There are a lot of excellent mechanical shutter camera bodies out there. What to get really depends on whatoyu want as a kit and the budget. A newer reliable system can be based on the Yashica FX-3 series. The Yashica/Contax lenses come in 2 series, The Yashica ML series is bargain priced and very good to excellent. Most borrowed on the Zeiss lenses Yashica was using for the Contax line of cameras. If you want better then the Contax Zeiss lenses are put there.
Another bargain is the Asahi/Pentax line. The M42 lens screw mount lenses are still some of the ones to beat. I recently picked up a S1a and it is the tank that Nikon F would like to have been. You could hammer nails with it and never dent it. I can not wait to try it out, I'm actually excited about a camera in a couple of decades. The viewfinder is large and clear and focusing screen excellent. Admittedly, it is purely mechanical, not even a meter. The Spotmatic is M42 mount and has the meter but, unlike most classic cameras the metering circuit is not a problem because the mercury battery is no longer available.
I agree that the original Leica SLRs also make the grade. But, they are a might rare and they and the lenses are somewhat pricey. But if you appreciate fine wines, cars and food, one of these might be the answer.
Now, to fly in the face of sanity, pick up an Exacta and have it surviced. Back in their day, the were 1st rate though quirky control layout compared to later cameras. There were a huge number of lens makers making lenses for the camera so you can have your pick from cheap to mortgage a house and from okay to some of the best. Also, you can have 2 views, a prism like most SLRs and a waist level finder. The acc'y range for the cameras is huge. Maybe the only item lacking is a motor drive, I've never seen or heard of one. Years ago before settling on a Bronica system my largest brand and range in my collection was Exactas and some of the finer photos I ever produced were with them.
Most Nikon mechanical cameras are great cameras. But a Mechanical Jewel, I think it's the Leica MP. It's not all that tough a camera but it's a jewel.
I forgot to say that I am using Contax RTSII and Rolleiflex SL35E for 35mm; Mamiya c330f for MF. And I have a nice Exacta 2b.
I am having very good staisfaction using Rolleiflex SL35E with M42 lenses using the dedicated Rollei Adapter: my Flektogon-Planar-Sonnar combination with that camera is so good.
BUT, Now I want to have the possibility to shot only using a needle at maximum on a camera that may be full mechanical. I read that F2 was produced using something like 1500 pieces, 600 more than a F. They tried to produce the execellence on mechanical technology, and maybe this is what I am seraching for.
Anyway, Spotmatic should be a nice cheaper solution but I am still on F2A I think.....
Another question..... F2 F2A F2AS F2S F2SB are always the same body using a different prism?
Thank you again for your explanations, I am enjoying it
Actually, there are 4 series of Contax/Yashica bayonet mount lenses. The Contax Zeiss T*, and the Yashica ML (molti-coated), DSB (single coated), and YUS (Yashica U.S) lenses, with the DSB and YUS considered the "economy" lenses for the most part, although the YUS 135/2.8 and the 28/2.8 YUS aspherical lenses (with the 58mm filter ring, quite rare and not to be confused with the common 52mm filter thread variety) are quite good lenses.
Originally Posted by BrianL
The last one . . . for now . . . :whistling:
Originally Posted by stark_674
These are the mostly mechanicals that I own and they have been proven over the years to have a robust build quality. There are a few with aperture priority auto exposure (Autoreflex T, ES II, K2, LX, new F-1 & FM3A) but they have most of their shutter speeds available when the battery is exhausted. The FM3A of course is the only one with all of the shutter speeds available even then.
Full size image link -> Mostly mechanical
The OM-1, MX and LX are most definitely jewel like but they give no quarter to their weightier brethren.
Some of these were slightly over or near your limit but most were well below. It all depends on the condition. If you're not resigned to Nikon then there are a few great choices available to you.
Nikon F is my favorite, and the camera plus a few lenses should be within your budget.
Originally Posted by stark_674
If you are sticking with SLRs then go F2a. If you are going to get a rangefinder some day then SL, SL2, or FTn.
If you get the F then go Nikon rangefinder like the S2, S3, or SP. If you want a Leica rangefinder ( e.g.M2, M6) go with either of the SLs.
The OM single digits are almost as strong and fine cameras but not as strong as a F, F2, SL, or SL2. Not a bad third place though.
Why not build on the Exacta since you already have a start? Or, since you have the Contax, pick up the FX-3 or FX-3 Super as again you already have an investment in the lenses. Or, since you have some M42 lenses you really like, why not get a body that can mount them directly such as an Asahi/Pentax? One problem with buying SLRs of varying make is you end up duplicating too many accessories and lenses rather than having the depth in on system to make it truly universal.
Maybe I am a simple person but years ago I decided I hated duplication where ever possible and settled on as a main system a Bronica ETRs that I could use both as MF and 35mm. I dumped everything else for the most part in trade. Having 5 lenses I can use on either my MF or 35mm camera system really saved a bundle. Yes, since I've added a Leica but I could afford it as I'd stayed clear of having multiple systems. I've found the key to systems is rationalization. Now, to put away my soap box.
Nikon FM2n. Awesome camera!
Now why did no one bring this up before :confused:
Originally Posted by BrianL