What Should I Buy

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by cameran00b, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. cameran00b

    cameran00b Member

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    Hi guys/girls, I'm new to film photography, having picked it at school this year, and am curious to what camera I should look for. I was told to look for a fully manual variety. I looked at various Canons but was later recommended to look for a Pentax, Nikon or Olympus. I got sniped a couple of times by some eBay bidders after bidding some OM-1s. Unfortunately OM-1s are not very common on Australian soil and am looking for a good alternative. What should I be looking for (make/model). Thanks for your help.
    Cameran00b
     
  2. nemo999

    nemo999 Member

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    Presumably "manual" means "shutter speeds and apertures can be set by hand". Assuming that cameras with built-in meters and an automatic exposure (AE) mode are allowed, there's a vast choice. I would suggest Nikon - F3 (top pro model from the 1980s, bodies can be found now in good working order for $80 - 100), FM3a (great camera, too new to be cheap), FM2n, FM2, or even an FE2, FE or F2 (these 3 getting a little old now). Either way a Nikon body opens the way to a huge selection of lenses. Olympus has its fans, not including me (I don't find them durable enough, although the lenses are great).

    Stand back and wait for a lot more recommendations ...
     
  3. Terry Again

    Terry Again Member

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    Hi New Person welcome!!!
    I myself like Minolta Srt In the 101 or you could check out the Rokkerfiles.com online for info on things Minolta in the SRT and so on! I'm not sure If your country outlawed the mercury battery or not? If so no problem there are suitable replacements that work!! But the SRT is a manual camera and you can learn with it and still use it after you've learned and lenses are still at a decent price and with the value of the dollar on the world market a real good buy I bet for you!!? You'll get lot's of opinions on what's the best brand to buy to start with I hope you learn well and enjoy!!
     
  4. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    You might look again at canon as the FTB or AT1 might suit you, and FD lenses are common and still going cheap.
     
  5. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Hi, a camera that has a full manual mode can be usefull. It doesn't need to be a mechanical camera without automation. The OM1 you mentioned earlier is a purely mechanical camera. You need to set both the aperture *and* the exposure time before taking a shot. While it can be beneficial (as in battery independant and somewhat more educational) it also has some disadvantages. For starters, you *will* be slower when taking photographs. Focusing, selecting the appropriate aperture and setting the shutter speed will slow you down and you might lose some opportunities for a good shot. The OM1 also has a disadvantage that you should consider. It's light meter relied on mercury batteries. These have been banned years ago and you will either need to make a modification, or use a battery adapter.

    I'd actually suggest buying an OM2n. It has aperture priority mode *and* manual mode. It uses silver oxide batteries that can be found everywhere. If your budget is very low you can actually get an OM10 in nice condition, provided that it comes with a manual adapter! These are very common cameras, but not so well built as the single digit models (OM1,2,3,4). Additionaly, the meter is not that good as OM2's is, but it doesn't mean it's not good for most purposes.

    Finally, all brands you mentioned are just fine! There's no need to pick Olympus specifically. All brands have excellent lenses that complement their bodies. For a start I'd suggest a 50mm lens.
     
  6. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    For Australia and Olympus, you have already found out that it is hard to get the early OM1 bodies. The OM10 with the manual adapter, will certainly do, that particular model was very popular in this country

    One of the most prolific cameras used in Australia was the Pentax K1000, this used to be the standard for many photographic schools in this country. Pentax is possibly a better choice as there are squillions of Pentax lenses, or Pentax mount lenses available.

    Nikon is also very popular, but normally most Nikon bodies are slightly more expensive than brands other than Canon. The FM and later variations is possibly the best body for your purposes. I would also look at the FE and FE2, which although they have aperture priority, can be used entirely in manual mode.

    You could do yourself a favour and grab the new edition of the "Photographic Trader" The latest issue is number 137, March-April. I received mine last week as I subscribe to it, it should hit the newsstands this week. You will usually find more cameras than you can poke a stick at. It has a yellow A4 cover, can't be missed.

    Where are you? We may be able to direct you to a particular store near you, if we have a location.

    Mick.
     
  7. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    You might want to check out Canon F-1 or the FTb. Both are durable and there still plenty of FD lenses around.

