What 35mm?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by RPippin, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

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    First off, I shoot mainly with either medium format or large format cameras. I have a darkroom and develop and print all my black and white stuff. Second of all...I HATE ME D*GITAL CRAP OF A CAMERA. Thinking I should at least have something for snapshots, I made the progression to a Canon 50D, with a few non prime lenses. I can't stand it anymore and I'm selling off all my digital stuff and looking for a great film camera for 35mm. I want something rugged, somewhat professional and easy to use, as in AE, ect. I can live with manual focus, but I can always buy manual lenses and upgrade later if I choose. I'm not brand loyal to Canon, I'm also looking at Nikon. Any suggestions would be great. I'm looking for SLR, not rangefinders. As a matter of fact, the only 35mm stuff I own are a couple of Zorki 4K's.
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    Wow, take your pick. I loved my Nikon N65 for snapshootist activity. I shoot regularly with older MF Minolta cameras (sr-T's). And many other suggestions are forthcoming, no doubt. If only for snapshots, I would definitely go with a small, lightweight, AF, program type of camera like the N65.
     
  3. martyryan

    martyryan Member

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    Since you have canon ef lens I would look at something like a eos 7n or a eos 3.

    Marty
     
  4. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    I have a Nikon N90s that would probably do exactly what you want. It is generally considered a semi-pro. Is very well-built. Good AF reputation as well as great metering. Best of all, it's dirt cheap. I got mine for $29 from KEH. BGN rated, in pristine condition if you ask me. Only draw-back is that the controls, though easy enough to use, are not conventional Nikon controls. Does not take advantage of VR lenses.

    Others to consider:

    Auto Focus:

    F100 - GREAT camera that takes advantage of all modern lenses including G and VR. Full feature set other than mirror lock-up. Conventional Nikon controls. usually $200-$300.
    N75 - Small, Light, takes advantage of all modern lenses. Not as robust of build, but works well. Under $120.

    Manual Focus:

    Anything in the FM/FE family. I have several of these and love them all. I may be prejudiced, a FM2 was my first SLR.
     
  5. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Nikon F100 or N90s. Both are rugged & pro quality cameras without going to the larger & heavier F5.
    The N90s is a not very sophisticated camera & commonly available for less than $100. The F100 gives much more sophistication for not much more money, about $150-$200 in good shape.
     
  6. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hmmm... it seems in these "What camera should I get?" threads everyone recommends the camera they themselves use.

    It might be more interesting if we restrict ourselves to recommending cameras we don't own but think might fill the OP's needs.
     
  7. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I'm not into SLRs really, but if I were going to get one, I'd consider Pentax. Tend to be small and I think compatibility with modern lenses is very good.

    Disclaimer: I don't own a Pentax, and never have.
     
  8. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    Well recommending the ones we own makes perfect sense. If someone researches the available cameras, they probably choose the ones they feel give the best performance that are currently available and buy them. If someone limits recommendations to cameras they don't own, there is probably a reason they didn't buy it, so you would be recommending something you ruled out. Doesn't seem to make much sense to me.
     
  9. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I think the old Yashica/Kyocera Contax cameras are very good, and the Carl Zeiss lenses are outstanding. And you'll pay for it, too. In general, Zeiss doesn't make one level for consumers and then a good lens for the pro -- for the same mount. Of course, those lenses are priced much higher to start.

    However, Zeiss is now making lenses for several SLR mounts, including Nikon, Canon, Pentax K and a more limited range in M42 screw mount.

    I've been toying with the idea of a Pentax MZ-S, its last high-end SLR and then pairing it with a new Zeiss K-mount lens.


    The F3 is very highly regarded and seem to be reasonable on the used market. The F100 also gets some rave reviews.

    As always, much depends on your budget: $500, $1,000, more, less?
     
  10. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Depends on what you want....small and light? The Olympus OM series is pretty amazing. Ability to use autofocus and manual lenses? A reasonably modern Nikon would be great. Personally, I have a Canon Élan 7 and a couple of OM1s......I prefer the OM1 (but an OM4Ti sure would be nice!)
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Nikon N60 to N90, but I think you will be happiest with the F100 which gives you a spot meter as well as a matrix meter. The F100 can be used as a point and shoot up to fully manual with all the controls you are used to except perspective correction and there is a lens for that.

