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  1. #1

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    Olympus OM, Canon FD, or Nikon for low-light

    I'm not too sure what qualifies for low light but I'm talking about shutter speeds of 1/30-1/60s with a 35mm/f2 lens.

    I want an auto exposure camera that is somewhat suitable for this. I have manual exposure RF's that I love but I want something a bit faster. I know that slow shutter speeds is generally rangefinder domain, but I can't find any inexpensive RF's that I'm 100% happy with.

    I'm thinking Olympus OM2n, Canon F1N/A1, or Nikon F3/FE because the bodies/lenses are readily available and mostly affordable.

    I'm wondering if their is a noticeable difference in focusing screens and mirror damping. Maybe the difference is very slight, I don't know, but I thought I'd ask anyways incase someone else looked into this. As of now, it's really a tossup as they all have their own pros/cons and cult followings.

    My priorities:
    -Auto-expsoure (Aperture, Shutter, or both)
    -Good/Decent 35mm/f2 lens
    -Good viewfinder & focusing screen

  2. #2
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Those speeds are very achievable with most any body and 35mm lens, as your are shooting at the reciprocal of the focal length, or 1 over the focal length, which is 1/35.

    Out of the 3 you mentioned, the 35mm F2 on Olympus and on Canon FD, are pretty pricey. some of the FD 35mm F2 lenses are radioactive too. The concave version is all the rage.

    Nikkor 35mm F2's are very affordable and plentiful. The F3 body if heavier than the others, and may help with steadiness, but that mirror sure has a nice "Thunk" slap that may affect pictures at slower speeds (1/15. 1/8th and so on).

  3. #3

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    All three camera systems you mention will do the job. This really is a situation where you're should "test drive" each camera before deciding on what to buy. Each system has their own strengths and weaknesses that are hard to describe in a camera forum.

    As for lenses, again, all the 35mm F2.0 lenses you mention are good. Nikon did offer a 35mm F1.4 lens, if you really need to the extra speed.

    Jim B.

  4. #4

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    All of the cameras you mention are great. I'm more famlier with the Canon FD system. You might look up KEH for decent pricing.

    Jeff

  5. #5

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    I have been around all of them off and on. I still have an F3 that I use. I prefer the F3. there are a lot of lenses out there and they are a little easier to find than the FD or OM lenses because of the amount of photojournalists that used them for years.

  6. #6
    Chris Lange's Avatar
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    I use a few F3s with various 35mm lenses for a lot of my work. Mirror slap is a non-issue, the bodies are very, very, good (my F3/T is favorite manual-wind SLR, period), and the 35/2 lens in any permutation is hard to go wrong with. I use a 35/1.4 Ai-S most of the time now, but I spent a great deal of time using an old Nikkor 35/2, and for a time a FSU Mir 24H 35/2 in F-mount.

    I can't recommend the combination highly enough.
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

    or my snaps at my blog MINIMUM DENSITY
    --
    If you don't have it, then you don't have it.

  7. #7
    darinwc's Avatar
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    heres my thoughts on the cameras mentioned:

    OM2: smallest , quiet. People rave about the viewfinder but its not all that. Very nice exposure compenastion dial. slow speeds down to 2 minutes if you are into that sort of thing.
    -olympus lenses can be hard to find and not any cheaper than nikon. However the 35mm f2 is less expensive than the other OM f2 lenses. There are no bad reviews of it, but people just dont seem to lust after it.

    canon A1: small size, nice led readouts in viewfinder and easy control of shutter speed or sperture. Camera prone to squeaky shutter. A generally reliable camera but compared to others lists more prone to electronic problems.
    canon F1N: medium size, solid, big bright viewfinder, aperture priority but dos not show aperture in viewfinder when in automatic. shutter priority only with motor drive attached.
    FD lenses: good bargain. The 35mm f2 concave is excellent and still fairly low priced. Other FD lenses are plentiful and inexpensive. Also have the L series to choose from if you have the money.

    Nikon F3. medium size, solid., big bright viewfinder. aperture and shutter visible in the finder but can be dim in low light. the shutter and advance sound a but clunky but that is not a indication of poor quality.
    Nikon FE. somewhat small, very sexy, viewfinder window is round so can be harder to see corners. Nice electronic shutter. can use older non-ai lenses as well as ai. needle for shutter and peep window for aperture.
    nikon lenses: plentiful still good priced. often well-used by professionals but dont let that discourage you. as long as the glass is good and the mount is not damaged. mint examples can sell for quite a bit more. i dont know much about the 35mm f2 but you really cant go wrong with nikon.
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

  8. #8

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    The Nikkor O 35 f2 is a pretty nice lens, well behaved but needs a hood to cut down on ghosting. I'm talking about the pre AI version here, the later multicoated versions are better.

  9. #9
    fstop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puketronic View Post
    I'm not too sure what qualifies for low light but I'm talking about shutter speeds of 1/30-1/60s with a 35mm/f2 lens.

    I want an auto exposure camera that is somewhat suitable for this. I have manual exposure RF's that I love but I want something a bit faster. I know that slow shutter speeds is generally rangefinder domain, but I can't find any inexpensive RF's that I'm 100% happy with.

    I'm thinking Olympus OM2n, Canon F1N/A1, or Nikon F3/FE because the bodies/lenses are readily available and mostly affordable.

    I'm wondering if their is a noticeable difference in focusing screens and mirror damping. Maybe the difference is very slight, I don't know, but I thought I'd ask anyways incase someone else looked into this. As of now, it's really a tossup as they all have their own pros/cons and cult followings.

    My priorities:
    -Auto-expsoure (Aperture, Shutter, or both)
    -Good/Decent 35mm/f2 lens
    -Good viewfinder & focusing screen
    You want a Minolta XD-11. LED display is readable in pitch black. Bright finder.Aperture priority, shutter priority and metered manual.Very quiet.

    Other wise an F3.

    I have all the top of line manual focus bodies from both Minolta and Nikon, my main stays are the F3,FA, XD-11 and XK.

    If mirror lock up is needed I use my XK w/AES finder.

  10. #10

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    Regarding just the bodies and Auto feature:
    Olympus Om2n manual and aperture priority
    Canon f1N manual and aperture priority
    Canon A1 Aperture, Shutter and Program auto modes but manual does not have a match needle/arrow system in the viewfinder.
    Nikon F3 manual and aperture priority.
    Minolta XD11 aperture,shutter priority and manual with metering for manual in the viewfinder
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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