    Jeff
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    you can't beat a pentax k1000.
    they are great!
    i got mine in 1982, and still use it :smile:

    have fun!
    john
     
  9. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    In a Nikon you may want to try for an F3 or F4. Both these can be used in either full manual or fully automatic mode and sell for ridiculously low prices. It is nice to have some automation for times you are capturing action or taking family pics and don't have time to think much about exposure and knob fiddling. The FM2 and FE2 are other good choices, but are overpriced in comparison with the prices asked for the 'professional' F through F5 series cameras.

    Most manual film cameras are getting quite old - the OM1 dates to 1972. Parts for many old cameras can't be found and the cameras are beginning to fail from old age. A common problem is the metering, the light meters in consumer cameras are too cheaply made to last for a long period of time.

    The Nikon F and F2, though even older, will hold up - they may need a clean and lube and set of light seals, but they will be good for another 50 years. Ditto the Canon F1, but parts are much harder to come by.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2009
  10. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    **The OM10 with the manual adapter, will certainly do, that particular model was very popular in this country**

    erm no! The OM20 is better, the OM10 has designed faults (well bad layout that can course errors in use), but still cheap skate in that Olympus ensured you could only use their own flashguns..i.e. no flash sync setting for any flashgun.
    How do I know? Well I have an OM10 and OM20.......I'm disappointed with these cameras although they gave good results with correct exposures, but found even cheap canons are better.
     
  11. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Bad layout? Which control specifically?

    The difference between a cheap OM and a cheap Canon is more or less the lens attached on it, unless you compare cameras with quite different characteristics. Like different metering options etc. I think any camera with a working shutter, a decent meter and nice glass on it can give good results.
     
  12. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    ***Bad layout? Which control specifically?**

    On the OM10, the dial for changing ASA, it's also for auto and "b"....if it's not set on auto but moves to "b" slightly because of using the shutter winder that catches the slider under the dial (because of your thumb nail or even changing asa setting), your shot is ruined...it's easily done. On the OM20 it's just an asa dial.

    ***The difference between a cheap OM and a cheap Canon is more or less the lens attached on it***

    Well of course but even a cheap Nikon EM or Canon, can use any flashgun.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2009
  13. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Ok, the ASA dial layout can be considered a design flaw. On the other hand, can't you use any flash of that era on an OM10? Granted, I'm not the biggest fan of flash photography, I don't know much, but you'll get rather primitive functions and it will work. If you want auto flash, you'll have to settle for a single aperture, like f/4 at 100 ASA, or f/8 at 400. If you want to use other apertures, you'll have to set shutter speed manually at 1/60th max and do some calculations based on the information from the flash manufacturer.
     
  14. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    If you're going to go all manual, I vote for the older professional Nikon F series - just be aware that the meters on the oldest F and F2 prisms may be problematic. There are people who claim to fix them, but the repairs may cost more than the eye-level prism. Personally, I think the original Nikon F with an eye-level (non-metering) prism is just about perfect. The Pentax K1000 is actually very similar. Both take readily available lenses (in Nikon's case, all but the most modern "G" series F-mount lenses will work fine on an F body; I'm not sure about Pentax and the K-mount).

    I have a friend who still uses an old Canon FTb and this is also a good choice; the FD mount is different from the current Canon EF mount, but there are tons of FD lenses out there.

    Another piece of gear to get is an inexpensive hand held meter, preferably the kind with a dial instead of a digital readout. Nothing will teach exposure better, in my humble opinion.
     
  15. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Yes any flash will work with the OM10, BUT if you set it at f4 or f8 in a dark room the auto exposure still works which could be up to 1 sec before the shutter closes, so you could get blurr or extraneous things in your pic. I assume when you get a dedicated Olympus flashgun you don't have this problem.....maybe you don't get this problem with the manual adaptor fitted... I could be bothered to find out, as I was so disappointed in Olympus's cheap offerings, quickly switched to canon and Konica.
     
  16. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Try an AE-1 Program. It has totally auto-exposure for you to start off with, then you can use it as a fully manual camera too. It is a fairly strong camera an I have taken one through a lot.
     
  17. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Nicholas Linden has a good point about the Nikon F3 camera, especially in this country. I myself run two Nikon F3 bodies and swear by them.

