Olympus om 10's. Camera leather do covers for them, you can pick the bodies up for about £10 upwards. The 50 1.8 is a killer lens and in cheap. They're rugged, sound nice and will grow up with the kids opening them up to film.
I have two Minolta Maxxum 5000 35mm autofocus cameras that work fine. The two cameras cost me less than $50 with shipping. They have small 35-80 autofocus zoom lenses and they load Kodak Gold 400 film in them. I buy film on special whenever I can find it so it usually costs me less than a dollar per roll. My grandson is seven years old and my granddaughter is nine. They both love their cameras and have decorated them with stickers and even a bit of paint (which has to be renewed once in a while because it wears off.) The cameras have been in use for about a year now and have been very reliable and pretty sturdy. Both cameras have been dropped several times and I cringe whenever it happens. I am learning though that plastic is actually tougher than I had thought. The lenses are both equipped with UV filters in the hope that they will protect the lenses. The granddaughter asked for a 50mm lens about a month ago and I was able to get her one for about $15 with shipping so now she's happy primarily because it focuses quicker then her old zoom (maybe one of the bounces slowed it up).
We started with Vivitar V3800N cameras with the 50mm 1.7 lens, and I still have them, but neither of the kids have really mastered the art of manual focusing yet. They have a lot more fun with the Minoltas. I have kept the Vivitar cameras and if they are still interested when they get older we'll probably try them again.
We develop the film ourselves and both kids load their own reels and put them in the tanks for developing. That took a little practice and a few rolls of film didn't quite survive the process but they stayed at it and they are pretty good now. Grandpa handles the chemicals and although I am still learning color developing, so far nothing has been totally ruined in the developing stage. We have also developed some of it in black and white which works out all right as well. They prefer color but are not terribly particular that it be perfect. We had been scanning things, which they like, but we have printed a few negatives and they love that part. I shudder to think how much this part is likely to cost me, but watching them is certainly worth it.
Printing is fun but unfortunately I may have to buy another enlarger because they are threatening to monopolize my poor Beseler. If someone knows where I can get an old but useable Leitz Focomat for a really good price I would be forever grateful.
I would imagine the simpler Pentax ZX/MZ models would be suitable.
K-mount / M42 with adapter
Cheap as chips
Cheap lenses (lots of Pentax F/FA autofocus lenses for really no money)
Can be upgraded later to more interesting bodies
Supports lenses way back to M42, lots of good Pentax glass out there.
I use the ZX/MZ system myself, and have a range of different bodies, from the manual MZ-M to the feature filled af MZ-6 (that even supports P-TTL).
The ZX/MZ-50 would probably be a good start (P, Av, Tv, M, B modes).
I agree with this. I had a ZX5 and it was a nice small body that a child could handle easily. An old Pentax (Spotmatic era) would be sturdier, but has less auto features.
Originally Posted by Felinik
Thank you all very much for the great recamendationd. This gives me a lot to check out.
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When I was 9, my first camera was a Pentax H3v (nee SV in the rest of the world). 55/1.8 Super-Takumar. Shot decent pics.
APUG: F4, F3P, F2ASx2, F, FM2n, Nikomat FTn - all blk bodies; Nikomat FT2 chrome
Nikkors: 18-70/3.5-4.5G AF-S DX (for DPUG), 28/3.5 H, 35/2 O, 50/2 H x2, 50/1.4 S, 55/2.8 Micro AIS, 85/1.8 K, 200/4 AI, 300/4.5 EDIF AIS
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This weekend, until Sunday 7/29, KEH has free shipping on orders over $100.
If you pick just the right items to be a bit over $100, this will save you a few bucks.
Last edited by bladerunner6; 07-29-2012 at 07:49 AM. Click to view previous post history.
On first sight of the title " Cameras for young children", I thought you wanted a trade, because when my children were young I know the feeling .
Originally Posted by Jay Schrotenboer
How did this proceed? Did you decide on a system to equip your young ones with finally?
I did end up buying two Minolta SRT 201's with 50mm f/1.7 rockor lenses. They are a little big and awkward in their hands but I think that they will work out all right. Thank you again everyone for your help and suggestions.