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  1. #1
    Andrew K's Avatar
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    Best 35mm camera design - or rather - which is your favorite?

    I know this is a old arguement, and one that divides rangefinder and SLR users...

    But what is YOUR favorite 35mm camera, and why?

    I'll start - and I have 2 different ones ....for very different reasons..

    Minolta SRT series.

    My first "real" camera was a SRT100X. After many years I picked one up again, and fell in love with it again.

    Yes, the viewfinder is dim, but the match needle works great, I can see all the viewifnder with glasses on, and all of the 5 or 6 different SR and SRT's models I own all work correctly. Plus I love the fact you can pick up lenses for them at bargain prices....

    The second one - from the standpoint of a working photographer who used them professionally for over 10 years - is the Canon New F1.

    Why?

    - build quality - you can use them to whack a tent peg in if you can't find a hammer. You can use them in pouring rain and they stay working. And if you drop them they tend to dent things..
    - they work with or without a battery. Sure, without a battery you only get 1/60th to 1/2000 & Bulb, but that covers most situations.
    - they have an easy to use match needle system, plus offer built in Aperture priority (you can use aperture priority with a standard prism, but you can only see what shutter speed you are getting with a AE Prism). And if you add a power winder or motor drive you get shutter priority too..
    - interchangable prisms, including the revolving speed finder. These are a bit odd to use - sort of like looking down a tunnel, but with glasses I could see the complete screen, with splenty to spare
    - interchangable screens. Want to change metering pattern - change the screen. Maybe not as convenient as on a F4 or T90, but how often do you really change metering methods? Much handier was the ability to change to a grid screen (for copy work - to make sure you had everything set up square to your subject), or one of the special screens for use with slow lenses..
    - Canon lenses. Yes - FD and New FD were breech mount, but once you got used to changing lenses you could easily do it one handed, and there were some great lenses. I was lucky enough to have owned a few of them ranging from a 14mm to a 500mm, and aside from the 500mm mirror and the 2 macro lenses they were all f2.8 or faster :-)
    - built to last....I had some ex press bodies that looked like cr#p, lots of brass and dents, but they all worked as advertised...

    So there you have mine...I'm curious to see what others think
    A camera is only a black box with a hole in it....

    my blog...some film, some digital http://andrewk1965.wordpress.com/

  2. #2

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    I haven't quite made up my mind but I know it isn't the Kodak Brownie or the Leica Luftwaffe . . .


  3. #3
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    The Spotmatics and the Spotmatic bodies of the K1000, KX. Feels great in the hands. Nikkormat FTN too. For rangefinders, any Yashica Lynx (1000, 5000, and 14(e).

  4. #4

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    leica M, bar none. Marty Forscher, formerly of professional camera repair in nyc, called it, the nikon f and the canon f "hocky puck" cameras and for good reason. I prefer the M for quiet, ease of use and holding and pure sex appeal.

    the leicaflex sl2 is another favorite -- like the F1 of Nikon and Canon fame, you can dent things with it but not the camera...quietest slr shutter going, supreme quality, a joy to use.

  5. #5

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    i always like the Canon FD system.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    hdeyong's Avatar
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    Olympus OM-1. Light weight, bright viewfinder, excellent lenses which are also small and light, the best place to put the shutter speed dial, well damped mirror, etc.

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdeyong View Post
    Olympus OM-1. Light weight, bright viewfinder, excellent lenses which are also small and light, the best place to put the shutter speed dial, well damped mirror, etc.
    +1
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8
    tony lockerbie's Avatar
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    I have to go with the Spotmatics too, just so nice to use...everything feels just right. The best design is not necessarily the best camera though.

  9. #9

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    The Olympus OM-4 Ti must come close, although I never owned one. One of my friends did, and I seriously envied him. The multi-spot and flash systems were ahead of their time, and some of the lenses are great.

    The Nikon FM3A is perhaps another candidate. I don't own one. The FA and FM2n that I do own come close, though lacking full manual functioning combined with electronic shutter. That said, I haven't had a battery failure on them yet, and the FA is therefore very close to the perfect manual focus body for me personally, due to its excellent metering system.

    In terms of AF bodies, the F100 has very little that I do not want, and most of what I do want. Although I do not own one, the F6 looks like a great camera too. It adds little functionality over the F100, though, at a huge hike in price.

    The Leica M cameras I know next to nothing about, but they seem to evoke strong feelings in their owners. That must count for something.

    I have also used Nikon FM, FE2, F3 and a string of AF cameras. They were mostly great products for their time. Still have the F3 and FE2, but seldom use them nowadays. My F3 eventually lost the AE lock button, and the flash shoe is doubtful. Still have to see an F3 that hasn't been worked to near or actual death, and I certainly did the same to mine.

  10. #10

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    I have had a think about this one and come to the decision that any of the Pentax models from the S1a up to the last of the Spotmatics (and possibly the K1000-KX-KM) fit the bill. Of all the cameras I have used I had more success from them than I think I had collectively from all the others.

    I don't know about elsewhere but in UK at the time these were in vogue, the Pentax slogan in their advertising was 'Just hold a Pentax'. They were right.

    My basic setup was a 28mm, 55mm, and the 135mm lenses. A Pentax lenses. No frills, just straight forward lenses with no thought needed to get what I wanted
    Last edited by BMbikerider; 02-20-2013 at 04:54 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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