My first real camera, was a Yashica TL Electo-X. By the time I had the money to "upgrade" it was 14 years later, Yashica was fading, and I bought a Canon A-1. Still have many fond memories of that first camera. Now, my "other" SLR is an Aires. Even with today's films, the pictures manage a 50's look.
I bought into the Minolta system in 1984 for a trip to Europe. 2 X-700 bodies, 5 lenses and a flash. I liked them so much that I have continued to buy different models. Everything from SRTs to Maxxums and everything in between. My current favorites are the XD-11 & Maxxum 8000i.
I started out with Exakta cameras in the late 60's and used them till 1984. They are still proudly displayed in a glass fronted shelf.
A Nikon/Bronica combo is nice, as the Bronica lenses mount counter-clockwise like Nikon lenses, with the aperture and focusing rings turning the Nikon direction, too. I wonder if that is a result of Nikon being Bronica's original lens supplier.
Originally Posted by mooseontheloose
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
^ Quite possibly.
Anyway, started out with a Pentax H3v with 55/1.8 Super-Tak (eventually that got broken, and the lens was replaced with a 55/1.8 Super-Multi-Coated Tak). In 1987, the flash sync on the H3v was erratic @ best. Camera had lived a hard life. So, since my father shot Nikon at the time, I started looking at maybe getting a Nikkormat FTn from Tall's Camera in Bellevue, WA. Saw a pretty nice one for $125. A 50/2 Nikkor-H was going to run another $50. That night, my father sat me down, and said that if I did $75 worth in chores, he'd give me his Nikomat FTn kit, also with 50/2 Nikkor-H, the BC-7 flash unit, and a Kenko Auto Teleplus 2x teleconverter. Did the chores, got the camera. In 1990, I got my own Nikkormat, an FT2, with a 50/2 Nikkor-HC. Gave my father his FTn back with the later 50/2 HC on it. Didn't need it anymore. A year later, picked up my first modern Nikon, an FM2n that had some wear on it, but nothing major. Used that camera for 13 years. Still wish I had it. Not one identical to it - have had many identical to it, some nicer, some uglier, but not the camera. Actually have kept my eyes peeled on eBait for the original Nikkormat bodies as well. Not that I need them, since I have their twins in my hands currently. Since that fateful day, I've owned too many Nikons to count.
Anyway, getting back on-topic, I've owned four more SV/H3v Pentax bodies, and three or so Spotmatics. Eventually, would like to get another Spotmatic with 50/1.4 SMC Takumar. Currently have a Pentax Super A that I picked up for a friend in Canada. Need to send it north to him sometime soon.
Also had a Canon FTb-QL in black with 50/1.4 SSC. If I could've found an adapter that would take round eyepiece diopters, or the proper -4 rectangular eyepiece diopter, I'd still own it. Another camera I've owned, was a Leica R4. Was one of the cameras in the bad serial block, but had survived the 26 years since it was built, so it was working. Felt bad that the seller was offering me his 3-cam 50/2 Summicron-R for $200, when it was worth $325. So, it went back.
Medium format-wise, I've owned three 500c's and a dead 500EL that had a good 80/2.8 T* C Planar on it. Two of the 500c's were the transitional bodies that were actually 500c/m bodies with the 500c badge.
APUG: F5, F3HP, F2AS, F FTn, Nikomat FT2, FTn, Nikkormat EL, FT
Nikkors: 18-55/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX (f/D2x), 20/3.5 UD, 24/2.8 AI, 50/2 AI, 50/2 H, 50/1.4 S, 55/2.8 Micro AIS, 85/1.8 K
- My flickr stream
I started with a Zenit-E back in the early 70s. When that developed a fault I bought an OM-10 in 1978 and now have seven OM bodies. Too many, obviously, but I wouldn't part with any of them! I picked up a Contax RTSII cheap at a local auction and was surprised at how un-ergonomic it was (separate buttons for metering and shooting, a shutter release which was "tactile" rather than smooth making it harder to release without causing some shake, and whole-stop meter indications vs the 1/3 stop of the later OMs). I sold it pronto for a nice profit . Apologies to any Contax fans, but it wasn't for me!
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Main SLR camera is a Pentax 6x7, and the "other" SLR is an Olympus Pen-F.
My non-steroidal SLR go-to camera is a long-serving (1994-) Canon EOS1N with TS-E 24 3.5L (et al).
My SLR on steroids is a Pentax 67 with 55 f4 and 165 f4 leaf shutter. Neither SLR is better than the other, just different and requiring very different skills. Mind you, if I need to make a noise I like taking the 67 shutter for a work-out.
Both toys are being primed and prettied for a wet and cold rainforest shoot this coming weekend. Can't wait............................
My favorite 'other' film SLR is a Canon A-1, for when I'm not using my Bronica SQ-A. I also have an AE-1 and an original F-1 body, but I have a long term acquaintance with the A-1 and like how it handles.
My Top 5 SLRs:
1) Nikon F2A - reliable, heavy, never misses a shot. Bought it new in 1979. Still works like a champ.
2) Rolleiflex SL 35 E - took about four tries to get one with working electronics. Love the Zeiss lenses and the viewfinder. Feels very solid and balanced. In fact, this has become defacto No. 1.
3) Minolta XD 11 - compact and reasonably quiet for an SLR. I always wanted one of these. Now, they're plentiful and inexpensive. Had to change the body covering. I love the handling. Very easy to use.
4) Contax 139 Quartz - compact although somewhat noisy. Excellent Zeiss lenses, of course. Feels balanced. Very bright viewfinder -- much brighter than any other camera that I've used. The Rolleiflex SL 35 E comes in second. Had to replace the body covering, which had worn/rotted away.
5) Pentax MX - This was my second SLR, and I still enjoy using it, although it's a replacement and not the original camera that I bought back in 1978. Love the softly lit red-yellow-green LEDs. The body is almost too small. It's very solid and very reliable.
I began as an Olympus OM person, but found the bodies too vulnerable to the rigors of street photography and back-packing I was doing at the time. Next stop was a Nikon F, in many ways the antithesis of the OM ethos. It was beautifully made and certainly robust, but too heavy to be touted as a constant companion. The many years since owning either have been occupied by trying to find the sweet spot between ease of use, lens resolution, cost of system, durability and so on.
Currently my two favourites are the Canon A-Series bodies, principally the A-1, and the Yashica FR. Both do the job asked in different ways. The AF era Nikons are also very usable, if rather characterless compared with their manual era brethren.