a centering needle. A PITA if you are used to Nikon's displays.
     
  16. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    Tsss, now you're being elitistic. I like to see the information if it's displayed in a good way.
     
  17. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Not elitist, just second nature from having an OM-1 hanging off my face for so many years:wink:
     
  18. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Dude, these things ain't alive.
     
  19. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    I meant the Om1 and OM4 rick A was writing about.
     
  20. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    More suggestions!
     
  21. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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  22. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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  23. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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  24. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    I agree with Rick A.

    I have used OM1's since the 70's and typically I just set the shutter speed to something appropriate based on lighting, and when I bring the camera to eye, I can quickly adjust the aperture to center the needle. Usually only need move it one stop one way or the other. (plus if I need a quick shot, I'll be close enough to get it). I guess I could say I use my OM1 in shutter-priority mode :smile:

    Although I prefer Olympus' superior control positions, my method would work with any brand camera since I don't change shutter speeds every shot.

    With the OM4, it's the opposite for me. I set the aperture according to the depth of field I want and then let the camera select the shutter speed. It's a slightly different way of shooting.

    All the menus and viewfinder displays distract one from concentrating on the picture. You don't need to waste time looking around in the viewfinder for tech info. Use that time to frame your picture and pay attention to your subjects.
     
  25. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    If I were in your position, my first choice would be to buy another Nikon FM series camera (except FM10).

    My second choice would be to repair my broken FM bodies.

    Third choice would be to invest in a new system. I primarily shoot Nikon but when I need a compact manual camera, I use a Pentax Spotmatic with some high quality Takumar lenses. I have never used a Nikon FM camera because I was using Spotmatics long before the FM existed. However, when I really need compact, I use a Pentax ME, which is smaller and lighter than the Olympus OM1.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11336821@N00/5349100247/
     

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  26. olleorama

    olleorama Member

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    My dad is a Pentax-guy. I think he has some nice glass, I'll borrow it and see if I like it.