Originally Posted by fstop
Go on vacation and get the F outa town.Take some Fn pictures.
Although I own and use an assortment of Nikons (2-F2 bodies (DE1 variety), an F2A, 2- F2ASs, and 1 each of the F3HP, F4s and F5) my hands-down favorite remains the F2AS (purchased 17 May 1979 and used continuously since). These particular babies have been used in environments ranging from New Orleans (where I lived for four years) to the Columbia Icefields, Jasper National Park (temperature/humidity range of 42C/98% to - 30/40%) without failure, EVER! My only expense for these bodies has been a CLA (done about 6? years ago. My trust in them is such that I shot my very last rolls of PKR and KR with them (sort of a coming full circle, if you will) on 25 December 2010. Needless to say, the F2 gets my unqualified recommendation, something I am very, very hesitant to give for anything, anywhere, EVER!
Originally Posted by fstop
I have the F3 (two of them) and an F5, and I love the F3 if only for the feeling of the frame advance lever. It's so silky smooth. But I am looking at a F2 Titan with the DP-12 prism in new condition. For my money, the F2 could probably go anywhere and work well -- from -30 below zero to outer space. It's built that well. The F3 is great, but more electronics and perhaps a little more fragile long term. The F2 is a tank that could literally work forever.
How strange. In the original title of this thread, the Original Poster did ask about a "Mechanical Jewel," however, there are all of these recommendations for cameras where not only the lightmeter, but also the shutter is electronically controlled and requires a battery.
Originally Posted by stark_674
This is an old thread but I will respond to it anyway.
If I wanted a mechanical “jewel,” I would buy a Leica MP. However, the budgetary constraint excludes this suggestion.
Some of the mechanical cameras I have used and loved over the years are listed below in no particular order.
Leica M1 35mm (no rangefinder and no built-in light meter)
Nikon F 35mm SLR with a standard meterless prism
Nikon F2 35mm SLR with a standard meterless prism or meterless action finder
Nikon F2T 35mm SLR with a standard meterless prism
Argus C3 35mm rangefinder
Minolta Hi-Matic 9 35mm rangefinder (has a built-in light meter)
Canon QL17 GIII 35mm rangefinder (has a built-in light meter)
Pentax Spotmatic 35mm SLR (has a built-in light meter)
Fujica ST705 35mm SLR (has a built-in light meter)
Mamiya C3 6x6cm medium format
Mamiya C22 6x6cm medium format
Mamiya C220 6x6cm medium format
Fuji 6x7cm medium format rangefinder
Fuji 6x9cm medium format rangefinder
Graflex 4x5 inch view
If I had to pick only one that met the budgetary constraint, I would pick the Nikon F2.
Thank you so much for your post. That's what I want to read in this thread... Finally I bought a Nikon F2A... My choice was between F2A and F2AS and I decide for F2A cause the meter is with a arrow and not with Led... Just for the sensation to use as less electronic is possible... I read lot of posts saying this is a robust camera, and when I shoot with that I understand what this mean... Usually I use a Contax RTSII and I think that now I have two different example of what cameras were in the past. Thanks to all again....
I had one - built like a tank. Okay it didn't have the pro accessory capabilities of the Nikon range - i.e. it won't take a motor drive, etc but very much the equal in everything that maters. Loved mine....
I use an FtN all the time, it's my point & shoot. I like it better than the F in some ways, the mirror lockup and the self timer that raises the mirror as soon as the shutter release is pressed particularly. I use hearing aid cells, the meter is accurate.
Originally Posted by Paul Jenkin