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Thread: Camera Advice

  1. #1

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    Camera Advice

    First off, let me say that I'm not trying to start a range war between SLR/Rangefinder or Canon/Nikon or 35mm/MF fans or anyone else for that matter.

    Having said that...

    I'm graduating this summer and am going to buy myself a nice camera as a reward.

    Here are the bodies on my list, and if you have any pros/cons on them, please speak up:

    Nikon F4
    Nikon F100
    Nikon N90s (caveat: I already have a 28-105 AF nikon zoom lens)
    Canon T90
    Canon EOS 1v
    Bessa R3A
    Fuji 645

    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.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino
    Nikon F4
    Nikon F100
    Nikon N90s (caveat: I already have a 28-105 AF nikon zoom lens)
    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.
    You already have the (rather nice) D70 and buying a Nikon film SLR will give you the ability to buy lenses that will fit both the D70 and the film SLR (not all lenses will work on both, but a lot will).
    I would go with F100 or a used F5 (not F4, I don't like the way it handles)

    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino
    Canon T90
    Canon EOS 1v
    T90 is not great buy to me. I find the T-series to be half old and half new as it tries to be a modern SLR, but it has the FD mount and will only take older lenses and NOT all FD lenses will fit. If you want AF you have buy Canons rather big lenses with AF built-in...not a great choice.

    The EOS 1v is a GREAT BUY. The EF lens mount is great and there are lots of options when it comes to lenses. I am Canon EOS guy myself, and therefore I can only recommend EOS.

    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino
    Bessa R3A
    Fuji 645
    The Bessa is great Leica-like range-finder which can be used with Leica glass. That gives you Leica-quality photos with a cheaper body. The Voigtländer glass is great, too! Great buy

    Fuji 645 is do not know much about, so I will shut up

  3. #3
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenrhino

    Nikon F4
    Nikon F100
    Nikon N90s (caveat: I already have a 28-105 AF nikon zoom lens)
    Canon T90
    Canon EOS 1v
    Bessa R3A
    Fuji 645

    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.

    Thanks!
    Big range here! Main question is - do you want something that is a film version of your D70 and does many of the same things, or do you want something different? And how much do you want to spend? The Fuji would be most different (bigger format, also more bulky and higher film costs). The Bessa offers the traditional Leica experience (not entirely the same build quality) for not too much money, the F4 is a superb system camera but huge and heavy, the T90 is getting long in the tooth, an EOS 1V is great but maybe unnecessary unless you want to buy into the whole Canon system, either Nikon would be the most cost-effective choice, as you have a Nikon lens already (although a fast prime lens, like 50 mm 1.4 or 1.2, would probably be better for street work).

  4. #4
    johnnywalker's Avatar
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    Nikon FM3A with a 50 mm 1.4 or 1.8 lens!! And there are so many other good, relatively inexpensive lenses available for this camera.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    There are very few FD lenses that won't fit a T-90, but even as a Canon FD user, I would say that if you're invested in the Nikon system, then you might as well continue on that path, if you purchase another 35mm SLR.

    That said, I've found it very eye opening to try different kinds of cameras and different formats. If you're shooting street, a rangefinder or maybe a TLR is the classic tool. They're quiet and stealthy, and there's some great rangefinder glass out there. I'd go for a MF rangefinder myself, if that were of interest to me, like the M7-II. If you want something a little more compact, I think there are some good deals to be had on the Bronica 645RF, since Bronica is moving away from MF cameras (though it's stated that it will support the rangefinder for longer than it will continue supporting the SLR's. I have an S2A, which has been unsupported for years, but there are people who work on them and have parts).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  6. #6
    rbarker's Avatar
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    In general, my usual recommendation is to stay within the same product line for lens interchangeability and functional similarity - unless one is looking for specific features or capabilities a distinctly different camera provides. Thus, Nikon SLR + Leica M would work (it does for me at least), but Nikon + Canon would be a hair-ripper.

    I have the F4s (along with an F5 and a D-1). It's rugged and durable (metal body), and has been a real work horse. There was, however, a significant design shift between the F4 and the F5, and your D-70 is more similar to the F5. Thus, you might find the F4 design to be a little jarring. I'd suggest handling an F4 before making a decision between it and an F5.

    The Bessa R3A would be a nice (and relatively inexpensive) introduction to the RF world and M-mount lenses. It would be excellent for street work - perhaps better than the F4/F5 in many respects. A rangefinder imposes a completely different style of working, however, and some SLR users have a hard time adapting. One thing to bear in mind is that focus accuracy with an RF is largely a matter of the length of the RF base length (the distance between the viewfinder and the RF focusing patch). The Bessa has a shorter RF base length than the Leica Ms, for example. That's usually not a big issue, but it's something to be aware of with this type of camera - particularly at very wide apertures and with the longer RF lenses (75mm and above).
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  7. #7

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    You've got a Nikon, so stick to Nikon. I'd go with the F100.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    The Bessa R3A would be a nice (and relatively inexpensive) introduction to the RF world and M-mount lenses.
    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.

    The only other SLR I have (other than the Kiev 60) is a Praktica from the late 50's. I find it kind of a bear to focus after working with RF's for the last year.

    The only worry I have about an F100 or F4/5 is that with my D70, the AF will grab inexactly, even in spot focus mode. I thought maybe with a RF or F3 (FM3A?) I'd have to slow down a notch, decide where I want to focus, and then shoot.

    I certainly don't mind spending $1000 on a great camera, or even $1000 on a great camera and feeding it 120 film for life in the case of a Fuji or other 645.

    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.

  9. #9
    Helen B's Avatar
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    Are there any unique lenses or other system things in the Canon / Nikon / Leica-Voigtlander-ZI-etc camps that would swing the decision for you? For example, I have a T-90 just because of the 24 mm f/1.4. The T-90 is a bit of an odd one out compared to my old Nikon and Leica junk but it was worth getting used to.

    The Bessa could be the start of a beautiful relationship with rangefinders.

    How much do you like using a zoom? How happy would you be if you used only prime lenses?

    (Oops, I've just seen your simultaneous post)

    Best,
    Helen

  10. #10

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    Its essential to know what you want to use it for (just street?). What sort of photography flicks your switch or are you getting into? The problem is some camera are no good at all for certain things. (like and fuji 645 for sport)

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