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  1. #31

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    Since your list contains aperture priority capable SLRs, then the LX offers some picture taking functionalities not available in any other camera - past or present, and that is aperture priority auto exposure for as long as it takes. This is because the LX's exposure range is unequaled in this regard - unassisted range of EV -6.5 to EV +20. This is not matched by any light meters either. Pentax calls it Integrated Direct Metering which is another way of calling off the film metering. This allows the LX to constantly monitor the scene for changes in light and will extend or cut short the exposure time accordingly. This OTF metering is also used for flash. Because of this metering system, the LX doesn't need a viewfinder blind as external light coming in through the VF does not influence the meter in any way. Also because of this metering, it is the only camera that can meter a scene with the mirror in the locked up position so you don't have to drop it each and every time after each shot to verify the exposure.

    Build quality is top notch as it is the most weather proofed camera compared to it's peers. It is a system camera - with replaceable viewfinders and screens. Has all the features you ask for except 100% viewfinder. However, unlike it's peers, the magnification is larger then the F3 and the finders have diopter adjustments. Other features that are unique to is that the film rewind reset also acts as multiexposure control without the hassle associated with using this - you won't have to tighten the film first then hold the rewind while you advance the film for fear of the film moving and missing registration. The film rewind also serves a random access to any frame previously shot. This means at anytime, you can rewind back to any previous frame and registration is perfect. You don't have to listen to the film while you are rewinding to make sure you stop before the film is completely taken up back in the canister because the counter is always accurate.

    The shutter speeds are mechanical - from 1/75 on up, so you can still use the camera even when battery is depleted. Unlike it's peers, the self timer is mechanical so that is available too.

    Unlike it's changeable viewfinder peers, it is so compact it doesn't even look like it is changeable and almost the size of the OM-4. Even the strap lugs are cleverly designed!


  2. #32

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    Although the OP didn't say SLR I can guess that the OP meant a 35mm SLR. Being an SLR the most important feature the SLR has to offer is the viewfinder. The viewfinder should should allow me to focus easily without any of the focusing aid like split image (the split image is a rangefinder and I don't buy an SLR and focus via a rangefinder) or microprism. The image area should be free of any clutter i.e. meter, and other info. Any information display should be outside of the image area. 100% accuracy is a big plus although not a must.
    Accurate shutter speed is important, although I don't care for AE but if the camera has to be electronic in order to have high shutter accuracy then I don't mind. I only need shutter speed from 1 to 1/1000 second plus B. Because I don't care for high shutter speed nor high flash sync speed I prefer titanium horizontal shutter.

  3. #33

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    DOF preview/.. Nice if you can ascertain it when stopped down; Especially in bad light.
    MLU/.. Depends on the camera. Some mirrors are so light on release that you practically don't have to worry about vibration affecting a picture.
    In-camera spot meter/ .. Not really needed. Many late models have it tho.
    Exposure compensation/ .. Easier the better if you really use it. Fiddly controls suck, especially 2 handed ones.
    Auto bracketing/ .. I don't use it. If you have to cock a shutter you can click the aperture around.
    AE Lock/ Only needed on cameras with program settings.
    Bright viewfinder/ Probably the most important next to good lenses.
    Horizontal cloth vs Vertical metal shutter/ I think the Vertical metal was a little lighter on vibration.
    Viewfinder info (shutter speed, aperture, etc...) I like both shutter speed and aperture. Fast Exposure comp can be nice.

    Of the things you didn't mention, I'd add:
    1. Popup flash (fill flash) which is nice for casual shooting. Who the hell wants to carry a big strobe on a body or a bag.
    2. TTL Flash.
    3. Decent priced and available good lenses. 4/3rds drove alot of lens prices higher.
    4. Something that fits the hand. ***
    5 Auto wind. Thumb wind is nice but auto is better when you need to shoot fast.
    6. Program, T, A settings. I like to shoot in A when I've tested my lenses.
    W.A. Crider

  4. #34
    Pumalite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russkat View Post
    New member here ! Greetings from Colorado.

    I'm looking to get back into shooting film for various reasons which I won't get into now.
    I'd like your varied opinions on what features you consider essential on a manual focus slr so I can make an informed decision on a camera purchase.
    Such as...
    DOF preview
    MLU
    In-camera spot meter
    Exposure compensation
    Auto bracketing
    AE Lock
    Bright viewfinder
    Horizontal cloth vs Vertical metal shutter
    Viewfinder info (shutter speed, aperture, etc...)
    ...and anything else you can think of.