    On the Photographic Trader No. 137 which still hasn't hit the newsstands. Look on page 26 third column F3 body $135.

    Page 33 first column, Nikon F3HP $195. The difference between the standard F3 and the F3HP is a different viewfinder. The HP finder is designed for glass wearers, but everyone wanted the HP version so eventually Nikon stopped production of the normal finder and made nearly all of the F3 bodies with the HP viewfinder.

    I'm sure there are more, but these were in ads I had circled as value for money.

    I still suggest the OM10 body with the manual adapter, in this country Olympus sold heaps of them, so they are around.

    Mick.
     
  18. blokeman

    blokeman Member

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    I agree with Mick on an earlier post in this thread about the old Pentax K1000's... great & simple & cheap 35mm cameras. They survive rough treatment in my experience also. In the 80's I used a Pentax Super A a lot, I didn't have much money, it wasn't expensive, they are still around & I think good to learn with because they have fully manual OR fully auto so you can switch back & forth to compare all the settings.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2009
  19. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    ***I still suggest the OM10 body with the manual adapter, in this country Olympus sold heaps of them***

    Well now we can buy many different film cameras for peanuts to compare (which I have done as I couldn't afford ALL of them in the past), and the OM10 having to a have a seperate adaptor to get manual speeds is laughable.
     
  20. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Also keep in mind that nearly all of these cameras, except for those built in the last 10 years, will probably need to have new foam seals.

    It's a simple job, but it's something to know before you buy, especially if the camera was made before 1990.

    I probably would look for something that takes a modern S76 battery rather than the older 625 mercury cell. And I'd probably go for a simpler camera rather one that is electronic.

    The Pentax K1000 continues to be a very popular camera and for good reason. It's simple to operate, reliable and readily available. It's also a nice size camera for big or small hands. It's very similar to the Pentax Spotmatic.
     
  21. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Hi,

    I would look at anything from a popular company to start. Canon, Nikon, Minolta, Pentax, Olympus all have good offerings. Worry more about the lens for now. It is my opinion that you should start with a fast normal lens instead of a zoom lens. It will be bright, sharp, easy to focus, allow you to shoot in lower light, and begin teaching you the visual effects of changing your distance from the subject. You can always upgrade your body later. I would personally suggest a Canon AE-1 Program with a 50mm f/1.8 lens to start, or a Nikon equivalent (I don't know what Nikon's lower-end cameras are called). They should be Under $50 with a lens. Keep your eyes peeled. They turn up all the time for next to nothing. Pentaxes are also cheap as dirt and common. I like the Spotmatic a lot, but the K models are great too.
     
  22. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    The originator of the thread is located in Australia, in this country, readily available camera models are different to what is often widely available in the northern hemispheres.

    Another unfortunate fact is the pricing of camera equipment, this country is not cheap. Currently a Nikon FE2 for instance is often around the $600 mark if in very good condition, a poor condition model will be more like $300 - 350 if you are lucky.

    The cheapest cameras appear to be the Nikon F3 bodies, for some reason they are plentiful and no one appears to want them. Many Canon bodies are in great demand, therefore their prices are high.

    The Olympus OM10 was a huge success in this country, as a result there are many available for reasonable prices, something I'm sure a student appreciates, plus they have a range of fine optics.

    2F/2F has a very good point regarding the use of a standard 50mm lens, instead of a zoom lens.

    The greatest number of cameras in a single model sold in this country could possibly have been the Pentax K1000, they were just everywhere.

    Mick.
     
  23. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

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    Nikon is really a good choice, not so much for the cameras themselves but for their lenses.
    Like said previously, old FM or FE are now cheap on the second-hand market and they work great. Fully manual for the FM with easy to operate meter, depth of field test, robust, good shutter. The FE is adding an auto exposure (aperture priority), a needle-type meter reading and the same shutter.
    The newer FM2 and FE2 are indeed overpriced now. But if you have that amount of money, you could as well invest in a pro F3. Much better in all ways, was designed for pro use, the rough rides and all that...
    Lenses: a 50mm f1.8 or f1.4 to start with. A 35mm f2 if you have enough funds. A 85mm f2 or 105mm f2.5 for portrait. All the old classics!
    Good luck!
    :smile: