Your Favorite 35mm Camera?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by cooltouch, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    I was a bit surprised by this. I just conducted a search here, seeing if there's been a recent thread specifically on favorite 35s, and didn't run across one going back for a year. So, heck, I figured I'd start one. I'm always curious about what people consider to be the best and why. But I guess I should go first.

    Currently I own a Nikon F2 with a decent assortment of lenses, plus an EOS Elan IIe, with a few zooms. I like both these cameras. I really like my old F2 -- a lot. But I gotta admit that my all-time favorite is Canon's original F-1 -- specifically the F-1n. Why? Many reasons. I like the fact that it is a system camera. I prefer match-needle metering. Its partial metering pattern makes for easy and correct metering, even in difficultly lit situations. It has mirror lock-up. And the ones I owned were utterly reliable. A close second to the F-1 would be the Nikon F2. Like the F-1, it's a system camera with a mirror-up capability, but no F2 models offered match needle metering. Its motor-drive option was superior to that for the F-1, but the F2's meters are more tempermental and prone to wearing out. I solved that problem with mine by installing the non-metered DE-1 finder. :smile: It's a close call, I'll admit.

    Admittedly, the quality of available optics will influence one's preferences. When I was shooting Canon FD, I was quite happy with the quality of my photos, and cannot honestly say that the quality of the photos from the Nikkors I own now is any better.

    Other 35mm cameras that I've owned and liked a lot enough such that they deserve an honorable mention have been the Canon FTb, Nikon F3, FM and FM2n, FE and FE2, Pentax KX, Olympus OM2, and, of course, the Leica M3. And I'm sure I've forgotten other greats.

    So, which is your favorite, and why?

    Best,

    Michael
     
  2. Kent10D

    Kent10D Member

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    Leica M6.

    Why?
    Small. Simple. Quiet. Reliable. Tiny lenses of outstanding quality. And ... it's the only 35-mm film camera I own. :smile:
     
  3. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    My favorite? The T90 has always been mine, even (especially) after I foolishly sold my first one after five or six years when I finally heed the call of autofocus.

    There are many others I love, Nikon F4, EOS 1V and F1N preeminent amongst them. I would dearly love to have a Contax RTS III, but I have other misuses for my money. I have a special affection for cameras with knobs, T90 and 1V notwithstanding. :munch:
     
  4. Akalai

    Akalai Member

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    Contax IIa.

    Fantastic Sonnar 50mm lens and amazing build quality. A real joy to use and quite a looker as far as design.

    Just need to add a 21mm Biogon and 85mm Sonnar... anyone out there with a lonely lens lying in a draw??? :smile:
     
  5. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    I'm torn between my FM3A and my F100. Don't know which one I'll take when it's my turn to be abducted by aliens.
     
  6. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow Member

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    I love my EOS-3 bodies, and I'm having the time of my life using them to shoot B&W pictures. I often bring all three with these lenses attached: Canon 35L F1.4, Canon 50L F1.2, and Canon 85mm F1.8. Often I have different ISO films in each. My daughters or friends are my "mules", as they tot the bodies I'm not using around their necks ;-)

    For me, this is the perfect kit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2009
  7. sionnac

    sionnac Member

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    My Canon A-1. A real tank, and the 50mm 1.4 FD lens is wonderful.
     
  8. tac

    tac Member

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    Cameras, as we all know, are tools, one uses the proper tool for a given job. That being said, my desert island pick would be my Leica M6, as Kent said supra
     
  9. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning;

    Good question. For me; a close choice between the Minolta X-700 with the MD-1 Motor Drive that "just fits my hand," or one of the venerable Minolta SR-T 102 that has everything that I need in a mechanical camera.

    Yes, I do have others. There are also Nikon F and F2. There are several other Minoltas, including RF. There is the 2.25 Square. There is even a 4 by 5, but you asked about my favorite. This supplemental information is provided to show that there is indeed a choice to be made.
     
