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  1. #1
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    A RETROSPECTIVE ON BAD CAMERAS

    There are many who read these posts who have little or no experience in buying a used camera. I would like to offer perspectives on SLR bodies to largely avoid. There were some troubleprone cameras made and time has allowed us to be better judges of just which ones they are.

    I offer the following SLRs, due to frequent jamming: Petri FT II (maybe even ALL Petris, although their lenses are superb). Also, Praktica tends to jam too often. Zenit, as simple as it is, can have bad quality control and for that reason can be one to avoid. Also, Topcon UNI (NOT the RE though, which is good). The Yashica electronic cameras sometimes offer problems.

    There certainly are exceptions to all of these but, generally, these are the worst in my opinion. - David Lyga

  2. #2
    Andy K's Avatar
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    I have found Zenits to be the AK47s of the camera world. Simple, heavy, tough as nails.


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  3. #3
    cliveh's Avatar
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    The Zenit is one of the only cameras I know that when you look through the viewfinder you have a vision of the interior around the pentaprism, distracting the eye from the image in the middle. Also when you wind on it sounds like two house bricks grinding together. However from a design point of view, compared with a Konica AiBORG it looks like a Leica gIII.

    “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

  4. #4

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    Retina Reflexes. Any leaf shutter 35mm SLR, because of the complexity of the mechanism, will be a higher risk than focal plane SLRs, but the Retinas are particularly prone to problems.

  5. #5
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    The "Brand" 4x5 "field" camera. The thing makes an RB67 feel like a Ricoh GR1 in your hand. The handle on the rear standard gives the illusion that you could somehow hand-hold this beast. The dual-rail chassis design is also something that could get mis-aligned, and due to the fact that all the standards and the tripod mounting block are cast metal bits, if they got bent (say, you dropped it on a concrete floor while trying to mount it on your tripod) there'd be no way to accurately re-align them or to repair the camera to any degree of precision.

  6. #6

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    What about Mirandas? I have one I've never used, and everyone says it's crap.

  7. #7

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    In my experience anything with no control over the exposure isn't likely to be good. Basing this on a selection of horrible fixed shutter speed/aperture/focus compacts I had as a kid, they could just about get a reasonable shot in broad daylight but forget about shade, indoors, etc!

    I have a Zenit B which I've yet to put a film through, every so often I fish it out, play with it a bit...and think "I'll use my Pentax SV instead"!
    Matt

  8. #8
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Another thought- a Kiev medium format that hasn't been reconstructed by Arax. And even those are questionable. Fun to play with, but don't ever try to depend on it for anything.

  9. #9
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PentaxBronica View Post
    In my experience anything with no control over the exposure isn't likely to be good. Basing this on a selection of horrible fixed shutter speed/aperture/focus compacts I had as a kid, they could just about get a reasonable shot in broad daylight but forget about shade, indoors, etc!
    When all I had was a 126 Kodak Instamatic, I discovered a trick for shade or somewhat dim light. Put a flashcube on it and the shutter speed is reduced. I'm not sure how much now, but it was at least a stop, maybe two. So putting a used flashcube on it afforded decent shade shots and even faces near a campfire with the Kodacolor of the time. (1972)
    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.

  10. #10
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Some of those cameras listed can be "Good" cameras if you can get them for free and fix them

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