The "battery issue" is only such for nay-saying armchair experts, but is certainly not an important factor for choosing a body in real life.
Except that it can, and often does, compromise the usefulness and function of an old camera whose metering accuracy can be iffy, at best. The workarounds involve a degree of wishful thinking and inconvenience that really defeats their purpose. If you want to shoot a relic and to skip futzing around the Wein cells, hearing aid batteries and converters that don't always fit, just get a handheld meter. That's the best "real life" suggestion--unless, of course, sitting in your armchair watching a meter needle twitch, matters more.
I don't know if this helps, but...
I work in industry on optical equipment. One particular application needed a 35mm camera to record images. I say needed, past tense, as the requirement is now satisfied with digital image capture. But for about 12 years the job was done using Nikon F3s.
The equipment we are talking about is worth serious money, so the cost of a 35mm camera body, ANY body, was relatively negligible. The only requirement was reliability. Many cameras were tried before deciding on the F3 - and it proved bomb proof. Some cameras had dozens of films put through them every working day for years on end without any trouble. I know some people have said the earlier bodies are more reliable because of the lack of electronics - this strictly breaks the OPs 'Mechanical' requirement - but I simply can't remember ever having a fault on any of these Nikon F3 cameras. Occasionally the winders screwed up - but only after very large numbers of operations or a few times because some numpty tried to force a plug into the wrong socket and bent the gold pins... :pinch:
In some ways they had an easy life. They had no batteries to leak (we used external power supplies), they were never moved or had lenses or finders fitted or removed - always sat stationary in the same temperature and humidity. Pictorial photographers' cameras have a much harder time of it, but even so, for reliability of continual operation I always found the F3 very impressive.
I saw that this question involve may persons to give suggestions, and I am happy about this cause I solve some doubts I had.
Finally, today I agree to buy an F2A camera with DP-11 finder, in used conditions but perfectly working, no seals problems and with reliable speeds at 160 Euros( 200$ maybe...) including the shipment costs.
This camera has a 50mm F2 Nikon lens.
I really dont know so much about Nikon Nikkor AI AIS etc lenses, but I hope that this base configuration, can satisfy me.
Is it possible to use M42 lenses in Nikon system?
Which are the lenses at moderate prices good to buy for this camera?
I start with this F2 and I will buy an SL2 in the future (of course what you wrote on this forum is conditionning me on this BUT lenses cost a lot) and a Nikon F too.
There are good and bad solutions for the battery issue. If you use a proper adapter or get the lightmeter adapted to a different voltage there is no battery issue any more. Wein cells and hearing aid batteries are only the second best choice IMHO.
Originally Posted by CGW
If air cells are used, or a silver cell with adapter, or a silver cell with an adjusted or compensated meter, why on earth should the metering be "iffy, at best."?!!?
Originally Posted by CGW
I use/used several cameras and meters made for mercury cells with non-mercury cells and in no case is the metering "iffy, at best"!
No "wistful thinking" or "futzing around", unless you consider taking a piece of aluminium foil, rollling it into a loose ball and inserting it between the battery and the battery compartment cover to be rocket science. I'm talking about alu foil as a spacer and contact, not as a magic hat!
Have you actually used such a set-up? Talking real life here...
First of all, congratulations on your wise future buying intentions... :cool:
Originally Posted by stark_674
Nikon probably has the longest lens register of all, which means you can't use other lenses on them unless you use an adapter containing an optical element (yuk!)
Some AI lenses which are generally considered good:
20 2.8, 24 2.8, 35 2.0, 55 2.8, 105 2.5, 180 2.8, 200 4.0 (one of Nikon's less appreciated jewels), 400 5.6.
Many others too, depending on different needs and tastes.
Working meters aren't necessarily accurate meters. Sorry but I get no sense of moral superiority using old stuff that may or not deliver depending on Mickey Mouse hacks and short-lived zinc-air batteries. There are just too many newer cameras available that sidestep these problems altogether. Same goes for antique handheld light meters.
Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut
A Nikon is a tank, a jewel would be more a Contax IIa.
That said, I sometimes lust for a silver plain prism Nikon F.
you chose well, grasshopper. i much enjoy the F2a and 50/2 i got in may. the lens is very, very capable. my most recent apug gallery shots were made with this kit ...
Thats why F2's are bringing so much more money than Fs.
Originally Posted by CGW
No battery issues.