  10. Jack Lusted

    Jack Lusted Member

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    Yes, well it has to be the M6 for all the usual Leica reasons. OTOH I've just been having so much fun with an old Exakta VXIIb. OK it's slow to use but it is also quite beautiful in its odd way.

    Jack
     
  11. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Leicaflex SL2.

    Probably the World's best viewfinder for manual focussing (well, beaten by the Leicaflex SL).
    Spot meter.
    Incredibly well-dampened mirror & shutter (despite not having a mirror pre-release, it still has less vibrations that a Nikon F or F2 with a raised mirror). Rivals my M6 for slow hand-held shots.
    Very tough & reliable.
    Film advance advances only if film itself is advancing (and counts down when rewinding, making leaving the leader out very easy - mid roll changes are very quick).
    The lenses are pretty good... ;-)
    Intrmediate shutter speeds work.
    Shutter lag very short for a SLR
    Shutter speed dial very smooth and nice to adjust.

    I used to love my Nikon F & F2, but they can't compare with this beast.

    Second favorite; Leica M6, for the usual reasons.

    Third favorite; Nikon F & Rolleiflex SL3003 tied for very different reasons.
     
  12. Zathras

    Zathras Member

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    My new favorites are my Minolta XE-7 and SRT 101. I always wanted to give Minolta glass a try, and at today's prices, Rokkor lenses are a bargain. I've been using these cameras for about a year now, and they have become my primary camera of choice for 35mm. They just seem to fit my needs the best. I'm also still quite fond of my Pentax screwmount gear as well. I also keep an old Nikon F body around because I love my old 10.5cm f2.5 Nikkor.

    Mike
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have lots of 35mm cameras but my favourites are my Kodak Retina Reflex III, my Kodak Retinette 1b and my recently purchased Minolta XE-1.


    Steve.
     
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  15. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    You must have posted this as I was writing my previous response!

    My reason for buying an XE-1 was to get some Rokkor prime lenses (28, 50 and 135). Ideally I wanted to get Nikkors but I can't afford them. Similarly specified Rokkors are between a quarter and a third of the Nikkor price (at least in the UK).

    I totally agree about them being a bargain.

    I have also just bought a couple of SRT 100s. My daughter now has one of them.




    Steve.
     
  16. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    I love the look, feel, and operation of the Leica M7. If only I could afford it.
     
  17. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    Leica M2. It is well balanced, quiet, reliable, unobtrusive in use, and accepts a wide variety of lenses. My personal favorite.
     
  18. Bob Eskridge

    Bob Eskridge Member

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    Leica IIIf RD The only reason I shoot 35mm anymore. (The Nikon F2 with the plain prism sure is nice also!)
     
  19. frdrx

    frdrx Member

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    Contax RTS II, the love of my life.
     
  20. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Canon EOS-1V and Leica SL2 or Leica R6. I wouldn`t mind an Xpan either.:D
     
  21. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Ditto everything except that it's not the only 35mm I own.
     
  22. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Whichever one I happen to have in my hands at the time and that would most like be an Olympus OM 2S or any of the other single digit OMs (1,1n,2,2n,3,4 or 4T). Yes, I don't yet have the 3T, but until then . . . Bill Barber
     
  23. frdrx

    frdrx Member

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    Luckily, I don't think I'll ever have the opportunity to fall in love with any of these cameras.
     
  24. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    I have a few 35mm cameras that I love to use, but when it comes to using one camera for very important stuff, I use my Contax RTS 3.
     
  25. jamesf99

    jamesf99 Member

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    Have used a lot of 35mm cameras over the last few decades, but the nicest, most flexible, and useful (not the smallest though) I've ever owned is Canon's 1VHS. I've had one for many years now and have never regretted the price. I'll never sell it....
     
  26. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    My favorite of all time was my Konica T which I sold to buy a Nikon F becasue I need a motor drive. Great lens, strong, great meter. My current fav is my Sigma SA 9, has lot of features like mirror lock up, spot and matrix metering, light weight and has a shutter speed dial, auto focus is not very good but I usally manual focus. I also really liked my Nikon F2 with drive.