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  1. #1

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    Choosing a new camera..

    Hi. I know it's an ugly question, but I need some experienced thoughts about my next purchase.
    Currently I own a Zenit TTL 35 mm camera with a Helios 44M lens.
    After a bit of researching, I ended up with this list:

    1. Fujica ST801
    2. Nikon FM3A
    3. Nikon FM2 T
    4. Nikon F2 AS
    5. Nikon F3
    6. Canon F1
    7. Canon AE-1
    8. Canon A 1
    9. Contax RTS III
    10. Contax G2
    11. Leica M3
    12. Pentax LX
    13. Pentax Spotmatic F


    What camera and what lens with that would you suggest?
    One of my thoughts would be the Pentax Spotmatic F with a 50mm F1.4 SMC.
    I'm on a buget of 300-400 USD but, in some motivated case I can go further.
    Mainly I shoot landscapes and portraits.
    Thank you for your time and patience.

  2. #2

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    Nikon F2. It was Nikon's best camera and lenses are plentiful.

  3. #3

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    What a nice list. Depending on condition, the FM3A, FM2T, F2AS, G2 and M3 are not commonly available in your price range.

  4. #4

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    I'm an Olympus fan/user for many years, but with that said, from your list, I'd get one of the Nikons.

    Why.

    *They made a bunch of them and they are in good supply at reasonable prices.
    *Ditto for the Nikkor manual focus lenses, available, inexpensive, good quality.
    *Can still be serviced.

    If starting out I'd go for the F2 because of the interchangeable finders, and more importantly, interchangeable focusing screens.

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I have a Spotmatic F, they are great cameras but a touch noisy by later standards, I also have a Leica M3 and fouind I used it un prefeance.

    You need to think about size and weight, do you want an SLR or a rangefinder, an M3 in decent condition is going to be ouitside your budget range. You should be able to get a Spotmatic F + f1.4 lens for about $200.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    FM2 or FM2N would be fine, second the F2 but it's quite about larger/heavier and more robust.

    M3 would be great but you a) wouldn't want to use a $300-400 body without a $100-200 CLA (camera tuneup), or b) would need go over your budget at 650+ to find a user one, and that'll likely be ratty without a perfect viewfinder but mechanically ok.

  7. #7

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    how about selling the zenit and adding whatever came of that sale
    to your camea-kitty and then .. add a few more dollars to it
    and get an m3, and use the lens you already have.
    i have a me super and k1000 ( grand and great grandchildren of the spotamatic f ) great
    cameras! but a greasy spoon compared the fine dining ( leica ) ..
    the frame lines may be a little off, but i think you can figure it out after the first roll ..

    have fun and good luck !
    john

  8. #8

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    Not to complicate things but I think you need to consider representation from Olympus and Minolta.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the quick response. First of all a few dollars plus is ok. Also I have no problems with weight, but I want quality and IQ.
    F2 sound reasonable. Any other thoughts?

  10. #10
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I was never a Nikon fan in the 1970's I'd so I went down the Pentax route, but I did like the FM but I'd committed by then to a system.

    Looking from the perspective of starting new with a film camera system I think of all the cameras listed I'd go for the Nikon FM2 or FM3 or perhaps the Pentax LX simply becuase these lens mounts are sill in use although with added functionality. That means lens bought for these cameras could be used on DSLRs from the same manufacturer if you wanted.

    Ian

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