    I have no inventory of lenses at the moment, so I'm open to all suggestions.
    I'd like something prior to the button/lcd display era and bayonet mount only (might venture into the m42 arena a bit later)
    I'm considering the following...
    Pentax LX
    Contax RTS or RTS II / Yashica FR or FR I
    Minolta series = XE, XD
    LeicaFlex SL / SL2 or perhaps the R3
    Olympus OM-4 / OM-4ti

    Something durable and can take some abuse. Preferably brass top and bottom plates (or ti)
    I'm studying composition and exposure techniques now (rule of thirds, zone system, etc...)
    I've seen plenty of amazing photographs from something as simple as a pinhole camera, so none of these things are really essential.
    Perhaps beneficial is a better word.
    I know it's all about the person behind the camera and the lens, much more than the body itself.

    I enjoy shooting landscapes, architecture, portraits, street photography. Don't see me needing a 5fps motor drive for anything though.
    I see myself jumping into medium format as well. Seems the Pentax 67 is cheap these days (it's good enough for Nick Brandt)

    Thanks for any advice you can offer

    Derek
    Stick to an old classic mechanical camera and learn photography all over again. Make sure that makes "Click"
    " A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~

  5. #35
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    • Viewfinder
    • Shutter release
    • Lens
    • Light meter (very optional)

    Intelligent person who does all the thinking, not the camera.

    I'm looking to get back into shooting film for various reasons which I won't get into now.
    I'd like your varied opinions on what features you consider essential on a manual focus slr so I can make an informed decision on a camera purchase.
    Such as...
    DOF preview
    MLU
    In-camera spot meter
    Exposure compensation
    Auto bracketing
    AE Lock
    Bright viewfinder
    Horizontal cloth vs Vertical metal shutter
    Viewfinder info (shutter speed, aperture, etc...)
    Start with the basics. e.g. an all-manual. All that floss is nice but it will not make a better photograph. That's where you come into the (bigger) picture.


  6. #36

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    Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions...
    I need to stop analyzing and buy something now.
    I'll be looking for a Contax (RTS I or II most likely) and/or a Yashica FR1 body and some Zeiss glass.
    Time to quit talking and start using.
    Hopefully I'll find something soon.

  7. #37
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Bright finder with good focusing screen. Hard to take pictures if you struggle to see and focus.

    Relatively quite shutter and mirror slap. It's a must for street work and being unobtrusive.

    Easily accessed controls for aperture, shutter speed, and if has meter exposure compensation.

    Decent flash sync speed.

    Handles well in hands. And can be carried all day.

    Easy to rewind film.

    Rugged

    Extras:
    Ttl flash & high speed sync & fill flash options
    1/2000th or higher shutter speed
    Titanium
    Good winder/motor drive attachment
    Diopter correction adjustment
    Interchangeable screens
    Spot meter/multispot meter
    Self timer
    Aperture priority mode

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by R.Gould View Post
    With the cameras that I enjoy using, mostly folders and tlr,s the things that are essential to me are lens, means to focus the lens,shutter, shutter release button film wind and in many cases a red window, failing that a frame counter, anything else is an extra.
    Richard
    Should have added a viewfinder, the simpler the better

  9. #39
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Puccio View Post
    Number one feature of a camera body: lightproof.
    +1

    I think that is the only important thing.

    I formed a firm opinion over the years:

    1) Shutter speed of B and 1s to 1/250 or higher. Lens f/2 or brighter (except f/2.8 OK on 180mm).

    2) I would want speeds 1/250 and above to be in working condition (no missing or underexposed part of image caused by curtain lag).

    3) Dark interior coating or simple light path to minimize flare.

    4) Takes the picture at the moment shutter release is pressed. (Sounds like I am only prejudiced about AF but this also includes operational issues I've seen with Contax and Minox not tripping unless shutter is pressed a certain way).

    Lately I've relaxed restriction on 1) because it's an arbitrary snob guideline, not affecting picture quality.

  10. #40
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    35mm? Manual focus, aperture, and shutter speed, and a decent focusing screen for manual focus, in the case of an SLR. Low shutter lag is a plus.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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