Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BradS, Dec 2, 2009.
What are the classic 35mm SLR's?
I'll start with one of the obvious choices
I'll try to do this chronologically:
Exakta (many models)
Praktina (high quality early East german SLR)
Nikon F & F2
Pentax Spotmatic; K2, Km, MX...
Leicaflex SL & SL2
Rolleiflex SL35, SL35O, SL-35E, SL 2000F and 3003
Nikon FM*m Fe*, F3....
There are many I have little or no experience with, but should be mentioned: Minolta, Canon, Topcon....
Olympus Pen F ??
OM 1 and OM 2
Canon A-1 (or AE-1) of course (my first SLR, which I still own 20 years later)
One of my oddball favorites is the Zenit-C, a decendant of the Zorki 1 (ie, Leica II series copy) with added mirror box.
Pentax Me ?
The word "classic" means different things to different people. If you mean "of enduring value and desirability" then few cameras will qualify. Minolta's Maxxum 7000, the first AF 35mm SLR, is certainly "classic" in some people's view, but how many are still working today?
yes. I was certainly thinking in terms of "enduring value and desirability" and I guess I was also thinking in terms of ubiquity or wide recognition. Many are obvious to me...like the Pentax K-1000, Minolta SRT-101, Olympus OM-1, Canon FTb, etc....
but, I also recognize that my view is biased by my own expereince...so was hoping for others to put forth their widely recognized 35mm SLR of enduring value and desirability....
so, keep 'em coming!
Contarex and Contax
Based on Brad's last post, here are the ones I own, and would never sell:
I'd have to submit the Topcon Re Super/Super D slrs of the mid '60's. If I'm not mistaken, it was the first slr with wide open through the lens metering. The Topcons copied the Exakta 3 claw bayonet mount after WWII, had interchangeable finders (prism, waist level) and placed it's Cds meter on tiny slits on the rapid return mirror which allowed you to change finders without losing meter capability. It came out with one of the first 300mm 2.8 telephotos as well as incident metering capability via a white hemisphere attachment which screwed into the 58 mm lens. It was a classic in that it was one of the first system cameras (motor drive, microscope attachments, etc.) and was widely known. The US Navy used these cameras as their official photography system up until the late sixties. Being wedded to the comparatively narrow Exakta lens mount was probably it's downfall since it severly restricted lens design. A very rugged camera and I still have one in working order.
From my point of view (in alphabetical order):
Canon F-1, F-1n, New F-1
Contax RTS II, RTS III
Leica SL, SL2
Minolta XM, XM Motor
Nikon F, F2, F3
This is very much biased to a certain period.
I only used the F2 from this list.
All before led to it.
All after, from it.
Many good cameras, many interesting cameras. Many desirable.
Canon F-1 and the FTb are my choices.
My vote for THE classic 35mm SLR: Nikon F2A or F2AS. Last mechanical Nikon F-series, and functional with almost all Nikon F-mount lenses, pre- or post-1977, without modification.
Wish I could afford a minty F2AS.
Nikon F, Exakta
I may be a cynic, but what camera is a classic depends if you're buying, or selling.
I am sure by the end of this thread just about every 35mm SLR made will be mentioned at least once.
Here are my suggestions:
Nikon F, F2, Nikkormat Ftn
Canon F1, T90
Minolta XM, SRT 101
and of course the SLR I started out with an Exakta with 50mm Zeiss f2 Tessar lens.
Me thinks you nailed it. Everything else is just personal preferences.
To me, in this case, classic = that which has defined a class.
So, the class being "35mm SLR cameras", I would have to say that, although it was not the first 35mm SLR, the classic 35mm SLR is the Nikon F and its accompanying system. No bout adoubt it!
.............Without a second thought... the Nikon F and F2
That's the difference between a marsh and a swamp.
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