There was an article by a photographer many years ago who bemoaned the fact that Pentax were dropping their Spotmatic range. She had become so in tune with her 'Spots that she could tell what shutter speed and aperture they were set at by the feel of the dials and without taking the camera from her eye. That intuitiveness was a product of the cameras of the era. Most people didn't familiarise themselves with their equipment to the same degree, which lead to AF, matrix metering, sub-menus and the rest of the tricks that made cameras more user friendly to the masses, but encourages less intimacy compared to those willing to put in the time on a manual camera.
In this 'post-film', GAS-rich time the chance of building the same relationship with one piece of equipment is less. The compromise I favour are manual focus, lightweight bodied SLR cameras with modern battery systems, late 70s/early 80s stuff fits the bill.
EOS-1. a close second would be my a-1
ive used nikon, pentax, etc etc but just have to go back with canon every time. I prefer the eos 1 due to simple speed of everything. And i can use all my L lenses for quality. But i really like the a-1 in construction and feel. its just nice and solid.
Nikon F4. By far is the best 35mm imho
I love the F4 also. My only problem with it is that mine broke....
I kept the thing even though it's unusable; I really want another.
Is the failure mechanical or in its electronics - or both?
Originally Posted by LJSLATER
In MF, the best 35mm SLR for me is the Pentax LX. I love the layout of the camera, the gorgeous viewfinder, and the metering system.
In AF, it's a tossup between the Pentax MZ-S and Nikon F100. I am a Pentax fan, so I tend to side with the MZ-S. I love how nearly everything can be done on the camera without ever removing the camera from your eye or shifting your grip. It's also small and well built like the LX. I tend to like small cameras and small lenses, so the MF/AF Pentax cameras (namely the LX and MZ-S) are my choices.
Also owned an MX and loved it. I just preferred the LX's metering system, viewfinder, and great exposure counter better (it counts forward and backwards, making it easy to remove film mid-roll if necessary).
I've never owned one, but I always thought the Pentax Spotmatic was a really well-designed camera; same for the Nikon F, sans photomic finder.
John asked me the same thing on Flickr; mostly mechanical/build quality issues:
Originally Posted by Les Sarile
The prism lock wore out, so the prism doesn't seat properly; you have to sort of mash it against your face to get the contacts to touch, allowing the body and prism to communicate with each other.
The prism has developed the dreaded LCD bleed.
It took me a while to figure this next one out: you know the lever inside the mirror box that controls the aperture on the lens? I don't know what it's called, but it stopped going down during exposure, leading to over-exposed photos. As a workaround, I jammed the depth-of-field button in so the camera now has permanent depth-of-field preview AND stop-down metering, which I actually kind of like (you simply have to use the old-fashioned "focus wide open, stop down to shoot" method).
One night in the dark, I accidentally yanked on my cable release, and the whole cable release socket on the back of the camera came out!
What eventually forced me to stop using the camera was when the motor drive became unable to advance the film properly. Maybe a stripped gear? I never did open 'er up.
I keep it mostly for sentimental reasons. It was my first pro body, and I used it to shoot my own wedding. The photos I made with this camera remind me of a different time in my life; I only had a single lens at the time (50mm f/1.8D), and I was very inexperienced as a photographer. Good times.
Really love my Nikon F5. It's very easy for me to switch from my D700 since controls are pretty close and I can use my two favorite lenses (50mm f/1.4G & 70-200mm f/2.8).
I'd love to see a digital F4, same layout,everything except a different back.
Originally Posted by GKR1
My favourite SLR by a margin.Ever.