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  1. #1
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Why are the 500EL/M and 500EL/X so much cheaper than the non-motor drive bodies?

    Is is because people don't like the extra size or because it looks like an Alien?

    I've been thinking about getting a back-up body, and the motor drive bodies are so much cheaper than manual crank ones, I may just go with one of those, as it might actually be preferable for certain types of photography to have both.

    Are they less reliable or what? I mean, its not exactly an insignificant price difference, i'm seeing about a $200-$300 price difference...
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
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    RIP Kodachrome

  2. #2
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Batteries are an issue with them. They were made to use special ni-cad rechargeables that are no longer made, and many of the battery packs are worn out and won't hold a charge. I think there are adapters made to allow use of modern batteries, but at a cost.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

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    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  3. #3
    Andrew K's Avatar
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    because they are noiser due to the motordrive..

    you can find 9V battery adaptors about, and there are still people out there who can rebuild batery packs..

    I wouldn't dismiss one if the price was right..
    A camera is only a black box with a hole in it....

    my blog...some film, some digital http://andrewk1965.wordpress.com/

  4. #4
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Most of the ones I see for sale are converted to use 9V batteries. Would >$150 be considered a good price?
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  5. #5

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    Even the 553ELX which uses standard batteries without an adapter costs less than a 500C/M. The extra bulk and weight of the motorized cameras make them less fun to use outside and handheld. They are more at home on a tripod in the confines of a studio.

  6. #6
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    I found one (500EL/M) on KEH listed as EX, adapted to 9v for $98.95 and i couldn't resist, so I'll tell you all what I think when it arrives

    GAS

    Now I have a backup body yay, and a whopping 1.2 fps motor drive
    Last edited by EASmithV; 11-09-2012 at 12:35 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  7. #7
    ChristopherCoy's Avatar
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    When I asked the same question about year ago, I was told that in addition to the battery situation, these motor driven bodies were mostly used by professionals and were put through the ringer and the motor drives commonly had problems.

    I personally don't shoot film fast enough to warrant a motor drive, and I didn't like the extra bulky look of them. I prefer the classic, clean, chrome lines of the simple 500cm.

  8. #8
    epig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jk0592 View Post
    Even the 553ELX which uses standard batteries without an adapter costs less than a 500C/M. The extra bulk and weight of the motorized cameras make them less fun to use outside and handheld. They are more at home on a tripod in the confines of a studio.
    I find the motorized bodies are easily handheld by wedging my right thumb between the magazine and motordrive while my middle finger rests on the release. Left hand takes care of the focusing and f-stop/shutter work.

    Eric

  9. #9
    daleeman's Avatar
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    I had one 500 elm on this site for sale for weeks. I had to lower my price many times to get it to sell. Final price was $ 150.00 with a prisim and an electrical release cable, no back or lens. Great camera with a 9 volt adapter.

    I used it for macro photography and portraits. After getting everything in place for a macro shot it would stink to wind a 500 C/M for a second shot and have to reset everything because of tripod move.

    They are great bodies.

  10. #10
    Bertil's Avatar
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    I think the main virtue of the EL-cameras is the possibility of controling the shutter and film winding from a distance, with a long cable or some kind of radio transmitter - it was popular among studio portrait photographers and wildlife photograpers for this reason, as far as I can judge.

    I have a very nice perfectlly functioning ELX camera, no problem with batteries, got it some years ago for something like $150,00 - but I never use it, just keep it going!

    EASmithV, Good luck with your EL/M!

    /Bertil

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