After a bit of searching and your responses I shorted the list down to these:
a. Canon F1
b. Nikon F2
c. Pentax LX
I didn't mentioned the other tags in their names (for ex. AS, N), because I'm not familiar with those yet.
What do you think about these? In some cases the price range can be expanded.
Any lens recommendation for these?
You can't so wrong with any camera on your list. All are great.
You're at the "personal preference" part of your search. If you have the opportunity to try and sample any of these the cameras, do so. How a camera feels in YOUR hands will trump any opinions we can offer. Plus anything you hear now will be fanboy talk, nothing more.
Is that the aperture & shutter priority capable Canon New F-1 or manual body Canon F-1?
Originally Posted by flajcsi
The AS for the F2 designates the finder attached to the body which will influence cost and functionaility.
You can read extensively about these three bodies at http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/
Last edited by Les Sarile; 05-28-2013 at 12:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Why not? Shooting with a 645 with eye level finder, ttl flash and matrix metering isn't much different than a 35mm camera. Of course using a waist level finder and separate meter is different.
Originally Posted by flajcsi
Comparing 35mm to medium format, each has it's strengths and weaknesses but don't be intimidated by medium format. It's not hard at all.
Now moving up to large format and using sheet film and camera movements is a lot different.
I'm a Pentax shooter and can comment on the LX. It is a wonderful camera, excellent ergonomics, (for me!) especially with the Grip B added. Very smooth acting wind, metering (center weighted) is very accurate and consistent. Auto exposure from about EV -6 to +20. As someone above commented auto exposures can run to many, many minutes. Since the meter reads off the film changes in lighting are compensated for, and there's no need for a viewfinder blind. The camera is weather sealed, although after so many years that may not be dependable.
Ideally you could handle examples of the three you mention. A camera is ideally a very personal possession, I'm sure many of us have bought a camera and never "warmed" to it. For example, the Pentax is quite small for a professional system camera, this may be a factor in your decision. I've found that the winder, which is not too hard to find, adds a little heft which is nice, and also furnishes power rewind. Pretty cool!
Now as with any camera there are downsides. Any old camera probably needs a professional CLA; I'm not sure Pentax is still servicing the LX. Eric Hendrickson in Tennessee is the Pentax expert, his charges are moderate, but the LX is intrinsically expensive to work on, especially if the integrity of the body seals is preserved. Beware the "sticky mirror" syndrome, in which the mirror action is very slow, or the mirror refuses to descend. A proper CLA would run about $150. As with any old camera be sure you can return it in case there's a problem. With the LX make sure the speeds below X sync work; they are electronically controlled and thus vulnerable. If it will furnish a timed proper exposure of, say, five minutes, it should be okay. BTW, X sync is only about 1/70 sec, pretty slow by today's standards. So it goes with a horizontally run titanium foil shutter, I suppose.
An operating LX in reasonable condition would cost probably $350 to $400.
While the LX can use hundreds of lenses, back to the first K mount, Pentax label lenses aren't as commonly available as, for example, Canon or Nikon. While the LX is a full system camera, finding a motor drive or a 250 exposure back for the LX is not easy, nor is finding the various system viewfinders, nor the interchangeable screens. BTW, while Ricoh uses a variant of the K mount it has an extra pin which can "lock" the lens onto the mount of a Pentax digital SLR. I don't know whether this applies to the LX. Like the Hassie the LX uses special lugs for the neck strap, if your purchase doesn't come with them there is a strap with compatible ends from B&H or Adorama. Not as attractive, however.
I also have a Pentax 645n, like Alan Gales says its like shooting with a big, noisy 35mm SLR. I'd suggest the 645n, which has a better viewfinder than the original 645, autofocus with confirmation beep/icon, film edge exposure imprinting, 16 exp per roll rather than 15, and a really intuitive operation. Wonderful lenses, but no third party producers. Note that the longest reasonably priced tele is 200mm, about like a 135mm on a 35mm camera. With a hard to find adaptor the 645 can use lenses from the Pentax 67, but that camera's long lenses are pretty costly. It uses inserts, so no mid-roll switching. BTW, the 220 inserts are usually cheaper than the 120 and are easily "converted" to 120 with a tiny screwdriver and a little care.
Ken Rockwell, so often dismissed, has a good "take" on the 645n and a few of its lenses.
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Contax G2 and leica are the only different cameras. You can get a FED or a bessa for less if you want to have a rangefinder.
The rest are quite similar, with some feature differences which dictate prices and choices. Just flash sync speed, viewfinder quality - brightness, ease of focusing, compatibility with glasses, weight... self timer... ability to take a motor drive... need for batteries... But they're all SLRs from the same period. Fundamentally they'll handle the same and the 50mm lenses would probably be sharper and have higher contrast than the helios.
Do you need a 1.4 normal lens? if you don't, there's a number of rangefinders with non-removable lenses. They'd be like a "leica", but would cost 60 bucks. Lenses around f/2 are common. F/2.8 lenses are more compact. 35 RC, canonet, yashica electric and such
Given that choice, I would go for the Nikon, if you ever decide to move into a DSLR you can use your manual lenses. Portraits and landscapes don't need auto focus lenses.
Originally Posted by flajcsi
APUG: F, F/FTN,F2,F2A,F2AS,F3,F3HP,FA,FE,FM,FM2,FE2,XK,XM,XD, XD-5,XD-7,XD-11,XE,XE-5,XE-7,SRT101,SRT102,XG9,XG7,XG1,XG-SE,XG-M,X700,OM-1,OM-1n,OM-2,OM-2n,OM-4,F-1,F-1N,AE-1P,R5,500C/M,SCII
Also true of the Pentax LX, although lenses without the "A" on the aperture ring aren't as convenient.
Originally Posted by fstop
I would consider a T 90 and Canon FD lens which are still inexpensive as are Minolta MD compaired to Pentax K or Nikon F which it seems to me are increasing in price as digital shooters are buying up the manual focus F and Ks. I had a T 90 with a few lens, 50 1.4, 28, 100, and a 135 prime and a couple of zooms. Just sold them last year as I have too many cameras as it is. The T 90 was the replacement for the New F 1. Other option a Minolta 202 and brace of lens.
If image quality is important, you should consider a Yashica/Kyocera Contax and some Zeiss lenses. I would recommend the Contax 139 Quartz and a 50mm Planar as a start. This will cost only a bit more than the other cameras on your list.
The Yashica equivalent of the 139 Quartz is the FX-D and can use any Zeiss lens ... and Yashica lenses, of course, which also can be used on Contax bodies.