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  1. #91

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    As a general rule, I'd concentrate on all mechanical bodies and avoid anything electronic. The more "basic" a camera is, the less likelihood of things going wrong. But much depends on how a camera has been treated by its previous owner(s). Cosmetic appearance gives a clue, also a camera that comes complete with its case, is often an indication the previous owner has treated it well. In my opinion, camera manufacture was at its best in that period between 1965 and about 1982. During this period appeared "classicis" like the Pentax Spotmatic, Nikon F series, Canon F1 Ftb's, Leica M4 etc. All solidly engineered cameras and lenses to the highest standards. Any of these in good condition should be a good buy, and will probably outlive you in terms of reliability.

  2. #92

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    I shoot primarily on a Minolta Maxxum 7000i. Definitely all the points about it are valid, but you can't beat that value.. just got mine for the asking, wihh a 35-105 zoom, and a 50mm f/1.7 was pretty inexpensive to add.

    I don't find the ergonomics of it bad at all, but my hands are pretty big, and now that I've gotten used to it I find it pretty quick and intuitive to use. My only complaint is that in manual exposure mode, it takes both hands to set the aperture. I spend most of my time in manual focus and aperture-priority mode, unless I'm shooting a scene that I know will confuse up the meter.

    But hey, whatever works for the person who has to use it, right? I have lots of love for full-manual cameras, but the Minolta works great for me.

  3. #93

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    The worst camera I ever had was a Mamiya-Sekor 500DTL. The shutter would jam without warning. After I think the fourth time I sent it in for warranty repair (it never made it out of the warranty on warranty repairs period) they sent me a new one.

    This one had a grinding, metal on metal feel when the film was advanced. Its shutter soon jamned too.

    My conscience wouldn't allow me to trade it in, so I destroyed it. I replaced it with a Fuji ST701 which served me faithfully without a single problem for quite a few years.

    Later on I thought about going to the 645 format, but after this there was no way I would ever buy anything Mamiya.

  4. #94

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    ANYTHING made in China or the USSR.

    Seagull TLR. One DOA, one failed in middle of first roll, third jammed/ focus inaccurate.

    Smena 8M. for all the fancy quality control paperwork that came in the box it failed after about just 7 exposures. Shutter stopped firing. Didn't bother to develop film, tossed it. Camera is now paperweight.

    Lomo LC Wide. $400 35 point and shoot. Total rip off. Worth about $4.00. Erratic film wind. Picture quality worse than disposable cameras.

    Minolta X700 and Nikon F100. I loved the Minoltas. I had three. The oldest one dates back to 1985 and the other to 1991. Both still work great despite having taken a beating all those years. My last one from around 2000 was the only one to fail (shutter speeds suddenly went way off like 1/500 went to about 2 seconds etc.). I discovered this last one was no longer made in Japan but China, just like the 2 Nikon F100's which died (totally inoperable) as soon as the warranty expired.

  5. #95

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    Nikon F601. A good concept spoiled by a flimsy back release hook, both mine died in identical fashion while sitting in the drawer. The metal clasp is too strong for the toy town plastic hook and it snaps. There was an after-market fix which involved screwing in a stronger metal hook.

  6. #96
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    I just realized something: I've only had one camera made after 1985. It was the only camera that ever gave me crap results. I want to say it was a Maxxum QTsi, but I can't remember. God, that thing was a piece of crap.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  7. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by 37th Exposure View Post
    ANYTHING made in China or the USSR....
    There are a lot of excellent cameras from China and USSR.
    Those folks got enormous top quality resources and skilled opticians, engineers etc. etc., and still make cameras, films, papers, chemicals and anything a darkroom needs.

    Probably You don't even have the slightest idea where the cutting edge LF cameras Chamonix are made.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim View Post
    I just realized something: I've only had one camera made after 1985. It was the only camera that ever gave me crap results. I want to say it was a Maxxum QTsi, but I can't remember. God, that thing was a piece of crap.
    I just realized that I have only one camera made after 1956, a Sinar P and its not piece of crap but sadly, is used once or twice a year in the recent years..

    There are no bad cameras..., only photographers/customers who are cursed or just had a bad luck or wanted *something* good for cheap.
    Last edited by georg16nik; 10-29-2012 at 01:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #98
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georg16nik View Post
    I just realized that I have only one camera made after 1956, a Sinar P and its not piece of crap but sadly, is used once or twice a year in the recent years..

    There are no bad cameras..., only photographers/customers who are cursed or just had a bad luck or wanted *something* good for cheap.
    I bought that Minolta new. I didn't know about Ebay, really, before I did. Had I known, I would have had a Nikon WAY earlier.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by georg16nik View Post
    There are a lot of excellent cameras from China and USSR.
    Name one.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  10. #100
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Name one.
    A lot of the older wooden large format cameras from Russia are pretty nice. The Fed and Kiev-series rangefinders are actually decent if you can find the older ones. The Chinese large format cameras such as the Shen Hao and Chamonix are also very, very good.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

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