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Thread: Camera Advice

  1. #11
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino
    . . . I guess I'd just like a body that lets me spend more of the critical nanoseconds in composition and getting the shot rather than rassling an aged camera/lens into doing what I want.
    Yeah, the auto-focus spots never seem to be in the right location, but that's even more of an issue with the RF patch. The Bessa would be a big upgrade from your current RF kit, though. Decisions, decisions.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  2. #12
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino
    I already have a Nikon D70 I use for PJ work and essentially want something fairly rugged with great glass available for my own (mostly street) work.
    The N80 is essentially the film version of the D70. You may want to consider it. The F4 and F100 are pretty big for street work; I wouldn't go to Cannon unless you want to replace lenses. Personally, I've had a N80 for about 4 years and it has been a good camera. My only complaint with it is that it is too small for my hands - although I have added the optional battery pack (which uses AA batteries) so it is more comfortable for me to carry.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  3. #13
    Craig's Avatar
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    I guess one major point is do you want AF or not? I've used a Bessa, and I prefer it to an M body, simply because I find the rangefinder easier to focus than the Leica, but it can still use Leica glass.

    If you want a SLR, since you have Nikon already I'd stick with it, unless there is a good reason to change to Canon. I think Canon's AF is ahead of Nikons, but it depends upon if you like the feel of the body.

    I currently have an F4 and just got an F6. Completely different operating characteristics, the F6 is basically a digital body that uses film, in that there are 2 LCD panels, and you have to scroll through menus to change things. The AF is superb, and its fits well in my hand.

    The F4 is a dinosaur in comparison, the AF is noticably inferior, both in speed and accuracy. The F6 just latches on its in focus, right now. The F4 has to hunt a bit I really don't see much difference in metering accuracy, both are good.

    One problem I have with the F4 (and F5 as well) is their size and weight. They are big, heavy cameras, and after a while it gets tiresome on the shoulder. The F6 is somewhat smaller and lighter, but still not a lightweight.

    If you are considering an MF camera, take a look at the F3. It's a very tough camera, accurate metering, and always feels good in the hand. Without the motordrive its quite compact, light and quiet. With the motor its just as bulky and heavy as the F4, but a little faster than the F4. Using the Nicad pack, I could get 8 fps out of it, something that only an F6 with the booster can do. An advantage of the F3 is they are plentiful, and fairly cheap.

    Craig

  4. #14

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    F4 is big, heavy & slow. Early autofocus from Nikon. Either the N90 or F100 would be a big improvement. N90 is a great basic camera, it didn't have a lot of bells & whistles but many wedding shooters prefered it to anything else Nikon made at that time. F100 is an upgrade to that camera. faster AF, more sophisticated meter & custom functions. Neither N90 or F100 give 100% viewfinder coverage so if a lot of macro is in your future you may think about a used F5. They're a lot easier to find on the used market than you may think & cost is around that of the F4.

  5. #15

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    At 35mm I'd say stick with your Nikon as you already have some lenses and again I'd recommend the F80(N80) with the SB-16 battery grip. Alternatively the F100. I've owned and used both giving them lots of abuse and they carried on working.

  6. #16
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy
    F4 is big, heavy & slow. Early autofocus from Nikon. Either the N90 or F100 would be a big improvement. N90 is a great basic camera, it didn't have a lot of bells & whistles but many wedding shooters prefered it to anything else Nikon made at that time. F100 is an upgrade to that camera. faster AF, more sophisticated meter & custom functions. Neither N90 or F100 give 100% viewfinder coverage so if a lot of macro is in your future you may think about a used F5. They're a lot easier to find on the used market than you may think & cost is around that of the F4.
    Keep in mind the -s versions of the camera. I.e. the F4s and the N90s have faster autofocus than their earlier brothers.

    The difference in price for these used cameras makes it sensible to get the -s versions.

    That said, I have an N90 (non -s) and love it. I put it away while I work on my other cameras. Everytime I come back I really enjoy using it.

    I think that keeping within the Nikons system makes a lot of sense. You can play to the strengths of the different camera. Long fast lenses (e.g. 80-200 f2.8 or 85mm f1.4) become really long for the D70 with it's small sensor. You get essentially get a 300mm (equivalent) f2.8 lens on the D70. You will eventually need more of a wide angle lens for the D70. If you stick to non-DX lenses, e.g. something like a 20-35 zoom, you will get something pretty darn wide for the film camera.

    Matt

  7. #17

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    OK well I am hoping that this doesn't come across in the wrong way but do you really need another camera?

    Why not take the money and go some where and chill out for a bit if your just finishing your studies...might be awhile before you get to have another holiday once you start working. Besides you have enough existing gear to take with you, maybe make your break a self assigned project of some sort or another???

    If you are still keen on getting yourself a camera as a reward check out what your current gear enables you to do and see if anything is missing as far as capability...to me it would seem bit of a double up to have both the D70 and say an F4. Yes I am aware of the film/digital pros and cons and why it might be handy to have both but perhaps heading off in another direction might be more rewarding, ie either a rangefinder like you already mentioned or perhaps even a nice old Rolleiflex 3.5F.

    Personally if you want a camera that is going to be a memento of your achievement, something you plan on keeping as well as something you might occassionally use to blow away the cobwebs when your feeling burnt out why not buy a nice old Leica M3 or M2 with a Dual Range 50mm Summicron. Get it overhauled by someone like DAG (www.dagcamera.com) and it will be like a brand new camera. Like someone else mentioned it will also give you a chance to use Leica M lenses, very dangerous as they can be addictive.... "Remember the first taste is free!"

    OK well have fun in whatever you decide to do, Cheers!

    AKALAI

  8. #18
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    I also think that you should stick to Nikon, as you have the D70. But if not, have you checked out the Minolta Dynax/Maxxum 7? Beautifull camera, in the F100 range, but with a much better quality/cost ratio. And Minolta glass is very good. I've just got a 7 to replace my Pentax MZ-50 (ZX-50 in USA?), and I can┤t stop saying good things about it.

  9. #19
    MattCarey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino
    Well, I have a Yashica GSN, Kiev 4 and a Canonet QL G3 17 (could that camera have a longer name, please?), but on both of them, they're a total bear to get anyone to work on them and the rangefinders are getting dim in their old age. I was thinking about the Bessa as just an upgrade to a modern RF body.
    I had two Canonets, both with dim rangefinders. I took the top off, cleaned the mirror (gently) and windows inside with some alcohol and put the top back on. Brightened them up nicely.

    Of course, since I had two, I could try one and still have a good one if I messed it up.

    Some of my favorite images (including my absolute favorite) were taken with the Canonet. It is dead quiet, and no one seems to take it seriously, so you can get some good candids.

    Matt

  10. #20

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    As allready said. Since you have Nikon the sensible thing to do would be to stick with nikon. I have the F90X and I lowe it but I would still recomend the F100 since it is the most combatible camera in the range. It'l take the VR lenses which the older wont though it still takes AI(S) which the newer ones wont(well they will but without metering). If looking for something different I probably would go with a MF RF as the Bronica RF 645 or a Mamiya 6. MF for the size of the Neg and RF for the different handling though most MF's handle different than the average 35mm SLR. I can't comment on the Canons and the Bessa since I have never used any of them.
    Regards S°ren

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