    Steve
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Richard, you know, I have a lot of 35mm stuff, you're welcome to try it out. I think you will find my fm2n and my om1 particularly appealing. You might like the f100, I dunno. You know where I am, come 'n get 'em :wink:
     
  13. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    I will break the mold and talk about what I own and then what I think you might like (because I wish I owned it)

    What I own

    Nikon N65 Light weight, easy to use, good auto focus, good metering, built in flash (read light weight as plastic, but not cheep). The down side to this is that in Manual exposure mode you have to use a shift key to change the aperture. Can be yours yours about $30 on the bay

    Nikon N90s Rugged, fast focus, great metering, this camera can do the quick-draw trick where you start with the camera at your side and off and swing it to your eye, turn it on and shoot it in less than a half second and get a well focused, correctly exposed shot (that sucks visually). The down side, Aperture is done on the lens, no built in flash, control layout is like no other Nikon it's similar but not the same, for TTL metering you need a newer flash. can be yours for about $50 on the bay

    What would I want? I would drop the N65 for an N80, it is all the good things about the N90s, and has a better control layout than either. and a built in flash. On the downside it is heavier than the N65. Can be yours for about $50 on the bay, this is a lesser camera than the N90s and a better camera than the N65 and it gets the price it does because it is more user friendly than either especially if you are a Nikon D*** user.

    Good luck, let us know what you do.
     
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  15. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I've had a Canon F1 N for over 20 years and I love the camera. FD lenses are good, plenty and cheap on Ebay. This is just one man's opinion of course :smile:
     
  16. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I don't know what you think of the Minolta line but there are some worthy contenders.
    The SRT series is manual and built like a tank. For auto focus one of the many Maxxum cameras might fit what you need. The early ones were a bit too slow to focus and 'hunted' a lot but the newer ones are very quick. In between are the X series cameras with a wide range of auto exposure capability but still manual focus. Most all of them can be bought quite cheaply now. Minolta glass has always been up with the best.
     
  17. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    In the spirit of Nicholas Lindan's post. I will not recommend any brand.

    I would recommend a completely manual focus, manual shutter, no integrated light meter camera. Since it is bound to be old, send it out for clean, lube, adjust.

    My point is that you should make the exposure, composition and focus decisions versus letting an autoexposure autofocus camera make any decisions. Your results will be more consistent, and you can take full credit or blame for any results.
     
  18. clayne

    clayne Member

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    The Nikon N series is horrid 80s/90s era plastic bs with tons of features you do not need (eg autofocus). However its still fairly solid for a plastic-wielding body - you could do worse today. What you really want is a classic F series body without all of the bullshit. If you absolutely need autofocus you should really have a good reason for it - otherwise it's a crutch and easy grave to bad photography.
     
  19. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Maybe not:

    Lets say there are 50 cameras to choose from. There are people who have chosen every one of those cameras. If everyone chooses just the ideal camera for them - a pretty tall order - it means there are 50 different criteria for the 'ideal camera'. The probability that my ideal camera is a perfect fit for someone else is 2%. The probability that my choice in a camera is the wrong choice for someone else is 98%.

    I think if one is to recommend the camera they own it is important to state the downsides - what is wrong with the camera; what about it doesn't mesh with the poster's requirements; what other cameras were considered; what doubts persist about this particular choice. An 'unconditional recommendation' is probably the weakest of all recommendations.

    In looking at the rankings in Consumer Reports when I am looking for a new washing machine I pay just as much attention as to what machines to avoid as I do to the ones that get a 'check rating'.

    So, why do people always recommend the camera they own? Many reasons: It's the camera I have the most experience with, don't really know all that much about other choices and brands; I think I'm a smart consumer and so the camera I picked is the ideal camera (Why would I buy anything else?) and so it must be the ideal camera for everyone; If other people buy the same camera I own it validates my choice and eases any doubts I may have over my purchase; Maybe I can sell them my camera.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2010
  20. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I agree, but you could also look up KEH.

    Jeff
     
  21. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    Go back a few years in Canon history and get a F-1 New. I think you'll like it. Pro caliber (whatever that is), built like the proverbial brick outhouse, aperture or shutter speed auto depending on the setup and customizable. I seem to remember there was a EOS lens to FD bayonet adapter.
     
  22. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    Richard,

    A few years ago, I decided to upgrade my 35mm gear. My 1st 35mm was a Konica TC. Loved that little camera, but wore it out. In the early 80's put together a kit around the Fujica AX3. Nice camera, but the electronic shutters were a crap shoot. I had picked up a few extra AX3 bodies off Ebay with the thoughts that my 2 kids could also shoot them. Most had shutter problems. I even purchased a New-Old-Stock AX3 body that didn't last a roll before the shutter quit, grrrrrrrrr.

    After some research I decided on a Nikon FM3a, the last of the all manual Nikon 35mm cameras. I have 3 FM3a bodies and an FM2t body, a large selection of FAST Nikon lenses and just love it. One of my favorite uses of these is to photograh my friends young children on the dock at our lake house. The kids can't get too far away, the morning light is open shade and with an 85mm lens the photos are just magical.

    If you would like to get together to put some Azo/Lodima through the darkroom and check out the cameras, I'd be happy to oblige.
     
  23. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    I still don't think anyone will give any better advice if they are recommending cameras they have only read about. The person asking for a recommendation can do that. If you are recommending a camera to me, I hope it will be one you have first-hand knowledge of.
     
  24. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    The choices are multiple:
    Handle first to see if you like the form, the weight and how they adjust to your hand.
    I'd stick to Manual
    The contenders:
    Canon New f-1
    Nikon F
    Nikon F2
    Nikon F3HP
    Minolta SRT-101
    Olympus from OM-1 to OM-4Ti


    Good luck!
     
  25. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Of course we recommend what we own. If we recommended something else that means we should really sell what we own and buy what we recommend doesn't it? People have to feel good, they have to feel they made the right choice. Otherwise we're stupid, right? Advocacy is not selfless, it is selfish, by becoming an advocate of the products that we use we hope others will use them which both validates our choice and hopefully means they'll keep buying our product of choice and thus it will continue to be supported. The latter doesn't really work for Canon FD gear as it was dumped over 20 years ago by Canon but it still works.

    If your eyes are still good then manual focus is good. If they aren't so good anymore then I say there is no shame in using autofocus, especially since you want it more for snapshots rather than carefully framed and focused landscapes on a tripod. Canon FD and EOS are what I obviously recommend based upon what is in my .signature.

    While everyone will recommend that you get an F-1, they are still quite expensive and honestly don't offer a whole lot more for snapshots which is what you say you want. The FTb or TX offer 95% and 90% of what an F-1 offers, all suffer from bouncing shutter problems and the odd sticking mirror given their age but a CLA can usually deal with it.

    Otherwise you could get an AE-1 or A-1 if you want some automation and still want to wind the film yourself or add an optional winder.

    If you want to get a T-90 then you might want to keep your EF lenses (if they aren't EF-S) and get an old EOS-1. Strangely the EOS-1 is cheaper than the F-1. For manual use, the EOS-1 is great with two wheels for shutter speed and aperture adjustment in Manual exposure mode. The viewfinder is good enough for manual focus use and you can get split prism, microprism and other focus screens with manual focus aids. You can shoot in single shot mode if you like. For snapshots, AF is useful and so is some good matrix metering for times that you don't want to take it so seriously that you need to bring out a tripod.

    The old manual focus lenses are better for manual focus if you want to go that way obviously. Nice helical focusers with actual gears you can feel, nice distance and depth of field scales unlike the mostly laughable ones on EF lenses. But as I said, AF can be good for snapshots.
     
  26. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Nikon F-100...and NO, I do not have one. I have an EOS 3. These cameras are just-sub-pro bodies, and they have similar features. However, the Nikon will allow you to use autofocus or manual focus lenses, while the Canon needs an adapter to use manual focus lenses (not Canon FD lenses, but other brands that can be focused to infinity), and they lose the automatic aperture and full aperture metering. Using lenses designed for AF manually is an unpleasant experience for me, which is why I suggested the F-100 over the EOS 3. If all you wanted was AF, I would suggest either camera. Either should be under $200 in excellent condition. IMO, they are the best bang for the buck in a high-end AF film camera.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2010